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Old Jun 19, 17, 12:03 pm   #1
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In the Information Age, why can't AC equip agents with information?

Like, really.

I'm at the gate, for a YYZ-LGA flight. I already know that our inbound is still on the ground in LGA, and that it isn't due here for several hours. Flightstats, Flightaware, Expertflyer all feeding me the same info.

Yet the GA is scrambling, making phone calls, seeming perplexed, "I can't get any information, and don't know where our inbound is."

I walked up and told her it was still on the ground.

Why can't this airline simply empower people with information? Is that such a bad thing?
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Old Jun 19, 17, 1:04 pm   #2
  
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One would think that at YYZ they should be able to locate another aircraft, not just await the scheduled inbound.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 1:25 pm   #3
  
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TBF, the GA might well be aware that the scheduled A/C is on the ground elsewhere, but is trying to find out if there is another A/C they are going to use.

Finding another A/C (they are big and hang around where you leave them) may be easier than finding another crew.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 1:30 pm   #4
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They upgauged a later arrival to a 763 (pods to NYC!) . I doubt it will get out though.

But the point remains -- there were 4 of with laptops, and we all knew way more than the GA. This is typical of most of these situations. Why can't they arm them with information?
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Old Jun 19, 17, 1:32 pm   #5
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I've seen cases where the airline's own information system for passengers was more up to date than the GA's information. It was rather amusing. Maybe that was why the GA gave me an excellent rebooking (when others were being told no), just to get rid of me rather than being nice because I was an elite.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 1:38 pm   #6
  
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First of all, I don't expect airline front line employees (not only AC employees) to know about tools like EF, flightaware, etc. Many of them are simply not interested in their jobs.

Even if the GA did check EF, I doubt they are allowed to speak to customers about information from third party sources.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 1:45 pm   #7
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@InTheAirGuy

Love your adventures, and on occasion, I am amused by your posts.

That said, I find some GAs know where things are. Some don't, but know where to look, and some have no clue. It's a guess as to who will be at the counter.

For my very delayed AC 153, I already knew the aircraft was late and where it was. I had a quick chat with the GA and she had the same info and we discussed how I expect that the aircraft would also be the one taking me onward to HKG for YVR.

For my most recent 791 to LAX, I knew there would be a delay due to LAX GDP which I saw on the FAA site, and went up to the GA. He had not yet been advised - and the pax at the gate had not yet been told. He asked me how I knew and I showed him. He had never seen the websites many of us use. He thought it was cool.

A guy from LAX was standing nearby and asked how I knew, so I showed him. In a blink, he added all of the apps etc to his phone and off he went to explore the universe. He thanked me twice on the flight. I hope he enjoys his new toys.

So, the flying universe includes AC employees who know more than us, those who may know much less and yes, some who don't really care.


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Originally Posted by RangerNS View Post
....Finding another A/C (they are big and hang around where you leave them) may be easier than finding another crew.
LOL, exactly re the aircraft. And yes, finding crew..even if quite a few are on reserve and not far away.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 1:46 pm   #8
  
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Originally Posted by songsc View Post
Even if the GA did check EF, I doubt they are allowed to speak to customers about information from third party sources.

Well, there it is. AC has more people working on getting an aircraft in and out then just the GA. There is a huge difference in PAX misinforming themselves and jumping to conclusions than AC reps jumping to conclusion and misinforming the PAX.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 1:48 pm   #9
  
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On a couple occasions I have seen good gate agents use EF and flight aware on their phones to stay up to date. I believe AC scheduling is horrible at communicating outside their department.

As as to why AC can't leverage technology? They are technically and culturally clueless and constrained by the outsourcing contract.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 2:10 pm   #10
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheAirGuy View Post
Like, really.

I'm at the gate, for a YYZ-LGA flight. I already know that our inbound is still on the ground in LGA, and that it isn't due here for several hours. Flightstats, Flightaware, Expertflyer all feeding me the same info.

Yet the GA is scrambling, making phone calls, seeming perplexed, "I can't get any information, and don't know where our inbound is."

I walked up and told her it was still on the ground.

Why can't this airline simply empower people with information? Is that such a bad thing?
Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerNS View Post
TBF, the GA might well be aware that the scheduled A/C is on the ground elsewhere, but is trying to find out if there is another A/C they are going to use.

Finding another A/C (they are big and hang around where you leave them) may be easier than finding another crew.
This, what RangerNS said.


Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheAirGuy View Post
They upgauged a later arrival to a 763 (pods to NYC!) . I doubt it will get out though.

