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Package Flight delay info, reason recorded anywhere I can view online ?

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Package Flight delay info, reason recorded anywhere I can view online ?

Old 6th Jun 2010, 15:29
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: WIRRAL
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Unhappy Package Flight delay info, reason recorded anywhere I can view online ?

Hello to all you flying high on our behalf.
After spending 15 years vacationing in the US & using schedule flights from the UK successfully during that period, my wife & I ventured recently on all inclusive package to Belek in Turkey.
The outward journey was delayed by 5 1/2 hours & the homeward journey a staggering 17 hours delay.
We flew
outward MAN to AYT 21/5/10 on TOM 436 the reason given schedule maintenance overrun
inward AYT to MAN on 5/6/10 on TOM 437 the reason given being due to operational disruption within Thomsona Airways fleet.

I am sceptical to believe this information given to me by the holiday company reps etc & wonder if the information is logged on a system that I may view online. I am especially interested in whether the information is time/date recorded . thanks in anticipation.
DOBEYPETE is offline  
Old 6th Jun 2010, 15:42
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The reasons given to you are correct. Thomson have had some long delays due to aircraft technical issues over the last week or two, one of which is still grounded with problems. One aircraft used for short haul was deployed on long haul as an aircraft was grounded in Cancun, hence the knock-on delays of up to 17 hours. These things happen i'm afraid. This information isn't recorded online.

Darren
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Old 6th Jun 2010, 16:17
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Thanks Dazbo5
I did hear about a replacement engine being mislaid in transit from Tampa to Mexico, but surely for the benefit of all passengers the airline should have chartered a replacement aircraft, BA manages to do so, instead of using an existing short haul plane to cover the flight programme. From speaking with fellow disgruntled passengers it would appear that very few will fly with Thomsons in the future.
Pete
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Old 6th Jun 2010, 16:50
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Paxing All Over The World
 
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What the carrier does to bridge a gap in their schedule depends on a number of factors (in no particular order and their will be others):
  • What their Terms & Conditions of Carriage say. These are set by the Board and define their liability.
  • Cost. Wet leasing an a/c and crew is not cheap and charter operations usually make savings in their service, so that they can charge less to the customer.
  • What the failure was and when and where. If you have one a/c go out of service, you can mix-and match a bit. Lose two and you are stretched. In this day and age, no one has spare capacity.
I agree that we are often fed manure but it appears that this is genuine. There was a long discussion thread here some months ago about the subject of being told the reason for a delay and we had some insightful posts from flight and cabin crew explaining why they often were not told and could not help. It was as frusttrating for them but there can be a long trail of events that combine to delay a given, flight.
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Old 6th Jun 2010, 17:25
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Factor in that some spare capacity of other airlines is being used by BA and the fact that the summer season is in full swing for all UK charter airlines which leaves very few aircraft available to subcharter.

Doesnt help to make you feel any better but hope it reassures you that youre not being lied to
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Old 6th Jun 2010, 21:25
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thankyou Paxboy & TFLguy
for your info, it just seems with spare capacity/spare planes abundant a solution to suit the pax rather than the accountants would save a loss of goodwill/reputation etc. My wife & I had a wonderful time in resort but getting there & coming back spoilt the occasion. I also have just spoken to a friend in the local who experienced a 10 hour delay coming back from Cyprus with the same carrier so firefighting appears to be the direction not putting out the ashes.
Pete
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Old 6th Jun 2010, 22:08
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You Think, Therefore I Am
 
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With apologies DOBEYPETE - I'm not certain that there actually are
spare capacity/spare planes abundant
This is not to seek to defend or explain the incident - however, from experience, airlines tend not to have spare lift.
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Old 7th Jun 2010, 07:17
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Why would you doubt the reason? It seems that they are playing the game and not blaming weather, airport, ATC or anybody else?

Having "spare" aircraft sitting around, fuelled and crewed is a hugely expensive overhead and an airline is not likely to have more than one (if that many). Even if they do have one it can only be in one place, at one time and that place is probably not where it is needed now.

The least lovely part of any package holiday is always going to be the flights.
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Old 7th Jun 2010, 12:56
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As a pilot currently sitting at home, having been delayed by some 8 hours. I feel I can add a few comments. And believe me, all I want is to go to work. I do not relish a deep night instead of a day flight!

There are few, if any airlines with ANY spare lift capacity. This is the summer, this is the time when we are at full stretch to 'try' and make some money to keep going as a company and provide holidays to the public at the lowest price. Every single person these days seems to think they can travel the world for a penny.

