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View Full Version : Gate refusing a jumpseat for W&B?


Taco280AI
08-17-2018, 04:54 PM
Just wondering if this could be legit or just gate agents not wanting to do any work.

Was trying to get home, full flight, open cockpit JS. Gate to gate, a 90 minute trip, wouldn't expect a heavy fuel load since both airports had good weather - but I'm not familiar with the Q or Horizon. Gate agent said we're full, not taking anyone in the JS for weight and balance. We (Skywest Captain was also trying to help me get on since he was there waiting as well) simply asked them to ask the captain if he knew there was a pilot trying to JS. They said they'd ask.

Some supervisor, Andrew, showed up and said the same W&B issue, we again asked if they could simply talk to the captain. "No, the plane is already late... W&B... we're not going to ask..."

Is this standard not to simply speak to the captain? Legit excuse for W&B Or a bunch of BS?

Not to get this mixed up, if they had spoken to the captain and he said "sorry, I wish we could, but we can't take you" then no problem. But refusing to even ask, that's the main issue.


DashAviator
08-17-2018, 05:39 PM
Just wondering if this could be legit or just gate agents not wanting to do any work.

Was trying to get home, full flight, open cockpit JS. Gate to gate, a 90 minute trip, wouldn't expect a heavy fuel load since both airports had good weather - but I'm not familiar with the Q or Horizon. Gate agent said we're full, not taking anyone in the JS for weight and balance. We (Skywest Captain was also trying to help me get on since he was there waiting as well) simply asked them to ask the captain if he knew there was a pilot trying to JS. They said they'd ask.

Some supervisor, Andrew, showed up and said the same W&B issue, we again asked if they could simply talk to the captain. "No, the plane is already late... W&B... we're not going to ask..."

Is this standard not to simply speak to the captain? Legit excuse for W&B Or a bunch of BS?

Not to get this mixed up, if they had spoken to the captain and he said "sorry, I wish we could, but we can't take you" then no problem. But refusing to even ask, that's the main issue.

It's rare, but it does happen. Some of the most common reasons include:

(1) Performance problems at departure airport (i.e., Sun Valley @ 84 degrees F and a 10-kt tailwind).

(2) Performance concerns at the destination airport. I earned the "tool of the month" award when I had to boot three non-revs off of a flight from Los Angeles to Mammoth. One of the non-revs was a disabled vet. :-(

(3) Short, heavy leg. Your takeoff weight is probably burn limited (the Q400 can take off at 65,200 lbs, but only if you burn off 3,200 lbs of fuel before you land). YVR-SEA and SEA-PDX are frequently burn limited. We were exactly one pound under our maximum on a recent SEA-PDX flight, but got both jumpseaters on board.

(4) Longer flights were you have to take lots of gas, because of weather. You said that this was not a factor here. However, it's possible that Central Load Planning and Dispatch made the decision to tanker fuel.

Hope that helps.

ASpilot2be
08-17-2018, 05:42 PM
Where were you heading? I dont know if the smoke up here was causing issues.


Taco280AI
08-17-2018, 05:52 PM
Seattle to Boise

ASpilot2be
08-17-2018, 05:58 PM
I wouldnt think that route would have been an issue. But as was mentioned CLP may have been tankering.

Sorry you had issues. Most people here will work to get all the nonrevs on,

Saucy Dingo
08-18-2018, 03:46 AM
Always ask the captain. The gate agent at certain airlines will receive a preliminary max payload count (Ex. 50 people, 60 bags) and the lesser-minded ones will deny you gate access solely based on that. But that count doesn't consider kids, fuel inaccuracies, or change in flight plan. I had one agent try to take my jumper off the flight deck. She told ME I was too heavy, even though I was staring at the numbers telling me we were good to go. Don't let gate agents attempt to w&b.

DashAviator
08-18-2018, 06:14 AM
Seattle to Boise

I can actually see that being a problem... Boise's had some reduced visibility lately due to smoke. Also, summer is "runway construction season" around here - there are numerous runway closures and navaid outages. Sorry you got left, though.

trip
08-18-2018, 07:45 AM
The SKYW guy may have been the problem, not often but it happens.

snackysmores
08-18-2018, 09:05 AM
These occurrences have been increasing lately, and it's usually for the performance issues Dash descibed above..one thing we can do is get small items off the A La Carts (like backpacks) and take them out of the pit and into the main cabin..I've been able to get people on that way.

The bigger problem is the gate agents not wanting to make the effort to notify captains, and being parked miles away from the terminal so captains aren't making the trek to get inside and see who's standing around.

