Q. My last flight was delayed an hour because "the crew overslept." It is hard for me to believe that the whole crew who is based in this city would have this problem. Is this something that an airline says when they want to depart later than scheduled? It was a 7 AM flight and the small airport had no coffee or food available.

A. The same thing happened to us recently on a flight out of LaGuardia. One member of the crew had overslept. And our flight was delayed until a replacement was flown in from Charlotte. It just takes one member of the crew to disrupt the entire schedule, and the plane can't leave short handed. We were surprised by how forthcoming the airline was about oversleeping! That said, late arriving crew does not fall under the same category of events as "beyond our control," like weather delays. If it had resulted in a very long delay, or a missed connection, the airline would probably have had to take some responsibility, depending on their policy.

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