Rerouting because of faulty airconditioningBack to Forum
Well our overnight flight from Accra to London took a little longer than the expected 6 hours or so. Boarded by 11pm so an on-time arrival in London at around 5am was a distinct possibility. But then we were told there was an issue with the air conditioning system and the engineers were trying to sort it. After 3 hours on stand, we were told we could finally leave. Earlier the captain had mentioned that the problem could require us to re-route but didn’t go into details. Anyway – after a very late dinner, I dozed off, anticipating an arrival at around 8am or so. It was only around 6am, when I checked the map, that it said we had around 4 hours still to go and the reason was clear – rather than take the Greenwich meridian from Accra to London, we had taken a tour around the west coast of Africa, along the Gulf of Guinea, then up past Cape Verde and the Canaries. We finally landed around 10.30am – 5.5 hours behind schedule.
I had no idea that a fault with the air conditioning would mean we should avoid flying over land at all. Maybe someone can enlighten me?3 Dec 2021
AMcWhirterParticipant3 Dec 2021
Fame at last! Thanks for the explanation Lawhore. I have sent through a request for compensation. We will see whether they claim that a fault with the aircon counts as exceptional circumstances!4 Dec 2021
if non ETOPS route was required then compensation is not due. its for operational reasons outside they’re control, it was more likely an ATC requirement , so therefore nothing due. there could be many reasons why a flight path is altered in most cases its beyond the airlines control , so good luck with the compo lol4 Dec 2021
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I won’t even go into correcting your broken English so in essence no, you are not correct. Compensation is payable for tech issues and this was clearly a tech issue.4 Dec 2021
Not sure if it was/is serendipity or otherwise, but I got the BA customer satisfaction questionnaire for completion earlier today. Haven’t been asked to complete one of those for a while and they certainly chose an eventful one for me to report back on. I will relish doing this one tomorrow morning, with a strong coffee, a swear box to act as a deterrent, and a thesaurus of synonyms for ‘very disappointing on a number of levels’.4 Dec 2021
Could it be possible that the aircraft flew at lower altitude (as aircon was not fully operational) and hence took longer time?
I recall once for a short flight, the aircraft was flying lower than normal altitude it took longer even for a normal 45 min flight.5 Dec 2021
I am sorry to make a display of my ignorance, but I don’t understand why a non-ETOPS route can be required (while the contrary makes sense to me). Could anyone explain?5 Dec 2021
I would put that route down to keeping away from high ground you need to fly over in a straight line. In the event of an air con issue and a (rapid?) descent to 10,000ft, this can be achieved safely on a coastal route rather than picking a way through mountains.
non-ETOPS is a red herring, ETOPS is the max flight time on a single engine to a div aerodrome normally when over the sea.
1 user thanked author for this post.6 Dec 2021
I was on a SAA Boeing 737 from Cape Town to Johannesburg back in 1992. We were delayed on stand after the captain advised that one of the air conditioning units wasn’t working and he had to go into the Terminal Building to phone their Engineering Department in Johannesburg. He told us that they had cleared the flight to go ahead but that we would be travelling at a lower altitude. If anyone would be unhappy with staying on the flight they could leave and transfer to the next flight. Two passengers disembarked and after their luggage had been off-loaded we took off. We had a very good view of the snow on the mountains NW of Cape Town from the lower altitude and we arrived safely, albeit a lot later. However, for some reason the cabin crew could only make one pot of coffee and one of tea both of which ran out two rows before me. Couldn’t understand that part!6 Dec 2021
ETOPS means Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards. It is a certification that permits twin engine aircraft to fly routes which may, at the time, be 60 minutes flying time from the nearest airport that is suitable for an emergency landing. The other meaning of ETOPS is also the more informally known: Engines Turn or Passengers Swim7 Dec 2021
I would say the most likely reason is that there are plenty of safe and friendly airports to land should that be necessary, whereas having to land in Mali or southern Algiers may be impossible for a 777 and the likelihood of them having qualified engineers (let alone hotels) is very unlikely. Not to mention a few wars and insurgencies in the area.7 Dec 2021
you may well be right (as may previous posters). The right to compensation notwithstanding (we will see how BA responds), I am concerned that the flight clearly entertained additional risks, whether exemplified by the need to be within a certain distance of a suitable airport or to avoid high ground because of the possible need for urgent descent. None of this was communicated to passengers, nor was the delay associated with re-routing, before we took off.
It appears that the policy was to keep us all in the dark, avoid any panic (unnecessary or otherwise) and the possibility of people choosing to offload. I have to say that I smell a rat in there somewhere.7 Dec 2021