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Qantas aircraft unserviceable in Beijing

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Roma

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Oct 28, 2006
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Whilst in Beijing (enroute to Sydney) on Dec 4, QF 192 was delayed for four hours due to a "flight control problem". By then it was 2am and I wound up going to a hotel, finally getting into the room at 5am. Departure next day was at 3.30pm, they fixed the aircraft apparently.

Can anyone tell me how often this kind of thing happens? Was it reported elsewhere? Quite a few passengers were upset as can be imagined.

Thanks

RR
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
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Hard to say without knowing what the problem was.

A/c going u/s is fairly routine experience, although fortunately doesn't happen too often on most quality airlines. Anyone travelling a bit is bound to experience it from time to time, although generally more noticeable on longhaul routes with frequency daily or less - since harder for replacement a/c to fill in.
 

Batesy

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Sep 21, 2005
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I got stuck in Singapore in 2005 on my way back to Sydney from London. QF 747 flew all the way to Singapore then decided it didnt want to fly any further. Waited in QC for 4 hours till they cancelled the flight and trundled us off to a 5 star hotel. Got the same flight number the next morning and was upgraded to business. The main frustration was Qantas lack of communication whilst in Singapore and the lack of food in the lounge during the 4 hour wait I found myself calling them back in OZ to find out what was going on.

Qantas sent me a $500 gift voucher and I got status credits for business.

I would much rather be delayed than have my plane fall out of the sky!!
 

NM

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In my many years if flying, and may hundreds of flights, I can remember 4 incidents where an aircraft failure caused me a significant delay (I would say more than 2 hours is significant). One of these was caused by the late arrival of the aircraft as it had a problem before the in-bound service, but that still caused my HKG-BNE flight to be about 4 hours delayed so I include it in my experiences. I do not include delays caused by weather, ATC, union action etc.

So these were:
  • QF767-300 unserviceable, moved to another aircraft (QF767-200) but too late for SYD curfew so returned to BNE and had to get the 5am flight next morning
  • QF747-400 needed part to be flown to BNE before departure to AKL-LAX. Delayed about 4 hours
  • QFA330-300 delayed inbound to HKG following a problem on the ground in BNE. So my HKG-BNE flight was ten about 4 hours late departing HKG.
  • AA 767-300 returned to MIA soon after takeoff with an engine problem indication. By the time they found a new aircraft to start the flight again I was always going to miss my LAX-HKG connection and eneded up delayed in LAX for 12 hours.

So it can and does happen, but its not common. There is no point in getting upset about it unless the airline staff do not treat the delayed passengers politely. I would rather they find the problem and fix it while the aircraft is on the ground than to take off and find the problem at 35,000 feet over a great expanse of water. in my experience, airlines are better at the former to avoid the latter.
 

oz_mark

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I have only ever once had a significant delay and that was on TG. Put in a hotel, given meal vouchers, the airline contacted people in Australia to inform them of the delay etc., so no problem with that.

As for the reason, all we were ever told is "for aircraft rotation".
 

Evan

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Dec 26, 2006
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A few small delays, one that caused us to miss the last flight from BNE to MEL so put up in a nice hotel, given dinner and a couple of drinks and breakfast and off to MEL in the morning.

Original flight was due to some royal family holding things up !

Evan
 

tuapekastar

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Two I can recall:

BOAC(!) probably a 707, SYD-SIN: No recollection of the reason other than 'technical' but it was delayed for 34 hours. Many pax transferred to other flights but as a 12 or 13 year old I tried to change, but my requests were dismissed out of hand. Put up at Menzies and/or Wentworth in SYD. At least the plane was only quarter to third full when it eventually did get going, so plenty of room to stretch out.

QF, 744 LHR-MEL. The PA into J and F was not working (being in Y at the time, I wasn't at all worried about *them* :shock: . 2 to 3 hour delay fixing it.
 

Hawkeye

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Nov 4, 2006
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Once had a 6 hour delay on an AA MD80 flying EWR to LAX due to technical problem with the left engine. Part had to be transported from JFK, which because of peak hour, was the source of most of the delay. Meant missed QF176 LAX-BNE. In total, 8 of us missed flights to BNE, MEL and the first flight to SYD. QF108 was delayed for about 2 hours for our arrival, and they squeezed all of us onto it. Most of us were in J with status. Presumably, a few-ops to F allowed the extra load. I must admit I was very grateful and wrote a thank-you note to Qantas.

As a side-note, once we got underway from EWR, seconds after take-off, the plane lurched violently to the left - I nearly s*** myself. Once the pilot's usual address was completed, he added: "Please raise your hands any passengers who just after take-off regretted stepping onto this plane." Not surprisingly, a near-unanimous response!

A nice bit of humour to lighten what was a very tense atmosphere.:)
 

Mal

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I've had no major plane issues. (Ie, the longest I've been stuck on the ground was around 4 hours).

