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Old 07-19-2004, 05:45 PM   #21
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Re: Above and Beyond

Quote:
Originally Posted by haze
Quote:
Originally Posted by 717Doc
Yes, all airlines that report to the Dot for on time performance do it.
And some go even further by heavily "padding" their schedules so that normal delays don't affect their on-time numbers. AirTran doesn't use this practice.
How is it possible to "pad" a schedule? Aren't you just saying how long the flight will take -- isn't that what a schedule inherently is? The times from departure to arrival are not wheels up to wheels down, they're the estimated time that the flight will take from push back to arrival at the gate with taxi, ground delays, airway routing, etc.

Having a schedule that you can meet isn't "cheating" or beating the system, it's being honest. If your schedule says that a flight from AUS to IAH (110nm) takes 70 minutes, that's what you're promising people when they choose your airline and that's the committment that you have agreed to live up to.

I'm not sure why you seem to find truthful scheduling to be a bad thing and why it's good that airtran doesn't use this "practice."
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Old 07-19-2004, 08:45 PM   #22
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Mr. Baker

When JetBlue was in Atlanta there flights to/from Long Beach were 45min-1hr longer than every flight to/from ATL to the Los Angeles Area. That is cheating!

- John
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Old 07-20-2004, 09:46 AM   #23
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And because of that when they approached LA my guess was that the PA adresses were something like this....."Ladies and Gentlemen Looks like were beginning our decent to LA international....I'm happy to say were getting there 45 mins ahead of schedule....another early arrival for Jetblue". Pretty smart if you ask me! AirTran does quick turns though, and we probably hope to get more business by saying (and showing in the schedules) that we will get you there faster. Which puts more pressure on the turns because you dont have alot of time to cater, clean, fuel, unload, load, daily walk-arounds, plus whatever inbounds the last crew had, or problems the new crew has. Makes for a busy day on concourse "C" escpecially when most of the flights come in and out at the same times. Gotta love it.
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Old 07-20-2004, 11:15 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta7203
When JetBlue was in Atlanta there flights to/from Long Beach were 45min-1hr longer than every flight to/from ATL to the Los Angeles Area. That is cheating!
So they promised some amount of time from point A to point B, people purchased the tickets, and then they arrived at point B on or before the promised time, right?

It's a balance between fleet utilization and on-time rates and they've clearly opted for more realistic arrival times. Nobody has explained why this is cheating yet, besides repeating it, which isn't a very good argument.
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Old 07-21-2004, 06:26 PM   #25
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Realistic?

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Originally Posted by dbaker
How is it possible to "pad" a schedule? Aren't you just saying how long the flight will take -- isn't that what a schedule inherently is?

I'm not sure why you seem to find truthful scheduling to be a bad thing and why it's good that airtran doesn't use this "practice."
You're being fecitious, right?

Hey, here's a fix for the highway gridlock we have in Atlanta: lets just change the schedule and say that instead of a workday beginning at 9:00AM, it doesn't begin until 11:00AM. So by padding the commute by two hours your not really late at all are you? Lookie there, gridlock solved

This is congressional testimony from Randy Schwitz, Executive Vice President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association:
Quote:
Congressional Testimony


Aviation Delays

10/14/1999

Good morning Chairman Duncan, Congressman Lipinski, and members of the Subcommittee. Thank you for this opportunity to testify on the problems contributing to aviation delays. I am Randy Schwitz, Executive Vice President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, the exclusive representative of over 15,000 federal air traffic controllers and engineers within the Federal Aviation Administration.

Delays, as defined by the FAA, refer to any problem that causes any segment of flight to be more than 15 minutes late. Last year, there were 306,234 commercial and general aviation delays in the United States. In May 1999, 40,053 delays were reported, an increase of 37 percent over 1998.

Aviation delays are a multi-faceted problem. No single element is responsible. Rather, a number of contributing factors including the growth in the number of travelers, scheduling decisions by airlines, bad weather, implementation of new air traffic controller equipment, an antiquated system, and policy and procedural changes have led to the record number of aviation delays. And, just as there is not one cause, there is also no blanket solution or quick fix to the problem...

...In acknowledging that delays are inevitable from over scheduling at peak times, airlines pad their schedules so as not to negatively affect their on-time percentages. For example, a flight from Washington, D.C. to Atlanta takes a little over an hour in actual flight time. But, the airlines' schedule the flight to last two hours because they know the runways will be overbooked on departure and/or arrival.

Regardless, the airlines would rather have passengers sit on the tarmac with no space to take off than lose money. Competition among airlines exacerbates this situation...
The fellas over at NATCA understand precisely how and why airlines pad their schedules. Since you claim to be such an "airline industry expert", shouldn't you too?

