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One more reason to take the train


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#41 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 09:18 AM



I'm surprised I'm the first one to point out a major problem with the premise of this thread:  "One more reason to take the train."

 

The flight in question was from Chicago to Louisville. There is no train service to Louisville. Amtrak ... to Indianapolis, arriving at midnight, followed by a 5:50 a.m. Thruway bus ...

 

It's so incredibly hard to imagine why people would think that flying would be a better choice to get from Chicago to Louisville. :huh:

Don't be silly. Nobody here is saying those passengers should have used the current trains which are painfully slow, or actually don't exist.

 

But airline incidents like this one do give another reason to favor investing in more and better trains, to give travelers a reasonable choice.

 

It's hard to imagine that Indiana passed on the chance to invest $250 million in a few passing sidings and other measures to cut 29 minutes out of the CHI-Indy route of the Cardinal and Hoosier State. And nobody with any power to make stuff happen shows any interest in upgrading tracks beyond Indy to Cincinnati and to Louisville.

 

If airline customers could do CHI-Louisville in 4 hours or so by train instead, there might be plenty of empty seats on those flights out of O'Hare.



#42 fairviewroad

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 01:49 PM

If airline customers could do CHI-Louisville in 4 hours or so by train instead, there might be plenty of empty seats on those flights out of O'Hare.

I suspect most folks on any given CHI-Louisville flight are connecting from somewhere else, so improved rail service may not have that much affect on the number of empty seats on those flights. It would probably draw folks who are currently driving, but that's purely a guess.

 

Yes, this incident can be used as an argument for investing in more trains. I agree with you on that. I was being a little tongue-in-cheek in the post that you quoted. I guess it didn't come across that way.



#43 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 01:55 PM

Another United Foot Shooting Story is Making the Rounds Lately...
 
 
 

United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for 'higher-priority' traveler

 
Link:  http://www.latimes.c...0412-story.html
 
------------------------------------
 
In an effort to put my money where my mouth is I'm...
 
1.  Converting UA flights to other modes of transit
2.  Converting UA/MP points into gift cards
3.  Closing my UA/MP credit accounts
4.  Closing my UA/MP earning accounts
5.  Signing petitions asking the CEO to leave
 
I've only earned 20,000 status miles in the first quarter of 2017, so I doubt they could care less if I stay or leave, but it still feels good to practice what you preach.

Edited by Devil's Advocate, 13 April 2017 - 01:24 AM.

We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier. 


#44 XHRTSP

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 08:04 PM

Since the flight was out of Chicago-O'Hare, it's probable that the gate agents working the flight were mainline United employees. (However, we don't know exactly how much of a role the gate agents played in the situation.)

Gate agent would have been United. Deadheading crew likely, based on size and route, Republic. If Republic, assuming it was their crew, waited to the last minute to assign that deadhead for reasons not including wx, mx, other reasons beyond their control, this whole thing falls on them. I've worked for a United Express carrier, and I've seen these scheduling schennigans before.

That being said, just like a parent is responsible for the actions of a minor, United is responsible for the actions of their contractors. If they don't like it, they can buy their own regional jets and fly those routes themselves.

#45 XHRTSP

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 08:25 PM

I don't know the reason why they needed room for this particular situation, I do know that a pilot can end a flight in Chicago and have to fly to a different city for the next flight.


For obvious reasons airlines don't like building deadhead legs into their crew schedules. It takes away revenue seats, plus crews get paid, normally half rate or more, for time spend in transit. When this does happen, it's normally because something like weather, mechanical problems, crew duty limitations, sick calls, or similiar throws a monkey wrench into things. Ideally the second you know you need to move crew, you block out those seats from the reservation system.

