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Passengers vs Fuel = Fuel Wins

Two passengers were escorted off a Virgin Blue plane by police Thursday when they refused to be bumped to make room for extra fuel. ( More...

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Toby Sharp 0
Refused to be bumped. what a bunch of idiots, that is so selfish, if they didnt leave that plane the entire plane wouldnt have been able to do the flight safely. they should be fined and refused a refund!
Ric Wernicke 0
Has Sir Richard heard about this? You don't throw pax off the plane. You send cargo the next day, or even passenger luggage and deliver it to the people in Bali with compensation for overnight needs. What was the loadmaster thinking? In the alternative you make a technical stop to refuel enroute.
Toby Sharp 0
All those would cost money, 2 passengers can wait an hour for the next flight,
Tony Sandaver 0
yeah I'm sure Virgin have hourly flights to Bali ....not
Damned passengers!! Who do they think they are??
Jim Nasby 0
And if you are going to ask for volunteers, you should compensate them. I bet if they offered $500 travel vouchers this wouldn't have been an issue.
usmcflyr 0
This happens on a daily basis in the regional world.... not sure why this is news... and yes passengers always go before luggage since delivering luggage would cost a lot more than giving passengers vouchers, hotels, etc. This is normal practice in the industry.
Chris Bryant 0
I've been bumped off an RJ before due to weight issues. AA gave me a voucher and got me to my destination on another routing. No big deal.
I know it's quite regular to bump pax if the acft is overweight but we don't know the issue with these pax... they may have been attanding a funeral/ wedding etc in which case it would be completely different. Really VB should have asked for volunteers
Oops my fault... they did ask for volunteers... reading 2 articles at once.... :)
Gene spanos 0 it was not Daley and the Chinese Pres. Some Young Guy!
Backbone 0
They should reject the heaviest passengers first. This may just require the bumping of one passenger!
Sean Harwood 0
Pardon my possible ignorance, but they bumped 2 passengers to "double the fuel" on the plane? If they were doubling an already large amount of fuel, it seems strange that they couldn't go just 400 pounds shy of "double" to let those passengers stay. But like I said, I am ignorant as I do not yet have a license and have not taken any ground school. Can someone shed some light on how roughly 400 pounds of people make up for several tons of fuel?
The overweight is based on "average passenger weights" used to calculate the aircaft's Take Off Weight. In such a case, 35 years ago we would ask each passenger their weight and we usually would gain around 2500 Kg (5500 lbs. This allowed the flight to operate direct Paris Le Bourget/JFK with a DC8-63 with 252 pax. The same can be applied to the luggage and use actual weights instead of average weights.
Steve Parker 0
I was on a flight from LAX-Melbourne back in the 90s when some type of revolt was happening in Fiji. The pilots showed up about 2 hours late because they had to file a new flight plan to avoid flying over Fiji (think giant "S" turn).

They came on the loudspeakers and asked for 6 people to volunteer so they could take on more fuel. There was a group of about 8 that eventually left without question or issue.

My biggest concern came during takeoff, when I thought "wait, they just calculated fuel for a fully loaded 747-400 to 6 people. Even with luggage that's at most 2,000 pounds of fuel, for a "4,000 pound swap" (2k less cargo, 2k more gas.

I know that there's probably some formula somewhere that says it's safe, but at the time, that small of a difference when takeoff weight was probably in the 600k pound range, it kinda freaked me out...
David Allen 0
Seems to me Rules and Regulations have taken over from common sense. Whatever happened to the days when Flight Deck members had to have a brain which was capable of thinking as well as reading? Just a couple of kilos overweight? Burn it off by holding prior to take off. Sure, the amount used won't be precise but neither is the amount already on board or the APS weight - not to mention the weight of exterior grime and the BS inside.
delphiniumeve 0

Every major airline now has taken to Enterprise Risk Management and has written policies regarding just about everything. They are prepared to defend documented items following industry best practice but variances require risk acceptances/execeptions. Even though there are variables that would 'offset' each other, if it is not documented - well, it 'does not exist' if it is not documented. I think you can see my point.
David Allen 0
I do see your point delphiniumeve ... and you have outlined my point beautifully.
Given the many variables (gunge on fuselage, actual pax wts, actual catering wtx, actual catering wt, etc, not to mention the Manufactuers built in buffer)an amount as low as 200 kgs could easily have been "adjusted" justifiably.
The man up front has to have the ability to use his experience and common sense to make a decision and not rely on the written word of an office woller who, however talented, cannot foresee every circumstance.

There are a lot of people who are very grateful to Captain Sullenberger (he of Hudson fame) for not reading his manual before making a decision.
"Jobsworths" worry the hell out of me.
I'd rather leave a plane voluntarily, knowing they are low on fuel(with compensation), than insist on flying 90% and swimming the rest of the trip.
Steve Parker 0
I have to agree with jogruni. Swimming is highly overrated... Especially from a 38k foot diving board...
...even though Bali is a nice area for a swimm. Not to mention the view from thr dive board...
Ray Hague 0
As a dumb pax I've never understood who the airlines tell to get off, if it gets to a mandatory point. Can anyone tell me how they do it, other than rock/paper/scissors?
Peter Merrett 0
Back in the days of SP's from LAX to Sydney getting bumped was always a risk if your origin was LA. You always knew there was a problem when you checked your bags and were told your boarding pass would be made available at the gate. United's policy at the time was to give all transiting passengers first priority which left all the LA originating passenger at the risk of being bumped. There were always generous enticements which got better and better when there was a lack of interest in becoming a bumpee which usually involved flying via Hawaii and getting to Sydney 6 or 7 hours after the SP.

What I could never understand was United gave priority to transiting passenger in LAX but never gave any priority to transiting passengers in Sydney. I was always flying on to Perth and felt I was entitled to be given the same priority as transiting LAX passengers.
Tomasz Fiszer 0
I totally sympathise with these two folks, I hope they will get huge compensation.


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