Would you care to hold that plane?

Holding a plane for a passenger is an iconic customer service gesture.

In a different era of commercial aviation, before on-time arrivals became so important that aircraft doors closed 15 minutes before departure, planes were almost routinely kept at the gate for passengers who were trying to make a connection or who were just late.

Which made the story of Kerry Drake, a grief-stricken United Airlines passenger who was trying to catch a flight from San Francisco to Lubbock, Tex., so that he could say goodbye to his dying mother, so remarkable — and heartwarming.

A kind flight attendant named Sofia supplied Drake with a seemingly endless supply of napkins to dry his tears during the flight. And when it looked as though he might miss his connection in Houston, the pilot of that flight arranged for the aircraft to be held long enough for him to sprint to his gate.

“Had I missed my flight to Lubbock, I would not have been able to tell my mom goodbye,” Drake told me. “When she died, I realized that I was wiping away my tears with the extra United napkins that Sofia had given me the day before.”

When I reported this story recently on my consumer advocacy site, I expected readers to say, “Finally!” At last, an airline like United is doing something good for its customers instead of adding another fee or throwing the rule book in their faces. Instead, it triggered an interesting debate about the current state of air travel that suggests that keeping a plane at the gate for one passenger may not necessarily be the best way to gauge an airline’s commitment to customer service.

Some passengers loved the “hold the plane” tale, of course.

“Finally, a story about airlines and staff that have heart,” said Brenda Rivera, a fitness instructor from Round Rock, Tex. “I know it’s a hard business to be in and I know so many negative things are said, but it’s nice to know that this story shows that there are people behind the big-name airlines who care. Way to go, United.”

But that’s not all that people had to say. Though many appreciated the airline’s efforts to help a passenger in need, they pointed out that hundreds of other passengers on the flight from Houston to Lubbock were affected by the delay. What about them?

“There’s a ripple effect from an action like this, and it’s undeniable that many people were adversely affected by it, beyond just the passengers on the plane,” another traveler noted. “Perhaps even someone else with a similar circumstance who didn’t wear his emotions on his sleeve and therefore wasn’t catered to.”

To get an idea of how rare a “hold the plane” story is, consider what happened to a client of San Francisco-based travel agent Janice Hough who recently tried to catch a last-minute overnight flight on United. Because the client was a Global Services-level member of United’s MileagePlus frequent-flier program, the airline had every reason to hold the aircraft for him. In fact, one of the unspoken benefits of this elite level is that the airline will hold a plane for you under certain conditions.

“The first agent he talked with told him that there was space” on the flight, Hough remembers, urging him to “run” to the gate. “But when he got to the gate, the door was closed and despite empty seats, the agent there told him that he couldn’t board, although the plane didn’t leave for another 15 minutes.”

I asked United about its policy of holding aircraft, and a representative said that it has recently been revised to allow gate agents to selectively allow passengers to board even after the doors have officially been closed. To be clear, the pressure for an on-time departure is still there, but agents will now be “empowered” to bend a rule when appropriate.

Holding a plane for the right passenger can be a public relations coup for an airline. Consider what happened when Southwest Airlines held a flight from Los Angeles to Tucson in 2011, which I also reported on my site. Passenger Mark Dickinson needed to say a final goodbye to his 2½-year-old grandson, who was about to be taken off life support. Hearing of his plight, the Southwest pilot held the plane for 12 minutes.

“They can’t go anywhere without me, and I wasn’t going anywhere without you,” the pilot told Dickinson when he reached the gate.

Keeping a plane at the gate may be the ultimate way to say, “We care.” It requires that an employee ignore years of training and be willing to face real consequences on an upcoming performance review. The message is unmistakable: You’re important to us. Really important. Whether you’re on vacation or flying home to see a dying relative, you’re special. And we’re in the business of transporting people, after all.

“Passengers ask us to hold the plane all the time,” says Heather Poole, a flight attendant for a major airline. Almost as often, the request is denied, unless a significant number of passengers need to connect with the same flight. “On-time departures are way too important,” Poole adds.

Personally, I’d love to report a few more planes-being-held stories.

They suggest that airline employees truly understand that their customers are more than dollars to the bottom line — they’re passengers.

But something tells me that these stories will remain exceedingly rare, which means that maybe travelers should find another way of determining whether their airline really loves them.

Should airlines hold their planes for passengers?

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at chris@elliott.org. Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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  • jim6555

    Chris, this is a poorly stated question. You need to define what an “important passenger” is. Yes, I would favor holding a plane for someone who is going to be at the deathbed of a close relative. No, I would not favor holding a plane just because someone who holds the airline’s highest frequent flyer status wants to be on the flight.

