Armed guards ordered 274 stranded passengers out of the Punta Cana airport with no place to go after bad weather forced U.S. Airways to cancel its flight from the Dominican Republic to Philadelphia. Several passengers ended up sleeping in a bus after the airline responded to Tropical Storm Fay by asking passengers to pick up their luggage and get lost.
Jonathan wants to know how long an airline can blame a cancellation on bad weather, and whether there’s any way to get such a claim rejected when it’s used inappropriately. Is it legitimate, for example, to say tomorrow’s flight is canceled due to weather, when what you really mean is an isolated thunderstorm the day before—which evidently affected no other airlines in the area—triggered a domino effect in getting a certain plane to the right airport a full day later?
Dear American Airlines Employees: "I Hope That One Day You Find A Good Paying Job With An Employer That Cares About You"
AJ writes in to let us know that he too was lied to by American Airlines. They canceled his flight(s) from Pittsburgh to Austin (by way of Dallas). He called the 1-800 number but was met with a CSR who used “bad weather in Dallas” as an excuse, and told him there was no way to get him to Austin on time.
Just thought I’d get the word out… Chicago is getting smacked with a spring snowstorm. I just went outside and it’s nearly white-out conditions outside.
The FAA says:
Reader Drew is currently stranded at Dallas Fort Worth airport and would like to speak with someone from American Airlines on the telephone. Unfortunately, we’re the only ones he can reach.
Snow in Cleveland is affecting air travel. The FAA says:
Due to WEATHER / SNOW-ICE, there is a Traffic Management Program in effect for traffic arriving Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Cleveland, OH (CLE). This is causing some arriving flights to be delayed an average of 3 hours and 12 minutes.
Continental, which uses Cleveland as a hub, is canceling lots of flights. [Ohio.com]
It’s snowing in NYC, causing the usual flight delays and cancellations. The FAA says that JFK, LaGuardia and Newark are expecting arrival delays of three to seven hours. The FAA is also reporting that 27 percent flights at Philadelphia International Airport have been canceled. Feel free to share your thoughts about this with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. [CNN]
When an airplane is delayed due to the weather, they get out of a lot of obligations, and there’s little oversight over what they get to call a weather-related delay. Elliot.org interviewed industry experts and came up with five interesting things the industry is keeping from you about weather delays…
You don’t need to hire a forensic meteorologist to dispute an airline’s so-called weather delay and get the compensation or rebooking you’re deserved, sometimes you just need the internets! Here’s how Jasmine did just that with a recent flight on American Airlines:
My last canceled flight was blamed on the weather. I called a friend with the internet, had them look up the weather at my destination and en route (which was fine). I went back to the desk and said, “The weather is fine. You sure there aren’t other problems?” That’s when then he said that it was the weather AND technical problems with the plane…
Unless it’s due to the weather, if there’s a flight delay or cancellation, passengers are entitled to some kind of refund, unless of course it’s due to the weather, but are flight delays as due to the weather as often as airlines say they are? And how would you go about proving otherwise? Well, as a fascinating interview posted over at airline blog Elliot.org informs us, you could always hire the services of a forensic meteorologist.
When storms force your cruise to skip ports of call, don’t sit idly in your cabin watching the whitecaps break menacingly against the ship. Go find your fellow passengers and stage a mutiny! At least that is what passengers onboard the Sapphire Princess did when two typhoons kept the ship from planned port calls in Vietnam, Japan, and Taiwan.
At one point, with passengers assembled in the ship’s theater, she said, “the attorney jumped up and grabbed the microphone away from the assistant cruise director and said: ‘We’re taking over the stage! We have a petition!'”
Dear Doug Parker,
Some airlines, including JetBlue, Delta and Continental are waiving change fees due to a nasty storm in the northeast. [Newsday]
Hey ya’ll. I just wanted to alert your readers to the fact the T-Mobile USA’s customer care (1-800-937-8997) is offline right now. It has been since sometime yesterday. Apparently they house all their system stuff in Seattle, WA or Portland, OR or one of those currently waterlogged states. Well, it has caused all their stuff to crash. I called last night and then again this morning and waited past their automated system telling me that they could not view my account info thru the IVR and that the CSR’s were unable to view my account info and to call back later. I spoke with a polite rep Cassie who said that they did not have an ETR on when their systems would be back up and running and that I should try calling back later on today.
We called T-Mobile and sure enough they’re currently unable to pull up anyone’s account info due to the storms. No word on when it will be back up.
Technical problems, fog, rain and other weather issues are already causing delays at several airports says USAToday.
Last year Denver International airport closed for 45 hours when a blizzard descended on our nation’s 6th largest airport. Now the airport and the airlines that operate there would like you to know that they’ve made a lot of changes.
Reader Eric writes that his girlfriend got a call from his Aunt last night because her cousin was was stuck on the tarmac at Syracuse, NY. They found this odd because she was flying to Newark. Why would she be on the ground several hours away? Because that’s where Delta dropped her off. According to Eric, Delta abandoned a plane load of passengers in Syracuse after being unable to land in Newark due to high traffic and poor weather.
The JetBlue Airways Airbus A320 was heading from Rochester to John F. Kennedy International Airport when the lightning hit it, causing a smell similar to that of an electrical fire to enter the passenger cabin, company spokesman Bryan Baldwin said. There was no fire or smoke, he said.
Because it was potentially on fire, the flight got to skip ahead of other scheduled flights and arrived 20 minutes early. Hooray? —MEGHANN MARCO