But the point remains -- there were 4 of with laptops, and we all knew way more than the GA. This is typical of most of these situations. Why can't they arm them with information?
Airlines operations are much more complex than what your myopic view of them may be. You may think you know all that is going on, but really you're not even aware of just how big the iceberg under the water really is as you're looking at the little tip that is above the water.

There are significant weather delays in the NYC are today as stated on the FAA website which is causing scheduling havoc for many airlines.

The gate agents can only see the information made available to them by STOC. It may very well have been the case that STOC had not decided how to deal with delays in terms of where they will get the equipment from and crew sked needs to be involved to get the right cockpit and cabin crews positioned to operate the flights.

During these types of events it is not uncommon for crews schedules to be changed and updated more than a dozen times in a matter of a few hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerNS View Post
Well, there it is. AC has more people working on getting an aircraft in and out then just the GA. There is a huge difference in PAX misinforming themselves and jumping to conclusions than AC reps jumping to conclusion and misinforming the PAX.
+100

Keep in mind that almost everyone here on FT do not work at the airport - so they automagically know more than all those that do work at the airport!

Last edited by jaysona; Jun 19, 17 at 2:47 pm
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Old Jun 19, 17, 2:23 pm   #11
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Originally Posted by 24left View Post
@InTheAirGuy
A guy from LAX was standing nearby and asked how I knew, so I showed him. In a blink, he added all of the apps etc to his phone and off he went to explore the universe. He thanked me twice on the flight. I hope he enjoys his new toys.

Well, this too. I remain stunned by the number of people in airports who don't have information or tools. A guy just in the lounge here had no clue there were massive storms on the east coast today. And he was flying to the east coast.

Don't you think that is information you would want to know?
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Old Jun 19, 17, 2:30 pm   #12
  
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EWR appears to be the least affected by the WX delays

FAA notices for the four NYC areas airports.

TEB:
Quote:
General Departure Delays: Due to WX:Thunderstorms, traffic is experiencing Gate Hold and Taxi delays between 4 hours and 16 minutes and 4 hours and 30 minutes in length and increasing.
LGA:
Quote:
General Departure Delays: Due to TM Initiatives:SWAP:WX, traffic is experiencing Gate Hold and Taxi delays between 2 hours and 2 hours and 14 minutes in length and decreasing.
JFK:
Quote:
General Departure Delays: Due to TM Initiatives:SWAP:WX, traffic is experiencing Gate Hold and Taxi delays between 3 hours and 1 minute and 3 hours and 15 minutes in length and increasing.
EWR:
Quote:
General Departure Delays: Because a traffic management program is delaying some arriving flights, departing flight schedules may be affected. Check with your airline to determine if your flight is affected.
Quote:
This information was last updated: Jun 19, 2017 at 8:22 PM GMT
So, as you can see AC has their work cut out for them and given the nature of the WX delays, I suspect that the scheduling of equipment and crews is quite fluid at the moment.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 2:35 pm   #13
  
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Originally Posted by InTheAirGuy View Post
Well, this too. I remain stunned by the number of people in airports who don't have information or tools. A guy just in the lounge here had no clue there were massive storms on the east coast today. And he was flying to the east coast.

Don't you think that is information you would want to know?
Perhaps they are infrequent flyers? I remember when I just started flying, I thought "as long as there is no fog, airplanes can fly"
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Old Jun 19, 17, 2:45 pm   #14
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Perhaps they are infrequent flyers? I remember when I just started flying, I thought "as long as there is no fog, airplanes can fly"
The ones who are infrequent fliers are relatively easy to spot - at least at the gate and on my flights.

There are far more who don't really know about some of these sites/apps and when they discover them, they are happy and excited. And yes, there are those who just don't care. They may look at delays as some sort of karma. It is what it is. We'll get there whenever eventually.

I fly to LAX often enough to know about the ATC GDP and I make my arrangements based on the assumption that the arrival time is fluid.

I don't expect that vast majority of fliers - frequent or infrequent - want to busy themselves with EF, FlightAware, Flightradar, or the FAA Misery Map.

But airport screens are on news channels and how hard is it not to want to know the weather for where you are departing from and where you are flying to.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 3:02 pm   #15
  
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They may look at delays as some sort of karma.
LOL at this If everyone thinks like this, we won't get any CBC articles

Quote:
Originally Posted by 24left View Post
I don't expect that vast majority of fliers - frequent or infrequent - want to busy themselves with EF, FlightAware, Flightradar, or the FAA Misery Map.

But airport screens are on news channels and how hard is it not to want to know the weather for where you are departing from and where you are flying to.
Based on my observation, many people are too busy with their work related stuff, or too busy with facebook, snapchat, etc. People like me who listen to ATC feeds and watch Flightradar24 are the rarities.
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