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UA Express Flight Delays - Common?  
User currently offlineGoAllegheny From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 340 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3102 times:

Last night (Sunday) I flew from PIT to ORD on a United Express/Air Wisconsin BAE 146. It was a nice plane as the RJs go - the only one that I know of where I can comfortably stand (I am 6'5" tall). But of course no IFE at all, so I couldn't listen to Channel 9. Plus, the pilots hardly said anything.

Anyway, when I checked in at PIT the United ticket agent complained to me about United's scheduling of so many Express flights to Pittsburgh during the apparently busier summer season. "They're often late, they break down, etc. etc." She told me that she and her fellow agents are asking customers to write to United to request full mainline service from PIT to ORD all of the time during the summer. She even handed me a feedback card for me to send to United. Another gate agent later told me that the Express flights are lower on the ATC departure pecking order at ORD than the mainline flights.

Sure enough, the plane was late coming to PIT from ORD, and so we departed 90 minutes late. Also, the prior Express flight from PIT to ORD (5665) was cancelled, and an Express flight from PIT to IAD was more than an hour late departing.

My question is, are these delays more typical for the United Express airlines flights and should I try to avoid them when possible?

(Two other problems with the flight, one of my own making. First, United baggage claim was way messed up at ORD last night. I left after waiting for about 20 minutes and my flight wasn't even posted yet and the baggage people said it would take an hour. UA finally delivered my bag to my house at 3:30 pm this afternoon. Also, I flew with a cold and am now suffering a painful case of "airplane ear" after suffering from a very painful descent into PIT.)

And finally, a funny, or not-so-funny, aside (this is turning into a trip report, but oh well) a guy in the same gate area missed his Air Canada flight to Toronto and Montreal because he was working on his laptop and didn't hear the boarding announcements and the TWO final calls for his flight. So he missed it. Oops. Turns out he was going to Venice that night from Toronto. He argued, but only halfheartedly, with the United gate agents who work the Air Canada flights. Not sure where he ended up - probably a hotel room, considering that I doubt there were any other flights to Toronto from PIT last night.

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline1MillionFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3094 times:

ORD is the problem. I was cancelled out of a flight to ORD last night (Storms)and caught a UA Express (CHQ) E170 at 6:00AM this morning. I was at the gate 5 minutes early. It was my first time on a E170 - nice!

ORD is bad for mainline, ERJ's UA, AA everyone that airport is a mess.


User currently offlineFlypdx From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3087 times:

I am flying an AWAC flight later in the summer from ORD to PIT and I have been checking periodically, and every time i have checked in the past week or two the flight has been delayed at least 30 minutes according to the UA website :-p

User currently offline1MillionFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3070 times:

http://www.fly.faa.gov/flyfaa/usmap.jsp

again it's ORD

General Departure Delays: Due to ENRTE TSTMS, traffic is experiencing Gate Hold and Taxi delays between 15 minutes and 29 minutes in length and decreasing.


User currently offlineApodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4277 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3057 times:

I can tell you the previous flight was cancelled due to a mx problem. BTW, glad to see you had a nice flight. I was your dispatcher for that flight from PIT.

Also, the biggest problem is ORD, and these delays are all too common at ORD. Often times, UA will steal slots from the Express carriers to get their own metal in, which basically screws all the Express carriers, who they don't seem to have a lot of respect for. I have checked out statistics and ZW seems to have the best ontime during programs of the Express carriers. That will change after we leave UA and go to US.


User currently offlineFlypdx From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3043 times:

Quoting Apodino (Reply 4):
Also, the biggest problem is ORD, and these delays are all too common at ORD. Often times, UA will steal slots from the Express carriers to get their own metal in, which basically screws all the Express carriers, who they don't seem to have a lot of respect for. I have checked out statistics and ZW seems to have the best ontime during programs of the Express carriers. That will change after we leave UA and go to US.

Does ZW have their own people in PIT that handle the aircraft?


User currently offlineChristao17 From Thailand, joined Apr 2005, 941 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3032 times:

Quoting GoAllegheny (Thread starter):
the United ticket agent complained to me about United's scheduling of so many Express flights to Pittsburgh during the apparently busier summer season. "They're often late, they break down, etc. etc." She told me that she and her fellow agents are asking customers to write to United to request full mainline service from PIT to ORD all of the time during the summer. She even handed me a feedback card for me to send to United.

Hmm... someone who didn't get the memo that customers don't usually appreciate employees bad-mouthing their own company. Really inspires confidence, especially as you're about to get on a plane.



Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
User currently offlineFriendlySkies From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 4105 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3003 times:

I think they're just some disgruntled ZW employees who are pissed that UA kicked them out...

