Tripleseven From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 118 posts, RR: 0 Posted (12 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 633 times:
So, as any of you who read my SFO-SAN trip report know, I just had a bad experience with a cancellation on the UA.
See, next week, I'm booked SFO-EWR on UA 0074. So, I've been checking the flight daily to see what's going on with it-is it on time etc. Today, the flight was cancelled. Had I flown today, I'm afraid I might have ended up high and dry like my last trip.
So, let's brainstorm here. What can I do in advance to prepare for a potential problem?
777x From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (12 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 609 times:
Know the other flights from United and other airlines that are leaving around the same time, that way, if something does go wrong, get the agent to rebook you and interline if required. Also, if you are prepared to fly to LGA or JFK instead of EWR let them know.
If you have a pager or cell phone, sign up for UA's paging service for the flight, and get it to send a confirmation a couple of hours before the flight, so you have early warning if anything is looking bad.
When you check in ask the csr to give you any information they have (on time/ delays/etc). If things are looking suspicious, get them to make you a reservation on another flight in case you get stuck.
Generally, you'll get through it if you know what to do and make sure that the agent covers all bases (interlining, alternate airports, etc)
777x From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (12 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 606 times:
One more thing...
Remember that a little courtesy goes a long way, when dealing with the CSR's, who may be a bit edgy from dealing with all the displaced customers, a customer that is nice and understanding usually gets what the're after. But, if kindness fails, then be prepared to escalate, talk to a supervisor, etc.
OPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 4, posted (12 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 597 times:
The problem at SFO continues to be the very closely spaced runways that make the airport extremely sensitive to reductions in the number of aircraft it can handle. That "trigger" is their loss of the ability to conduct "visual" approaches, usually anything less than a 2,500' cloud ceiling and/or anything less than 5 miles visibility. When they lose visuals, SFO's arrival rate goes from 60 an hour to as low as 30 an hour. Imagine the sudden backlog of cars on a six-lane freeway if three lanes of capacity disappear suddenly. The obvious critical difference here is backed up airplanes can't go bumper-to-bumper (in the air), so the delays ensue. Airborne flights turn circles, awaiting their shot at the airport, and anything headed to SFO that's still at its takeoff airport awaits their turn--not unlike a metered freeway ramp.
One of the things airlines (all of them) do when airspace capacity at an airport is radically reduced is to start prioritizing the use of the slots it has available. If there are flights that are lightly-booked, those will get canceled to allow a full(er) flight to operate, and minimize the number of inconvenienced Customers.
The same 2,500'/5 mile conditions at OAK, SJC, or SMF have virtually no adverse effect on creating delays (and their predictable side effects) given the lower traffic counts compared to SFO, and the fact that they have greater distances between any parallel runways in use there.
If your travel plans can't tolerate risking a delay/cancellation, and anyone has non-stop service off OAK, SJC, or SMF to where you want to go, I'd suggest that.