Author Topic: Shabbat and my United Flight  (Read 11486 times)

Offline slnyc

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Shabbat and my United Flight
« on: October 27, 2016, 11:11:03 AM »
I want to share an experience my family and I recently had on a United flight from Newark to Tel-Aviv.

We were scheduled on UA90 on Thursday, October 13, leaving at 10:45 PM and arriving in Tel-Aviv on Friday at 4:20 PM. My wife and I were traveling with our 16 month-old daughter to visit family in Israel for Succot. Everything was going smoothly until we were about to leave the gate, when the pilot announced that United was experiencing a computer outage, which would cause a slight delay. The delay went on for some time, at which point some Shabbat observing passengers began expressing concern that our new arrival time would be after Shabbat began (around 5:50 PM).

Around midnight, our pilot announced that computer issue had been resolved and we would be leaving the gate in a few minutes. It was only at this point that some of the Shabbat observing passengers, realizing the plane would not arrive before Shabbat began, decided to get off the plane. Their decision forced another long delay, as United was now required to retrieve each piece of their checked luggage, a complicated process involving meticulously searching through all the planeís luggage bins.

This was incredibly frustrating to the rest of the passengers who were now further delayed by the decision of this small group. Upon completion of the luggage retrieval, which concluded around 1:45 AM, the pilot announced that we would shortly be ready to take off, pending some additional paperwork. While we once again waited to taxi, another group of Shabbat observing passengers decided to disembark the plane, causing yet another long delay. Why they decided to disembark at that point and not with the first group was truly baffling, and only caused further consternation among the rest of the passengers. This delay went on until around 4 AM, at which point the pilot announced the flight was canceled because the crew had timed-out.

After the ensuing chaos, my family was eventually rebooked on a flight that arrived in Israel on Sunday afternoon, nearly two days after our originally scheduled arrival date. In addition, United failed to deliver one of our suitcases, which eventually arrived after an additional two-day delay.

All in all, this experience was a difficult one for my family. As anyone who has traveled with young children knows, flying long-distance isnít easy even when everything goes smoothly. And itís much, much worse when things donít.

Ultimately, United bears a good part of the blame for our flight experience. Their systems caused the initial delay, and they failed to properly manage the passengers on the canceled flight.

Yet those who made the decision to disembark also failed to (or didnít care to) appreciate how their actions affected the rest of the passengers. I fully respect the religious beliefs and practices of each of the passengers who left the plane, but I do question their initial decision to book a flight that was scheduled to arrive so close to Shabbat. Leaving so little time doesn't seem like a smart approach, especially when it can negatively impact the rest of the passengers.

If youíre going to book a flight arriving close to Shabbat, you should also make the decision to live with the consequences of a delayed flight. Anything short of that just doesnít seem fair or right.



Offline YOSEF

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2016, 11:15:55 AM »
What amount of time is reasonable to allow?

Also, the numbers seem way off. Shouldn't take two hours to get people's luggage off the plane.

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2016, 11:21:48 AM »
OP, are you not shomer shabbos?  Why didn't you get off? Why did you book a flight arriving an hour before shabbos to begin with?

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2016, 11:27:31 AM »
I want to share an experience my family and I recently had on a United flight from Newark to Tel-Aviv.

We were scheduled on UA90 on Thursday, October 13, leaving at 10:45 PM and arriving in Tel-Aviv on Friday at 4:20 PM. My wife and I were traveling with our 16 month-old daughter to visit family in Israel for Succot. Everything was going smoothly until we were about to leave the gate, when the pilot announced that United was experiencing a computer outage, which would cause a slight delay. The delay went on for some time, at which point some Shabbat observing passengers began expressing concern that our new arrival time would be after Shabbat began (around 5:50 PM).

Around midnight, our pilot announced that computer issue had been resolved and we would be leaving the gate in a few minutes. It was only at this point that some of the Shabbat observing passengers, realizing the plane would not arrive before Shabbat began, decided to get off the plane. Their decision forced another long delay, as United was now required to retrieve each piece of their checked luggage, a complicated process involving meticulously searching through all the planeís luggage bins.

This was incredibly frustrating to the rest of the passengers who were now further delayed by the decision of this small group. Upon completion of the luggage retrieval, which concluded around 1:45 AM, the pilot announced that we would shortly be ready to take off, pending some additional paperwork. While we once again waited to taxi, another group of Shabbat observing passengers decided to disembark the plane, causing yet another long delay. Why they decided to disembark at that point and not with the first group was truly baffling, and only caused further consternation among the rest of the passengers. This delay went on until around 4 AM, at which point the pilot announced the flight was canceled because the crew had timed-out.

After the ensuing chaos, my family was eventually rebooked on a flight that arrived in Israel on Sunday afternoon, nearly two days after our originally scheduled arrival date. In addition, United failed to deliver one of our suitcases, which eventually arrived after an additional two-day delay.