User currently offlineGoAllegheny From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 340 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2998 times:

Yes, ORD was a bit of a mess last night. I didn't realize that t-storms hit it directly, but I know they were in the area. Luggage claim was also bad, with only one agent behind the desk in luggage services. Not good.

Apodino, I will miss AWAC when it goes to US. I chose AWAC over Mesa because I've heard good things about your airline. And I love the BAE-146 compared to the other RJs. Did I fly a -100 or a -200/-300? The UA website says it was a -100, I think. But the AWAC website says you only fly -200s and -300s. ??

I also didn't understand why the gate agent was pressing me to send in a complaint. I don't think it would do any good.


User currently offlineLfutia From Netherlands, joined Dec 2002, 3339 posts, RR: 27
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2975 times:

hmm... i'll be flying from ORD to PIT on UA5664 in July and back on UA5665... it'll be my first time on the 146!


Leo/ORD -- Groetjes uit de VS! -- Heeft u laatst nog met KLM gevlogen?
User currently offlineFlypdx From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2959 times:

Quoting GoAllegheny (Reply 8):

Apodino, I will miss AWAC when it goes to US. I chose AWAC over Mesa because I've heard good things about your airline. And I love the BAE-146 compared to the other RJs. Did I fly a -100 or a -200/-300? The UA website says it was a -100, I think. But the AWAC website says you only fly -200s and -300s. ??

ZW only flys -200s and -300s, the UA website is full of it.


User currently offlineCactus739 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2448 posts, RR: 30
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2932 times:

Quoting Apodino (Reply 4):
Often times, UA will steal slots from the Express carriers to get their own metal in, which basically screws all the Express carriers

Not the first time we've heard this. Happened to ACA all the time and people bad mouthed ACA too....



You can't fix stupid.... - Ron White
User currently offlineFriendlySkies From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 4105 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2926 times:

UA isn't the only bad guy here...and afterall, the regionals are getting paid the same fee no matter when they fly or how many pax, so they could probably give a damn about UA taking their slots.

User currently offlineEjmmsu From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 1692 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2904 times:

It just reinforces the fact that avoiding a connection at ORD, wheather it be AA or UA, is a very good idea. Flying CO through CLE is a nice alternative if available.

Also, AA through STL is a very hassle free connection if that is available.

And if you look at a map, MEM really isn't all that far south, NW has it well banked, and it rarely sees delays due to anything but weather.



"If the facts do not conform to the theory, they will have to be disposed of"
User currently offline146CREW From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2866 times:

Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 12):
UA isn't the only bad guy here...and afterall, the regionals are getting paid the same fee no matter when they fly or how many pax, so they could probably give a damn about UA taking their slots.


Actually, when there is a delay, even an ATC delay the express carrier only has a limited amount of time to turn the aircraft before the pay rate for the flight decreases. United does indeed dock payment for poor performance.



Cross check complete.
User currently offlineMojo89 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 123 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2791 times:

Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 7):
I think they're just some disgruntled ZW employees who are pissed that UA kicked them out...

ZW does not handle our flights in PIT. It is a mainline station.



When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2783 times:

Quoting Ejmmsu (Reply 13):
It just reinforces the fact that avoiding a connection at ORD, whether it be AA or UA, is a very good idea. Flying CO through CLE is a nice alternative if available

Another reason why point to point is preferable to hub and spoke. I vividly remember sitting in a UA A320 one December out at the O'Hare "bullpen" for over an hour, because no gates were available for incoming flights. The highlight was, of course, watching my connecting flight for SEA leave without me.

I avoid ORD in the dead of winter and peak of summer; DFW in the summer, and ATL all the time.


User currently offline1MillionFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2772 times:

Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 12):
UA isn't the only bad guy here...and afterall, the regionals are getting paid the same fee no matter when they fly or how many pax, so they could probably give a damn about UA taking their slots

I don't think all UA express carriers are fee for departure any more, can someone shed light on this? I thought ACA left UA becuase they would not do fee for departure anymore.


User currently offlineTornado82 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2761 times:

Quoting Flypdx (Reply 5):
Does ZW have their own people in PIT that handle the aircraft?

Rumors on the boards here has been that ZW will soon have a crew base in PIT via US.


User currently offlineGoAllegheny From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 340 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2748 times:

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 16):
Another reason why point to point is preferable to hub and spoke. I vividly remember sitting in a UA A320 one December out at the O'Hare "bullpen" for over an hour, because no gates were available for incoming flights. The highlight was, of course, watching my connecting flight for SEA leave without me.

Unfortunately, that doesn't help the many of us who live in Chicago. MDW seems to be far less prone to delays, but it's not a United hub, and it is far from my home.

