clrd4t8koff
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Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:49 pm

Wow, I can't believe the awful service recovery by AS. What poor treatment these passengers received from the AS staff in BOS!

Alaska Airlines faced a furious reaction from outraged passengers Monday after a weekend flight from Boston to L.A. was diverted to Buffalo, New York, and turned into a 30-hour nightmare journey.

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... assengers/
 
wedgetail737
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:08 pm

Yeah...AS botched this one pretty badly. Hopefully, it doesn't become compulsory.
 
MaksFly
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:25 pm

Why couldn't the plane from Buffalo go straight to LAX? What a sht-show. I am sure Spirit could of handle it better. lol. Can't tell me AS had no slack in the system to get a plane to Buffalo and fly the folks to their destination.
 
jumbojet
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:51 pm

MaksFly wrote:
Why couldn't the plane from Buffalo go straight to LAX? n.


I read this story yesterday and wondered the same thing. Why not fly the folks straight from BUF to LAX? The passengers must have been like, WTF is going on here? Even the most logical answer won't make much sense. Someone dropped the ball.
 
noplanepunshere
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:08 pm

As an Alaska fan, they eff'd this one up pretty bad. Even though there was no AS staff in Buffalo, Alaska should've been able to remotely book hotels for anyone who wanted if they called customer service. Additionally, I'm not surprised by the brick wall-type mentality of BOS staff (and other east coast staff too). We all know mx stuff happens all the time. Unfortunately, Alaska dropped the ball by either 1) not following their game plan when a diversion occurs to a non-AS city or 2) they didn't have a game plan at all.
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:47 pm

Not sure, but it might have been the original crew timed out before the new plane arrived, and the new plane’s crew would have timed out before getting to LAX. So, load and head back to Boston.

In any event, no excuse for how it was handled. At least better communication would have helped.
-Dave


”Yet somewhere in Iceland a great anger stirred in the soul of a troubled individual...” - Revelation
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:49 pm

I think this also overlapped a bit with their network outage early Sunday following the windstorm Saturday night in Seattle. Again, not an excuse, but it could explain how things just kept rolling poorly.
-Dave


”Yet somewhere in Iceland a great anger stirred in the soul of a troubled individual...” - Revelation
 
ScottB
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:29 pm

PlanesNTrains wrote:
Not sure, but it might have been the original crew timed out before the new plane arrived, and the new plane’s crew would have timed out before getting to LAX. So, load and head back to Boston.


Maybe, but then wouldn't it make sense to deadhead a crew on the LAX-BUF (or SEA/SFO/PDX-BUF) segment which would subsequently take the aircraft to LAX? I doubt that would be a lot more expensive than flying the aircraft an hour-and-a-half in the wrong direction and back.
 
global1
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:46 pm

Every airline has its good and bad days.

That being said, Delta handled a wide body diversion to Shemya, a practically deserted air base in the Aleutian Islands, with less disruption than this flight to Lax.
 
hiflyeras
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:13 pm

Yes, it happened concurrent with the power outage at AS's Operations Center due to the big windstorm.. But with multiple flight cancellations you'd think there'd have been an extra airframe and crew around for a SEA-BUF-LAX flight.
 
NW
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:27 pm

Airlines have diversion agreements/processes with other airlines for situations like this. Surprised AS didn't contact its partner AA or even DL/UA for assistance with ground handling and getting these customer in a hotel in Buffalo.
 
Osubuckeyes
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:33 pm

global1 wrote:
Every airline has its good and bad days.

That being said, Delta handled a wide body diversion to Shemya, a practically deserted air base in the Aleutian Islands, with less disruption than this flight to Lax.


That being said Delta has had its issues as well... Could have just left it at every airline has good and bad days.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/a ... d=11592314
 
alasizon
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:40 pm

NW wrote:
Airlines have diversion agreements/processes with other airlines for situations like this. Surprised AS didn't contact its partner AA or even DL/UA for assistance with ground handling and getting these customer in a hotel in Buffalo.


