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UA ORD-SEA Is Only 3x Daily?  
User currently offlineMEL From Canada, joined Oct 1999, 1098 posts, RR: 13
Posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6829 times:

I was searching options for travel from ORD-SEA and ORD-PDX and was shocked to see United only operating 3 flights per day between Chicago and Seattle. This is a serious decrease in flight frequency. If I recall correctly, it seemed about 10 years ago there was an almost hourly schedule in this market. Even American only operates 4x flights per day. Who picked up the slack? Alaska only operates 2x daily, same with Southwest (ex. MDW).

ORD-PDX is a very similar picture. I remember flying the UA 777 all the time on ORD-SEA and even flew the 3-class (FCY) UA 763 on ORD-PDX just 10 years ago. I know times have changed with domestic widebodies becoming a rare occasion, but the frequency of flights on these markets seem remarkably low for airlines that hub @ ORD.


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User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20640 posts, RR: 62
Reply 1, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6821 times:

Quoting MEL (Thread starter):
Who picked up the slack?

AS has introduced a score of nonstops from the PNW to markets where traffic used to have to transfer in the hubs. SEA-ORD or PDX-ORD can't be viewed in a vacuum, you have to look at where the final destinations were of those passengers.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6635 times:

Quoting MEL (Thread starter):
I remember flying the UA 777 all the time on ORD-SEA

I remember doing the DC10 both ways back In the wee early 1990's. Those were GREAT days!



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineER757 From Cayman Islands, joined May 2005, 2525 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6517 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 2):
I remember doing the DC10 both ways back In the wee early 1990's. Those were GREAT days!

Same here - flew ORD/SEA/ORD more times than I can count in the 80's and early 90's and it was almost always on the DC-10 unless I caught the ORD/SEA/NRT 747. They ran four or five widebody flights a day on all the major west coast routes ex ORD.


User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16866 posts, RR: 51
Reply 4, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6502 times:

What date are you looking at? I see four increasing to six in May.


Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 5, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6477 times:

Quoting STT757 (Reply 4):

That's for the Summer season ramp up. Nothing new.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlinelaca773 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 4018 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6465 times:
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Some days are going to have a smaller schedule on certain days according demand and yield management. UA and in particular, CO is (was) very good at managing capacity according to demand. However 3 flights does seem awfully light for a route like SEA-ORD-SEA, even during the much slower winter months.

User currently offlineflying_727 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 435 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 6232 times:

It's not only the SEA-ORD run. The entire SEA schedule is down. Normally around 30-35 flights a day has dropped to 23-24.

User currently offlinejayunited From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 936 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 6108 times:

It is the slow season so the number of departures from ORD-SEA change almost daily depending on demand United takes this approach to control cost. The days when airlines flew half empty planes are over and although we use to fly DC10's, 747's and 777 from ORD-SEA-ORD we don't do that any more because most times those planes we only at 60% capacity and fuel was cheap back in those days. I do agree that 3 flights is a bit sparse but it's the slow season, that number should be back up to 5 or 6 departures a day once we get into mid-spring.

User currently offlineMEL From Canada, joined Oct 1999, 1098 posts, RR: 13
Reply 9, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 6108 times:

This was looking at pretty much any day of the week over the next month. I know late January, early February are usually really slow, but only 3 daily flights seems extremely low. It's also really sad to see SEA-LAX operating with only 2x daily flights as Regional Jets (1x CR7, 1x CRJ). I know there's more competition on that route.

I remember one season, UA even ran the 2-class high density 777 on a morning ORD-SEA run. One day I was flying on it, and it cancelled due mech. Just went to the next gate (B17) and grabbed the 744 to DEN, then 722 to SEA. This was around year 2001-2002.



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User currently offlineMSPNWA From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1944 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 6027 times:

No wonder I don't see this flight overhead very often anymore. Right now it's 3 daily from UA and AA, two daily from AS. And looking at historical records, it's not just a frequency drop either. It's about all 737 now, except for an A320 or 757 from UA. I remember when UA was sending 757 after 757 with the occasional 767. And then AA had their S80s on that route. Miss them too.

Oh, and no red-eye SEA-ORD flight either? DL has one to MSP. you'd think UA or AA could do one.


User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2188 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5871 times:

Quoting MEL (Thread starter):
I was searching options for travel from ORD-SEA and ORD-PDX and was shocked to see United only operating 3 flights per day between Chicago and Seattle. This is a serious decrease in flight frequency. If I recall correctly, it seemed about 10 years ago there was an almost hourly schedule in this market. Even American only operates 4x flights per day. Who picked up the slack? Alaska only operates 2x daily, same with Southwest (ex. MDW).
Quoting MEL (Thread starter):
ORD-PDX is a very similar picture. I remember flying the UA 777 all the time on ORD-SEA and even flew the 3-class (FCY) UA 763 on ORD-PDX just 10 years ago. I know times have changed with domestic widebodies becoming a rare occasion, but the frequency of flights on these markets seem remarkably low for airlines that hub @ ORD.

So funny you mentioned this. Yesterday, we were doing a SDC flying on PDX-ORD, and I too was shocked that the frequency is so low. My friend informed me that it's all because its low season; January is not ideally a great time to visit the Pacific Northwest nor Chicago (although we had three days of clear blue skies in Portland, go figure!)

Quoting jayunited (Reply 8):
It is the slow season so the number of departures from ORD-SEA change almost daily depending on demand United takes this approach to control cost. The days when airlines flew half empty planes are over and although we use to fly DC10's, 747's and 777 from ORD-SEA-ORD we don't do that any more because most times those planes we only at 60% capacity and fuel was cheap back in those days. I do agree that 3 flights is a bit sparse but it's the slow season, that number should be back up to 5 or 6 departures a day once we get into mid-spring.

Yup. I know that AA is slated to go up to 5x daily on ORD-SEA in the summer, including a red-eye. As will UA, also with a red-eye, and PDX will go up to 4x daily with the return of the redy-eye.

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 10):
Oh, and no red-eye SEA-ORD flight either? DL has one to MSP. you'd think UA or AA could do one.

I know! I almost flew on this route back in October. DL SEA-MSP is also a quasi hub-to-hub route.



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineHiFlyerAS From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 955 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5833 times:

Quoting flying_727 (Reply 7):
It's not only the SEA-ORD run. The entire SEA schedule is down. Normally around 30-35 flights a day has dropped to 23-24.

UA is a shadow of their former self in SEA. Up until 10 years ago UA pretty much owned SEA but AS continues to steal market share from them. It's to the point that AS is taking over all UA gates and will control 2+ of 4 concourses. When I was a kid I remember being in awe of all the UA aircraft of every size...multiple 747's at the N gates. It was quite a sight and won't ever be repeated, at least in SEA.


User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9638 posts, RR: 52
Reply 13, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 5751 times:

There is a capacity drop from last year, but January and February are the slowest months. This should help yields. I flew SEA-ORD last year in february for only $200 with 8 days advanced purchase on a plane with a70% load factor. Capacity discipline is helping yields since there are no fares that low this year.


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineRWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3261 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5387 times:

Quoting MEL (Reply 9):
I remember one season, UA even ran the 2-class high density 777 on a morning ORD-SEA run
Quoting jayunited (Reply 8):
The days when airlines flew half empty planes are over and although we use to fly DC10's, 747's and 777 from ORD-SEA-ORD
Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 2):

I remember doing the DC10 both ways back In the wee early 1990's. Those were GREAT days!

Back in the early 80's, UA begun flying their first truly international flights (vs trans border) to NRT. These were operated via SEA 6x weekly, and 1x weekly via PDX (Tuesdays only), and operated on 742's. I flew ORD-PDX on this tag once, what a wonderful flight, even in Y. In the day UA flew 747's, DC-10's, DC-8's just between PDX & SEA.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 11):

So funny you mentioned this. Yesterday, we were doing a SDC flying on PDX-ORD, and I too was shocked that the frequency is so low. My friend informed me that it's all because its low season; January is not ideally a great time to visit the Pacific Northwest nor Chicago (although we had three days of clear blue skies in Portland, go figure!)

This week it has been cold, but an entire 7-8 days of sunshine too, a rarity here in January. By the time you read this, we are supposed to be getting a short lived ice storm.

PDX-ORD has gone from 5-6 x daily UA on 727's, 737's, 747's, 757's, 767's, DC-10's, DC-8's depending on year, to what it is now. AA had up to 4 x daily 727's or M80's to zero. Now AS has people smiling again, filling in the hole AA left.

Do we totally discount the n/s flights WN operate from both SEA & PDX to MDW?

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 11):

I know! I almost flew on this route back in October. DL SEA-MSP is also a quasi hub-to-hub route

With DL becoming a larger presence at SEA, could it be possible that we may see some domestic widebody services between SEA and established DL hubs like ATL, JFK, SEA, DTW or MSP? Routing planes for the usual rotations?

Quoting HiFlyerAS (Reply 12):
UA is a shadow of their former self in SEA. Up until 10 years ago UA pretty much owned SEA but AS continues to steal market share from them. It's to the point that AS is taking over all UA gates and will control 2+ of 4 concourses. When I was a kid I remember being in awe of all the UA aircraft of every size...multiple 747's at the N gates. It was quite a sight and won't ever be repeated, at least in SEA.

UA had a much larger presence here in the Northwest, even servicing the better part of it if you go back 30 years.
SEA has flights on UA to HKG, SAN, RNO, SMF & JFK to name a few. Not to mention the numerous short hop flights down the coast, SEA-PDX-EUG-MFR-SFO, SEA-PDX-SLE-EUG-SFO, SEA-PDX-PDT-BOI-SLC. I think every aircraft type that has operated in UA colors in the last 30 years has made it to SEA or PDX.



AA AC AQ AS BD BN CO CS DL EA EZ HA HP KL KN MP MW NK NW OO OZ PA PS QX RC RH RW SA TG TW UA US VS WA WC WN
User currently offlinemilesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2000 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 5167 times:

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 14):
UA had a much larger presence here in the Northwest, even servicing the better part of it if you go back 30 years.
SEA has flights on UA to HKG, SAN, RNO, SMF & JFK to name a few. Not to mention the numerous short hop flights down the coast, SEA-PDX-EUG-MFR-SFO, SEA-PDX-SLE-EUG-SFO, SEA-PDX-PDT-BOI-SLC. I think every aircraft type that has operated in UA colors in the last 30 years has made it to SEA or PDX.

I believe SLE was dropped in 1978 or 1979, and the SFO flight operated SFO-MFR-SLE-PDX-SEA with a 737-222 once a day in each direction. I took the flight once or twice in 1975.

But most routes have less frequencies. ORD-SEA is no exception. Yesterday, Delta reported a $7 Million profit for the 4th quarter, although without special items, Delta earned $238 million on $8.6 Billion in revenues. That is a profit margin of 2.76%. Which means that on a $300.00 fare, the airline earned $8.30, and then you wonder why they have a $25.00 bag fee. Profit margins in the airline business are razor thin. If they weren't they could really rake the money in, but with their environment, just about every penny is important.


User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16866 posts, RR: 51
Reply 16, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5089 times:

Quoting MEL (Thread starter):
ORD-PDX is a very similar picture. I remember flying the UA 777 all the time on ORD-SEA and even flew the 3-class (FCY) UA 763 on ORD-PDX just 10 years ago. I know times have changed with domestic widebodies becoming a rare occasion, but the frequency of flights on these markets seem remarkably low for airlines that hub @ ORD.

Back then UA was funneling their traffic through less hubs, with the CO merger there are more hubs for UA to serve from SEA:

SEA-EWR 5x daily, SEA-IAD 3x daily, SEA-CLE 1 daily, SEA-DEN 5x daily, SEA-IAH 7x daily, SEA-SFO 8x daily, SEA-LAX 2x daily, SEA-ANC 2x daily, SEA-ORD 6x daily

UA might have been flying more frequencies and even rotating a widebody on the SEA-ORD route, however they weren't flying 5 daily to EWR, 7 daily to IAH or daily to CLE from SEA. UA's offerings today is superior to what they offered 10 years ago, the only difference is the draw down of the Express flights.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineMasseyBrown From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 5438 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5089 times:

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 13):
There is a capacity drop from last year, but January and February are the slowest months.

UA's normal post-holiday schedule reduction seems extraordinarily severe this year. They may have underestimated actual demand. Ignoring the Washington follies, I believe the economy is doing better than press reports would have you think.



I love long German words like 'Freundschaftsbezeigungen'.
User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4993 times:

Before we all flip out -- he's UA's SEA sked for 2/26:

IAD: 1x 757, 1x 739, 7x 738 = 3
EWR: 1x 319, 1x 738 = 2
ORD: 1x 319, 2x 738, 1x 739 = 4 (NOT 3!)
DEN: 1x 757, 1x 319, 1x 738, 1x 739 = 4
SFO: 3x 757, 1x 320, 2x CR7 = 6
IAH: 1x 757, 1x 320, 3x 739 = 5
LAX: 1x CR7, 1x CR2 = 2
ANC: 1x 738, 1x 739 = 2
PDX: 7x E120 = 7

= 35

Keep in mind this is the low season. Although it's odd some some spokes like DFW are now bigger for UA than SEA (which at one time was a large operation.)