  • Carver Clark Farrow


  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    Fair point. I changed the poll question to clarify.

  • shannonfla

    My Delta flight into Atlanta was delayed and I ran to catch my connecting flight which was supposed to have left by the time I arrived at the gate.. About a dozen passengers who didn’t get to board (lots of weather delays) were gathered and one man was leading the charge asking gate agent to open the door to let us on, reasoning that it was easier than rebooking us all, especially since we probably wouldn’t be the only ones. Gate agent said he needed manager so we said, “Get one!” Finally they let us on the flight.

  • http://www.deltapoints.com/ DeltaPoints.com

    I was on a Delta flight a few weeks back that had an organ we were waiting for. We were delayed for almost an hour but if that was AOK with me as if it was someone I loved waiting for the “part” I would want the plane to wait!

  • Alan Gore

    In this case, like some of those cited above, there is a very basic lack of communication going on. When a delay like this occurs, why are personnel handling the delayed flight not telling the departing connection staff that a bunch of delayed passengers is on the run to them?

  • BillCCC

    We needed a third choice “It Depends”. As a passenger I wouldn’t mind waiting for a grieving relative, someone making a connection or some other valid delay. I would be annoyed holding the plane for someone who just cannot organize themselves or basing a delay on a passengers status.

  • JH

    It is hard to make absolute conclusions but the human tragedy stories are compelling. I have always found it hard to understand when an airline has several folks on a given flight connecting on another flight at one of their hubs and they still do not hold the aircraft. I have experienced cases where there were 6 or more folks arriving late on a carrier’s late inbound flight and we all rushed to the connecting flight, find the door closed, and are refused boarding. Even thought it is the same carrier and they knew full well where we were and when we would arrive.
    That results in extra costs for everyone involved, sets the gate agents up for verbal abuse, and leaves a terrible impression.

  • backprop

    In principle I’m OK with it, but in practice this type of thing can lead to ‘delay creep.’

    Now, the last-minute boarders getting a coffee at Starbucks know they have to get onto the plane before the door closes. If you start feeding the impression that the airline will bend the rules, they’ll wait even longer.

    I say the plane needs to close the door and be done with it, except in the most extraordinary of circumstances, or a barely-made-it connecting flight bringing dozens of passengers.

  • Jeanne @ HeelsFirst

    I’m a top elite on my airline, and they’ve never held my flight, even when I was only misconnecting by 3 minutes EXCEPT when a delay caused me to almost miss the last flight out of another country for the day. They held that for about five minutes and had someone meet me to help me to my gate. I think this is a good policy, since it wasn’t easy to rebook me. But in every other case, they should never hold a flight for me. In fact, I would be embarrassed if they did.

    I know other elites don’t feel the same way, but I’ve at least never seen them treated differently. Keri experienced an elite pulling the “Do you know who I am card?” who (thankfully) didn’t get her way. ( http://www.heelsfirsttravel.com/2013/05/19/why-are-some-flights-held-for-late-connections-and-not-others/ )

    I’ve been on a flight that was held because dozens of people booked on my flight were all on the same flight that misconnected, and I think this is okay too.

  • MarkKelling

    I have never had an airline hold a flight for me regardless of the reason I was late or my status level. But I have been on many flights with UA and Southwest where the flight was held for up to an hour after we were all on board to allow connecting passengers and their luggage to make the flights.

    There is so much more involved in delaying a flight than just the customers trying to get on that flight. You have to think about the work hours of the pilots and flight attendants. They are only allowed so many hours per day and they cannot go onward if the flight they will be on runs past their limit (delays while in flight cannot be predicted and there must be allowances for that in the rules). So holding a flight, especially later in the day, can mean the flight just gets cancelled. In the days when the airlines had extra flight crews stationed at most of the airports they fly to, this was not so much of an issue. Today, with the airlines having the absolute minimal staffing required for their daily operations, there simply are no extra crews anywhere except their hubs. Also, with the tight scheduling the airlines use to maximize the utilization of their planes, there just aren’t any extra minutes in most flights to allow them to make up time in the air.

    In the case of the Lubbock flight, this is probably the end of the route for all of the passengers on that plane unless they are driving beyond. UA doesn’t do connections very often through a small airport like that. Of course the plane was probably moving on somewhere else that day, unless it was a very late night arrival, and those passengers were slightly inconvenienced by the delay. I’m sure UA did a serious analysis of everyone impacted (passengers and crew) and decided that the overall impact of the delay was small enough to allow it.