Likely one of the OALs help handle the flight but its pretty hard to issue hotels for another airline's passengers unless you have direct access to their system.
Manager on Duty & Tower Planner
 
max999
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:43 pm

noplanepunshere wrote:
As an Alaska fan, they eff'd this one up pretty bad. Even though there was no AS staff in Buffalo, Alaska should've been able to remotely book hotels for anyone who wanted if they called customer service. Additionally, I'm not surprised by the brick wall-type mentality of BOS staff (and other east coast staff too). We all know mx stuff happens all the time. Unfortunately, Alaska dropped the ball by either 1) not following their game plan when a diversion occurs to a non-AS city or 2) they didn't have a game plan at all.


I noticed you specifically pointed out 'east coast staff.' The Seattle Times article also pointed out the difference between 'east coast' and 'west coast.' Reading between the lines, there seems to be some 'us versus them' attitude within AS.
All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.
 
DFW17L
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:48 pm

max999 wrote:
noplanepunshere wrote:
As an Alaska fan, they eff'd this one up pretty bad. Even though there was no AS staff in Buffalo, Alaska should've been able to remotely book hotels for anyone who wanted if they called customer service. Additionally, I'm not surprised by the brick wall-type mentality of BOS staff (and other east coast staff too). We all know mx stuff happens all the time. Unfortunately, Alaska dropped the ball by either 1) not following their game plan when a diversion occurs to a non-AS city or 2) they didn't have a game plan at all.


I noticed you specifically pointed out 'east coast staff.' The Seattle Times article also pointed out the difference between 'east coast' and 'west coast.' Reading between the lines, there seems to be some 'us versus them' attitude within AS.


It's a Seattle-thing.
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:46 pm

ScottB wrote:
PlanesNTrains wrote:
Not sure, but it might have been the original crew timed out before the new plane arrived, and the new plane’s crew would have timed out before getting to LAX. So, load and head back to Boston.


Maybe, but then wouldn't it make sense to deadhead a crew on the LAX-BUF (or SEA/SFO/PDX-BUF) segment which would subsequently take the aircraft to LAX? I doubt that would be a lot more expensive than flying the aircraft an hour-and-a-half in the wrong direction and back.


They brought the plane from Nashville, likely because it was the closest thing available. In the end, ya it likely would have been better to deadhead crew in but obviously they went the wrong path.
-Dave


”Yet somewhere in Iceland a great anger stirred in the soul of a troubled individual...” - Revelation
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:49 pm

NW wrote:
Airlines have diversion agreements/processes with other airlines for situations like this. Surprised AS didn't contact its partner AA or even DL/UA for assistance with ground handling and getting these customer in a hotel in Buffalo.


I don’t know Buffalo but maybe by the time they figured out the people were gonna be stuck (versus shuttle immediately to BOS) the OAL staff was gone.


In the end, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that they could and should have done better. You wonder if the Saturday night chain of command just botched it due to not being prepared.
-Dave


”Yet somewhere in Iceland a great anger stirred in the soul of a troubled individual...” - Revelation
 
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DocLightning
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:27 pm

The bit about the 90 minute wait at BOS resonated with me. A couple of months ago, we did a day trip to LAX. On the trip down, we had to wait 60 minutes for a gate at LAX. On the trip back, we went right to the gate...where it took them 45 minutes to find someone to actually drive the jetway up to the aircraft. That was especially frustrating because here we are at our destination, AT OUR GATE, and we can't get off the plane. For 45 minutes. There just isn't a valid excuse for that.

There seems to be issues lately with AS's management of its ground game.
-Doc Lightning-

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kalvado
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:34 pm

PlanesNTrains wrote:
NW wrote:
Airlines have diversion agreements/processes with other airlines for situations like this. Surprised AS didn't contact its partner AA or even DL/UA for assistance with ground handling and getting these customer in a hotel in Buffalo.


I don’t know Buffalo but maybe by the time they figured out the people were gonna be stuck (versus shuttle immediately to BOS) the OAL staff was gone.


In the end, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that they could and should have done better. You wonder if the Saturday night chain of command just botched it due to not being prepared.

