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“Delayed due to operational reasons”

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“Delayed due to operational reasons”

Old 24th Aug 2018, 21:37
  #1 (permalink)  
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“Delayed due to operational reasons”

is there a more annoying phrase in the lexicon of the airline traveller? They’d be better just saying ‘delayed’. “Operational Reasons” says nothing. At least the pilots usually explain the delay once you get on board.

(and yes, I’m sitting in an airport with a 2hr delay!)
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Old 24th Aug 2018, 21:57
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Just as bad as the irritating "delayed due to the late arrival of the incoming flight"!
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Old 25th Aug 2018, 05:27
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^^ Well said...

As for the “late due to the late inbound....”, yes it’s annoying but often factually correct and may be all “your” new crew or the airport staff know.

The outbound crew quite possibly will not have seen the crew that brought the aircraft in, they may not have been privy to all the hiccups the that previous crew experienced trying to leave base.
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Old 25th Aug 2018, 05:41
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Originally Posted by Davef68 View Post


(and yes, I’m sitting in an airport with a 2hr delay!)
Something to help you pass the time


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Old 25th Aug 2018, 06:06
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A little bit more information would be nice.
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Old 25th Aug 2018, 08:23
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Sorry TangoAlphad and wiggy, I'm afraid I just don't buy it. The fact is that, whatever the reason, the flight is delayed, end of. Adding some useless generic reason is adding insult to injury. Do you honestly believe that announcing my flight is delayed because of the late arrival of the inbound is going to make me feel any better? Just tell me my flight is delayed until whatever time and leave it at that. As already mentioned, it is my experience that the Captain usually provides a better explanation with a PA once boarding is completed, and it doesn't have to be as detailed as TangoAlphad's amusing example. Fortunately at many airport these days we only have screens to look at and, thankfully, we don't have to listen to announcements using those ridiculous and useless generic reasons.
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Old 25th Aug 2018, 08:43
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I think you missed the sarcasm implied with the posted video.
Its close to a miracle airlines achieve the on-time statistics they hold.
If you consider approximately 40-50 individual people that can cause a flight to be delayed:
Flight crew
Cabin Crew
Dispatch
ATC including ramp coordinators and slot coordinators
Security personnel
Ramp personnel: loaders, refuelers, ramp corrdinatirs, tug drivers, catering and maintenance.
Gate agents
Last but not least pax are a major source of delays trying to stuff the kitchen sink in the overhead or being unable to raise a child responsibly.
That airplane you’re about to board doesn’t just fly from A-B-A-B.
They didn’t just pull it out of a hangar just for you.
That airplane flies A-B-C-D then overnights back in A.
Any station can cause a delay that cannot be made up during the flight or on subsequent legs and sometimes not even on the overnight if the overnight requires maintenance such as the replacement of an APU or an Air conditioning and pressurization pack.
Now this is just one plane.
Now increase the scale a hundred fold and even a thousand fold or ten thousand fold.
Now introduce weather, power outages, computer glitches, Air space closures and ATC capacity problems that occur daily.
Add Peter the Private Pilot who gears up his Seneca at a Regional Airport.
Diversions because of medical emergencies which occur daily.
Diversions because of unruly pax which occurs daily.
Unforeseen maintenance issues that need to be resolved.

No offense but do you ( plural) self loading cargo have any concept of what an immensely complex house of cards aviation really is?

YOU’RE IN A CHAIR FLYING THROUGH SPACE and the fact you’re not dying in the process is close to an engineering miracle.

RANT OVER......
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Old 25th Aug 2018, 09:49
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Ok somebody must have pushed a button as I’m on a roll here.
All of the above people have partners, spouses, children, mortgages and a slew of general life issues.
Add Monday mornings and Friday afternoons and the simple human trait that not everybody involved is always on their A- game all of the time all day every day. Except in Japan.
Now let’s assume everybody is on their A- game today.
Allow me to entertain you with some examples.
Station A, first flight of the day:

- Fiona the Flight Attendent left home with plenty of time to spare but somebody couldn’t drive in the rain and two lanes of the motorway are closed.
Not every airport has a can of spare flight attendants, mostly because they don’t come in cans.
Since flight attendants are mandatory we’ll need to wait for Fiona. 10 min delay on a 1hr flight so we can’t make that up.

Station B:

Simone at security considers Cory the Captain’s attempt to cover up last nights curry with mouthwash suspicious, having broken a bottle of after shave doesn’t help his situation any and our intrepid aviator is carted off for an breathalyzer rest.
He blows 0.0 and makes it to the flight deck with a 5min delay.

