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Old 09-30-2007, 02:16 PM   #1  
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Default Mid-trip DH...Buyer Beware

This is a copy of a letter I've just sent to the ALPA SIG, ALPA Contract Enforcement, ALPA Block Rep., Company SIG and my ACP. Just a head's up to anyone else who ends up with one of these "good deals."
---------

Gentlemen,

My name is Larry Smith, I am a Memphis Airbus Captain. In the October bid
month I have a pairing 468 on 08October and again on 22October. In that
pairing is a mid-trip DH from OAK to LAX. The DH follows flight 3015 from
EWR to OAK. The DH is authorized to be in first class because the total
block time of the live leg and the DH exceeds 5 hours. The flight is booked
on UA 6515 from OAK to LAX and departs after 3+08 wait in OAK.

The problem here is that there is NO first class on this flight. This
aircraft is a Bombardier CRJ-200 which is in a total coach configuration. In
other words there is NO possibility of first class, or any class above coach
on this flight. In fact, further research reveals there are NO first class
non-stop seats between OAK and LAX.

It seems to me that if the CBA authorizes a first class seat, recognizing
that after an extended block time, being squeezed into a coach class seat
(especially on an RJ) is an undue burden, then the DH should be booked and
confirmed in a first class seat as per the CBA. If there are no carriers
providing first class or an upgraded class of service, then the pairing
should be revised to delete the DH. This is either a blatant attempt to
circumvent the CBA or is significant negligence on the part of airline
scheduling and Global Travel to let this "slide" by.

I think this pairing should be revised to either delete the DH or the DH
should be booked on some other carrier that provides first class, even if it
means travel via another city--I can always deviate. At least the CBA is not
blatantly disregarded.

Sincerely,

Larry Smith
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Old 09-30-2007, 06:13 PM   #2  
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Nice post and great point MG...

Keep us all informed on what you hear and I appreciate your effort on our behalf.
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Old 09-30-2007, 06:52 PM   #3  
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Somewhat similar scenario to all the D/H's out of MEM to CDG and CGN starting with a 3 hour RJ ride to EWR followed by a long ocean crossing leg. This is flipped around for return D/H's with the 3 hour RJ ride at the end. The ocean crossing leg is in Business class because it's a widebody. The company has other choices on other carriers providing 1st or Business out of MEM but has elected to use Continental to save money.
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Old 10-01-2007, 05:57 AM   #4  
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Thumbs down RJs

I really hate RJs. After flying EWR day turns 2 weeks back and watching Continental clog up airport capacity with zillion of them, makes you really wonder what they are thinking. That ain't right.

Last edited by SNIZ; 10-01-2007 at 06:27 AM.
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Old 10-01-2007, 06:04 AM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machz990 View Post
This is flipped around for return D/H's with the 3 hour RJ ride at the end. The ocean crossing leg is in Business class because it's a widebody. The company has other choices on other carriers providing 1st or Business out of MEM but has elected to use Continental to save money.

Sounds like a greivance to me. Any word from ALPA?
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Old 10-01-2007, 06:30 AM   #6  
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Wasn't it the rule five years ago that you could not be on an RJ if another class of service was available? I seem to remember $600 accepted fares MEM-SHV because they had to put you on Delta through ATL because Airlink only offered RJ service. They started using Airlink when Delta put RJs on the route.
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Old 10-01-2007, 07:12 AM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FDXLAG View Post
Wasn't it the rule five years ago that you could not be on an RJ if another class of service was available? I seem to remember $600 accepted fares MEM-SHV because they had to put you on Delta through ATL because Airlink only offered RJ service. They started using Airlink when Delta put RJs on the route.
I believe the company's point of view on this is that an RJ is the only service available at that time to EWR to connect with the ocean crossing flight. However there are many other options such as Delta through ATL, Northwest through DTW and American through ORD. The company has decided to go through EWR to save a buck and it gets you into Europe in a nick of time to allow the minimum 18 hour layover before going to Subic. House of cards in my opinion. EWR was recently in Aviation Week as the #1 airport in the US for delays and cancellations. Wait till this winter. We will be seeing lots of failures unless the company goes back to D/H's on another carrier at a less congested airport.
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Old 10-01-2007, 11:29 AM   #8  
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Default From ALPA Contract Enforcement...

Well, this is not exactly what I wanted to hear. But I suppose if we all ***** loudly enough, we will at least get their attention. Here's the return email I just received from ALPA Contract Enforcement.
-----------
Captain Smith,

We get this complaint a lot. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of FPA
history/discussion on this subject. The order is: select the DH flight
and, then reserve the appropriate seat based upon Section 8 provisions.
If a higher class of service is not available coach is booked and B or F
is waitlisted.
This fails when the selected flight is a regional jet or where there is
no higher class of service.
Does this force the company to seek an alternate flight? NO. The CBA
doesn't force the company to seek another carrier.
You could call Global Travel and ask them to change the carrier and look
for an alternate. However, they are not obligated to do so by the CBA
(old and proposed).

This is no different to other cases where the company constructs a trip
with a DH, regardless of whether the DH flight in question was full in
business class. In the planning stage the trip builders select the
flight that operationally makes sense. No check on availability is made.
They don't chase the type of seat offered or the class available such
as, regional jets used on the MEM-EWR leg for a continuing DH to FRA
where a higher class of service is provided per the CBA. Global Travel
is ultimately responsible for securing the reservation and if the higher
class is full, they waitlist. This is covered in the CBA. We have added
this to a list for the negotiating team to look at for the next
contract.

Thanks,
xxxxx
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