The last departure of the day was B6 at 8.50 PM, and it was airborne by the time Alaska initiated diversion at 9.03 PM for 9.29 arrival.
So, I assume, once they are at the terminal: everything in terminal is closed, TSA checkpoint in exit-only mode, some ramp staff is available to handle jetbridge and bags for regular arrivals. Minimal customer service.
Moreover, hotel may not be an easy option as rescue flight arrived at 3 AM and departed at 4.26 AM, and I am not sure TSA would open that early on Sunday (earliest scheduled departure is 5.30).

not sure if putting everyone - including crew - in the hotel and having original crew operate the flight to LAX at 10 AM would be a better option.
 
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seabosdca
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:42 pm

This is about the worst possible situation an airline can face -- landing somewhere with a broken plane, only a skeletal, non-customer-facing ground staff present, and nobody local to hustle to the airport.

But they still could have handled it much better. Get out-of-town folks on the phone ASAP lining up whatever hotel rooms and ground transportation are available at midnight in Buffalo, send both the crew and the pax to hotels, and fix the aircraft or bring in another one by morning.
 
USAirKid
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:43 pm

Well if this isn't the best reason to get rid of Red/IFE.

Alaska spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said ... maintenance technicians traced the electrical burning smell to a malfunctioning fan used to cool the seat back entertainment system on the Airbus A320.
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:23 pm

DocLightning wrote:
The bit about the 90 minute wait at BOS resonated with me. A couple of months ago, we did a day trip to LAX. On the trip down, we had to wait 60 minutes for a gate at LAX. On the trip back, we went right to the gate...where it took them 45 minutes to find someone to actually drive the jetway up to the aircraft. That was especially frustrating because here we are at our destination, AT OUR GATE, and we can't get off the plane. For 45 minutes. There just isn't a valid excuse for that.

There seems to be issues lately with AS's management of its ground game.


We had a near perfect flight on Compass SEA-LAX awhile back. Got to LAX and it was like they kept trying to find places to stick us while we waited for a gate. I think these airlines are maxing out the gates and there’s zero room for slack. However, actually getting to a gate and not being able to move the jetway is just lame.
-Dave


”Yet somewhere in Iceland a great anger stirred in the soul of a troubled individual...” - Revelation
 
Osubuckeyes
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:48 am

PlanesNTrains wrote:
DocLightning wrote:
The bit about the 90 minute wait at BOS resonated with me. A couple of months ago, we did a day trip to LAX. On the trip down, we had to wait 60 minutes for a gate at LAX. On the trip back, we went right to the gate...where it took them 45 minutes to find someone to actually drive the jetway up to the aircraft. That was especially frustrating because here we are at our destination, AT OUR GATE, and we can't get off the plane. For 45 minutes. There just isn't a valid excuse for that.

There seems to be issues lately with AS's management of its ground game.


We had a near perfect flight on Compass SEA-LAX awhile back. Got to LAX and it was like they kept trying to find places to stick us while we waited for a gate. I think these airlines are maxing out the gates and there’s zero room for slack. However, actually getting to a gate and not being able to move the jetway is just lame.


Spot on, I can't count how many times I've landed at LAX on-time or early and ended up arriving at the gate after a significant delay putting a connection in jeopardy.
 
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spinkid
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:45 am

This has to be KILLING Alaska's management. On the East Coast they are still trying to get a footprint in terms of name recognition, etc.
Most people hear that you are flying on Alaska to anyplace other than Alaska, they think you are crazy, so stories like this are tough.

with no staff in Buffalo, the ground staff in BOS should have been bending over backwards with food vouchers, refunds, alternate bookings, etc.

What can the pilot do when there is no gate available? Who's job is it to say to the airport "HEY!!! I've got a plane full of irrops passengers who have been through a nightmare. What can you (as another human being) do to help me help these people (other human beings).

It reminds me of when you're in a store and something is marked $1.99 and rings up $2.99 and you inform the cashier and they just look at you and say "but the computer says..........." You call for a manager and they quickly correct it. its like that, just on a bigger level.
 
clrd4t8koff
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:56 pm

One thing that stood out to me is the comment by one of the passengers that upon diverting into BUF the crew completely disappeared and deserted the passengers, and didn’t return until almost 4am. Since AS have no ops at BUF it’s clear these crew members didn’t head over to a crew break room and likely went to a hotel. Someone at AS likely arranged that for them, so I don’t understand why they couldn’t help the passengers also get accommodations?
 