    On the Southwest flight, I’m sure the pilot got permission from someone to wait. Also, a 12 minute delay is not really a delay. They were still probably loading luggage. Most flights I am on in recent memory were at least that late in departing the gate anyway.

    At least the impression that the airlines are doing something “good” by holding flights is better than the impression of them doing something “bad” by slamming the door in your face when you are a couple minutes late due to your connection on the same airline being late arriving.

  • $16635417

    I’ve been on several held flights and when there are no other serious repercussions, I would not object. I guess I would want to ask if a held flights should cause others to miss connections resulting in overnight accommodations and/or meals, who should be responsible for those costs?

  • BobChi

    I think it makes a big difference whether it’s the last plane of the night to an airport where it will park or if it is going to have make several other runs. In the first case, they can and should be a little more flexible; in the other case one delayed flight can have a multiplier effect – what if you hold a plane extra minutes for a few passengers, then many more miss their next connection? Or the plane loses its departure slot at a busy airport? Or its landing slot at the next one? I also have to acknowledge the comment about “delay creep”. If word gets out that the airlines are flexible about it, then lots of people simply won’t try as hard to get to the gate when they need to. That’s human nature. I’ve run through concourses to get to gates just before the door is closed; if I knew they’d wait on me, I’d walk. I’m not voting, because “sometimes” seems too lenient – I would support “occasionally.”

  • CarolinaLannes

    I’ve had an Air France flight held for about 15 people who were coming in a late connection. A really late connection. The plane got held for 3 hours. Afterwards, it wouldn’t start, and we got another hour of delay.

    I lost my connection to the only flight into my destination for the next 3 days because of 15 minutes. They wouldn`t hold it that long.

    Therefore, because of 15 people and a late connection, I was stranded (granted, in Paris) for 3 days.

    Of course airlines should try and be flexible. A 15 minutes delay might not be such a big deal. But a longer delay is.

  • Cam

    I voted yes but on the previso that it needs to be really exceptional circumstances.

  • http://upgrd.com/roadmoretraveled MeanMeosh

    I once had an airline in India hold a flight I was on to Delhi for about 25 minutes because a plane with about 20 or so connecting passengers was late. I had an international connection back to the U.S., and for those of you not familiar with the way things used to be at DEL, ATC congestion there often meant circling the airport for a while, especially if you missed your original landing slot. Sure enough, we ended up having to circle for a good 20 minutes or so. A 45 minute delay might not sound like much, but at the old airport in DEL, international connections required reclaiming bags, a bus transfer offered only every 20 minutes, rechecking bags, and then going through security and immigration with unpredictable lines. Lucky for me on that day, the immigration and security lines weren’t that bad and I made it with no problem, but it could have been disaster.

    The point of the story is, holding a flight isn’t as simple as it might sound. Would I have minded making an exception for this man if I were on that flight from Houston to Lubbock? Of course not – there are no connections from Lubbock, so getting home a few minutes late wouldn’t have bothered me to let him get to his mother on time. But, I don’t think holding a flight every time is necessarily the right answer, either; it should be balanced by other factors, such as connections or the possibility of the crew going illegal. Plus, if the “we’ll hold the flight” policy starts getting publicized, I just have to wonder if we’ll see an explosion in “sick or dying relatives” of passengers that are just running late to the airport for one reason or another.

  • http://www.natja.org/user/332 Andrew Der

    Excellent article

  • Miami510

    I voted “yes,” but it’s a difficult question as others have noted.

    RHIP (Rank hath its privilege) as we use to say in the army. Some years
    ago my flight was delayed with no explanation. 40 minutes later a police escort led a car to the runway stairs and the governor of a state and the accompanying policeman escort entered the plane and we then took off.

    Due to the late arrival of my flight I had to run to the boarding area of my connecting flight. I was ten minutes early, but was told “we just closed out the flight.” My pointing out that the plane was sitting there made no difference. Twenty minutes
    later the flight took off without me. I asked for the senior person on duty and told them my story together with a request for the name of the person who made the decision not to open the door. At first I was told that information would violate the employee’s right to privacy.

    When I threatened to complain higher and pointed out that the only name
    I had was the senior person, he was very solicitous, got me a reservation on
    another airline (something unheard of these days) and asked me if 100,000 miles
    credit would dissuade me from making a report. I took the miles.