Some tech related that I can remember:

  • MEL-ADL. Plane went tech so put on later flight (~1 hour). Upgrade to J :)

  • CBR-BNE. The worst one I think. Plane engine part failed and replacement part/plane had to be ferried in from SYD. Unfortunately the carrier had few spare planes and parts and we were delayed for hours waiting (3 or 4 I think).

  • HKG-BKK. Engine warning light glowed while taxiing. Back to remote stand. Busses back to airport. About 2 hours delay in total while they sourced a new plane. I didn't mind - just drank good alcohol in the lovely HKG lounge!

Several other short delays where either the staff lied or I can't remember the real reason for why we were delayed :)

I've had more problems with the weather than problems with aircraft going tech...

But these things happen. I'd rather be safe than on a plane which falls out of the sky. As well when airlines fly to remote places it can be hard to source replacement planes or parts when things go bad. Travel Insurance is a must as well as some flexibility and patience.
 

wantok

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Oct 25, 2006
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Worst one I have had (in terms of time delay) was a little while ago when QF25/26 was still flying BNE-AKL. (747-400 LAX-BNE via AKL)

Delayed in the QP for 2-3 hours before boarding. Was given upgrade to Business so not that upset, plus I was heading back to POM so any delay in getting there is a good one :D .

FULL flight, boarded then informed that the engine problem had not been fixed to CASA satisfaction so had to have some work done, issue was AKL terminal was under renovation and busy so could not cope with 747-400 load of PAX back in the terminal, therfore we sat on the plane for another 5-6hours.

Plane was towed away from the gate to the apron, IFE was switched on and the meal service was started, plus you could use your phone.

Captain advised that they were opening some of the other doors on the aircraft as the aircon was not built to keep a full plane cool on the ground, plus it was only 10deg outside anyway.

The crew were brilliant, kept everyone informed as best they could with the delay and the service was great. Had more catering supplied as breakfast quickly turned into a lunch service.

On arrival into BNE found that PX004 had been delayed for mechanical problems anyway and would not be going until the next day.

Put up at the Carlton which was ok then back to the airport in the morning to fight for places on 2 PX flights that had been put on.

Recieved $500 and a letter of apology.

Worst one was Ansett SYD-BNE, real bad storm in BNE so diverted to Gold Coast, first plane on the tarmac and was told buses were on the way to take us back to BNE and we had to wait on board, then told that they would wait to make another attempt to fly to BNE, then told to wait on board, then told to get off but cant retrieve bags as we will fly back to BNE so back on board.

Meanwhile Qantas and Virgin flights that had been diverted unloaded PAX onto waiting buses for transfer back to BNE. By the time the last plane had landed and last bus gone, we were then allowed to disembark and wait for more buses.

Needless to say there were a lot of disgruntled PAX waiting for buses so I took a limo instead.
 

Shano

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Had boarded an MU flight from CAN to SHA a few years ago when it was announced that there was a technical problem with the plane.

After sitting on the plane on the tarmac for about an hour the meal was served and the IFE started. We did not actually get away until the movie had completed, some 3+ hours after boarding. Being summer, the air conditioning was also struggling to keep the plane cool. I don't know why they just didn't let us return to the terminal.

Also missed a connection from HKG to CAN about 10 years ago due to a fault on a CX flight ex SYD. Got a later connecting flight (about 4 hours later). Worse part was that the driver who was to collect me at CAN had left when it was evident that I wasn't on the original flight. Our client had booked a hotel for me in Foshan, for which I did not have the details, but eventaually managed to get a cab driver (non english speaking) to get me to the hotel after a few frantic phone calls. Given my predicament the amount of co-operation was fantastic. It also taught me to make sure I had all details of accommodation at my destination before I depart, just in case something similar happend again. Thankfully it has not.
 

Tooner

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My worst delay had to be the AirNZ flight from LHR-LAX-AKL-SYD where the ground crew ran a luggage conveyor into the landing gear, which required around 4 hours of work. We were nothing status with NZ, so a 4 hour wait in LAX transfer area (stretched out on the floor). Flight was uneventful, but then when we landed at AKL, the SYD flight was long gone and the next one was in 8 hours.

We were duly handed NZD20 each (!) and looked forward to an 8 hour wait in AKL!! The cash was enough for a shower, an apple and a sandwich or drink.

With no status anywhere or access to any lounge, it was an excruciating wait!:mad: The NZ ground staff were particularly surly as well.
 

straitman

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Only major problem was om a Continental 747 ex HNL (some years ago).

Departed and at TOC had an engine failure. Returned to HNL. Waited around for about three hours. Launched again and at TOC had an engine failure. (very consistant) Returned to HNL. Waited a few more hours. Launched again and actually made it to LAX without further incident.

I can't remember the story re fixes or swapping of a/c. :shock:
 
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