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Super80Fan
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:01 pm

There is no defending this, at all. Shame on Alaska, I hope every single passenger on that flight votes with their wallet/voice and never fly Alaska again along with telling their friends/family not to as well.
RIP McDonnell Douglas
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:58 pm

clrd4t8koff wrote:
One thing that stood out to me is the comment by one of the passengers that upon diverting into BUF the crew completely disappeared and deserted the passengers, and didn’t return until almost 4am. Since AS have no ops at BUF it’s clear these crew members didn’t head over to a crew break room and likely went to a hotel. Someone at AS likely arranged that for them, so I don’t understand why they couldn’t help the passengers also get accommodations?


Getting the crew to rest as quickly as possible so that they can fly once a new plane arrives or the original plane is fixed is often the best strategy in the bigger picture. If operations knew the original A320 was not going to be used, get the crew to rest so that they can fly in the morning if another plane can be found. AS has no spare A320s on the east coast, so if one had to be flown in from the west coast, the crew arriving wouldn’t have the hours to get the plane to LAX.

Obviously this didn’t work in this scenario, but getting the crew to a hotel quickly is often an immediate goal. The people handling crew accommodations are usually different from the ones dealing with the passengers.
 
izbtmnhd
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:26 pm

Newbiepilot wrote:
clrd4t8koff wrote:
One thing that stood out to me is the comment by one of the passengers that upon diverting into BUF the crew completely disappeared and deserted the passengers, and didn’t return until almost 4am. Since AS have no ops at BUF it’s clear these crew members didn’t head over to a crew break room and likely went to a hotel. Someone at AS likely arranged that for them, so I don’t understand why they couldn’t help the passengers also get accommodations?


Getting the crew to rest as quickly as possible so that they can fly once a new plane arrives or the original plane is fixed is often the best strategy in the bigger picture. If operations knew the original A320 was not going to be used, get the crew to rest so that they can fly in the morning if another plane can be found. AS has no spare A320s on the east coast, so if one had to be flown in from the west coast, the crew arriving wouldn’t have the hours to get the plane to LAX.

Obviously this didn’t work in this scenario, but getting the crew to a hotel quickly is often an immediate goal. The people handling crew accommodations are usually different from the ones dealing with the passengers.


I understand the need for crew rest but as another poster pointed out but we're talking about Buffalo and not somewhere like UHPP or PASY. It's hard to believe it took AS dispatch/ops so long to coordinate a "rescue". I think the crew could have made a few calls on the hotel bus to confirm the passengers were getting assistance. From what happened it looks like they just checked out.
 
slcdeltarumd11
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:37 pm

This looks like a huge Fail on Alaskas part. I am guessing reservation agents got many calls, but no one clearly forwarded the concerns to people who could do anything.

AS clearly needs a better system in place to communicate disasters like this to higher ups. We all know the reservation agents answering couldnt do anything, but they need a system to communicate unusual problems to people who can do something.
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:39 pm

izbtmnhd wrote:
Newbiepilot wrote:
clrd4t8koff wrote:
One thing that stood out to me is the comment by one of the passengers that upon diverting into BUF the crew completely disappeared and deserted the passengers, and didn’t return until almost 4am. Since AS have no ops at BUF it’s clear these crew members didn’t head over to a crew break room and likely went to a hotel. Someone at AS likely arranged that for them, so I don’t understand why they couldn’t help the passengers also get accommodations?


Getting the crew to rest as quickly as possible so that they can fly once a new plane arrives or the original plane is fixed is often the best strategy in the bigger picture. If operations knew the original A320 was not going to be used, get the crew to rest so that they can fly in the morning if another plane can be found. AS has no spare A320s on the east coast, so if one had to be flown in from the west coast, the crew arriving wouldn’t have the hours to get the plane to LAX.

Obviously this didn’t work in this scenario, but getting the crew to a hotel quickly is often an immediate goal. The people handling crew accommodations are usually different from the ones dealing with the passengers.