Another annoyance that I experience with United (and I am a United FF, so I can't say if this is true for other airlines) is that often - perhaps 25-30% of the time - the gate agent at the arriving airport isn't ready to position the jetway to the airport, OR the gate is occupied with another aircraft because we are a few minutes early. This happens either at ORD or at other busy airports (often in MSP, where United only seems to have 2 gates). Either way, we wait, sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes longer on the tarmac. Regardless, it annoys me when the F/A brightly announces on touchdown that we are on time or early, but then we have to wait for an open gate/jetway.


User currently offlineNwa747-400 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1337 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2738 times:

ACA was always given the raw end of the deal by UA stealing ATC slots during irregular operations. Independence Air has seen a remarkable improvement in ontime/completion factor/baggage handling now that UA has no control over them anymore.

User currently offlineAzjubilee From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 3931 posts, RR: 27
Reply 21, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2700 times:

Gimme a break... I'm so sick of mainline employees acting as if the Express/Airlink/Connection carriers are the root of all evil!! Uh... last time I checked mainline a/c were prone to ATC and mechanical delays. There are so many NWA agents and rampers who get so pissed off at us at Mesaba when our a/c has mx issues or we get an ATC delay. Get off your high mainline horse and get a reality check... then go do your job!


AZJ


User currently offlineCWAFlyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 669 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2651 times:

Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 12):

UA isn't the only bad guy here...and afterall, the regionals are getting paid the same fee no matter when they fly or how many pax, so they could probably give a damn about UA taking their slots.(quote)

Not so. When United subs our flow times with theirs and makes our
stuff even later then it is already, then yes we do care. This causes
major problems with crews timing out for the night, swaps for
maintainence not being able to get done, flights cancelled.
Unless United specifically asks for a flight or flights to be cancelled,
we don't get paid for what has to be cancelled as a result of them
jacking with flow times.

Actually, when there is a delay, even an ATC delay the express carrier only has a limited amount of time to turn the aircraft before the pay rate for the flight decreases. United does indeed dock payment for poor performance

Yes and no. Each flight is fee for departure, regardless of how long
it takes to turn the flight. The rate does not decrease for taking longer
than the standard turn time. United used to pay incentives for
meeting on-time, completed, and mishandled baggage goals, but they
don't do that anymore.

[Edited 2005-06-28 20:31:50]

User currently offlineApodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4277 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2640 times:

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 18):

Rumors on the boards here has been that ZW will soon have a crew base in PIT via US.

This doesn't seem as likely anymore as it now appears all but certain that the third crew base, in addition to DCA and PIT will be ORF, presumably due to the fact that it will likely be a mx base for the new operation. However this is rumor and not official yet.

Quoting GoAllegheny (Reply 8):

Apodino, I will miss AWAC when it goes to US. I chose AWAC over Mesa because I've heard good things about your airline. And I love the BAE-146 compared to the other RJs. Did I fly a -100 or a -200/-300? The UA website says it was a -100, I think. But the AWAC website says you only fly -200s and -300s. ??

If I remember correctly your tail number was N614ZW which is a 300 series.

Quoting Nwa747-400 (Reply 20):
ACA was always given the raw end of the deal by UA stealing ATC slots during irregular operations. Independence Air has seen a remarkable improvement in ontime/completion factor/baggage handling now that UA has no control over them anymore.

Now what happens with Indy Air is they schedule their banks of flights right before the rest of the flights for UA and Express come in. As a result, IAD is often groundstopped at midday to accomidate this extra traffic that Indy Air provides. Another problem with IAD is that before Indy Air came along, it was not considered to be a busy an airport, so they tended to assign the facility to the controllers that were below some of the others, like the ones working in Chicago, Houston, New York, or SoCal. Now that its really busy, those contollers are overwhellmed, and they can't reassign them due to the Union agreements.


User currently offlineTornado82 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2618 times:

Quoting Apodino (Reply 23):
Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 18):

Rumors on the boards here has been that ZW will soon have a crew base in PIT via US.


This doesn't seem as likely anymore as it now appears all but certain that the third crew base, in addition to DCA and PIT will be ORF, presumably due to the fact that it will likely be a mx base for the new operation. However this is rumor and not official yet.

I think you contradicted yourself here by saying it's not likely, but then "all but certain." So the way I understand it is the 3 ZW crew bases will be: PIT, DCA, ORF?


25 Apodino : No I didn't contradict my self. I said it is not likely the third crew base will be PIT, and I also said that its all but certain that ORF will be. T
26 Tornado82 : Oh ok, PHL instead of PIT.. thanks for clearing up the confusion! I didn't mean to be a jerk about it or anything if you took it that way. Hopefully d
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