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randl
07-28-2012, 06:25 AM
Our flight from Bon to Newark was postponed this morning for 9 hours! Instead of leaving at 7:00 a.m., we now depart at about 4:00 p.m. That, fellow BonaireTalk lovers, is the essence of joy. (Although we could squeeze out one more morning dive if it had been postponed 24 hrs. Would that be joy squared?)

Roger

Squirrelfish
07-28-2012, 11:52 AM
Joy squared for sure!...How'd you spend your bonus time there?

ModRoy
07-28-2012, 05:42 PM
Well Ann Phelan just posted on FB that the plane has just landed ... so welcome back to Bonaire Roger :GAC:

PADiver
07-30-2012, 06:47 PM
To complete the posting about the flight from Bonaire to Newark, it was delayed a lot more than 9 hours. As one of the victims of this, I arrived home at 4AM Monday following a 1:30AM touchdown in Newark. The crew on the southbound flight Saturday expired and we were all forced to stay another day, so the flight that should have left at 7AM Saturday July 28 did not leave until 8:40 PM Sunday July 29. It was not the most pleasant of experiences.

randl
07-30-2012, 10:17 PM
PADiver had it right; arrived in Newark in wee hours. Now, I know that things go wrong in travel and, truth be told, we had a great day on Friday and Saturday morning snorkeling and laying around as we seldom do in Bonaire. BUT...I overheard a flight attendant on the 38 hour delayed flight say "it was all because of [her]." Get this. She said she had worked six straight days and was required to "take a day off." She went on to say that she shouldn't have been required to make the inbound trip as any delay would last 24+ hours. So, because of her, lots of Bonaire hotel and meal vouchers, lots of onward travelers with hotel and meal vouchers in EWR and lots grumpy folks (like me) home on Monday with almost no sleep.

What was United thinking? According to our intrepid flight attendant, "they weren't thinking."

randl
07-30-2012, 10:19 PM
ModRoy, I was on the delayed outbound flight. Instead of :GAC:, I'm back at work in Houston looking forward to getting some sleep tonight.

Roger

ModRoy
07-31-2012, 03:57 AM
OOops

Darn it, I'm going to request a refund on that speed reading course I went on last year :o

Hey I was praying there was going to be something wrong with the aircraft when I was leaving Bonaire!! so I could get a few more hours on the Island!!!

Wow a dream come true ;)

Anyway, looking forward to your trip report Roger :cool: when you've caught up on your sleep :D

tschamp
07-31-2012, 01:46 PM
I'm pretty sure that the COCKPIT folks (pilot & co-pilot) are the only ones who expire due to statutory need to sleep for safety's sake.
The cabin attendants can expire all they want, but the flight goes on regardless.
Correct me if I'm wrong on this...

wwguy
07-31-2012, 04:38 PM
Refer to 41 CFR Part 91 (http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=3efaad1b0a259d4e48f1150a34d1aa77&rgn=div5&view=text&node=14:2.0.1.3.10&idno=14), and this recently amended rule (http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/recently_published/media/2120-AJ58-FinalRule.pdf). The gist of it is that flight attendants are essential flightcrew members. A minimum number of FA's are required to operate the plane, based on the number on passengers (per section 533 (http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=3efaad1b0a259d4e48f1150a34d1aa77&rgn=div5&view=text&node=14:2.0.1.3.10&idno=14#14:2.0.1.3.10.6.7.17)) and they must meet "duty periods and rest requirements" criteria (per section 1062 (http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=3efaad1b0a259d4e48f1150a34d1aa77&rgn=div5&view=text&node=14:2.0.1.3.10&idno=14#14:2.0.1.3.10.11.8.35)).

In addition to the daily 10 hour minimum rest period, flightcrew members are also required to have an extended rest period every 7 days. Historically this was a 24 contiguous hour rest period, and was recently extended to 30 hours as cited in the amended rules above. This was likely the situation cited in randl's post above. The delay in BON pushed this FA past the 7 day window for her rest period and the plane couldn't legally fly until she spent the prerequisite time off. It's wasn't her call to make, and she couldn't have deferred the rest even if she wanted too. I suspect she probably felt terrible for the inconvenience caused for everyone.

For anyone interested, there's plenty of other info on this out there on the web. Just Google for "flight crew rest requirements" or similar.

Dee
08-01-2012, 12:48 PM
Just curious, were you notified of the delay before you went to the airport? I have visions of people sitting in the holding area for hours.

PADiver
08-01-2012, 01:04 PM
To answer Dee, no we were not notified at all. Your vision of people sitting in the Flamingo Intl departure lounge for hours was a reality for about 120 of us. In fact, since United has no employees on the island, the airport staff made the pilot (as senior United official there at the time) deliver the bad news to us. I give that fellow credit for bravery in facing all of us!

randl
08-01-2012, 03:35 PM
To expand on PADiver's comments, it happened twice. We were told by email on Friday night that the original departure time of 7:00 a.m. on Saturday morning would be delayed until 4:00 p.m. (That email caused my original exclamation of joy.) The flight landed several hours later than 4:00 p.m., however. United should have known that the flight would not be able to leave on Saturday due to the FA time-out but we were made to wait until the captain delivered the news at about 8:30 p.m. We were then told the flight would depart at 7:00 p.m. Sunday and to return to the airport at 5:00 p.m. to use our existing boarding passes. Of course we imagined the luggage would be loaded on the plane and away we would go at 7:00. Instead, we found out by querying familiar faces in the check-in line that each traveler had to retrieve their luggage from the arrival area, recheck it and receive a new boarding pass after waiting in line again. With everyone back in the outbound waiting area by 6:00 p.m. .... we waited ... and ... waited. Remember, the plane was still sitting there from the day before. The crew arrived at around 8:00 p.m. or so and was greeted with mock cheers. The flight left about an hour after that.

Seemed rather amateurish for United which calls itself the "worlds leading airline."

Dee
08-01-2012, 04:20 PM
Wow, again, I am just curious, how did everyone find a place to spend the night? Our only nitemare air was about 4 or 5 years ago when our flight from Bonaire to Atlanta was delayed, once boarded, we were told we had to overnight in Jamaica, once in Jamaica, we were told due to the Christmas and New Year season the island was full and they split us all up - we ended up in Chicago in flip flops in the snow!! brrrrrrrr. While we were waiting for our flight in the waiting area at the airport in Bonaire my husband talked to one of the airport officials and told them we had a place to stay and we wanted to leave.. we were told then, no you cannot leave, the island is full because of Christmas and New years. LOL.. Merry Christmas.
Glad to see they at least let you leave now if there is a marathon delay.

randl
08-01-2012, 05:47 PM
Dee, your story is even better than ours! But to answer your question, hotel vouchers were distributed in the departure area on Saturday night to those who needed them. Then, in EWR, more hotel vouchers were distributed (at 2:30 a.m) for the interval before the morning flights. Some didn't get the EWR hotel vouchers because of confusion there. And those without hotel vouchers dragged their bags from customs to the re-check bags area at 3:00 a.m. only to find it was closed until 4:00 a.m. The story just keeps getting better (or, I suppose, worse).