Sunday, April 9, 2017

Atlanta Airport stranded 3000 Travelers

Return Flight to St. Louis – True Story


My wife’s sister flew from St. Louis to Atlanta for a visit. The visit was good, but the return trip on Thursday 4/6 became impossible.


Our visitor was scheduled to return to St. Louis on Thursday, 4/6 at 12:30pm.  She received a text that her flight was cancelled.


Our visitor got another text that she was moved to a flight at 10pm on 4/6,   So, at 6pm my wife accompanied her on MARTA to the airport. 


Now at the airport, our visitor called to say her 4/6 10pm flight had been cancelled and she was moved to another flight for 4/7 at 2am. 


She called again to say that her 4/7 2am flight had been cancelled and she was booked on a flight for 4am.


She called again to say her 4am flight had been cancelled and they were having trouble getting flight crews to Atlanta.


My wife took the 5am MARTA back down to the airport to bring her sister back to our house to get some sleep.


Our visitor switched airlines and got booked for Friday at 2pm.  They texted her before she left for the airport that she was bumped to 4pm.  She was then texted again to bump her back to 2pm.


My wife then rushed her to the airport and she caught the 2pm flight.


Our visitor was bumped 2 times on 4/6 and 2 times on 4/7 and 2 times on 4/8.


Airport hotels were full and ground transportation was booked. The 3000 travelers stuck at the Atlanta airport spent at least 2 days being jerked around


The airlines will need to look at their procedures for rebooking cancelled flights, especially when they can’t get crews.  They shouldn’t be so quick to rebook until they know they will have a crew. If they get surprised and a full crew shows up, they should call for passengers that are already at the terminal. Instead, they call people who were booked and jerk them around.


The airlines need to look closely at the FAA and Airline imposed regulations that impede efficiency during weather related challenges. They now close down their luggage loading if lightening could strike. They require a full crew to fly.  I would think flying without the extra attendant would be ok.


The airlines have procedures for “on call” crews.  Crews are hired for a standard weekly schedule that involves a 3 day week.  Being “on call” crews can pick up flights on the other days and increase their pay.


Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

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