Aircraft go tech, period. Pax will generally not be fed manure. But what will happen is that the playing field will constantly change behind the scenes as operations try and get the very best economical and efficient solution to the problem. Therefore, it may appear that the story changes throughout your delay. The root cause will not, but the solution may.

Believe me, there are no airlines (with the exception of biz-jets!) that can make the flight part of my holiday exciting or enjoyable. And I speak from sitting in charter and in schedule (economy/ business class). It is an unavoidable part of the package. If you wish to travel, you have to bear with it. The crew will do their best to make it as enjoyable as possible but there are limits.

As regards access to info online about your delay, I have 2 thoughts;

a. why would you want it. You have flown, experience over.
b. No company would want to give out that sort of information as much is commercially sensitive within an already cutthroat environment.

The days when people pay enough for airlines to have spare capacity floating around are long gone. It's a double edge sword. It has brought travel to people who might not otherwise have afforded it, but it has come at a price.
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Old 7th Jun 2010, 13:19
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Originally Posted by DOBEYPETE View Post
the airline should have chartered a replacement aircraft, BA manages to do so
Ah well, should have gone BA then. More expensive ? You bet. And to go BA from Manchester to Antalya wold involve a connection through Gatwick. Longer journey outwards, on the return they get back to Gatwick long after the last Manchester leaves, so you're in for a hotel or sat up in the lounge all night. Costs a good chunk more as well. Price it up if you don't believe me. Still feel that's the way to go ?

Accounts of there being no spare planes are somewhat correct. There are, but nowadays instead of each airline having their own they tend to charter in from a small number of specialists (for some reason the Portugese have developed a niche here) if/when required. This costs a bomb of course, plus considerable costs of getting the standby over to Antalya in the first place, and for many carriers this just cannot be justified until they are getting into real hot water with reaccommodating large numbers of people. And, believe it or not, even BA don't do this in many cases. They give you a hotel voucher and tell you to come back tomorrow. To me that's often the most reasonable thing to do in the situation. Aviation does not work without mechanical problems, although the vast majority of issues are sorted out by the professionals who write on here without you ever knowing about it.
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Old 7th Jun 2010, 14:15
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as long as the airline looked after you whilst you were delayed in turkey, gave you food and accomm appropriate for the time of day, then they have done what they needed to and got you back home as booked.

as far as you and other passengers saying you will not fly with Thomson's again, well i bet that when you or others see a package holiday that flies with Thomson Airways 100 or so cheaper than a similar holiday flying with another airline, i'm sure you would chose to fly Thomson again...........

Last edited by HXdave; 7th Jun 2010 at 14:17. Reason: apawling sppelin
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Old 7th Jun 2010, 19:29
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Thankyou for all your views & explanations offered. The reason I asked about possible info online concerning delays is as follows. We were picked up at resort @ 19.45 for an 23.15 departure. I sat at the front of the coach near to the First Choice holiday rep. Because we had experienced a 5 hour delay on the flight to Antalya I asked the rep if our homeward flight was on time, she replied yes it was as scheduled for 23.15 departure & she did not know of any delays. We were dropped at Antalya airport @ 20.30. After passing through initial security check we approached the checkin desks to be told that there was a minimum 5 hour delay on the flight, which suggested to all there that the incoming flight from Man had not even taken off at that time. Now it seems to me that the First Choice rep I spoke to on the coach was either telling lies or genuinely did not have the info.
Anyway to continue, at 21.30 ,still in a queue at the checkin desks, we were informed that the flight would not be going until the next day, in other words cancelled. So now we have 315 passengers requiring accomodation, which eventually was organised & we all reached a hotel room by 02.00 next day. Pick up next morning @ 11.30 for a 14.20 departure. One coach even managed to deliver & discharge its passengers to the wrong terminal. We eventually took off @15.20 & all arrived home safely.
Now the point I am trying to ascertain is at what time did Thomson Airways decide that the flight was to be cancelled ? Could we have stayed in our resort overnight with an rescheduled pickup ?
The First Choice reps at the airport indicated to me that they had not experienced this before. From the passengers point of view, the whole experience was not handled by the First Choice reps with any degree of forethought.
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Old 7th Jun 2010, 19:49
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DOBEYPETE - A couple of questions, for clarity.

If the flight operated the following day, are you sure that 'cancelled' is the most appropriate word? It would appear that 'delayed' might be more accurate? If the flight was cancelled, it would surely not have operated at all?