    Publicizing rules for holding a flight creates other problems… notably liars, cognizant of the rules, will make up stories to their advantage. I guess the best advice is to run for a prestigious public office (sic).

  • mizmoose

    I am disabled and not any kind of special member or level or anything. I was taking Southwest with a plane change somewhere.
    The first flight left a little late. When we got in, the gate people
    told me that they were holding the second flight for me. The poor guy
    pushing the wheelchair really had me going as fast as he could! When we got to the second gate the plane was ready to go, with a place for me in the very first row (as they had no way of knowing whether I could get further back on my own). It was unexpected and very nice. They told me they were five minutes late leaving.

  • Bill___A

    I still feel it is a poorly stated question. If the flight is the last flight of the day for somewhere, then I’d say yes, hold it. However, if holding that plan means that a bunch of other people will miss their connections (including, possibly, some others who need to make a connection to see a dying loved one), then I would say no.

    There are well over 300 million people in the United States, and if we were to realize how many of them are flying on any given day for an issue like that, ,the whole transportation system would fall apart. I’m not trying to be heartless, just realistic.
    I remember sitting on a plane in Salt Lake City for almost 3 hours. That’s right, three hours. Waiting for people to connect from other flights. They wouldn’t even let us get off the plane, we were at the gate. That was 20 some years ago. Do you think I ever flew that airline again? I know in those situations, there are lots of people saying “I’ll never fly that airline again”…but I really didn’t.
    Some common sense needs to be applied here. It is a heartwarming story and I don’t mind giving up some time for a valid reason. However, where to we draw the line? Dying mother? Sick pet? Kid playing a soccer game? And yes, I did see someone pay an extra $1800 for a ticket so they could watch their four year old play soccer before they left on a trip. It wasn’t the last one of the season, either. Everyone has their own perspective.

  • Bill___A

    I agree with you, I’d be embarrassed too.

  • JenniferFinger

    It really just depends. It’s a kindness to hold the plane, but holding the plane for one passenger can delay another passenger in a similar situation from making a crucial connection that could cause them to miss the passing of a loved one or some other important event. It’s not always a matter of how much the airline values them as customers.

  • TonyA_says

    I am really baffled at this poll.
    Why are airlines put in such scrutiny? Why a higher standard compared to buses or commuter trains?
    Can I hold the last Metro-North train from Grand Central to wait for me because my loved one is dying?

  • TonyA_says

    Agree. There is no way of knowing what others in the airplane are going through and why they want to arrive early or on time in their destination.

  • TonyA_says

    Great story :)

  • TonyA_says

    Chris, I have been reading your blog for a while. There is something that bothers me that I do not understand. Perhaps you can give me an answer or explanation. Here it is –

    Airlines are just another mode of public transportation. That is why they are under the purview of the Department of Transportation. My understanding of public transportation is that similarly situated passengers are to be treated the same. But for some reason, the concept of “elitism” has crept into airlines. Why so? Isn’t the fare paid supposed to be the only factor? Why should an airline keep the plane waiting for an elite passenger and not for an “ordinary” passenger who paid the same fare?

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    Airlines are not just another form of public transportation, at least according to the federal government, thanks to federal preemption. But, as you point out, it’s the only real place in the modern travel industry where the values of of 19th century are alive and well. The way some see it, the rich live in a secluded place in the front of the bus — the rest get to feed the rats in steerage.

  • TonyA_says

    I think you forgot the wannabees. People touting their elite airline status as if they are worthwhile achievements.

  • flutiefan

    THANK YOU!!!!! i try to apply these to other modes of transportation all the time, and all people can focus on is “the airlines” (as if we are all one giant conglomerate, not individual companies).

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    Yes, of course!

  • BillCCC

    I would have to disagree. There are first class coaches on trains. You can buy as luxurious or as spartan a cabin as you want on a ship and. You can pay to board a bus early. If you have the money you can rent a limo instead of paying for a cab. Frequent car renters can go to the front of the line or skip the agent altogether.

    In almost every case you receive the amenities that with either purchasing a more expensive fare or frequenting a certain company.

  • Carchar

    My NJ Transit train from Secaucus into Rockland County, NY just waited 15 minutes for a late arriving train from NYC. It was late-ish, but not the last train of the day. I certainly didn’t mind. It meant people didn’t have to wait another hour to get home.

  • TonyA_says

    Which one of these are common carriers? I guess the train, right?
    Ok, almost every other working person where I live are frequent riders on Metro North (or for that matter the NY MTA subway and bus system). I am not sure what an MTA elite is? Can we hold the subway to wait for us?