I understand the need for crew rest but as another poster pointed out but we're talking about Buffalo and not somewhere like UHPP or PASY. It's hard to believe it took AS dispatch/ops so long to coordinate a "rescue". I think the crew could have made a few calls on the hotel bus to confirm the passengers were getting assistance. From what happened it looks like they just checked out.


The operations center handles accommodating passengers for a diversion, not the cabin crew. In todays modern world, someone at a desk with all the direct phone numbers for group sales of hotel chains can do far better than flight attendants at a remote station.
 
kalvado
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:30 pm

Super80Fan wrote:
There is no defending this, at all. Shame on Alaska, I hope every single passenger on that flight votes with their wallet/voice and never fly Alaska again along with telling their friends/family not to as well.

Everyone can have a bad day.
I don't fly a lot, but I had significant issues with DL, UA and AA. AActually some AAirlines even tend to AAdd insult to injury
 
flyingcat
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:36 pm

Wow times have changed. VX management would have had the flight crew buy food for the passengers.

Alaska too used to be known as having a large amount of spare aircraft in SEA waiting to handle any aircraft out of service.

Hopefully management does not just look at this as another good reason to ditch IFE and call it a day.
 
mm320cap
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:23 pm

If they hadn’t closed their only flight crew base on the east coast......

As far as the crew leaving to go get rest. The criticism here is a little unfair. Sounds like they went onto the plane and got food and drink until it ran out. At that point, the BEST thing for them to do is go get rest. I hate to be the bearer of unpleasant news here, but the two most important people to take care of here are the pilots. I know that’s going to hurt to the ME ME ME crowd, but that’s the truth. You don’t want a crew flying a jet at 4am that’s been up all day and now all stressful night. Keeping people alive is #1.
 
mm320cap
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:24 pm

flyingcat wrote:
Wow times have changed. VX management would have had the flight crew buy food for the passengers.

Alaska too used to be known as having a large amount of spare aircraft in SEA waiting to handle any aircraft out of service.

Hopefully management does not just look at this as another good reason to ditch IFE and call it a day.


Where would you suggest the crew get the food from in a closed terminal? You can’t order out. There is no one at security to get it through.
 
zrb2
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:33 pm

So props to the Alaska crew for getting that plane on the ground, that's the first thing. There's no messing around with a burning electrical smell. The more articles and news reports I've read the more it sounds like these folks were forced to land in Afghanistan. Sheesh! I've traveled through BUF about 150 times in my life. There are at minimum 10 hotels just outside the terminal building, all have shuttles, and close enough to walk if desired. I'm sure that's where the pilots went. So the option was there to get these passengers out of the terminal building and into hotels. BUT, if Alaska knew they were sending a rescue plane at 3am it would make little sense logistically to send all these folks to hotels because there's no way they could get back through security in the middle of the night. The other option as people have suggested was to "call it a night" and fly the people out at like 10-11am the next morning TO LOS ANGELES. At that time its past the AM rush, people can get some food/rest and TSA-security is not an issue. Maybe the airlines should have a plan, a "Go-team" so to speak at smaller-non hub airports that dot the country for diverted flights. I dunno. There are local airline personnel that would've been happy to help, usher these people out of the terminal to hotels or arrange some food to be delivered and through security. Once that plane landed in Buffalo, Alaska really fumbled the ball.
 
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kanban
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:40 pm

Seems to me that this scenario happens about every 18 months where passengers are stranded at some upstate NY airport and the press goes wonkers. Realistically no airline has service agreements at every airport within 100 miles of their route paths just in case something happens. Coupled with a power outage here in Seattle, these things happen and people will complain. tough.
 
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:32 pm

...Some days you get the bear....other days, the bear gets you.....
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MSJYOP28Apilot
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:05 pm

I would be a little surprised if Alaska didnt have some kind of ground handling agreement at BUF. Usually airlines try to get as many options as possible for events like this. Particularly when the airline serves DTW/PIT, BUF could be used as a bad weather alternate option. Plus BUF isnt an uncommon/unheard of place to divert to on transcon flying for maintenance and medical.

A SEA-BUF-LAX would need two cockpit crews because FAR 117 limits would likely not allow such a routing. Plus there needs to be a cockpit crew in place at BUF to fly the broke plane out when it is fixed.