Station C:

Tommy the tug driver discovers that his vehicle has a brake fluid leak. Off he goes in search of a tug he can use. He calls the Ramp coordinator and can use the tug from 8 gates over after they’re done with pushing back their flight.
10 min delay

Station D:

Harry the Holidaymaker mentally clocked out a couple of hours ago ‘cause he’s on vacation right?
So he’s at the bar loading up while his bag is being off loaded for security reasons as he didnt board.
Unfortunately he checked in early and his bag is loaded in the front of the aft luggage compartment of a 737. They can’t use containers so Ronny the Ramper heads inside to dig it out.
As Harry shows up at the gate the plane pushes back and heads off to destination with now a total of 40 min delay.

During the descent they’ve been told to hold for 10 min as an air ambulance flight with a beating heart in an ice chest is given priority.

Here’s your 50 min delay and everybody did their job to the best of their ability.

I now fly freight but I have flown passengers.
if it were up to me you’d all be sedated and loaded on board in a box with a forklift.
All luggage in the hold as we don’t need carry on.

Heres a number to ponder:
A Boeing 787 Dreamliner costs about $200 million.
If we write this off over 20 years and they manage to sell it to some third world operator for $20million
180/20 is $9million depreciation a year.
That’s $750,000 a month or $25,000 a day or $1,041/hr or $17.36 a minute.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/...aft-by-type/#0

So all of the above delays cost this airline $868 that they need to recoup.

So....next time you hear about a delay for operational reasons don’t go yelling at the gate agent but simply say you understand.


Last edited by B2N2; 25th Aug 2018 at 10:06.
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Old 25th Aug 2018, 10:19
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As someone with 45 years in the front line of aviation I can only say wow, what condescending posts by B2N2! I would be inclined to remind him/her that the self loading cargo PAY aviation Gods like him/her and his/her employers for a service and, regardless of the reasons, if the promised service is not provided, they have the right to complain if they feel inclined to do so!

Not all self loading cargo are holidaymakers by the way!!!

The argument that aviation is a complex house of cards holds true for a great many industries too. Aviation is indeed in that category yet we in air traffic control never cease to hear pilots constantly bitch about ATC primarily because, with some exceptions of course, most of them don't have a clue as to what a complex house of cards ATC is!
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Old 25th Aug 2018, 10:40
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if it were up to me you’d all be sedated and loaded on board in a box with a forklift.
If they would just do that I would travel a lot more and a lot further, see a lot more of the world.
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Old 25th Aug 2018, 11:01
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On this topic AZA4000 was put into two holds over the Irish Sea and delayed to land in Dublin by ten minutes today, as the approach controller stated 'the TV crews were not ready' for the Pope's arrival.
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Old 25th Aug 2018, 12:24
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Originally Posted by Hotel Tango View Post
Sorry TangoAlphad and wiggy, I'm afraid I just don't buy it. The fact is that, whatever the reason, the flight is delayed, end of. Adding some useless generic reason is adding insult to injury. .
If you don’t “buy” the fact your flight is late there is little anyone can say without taking this debate off in an unfortunate direction.

if you don’t you “buy” the fact that “your” crew don’t know why the aircraft was late arriving then I can only expand on my previous but I suspect you’ll be minded not to “buy” this either.

Sticking to the environment I work in - Longhaul - FWIW we have little info down route on what has happened to an arriving flight when it left base.

We have (and the station staff have) access to the same generic Anotherairline.com that the passengers get access to. We in some circumstances have access to slightly more detailed company info but that is often simply in the form of a broad brush two/ three letter delay code with a time - so for a 10 minute departure delay we might see something that translated into English simply reads: “passengers 2” “baggage 3” “ ramp 5” ......That is it...it doesn’t begin to provide the level of detail some people seem to want or seem to think we have access to.

It is rare these days (due timings at airport, immigration/customs rules) to see the inbound crew and be able to speak to them and ask them verbally WTH happened,...so we are often almost as much in the dark about delays as the paying passenger.

I’ll also point out the sort of niggles TangoAlphad and others described really are actually the sort of operational events that happen and contribute to delays - broken ground crew headsets, slow tugs, slow taxiing, runway changes....

Personally I don’t use “operational reasons” in my PA’s when trying to cover departure delay due to an inbound delay, I also don’t like hearing it when I am a passenger...I’ll generally use phrases such as it as “problems on the ground at XXX” or “the inbound flight experienced strong headwinds” ...though of course those are valid “operational reasons..”..


Last edited by wiggy; 26th Aug 2018 at 06:44. Reason: Format
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Old 25th Aug 2018, 12:32
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As someone with 45 years in the front line of aviation I can only say



Which means you’re old as dirt and therefore will be excused for missing my attempt at humor.
There, did it again.


By the way, I’ve spend a year and a half as an assistant Air Traffic Controller.....your highness.

https://metro.co.uk/2018/08/24/drunk...light-7880471/
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Old 25th Aug 2018, 13:24
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Cool

OK everyone - let's take a collective break. Have a cup of tea or beer/wine.