All in all, this experience was a difficult one for my family. As anyone who has traveled with young children knows, flying long-distance isnít easy even when everything goes smoothly. And itís much, much worse when things donít.

Ultimately, United bears a good part of the blame for our flight experience. Their systems caused the initial delay, and they failed to properly manage the passengers on the canceled flight.

Yet those who made the decision to disembark also failed to (or didnít care to) appreciate how their actions affected the rest of the passengers. I fully respect the religious beliefs and practices of each of the passengers who left the plane, but I do question their initial decision to book a flight that was scheduled to arrive so close to Shabbat. Leaving so little time doesn't seem like a smart approach, especially when it can negatively impact the rest of the passengers.

If youíre going to book a flight arriving close to Shabbat, you should also make the decision to live with the consequences of a delayed flight. Anything short of that just doesnít seem fair or right.

To arrive 1:30 before Shabbos is not smart and against the Halacha. When you're talking about flying on airplane it is even more obvious why. As far as the second group, that is very strange. And evidently the OP is not SS.

Offline yossi621

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2016, 11:30:06 AM »
OP, are you not shomer shabbos?  Why didn't you get off? Why did you book a flight arriving an hour before shabbos to begin with?
seems pretty obvious he isn't...

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2016, 11:31:03 AM »
I want to share an experience my family and I recently had on a United flight from Newark to Tel-Aviv.

We were scheduled on UA90 on Thursday, October 13, leaving at 10:45 PM and arriving in Tel-Aviv on Friday at 4:20 PM. My wife and I were traveling with our 16 month-old daughter to visit family in Israel for Succot. Everything was going smoothly until we were about to leave the gate, when the pilot announced that United was experiencing a computer outage, which would cause a slight delay. The delay went on for some time, at which point some Shabbat observing passengers began expressing concern that our new arrival time would be after Shabbat began (around 5:50 PM).

Around midnight, our pilot announced that computer issue had been resolved and we would be leaving the gate in a few minutes. It was only at this point that some of the Shabbat observing passengers, realizing the plane would not arrive before Shabbat began, decided to get off the plane. Their decision forced another long delay, as United was now required to retrieve each piece of their checked luggage, a complicated process involving meticulously searching through all the planeís luggage bins.

This was incredibly frustrating to the rest of the passengers who were now further delayed by the decision of this small group. Upon completion of the luggage retrieval, which concluded around 1:45 AM, the pilot announced that we would shortly be ready to take off, pending some additional paperwork. While we once again waited to taxi, another group of Shabbat observing passengers decided to disembark the plane, causing yet another long delay. Why they decided to disembark at that point and not with the first group was truly baffling, and only caused further consternation among the rest of the passengers. This delay went on until around 4 AM, at which point the pilot announced the flight was canceled because the crew had timed-out.

After the ensuing chaos, my family was eventually rebooked on a flight that arrived in Israel on Sunday afternoon, nearly two days after our originally scheduled arrival date. In addition, United failed to deliver one of our suitcases, which eventually arrived after an additional two-day delay.

All in all, this experience was a difficult one for my family. As anyone who has traveled with young children knows, flying long-distance isnít easy even when everything goes smoothly. And itís much, much worse when things donít.

Ultimately, United bears a good part of the blame for our flight experience. Their systems caused the initial delay, and they failed to properly manage the passengers on the canceled flight.

Yet those who made the decision to disembark also failed to (or didnít care to) appreciate how their actions affected the rest of the passengers. I fully respect the religious beliefs and practices of each of the passengers who left the plane, but I do question their initial decision to book a flight that was scheduled to arrive so close to Shabbat. Leaving so little time doesn't seem like a smart approach, especially when it can negatively impact the rest of the passengers.

If youíre going to book a flight arriving close to Shabbat, you should also make the decision to live with the consequences of a delayed flight. Anything short of that just doesnít seem fair or right.
Very simple.

Thursday October 13 was the only day between Yom Kippur and Succos to travel. Additionally there was a chartered flight that was cancelled causing travel issues for many passengers.

They had no other choice.

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2016, 11:33:08 AM »
OP, are you not shomer shabbos?  Why didn't you get off? Why did you book a flight arriving an hour before shabbos to begin with?

Clearly OP is not shomer shabbas; he or she is venting that the people who are did.
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Offline slnyc

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2016, 11:33:27 AM »
To arrive 1:30 before Shabbos is not smart and against the Halacha. When you're talking about flying on airplane it is even more obvious why. As far as the second group, that is very strange. And evidently the OP is not SS.

I'm not SS, and neither was most of the flight.

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2016, 11:33:48 AM »
I find it very odd that SS people would take this flight, especially given the typical delays in general from EWR and specifically on this route.
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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2016, 11:34:43 AM »
Very simple.

Thursday October 13 was the only day between Yom Kippur and Succos to travel. Additionally there was a chartered flight that was cancelled causing travel issues for many passengers.

