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The airlines know what's good for you?

by JP Bill / December 3, 2008 4:28 AM PST
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Unbelievable
by Josh K / December 3, 2008 4:57 AM PST

Why couldn't they have been diverted to San Diego or San Francisco instead of Ontario? Sounds like Air Traffic Control may be partly to blame for this.

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Unbelievable but not completely unique ...
by Bill Osler / December 3, 2008 9:53 AM PST
In reply to: Unbelievable

I'm glad that my similar experience returning from Guatemala 2 years ago was not as bad or as long, but it was bad enough. Our US Airways flight could not land at Charlotte so we were diverted to Wilmington. There we sat, unable to leave the plane due to Customs rules. The plane was out of water, there were sick passengers with GI illnesses and a flight crew that was unbelievably rude about the process.

My impression is that once the passengers are on the plane they are quite simply at the mercy of the flight crew. It's not a good feeling.

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The problem, Josh...
by J. Vega / December 4, 2008 1:04 AM PST
In reply to: Unbelievable

Josh the ATC problem is that there are 2 parts of it, the ARTTC that controls planes between cities and the local control to which ARTTC hands off planes when they approach their destinations.
If Center had handed off the flight to local control and LAX went below minimums, Ontario is just 50 miles away. To divert them to SFO would have required LA Approach to hand them back to LA Center to send them to San Francisco "on the fly" without a scheduled flight plan.

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One possible solution....
by Josh K / December 4, 2008 3:38 AM PST
In reply to: The problem, Josh...

....might have been for LAX to make a decision about letting the plane land before accepting control of it (not sure how that works). Otherwise a way to divert them to an international airport should be workable, as opposed to what happened in this case.

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"An airport firefighter came on board ...
by drpruner / December 3, 2008 1:24 PM PST

and distributed bottled water and the best Cheese Nips I've ever eaten."
Our heroes! What would we do without first responders?! Happy

Ontario is quite a nice airport, much upgraded from what I first knew 30 years ago. But ... no Customs.
Notice the difference between the writer's experience and Dr. Bill's- the Doc's was more a people problem than weather.

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