I dont understand why Alaska didnt fly the rescue plane in, have the rescue plane crew wait on the broke plane assuming they didnt have the duty time to continue on to LAX, and use the original crew to fly to LAX on the rescue plane once they had legal crew rest.

Does Alaska have interline agreements? If so, they could have re-booked some or most on OAL flights in the morning.

Late at night diversions to non hubs are not at all uncommon. The amount of redeyes means these things are bound to happen. Gate space I can see being a problem but ground handling shouldnt have been. BUF is the first major airport on the east side of Lake Erie which transcons to BOS cross on a regular basis. It is not some podunk town. Airlines know it is potential diversion point.
 
LAXBUR
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:17 pm

flyingcat wrote:
Wow times have changed. VX management would have had the flight crew buy food for the passengers.

Alaska too used to be known as having a large amount of spare aircraft in SEA waiting to handle any aircraft out of service.

Hopefully management does not just look at this as another good reason to ditch IFE and call it a day.


Did VX have this protocol in place? Did their crew members have corporate cards? Because even if services were open in Buffalo a meal for 150 people would be at least $1500. You expect a pilot or FA to pay for that and then wait for reimbursement? If Alaska had asked this of their employees someone would have posted “Alaska makes crew pay for passenger meals!”

Some of the expectations on here are so silly and unrealistic. Alaska messed up on the Boston side of things and the overall aftermath 100%. The Buffalo issues were pretty hard to rectify with no services, no ground staff, and a mostly closed airport. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take one phone call to get these things fixed. Involving another airline would require a few calls and an authorization from at least a station manager to authorize their employees to work overtime to handle another airline which they have no relationship with. And also any liability. Finding 100 rooms at one property could be difficult with no prior contracts. Finding 100 rooms at different properties would have taken as long as getting a replacement aircraft to Buffalo. Not everything is so simple as people think on here.
 
cschleic
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Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:41 pm

DFW17L wrote:
max999 wrote:
noplanepunshere wrote:
As an Alaska fan, they eff'd this one up pretty bad. Even though there was no AS staff in Buffalo, Alaska should've been able to remotely book hotels for anyone who wanted if they called customer service. Additionally, I'm not surprised by the brick wall-type mentality of BOS staff (and other east coast staff too). We all know mx stuff happens all the time. Unfortunately, Alaska dropped the ball by either 1) not following their game plan when a diversion occurs to a non-AS city or 2) they didn't have a game plan at all.


I noticed you specifically pointed out 'east coast staff.' The Seattle Times article also pointed out the difference between 'east coast' and 'west coast.' Reading between the lines, there seems to be some 'us versus them' attitude within AS.


It's a Seattle-thing.


I don't know about it being a Seattle-thing but having been on a lot of AS flights up and down the west coast as well as to/from BOS / JFK / EWR / IAD / ATL / FLL / ORD...there's certainly a difference in the airport experience and consistency, or lack thereof, of how things work.
 
LAXBUR
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:05 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:14 pm

I’m not sure after the merger but a lot of the East Coast stations used to be customer service contract stations. Which isn’t an excuse, but the service level is definitely different. After the merger I’m guessing most of the airports are mostly actual Alaska employees with the combined flight numbers up.
 
JayWings
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:26 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:21 pm

This sounds like a “Perfect Storm” scenario that really threw everybody off. AS didn’t handle it well at all. The behavior of the agents in BOS seems to be the polar opposite of all things AS is known for. Fortunately the pilots were able to land safely. The Flight attendants did the best they could with the food that was present. This one instance does not make AS a bad airline. They have 24 people delving into every aspect of what went wrong with this terrible experience. Hopefully the hundreds of thousands of positive experiences people have with the airline won’t be outweighed by one very glaring fumble.
 
Ziyulu
Posts: 295
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:35 am

Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:48 pm

This was a VX plane. Does that change anything?
 
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seabosdca
Posts: 5970
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:33 am

Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:51 pm

cschleic wrote:
I don't know about it being a Seattle-thing but having been on a lot of AS flights up and down the west coast as well as to/from BOS / JFK / EWR / IAD / ATL / FLL / ORD...there's certainly a difference in the airport experience and consistency, or lack thereof, of how things work.


