Questionable cancelled flight....


So my sister attempted to fly home for Christmas today on a scheduled departure from EWR to TRI with a stop in CVG. Delta cancelled the flight on the CRJ-100, and simply told her to come back tomorrow. The reasoning from the agent was “The pilot cancelled the flight.” Does this make any sense, is that a normal practice?


This seems like an agent just giving a BS excuse to get someone off their back. It’s not like the pilot can just cancel the flight on a whim. Maybe he found something wrong with the plane and alerted someone else, but he has to have a valid reason. To the agents defense, maybe he or she didn’t know exactly what happened, and just knew it had something to do with the pilot.


The Delta site does not shed any light on it either, just says that it was canceled and “Information Not Available.”

FYI, There is rule pertaining to canceled flights, It is called Rule 240. It gives you certain rights if you flight is canceled or delayed, usually more then 2 hours, due to some thing other the weather. It can get you things such as prepaid phone cards, meals, a hotel room that the airline pays for, and even being booked on another airline for free. The 2 main things to remember about this rule is that you have to ask for it and it is based on availability. Being around Christmas time, or any other big travel time for that matter, seats can be scarce on other airlines.

I used it a few years back to get food vouchers as I was going to be stuck in ATL for over 4 hours waiting for my connecting flight. There ended up being space available on an earlier flight then what I had been rebooked so I did not have time for a good meal, but let me tell you that pizza was the best I ever had from a Pizza Hut :smiley:

Check out for info including individual airlines policies.


Pilots typically do not ‘cancel’ flights. Pilots have the authority to ‘delay’ flights until conditions are such that we are happy with the set of circumstances presented to us (aircraft condition, weather conditions, crew condition, etc.) and feel that we can make the flight under the known circumstances in a safe manner.

As an air carrier pilot for a major, I have delayed many of our flights because given the circumstances, I felt it was not safe nor prudent to proceed until those circumstances changed and I felt comfortable.

Reasons to delay include the inability of the captain and the dispatcher to agree on fuel load. In this particular case, I will simply inform the dispatcher that I am not happy with the fuel load and I can be reached down in the crew lounge when we agree.

Other reasons may include that the aircraft has a piece of inoperative equipment that, in my judgment, I want operational before departing on a given route segment. An example of this may be an inoperative autopilot when destination weather conditions may indicate fine, but in my experience, may deterioriate to the point where all autopilots would be needed to approach and land.

Another reason may be that my crew needs food. From time to time, schedules are built such that if we have any sort of delay, my crewmembers may not have time to get off the aircraft for a personal break or to obtain suitable food. In that case, I will delay the flight so that my crewmembers personal needs are met and then we will board up and go.

A flight cancellation may occur when any given delay is such that it is no longer economically or safely feasible to operate the flight. Weather, excessive delay, legality, maintenance issues, etc. are all items that can cause a flight to cancel.


As a mechanic, i always loved looking at the passengers faces whil stepping onboard to talk to the pilot. Our company always said, " Just smile, say hello and be happy." I had to cancel a flight once, i felt bad but its better than causing an accident. Thats my job - Passengers never look and understand that angle though. :laughing:


We were having a problem with a seal on a window pane in the cockpit one evening. Mx corrective action was to install speed tape to the seal and sign it off. Trouble is, it was pouring rain out and the mechanics were having an impossible time getting the tape to stick. They were absolutely adamant that they were going to complete the job, but I no longer felt comfortable with the whole situation and decided that I was not going to fly the bird until it was fixed the right way.

As one of the mechanics walked on, I fully opened the cockpit door as I got on the PA and announced to the passengers that we will have a bit further of a delay because maintenance personnel was having a difficult time duct taping the captains window back into place. Passengers who felt they wanted to disembark were free to do so.

That was the fastest I have ever seen an airplane empty out. :slight_smile:


That would have been great to see the passengers faces!! Just imagine the phone calls after that. That was good!!! Those mechanics should have known that, come on boys. In their defense - (as you know)it does get difficult at times to work at the gate, i will give them that. You did the right thing.


I fully appreciate the work that our line mx guys do. Ours are the best in the business in my opinion. We do however, occasionally have some that are real boneheads or very difficult to work with. Some don’t understand the concept of “Captains Authority” and how that relates to the overall and complete operation of the aircraft. Odds are that when the situation is complicated, it is going to be one of those individuals who show up on the bridge when we have a writeup.

In this particular case, one mechanic was absolutely adamant that he was going to get the speed tape to stick to the window despite the pouring rain. I knew that we were going to have to wait until it stopped and the last thing I wanted was to be taking a 5 hour night flight with a piece of loose speed tape buzzing away at a deafening roar like it normally does.

The passengers got a real kick out of seeing the mechanic out the window, soaking wet, with a roll of tape in his hands.


Reminds me of this gem: :slight_smile:


Got to love Southwest. :slight_smile:

I wish I could say that my line would NEVER do such a thing, but once our mechanics figured out that speed tape matches our airplanes unpainted exterior EXACTLY, they use it to fix just about anything.


Wonder who you work for… :wink:


My employer prefers that we do not identify who we work for while discussing the airline business as it may tend to “shed a negative light” on our operation.

Personally, I feel they do a pretty bang up job of that on their own. :slight_smile:

But your guess is probably correct. And for more years than I’d care to admit.


I understand, I’m actually shocked about the amount of information some people on these sites post about the airlines they work with. I remember an FX ramper over on posting tons of pictures of the inner workings of FX facilities, along with him with a big smile on his face in many of them. I’m sure FX wouldn’t be very pleased with him if they ever saw those posts. :slight_smile:


We have had people fired over postings to internet newsgroups. Most of us generally refuse to post anything about the airline business. I’m happy to discuss the topic but try to keep my employer out of the discussion. I always try to give “just enough” information so that those people with a reasonable ability to infer can determine who I work for and what I do. :slight_smile:

Speaking of pictures, I am familiar with a couple of individuals who were terminated for photographing and subsequently publishing pictures to the internet that were depicting certain airline “situations” that management determined to “shed a negative light” on the company.

It is now in our manuals that we are not to take any photographs on or of company property. I still happily carry my digital camera in my kitbag and take as many pictures as I can. I’ve been with the company far too long for them to make a shutterbug termination stick.