  • Carchar

    I had the opposite problem. Upon returning on a late plane from Panama to connect to my Newark flight in Houston, our run through customs was expedited and we were told that our plane was being held for us. I managed to hop on a cart with a few others, but some took off running. Upon arrival at the connecting gate, we were told that the plane had departed over 10 minutes before and that they had not held the plane. I thought one man was going to have a heart attack…..not from anger, but from not being able to catch his breath after sprinting the long concourse to the gate.

  • TonyA_says

    Maybe if airlines do not sell flights connecting too closely it would help prevent these kinds of problems. But if you look at the flights (like married segments) often pushed nowadays, you need to be a sprinter.

  • Jane

    I voted Yes, especially when “hold a flight” really means to close those doors only 5 minutes before the departure time instead of 15 minutes. It’s something compassionate that the airline can do to make us all feel less like self-loading cargo.

  • Regina Litman

    Where’s this “consumer advocacy” site? I go to elliott.org every day, but is there something I’m missing? Or is elliott.org the “consumer advocacy” site, but this particular column also appeared elsewhere?

  • backprop
  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    The content on that site is moving over to this site soon, and getting an update. I have several outdated listings that really need to get fixed.

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    They don’t do it the way airlines do. On a train, you get at least a passable amount of legroom. On a ship, you get a bed. On a plane, you’re lucky if you get a seat. (OK, I’m exaggerating.)

  • MarkKelling

    Not exaggerating by much on the seats. Ryan air wants to remove the seats and install slanted plywood with seat belts to hold you in place while you lean against the panel.

    Edit: here is one reference to the plan: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-1291131/Ryanair-launch-vertical-seating-Standing-room-tickets-4.html

  • bodega3

    When I flew from PHL to SFO ahead of hurricane Irene, I had to connect thru LAX. There were 14 of us connecting and they held the flight for us. It was the last flight of day which made it easier that had this been a midday flight that had to continue on after arriving in SFO. With cut back on flights, tight connections, holding a flight for one person can mean many others missing their connecting flight. I can see why it isn’t done like it use to be.

  • BMG4ME

    I’d also like to see them do that for passengers making connections that are affected by delays, especially when the delays are the fault of the airline.

    Recently I had to change in Atlanta, with Delta. The official reason given was weather although President Obama was flying into Atlanta at the same time as the delay although I am sure that had nothing to do with the delay :-)

    Anyway, as a result a three hour connection turned into a 15 minute connection. I got to the gate with 5 minutes to spare (I was actually quite proud of myself for that) and saw that the door to the bridge was closed, but it was still connected to the plane. I went to a nearby agent who was very proud to tell me that I could get the 8am flight the next day. I told her I needed to be there by 8am and pointed out the plane hadn’t actually closed its doors yet. So she went across and opened the door to the bridge, told me to wait a minute, and went and asked if I could get on the plane. I was allowed to do so. I don’t feel bad because the plane stayed where it was for another 10 minutes, not because of me! It’s possible that had I waited, someone might have let me on anyway, nevertheless I could not have been sure this would happen and I was very pleased that this Delta agent went out of her way to help me rather than just giving up – after all I hadn’t given up, why should she!

  • Guest

    Surely, did I not read this same story earlier on this site. I seem to have a vague recollection of doing so – (of course I may be mistaken)

  • AUSSIEtraveller

    no never ever !!!
    Too many ripple effects.
    Crew might go over time & then it might take hours to find another crew.
    People on flight, may miss their following connections due to a flight being held.

  • AUSSIEtraveller

    no such thing as an importnat passenger.
    Passenger are all the same (except maybe lawyers – who cares if they miss the flight)

  • jpp42

    Keep in mind that even small delays could lead to problems with hours-of-service regulations for the aircraft crew. They do measure every single minute, and even waiting for 5-10 minutes could cause problems with a later flight being performed by that crew, especially on days when everything is already running behind and the working hours are being pushed to the limit. If waiting for 5-6 passengers causes a later flight of up to 150 to be cancelled due to regulations, it’s not worth it. Of course, that situation certainly doesn’t apply all the time, but it’s the type of decision the gate agents and crew have to grabble with.

  • Andrew F

    There should be some “slack” built into the air schedule, where a plane could make up for the wait and arrive on time. That would mean a little more fuel on board, and hence a bit more expensive tickets. In return, that will let the airlines appear human and wait for “important” passengers.

