Disclaimer: I appreciate all the hard work IFATC controllers do on a daily basis. Thank you for your service!
I think my biggest pet peeve when flying with approach ATC is when they vector aircraft out of the way of the airport. I don’t mean when they set some aircraft up on a downwind-like path, I mean when ATC vectors aircraft 50+ miles from the airport.
I remember flying into Calgary on a FNF a while back, and being so annoyed when approach vectored me (and all the other inbound aircraft) almost 100 nm away. When I was about 50 nm from the airport, approach vectored me south, then vectored me in an S shaped pattern, sent me 50 nm north of the airport, and then left*. That whole time, approach had vectored me not to exceed 180 IAS, so it was an excruciatingly long process. At one point, I was flying in the direct opposite direction of the airport. It took such a long time that I got a low fuel warning. Thankfully, another controller came in and cleaned up.
I understand when there’s an unrealistic amount of traffic at an airport that you have to make adjustments. And managing an unrealistic amount of inbound aircraft is a lot of strain on one person. But sometimes I think vectors like the one I described are a little ridiculous. Is this a fair complaint? Was the controller doing the right thing?
Sorry, this has weighed on me for a little while and I just needed to vent.