And since AirTran doesn't utilize this practice, it makes their 8th in on-time performance even more commendable. By the way, I never said it was cheating. Just that AirTran doesn't use this "practice." And still beat many many airlines who do pad their schedules, mind you
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Old 07-21-2004, 06:35 PM   #26
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Hear That?

Let me reiterate that Randy Schwitz, Executive Vice President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, in testimony before Congress stated that
Quote:
...airlines pad their schedules so as not to negatively affect their on-time percentages...Regardless, the airlines would rather have passengers sit on the tarmac with no space to take off than lose money...
Maybe other airlines, but not AirTran. How is it possible to "pad" a schedule? Being a little naive, aren't we dbaker?
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Old 07-21-2004, 10:52 PM   #27
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Re: Hear That?

Quote:
Originally Posted by haze
Let me reiterate that Randy Schwitz, Executive Vice President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, in testimony before Congress stated that
Quote:
...airlines pad their schedules so as not to negatively affect their on-time percentages...Regardless, the airlines would rather have passengers sit on the tarmac with no space to take off than lose money...
Maybe other airlines, but not AirTran. How is it possible to "pad" a schedule? Being a little naive, aren't we dbaker?
The problem you're quoting is largely an issue of country's capacity of airline operations and has nothing to do with airline performance. An airline that makes a realistic schedule is only being more honest than others that consistently arrive late.

The time it takes, on average, to take from point A to point B is how long the flight should be scheduled for. If you want to compare the duration of flights on the same route to their on-time rate, that might be a valuable statistic. But asserting that it's unfair or dishonest to increase the amount of time for a particular flight is absurd.

There's a saying in business called "under promise and over deliver," and I suggest you learn it.
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Old 07-21-2004, 11:28 PM   #28
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Point-Counterpoint

You naively asked "how is it possible to pad a schedule?" and I simply answered you. The obvious explanation and quotes stand on their own merits, so I will let them

AirTran does not "consistently arrive late" as you suggest, and their 8th place on-time rankings (without "padding" their schedule against competitors that do) demonstrates that clearly. Coming in 8th without "padding" the schedule is a helluva lot more honest than places 9th through 19th who do "pad" theirs. All the while placing 3rd in luggage handling (without the extra "padded" time)

There's a saying in life called "as plain as the nose on your face," and I suggest you look at it
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Old 07-21-2004, 11:40 PM   #29
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One Last Time for the Slow Kid in the Back

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Schwitz, Executive Vice President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, in testimony before Congress
...airlines pad their schedules so as not to negatively affect their on-time percentages...
Airlines just do it, everyone knows they do it, everyone knows why they do it, and everyone acknowledges it except dbaker. And oh yea, AirTran doesn't do it
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Old 07-22-2004, 12:04 AM   #30
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Not Eggzackly

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbaker
So they promised some amount of time from point A to point B, people purchased the tickets, and then they arrived at point B on or before the promised time, right?

It's a balance between fleet utilization and on-time rates and they've clearly opted for more realistic arrival times.
Who says they arrived at point B on or before the promised time? Many of the airlines that "pad" their schedules are way down at the bottom of the list. Well below AirTran who doesn't "pad." You paint a rosey scenario as if there's always a planeload of happy campers arriving early.

Not the case though:
Quote:
BUSINESS TRAVEL; Flight Delays, Down After 9/11, Grow Worse Again

By MARK A. STEIN

Published: July 6, 2004

...But some travelers suspect that because of the way airlines write their schedules, the statistics understate the time lags they actually experience -- waiting, for example, on a taxiway for a gate or a takeoff slot.

''The airlines pad their flight times excessively so they can still boast on-time departures and arrivals,'' said Daniel D. McCulloch, a sales associate with Citigroup Alternative Investments in New York. ''Technically, you left or arrived at the gate within the scheduled time, irrespective of the fact that the plane sat on the tarmac for an hour''... (c)2004 New York Times
This guy's just like you, a white collar frequent flier being interviewed about the airline industry. Seems he understands the concept of "padding" just like me and the Song Pilot and the AirTran mechanic and the Executive VP of the NATCA do
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Old 07-22-2004, 12:09 AM   #31
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Black and White

I'm not saying that AirTran doesn't pull back even though they're going to have to sit, and that they don't sit out there like the rest of them. That's what this entire thread is about. What I am saying though is that they snagged 8th in on-time performance and 3rd in luggage handling, all without "padding" their schedule like the rest of the industry. Now that's honesty
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Old 07-22-2004, 12:20 AM   #32
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What's the difference between "padding" and a conservative schedule, if any?
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Old 07-22-2004, 07:00 AM   #33
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Re: Hear That?

