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One more reason to take the train


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#61 XHRTSP

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 03:18 PM

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?

That was the most fustrating thing about flying for United Express. United would cut corner after corner after corner over pennies here and pennies there in their race to the bottom. Corporate took no real interest in customer service, their work force, or their brand. They let go thousands of their people (good union jobs) and replaced them with lowest bidder contractors. In many places the planes are being operated by pilots being paid less than bus drivers and flight attendants who live at home and qualify for food stamps. Dispatchers and schedulers managing these flights are inexperienced and earn next to nothing. Turnover is high. Ground crews are contractors who make minimum wage, same with the baggage handlers. This isn't just small airports like Detroit or Cincy, but hubs like Denver. This is bad enough on good fair weather days when everything is running smoothly, but on you're typical summer thunderstorm day when everything goes to hell, that lack of experienced staff with actually company pride really shows.

#62 Bob Dylan

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 03:27 PM

Looks like our airline pilot members have had different deadhead expierences based on International vs. US Operations.
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..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

#63 XHRTSP

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 03:47 PM

The long ground deadheads in Europe are necessary sometimes as we fly into military or cargo centric airports. There are no commercial flights out of RMS, and limited options out of places like XCR and LEJ.

We do limo around the states sometimes, though usually again in and out of military airfields. SMF-SUU, PHL-WRI are pretty common pairings. Once I had to get from JFK to DOV, so I took LIRR to NYP, then Acela to WIL, then a limo the rest of the way. I did DTW-CVG via rental car once due to it being a last minute thing and there were no direct flights available.

I work in the mostly non scheduled cargo world, so my experiences are going to be different from saxman's.

#64 XHRTSP

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 04:00 PM

To add, I never once limo'ed while working in the pax world. Once I needed to deadhead from MCI to STL to work a rare (for me) Delta Connection flight. Even though it made since to put me on Southwest direct or Amtrak, that would have cost the company money, while using a seat on Delta was free and if I bumped a passenger or two it's not their problem. So I spent all day doing MCI-ATL-STL instead.

#65 railiner

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 12:26 AM

So airlines would never charter a plane to deadhead a crew needed urgently somewhere?   That is interesting.

I can tell an ironic spin on that...

Back in the early '70's, I was dispatching for Continental Trailways bus in Denver.   We had a four bus charter for the Englewood, Co. HS band, on a roundtrip to Portland, Or.   Due to a monumental dispatching error, (not by me!), we had neglected to set up four relief drivers in Ogden, Ut. for the return trip.  When the error was discovered (the lead driver called us), we had to scramble to find a solution.  The Salt Lake City extra board was totally depleted and could not help us.

The driver's could stretch another few hours to reach Rock Springs, Wy.  We chartered a business turbo prop to get four relief driver's from Denver to Rock Springs to relieve the charter, without much of a delay. The alternative would be trying to find hotels to accommodate four busloads of band members, and chaperones along with meal expenses, possible refund of the entire charter charges, and huge public relations nightmare in the local press....


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#66 XHRTSP

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 01:34 AM

There was no point in chartering a flight as it would most likely have taken hours to set up. Same thing with chartering a van. Nevermind that these unscheduled deadheads occur quite often. United cannot afford to have a bunch of Lears sitting alert at their hubs for everytime these types of situations arise.


My cargo airline has a sibling charter airline and we have on rare ocassions moved crew using their jets. These moves were planned well enough in advance. That's been very very rare.

The regional I use to fly for, at one point used a very unorthodox approach to deadheading. Back during the big polar vortex of 2013, when everything ground to a halt, we had crew stranded all over the place and it was a collossal mess. The company pulled a plane from the hanger, and flew it all around the midwest and east coast picking up crew and repositioning them. They essentially chartered their own jet. Once again, this was rare, planned well in advance, and under a most extreme of circumstances.

#67 caravanman

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 08:45 AM

No one actually expects an airline to charted a jet to move crew around, or to cancel 2 plane flights or drive their crews hundreds of miles in a "limo", but nor do we expect to be evicted from our seat because of the airlines naked greed.

 

I would expect that out of a plane seating hundreds of passengers, airlines could "block out" 4 or 5 seats on all flights for crew emergency transfers.

 

Yes, it "costs" to do this, but it also costs to compensate passengers with bribes to vacate those seats.

 

No crew to move? Maybe sell those off at a last minute standby discount.

 

Anyway, back to train land at zero altitude... :)

 

Ed.



#68 XHRTSP

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 09:27 AM

Yes, it "costs" to do this, but it also costs to compensate passengers with bribes to vacate those seats.

The difference in cost between those two courses of action is massive. Any airline that did that (unilaterally, as opposed to federal industry mandate) would go under within a matter of months.

