08/05/2010

An easyJet Switzerland airbus blocked in Stockholm

The easyJet flight to Stockholm early Wednesday morning left three hours late but did not come back: cancellations and delays for two days!


The pessimists say that it never rains but it pours; something literally and tragically true in Pakistan right now, which ought to make most of us realise how lucky we are. In a figurative sense, it also rings true for easyJet Switzerland, for a number of their passengers and for Geneva residents under the airport flight path, for whom the summer in general and the last few days in particular have been pretty awful.

On Wednesday morning the flight EZS1573 to Stockholm, due to leave at 7am, was delayed by three hours. Since the Airbus A319 aircraft (HB-JZT) had been in Geneva overnight it would seem that there was some problem.

The aircraft did get to Stockholm, but its return trip was cancelled. A possible, though merely hypothetical, reason might be that it already had some technical problem in Geneva before the departure, and that this problem reappeared in Stockholm, where easyJet may not have the same servicing, spare parts and repair facilities.

Whatever it was, this meant that easyJet had a "hole" of about 7 flying hours to fill. As per their stated preferences, it was the services to and from London Gatwick which filled most of the hole (no cancellations but delays of up to 4 hours and the last return flight just making it before the 0h30 closure). The final hole filler, though, was the cancellation of the last flight to and from Nice: a destination which is relatively often sacrificed for the greater good.

The problems would perhaps have stopped on the Thursday morning if the replacement flight, using the same aircraft, had arrived back in Geneva at the time that it was scheduled (EZS9374, due in at 7h45: that would have meant a long day and a short night for the passengers from Stockholm!). However, it only arrived at 14h, implying another hole of 6 flying hours. Then, to add insult to injury, another Geneva aircraft only went out two hours late (EZS1545, to Brindisi), making the hole about 8 hours in size.

As usual, Gatwick has suffered by the use of UK-based aircraft to fly Gatwick-Geneva-Gatwick, instead of Geneva-Gatwick-Geneva, so the passengers on the first two flights to Gatwick have been delayed by four hours: the ones on the remaining two flights might do slightly better. However, some other destinations have each also contributed an hour or two to the hole-filling process.

Regrettably, I have to admit that this is all my fault. Earlier in the week I said in my blog that Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays would be better days for air travel. Obviously, a classic case of tempting providence and reaping the whirlwind. For television sports commentators, this is a classic curse: if they just mention that Federer has not missed a second service in his tennis match so far, he is sure to make a double fault soon afterwards.

So I need to try a different approach, rather like the American way of saying "Good luck" is to say "Break a leg"!

I foresee a weekend full of flight cancellations, delays, last-minute hotel bookings and even more people watching the fireworks.!

And just in case Murphy's law applies and I am right, I will take refuge in the mountains :-)

17:26 Posted in easyJet anecdotes | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: easyjet, airbus, geneva, airport, gatwick, nice, stockholm | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

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