flybry
Topic Author
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:26 am

United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:27 pm

Eek! This doesn't look like fun.
The mess started with a mechanical failure for these passengers headed to Newark.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/201...tranded_in_shanghai_passenger.html

But, United did offer this for the inconvenience:

"United acknowledged the difficult situation and refunded the cost of their tickets and offered passengers $1,000 off a future flight, according to Rahsaan Johnson, a spokesman for the airline. He added the airline found spots on other flights for 50 of Flight 87’s original 275 passengers but was unable to accommodate the rest."
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 6688
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:49 pm

Well, this happens daily and there are many issues that can be looked at, morally, economically and legally.
So in no particular order or importance and or priority.

1. Is the airline first responsibilty to accomodate the first delayed pax or to continue their schedule, is each flight an individual entity or something belonging to the company at large, we want everyone to pay their fair share in taxes, what about delays and travel inconvenience, is the principle the same?

2. Is this just a case of an airline being cheap and not having a spare a/c and crew ready to accomodate such an issue on a international long haul flight where their options going in are limited?

3. Is this just a case of an airline being cheap and not having sufficient local services available - whether theirs or contracted - to cater to pax in such a situation?

4. Is this a case of pax believing that the customer deserves good service and they were not willing to sit and take whatever was provided, too much expectations?

5. Does the airline really care whether these pax ever fly with them again, I ask that due to the old saying of an ounce of prevention is worth ........ or the other one where you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
 
NorthstarBoy
Posts: 1416
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 12:53 pm

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:09 pm

Interesting that UA was only able to reaccomodate 50 of the passengers. judging from that number it sounds like they reaccommodated everyone in business elite, ran out of room, and offered vouchers to everyone in coach.

In the meantime, UA 976 went tech last night, UA is fixing the plane and flying it empty to Dubai as UA 1747. they'll then turn it around and fly it back to Dulles as UA 1748 with those passengers who were supposed to be on UA 977. the delay for those passengers is a "measly" 14 hours.
Yes, I'd like to see airbus go under so Boeing can have their customers!
 
jfk777
Posts: 5861
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:23 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:30 pm

With all the flights to China, Japan and other Star airlines in Asia United should have no problem getting "stuck" passengers. Its a disgrace this happened. Asiana, ANA or Air China could have helped and its sounds United didn't seel their help. Disgraceful. Where is Continental when you need the.
 
GALLEYSTEW
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 7:25 pm

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:34 pm

Hate to tell you this......but THIS was CONTINENTAL metal. United in name only, still running subsidiary airlines. I think they did the best they could considering the circumstances. it is summer and flights are full. You can only accomodate on other airlines if there are seats available.

[Edited 2012-07-15 06:39:37]

[Edited 2012-07-15 06:41:56]

[Edited 2012-07-15 06:46:47]
All Posts are my opinions only.
 
FURUREFA
Posts: 635
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 2:26 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:47 pm

Quoting NorthstarBoy (Reply 2):
In the meantime, UA 976 went tech last night, UA is fixing the plane and flying it empty to Dubai as UA 1747. they'll then turn it around and fly it back to Dulles as UA 1748 with those passengers who were supposed to be on UA 977. the delay for those passengers is a "measly" 14 hours.


Just like 847 EWR-EZE on Friday night was delayed over 16 hours.... The return trip was of course delayed too.

Unfortunately seems to be pretty common these days.
 
maxamuus
Posts: 246
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:49 pm

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:12 pm

Would be intresting to know if it was a true "mechanical failure" or just more pilots refusing to fly over "light blubs and coffee pots" due to the stalled pilot negoations.
 
United1
Posts: 2876
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:21 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:32 pm

Quoting maxamuus (Reply 6):
Would be intresting to know if it was a true "mechanical failure" or just more pilots refusing to fly over "light blubs and coffee pots" due to the stalled pilot negoations.

