How one day of thunderstorms turned into a five day Delta meltdown

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines' started by FWAAA, Apr 9, 2017.


  1. FWAAA

    FWAAA Veteran

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    Severe thunderstorms in Atlanta caused a groundstop lasting five hours on Wednesday and set in motion a Delta meltdown from which the airline has yet to recover (on Sunday evening). Delta says it expects things to be back to normal by Monday (tomorrow). This article in the AJC explains how a day of storms on Wednesday turns into more than 3,300 cancelled flights by Sunday evening:

    http://www.ajc.com/travel/why-one-d...ve-day-delta-meltdown/6iwLZXfRcLKB0w1LAdKvpI/

    One major failure has been Delta's overly optimistic predictions of when the recovery would occur - on Friday, Delta spokesholes said that by Saturday, things should be back to normal. You never want to over-promise and under-deliver; much better to communicate honestly and accurately with customers.

    This will be costly for DL, as the August computer meltdown last year cost Delta about $100 million in lost revenue:

    http://www.ajc.com/business/delta-outage-price-tag-100-million/2gewyWrTw0t7JObiAhcV3N/

    The computer failure caused about 2,300 cancelled flights over four days, while these storms account for 1,000 more flight cancellations over about five days. Back of the envelope calculations lead to an estimate of about $125 million in lost revenue.

    As eolesen said when DL terminated the interline agreement with AA: DL cancelled its flood insurance because it hadn't seen a flood in a quite a while - now DL has suffered two major floods in eight months.

    Of course, AA could not have accommodated all the displaced DL passengers, but I have to wonder if new management (Bastian) will call Parker next week and see about a mutually beneficial interline agreement. Not having one is like denying an inexpensive spare part to a competitor - it may not bite you today, but eventually, you're gonna need a cheap spare part that only your competitor possesses at some outstation, and refusing to sell it to you is gonna cost you a bunch . . .
     
  2. Kev3188

    Kev3188 Veteran

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  3. swamt

    swamt Veteran

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    Not doubting the numbers FWAAA posted as he posted Sunday evening early. Going thru my airline news this morning I read the amount of canceled flights were at or above 5000. It this true Kev? Some are thinking that there is more involved than just this storm being the culprit. And if 5k is the new number I'm afraid the $ amount will be much larger and closer to the 200 million mark. Just be glad it happened in the first week of 2nd Q. With almost 3 full months to try and make up for it. Delta runs a good airline and they will be fine. Kinda good that this United story broke since the Delta fiasco. Now the Doctor being dragged off the United flight is taking the spot light. Weird week, what's next???
     
  4. Kev3188

    Kev3188 Veteran

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    I thought I saw ~3500, but it's still far and away too many...
     
  5. swamt

    swamt Veteran

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    I agree Kev. I have not seen any more reports saying the 5K so I thought maybe it was blown up by some ticked off reporter trying to get back at Delta for something. Last daily number I saw was 150 flights were canceled on Sun. But nothing for Mon. so far. Do you know of any more for Mon.?
     
  6. Kev3188

    Kev3188 Veteran

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    I'm honestly not sure if (or how many) there were for today. I know there are/we're still some pretty significant delays on flights...
     
  7. NewHampshire Black Bears

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    One thing's for SURE Kev, it wouldn't have happened like that on 'Big RED', where REAL bad weather lives EVER winter and early spring !
    (MSP to ANC/FAI ?........No Problem, just de-ice the bittch 3 times, then get going) !!
     
  8. Kev3188

    Kev3188 Veteran

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    We were good at what we did. :)

    BTW, the latest 8k filing states that approx. 4000 flights were cancelled, at an estimated cost of $125 (reduction for the June quarter)...
     
  9. NewHampshire Black Bears

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    You know Kev, since I opined that UAL was slipping closer to the number '4' US airline, ..What US Airline IS currently number '4' ?
    Perhaps they only thing that will 'save UAL's BACON' from slipping to a # 4, is their International routes over the Atlantic, and Pacific. (The Carib' and the rest of the America's don't count). Am I missing something here, or is AA, UA and DL the only US carriers flying all over the " A + P " ?
     