  • Joe

    Too bad for the poor passengers who were connecting to RDU at JFK, from CDG on AA 45 last Friday (8 June). After a late start, the flight actually arrived on time. Unfortunately, the ground crew didn’t see fit to start to offload the bags until more than an hour after arrival at the gate.

    There was a oneWorld agent pushing hard to move things along over her radio, but it was to no avail. Should AA have held the JFK-RDU flight because of their own internal problems?

  • Judy Serie Nagy

    Empowering the gate people is the right way to handle these situations. And if you can’t get on the plane, you should be treated with respect and apologies. I once trotted the length of EWR as a Continental gold person, to be told that the plane had left 5 minutes ago. “We knew you were coming” she said. How about “The plane had to leave, many connections in SFO, I’m so sorry, let me help you rebook”? Of course my theory is worthless unless there’s some communication so the gate people can make the right decision. That happens so seldom and I cannot figure out why.

  • Lindabator

    As someone who worked for the airline, that IS a major consideration – and only one of many that are considered – especially when they are being held from departure (can easily “Hold” the flight then)

  • commentfromme

    On Northwest a few years ago, I was traveling with my husband and son from Duluth to the Carolinas. Our connecting flight into MPLS with the same airline, was very delayed due to mechanical. The 3 of us sprinted across the airport to our boarding gate. My son arrived first…he was the fastest and they boarded him. I came next and and advised the gate attendent that my husband was running a football field behind me…he was a little older and slower. The attendent shut the door and would not wait on my husband, and so I too stayed behind, while flying my son home without us. It was a most awful scenario of poor and horrific customer service. They taught me a solid lesson. It was an ugly scene.

  • Guy

    As an airline manager, we are under intense scrutiny for on-time numbers – we are legally held by the DOT that these departure and arrival times are correct – and some of our business sales contracts are based on hitting on time flight times. We generally depart on-time (as much as possible) to avoid making the other 200 people on the plane late – they have meetings, families, and reasons to be on-time, and we rebook late passengers. But yes, we generally don’t hold planes for elites or late passengers.

    We have, on occasion, pulled a plane into extra service if a group will be missing its connecting flight. That said, we do give our agents and flight crews to make case by case decisions on holding the plane, and we don’t penalize them when they do.

  • TonyA_says

    Thanks for coming here. We would like to hear more from real people who work for airlines.
    Nice to know what a dispatcher would say about this.

  • Name

    Twice this spring United has held a plane for a coonecting group. In one case they waited an hour, in a second instance 25 minutes. The first group was 41 people (domestic) and the second 27 (international return). In a third situation, they would have held the plane for an hour, but a weather delay forced a rerouting. I’ve been a tour operator for 33 years and never had this happen even once. So for it to happen twice (and could have happened a third time) in a short window tells me there has been a change in policy. It may not be a written change, but employees (pilots?) have been empowered to do the right thing. I should mention both of the held planes were on their last trip of the day, so holding the flights did not make the return flight late. Certainly that may have been a factor in the United decisions.

  • Linda Gordon

    I will no longer fly on United with connections in Denver. The last two times I was flying home my flights were delayed, one for weather and one for mechanical issues. United knew that the flights were delayed but refused to hold any flights for any passengers. The Flight Attendants were not helpful and lied to everyone about making their connections. Both times I originally had at least 1 and 1/2 hours between flights and missed both by mere minutes. The customer service desk reps were not very helpful. The second time i was able to change to Alaska since the next United flight was totally full. When i got to the Alaska desk they were so nice to me I started to cry.

  • kwbts124

    It’s nice to know that United has a set of “rules” from which to deviate. But I’m really glad to hear that they’ve hired “people” that know when to bend (and hopefully, when not to). Rules are not rules when people forget that rules were established for the masses not for the individual. It is the individual that must step back and analyze the situation – a rule cannot.

  • http://hubair.be/courses-prices/type-rating-course.html paul bezzina

    Interesting story

  • Theresa

    Holding a flight 5, 10…even 20 minutes..fine, but yes if i causes others great amounts of strain or loss…then no. Life happens and things are scheduled for a reason…5-20 min can often be made up in the air…but sometimes it goes to far like for me last night. Southwest held my flight for an HOUR AND 10 minutes as a courtesy for 2 passengers that needed to connect!! A courtesy for who?! The rest of us had to wait?! Help me understand how that is “customer service??”

  • Theresa

    Obviously you are not a manager for Southwest. I have flown on them (unfortunately- and against my will) 3x in the past 5 months. Each time my flight was delayed and it was for them HOLDING planes for connecting passengers….in fact last night they held it for over an hour for 2 people. Stupid.