#69 CHamilton

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 09:31 AM

Let Richard Branson kill United Airlines

 

The Reason Foundation is not a friend of Amtrak, to be sure, but this is an interesting viewpoint on airline competition.


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#70 jis

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 09:51 AM

And Richard Branson can barely keep his own airline out of bankruptcy in the more lucrative international market, let alone take on another airline in the crazy US market. He has a reputation bigger than reality in the minds of many. He recently could not come up with the money to save his own brand in the US market.



#71 Bob Dylan

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 10:11 AM

Richard Branson, the Donald Trump of the Transportation Industry?🤔
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..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

#72 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 10:20 AM

Yes, it "costs" to do this, but it also costs to compensate passengers with bribes to vacate those seats.

 
The difference in cost between those two courses of action is massive. Any airline that did that (unilaterally, as opposed to federal industry mandate) would go under within a matter of months.

 
In the US it's far cheaper to casually berate or even beat your customers into submission.  If things get really bad you can simply pay off the tiny handful of plaintiffs that have a viable chance to prevail in court.  So long as every US airline is willing to play the same game there's not much that consumers can do about it on their own.  Our government could do something about it, but anyone who thinks our fearless leader has a problem with people being beat-up for refusing to leave must be living under rock.

InsidePats.jpg

 

And Richard Branson can barely keep his own airline out of bankruptcy in the more lucrative international market, let alone take on another airline in the crazy US market. He has a reputation bigger than reality in the minds of many. He recently could not come up with the money to save his own brand in the US market.


Nearly every private airline has struggled to maintain solvency in the face of new multilaterals, exaggerated emotional fears, mind numbing security theater, fickle passengers, and general transportation market adversity. Not that many airlines (outside the US) seem to struggle with explaining why they had to beat up their own passengers on a random Sunday.

 

Richard Branson, the Donald Trump of the Transportation Industry?


Doesn't sound like they have much in common other than being (in)famous businessmen...
 

Some years ago, Mr Trump invited me to lunch for a one-to-one meeting at his apartment in Manhattan. We had not met before and I accepted. Even before the starters arrived he began telling me about how he had asked a number of people for help after his latest bankruptcy and how five of them were unwilling to help. He told me he was going to spend the rest of his life destroying these five people...I was baffled why he had invited me to lunch solely to tell me this. For a moment, I even wondered if he was going to ask me for financial help. If he had, I would have become the sixth person on his list!


Link: https://www.virgin.c...ng-donald-trump

Edited by Devil's Advocate, 14 April 2017 - 10:40 AM.

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


#73 B757Guy

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 11:22 AM

To add, I never once limo'ed while working in the pax world. Once I needed to deadhead from MCI to STL to work a rare (for me) Delta Connection flight. Even though it made since to put me on Southwest direct or Amtrak, that would have cost the company money, while using a seat on Delta was free and if I bumped a passenger or two it's not their problem. So I spent all day doing MCI-ATL-STL instead.

You get limos!!?? Man, I'm lucky the crew van shows up half the time! :)


I'm an airline pilot with a major US based carrier, and avid lover of trains since the very early days of Amtrak. I fondly recall GG1's zipping along the NEC, and sleeping in a slumbercoach on the Montrealer as a kid. I miss the old heritage cars, the GG1 and the original Budd Metroliners. The new equipment today simply doesn't have the same personality and elegance...


#74 XHRTSP

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 11:53 AM

You get limos!!?? Man, I'm lucky the crew van shows up half the time! :)

The company that shuttles us between SUU and SMF/SFO/OAK/SJC has an actual stretch limo in their fleet, which we get every now and then. The bar is always conspicuously un stocked though. :-(

#75 B757Guy

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 05:33 PM

 

You get limos!!?? Man, I'm lucky the crew van shows up half the time! :)

The company that shuttles us between SUU and SMF/SFO/OAK/SJC has an actual stretch limo in their fleet, which we get every now and then. The bar is always conspicuously un stocked though. :-(

 

LOL, probably a good thing!


I'm an airline pilot with a major US based carrier, and avid lover of trains since the very early days of Amtrak. I fondly recall GG1's zipping along the NEC, and sleeping in a slumbercoach on the Montrealer as a kid. I miss the old heritage cars, the GG1 and the original Budd Metroliners. The new equipment today simply doesn't have the same personality and elegance...


#76 railiner

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 12:45 PM

There was no point in chartering a flight as it would most likely have taken hours to set up..

Not in our case...we set it up in about an hour or so, and the flight only took a little over an hour in a Beech King Air...the relief driver's were there in about the same time it took the buses to get from Ogden to Rock Springs... :)


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#77 XHRTSP

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 04:52 AM

Glad you made it work, but in today's day and age you may not have been so lucky. The NetJets responce time for example is 4-10 hours.




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