With these severe situations, we have to think about what goes on with not only the people on the ground, but the people in the air. I often laugh at people who complain about snow delays. Mostly because I ask them how did they get to the airport, did they go fast or slow....majority of the times, they say that they left earlier than they would have and drove slow, watching people slide into the median or elsewhere, so I ask them how do they expect aviation to go faster when it's snowing...same thing applies, the airport has to clear the snow, the airlines have to de-ice the planes and because of the antiquated Air Traffic Control, planes have to be separated a bit more so they don't run on top of each other in case there is a mishap.
So what about when a Hurricane happens? This past week we had Irene come through. Sure, it's upsetting when your travel plans are disrupted due to delays and/or cancellations. You can't fly to your destination to board your cruise ship, or even get the chance to get there due to everything closing.
Thousands of flights were canceled and Amtrak adjusted its service to avoid the area. Airports all along the East Coast closed as the hurricane passed into each area, with thousands of national and international flights affected.
Most carriers canceled flights in advance of Irene so equipment would not be stranded, and planned post-hurricane schedules to recover as quickly as possible. Carriers like United, which uses Chicago as a hub, announced a travel waiver to let customers make changes to ticketed itineraries without incurring fees.
Airlines declined to say how many passengers were affected by the hurricane, but the numbers likely reached into the millions because so many flights, both domestic and international, make connections through major East Coast hub airports. Even passengers not flying anywhere near the East coast could be delayed for days as airlines work to get planes and crews back into position.
Here is a time-line of one Union who did an awesome job of keeping it's members informed of the path of Irene, and possible delays, cancellations, and what their members need to do in order to be paid.
Well folks, for those of us living in the NorthEast, it looks like we might have our first Hurricane since the early 1900's.
As of 5 p.m. Wednesday:
• Strength: Category 3 hurricane, with sustained winds of 120 mph.
• Path: Irene is moving northwest at 12 mph.
• N.J. Impact: The center of the hurricane is expected to move slightly east of New Jersey around 2 p.m. Sunday.
WX Call 1447hrs EST
***THESE PLANS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE***This call was strictly about the operations in PHL/JFK/BDL/LGA/EWR
***NYC will be shutting down all public transportation effective 1200 ET/27AUG.******A mandatory evacuations has been ordered for low levels of Manhattan.***
BDL/PHL-Will have no terminating aircraft tomorrow night, no operations on Sunday, planning on resuming with arrival flights on Monday.
EWR/LGA/JFK-Will cancel all flights arriving/departing after 1200ET 27AUG, as well as all flights on Sunday, and planning to start operating with arrivals flights on Monday. JFK’s last flight will cancel after 1000ET/27AUG.
There are concerns with crews, airport employees and TSA arriving to work via public transportation as well as our commuters.Crew schedule is monitoring this very closely.
1416hrs EST“The city's transit system will be coming to a halt Saturday as the city prepares for the arrival of Hurricane Irene.Governor Andrew Cuomo says the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will institute a system-wide shut down when trains and buses begin their final runs around 12 p.m. Saturday.It includes all subway lines, buses, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, and Access-A-Ride services”
HURRICANE IRENE RECAPWX Call 1954hrs
Information is subject to change depending on Hurricane Irene's pathLGA – last departure will be at 09:50 on the 27th. First departure will be at 09:50 on the 28thJFK – last departure will be at 09:55 on the 27th. First departure will be at 09:00 on the 29th.
EWR InformationCourtesy of NY & NY Port Authority Websiteconcessions; Termianl A Tony Roma's and Terminal B Subway Sandwiches will be open 24hrs with 3 days food supply.NJ Transit; will suspend train at 12 noon tomorrow. Bus service will be suspended at 6 pm.PATH; service will be suspended at 12 noon Saturday.Amtrak; last train schedule into rail link into NY at 1822hrs.Airtrain to Rail link will be suspended after 1900hrs. All airtrain service will be suspended at 2300hrs.
Sometimes the airlines schedulers will try to violate the contract they have in order to maintain some sort of service...or make sure they have enough flight attendants on hand.
Last 5 Days of the Month Pay Protection
9am SoC Operations call regarding tri-state operationsAll,Here is a recap of this mornings SOC conference call:HURRICANE IRENE:CLT/RDU/RIC/BWI/IAD/DCA are all open and operating arrivals and departures.ORF airport only has partial electricity, some minor flooding, plans are currently to operate F682 DFW-RIC.JFK/LGA/EWR/BOS/BDL/PHL are all closed. SOC is awaiting information to see what will be decided with public ground transportation to determine when they can successfully start operations.PHL airport has reported good conditions.JFK has reported no structural damage and LGA has reported just a few manageable leaks as of 0900CT.JFK has several long haul arrival flights that will be decided later to determine if they will operate or possibly land in Chicago.
The M60 and Q33 buses to LGA began operations late this afternoon. While many other modes of transportation are still suspended, please allow extra time for travel to the airport.
So you can see that even though passengers are stranded, so are the crew-members. It takes a lot to maintain the other side of the coin as well.