D0- Are You Ready?
Article by American Airlines Corporate Communications
At PSA Airlines we strive to uphold our legacy carrier’s reputation for timely departures. Our Performance Incentive Program allows our employees to be rewarded for this effort when 69% of our monthly flights are on time. American Airlines describes the further impact our efforts and shortcomings have on operations.
Departing on time is at the forefront of running a reliable operation. And it all starts with being ready- planes are maintained and ready to go, we have the right people and the right equipment in place at the right time, we follow our countdown to departure, and we take accountability for compliance and consistency. In doing so, we’ll depart, and arrive, on time, bags will arrive when customers do, and our customers will continue to choose our reliable airline.
To help us depart on time, we aligned legacy American and legacy US Airways airport, flight service and flight teams countdown to departure on June 1. A critical element of our procedure is closing jetbridge doors 10 minutes prior to departure (D-10) and aircraft doors five minutes prior (D-5). Holding the flight for that one remaining customer may seem harmless enough, but it can cause a far greater number of people to be inconvenienced – other passengers on the flight may misconnect or a crew could time out and impact even more customers. The D-10 door closure guidelines have been in place at US Airways since 2007 and as a result, we led the industry in on-time departures every year from 2009-2013. We are excited to bring the same results to our combined airline.
The timeline takes into consideration all that each group must do prior to departure and includes guidelines on when to do each task so we are more likely to achieve our door close goals. The timeline shows all guideline duties by workgroup, such as pre-boarding announcements, clearing of standby lists, closing of overhead bins and filing of paperwork so employees can see how all the pieces fit together. Certainly there will be times when we won’t meet the door closure goals on every flight, but we’ll improve our dependability across the network by working as a team toward these goals.
The Great Ripple Effect
Just how big of a difference does one delayed flight make? A big one. Although a solitary one-hour delay might seem minor when you’re talking about 6,700 flights a day, it can trigger a ripple effect throughout the system, resulting in thousands of customers misconnecting and mishandled bags. In addition to the inconvenience suffered by our customers, we take a financial hit by reaccommodating customers on other airlines, paying for overnight accommodations and compensating our employees for staying overtime, In short, it’s a very expensive way to run an airline.