#46 railiner

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 01:01 AM

So...the whole thing was caused because they couldn't get one more booked passenger to deplane for the deadhead crew, right?  I am wondering if they could have just had one of the deadheading pilots occupy the cockpit jump seat for the relatively short flight...that could have solved the problem....


metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#47 RSG

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 01:08 AM

It's so incredibly hard to imagine why people would think that flying would be a better choice to get from Chicago to Louisville. :huh:

There just aren't many ways to get from Chicago to Louisville, other than via commercial airline, currently. I’ve heard some say they could have put the deadhead crew on Greyhound. But no matter how much one may like Greyhound, they don’t operate between CHI & LVL. Megabus does, but then you’re dealing with the Spirit/Allegiant Air of the bus world, along with the customer service record of United. Another commentary on the state of our interior transportation system.
 
 

Oscar Munoz, United's CEO, is a former high honcho at CSX. Lousily run railroad, lousily run airline.

Thanks for that tidbit; it might explain why the company headed by this person seems to view revenue passengers as ‘freight that talks’.
 
 

 

A lot of people have a past. What's that got to do with what happened? Did they access his criminal history before they ejected him? Are our pasts now subject to airline employee scrutiny?

Nope, but the world is up in arms about the "Poor Sweet Doctor" who got a beatdown for not listening to the cops. That poor sweet doctor is a convicted felon and contributing to the drug addiction problem of Appalachia taking money and sex as payment. My point? EVERYONE is jumping to conclusions. Do we even know what the doctor said to the cops??? No one seems to have caught that on camera.

 

In regards to his prior offenses, the pharmaceuticals in question were shared between two individuals (including himself) and were not sold for money. This is probably why his medical license was restored on a limited basis starting in 2015. Most state medical licensing boards take a dim view of narcotics offenses generally and are unwilling to allow someone to continue the practice of medicine who could be a danger to the general public.
 
As of today, yes, we do know what Dr Dao said to the DOA officers, as People magazine is out with a story from another eyewitness who was recording the lead-up to the extraction. The latest video shows that he responded to the officers as previously reported and stated his need to return to Louisville that night and that he would go to jail if he had to. 
 
 

Hopefully this man has a crackerjack lawyer and will enjoy his new life as a wealthy airline owner!

As a matter of fact, he has two of them, both from Chicago; one of whom specializes in aviation law. On Wednesday, actions were filed in Cook County Court requesting an injunction against UA which seeks to preserve all communications as it relates to the incident.



#48 Chatter163

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 05:11 AM

https://thepilotwife...ut-flight-3411/

A much calmer, and more rational consideration.

Edited by Chatter163, 13 April 2017 - 05:12 AM.


#49 XHRTSP

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 05:48 AM

So...the whole thing was caused because they couldn't get one more booked passenger to deplane for the deadhead crew, right?  I am wondering if they could have just had one of the deadheading pilots occupy the cockpit jump seat for the relatively short flight...that could have solved the problem....


That is within the realm of possibilities. My crew once needed a last minute deadhead leg on a Q400, there were four of us and only three open seats. The gate agent asked if one of us could take the cockpit jumpseat, we said yes, the captain said it was fine, so it worked out beautifully. This may or may not have been a possibility on the flight to SDF.

#50 XHRTSP

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 06:20 AM

Last month I deadheaded from CDG to LGG on the train. It was nice. We need those options here.

#51 fairviewroad

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 10:59 AM

I’ve heard some say they could have put the deadhead crew on Greyhound. But no matter how much one may like Greyhound, they don’t operate between CHI & LVL. Megabus does, but then you’re dealing with the Spirit/Allegiant Air of the bus world, along with the customer service record of United. Another commentary on the state of our interior transportation system.

Taking a bus might not have been possible depending on the timing of things...there may not have been a scheduled departure that would have gotten the crew there in time. If they were to travel by land, it would have likely been more practical to hire a car/van service and have someone drive them down there. The question would be whether they got to Louisville in time to have their required rest period before the morning flight. (I don't know what counts as a rest period...but I doubt riding in a van would count.)



#52 jis

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 11:05 AM

Then there is the issue of Union contract too.

#53 caravanman

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 12:27 PM

Everyone else seems to be at fault, why not attack the trade unions too?

 

 

Ed.



#54 MikefromCrete

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 12:30 PM

They should have just chartered a private plane. In the long run, it would have been a lot cheaper. This lawsuit will cost United millions -- and the city of Chicago will have to ante up some cash too.



