Thursday, January 5, 2012

Shanghai Surprise: The Ballad of CO87

What follows is a shortened version of the official flight info for an ill-fated flight from Newark to Shanghai this week.

Our question: How come the FAs didn't lock the lavs when they filled up?

Our favorite phrases used below include:
Due to dispatch technology issues...
...flight release and paperwork were not able to be generated.
...poor customer disposition
In other words: Mistakes were made, but not by us....

OK, here we go:
Flight 87/EWR-PVG experienced an air return to EWR due to all lavatories on the aircraft being full. The aircraft was approximately 5+ hours out of EWR when the decision was made to return to EWR. While in route back to EWR, an investigation...revealed that the lavs were not serviced in EWR prior to scheduled departure as required. ....According to Flight Attendant statements, they observed [before departure] that Tank 1 was 5/8th full, Tank 2 was 3/8th full and tank 3 was 5/8th full....The FA’s assumed that the lav’s would be serviced during the boarding process. Allegedly, no calls were made to SOC to request lavatory service....
Approximately 5 hours into the flight, the on board chimes sounded indicating #3 Tank was full. Shortly after that, Tank 1 was full and one of the lavatories began to overflow. The decision was made to air return....While in route back to EWR, the Lavatories overflow situation became severe enough to warrant a diversion into YYR (Goose Bay, NF)....Lavatories were serviced in YYR, the aircraft fueled and was airborne back to EWR at 22:52 local.
The aircraft was rescheduled to depart at 03:15 with a new crew. Due to dispatch technology issues the flight release and paperwork were not able to be generated....After, retrieving the paperwork and delivering to the crew, the door was closed at 05:35. While attempting to remove the jetway from the aircraft, the CS agent had difficulty. The auto leveler on the gate, Gate 121 had failed and required Facility Maintenance technicians to safely remove the jetway from the aircraft. FX MX was able to remove the jetway at 05:54. At approximately 06:00 the crew requested the jetway be reattached for an ill Flight attendant. The flight attendant was experiencing a severe asthma attack and was transported to the hospital via ambulance at 06:20. The crew duty time expired and the crew made the decision to not waive duty time. 
252 Customers (50 BF) were then deplaned. Customer disposition was poor but managed well by the CS team at EWR....Customers were given meal vouchers and hotels this morning....
There you have it. We hope the asthma-stricken FA recovered OK...

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