[Edited 2013-01-23 07:14:46]


"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20640 posts, RR: 62
Reply 19, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4985 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 18):
= 35

+NRT: 1x 777

= 36

[Edited 2013-01-23 07:19:09]


International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineapodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4278 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4910 times:

I remember not too long ago that UA had a 777 on the ORD-SEA route and it was so full that I was occupying a secondary jumpseat with a Fed in the primary. Granted the reason for the 777 was to rotate it into the NRT route as the plane was continuing to NRT, but the fact that it was a full flight makes me think there is demand on the route.

User currently offlinejayunited From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 936 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 4859 times:

Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 17):
UA's normal post-holiday schedule reduction seems extraordinarily severe this year. They may have underestimated actual demand. Ignoring the Washington follies, I believe the economy is doing better than press reports would have you think.

I think you are right United may have underestimated demand across the system for this January and February but United isn't entirely to blame there was and still is a lot of uncertainty in the U.S. and world economy and in 2012 when UA was finalizing their winter schedule many people were focused on Washington D.C. and the drama surrounding the fiscal cliff and if that would cause another recession. So looking at the overall schedule for United this winter it seems as though they decided to play it safe and remove capacity across the system because they didn't know what would happen with the economy and they decided to be proactive instead of reactive.

It really shows how Washington's drama effects business decisions because the economy is doing better but the schedule is already set.


User currently offlineJosh32121 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 369 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 4674 times:

How many times (if any) does WN fly MDW-SEA? That would be another big source of drain from UA's demand on ORD-SEA.

User currently offlineseabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5467 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 4589 times:

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 11):
My friend informed me that it's all because its low season; January is not ideally a great time to visit the Pacific Northwest nor Chicago

So true. All traffic currently flying in or out of SEA is business traffic. The tourists are too smart to visit Seattle at this time of year, and there is no VFR traffic in late January either.

I'm not surprised there would only be demand for less than 10 total Seattle-Chicago flights in the last week of January.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 11):
(although we had three days of clear blue skies in Portland, go figure!)


Sigh... meanwhile, we got trapped in an inversion and had a week straight of can't-see-your-hand fog and horrible disgusting air, replaced this morning by the usual gloom.


User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3074 posts, RR: 7
Reply 24, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4541 times:

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 23):
So true. All traffic currently flying in or out of SEA is business traffic. The tourists are too smart to visit Seattle at this time of year, and there is no VFR traffic in late January either.

Not true. There are a lot of SEA tourist leaving SEA for warmer climes (or ski trips) this time of year. Tourism traffic isn't all incoming to SEA.

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 23):
Sigh... meanwhile, we got trapped in an inversion and had a week straight of can't-see-your-hand fog and horrible disgusting air, replaced this morning by the usual gloom.

Yeah no kidding. It was starting to get really old being stuck in sub-freezing dense fog for a week. You couldn't even see the Space Needle from Capitol Hill or the water from Mukilteo.


25 rampbro : My first ever airplane photo is of a UA DC-10 at the gate in ORD, about to operate that flight with my family and me on board. I took that same route
26 YULWinterSkies : I certainly will not disagree with you on this, however, are businesses still sending people to fly out on a high fare as much as they used to? This
27 ual777uk : Didn't UA operate the the 777 flight # 939/8 SEA-ORD-LHR at one stage? I know i went all the way through once from LHR on a 777 via ORD. Of course we
28 laca773 : Very true HiFlyerAS. I remember when UA pulled mainline on SEA-LAX/SFO and went CR7s to start, I had a feeling evening that wouldn't last for very lo
29 MSPNWA : This week it's just two a day.
30 threeifbyair : Also important to remember that SEA-ORD is a heavy connecting route for AA/AS and UA. Lots of mid-sized cities east of ORD have no nonstop flights fr
31 Roseflyer : True, but late January and February are the slowest times for travel. Business travel is usually down during the start of the year. Leisure travel is
32 BA : DL already operates 767s from ATL year-round and from JFK during the summer.
33 BoeingGuy : I've seen 767s scheduled SEA-MSP also.
34 MSPNWA : Yes, in the summer season. I think last year was 2x 767s and 2011 was 3x.
35 klwright69 : Right now UA is one a day on SEA-ANC. It goes back to 2x a day shortly.
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