Issue with the engine...

plane goes INOP on Wednesday...
due to parts they wee not able to get it fixed until Friday...
They were not able to leave Friday due to the crew timing out because of a boarding issue...that boarding issue was caused by the passengers refusing to go to the correct gate by the way....
flew out Saturday

Sounds like UA handled it fairly well actually:

put everyone up in a hotel/took care of other expenses
refunded everyones flight
gave out $1000 vouchers
rebooked passengers where possible

What more could they have done?
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 6688
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:53 pm

Quoting GALLEYSTEW (Reply 4):
Hate to tell you this......but THIS was CONTINENTAL metal. United in name only, still running subsidiary airlines.

Ok, so the merger did not take place, there is no single board of directors, there is no single person at the helm, there is still UA and CO management separate???

My issue is this, we are all fine saying that management and the boards should merge because its the right thing to do, it makes economic sense etc. etc. etc. Ok they did that, we do not now get to argue whether it is CO or UA metal, they are one company and if pax throw barbs it is at the one company.
Does it make the UA employees feel better saying oh it was those folks CO that screwed up? If management thinks the same it makes you wonder why the UA folks merged with those CO screw ups in the first place.
.
Unfortunately, none of that means anything to the pax who were inconvenienced, it is no comfort to them if someone says you know if it was a UA a/c and crew this would not have happened.

On the flip side, management may be encouraging such thoughts, after all, mergers in most cases are done on paper immediately to get financial benefits, the actual merging of the workforce is trivial, take US Airways, they are making profits and they still have East, West and all points inbetween.
 
AWACSooner
Posts: 1788
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:35 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:02 pm

Quoting United1 (Reply 7):
What more could they have done?

How about not stranded them in China for three whole days?

There's still plenty of other options available...how about sending a substitution plane? How about chartering another airline to send a substitution (it can and does happen from time to time)? How about bending over backwards to find them another airline to get them home? Only 50 out of 180+ accommodated? Pathetic! You have hubs at NRT, ICN, HKG and PEK nearby...all with large operations to and from the states.
 
klwright69
Posts: 2393
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2000 4:22 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:13 pm

A couple notes..

Sometimes I randomly check UA flights on the website to see how the post merger operation is going. It seems difficult. I will check on random flights from the random hubs and there are quite a few delays and some cancellations. Obviously not scientific, but just a random sample reveals some discouraging results.

A few weeks ago, a ORD-BRU and an ORD-PVG flight cancelled, and a EWR-TLV flight was delayed 8 hours.
So it is far too simplistic to say this only happens to just CO or UA metal.

Oh yes, and IAH-LOS, and LOS-IAH (cancelled the next day of course)

Sometimes flights from hell just happen. In the olden days, in the year 2000, I was on a UA ATL-DEN mainline flight. There was a weather issue, mechanical issue, and crew legality issue. It was an awful mix, the flight was not cancelled, but we took off at 1 a.m. a delay of 8 hours

[Edited 2012-07-15 09:15:31]

[Edited 2012-07-15 09:30:28]
 
United1
Posts: 2876
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:21 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:18 pm

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 9):
How about not stranded them in China for three whole days?

While ideally planes would never go tech that's not a realistic expectation of anyone...

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 9):
There's still plenty of other options available...how about sending a substitution plane? How about chartering another airline to send a substitution (it can and does happen from time to time)? How about bending over backwards to find them another airline to get them home? Only 50 out of 180+ accommodated? Pathetic! You have hubs at NRT, ICN, HKG and PEK nearby...all with large operations to and from the states.

Well taking a look at loads right now UA is running at over 99% today (there were 7 empty seats today for example combined on all 4 flights out of PVG.) Just because you may be able to get them to NRT, ICN or another city does not mean that you would necessarily be able to get them on an outbound flight...getting 50 passengers re booked during the high season out of 275 is a decent percentage.