They had no other choice.
UA and LY had earlier flights that day.
Otherwise fly before YK.
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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2016, 11:36:52 AM »
I want to share an experience my family and I recently had on a United flight from Newark to Tel-Aviv.

We were scheduled on UA90 on Thursday, October 13, leaving at 10:45 PM and arriving in Tel-Aviv on Friday at 4:20 PM. My wife and I were traveling with our 16 month-old daughter to visit family in Israel for Succot. Everything was going smoothly until we were about to leave the gate, when the pilot announced that United was experiencing a computer outage, which would cause a slight delay. The delay went on for some time, at which point some Shabbat observing passengers began expressing concern that our new arrival time would be after Shabbat began (around 5:50 PM).

Around midnight, our pilot announced that computer issue had been resolved and we would be leaving the gate in a few minutes. It was only at this point that some of the Shabbat observing passengers, realizing the plane would not arrive before Shabbat began, decided to get off the plane. Their decision forced another long delay, as United was now required to retrieve each piece of their checked luggage, a complicated process involving meticulously searching through all the planeís luggage bins.

This was incredibly frustrating to the rest of the passengers who were now further delayed by the decision of this small group. Upon completion of the luggage retrieval, which concluded around 1:45 AM, the pilot announced that we would shortly be ready to take off, pending some additional paperwork. While we once again waited to taxi, another group of Shabbat observing passengers decided to disembark the plane, causing yet another long delay. Why they decided to disembark at that point and not with the first group was truly baffling, and only caused further consternation among the rest of the passengers. This delay went on until around 4 AM, at which point the pilot announced the flight was canceled because the crew had timed-out.

After the ensuing chaos, my family was eventually rebooked on a flight that arrived in Israel on Sunday afternoon, nearly two days after our originally scheduled arrival date. In addition, United failed to deliver one of our suitcases, which eventually arrived after an additional two-day delay.

All in all, this experience was a difficult one for my family. As anyone who has traveled with young children knows, flying long-distance isnít easy even when everything goes smoothly. And itís much, much worse when things donít.

Ultimately, United bears a good part of the blame for our flight experience. Their systems caused the initial delay, and they failed to properly manage the passengers on the canceled flight.

Yet those who made the decision to disembark also failed to (or didnít care to) appreciate how their actions affected the rest of the passengers. I fully respect the religious beliefs and practices of each of the passengers who left the plane, but I do question their initial decision to book a flight that was scheduled to arrive so close to Shabbat. Leaving so little time doesn't seem like a smart approach, especially when it can negatively impact the rest of the passengers.

If youíre going to book a flight arriving close to Shabbat, you should also make the decision to live with the consequences of a delayed flight. Anything short of that just doesnít seem fair or right.

Ultimately, this is why it's never smart (nor religiously advisable, and perhaps even disallowed) to book a flight with that little cushion on Friday afternoon.

That said, the blame here is on UA.  But for their initial computer issue, the plane would have arrived on time, getting people (incl those who are SS) where they needed to be, when they needed to be there.  Once you have an initial delay, all bets are off, as you have the competing priorities of 300 people in a metal tube for which to account.
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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2016, 11:38:24 AM »
Ultimately, this is why it's never smart (nor religiously advisable, and perhaps even disallowed) to book a flight with that little cushion on Friday afternoon.

That said, the blame here is on UA.  But for their initial computer issue, the plane would have arrived on time, getting people (incl those who are SS) where they needed to be, when they needed to be there.  Once you have an initial delay, all bets are off, as you have the competing priorities of 300 people in a metal tube for which to account.
The flight is delayed 47% of the time.
Yes that's completely UA's fault, but taking this flight was downright reckless.

I wonder what in the world the 2nd group of SS people were thinking?
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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2016, 11:41:31 AM »
The flight is delayed 47% of the time.
Yes that's completely UA's fault, but taking this flight was downright reckless.

I wonder what in the world the 2nd group of SS people were thinking?

Reckless, indeed.  But I fear desperate times (and the fact that Thursday was the only time to fly this year after YK) caused some people to put on blinders and throw caution to the wind.

What, you never heard of Shabbas in TLV?  :D
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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2016, 11:42:12 AM »
The flight is delayed 47% of the time.
Yes that's completely UA's fault, but taking this flight was downright reckless.

I wonder what in the world the 2nd group of SS people were thinking?

They said that they spoke to a Rabbi (no idea who) who said they can fly and arrive on Shabbat, as long as they don't take any luggage with them once they arrive in BG. Don't know if they planned to stay in the airport or walk somewhere (though it would be a far walk anywhere).

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Re: Shabbat and my United Flight
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2016, 11:43:07 AM »
They said that they spoke to a Rabbi (no idea who) who said they can fly and arrive on Shabbat, as long as they don't take any luggage with them once they arrive in BG. Don't know if they planned to stay in the airport or walk somewhere (though it would be a far walk anywhere).
Very bizarre.
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