CO vs others at NYC airports during blizzard

Feb 12th, 2006, 08:49 PM
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CO vs others at NYC airports during blizzard

My cousin & wife were supposed to fly CO IAH-EWR-HKG today (Sun 2/12), but I advised them to change their flights to Monday. Still I was interested to know how the different airlines cope with the situation today.

While my main interest was Continental, I also checked what other airlines are doing in the area. CO runs a main hub at EWR with lots of international flights there.

What I find is pretty interesting, as CO is much more aggressive than other airlines - which may or may not be a good thing for its customers:

- First, while many airlines start cancelling their Sunday flights into NYC by Saturday afternoon, CO didn't do that. All IAH-EWR were still "on schedule" around 1-2am Sunday morning. At the end, basically ALL domestic flights into EWR were cancelled. I know some less-than-alert passengers would be so pissed when they got to the airport to find that out.

- While AA and DL cancelled most (but not all) of their Europe->JFK flights for Sunday, Continental sent EVERY SINGLE ONE of its plane back towards Newark, fully knowing the airport would be under a foot of snow. The results was pretty dramatic:

-- 2 flights diverted to Goose Bay, Labrador
-- 7 to Gander, Newfoundland
-- 7 to Montreal, QC
-- 4 to Cleveland
-- 2 to Pittsburgh
-- 2 to Syracuse

Many of these flights sat for 4-5 hours before continuing to EWR. While some passengers may be happy to get back to the US, it'd be very uncomfortable sitting in a 757 for that long. Also, many arriving at EWR late tonite may find that they'll be sleeping on the airport floor, I'm afraid.

- CO simply doesn't cancel international flights. Flight to Beijing was delayed 9 hours, but it just left. Hong Kong was 7 hours late and would arrive HKG at 4am. All Europe-bound flights have been taking off late this evening.

I know, there's a major difference between CO and the other carriers. DL can send their passengers through ATL, and AA can do the same to ORD. But most CO destinations in Europe/Asia only have flights to EWR, so cancellation would have a higher impact. Still, the aggressiveness is pretty shocking.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 12th, 2006, 09:45 PM
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Jetblue is getting a lot of its planes back to JFK from California and Florida in a hurry tonight.

Meanwhile, a Turkish Airlines A340 skidded off the runway at JFK. I believe it's flying from IAD, after being diverted there. Nobody's hurt.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 05:37 AM
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Very interesting info. Thanks!
Popolo is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 08:22 AM
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Ha, there's an article on today's Wall Street Journal, page D1, about the same thing I said 8 days ago!
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 08:26 AM
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there is an interesting discussion about this issue here:
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 08:46 AM
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I think the main point of my OP and that of the WSJ is that a passenger should be aware of the different practice.

For example, a AA/DL/UA passenger that HAS to get back to the NYC metro should know that their airline is unlikely to operate the flight even when the airport may be open.

Meanwhile, a CO/B6 customer that doesn't HAVE to be there should consider calling the airline and change their flights to the next day, or they may be diverted, severly delayed, or may be stuck at the airport with no connecting flights or ground transportion to get home.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 08:53 AM
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I missed this the first time around. This is good to know. I personally prefer a more conservative approach. I was weather delayed last week flying home from BZN and opted to stay put rather than fly to SLC and figure it out from there. I know others would have preferred to get as far as possible and I was also taking a chance that there wouldn't be further delays the following day.
Patty is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 09:02 AM
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See, a lot of the choice are personal. The airlines are going to critized one way or another by some of its passengers.

But I think for "educated" customers - by that I mean people who know airline practice well - I'd like the Continental/Jetblue approach. Because the customer is given a choice. They can risk it and go the same day, or they can call and have their flights changed for free.

[My cousins changed their flights early on, so they could still get decent seats. The EWR-HKG did operate on 2/12, about 7 hours late; but all IAH-EWR were cancelled.]

Personally, I would hate to sit in a 757 on the tarmac at Syracuse for 4-5 hours. But I probably wouldn't mind the same if it were Goose Bay, Labrador - which I unlikely will go visit myself.
rkkwan is offline  

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