As for sending in a different aircraft UA actually did send in another aircraft (the plane that the passengers flew back to EWR on was not the same one that went tech.)
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8101
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:27 pm

Quoting GALLEYSTEW (Reply 4):
Hate to tell you this......but THIS was CONTINENTAL metal. United in name only

Well I hate to ask, but what name painted on the side of the plane? What was the name printed on the safety cards, the cabin crew name tags, the check-in desk, the air traffic controller's radar blip, the ticket?
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 6688
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:36 pm

Quoting United1 (Reply 11):
Well taking a look at loads right now UA is running at over 99% today

Ahh, so a question, are those loads that high because the airline wants them that way or because of demand? If loads are that high someone is getting left as there are always overbookings and pax not showing up, last minute cancellations, etc etc. so additional capacity which may drop loads down to 80% would be a good financial move right?
Allows more flexibility, more premium seats, more economy, more seats to accomodate stranded pax versus just the elites. Overcapacity is not always a financial burden, if managed properly it can be very beneficial.
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9606
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:37 pm

I feel bad for the passengers. It would have been a very difficult process. Mechanical delays on long haul flights are very frustrating. There are few options to reaccomodate people, and it takes time to fix the problem.

Having a mechanical problem cancel a flight happens. Getting the parts to fix them can be time consuming. When the fix is not a simple swap out, sometimes maintenance does not get it done in the amount of time predicted.

One that does make it harder is that it is an international flight departing China. China is quite challenging with exit immigration requirements. The process works relatively smoothly for normal operations, but when passengers have to be sent back to hotels, immigration and customs becomes very difficult as they have to re-enter China. It's also very difficult for transit passengers. Difficulty moving people through the airport can result in delays in and out. The result is the crew timing out since on flights from China - US East Coast typically they only have about 2 hours of crew time to handle delays before timing out.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 1140
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:38 pm

Quoting United1 (Reply 11):
While ideally planes would never go tech that's not a realistic expectation of anyone...

I genuinely have a hard time believing that United couldn't find 275 seats for stranded pax over 3 days.

3 days (even 2 days) is a long, long time. I seem to be under the (possibly mistaken) impression that there is enough capacity to accomodate one 767 worth of stranded passengers between China and the US on *A carriers alone within 48 hours. And that increases manifold, if one takes into account non -*A carriers. Then theres the small matter of getting a replacement aircraft out there. Bit surprised that also took 48 hours.

Seems to me as though UA decided that keeping pax in China was cheaper than trying to pay money to other airlines to accomodate them. I don't put much value on tied credit. Does this come with an expiration date?

All in all, as anybody who has a job knows, a two day delay can have significant ramifications for employees. How many employers out there are going to believe that there was no way for the airline or pax to get people home over 48 hours on a fairly well-served route? I mean, if it was sub-Saharan Africa, it might be believable, but China? With the volume of traffic between China and the US?

Saving money at the expense of people who've spent $1000+ to fly your airline....its a risky tactic. We've all dealt with IRROPs. My worst delay was 22hrs (including a night in a hotel) on a 10 hr Europe-Asia flight in peak. 48 hrs...unbelievable. 72 hours... you can't pay me a $1000 to go back (hence my dismissal of the tied credit - many people won't be going back to UA).
 
sevenheavy
Posts: 927
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:30 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:05 pm

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 3):
With all the flights to China, Japan and other Star airlines in Asia United should have no problem getting "stuck" passengers. Its a disgrace this happened. Asiana, ANA or Air China could have helped and its sounds United didn't seel their help. Disgraceful. Where is Continental when you need the.

This is one of the busiest weeks of the year for air travel. Easy to say "just put them on other carriers!", much harder to actually do. Its entirely possible that all the options they tried were full (I can't see in the article where it says that United didnt seek seats on other carriers ??, in fact, it says they found 50 seats for some of the passengers, without saying where)

Its impossible for anyone who wasnt there to know the full story, but I have a hard time believing that UA made no attampt to reaccommodate at least some of these passengers. Its not in their interest to do so - its far cheaper to reprotect them on another carrier rather than pay the accommodation, meal, transport and eventual compensation costs.

I'm not defending UA, they may well have handled the situation poorly. But it doesnt mean they just blindly sat back and waited without at least trying to get some of the passengers out of there
So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
 
United1
Posts: 2876
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:21 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:18 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 13):
Ahh, so a question, are those loads that high because the airline wants them that way or because of demand?

Probably both this time of the year....UA is looking for the right yield mix and at the same time it's a very busy travel period.

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 15):
I genuinely have a hard time believing that United couldn't find 275 seats for stranded pax over 3 days.

I don't...not time of year. This is peak travel season....rerouting passengers is not as easy as one might think. Even using the flight that was canceled as an example 275 seats is one seat short of completely booked. (UAs J/Y 772s seat 276.)
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
WarmNuts
Posts: 124
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 7:54 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:22 pm

Quoting United1 (Reply 11):
...getting 50 passengers re booked during the high season out of 275 is a decent percentage.

As for sending in a different aircraft UA actually did send in another aircraft (the plane that the passengers flew back to EWR on was not the same one that went tech.)

I think the question (and from a pax perspective, a valid one at that) is did United do everything they could to get them home as soon as possible given what (statistically, one would imagine) would be considered an unreasonable delay?

Furthermore, IMO, a $1,000 voucher for a future flight is insufficient given the prolonged nature of their delay... I remember when airlines would give you a $500 for volunteering to get bumped an hour or two. At the very least, include a system-wide upgrade or a comped RT ticket anywhere they fly.

Lastly, while I agree the pax are (at least partly) responsible for the final delay (as their procrastination in getting to their a/c resulted in the flight crew timing out before the flight could depart), IMO UA could have better communicated this to the pax to ensure they expedited their transfer to the appropriate gate early enough for the flight to depart. Maybe have a rep convey this before they left for the original gate?
 
Bobloblaw
Posts: 1680
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:15 pm

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:22 pm

Quoting GALLEYSTEW (Reply 4):
Hate to tell you this......but THIS was CONTINENTAL metal

This was UNITED. There is no such thing as Continental anymore. It's United, United is responsible.
 
leothedog
Posts: 113
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2005 2:45 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:35 pm

This is so typical of United Airlines. When something doesn't go right, instead of explaining exactly what is going on to the passengers effected, the gate personel do not say anything, or cannot back up what they do say. I know. I've experienced it myself first hand. That's why I avoid United at all costs if possible.
I've got things to see and people to do.
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9606
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:37 pm

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 15):

All in all, as anybody who has a job knows, a two day delay can have significant ramifications for employees. How many employers out there are going to believe that there was no way for the airline or pax to get people home over 48 hours on a fairly well-served route? I mean, if it was sub-Saharan Africa, it might be believable, but China? With the volume of traffic between China and the US?

It is quite challenging to reaccomodate passengers on other airlines for international flights. For a 24 hour delay, many airlines will not put people on other airlines at all. First off, there's no alternative nonstop service. UA can reaccomodate people on its own flights without having to individually get their approval, but with load factors so close to 100%, that is hard.

Also reaccomodating on other airlines requires a connection. That requires finding an airline with zero notice that has seats for sale on two separate flights. With loads as high as they are, that is a challenge.

UA agents are not restricted to Star Alliance airlines at all. They can put passengers on any airline that they have the reciprocal agreements with (meaning basically most airlines that are members of any alliance, but not VX or WN) UA has no problem putting people on AA or DL. In fact often it is easier. But passengers don't always want to make a connection, and sending someone on another airline is going to cause a lot of difficulty with baggage, hotel accomodations, etc as China quarantines the luggage of outgoing airplanes if the flight cancels.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
Norcal773
Posts: 1052
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:19 pm

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:42 pm

Anyone here who's complaining how horrible this was obviously hasn't flown much. This stuff happens every once in a while when you travel a lot. Granted UA didn't handle it very well but to say you'll never fly them again is a stretch. Sh*t happens, get over it.
If you're going through hell, keep going
 
United1
Posts: 2876
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:21 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:42 pm

Quoting WarmNuts (Reply 18):
I think the question (and from a pax perspective, a valid one at that) is did United do everything they could to get them home as soon as possible given what (statistically, one would imagine) would be considered an unreasonable delay?