It's also worth noting that Alaska management has deemed Horizon captains as PIC only when the plane is in the air. They continually stress through notices and disciplinary action that we have no say as to what goes on when we are on the ground (e.g. when it's ok to board, when the APU can be ran, how much fuel you can take etc.) It's truly embarrassing to work here sometimes.

SIUav8er
08-18-2018, 11:03 AM
This is frustrating. Last time I checked, the gate agents dont do weight and balance. To the guy who got bumped, put in a word with your union jumpseat committee.

As for being PIC on the ground at QX, I disagree with what snackysmores says. If the CA puts a stop to boarding, you may get asked why at a later date but thats it.
I start my APU at my leisure (every leg), and have never heard a peep from anyone.
If I want fuel, the aircraft doesnt move till i get it... sometimes being a CA requires you to not let people railroad you bro.

Singlecoil
08-18-2018, 11:23 AM
It's rare, but it does happen. Some of the most common reasons include:



(3) Short, heavy leg. Your takeoff weight is probably burn limited (the Q400 can take off at 65,200 lbs, but only if you burn off 3,200 lbs of fuel before you land). YVR-SEA and SEA-PDX are frequently burn limited. We were exactly one pound under our maximum on a recent SEA-PDX flight, but got both jumpseaters on board.

Hope that helps.
How could you be one pound under gross? Isn’t everything rounded to the nearest ten pounds? Do they still use the index method there, as in your takeoff weight would look something like 63,452.45?

Saucy Dingo
08-18-2018, 11:37 AM
How could you be one pound under gross? Isn’t everything rounded to the nearest ten pounds? Do they still use the index method there, as in your takeoff weight would look something like 63,452.45?You are getting too deep into this :)

Even if the ACARS or TLR rounds to the nearest 10, some parts of the paperwork can show exact numbers. Airline dependent of course.

snackysmores
08-18-2018, 11:47 AM
This is frustrating. Last time I checked, the gate agents dont do weight and balance. To the guy who got bumped, put in a word with your union jumpseat committee.

As for being PIC on the ground at QX, I disagree with what snackysmores says. If the CA puts a stop to boarding, you may get asked why at a later date but thats it.
I start my APU at my leisure (every leg), and have never heard a peep from anyone.
If I want fuel, the aircraft doesnt move till i get it... sometimes being a CA requires you to not let people railroad you bro.

I've had to refuse to fly planes on several occasions and I don't let them push me around either, i guess my point is they demand a justification or explanation when they shouldn't have to. Captains authority has definitely withered over the years, to the point where station managers are threatening to report me when I have the APU on "We said on the radio we would be using a PCA!" "I never said you couldn't use it, Apu is running though.."

Dashdrvr
08-18-2018, 12:31 PM
Just wondering if this could be legit or just gate agents not wanting to do any work.

Was trying to get home, full flight, open cockpit JS. Gate to gate, a 90 minute trip, wouldn't expect a heavy fuel load since both airports had good weather - but I'm not familiar with the Q or Horizon. Gate agent said we're full, not taking anyone in the JS for weight and balance. We (Skywest Captain was also trying to help me get on since he was there waiting as well) simply asked them to ask the captain if he knew there was a pilot trying to JS. They said they'd ask.

Some supervisor, Andrew, showed up and said the same W&B issue, we again asked if they could simply talk to the captain. "No, the plane is already late... W&B... we're not going to ask..."


Is this standard not to simply speak to the captain? Legit excuse for W&B Or a bunch of BS?

Not to get this mixed up, if they had spoken to the captain and he said "sorry, I wish we could, but we can't take you" then no problem. But refusing to even ask, that's the main issue.

Doesn't sound like you were trying to get on my flight yesterday but the circumstances are eerily similar.
An AS pilot (not JS)checks in with me if were not taking any jump seaters. I tell him we should be. He replies the gate says you are not. I reply thats news to me. I call CLP and they reply that they told the gate to limit to 1 Jump seat. Hmmm. I call ops and he tells me we can take one jump seat. I tell him the above. He says he will check then tells me no Jump seat. By then flight is closed out and we have 74 pax and 1800 lbs usable load even with a fuel burn reduced max landing weight. I call CLP and inquire politically correct WTF!. Then I start getting all the dodges. We were expecting 76, bag load was lighter than expected, blah blah. In a nutshell CLP screwed it up in a big way, stations is too lazy to fix it and you don't get home. All I can say I am sorry for our incompetent people. I have commuted on AS many years and know in these types of situations when the flight is closed out for revenue passengers a quick calculation of useable load is done and that usable is put on in non revs and jump seaters.
We RARELY had that this problem when captains did their own W and B.
To answer your question. A bunch of BS. Thats the reason you can't talk to the captain. Its all about control.