If you were picked up at 19:45, is it possible that the rep provided accurate information on the coach, and neither she, nor anybody else knew about a delay, given that the flight might not have been at its' scheduled departure time from the UK at that point? - (AYT flight time from the UK is very approximately 3.5 hours.)
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Old 7th Jun 2010, 20:43
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Thankyou Tightslot,
Firstly am I right in thinking then that in the aviation industry a cancellation only occurs on say a flight operated on a daily schedule that does not go & a weekly scheduled flight which goes a day late is classed as delayed.
Secondly does anyone know what time flight TOM 436 MAN to AYT due to leave MAN @ 15.40 Fri 4th June actually took off ?
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Old 7th Jun 2010, 22:46
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I think perhaps you are beginning to "flog a dead horse".

These types of delays happen to all companies at times, and regrettably on this occasion you were one of those to suffer.

Large organizations are not necessarily the most efficient organizations and getting information "down the chain" is always difficult. Its true you could have stayed in the hotel - but you would still have been delayed!

Maybe next time (as we regular travelers do) you could get lounge access so the airport experience can be a little more enjoyable? It surprising how quickly a delay passes with a cold beer.

Smala01
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 06:51
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TOM436 left around 0810 on the 5th June.
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 08:45
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Thankyou for all your views & explanations.
It is apparent that "the horse has been flogged enough" . Unfortunately package tour passengers have long been viewed as " cattle class " now I understand why. You pays your money & takes a chance, well this time I lost.
Michael O,Leary at Ryanair might be outspoken but his airline gives you what you pay for.
The tour company I flew with aspires to greatness but the delivery of its service in this instance fell below what we as customers expected.
Amen.
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 17:14
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Originally Posted by DOBEYPETE View Post
Michael O,Leary at Ryanair might be outspoken but his airline gives you what you pay for.
You are quite incorrect there. Standard operating procedure at Ryanair in these circumstances is indeed to cancel the flight. Passengers like yourself booked on it are offered either seats on the next available flight (which from a resort point in season may be more than a week away) or given their money back - and you would be stuck in Antalya.

In your case Thomson did not cancel the flight, did turn up, albeit substantially late, and transport you all home.

Yes you were late. On a range of operations over the years I have been much later. It happens. Snow, birdstrikes, aircraft struck by lightning ..... keep going.

I sat at the front of the coach near to the First Choice holiday rep. Because we had experienced a 5 hour delay on the flight to Antalya I asked the rep if our homeward flight was on time, she replied yes it was as scheduled for 23.15 departure & she did not know of any delays....... Now it seems to me that the First Choice rep I spoke to on the coach was either telling lies or genuinely did not have the info.
The transfer rep from the holiday company typically does not have this information. In a remote resort they are not all hooked up to airline information systems, and with passengers in your vehicle doubtless returning to a range of departure points on different aircraft and carriers, that detail does not get beyond the airport.

Unfortunately package tour passengers have long been viewed as " cattle class "
This comes as a surprise to those holiday airlines who each year invest many millions in their aircraft fleet and their whole operation. Yes, you do get what you pay for. Looking at the losses many operators are likely to make this year, passengers have actually got more than they have paid for.
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 18:02
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Dobey, just for clarification, scheduled flight operators including Ryanair may cancel flights however package tour operators are not permitted by regulations to cancel (unless in extreme circumstances of which the volcanic ash situation only allowed a few cancellations). Therein is the difference.
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Old 9th Jun 2010, 09:45
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I am very sorry you were delayed and that this has obviously spoiled an enjoyable holiday. Sadly, I do not know the exact reason your flight was delayed but I do know problems with the long-haul program, two aircraft with engine problems and a weather diversion in the Caribbean did cause significant disruption to the flying program.
Thomson do maintain spare capacity, it has one 767, one 757 and one 737 as dedicated spare aircraft. Sometimes aircraft can be brought out of the maintenance program if time permits.
However, at times like this the operations department do work extremely hard to acheive the best outcome and the well-being of passengers is at the top of the list of considerations. If a long delay is foreseen the best option is always to keep the passengers at their accomodation if possible. But things do happen at short notice and not everything can be foreseen. Operations reacts the best it can. An aircraft charter will always be considered but is not always available or is not the best solution to the problem.
I know delays are frustrating and I am sorry you were not better informed of the reasons. However, Thomson does takes customer care seriously, you only have to look at how customers were treated during the volcanic ash disruption.
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