#55 jis

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 12:46 PM

Everyone else seems to be at fault, why not attack the trade unions too?

The issue is that Union contracts apparently prevent using road based solutions effectively

#56 A Voice

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 01:10 PM

 

It's so incredibly hard to imagine why people would think that flying would be a better choice to get from Chicago to Louisville. :huh:

There just aren't many ways to get from Chicago to Louisville, other than via commercial airline, currently. I’ve heard some say they could have put the deadhead crew on Greyhound. But no matter how much one may like Greyhound, they don’t operate between CHI & LVL. Megabus does, but then you’re dealing with the Spirit/Allegiant Air of the bus world, along with the customer service record of United. Another commentary on the state of our interior transportation system.

 

There is still a lot more about this incident that we don't know compared to what has been reported.  To get a crew to Louisville it is difficult to determine just what all the options were; We do know there were roads.  It would have been possible for a van driver (or similar) to just drive the crew members down to Louisville (though its likely there was no provision or preparation for that).  That might have affected rest periods, but it wouldn't be the first time those of us on this forum would have heard of a certain transportation company dispatching a train late for lack of available rested operating crew.  

 

Or perhaps the crew could have been ferried to an alternate airport and then transfer on to Louisville (Nashville, Atlanta, etc.).  And, of course, more generous compensation could have been offered until you had some takers.  Point is, United wasn't looking for alternatives; It didn't think it needed to.  Why spend extra money and go to any trouble when you can just inconvenience four passengers, which solves your problem, get your shift over and go home?  



#57 caravanman

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 02:22 PM

 

Everyone else seems to be at fault, why not attack the trade unions too?

The issue is that Union contracts apparently prevent using road based solutions effectively

 

 

Mostly wealthy business employers don't give much away free to employees, and unions have often had to fight hard for even safe working practices, let alone fair remuneration. Nowadays there are many "zero hours" "work only when we want you" and similar practices which undermine the hard fought for union deals. I am on high alert to defend unions. Maybe private jets could be hired instead from within the CEO's muli million $ pay package...?

 

Ed.



#58 Bob Dylan

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 02:51 PM

Im with Ed on defending the Unions.The fault is totally with United's Suits,United ground,employees and thuggish Chicago cops!

Bet Uniteds Execs don't take a pay cut or loose their bonuses even though this fiasco will cost then multiple millions.

A total disgrace! Tell United to fly the unfriendly skies without you!
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#59 XHRTSP

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 03:03 PM

The issue is that Union contracts apparently prevent using road based solutions effectively

Where did you hear this? I deadhead in vans all the damn time. Spending four hours on the autobahn going from RMS to BRU or AMS is pretty common. If you have a passage from the relevant contract, I'd be interested to see it. They are all available online.

But these van rides (called 'limos' in industry jargon) take time to set up, same with charter flights. It is most likely the case the deadheading crew would not have had the legally required rest time to operate their assignment out of SDF. There's no getting around fact that these deadheads are an inconvenient but necessary part of keeping the planes moving. United cannot afford to cancel a 70 passenger flight (really two flights totalling 140 passengers since cancelling one in many cases means cancelling the next too) over 4 people.

#60 saxman

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 03:18 PM

All this talk about deadheading the crew by different means...it would never ever happen for that long of a drive and nor would United or any other airline charter a plane. The only time a crew might be taxied or limo'd somewhere would be relatively short distances. ORD-MKE, ORD-South Bend. LAX-ONT or Palm Springs. Maybe even San Diego. But even then using a limo/car service is really only a last resort. Since deadheading is a normal daily occurrence putting the crew on a 5 hour bus ride wouldn't even be considered just because one guy isn't giving up his seat. Chartering a plane would be so far outside the realm of possibility too. It'd be like Amtrak chartering someones private rail car to deadhead their staff on.

 

Video has surfaced of the Doctor and the police before the 30 seconds of the famed video everyone else saw. While he's not shouting at the top of his lungs, he does say that he would rather be dragged off the plane and thrown in jail. 


Edited by saxman, 13 April 2017 - 03:20 PM.

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