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Non-Stop Flight with a stop

Otto80123
Explorer C

When I bought my tickets from Denver to San Jose Costa Rica they were advertised as non-stop.  On our flight from Denver to San Jose is was non-stop.  However, when we were at the gate in San Jose waiting to board the plane back to Denver there was a brief announcement about a stop in San Antonio TX without any explanation.  When we landed at San Antonio we stopped on an active taxiway and were met by a firetruck and a refueling tanker.  I have also learned that this was because Southwest didn't want to pay the for the fuel in San Jose necessary to make the non-stop flight all the way to Denver.  This resulted in more than an hour delay in our arrival to Denver which was a decision of Southwest Airlines.  In fact, this "cost saving decision" resulted in an action that put the passengers of our flight in an unnecessary risk by adding an additional landing and takeoff as well as an dangerous re-fueling operation as proved by the need for a firetruck during refueling operation.  Firetrucks are not normally needed at normal layovers.  I have been delayed on a flight because of a mechanical issue that necessitated an unplanned refueling stop of a non-stop flight but this was a financial decision of Southwest Airlines that unnecessarily delayed our flight.  In addition to that while we were on the ground in San Antonio we were not permitted to leave our seats and as such I believed that led to one passenger relieving themselves at their seat.  We received no emails or text messages from Southwest about this unplanned stop even though it was evident before the flight that the unplanned stop had been planned by Southwest Airlines.  I can't wait for their response to this false advertising and less than transparent plans of operation.

7 REPLIES 7

Re: Non-Stop Flight with a stop

SoCalFlyer97
Aviator C

@Otto80123 wrote:

When I bought my tickets from Denver to San Jose Costa Rica they were advertised as non-stop.  On our flight from Denver to San Jose is was non-stop.  However, when we were at the gate in San Jose waiting to board the plane back to Denver there was a brief announcement about a stop in San Antonio TX without any explanation.  When we landed at San Antonio we stopped on an active taxiway and were met by a firetruck and a refueling tanker.  I have also learned that this was because Southwest didn't want to pay the for the fuel in San Jose necessary to make the non-stop flight all the way to Denver.  This resulted in more than an hour delay in our arrival to Denver which was a decision of Southwest Airlines.  In fact, this "cost saving decision" resulted in an action that put the passengers of our flight in an unnecessary risk by adding an additional landing and takeoff as well as an dangerous re-fueling operation as proved by the need for a firetruck during refueling operation.  Firetrucks are not normally needed at normal layovers.  I have been delayed on a flight because of a mechanical issue that necessitated an unplanned refueling stop of a non-stop flight but this was a financial decision of Southwest Airlines that unnecessarily delayed our flight.  In addition to that while we were on the ground in San Antonio we were not permitted to leave our seats and as such I believed that led to one passenger relieving themselves at their seat.  We received no emails or text messages from Southwest about this unplanned stop even though it was evident before the flight that the unplanned stop had been planned by Southwest Airlines.  I can't wait for their response to this false advertising and less than transparent plans of operation.


Hello!

 

This incident is interesting. I think there's more to this story. It looks to be a diversion to SAT was needed to address a fueling issue. I don't think it was false advertising. Something else happened that caused the diversion to be needed and I think it is more than penny saving. 

 

As this forum is customer-to-customer, I would follow up directly with Southwest Customer service and so they can confirm the reasoning of this fuel stop as this will likely not be addressed on this message board.

 

Go here:

https://support.southwest.com/helpcenter/s/email-us

Click on "Flight", "Flight Diversion", fill out the form from there.

 

 

Re: Non-Stop Flight with a stop

Otto80123
Explorer C

Oh they knew about the stop well in advance, we were told at the gate and the pilot told us too before take-off.  I was on a UAL flight once and they told us in advance that they were not able to put fuel in the center tank which meant we would have to stop for fuel.  If there was a mechanical issue with SW they would have said so from the beginning.

Re: Non-Stop Flight with a stop

DancingDavidE
Aviator A

There was obviously something that came up where it was known this would happen in advance, but this isn't typical and I don't expect it was as simple as not wanting to pay for fuel in San Jose.

 

Southwest wouldn't be able to let anyone off because you are coming from an international destination and have to go through customs, that's probably why the stay on the tarmac.

 

The crew should have emphasized everyone to use the lavatory before the landing, if they didn't.

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Non-Stop Flight with a stop

dfwskier
Aviator A
Solution

@DancingDavidE wrote:

There was obviously something that came up where it was known this would happen in advance, but this isn't typical and I don't expect it was as simple as not wanting to pay for fuel in San Jose.

 

 Agree. While airlines may choose to "not fill the tanks" at airports where fue;l prices are high, they certainly will get enough fuel to get to the destination +    alternate  airport and mandated reserves.

Re: Non-Stop Flight with a stop

Otto80123
Explorer C

Yes, I'm sure they loaded enough fuel for Austin and a secondary airport but not Denver and that was intentional in my opinion.  It would be nice if SW would just admit it is a cost saving tactic and be transparent about it.  Let us know in advance about this.  Not to mention that take off and landing cycles are the most likely time accidents occur so they put all the passengers in additional risk because they wanted to save a little money.

Re: Non-Stop Flight with a stop

dfwskier
Aviator A
Solution

"Yes, I'm sure they loaded enough fuel for Austin and a secondary airport but not Denver and that was intentional in my opinion."

 

Do you have any proof or are just flying by the seat of your pants?

 

edit add:

 

To do what you suggest would mean that the airline intentionally violated FAA rules:

 

"No person may dispatch or take off an airplane unless it has enough fuel— (a) To fly to the airport to which it is dispatched; (b) Thereafter, to fly to and land at the most distant alternate airport (where required) for the airport to which dispatched; and (c) Thereafter, to fly for 45 minutes at normal cruising fuel"

 

I think not

Re: Non-Stop Flight with a stop

Otto80123
Explorer C

Yes, I understand why we had to stay on the plane but I don't buy for a second that this was a planned cost savings tactic.  If there wasn't a problem filling the tanks full in Costa Rica why did they only put in enough fuel for Austin?  They didn't have any problem doing that to get us from Denver to Costa Rica without a stop.  Yes, the crew did suggest people use the restroom but there were a lot of people wanting to use them and there wasn't enough time for everyone.