Court Rules Jet Can Be Impounded.....

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Jan 5, 2015
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I just picture this giant tire clamp on the front wheel of the jet...

It shouldn't take a lawsuit to get money you're owed.
 
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Aug 31, 2015
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Don't turn around . . . .
I've told the story many times when a partner at my old old law firm was owed $1200 by TWA. It was one of those itineraries that if it could go wrong it did - lost bag, stuck in an airport over night - and it was because the airline was not paying attention to obvious issues.

Original flight was from BUR-EWR through STL. We woke up to Santa Ana winds and due to runway length the MD-80 could not carry enough fuel to STL. So they took off for Las Vegas where they could not find a gate, which resulted in them not being able to get fuel, because the airport authoirty did not allow fueling commercial jets on the ramp, so he was 4 hours late into STL and his connecting flight was at the gate he was supposed to arrive at . . . then they lost his bag - the last flight of the day to EWR was full - he missed his hotel room - so he went to small claims where TWA did not show up.

This was 1990 I believe. The complaint was the tort basically of incompetence, He claimed that he was entitled to a basic level of competence and any reasonably competent dispatcher should have known about the weather forecast, the limits of the aircraft and the rules of the various airports. Obviously the guy won when TWA did not even show up.

After 9 months he was done asking nicely for payment. They actually gave us a check that bounced. That was amusing. He recruited me to obtain an execution - we had a guy was flying in late one night call us when he got in - he checked the departures board, found the departure from the Gate he was at at LAX, found it was the 6.30am departure to STL, he grabbed the tail number, typed it in the Writ of Execution and the flight number and gave it to our retained Sheriff who levied the airplane at 530a.

I was there to accept payment and release the lien.

At first they wanted to give us a check. Which I refused because the bad one they had given us- cash only. The LAX station manager was scrambling - going to the other airlines desks trying to bum $1727 in cash to pay off the judgment lien, bad check charges and the Sheriff's fees. They invited us to sit in the Ambassador Club while they drained every single source of corporate cash they had except the liquor account - which was exempted from execution and could not be touched

The flight took off about 90 min late. I have a photo of the writ taped to the aircraft door somewhere . . . .
 
R

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Guest
Original flight was from BUR-EWR through STL. We woke up to Santa Ana winds and due to runway length the MD-80 could not carry enough fuel to STL. So they took off for Las Vegas where they could not find a gate, which resulted in them not being able to get fuel, because the airport authoirty did not allow fueling commercial jets on the ramp, so he was 4 hours late into STL and his connecting flight was at the gate he was supposed to arrive at . . . then they lost his bag - the last flight of the day to EWR was full - he missed his hotel room - so he went to small claims where TWA did not show up.
Great story Joe!

As a flight dispatcher I have to determine maximum take-off gross weights (MTOGW) for every flight. The winds normally have the least impact (except in cases where they are forced to take off with a tail wind and/or obstacle avoidance considerations). The other factors are Temperature (air density), runway conditions (wet/dry/icy) and length, obstacles (climb gradient), and airfield altitude. We are reliant on weather giving us a good forecast to accurately predict 4 of those conditions. It is not common, but does happen, that conditions were not as forecasted, resulting in a lower MTOGW, thus requiring either a last minute removal of weight (cargo/people) or putting in a fuel stop.

I guess the airlines can blame this issue on the weather! ;)
 
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Aug 31, 2015
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Don't turn around . . . .
Great story Joe!

As a flight dispatcher I have to determine maximum take-off gross weights (MTOGW) for every flight. The winds normally have the least impact (except in cases where they are forced to take off with a tail wind and/or obstacle avoidance considerations). The other factors are Temperature (air density), runway conditions (wet/dry/icy) and length, obstacles (climb gradient), and airfield altitude. We are reliant on weather giving us a good forecast to accurately predict 4 of those conditions. It is not common, but does happen, that conditions were not as forecasted, resulting in a lower MTOGW, thus requiring either a last minute removal of weight (cargo/people) or putting in a fuel stop.

I guess the airlines can blame this issue on the weather! ;)
I'm thinking the original departure delay could have been attributed to weather. The 2 hours delay in LAS, the screw up in STL - thats on the airline. How far does weather allow you to take the excuse? Can you use the March 4 storms in to excuse a March 30 cancellation due to crew unavailability?
 
R

Realitoes

Guest
I'm thinking the original departure delay could have been attributed to weather. The 2 hours delay in LAS, the screw up in STL - thats on the airline. How far does weather allow you to take the excuse? Can you use the March 4 storms in to excuse a March 30 cancellation due to crew unavailability?
Luckily, I no longer work in the commercial sector, so don't have to worry about the excuses! :)

Personally, I don't think weather should be an excuse for more than 24 hours after the event (though major weather events may backlog passengers if more equipment/crews/slots can't be added to alleviate the situation).
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
I've told the story many times when a partner at my old old law firm was owed $1200 by TWA. It was one of those itineraries that if it could go wrong it did - lost bag, stuck in an airport over night - and it was because the airline was not paying attention to obvious issues.

Original flight was from BUR-EWR through STL. We woke up to Santa Ana winds and due to runway length the MD-80 could not carry enough fuel to STL. So they took off for Las Vegas where they could not find a gate, which resulted in them not being able to get fuel, because the airport authoirty did not allow fueling commercial jets on the ramp, so he was 4 hours late into STL and his connecting flight was at the gate he was supposed to arrive at . . . then they lost his bag - the last flight of the day to EWR was full - he missed his hotel room - so he went to small claims where TWA did not show up.

This was 1990 I believe. The complaint was the tort basically of incompetence, He claimed that he was entitled to a basic level of competence and any reasonably competent dispatcher should have known about the weather forecast, the limits of the aircraft and the rules of the various airports. Obviously the guy won when TWA did not even show up.

After 9 months he was done asking nicely for payment. They actually gave us a check that bounced. That was amusing. He recruited me to obtain an execution - we had a guy was flying in late one night call us when he got in - he checked the departures board, found the departure from the Gate he was at at LAX, found it was the 6.30am departure to STL, he grabbed the tail number, typed it in the Writ of Execution and the flight number and gave it to our retained Sheriff who levied the airplane at 530a.

I was there to accept payment and release the lien.

At first they wanted to give us a check. Which I refused because the bad one they had given us- cash only. The LAX station manager was scrambling - going to the other airlines desks trying to bum $1727 in cash to pay off the judgment lien, bad check charges and the Sheriff's fees. They invited us to sit in the Ambassador Club while they drained every single source of corporate cash they had except the liquor account - which was exempted from execution and could not be touched

The flight took off about 90 min late. I have a photo of the writ taped to the aircraft door somewhere . . . .
A priceless story, Joe. Thanks for sharing this with us. Boggles the mind to consider running an airline that doesn't have any money, but it probably goes on quite often.