I appreciate the extra detail given to us by those from the Front Office whether with humour or not! I am currently travelling myself in a Mediterranean country that does not understand the word 'promptly' ...

The other key factor in all of this is that we want to pay as little money as possible and that affects 100% of the components listed above. I sympathise with those who want no information and those that want it all.

Play nicely in the cabin whilst I'm gone (but I am checking the CCTV) Now back to my holiday ...
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Old 25th Aug 2018, 22:26
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What the sky gods are telling us is that Aviation is basically a f#cked up industri with little or no control of many links in the chain? Nice to know.
I sure hope they will be as overbearing, as they expect us lowly SFL to be, next time they buy a product and things go tits up.
Somehow I very much doubt it.
Per
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Old 25th Aug 2018, 22:48
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Originally Posted by Hotel
I would be inclined to remind him/her that the self loading cargo PAY aviation Gods like him/her and his/her employers for a service and, regardless of the reasons, if the promised service is not provided, they have the right to complain if they feel inclined to do so!
I would be like minded to remind the self righteous SLF Gods that I get paid exactly the same if I carry 0 passengers, 12 passengers, 126 passengers or 200 and that I do not get paid by said self righteous SLF Gods but by the company that employs me.

Either way every flight that I operate is as close to on time as I can make it and as safe as I can make it.

You are most welcome.
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Old 26th Aug 2018, 02:48
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Personally I also do not like the phrase "due to operational reasons" because it is meaningless.

The last flight I took was delayed for around an hour with that phrase being announced at the gate. After we boarded, the pilot told us that the flight was delayed due to weather at the destination .

I personally would be happy with the delay message if it contains:
- an estimate of the delay time (or saying that an estimate is not available at the moment)
- category of delay. I would accept weather (specifically previous leg or destination, local should be obvious), aircraft mechanical, crew, baggage, airport (eg, ramp, gate, or ATC issues) and (unlike HT) late arrival of previous leg.

Speaking of delayed flights, what do you make of Chart of the day: What are the chances your plane will leave on time? - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) ? Australian airlines on domestic flights only. I am surprised it has not been brought up on PPRuNe.
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Old 26th Aug 2018, 06:56
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Originally Posted by Ancient Mariner View Post
What the sky gods are telling us is that Aviation is basically a f#cked up industri with little or no control of many links in the chain? Nice to know.
I sure hope they will be as overbearing, as they expect us lowly SFL to be, next time they buy a product and things go tits up.
Somehow I very much doubt it.
Per
Like many industries there are a heck of a lot of links in the chain...all the links have checks/controls, but there are so many links involved in getting a flight away on schedule no single individual can be privy to the happenings in absolutely every link in every chain, Despite opinion to the contrary it is not like turning on a PC and “taking off” in flight sim, or rocking up to your company car, turning the keys and driving away.

Unlike many (but not all) industries you are buying a unique “product”/entity You don’t want the first box on the shelf, as in any old aircraft that is leaving the airport you are waiting at, you want a specific airframe going to a specific place...

As Chesty has rightly pointed out our job on the flight deck, and the job of many others behind the scenes, is to try and ensure you have a safe flight. Everything, including punctuality, is secondary to that.

I actually think a lot of the time we do things that once upon a time would have been considered amazing...many days it’s a third of the way around the world, not a drink spilt and arrive on time, but sadly some people have other expectations. I remember arriving in AKL one morning at the end of what had been a three sector flight from London ( for the passengers and for the airframe). One highly vocal passenger really let rip at the captain as he disembarked because we had arrived three minutes (3 minutes) late. Quite how the boss kept his cool I don’t know.






Last edited by wiggy; 26th Aug 2018 at 09:06.
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Old 26th Aug 2018, 13:06
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Originally Posted by Davef68 View Post
is there a more annoying phrase in the lexicon of the airline traveller? They’d be better just saying ‘delayed’. “Operational Reasons” says nothing. At least the pilots usually explain the delay once you get on board.
But in many cases the pilot wont know who the delay was down to. In large airlines there is a lot of competition between individual departments to offload delays onto another department and therefore keep their individual performance stats looking good. In some cases the 'cause'' of the delay will not be attributed until the following days morning management meeting.

So 'Operational' covers the reason until the delay is officially landed at some individual group within the airline.
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Old 26th Aug 2018, 16:56
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I have never worked in the airline world but have been in commerce for 40 years. I can assure you that MOST companies now run very close to the wind. Airlines have a much longer sequence of inter-related groups as detailed so well above. The 'just in time' way of running business is now established throughout the western world. Mostly, however, companies do not have to present a highly visible time-table and attempt to stick to it. Supermarkets have other brands of a similar product. You can go to another Pharmacy ...

Nowadays, you have to reckon that if a meeting/event requires a flight - than add 24 hours to your planning. If you have a safety net of time - you proably won't need it. Same as allowing time for motorway delays.
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