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Is it True; they cancel flights if airplane is half full?

Is it True; they cancel flights if airplane is half full?

Old May 23rd, 2002, 11:37 AM
  #1  
julie
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Is it True; they cancel flights if airplane is half full?

Read in the Time (or Newsweek) that airline companies are routinely cancelling flights when they can't fill the airplane. This concerns me as we NEED to make connection to get out trips, cruises, etc. If they cancel, do they reschedule, and what is the liklihood of getting 'bumped'. I don't usually concern myself about this stuff as we have never had any trouble, but it is now post 9/11.
 
Old May 23rd, 2002, 11:48 AM
  #2  
Mel
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I've never experienced or heard of that happening on transcontinental flights, but it happened to us last year in Vegas. We were on a midnight flight home, they announced the flight had been canceled (at the last minute), schlepped us to a different area and we sat around waiting for them to decide where to put us. We went out several hours later. The attendent at the gate told us it was because the midnight flight was less than half full.
 
Old May 23rd, 2002, 11:56 AM
  #3  
mpprh
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hi<BR><BR>national carriers don't do this.<BR><BR>i've often been one of 6 people on a flight within europe. once they had technical problems half way and chartered another airline's 737 plane for 3 passengers ! Yes 3 passengers and 6 crew.<BR><BR>i once flew singapre - brussels with about 10% capacity.<BR><BR>but maybe the cheaper airlines do it ?<BR><BR>Peter<BR><BR>
 
Old May 23rd, 2002, 12:02 PM
  #4  
kay
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Yep, it has happened to me on short flights. I suspect it depends on where they need the plane to be next. If its schedule for the day is Cleveland-Philly-Boston-Cleveland, eliminating any one segment would not make sense, but if it is a plane that makes 4 round trips a day between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, they can easily eliminate a mid-day round trip.
 
Old May 23rd, 2002, 12:38 PM
  #5  
Patrick
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A few years ago we were changing planes in Dallas. We were scheduled on the earlier of two planes about an hour apart from Dallas to Miami. There were very few people waiting for our flight and then they made an announcement at the gate that our flight had just been cancelled. No problem, they were rebooking us all on the flight about an hour later. That flight was not quite full even after we were all added. The flight attendent told us that it was a frequent occurrence, that the only reason there are two flights scheduled so close together is that there is normally a demand for them, but when both flights are less than half full, they often cancel the first one and combine it with the second one. Of course, our problem was that the delayed flight made us miss the last connection of the night from Miami to Naples.
 
Old May 23rd, 2002, 12:51 PM
  #6  
Suzy
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I wonder if there are any figures available on frequency of specific flights being cancelled, as there are for lateness.
 
Old May 23rd, 2002, 01:11 PM
  #7  
carmenr
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A few years ago, we flew from San Francisco to Honolulu. After checking in @ 7:30am for a 9am flight, we ate breakfast before showing up at the gate for boarding around 8:30. The flight attendant at the counter scolded us for not showing up sooner as they had cancelled our flight. We had to run like h... to get to another gate and another airline. Gone were our seat reservations (three together) as well as our special meals which had been made 8 months earlier.<BR><BR>We were told they always combine flights going over the Pacific so as to save on fuel, alternating which airline they utilise. Needless to say, we were not very pleased. Hawaii, however, was wonderful.
 
Old May 23rd, 2002, 01:13 PM
  #8  
carmenr
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Forgot to mention these were national carriers, not cheap airlines.
 
Old May 23rd, 2002, 01:19 PM
  #9  
amy
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Air Canada canceled my flights for underbooking twice in a weekend.
 
Old May 23rd, 2002, 01:28 PM
  #10  
greg
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Suzy,<BR>You can get some idea of airlines' latest reported cancellation rate from your trully dept of transportation for US carriers (see page 14 in particular for cancellations)<BR><BR>http://www.dot.gov/airconsumer/0205atcr.pdf<BR><BR>The main page is at:<BR>http://www.dot.gov/airconsumer/index1.htm<BR><BR>You can also get other interesting numbers as delays, mishandled baggages, oversales, and complaints.
 
Old May 23rd, 2002, 01:36 PM
  #11  
Nancy
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It happens a lot on commuter routes. We try to avoid booking the last flight in case it is cancelled.
 
Old May 23rd, 2002, 01:51 PM
  #12  
greg
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Suzy,<BR>If you want detailed info on specific airline at specific departing airport can be obtained by:<BR><BR>http://www.bts.gov/ntda/oai/DetailedStatistics/<BR><BR>You select perhaps whole month to get the idea of frequency.
 
Old May 23rd, 2002, 02:07 PM
  #13  
Louis
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Yes, it's abolutely true. Air Canada is the worst at this. I've stopped using them because of it. Very unreliable.
 
Old May 23rd, 2002, 02:14 PM
  #14  
Dayle
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America West is also famous for doing this on their commuter flights between Orange County, CA & Phoenix.<BR><BR>Makes planning & actually getting to business meetings impossible. Boss gave up & started flying other airlines.<BR><BR>
 
Old May 23rd, 2002, 02:43 PM
  #15  
Chekitout
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When you book a flight, ask the agent how full it is and then ask again about a week before you fly. If it's "wide open," ask HOW 'wide open' -- as in, any chance of cancellation? Most agents will tell you and they should have at their fingertips how often that flight is cancelled.<BR><BR>Otherwise, it's very often the early flights, first out in the morning, that get cancelled. If you go to the web as if you were going to book a flight and you see a big differential in prices between the flight that goes from ORD to RDU at 6:45 am and the one that goes at 10:30 am, you can BET that early flight is never full and will probably be subject to cancellations because the airline knows it can always put people on the next flight out.<BR><BR><BR><BR>
 
Old May 23rd, 2002, 02:59 PM
  #16  
Bill
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Happened to us this week (NWA). They don't admit it; they just claim "maintainence".
 
Old May 23rd, 2002, 03:24 PM
  #17  
Mina
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I would think that if it does happen, it would happen for a well traveled route, i.e. LA to San Fran where there are multiple flights in a day, and where the plane often goes back and forth. (as Kay mentioned earlier).<BR><BR>Keep in mind, that a plane my be half full for that particular leg, but the next journey it is booked for is full (and going somewhere else). What people forget is that most planes actually have to BE somewhere, regardless of how full it is.
 
Old May 23rd, 2002, 03:28 PM
  #18  
Art
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I've had more United flights canceled than any other airline. These were mostly commuter flights either from or to a major hub.
 
Old May 23rd, 2002, 03:39 PM
  #19  
Judith
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If your flight is in the US on a US carrier and it is cancelled for a non-weather related reason, federal law allows you to demand that the carrier get you a seat out on the NEXT available flight to your destination on ANY airline at their cost, if there is availability. There is a specific Rule that references it that lets the airlines specifically know what you are demanding of them. I'm sorry I can't remember the number. A travel agent may be able to tell you. The airlines hate for passengers to know about this federal regulation.<BR>
 
Old May 23rd, 2002, 04:16 PM
  #20  
greg
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Judith,<BR>It is rule 240C, but in practice, it is likely to be meaningless since if they do this, the next good flight will be swamped, if it had any seat at all to begin with. The rule stipluates "same class". The airline is allowed to downgrade class with refund. I have flown in lousiest seat on NEXT AVAILABLE flight few times it heappened to me.
 

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