Ala5ka
08-18-2018, 03:05 PM
The same sentiment can be said for working at Alaska too. It is truly embarrassing to work here. These occurrences have been increasing lately, and it's usually for the performance issues Dash descibed above..one thing we can do is get small items off the A La Carts (like backpacks) and take them out of the pit and into the main cabin..I've been able to get people on that way.

The bigger problem is the gate agents not wanting to make the effort to notify captains, and being parked miles away from the terminal so captains aren't making the trek to get inside and see who's standing around.

It's also worth noting that Alaska management has deemed Horizon captains as PIC only when the plane is in the air. They continually stress through notices and disciplinary action that we have no say as to what goes on when we are on the ground (e.g. when it's ok to board, when the APU can be ran, how much fuel you can take etc.) It's truly embarrassing to work here sometimes.

Taco280AI
08-18-2018, 04:38 PM
Doesn't sound like you were trying to get on my flight yesterday but the circumstances are eerily similar.
An AS pilot (not JS)checks in with me if were not taking any jump seaters. I tell him we should be. He replies the gate says you are not. I reply thats news to me. I call CLP and they reply that they told the gate to limit to 1 Jump seat. Hmmm. I call ops and he tells me we can take one jump seat. I tell him the above. He says he will check then tells me no Jump seat. By then flight is closed out and we have 74 pax and 1800 lbs usable load even with a fuel burn reduced max landing weight. I call CLP and inquire politically correct WTF!. Then I start getting all the dodges. We were expecting 76, bag load was lighter than expected, blah blah. In a nutshell CLP screwed it up in a big way, stations is too lazy to fix it and you don't get home. All I can say I am sorry for our incompetent people. I have commuted on AS many years and know in these types of situations when the flight is closed out for revenue passengers a quick calculation of useable load is done and that usable is put on in non revs and jump seaters.
We RARELY had that this problem when captains did their own W and B.
To answer your question. A bunch of BS. Thats the reason you can't talk to the captain. Its all about control.

Flight 2724? There was an AS pilot trying to fly with his family. And I did send an email to the ALPA JS rep.

Dashdrvr
08-18-2018, 07:39 PM
Flight 2724? There was an AS pilot trying to fly with his family. And I did send an email to the ALPA JS rep.

Different one for me 2554. This is distressing when this happens way so frequently. I would recommend pilots caught like this contact their jump seat committee chair. We can apply pressure from both ends.

Ala5ka
08-19-2018, 07:34 AM
It will fall upon deaf ears.. AAG has no interest in catering to online commuters let alone off line commuters.
They are slaves to their “timeline” metrics, and have completely taken the ability for humans to think and problem solve away. Everything is done by other people.. central load planning, gate agents, dispatch etc. if you’re a pilot at AAG, regardless if at Alaska or Horizon you have no authority to make sure a jumpseater gets on. This is place is a joke, if it hasn’t been prefilled on a computer well in advance then forget about it. I commute off line even having online options because our airline is so terrible. Go Delta! Different one for me 2554. This is distressing when this happens way so frequently. I would recommend pilots caught like this contact their jump seat committee chair. We can apply pressure from both ends.

Packrat
08-19-2018, 07:39 AM
This is frustrating. Last time I checked, the gate agents dont do weight and balance. To the guy who got bumped, put in a word with your union jumpseat committee... sometimes being a CA requires you to not let people railroad you bro.

No, but load control does. Its usually shows up on their gate computer that its a weight and balance issue. I was bumped a couple times because they had to carry extra gas for an alternate.

It happens, bro.

lowflying
08-19-2018, 02:44 PM
No, but load control does. Its usually shows up on their gate computer that its a weight and balance issue. I was bumped a couple times because they had to carry extra gas for an alternate.

It happens, bro.

I commuted on qx weekly for 5+ years on one of the longest legs in the system. Never got bumped once summer or winter. CLP started up and it was a regular occurrence. I would check with the crew later if I knew them and the flights were rarely close to overweight. It's aag eating there own in order to boost their meaningless stats.

wrxpilot
08-19-2018, 03:33 PM
The SKYW guy may have been the problem, not often but it happens.

What is that supposed to mean?

Packrat
08-20-2018, 08:58 AM
I commuted on qx weekly for 5+ years on one of the longest legs in the system. Never got bumped once summer or winter. CLP started up and it was a regular occurrence. .

Same thing happened at Alaska when they went to CLP. However, that was then and this is now. Captains can't massage the numbers to accommodate the jumpseater as in the past.

We just have to live with it and have multiple commutes planned.



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