This week Lisa & I were flying from SBN to ATL to tour Delta CORP (a visit I was really, really looking forward to). We were on a very early morning flight that was oversold. We decided to take a bump since there were no less than 3 flight options to get us to where we needed to go on time for our meeting. We picked the 1st option that left only 1 hr later than our direct SBN-ATL flight, and connected via DTW, but got us in only a few hours later than the first flight. Great. But, then what do you think happened next?
We push back and are told there is weather in DTW. We park for 1.25 hrs and wait. We are told the minimum landing visibility is not good enough for us and we can either keep waiting or go back to the gate. The captain is nice enough to ask us all what we want to do. We want to go back to the gate. As it turned out, that flight, that was to leave SBN at 8:AM, did not leave until 3:PM! Now was it all due to weather? No! We found out from the captain that the radio altimeter was broken, not just that, but according to the captian it had been written up as broken the day before and nothing had been done and they continued to allow it to fly knowing the forecast! I was told with a working radio altimeter we could have flown to DTW no problem and this was proven true when other flights all day did come and go from DTW. But we could not!
Was it really the weather? The airport rep said it WAS due to weather since, had it been a nice sunny day, we could have flown without a radio altimeter. But to me that is like saying with a 200 mph tail wind we could fly on half the gas so it is the wind’s fault for not blowing 200 mph! Am I wrong here or what do you think? Good old Pinnacle Air at it’s finest once again (do any of their jets work 100% I don’t think so)! Not only that, but the last bird we were on had another issue that required a bunch of extra “gas” to safely fly (they said they had been delayed all day as they had to call dispatch for each flight)!
We did, at long last, make it to ATL at 11PM sharp almost 14 hrs later than our first flight landed in ATL and I will say the ground staff in SBN and the flight crews were very very kind, helpful and all around top notch in trying to make this all better and get us on any flight with seats! So should we have said no to the bump and let them force two other passengers off the flight since no one else was willing to give up their seats? It sure seems that way, but I guess no one can predict the
radio altimeter weather right! – Rene
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