Cascading Mechanical Problems

December 26, 2010

in Delay/Cancellation Stories

I was on DL 5982, which was slowly delayed in increments, as the airline apparently attempted to wait for weather to worsen to cover for a mechanical failure. Eventually the flight was cancelled, and it took hours to get rebooked and put up in a hotel overnight. The next day, on DL 3957, the plane suffered… another mechanical failure… resulting in a four hour delay (and counting…).

It seems apparent that Delta is weak on proactive maintenance, and tries to use weather to cover for it. I’m caught in the hell of cascading mechanical problems in their planes…

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Adam January 5, 2011 at 4:07 pm

You were just unlucky. This could and does happen to passengers on all airlines. However, it's worth noting you weren't even really on a Delta operated flight! If you were on flights 5xxx and 3xxx, these high flight numbers indicate you were really flying on one of Delta's contracted partner regional airlines such as ASA, Comair, Skywest, etc. The plane might be painted the same as a Delta plane, but in reality, it's a completely separate airline operated by non-Delta employees under contract for Delta Airlines. The only relation to Delta is the logo on their plane, and their contract to operate regional flights on behalf of Delta.


James January 6, 2011 at 11:29 am

What may make any cancellation hellish now is the load factor on most airlines. When 85% of the seats are sold, and a flight is cancelled, it will take six flights to clear that backlog (assuming equal sized planes, no re-routing, etc.)

I had read that some of the cancellations from the recent East Coast winter storm were resulting in a week or more before getting re-booked.

I suspect the next frontier in passenger rights will be some compensation or requirement to get passengers to their destination within a given time of the booking modulo when flights are operating. Whether that means larger planes need to be available, or excess flights, I don't know. But if you were booked during the winter storm, and were stranded in a connecting airport or the like over the holidays, that's a failure of the airline infrastructure.


Leave a Comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post:

Next post: