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Will United Go To AKL Anyway?  
User currently offlinecosyr From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 334 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 9882 times:

Hi, Long time reader, first time poster.

I know with the merger and the IAH scuffle that United says they won't start IAH-AKL, (despite still showing it as a future route on their July route map.) but does any United insider know if there are any potential plans to start AKL from LAX or SFO? 787's are coming soon, and I hope it means more new routes than just DEN-NRT.

I know pmUA flew to AKL in the past, and it didn't last, but a 787 might be a lot more profitable on a route like this than the 744's they used to fly on that route. My wife and I were planning to go to New Zealand next August, so we have to book with our miles in the next month or so to ensure Business Class. I would really like to fly a 787 in pmCO's J than a 744 to SYD, which I have flown before, and its several hours out of the way and extra customs each way. (Side question, can you change planes in SYD without going through Australian Customs?)

Any insight anyone has, or just wishful thinking, would be welcome. Thanks!

45 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRDH3E From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 1454 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 9841 times:

Quoting cosyr (Thread starter):
despite still showing it as a future route on their July route map

It is being removed from the August distribution.

Quoting cosyr (Thread starter):
so we have to book with our miles in the next month or so to ensure Business Class.

Unfortunately, you cannot book the direct flight on NZ with miles through UA. But you can, as you mentioned, book through SYD on UA then SYD-AKL on NZ.


User currently offlineUnited787 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2641 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 9839 times:

Quoting cosyr (Thread starter):
(despite still showing it as a future route on their July route map.)

I noticed that too and that makes me think it isn't totally dead... I believe there is a chance we will still see IAH-AKL. I would be curious to know how many cities are served on UA via IAH that aren't served via SFO and LAX, I would imagine quite a few...


User currently onlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9372 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 9740 times:

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 1):

Unfortunately, you cannot book the direct flight on NZ with miles through UA. But you can, as you mentioned, book through SYD on UA then SYD-AKL on NZ.

When did that change? Availability can be tight, but with both UA and NZ as star alliance partners, I didn’t know there was an embargo on North America routes for miles redemption. NZ flights don’t show when you try to book online through the UA’s website, but I didn’t realize they won’t sell them at all.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineRDH3E From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 1454 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 9616 times:

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 3):
When did that change? Availability can be tight, but with both UA and NZ as star alliance partners, I didn’t know there was an embargo on North America routes for miles redemption. NZ flights don’t show when you try to book online through the UA’s website, but I didn’t realize they won’t sell them at all.

I went in and searched award tickets LAX-AKL and it only came up with the connection through SYD. But if you search by price (non-award) and click Non-Stop only, then it will give you the option to book the direct LAX-AKL on NZ.


User currently offlinenyc2theworld From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 662 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 9575 times:

While the new UA site is good I would suggest you search another site that caters to frequent travelers on how to search StarNet. ANA is a good membership to have in order to search *Net.


Always wonderers if this "last and final boarding call" is in fact THE last and final boarding call.
User currently offlinest530 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 137 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 9559 times:

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 1):
It is being removed from the August distribution.


Is it also being removed from the web site route map, where it still shows as a future route more than a month after UA's hissy fit over the SW approval?


User currently offlinesteex From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1564 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 9361 times:

Quoting United787 (Reply 2):
I would be curious to know how many cities are served on UA via IAH that aren't served via SFO and LAX, I would imagine quite a few...

Sure, but how many with any significant demand to/from New Zealand or Australia? Most of those cities served by IAH and not SFO/LAX are going to be secondary markets, many of them in Mexico. Even from those, a lot of the demand is going to be tourists looking to go to Sydney who would either have to double connect XXX-HUB-SFO/LAX-SYD or XXX-IAH-AKL-SYD.


User currently offlinePA515 From New Zealand, joined Nov 2007, 835 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 9248 times:

Quoting cosyr (Thread starter):
Any insight

The NZ/UA codeshare agreement could have some relevance. The full details of the agreement were not disclosed, but altering or ending the agreement could have consequences neither party wants at this time.

Prior to the codeshare NZ and UA competed on AKL-LAX and SYD-LAX and some NZ services included a LAX-HNL sector. Under the codeshare agreement UA ceased AKL-LAX and NZ ceased SYD-LAX and LAX-HNL.

NZ now owns 20% of VA, but does not codeshare on any VA AUS-USA services.

IAH-AKL was announced by CO before the merger with UA. Postmerger the NZ/UA codeshare agreement would apply.

PA515


User currently offlinecivetfive From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 102 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 9025 times:

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 4):

thats because you can't book that online, but it doesn't mean it wasn't available as a Star Alliance Award. Online booking of awards is UA metal + a few partners; everything else requires a phone call.


User currently offlineRDH3E From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 1454 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 8988 times:

Quoting civetfive (Reply 9):
everything else requires a phone cal

Don't they charge a fee for telephone reservations?


User currently offlinemogandoCI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 8943 times:

Quoting civetfive (Reply 9):
Online booking of awards is UA metal + a few partners; everything else requires a phone call.

More than just a "few". Other than the panic band-aid fix that blocks any SQ from showing and a certain bug that prevent nonstop NH from showing (they show up fine as the 2nd leg of a connection), nearly all non-embargo'ed flights from Star Alliance show up properly on the website.

Even QR, a non-star-alliance ex-partner, shows up bookable on the website. Phone calls are rare unless you're trying to stitch together a frankenstein more complex than the web engine could handle.


User currently offlinemd3 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 100 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 8728 times:

There is no award embargo on NZ flights using United miles.

Having the ability to show partner inventory is very different than accurately producing true inventory for all the partners set up to run through the UA booking engine. Just compare with the results from SkyWeb, and you'll see UA.com results are less than 100% of what's actually available. Some award search engines are just better than others, whether it's programming or something else, I don't know.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24061 posts, RR: 23
Reply 13, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 8703 times:

Quoting cosyr (Thread starter):
I know pmUA flew to AKL in the past, and it didn't last, but a 787 might be a lot more profitable on a route like this than the 744's they used to fly on that route.

UA was using the 772 on LAX-AKL, not the 744, when they dropped the route in March 2003.


User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6476 posts, RR: 24
Reply 14, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 8588 times:

Quoting md3 (Reply 12):
Having the ability to show partner inventory is very different than accurately producing true inventory for all the partners set up to run through the UA booking engine. Just compare with the results from SkyWeb, and you'll see UA.com results are less than 100% of what's actually available. Some award search engines are just better than others, whether it's programming or something else, I don't know.

You can easily find Y availability on NZ via the UA booking engine. However, getting J availability is a different story. NZ rarely releases it for UA and when they do it's often at the last minute. Hence, getting to AKL in J using UA miles is difficult....many are forced to fly UA to SYD, then make the hop over to AKL.


User currently onlinethegoldenargosy From United States of America, joined Sep 2010, 309 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 8187 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 13):
UA was using the 772 on LAX-AKL, not the 744, when they dropped the route in March 2003.

UA used the 747 to AKL from 1986 when they started AKL to at least 2001 or 2002. The majority of the time AKL was served it was a 747.


User currently offlineMotorHussy From New Zealand, joined Mar 2000, 3038 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6109 times:

Quoting thegoldenargosy (Reply 15):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 13):
UA was using the 772 on LAX-AKL, not the 744, when they dropped the route in March 2003.

UA used the 747 to AKL from 1986 when they started AKL to at least 2001 or 2002. The majority of the time AKL was served it was a 747.

But what I think that demonstrates is that even with a smaller more efficient aircraft, UA couldn't get the LAX-AKL route to work for it and chose to codeshare with its alliance partner NZ instead. oneworld too have now bowed out of this market and staralliance, via NZ, enjoy a monopoly position which will change, to some degree, when HA enters the market next March (initially with 763's).



come visit the south pacific
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24307 posts, RR: 47
Reply 17, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5901 times:

Keep in mind, a large portion of the United issue with AKL prior was the large cadre of staff it had at the station inherited from Pan Am.

As I recall the count was almost 75 counting the airport staff, city office, admin, cargo, reservations etc.

Quite costly venture to support on a single daily flight.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineZK-NBT From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 5189 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5533 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 17):
As I recall the count was almost 75 counting the airport staff, city office, admin, cargo, reservations etc.

96

Quoting MotorHussy (Reply 16):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 13):
UA was using the 772 on LAX-AKL, not the 744, when they dropped the route in March 2003.

UA used the 747 to AKL from 1986 when they started AKL to at least 2001 or 2002. The majority of the time AKL was served it was a 747.

But what I think that demonstrates is that even with a smaller more efficient aircraft, UA couldn't get the LAX-AKL route to work for it and chose to codeshare with its alliance partner NZ instead

Well it worked for 17 years and as I understood they did ok most of the time, when backrupcy and 9/11 hit they needed to rejig and AKL with 96 staff for 1 daily flight had to go when they could codeshare with NZ who inturn cut SYD-LAX.

Its hard to say weather they will try AKL from LAX/SFO I think not myself, but hope i'm wrong.


User currently offlineRWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2863 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5482 times:

Quoting ZK-NBT (Reply 18):
Its hard to say weather they will try AKL from LAX/SFO I think not myself, but hope i'm wrong

Why would they with NZ doing a nice job for *A customers, that's quite a long route to the fly, just to compete with your own partner carrier on, I think NZ provides enough lift for the market, and TN, HA can fill the difference.



Rule number One, NEVER underestimate the other guys greed
User currently offlinequiet1 From Thailand, joined Apr 2010, 345 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5148 times:

If having 96 people on the payroll was too expensive for one daily flight, why not lay off or terminate some of those employees? In the end, by canceling that flight, they all got the axe anyway when the station closed, no?