Quote:
The problem you're quoting is largely an issue of country's capacity of airline operations and has nothing to do with airline performance. An airline that makes a realistic schedule is only being more honest than others that consistently arrive late.
A "more realistic schedule"??? Jet Blue adding 45min-1 hr. to there ATL-LGB and LGB-ATL routes and getting to LGB or ATL 45min-1 hr. early is not "more realistic"!!!

"More realistic" would be adding 10min or 15min..but 1hr?! Please...

- John
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Old 07-27-2004, 08:59 PM   #34
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wow

Thanks for all the people that responded to my post. I haven't been back since a couple of days after I posted it. I also didn't read many of the messages about padding and scheduling, there were just too many.

I really never got more than $25 for my entire night being wasted. Everytime I have called AirTran, they insist on the times they see on their computers and I insist that I was on the plane, not them. I could go around in that circle all day, and to be honest I don't have time and don't care. I have come to the conclusion that customer service with AirTran is hit or miss. You win some, you lose some, and I am still in college and price wins out.

Now for the good part, I hope no one thought I was bashing AirTran up there. I was just stating the facts of my experience. I took a second flight with them this past weekend. I went up on a brand new 737 which was very very nice. The flight was great, the crew was great, and I even got to meet the pilot who was very very nice. My flight back was on another 717. The flight was fine, as was everything else. My only complaint is that my flight to ATL was delayed some 30 minutes as was my returning flight.

So, my travels go on with AirTran. I have two more flights with them in the next month so I'll keep ya'll posted. Thanks for all the help and information. This has helped me a great deal
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:16 PM   #35
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Maybe I can help clarify a few things:

1) The door time can be later than the push time, because the equipment transmits the "last" door closing time prior to departure, which includes cargo doors. The information has to be broken down further to determine whether it was the main cabin door, a service door, a cargo door, etc. Sometimes after the main cabin door is closed, they will add or remove bags (say a passenger didn't board- then their bags would be removed, which would require opening and closing the cargo door).

2) The autothrottles on the 717 hold speed very precisely, and on a gusty day, they are very actively changing speed. This is normal, but if you are seated in the back half of the airplane, it is very noticeable.

3) An aircraft will ALWAYS be powered by at least two sources in the air (I am talking about electric power here) and on the ground, the sequence will go from 2 engine-driven AC generators, to one engine-driven generator, then eventually either gate power, or the aircraft's own Auxillary Power Unit. When power transfers from one system to another, sometimes you will get what is known as a "power break" which is noticeable in the cabin. On older aircraft, such as a Delta or American Airlines MD80-series aircraft, it happens every time. With the newer electronics of the 717 it happens occaisionally.

As for your travel experience on our airline, I apologize for the fact that the flight was less than satisfactory for you. The things you are describing are certainly not unique to AirTran, but I can certainly understand why you were not happy, and I hope that you will try us again and have a better experience.
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Old 06-06-2005, 02:53 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetmech717
dant
Quote:
My fiance had quite an interesting trip tonight from Atlanta to Orlando. The flight was supposed to leave at 8:15, but didn't take off until around 10pm. Apparently, they didn't have a pilot. Seems to be an integral part of an airplane.
Nah...pilots are there to watch the plane....more than likely it was delayed due to the wonderful weather we have been having "ALL THIS MONTH" up and down the east coast.
a pilot aways stays with the plane you are a lie
Quote:
Anyway, that wasn't even the worst part. She said it was the worst flight she had ever been on. Several times during the short flight, the lights flickered in the cabin. The engines were constantly changing pitch and whining also. The worst is yet to some. About a minute or so after landing, ALL POWER on the plane shut down. Everything, engines abruptly stopped. They cycled power and starting taxing back. They had several problems with power during the taxi.
It sounds to me like your fiance' was riding in 1 of our brand new 737's...unlike the 717 when you change power over from 1 generator to another the lights will flicker in the cabin. Rest assured that this is normal. The 717 has a "no brake" pwr transfer and you would not even know when the pwr shifts from 1 generator to another. As for the engines abruptly stopping!!! I seriously think I would have heard of both engines just "abruptly stopping" inflight by now. The engines are constantly adjusting to keep the plane at the speed and flight level requested by the pilots....So it is quite possible to hear a "whining" and "change of pitch" sound coming from them. Just like you hear it in your car when you accelerate or decellorate.

Quote:
Very reassuring when after landing the entire plane loses electrical power and the engines stop. I've been pretty happy with Airtran over my last few flights (and will be flying this weekend), but her flight was a bit unnerving for me.
If the engines stopped after landing then that means your at the gate and its time to get off. Once again with the 737 the lights are going to "flicker" when pwr is changed from the engines back to the APU or External supply. We appreciate your business and I hope you have a better flight this weekend. Please come back here and let us know how it was, and feel free to ask any questions you may have. Its better to get the record straight than think something was wrong.
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