I agree with this. Alaska ground staff in the large stations are consistently excellent. At the East Coast outstations the quality is variable.
 
obenyehuda
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:01 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:59 pm

Alaska is known for their friendly service but reliability is an issue. My last two fights with them were cancelled, one this week at SFO with cancellation announcement the night before and one a few weeks ago at EWR without any explanation two hours before the flight) - i looked up the latest stats on line and the last cancellation rates reported by DOT (separate for Virgin America and Alaska) had them in the dubious distinction of having the highest cancellation rate (no. 1 virgin, no. 2 alaska). Delta on months without weather related cancellations has a zero rate. Alaska really needs to address their operational issues. I am an MVP Gold75 with them and love the service on most days but the lack of reliability is a real issue.
 
sw733
Posts: 5735
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 6:19 am

Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:17 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
This was a VX plane. Does that change anything?


There's no such thing as a VX plane anymore
 
phxa340
Posts: 1027
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:07 am

Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:25 pm

Re: reliability ... as a SAN based MVPG, all of my flights have been on time and ground service has been excellent. I would guess that any aircraft that routes through SFO is causing headaches for the entire system. Luckily, it seems that for SAN , most of the aircraft aren’t routed through SFO (for the most part) which has created a pretty stable schedule.
 
slcdeltarumd11
Posts: 4160
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 7:30 am

Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:11 am

I don't get how anyone could read the article and defend Alaska. They mishandled every single aspect of this . It's kind of incredible how they did such a poor job.

Imagine being the people before you post such ridiculous comments. The people definding AS ironically would be the most outraged if it happen to them.

It would have taken maybe an hour tops for an Alaska rep to call every hotel near BUF and book rooms. That is if they didn't even have internet access and couldn't see what hotels had big blocks of rooms. This was AS being cheap they wanted the plane back in BOS, so they needed those people in the airport and not sleeping in a hotel.


Big AS fail, they better not let this happen again , because right now it looks totally possible with zero East coast crew base. AS management fail, the local staff didn't fail they did.
 
Ziyulu
Posts: 295
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:35 am

Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:46 am

The last time I took AS, I didn't get any snacks. Everyone here defended AS by saying it was a VX plane. But it was after the merger.
 
LAXBUR
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:05 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to 30-hr nightmare for passengers

Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:49 am

slcdeltarumd11 wrote:
I don't get how anyone could read the article and defend Alaska. They mishandled every single aspect of this . It's kind of incredible how they did such a poor job.

Imagine being the people before you post such ridiculous comments. The people definding AS ironically would be the most outraged if it happen to them.

It would have taken maybe an hour tops for an Alaska rep to call every hotel near BUF and book rooms. That is if they didn't even have internet access and couldn't see what hotels had big blocks of rooms. This was AS being cheap they wanted the plane back in BOS, so they needed those people in the airport and not sleeping in a hotel.


Big AS fail, they better not let this happen again , because right now it looks totally possible with zero East coast crew base. AS management fail, the local staff didn't fail they did.


LOL. Who was defending Alaska from start to finish? I don’t think anyone did. Seems like you’re using that to drive your narrative.

I’m guessing you’ve never worked customer service or ops for an airline. It would not take an hour. Airlines and their reservations and ops centers generally don’t have access to hotel reservation systems. You can’t do group bookings on Expedia FYI and it was so late availability on the web would show for the next day, not that night.

As an example. I was on a downgauged Delta Connection flight that caused an overbooking of 8. I volunteered. Guess how long it took for them to work rebookings, compensation, and accommodations for those folks and myself at LAX - a Delta hub? Two hours...with a supervisor. In part because people would come up and yell and scream at them while they were trying to work.

Suggesting Alaska has a systemwide issue because of one bad incident at an outstation is just as dumb as folks wholeheartedly defending Alaska - which btw I still don’t see anyone doing. Seems like everyone is in agreeance they messed up. It is also clear many on here people don’t understand the difficulties of irregular operations, especially at a station where the airline has no staff. Their goal was likely to move them out of Buffalo ASAP. Which they did. After that is where they really messed up.

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