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SWA Captain delays flight for bereaved passenger!

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SWA Captain delays flight for bereaved passenger!

Old 15th Jan 2011, 02:29
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SWA Captain delays flight for bereaved passenger!

A SWA flight out of LAX was delayed by the Captain to delay a flight to allow a grandfather to board a flight to see his dying grandson. Sometimes the industry actually works for the passengers and its own image.

Southwest Captain Delays Takeoff For Bereaved Grandfather

GF
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Old 15th Jan 2011, 03:10
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Well done!
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Old 15th Jan 2011, 03:18
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I personally know a senior Southwest Captain who, after having been harrassed by the TSA, called the gate, and cancelled the flight.
He then called his chief pilot...and the office backed him up.
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Old 15th Jan 2011, 03:51
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Remember when captains at major airlines could do that without the call from the chief to explain why the flight department was charged with a delay? It is good to not worry about the call and do as this captain did. The right thing.
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Old 15th Jan 2011, 05:24
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Highest respect and well done. Show some kindness and humanity.
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Old 15th Jan 2011, 05:29
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Way to go.... Respect
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Old 15th Jan 2011, 06:46
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I once waited 9 minutes for a guy who was with his family of wife and 2 children on their summer holiday to Alicante who had lost his passport between check-in and the gate. He went back to security to get it, had to convince them he was the owner, (4 mins) then ran back to the gate and got on. Arrived in ALC 15 mins ahead of schedule.
Result, letter waiting for me when I landed back in UK that afternoon and a subsequent warning on my file for 12 months.
Never did it again........more than my job was worth.
Most of you will guess who I was working for at the time.
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Old 15th Jan 2011, 09:03
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In desperation, Dickerson phoned his wife who followed up with Southwest, contacting the flight's Captain. On his own, the skipper delayed the flight ...
She contacted Southwest - who presumably relayed the information to the Captain, but didn't advise on any delay?

Captains are in charge of the safety of the flight - commercial delays are not within that remit, but are down to one of the company's commercial managers. Like it or lump it. (Of course if NOT delaying would cause a problem on board with the passengers, then that is a safety delay, not a commercial one - i.e. not saying a Captain can't delay a flight if necessary.)
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Old 15th Jan 2011, 09:22
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What a pity that basic consideration appears so rare that a gift of just 12 minutes is enough to warrant its own thread
You are right, but we're not talking about simply 12 minutes in isolation, there are many potential knock-on effects that a 12 minute delay could cause. That said, yes, good for the Captain and it's a shame that there aren't more folk like that around who put humanity ahead of procedures, politics, and cash.
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Old 15th Jan 2011, 09:33
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The public relations aspect of the captain's decision to delay the flight is priceless. It behoves any CEO to remember that it doesn't take much bad publicity to start rubbing off on the bottom line.
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Old 15th Jan 2011, 09:39
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Captains are in charge of the safety of the flight - commercial delays are not within that remit, but are down to one of the company's commercial managers. Like it or lump it.
Actually, that kind of depends on the airline. Some operators recognise that the people at the coal face actually will understand the likely ramifications of any delay and whether it is likely to be absorbed in the next sector or not. Other operators treat their crew like brain damaged idiots. Its a classic failure of leadership to fail to delegate an appropriate level of authority.
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Old 15th Jan 2011, 09:50
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Not so long ago, it was standing policy at our hub airports to delay the last flight out /last bank of flights out if other flights were delayed. In this way those passengers who were late would still get to their destination on the last flight of the day.

WE stopped doing that when DOT started publishing delays and the media reported worst on time performance.

funny how passenger satisfaction fell.

hmmm
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Old 15th Jan 2011, 10:49
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Always a difficult decision whether to delay a flight for connecting passengers. If it is a sizeable group, say 20 people and it will incur a 15 minute delay it is probably worth it and then baggage becomes the issue, ie whether to further delay for the bags or not.

What annoys me is when the flight departs on time but leaves a load of baggage behind because the ground staff want to get their bonus for an on time departure or the gate is needed for an arriving aircraft. For many passengers arriving at destination without their cases will ruin their holiday, cruise, business trip etc.
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Old 15th Jan 2011, 12:02
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ACARS ruined this industry.

When I was an FE and kept a paper flight log, I never told a captain how to tell time....
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Old 15th Jan 2011, 13:24
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Somehow, the pax service operation must know the departure & arrival gate windows, pax connecting times, etc. and have the wherewithal to make an informed decision (pros & cons) about an intentional delay such as this.

There's no reason to saddle the captain, who may not have all this information, with this decision.
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Old 15th Jan 2011, 13:52
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Delays

So long ago now I can barely remember, when I was in the RHS, we were asked by company to delay for the minister for transport. The skipper grumbled away at this, saying that such people were supposed to keep things moving, not hold them up. "Now," he said, "were it a compassionate case, I would delay for as long as it took and to hell with the consequences. But in this case, I will have to wait - but I will do a really heavy landing at (dest) and rattle her t@ts off (it was a woman minister)!" (Some older readers might remember him - he wore a monocle and it always fell out on touchdown, no matter how much of a greaser you made.) I always followed his rules and got shouted at many times for my pains. But, after shrugging them, I just wound my shoulders out yet another six inches. I even got shouted at by the airline's director of planning for not taking off when there was a thunderstorm breaking around our ears. After he pointed out that others were taking off and I told him that may be they had lost the will to live, he slunk back to his seat.
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Old 15th Jan 2011, 14:36
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In the good old days, when I was working in the North Sea oil sector, we often came south to Aberdeen late-ish with a planeload of passengers who had been offshore for a fortnight. The onward scheduled airline would generally wait for them and make a ramp transfer (Omigod, 'elf and safety) so they could get home. Later I worked for said scheduled airline (Britain's right-hand man) and was able to reciprocate the service. In those days service came before puncuality tables.
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Old 15th Jan 2011, 14:42
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Good to read we still have some Captains around.

We were all buttoned up and ready to start engines when we saw a person run up to the gate pointing at us indicating to the agent that it was his flight. It was the last flight out that night to our destination. The mechanic plugged in and said cleared to start. We said we'll get 'em started AFTER you put that passenger on. The mechanic unplugged, walked to the gate [ no jetway ] and started talking to the agent. They both kept looking at their watches ! Finally, with the agent shaking his head, they boarded the passenger [we had airstairs]. We got to our desination on time and never heard a word about our delaying the flight.

Too many people are controlled by their watches.
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Old 15th Jan 2011, 15:29
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Good old Southwest . Had a few trips with them. A joy to fly with. That bit of PR has to be worth a fortune for the Airline.
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Old 15th Jan 2011, 16:38
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http://news.travel.aol.com/2011/01/13/pilot-holds-plane-for-grandfather-of-murdered-toddler/?icid=main|htmlws-main-n|dl2|sec1_lnk3|195215

Including a video.
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