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Flying in/over War Zones

Old 18th Jul 2014, 11:33
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Flying in/over War Zones

In the light of many airlines flying into war zones, how can we, as consumers (SLF) make an informed decision on which airline to use?
If an operator avoided contested airspace, it would be in its competitive advantage to broadcast that fact.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 12:37
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Flying in/over War Zones

If overflying war zones is cheaper (lower traffic rights, less fuel consumption) the flight dispatch for sure will provide that Flight Plan, in every airline..
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 13:44
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Not every airline Isydoro. BA have been avoiding that area since early June.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...mh17.html?_r=0

(see second diagram)
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 13:59
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In the light of many airlines flying into war zones, how can we, as consumers (SLF) make an informed decision on which airline to use?
If I may say so, that's a fairly stupid question because the obvious answer is that you cannot. The full range of information available to airlines is unavailable to consumers.

Also, where do you stop ? You could equally ask....
- Which airline has the best terrorist screening ?
- Which airline has the best contingency fuel policy ?
- Which airline has the best crew training ?
etc. etc. etc.

"You pays your money and you takes your chances" ... as they say.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 14:35
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Follow one of their flights on an earlier day on something like Flight Radar 24

If it flies over an area where you think it unsafe don't use that airline.
Continue until you find one that follows what you think is a safe route!

Though, of course, if you've booked your tickets well in advance and something kicks off prior to the flight you have a problem!
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 15:57
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Follow one of their flights on an earlier day on something like Flight Radar 24
Flawed idea I'm afraid. Routings can vary from day to day for a number of reasons. In fact it was noted in an interview I watched last night that MH17 on previous days did not fly over the area concerned in yesterday's crash!
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 17:41
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Thank you Mixture for your constructive answer.

It would appear that the Notams from the airline's home jurisdiction would be a good place to start.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 17:57
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CISTRS,
See my post 305 on the MH17 down near Donetsk in Rumour and News
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 18:20
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Bergerie1:

I had already seen your interesting post, which prompted my rather simplified question which I purposely posted in another forum.

In truth, this leaves the average SLF customer with just trusting the airline's despatcher.

This is not easily acceptable, which is why I posed the question.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 19:22
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I had already seen your interesting post, which prompted my rather simplified question which I purposely posted in another forum.
Let me translate that.... you read Bergerie1's post which gives you an insight into the real life decisions behind routing and that its more than just reading the NOTAMS. But instead of accepting that, you can think you can do better and second-guess the airlines when you've got access to far less information than they do.

As you have also been told by Hotel Tango, routings are changed on a day by day and even hour by hour basis.

In other words, your quest to second-guess the airlines is over before it has started.

In truth, this leaves the average SLF customer with just trusting the airline's despatcher.
Short of setting up your own airline and flying the plane yourself... yes. You have to trust the airline and its staff.

This is not easily acceptable
So the truth is not acceptable ? Well, no matter how many times you repeat the question, you won't get a better answer.

As Hotel Tango on the UPS218 thread said....

posters like you are a pain. You ask a fair question and you get good answers from professionals. But that's not good enough and you need to ask what is basically the same question again!
As I said above CISTRS, pick an airline you can trust and "You pays your money and you takes your chances"
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 21:54
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When the first Gulf war started, we were in Thailand and routings were being changed because it was clear that there was going to be a big bash.

For Ukraine? It's bumbled along and whilst there had been military action in the last week - was it clear how it was happening? What information was given to the world's airlines? Who gave that information? The line of enquiry is very long.

However, what this does mean is that, in future, a lot more companies will divert early and pax can expect a fuel surcharge for going around the war zone and I'd expect that most pax will be happy to pay that.

That's because it always comes down to money ...
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 22:19
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And you still have to trust that the pilot flies on course
and not over some secret sensitive Russian base !
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 22:42
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When I fly I just pick the airline I prefer that will take me to where I want to go and leave the rest to them. I trust that they
will do their very best to avoid any really dangerous war zone areas just as I trust them to avoid dangerous weather systems
and hitting other aircraft.
Alas as has just been shown some war zones are suddenly more dangerous than others for overflying.
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Old 19th Jul 2014, 04:06
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Thanks everyone for the responses. Apologies to Mixture for being tiresome.
There have been further questions in the media on this issue. I understand that it is a complex issue generally handled well by responsible professionals.
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Old 19th Jul 2014, 07:01
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Thank you CISTRS. May I assure you we took these issues extremely seriously. The decisions were never taken lightly.
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Old 19th Jul 2014, 08:37
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I understand that it is a complex issue generally handled well by responsible professionals.

Glad to see the message got through to CISTRS HQ in the end !
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Old 19th Jul 2014, 14:53
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During the First Gulf war I was flying to Asia once or twice a month, and to N America about every other month. I was Gold with BA and SQ.
As lots of corporates blocked long haul travel - especially our Colonial friends for N America, it was a good time to travel. Lots of spare seats in biz and First, and attentive Cabin Crew with time on their hands. (and spare bubbly to give out to frequent fliers).

My approach was not on the faulty Geography of N American corporates, but was based on the pilots. They were most unlikely to go anywhere dangerous, they had excellent safety training, so if they were happy to go there, then so was I.
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Old 19th Jul 2014, 16:48
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I am with you on this, and was also flying during that period on the same routes with same carrier,s, weren't those jets quiet !. In all honesty I have, and will continue to fly over areas subject to low level military action like Chad, Iraq, Afghan etc. In fact you could say most of central Africa is a war zone of some sort, and yet I fly over that on a regular basis. I think I maybe more concerned with the carriers maintenance and or weather than being shot down fromFL30+. That said, as we all know, Russia has how shall we say "form" in doing this. My brother in law was flying back from Shanghai with KLM on Friday and I must admit that I did track his flight a number of times during the day. He said the crew were all talking about it when he popped into the galley.
I am out bound early next week to Tokyo which will also be over Russian air space obviously, will I go?, of course I will.
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Old 21st Jul 2014, 10:56
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For the past 7 years I have been living and working in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Most of my flights both international and domestic have been commercial flights, about 20 flights have been on military aircraft. I averaged one return flight a week somewhere within or outside of the country. You have no options

In the end you accept it for what it is and you quickly realise the odds of being struck by and RPG, IED, suicide bomber or getting attacked by people with weapons are greater on the ground than in the air. The trip to the airport, in the airport and the time on the ground waiting to depart were the most dangerous. That said I do admire the guys and girls who fly in these areas.

I also think where airlines can avoid airspace over and around war zones, they should
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Old 21st Jul 2014, 12:17
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I think it is likely that, had it been known the the terrorists had been supplied with military quality AA weapons, that all overflights would have ceased.

Who would have thought that someone would have been so stupid to give terrorists such sophisticated weapons. They certainly didn't need them.

In an era where airlines make, on average, $6 per passenger the airlines cannot waste fuel unless a credible danger exists.
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