User currently offlinetraindoc From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 337 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5120 times:

NZ's CEO has said publicly that they are "looking" at flying AKL-IAH-AKL, since UA was dropping the route before it ever got started. The route could well work, just as QF has had success with SYD-DFW.

User currently offlineZK-NBT From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 5189 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 4976 times:

Quoting quiet1 (Reply 20):
If having 96 people on the payroll was too expensive for one daily flight, why not lay off or terminate some of those employees? In the end, by canceling that flight, they all got the axe anyway when the station closed, no?

It was in the contracts that people couldn't be layed off since many of them at AKL were from the PA days at AKL whom UA brought the route from along with there other Pacific routes in 1986.

There is an article floating around saying UA may increase Australia services with 787s and it mentions in there that they are still looking or considering AKL from somewhere. I'm not sure where it originated or on a link though.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24307 posts, RR: 47
Reply 23, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks ago) and read 4894 times:

Quoting quiet1 (Reply 20):
If having 96 people on the payroll was too expensive for one daily flight, why not lay off or terminate some of those employees? In the end, by canceling that flight, they all got the axe anyway when the station closed, no?

In essence the only way to get rid of the people contractually and within local regulations was to close the station.

Same with some other UA stations - for example SAL and GUA had similar ex Pan Am staffing issues which contributed to them getting shut also.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinespink From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 317 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks ago) and read 4876 times:

Quoting quiet1 (Reply 20):
If having 96 people on the payroll was too expensive for one daily flight, why not lay off or terminate some of those employees? In the end, by canceling that flight, they all got the axe anyway when the station closed, no?

There may of been various union issues that made it complicated to layoff people at that station. It was probably a lot less complicated to partner with NZ and just shutdown their station.


25 quiet1 : And, if UA re-starts service to AKL (on UA metal), are they free from the PA contractual shackles so they could now staff the station at appropriate l
26 icanfly : Yes. You just need to follow the signs for an international transfer, put your bags through the scanner and head to the gate. You don't pass through
27 Post contains images AirframeAS : I am hoping that sUA will reconsider and eventually go to AKL.....from DEN with the 787...... Here is to hoping!
28 AVENSAB727 : Maybe, but it depends on the marker, there was a small market for IAH-AKL.
29 PA515 : Union issues were not the reason UA ceased AKL-LAX. The non management staff were paid redundancy according to length of service in accordance with t
30 thegeek : Is it worth it? LAX-SYD-AKL just to use miles. If you flew NZ LAX-AKL you'd save 6+ hours of travelling and get some extra miles. Avoiding UA's 744 s
31 United1 : UA and NZ have ATI...they can coordinate pricing, routes and schedules with no issue.
32 LAXintl : The ATI which commenced in 2001 has carve outs. For example both LAX-AKL and LAX-SYD are both carve out markets where the carriers may not coordinate
33 jfk777 : Its been over 25 years since United took over the PA Asian routes, what contracts are you referring to ? Whatever contracts PA had in force in NZ in
34 cosyr : Yes, it is definately worth it. I would love to fly UA's 747 either in the nose or upstairs, unless 787 is an option to try it out. I also wouldn't m
35 thegeek : Cuts down your options of NZ flights if you must have business - they only offer it on a wide body. I get $US4652 per person per direction for LAX-AKL
36 motorhussy : The market of UA's feed from the South (including Houston), the East Coast and the Mid-West is not insignificant. Not forgetting that AKL is a gatewa
37 RDH3E : I would doubt it. IAH-SYD is nearly 1k miles further at 8596mi on GCmap. You could see it running SFO-SYD as a second daily perhaps during high seaso
38 Post contains links RDH3E : Just in case anyone didn't believe me before, AKL is now removed from the route map in Hemispheres: http://www.ink-live.com/emagazines/h...ted-airline
39 sweair : What routes will the NZ 789s fly? These frames will have more range than the 788s.
40 spink : depends on what the official range ends up being. Right now is quoting 7650-8200 on their website. The GC route is roughly 7500 nmi, so the 7650 rang
41 Joeljack : I flew SYD-AKL in about 1990, it was a 747-400 and my family of 4 were the only ones in the upper deck, it was awesome!! We then flew AKL-HNL a week
42 sunrisevalley : I saw a flight plan from that put the airways distance at ~ 7500nm and a flight time at 16hr 09m. That is an ESAD of ~ 7800nm. A 789 should be able t
43 PA515 : The 744 flights were LAX-AKL-MEL, so had LAX-AKL and LAX-MEL pax. The 772 flights were LAX-AKL only. PA515
44 Post contains images RWA380 : Wow what a horrible experience, it's been a while 93 or 94, but my experience going through customs in HNL during the mid morning arrival bank from A
45 motorhussy : It's expected the long-haul configured version will take over AKL-YVR from the current 77E. I'm sure they'll also be analysing closely the potential
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