Posts: 564
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 11:57 am

Upgrading Equipment

Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:58 pm

How common is it for companies to upgrade equipment to something larger if flights are full? I'm pretty sure a particular flight I'm on is full (no seats available on the seat chart, DL doesnt show the flight if you try and book a flight). The flight is 3-4 weeks away, and if DL changed it from a 752 to a 763, its only an increase of 19 seats (or so says seatguru). I suppose the real question is could they sell most of the extra seats between now and the day of the flight.
Posts: 9605
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: Upgrading Equipment

Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:22 pm

First off your flight is probably not all the way full. There may be no seats shown as available, but that may be because all of the advance purchase discount seats are sold out. You probably will be able to find seats on the flight if you look hard or select the unrestricted option.

As for switching equipment on US flights, it is very difficult. Airlines don't have that much flexibility to swap planes if one flight is full. Sure that 767 might be useful on one segment over a 757, but look at all the flights down the line that might be the other way around. It is just not that easy. Airlines try to get it down and not swap planes back and forth. There are many factors including numbers of first class seats and numbers of crew required that makes rescheduling planes difficult. It happens, but not often with in the United States among legacy carriers like DL.

However that is not to say that it never happens. Certain carriers operate fleets of planes within a family. A good example is BA. They operate 733s, 734s and 735s. It can be rather routine to get these planes moved around as to which is flying on which routes depending on capacity. These are all hub and spoke routes from London, but with BA you don't really know what type of 737 you will be on as they will adjust according to load factors. However switching between a A319 and 737 is far less likely since commonality is an issue and you would need an entirely different flight crew in addition to other things.
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Posts: 4510
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:27 pm

RE: Upgrading Equipment

Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:25 pm

Not very likely that would ever happen. Airlines just don't have that much equipment setting around. If the flight is full, those that have tickets and don't get a seat are offered composition and/or put on a later flight.
Posts: 14241
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Upgrading Equipment

Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:41 pm

Also, what's the return like? Or is that aircraft then going to go to a different city or hub? Is it going to be full on all those segments? Is it going to mean the plane is stuck in the wrong market for maintenance? Do they have the groundstaff to handle the larger plane effectively without paying overtime? Is the plane available?

You are far more likely to see a swap out due to M/X issues or because of a delay than you are because of a sold out condition in the future.

But you MIGHT see a temporary aircraft swap in the schedule for a holiday or a season, etc.

For example, CO fly an RJ IAH-SRQ, but have put a 735 on that route at XMas in the past, doubling capacity.

And they've also upgraded IAH-MCO to a 764 during the XMas/NewYear two week holiday and the spring break/easter holiday in the past as well, but those changeouts were done well in advance and planned.
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