  10. FWAAA

    FWAAA Veteran

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    I was dead-on with my estimate of $125 million, but I said it would be a reduction of revenue (just like the $100 million from last August's meltdown) while Delta said in the 8-K that last week's storms would reduce profits in the second quarter by $125 million. That's a bigger hit than I thought.
     
  11. eolesen

    eolesen Veteran

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    I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss "Americas" flying... DFW-GRU is almost 20% longer than JFK-FCO, and ORD-GRU is longer than SFO-NRT.

    Who is #3 and #4 depends on what metric you want to look at....

    By enplanements excluding regionals, WN is #2, DL is #3, UA is #4. Including regionals, UA is #3 and WN is #4.

    By ASM/ASK excluding regionals, UA is #3 and WN is #4. Same including regionals.

    By revenue and departures, UA is solidly #3 and WN is #4.
     
  12. topDawg

    topDawg Veteran

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    Nothing more than a American fanboy hope. American and United wouldn't have been able to do jack **** with any of the melt downs.

    Interlines aren't flood insurance they are more like a rock hitting your window in your car and the insurance covering it. Small little issues (i.e. 1-2 PAX) no big deal.....Millions of people, on spring break week when the other airlines are running 95%+ loads? Wouldn't have done anything.



    What needs to happen is stop spending frickin billions on stock buy backs and actual go back to investing in the airline. Can't believe after 3 of these things and all end up boiling down to IT and operational issues the company hasn't fired anyone.

    I feel like if I cost the company 125M they wouldn't be cool with me chilling at The Masters and then my beach house in Florida........
     
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  13. lindy

    lindy Advanced

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    Delta allowed this to happen by not being more proactive in cancelling flights immediately. By taking a myopic approach to the situation, Delta failed to sufficiently grasp the severity of the situation, even though they have some of the best aviation meteorologists on staff. I am quite certain the thought process was driven by high load factors and no availability of seats for several days. As a retired director of an OCC for a competing major carrier, my airline also responded similarly until we changed our operational philosophy. We made the conscious decision to "isolate" the specific day in question. Rather than piecemeal cancellations, we would gather our IROP team and cancel flights for the balance of the day, trying to protect all international, pacific, and trans-con routes. By doing this, we were able to ascertain, within hours, where our aircraft and crews were. We would spend the balance of the day/night repairing crew and aircraft lines of flying. By adopting such an approach, my carrier was usually back to flying 100% of a planned schedule by the third day of such an event. Until Delta adopts a similar philosophy, no amount of technology improvements or blaming ATC is going to prevent these types of rolling cancellations to occur.
     
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  14. swamt

    swamt Veteran

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    It sounds like the same thing that happened to Jet Blue during that Feb storms where they didn't cancel their flights like all the other airlines did early and they paid thru the ying-yang for it. It also seems to me that Delta's nightmare in ATL. would have happened somewhere else and at their home turf airport. Most of the time airlines recover by Tues. and max by Wed after a bad weekend. But 5 days? On their home turf? And why didn't we hear about any other airlines at ATL?
     
  15. metopower

    metopower Veteran

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    #15 metopower, May 1, 2017
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
    Storm had nothing to do with it. It just started the ball rolling down hill. Crew tracking failed. That is because we are running about 1000 pilot short because they are all in the wrong categories. No reserves in the small airplanes and they are all out of time. Hiring is way behind and we just passed 14000 on the seniority list. But go ahead and blame the storm. Someone should be fired.....and shouldn't be a supervisor.
    Very fortunate for DL that during that time the media was focused on UA and the passenger being dragged off the airplane.Otherwise this would have been a huge black eye.
     
  16. Kev3188

    Kev3188 Veteran

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    This is the 3rd significant (and systemic) failure in less than a year.

    Too much investment in "branding," and not enough in less glamorous things like infrastructure, IMO...
     
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  17. lindy

    lindy Advanced

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    If this was a known constraint to management, all the more reason to "isolate" the disruption to the day in question. Determine where your assets ( aircraft and crew) are, get them in position, and restart the operation. It may take 24-48 hours to get a full flight schedule running, but it is much better than five days.
     

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