Furthermore, IMO, a $1,000 voucher for a future flight is insufficient given the prolonged nature of their delay... I remember when airlines would give you a $500 for volunteering to get bumped an hour or two. At the very least, include a system-wide upgrade or a comped RT ticket anywhere they fly.

I am not going to use the term unreasonable delay but I will say that I think its a long one. It's of course horrible that it happened but I think UA did the best that they could do under the circumstances.

A plane goes tech in PVG you are automatically going to be delayed by at least 12-24 hours simply because the crew is going to time out before repairs can be completed. I don't know precisely what was wrong with the engine but I think we can infer that it wasn't a common part that failed as they had to source parts from either UA TechOps or GE stateside (vs getting the part from UA spares in NRT or sourcing it from a local source.)

It sounds like they managed to rebook 50 passengers during the high season for air travel...how they rebooked them (UA or another carrier is not specified.)

Other passengers that could not be rebooked were given refunds, hotel rooms, food/other expenses and a $1000 voucher. That's pretty good compensation when you consider that they basically just received a free trip to China and a voucher that will cover the cost of another transpacific flight with some level of planning (with notice EWR-PVG is ~1100... short notice is around ~1850.)
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
maxamuus
Posts: 246
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:49 pm

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:59 pm

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 15):
you can't pay me a $1000 to go back (hence my dismissal of the tied credit - many people won't be going back to UA).

I wouldnt be surprised to see these vouchers poping up on Ebay any time now for that very reason.

Wasn't it within the last six months or so that UA did the very same thing in ANC to people headed to China as well ?
 
DL WIDGET HEAD
Posts: 1469
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2000 8:18 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:19 pm

Quoting United1 (Reply 7):
They were not able to leave Friday due to the crew timing out because of a boarding issue...that boarding issue was caused by the passengers refusing to go to the correct gate by the way....

This sounds absurd. Why would the passengers who have been stranded there for 2 days and who obviously want to be on their way "refuse to go to the correct gate"? It does not ring true that the 2nd cancellation was brought about by UA's passengers. Perhaps another technical glitch with their computer system or some glitch with systems in PVG but to blame the passengers for the 2nd cancellation well, that's just pitiful. Back to back International cancellations are excessive and uncommon. This sad story just goes to illustrate what a horrendous operational summer UA is having as a result of their horribly managed merger. This is not the way to do it Smisek.

[Edited 2012-07-15 11:24:39]
 
United1
Posts: 2876
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:21 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:25 pm

Quoting DL WIDGET HEAD (Reply 25):
Why would the passengers who have been stranded there for 2 days and who obviously want to be on their way "refuse to go to the correct gate"? It does not ring true that the 2nd cancellation was brought about by UA's passengers.

....read the article. Net net allot of the passengers refused to move to the new gate and tried to block passengers traveling on another EWR bound flight...police were called and by the time it was sorted out the crew had timed out.

In other words a few idiots behaved like jackasses and screwed over their fellow passengers.

Quoting DL WIDGET HEAD (Reply 25):
Perhaps another technical glitch with their computer system or some glitch with systems in PVG but to blame the passengers for the 2nd cancellation well, that's just pitiful

There was no glitch and they were ready to go...
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
DL WIDGET HEAD
Posts: 1469
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2000 8:18 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:33 pm

Quoting United1 (Reply 7):
What more could they have done?

They should have sent a rescue flight. But as a result of not scheduling enough spares into the operation (according to McDonald) this summer, UA rolled the dice and their customers came up short. Or should I say their EX customers.
 
Rdh3e
Posts: 2822
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:09 pm

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:34 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 13):
If loads are that high someone is getting left as there are always overbookings and pax not showing up, last minute cancellations, etc etc. so additional capacity which may drop loads down to 80% would be a good financial move right?

You don't build the church for easter sunday. Buying an additional aircraft just to have spare capacity at peak time is a waste of money. What would you do with it the rest of the year when you don't need it?

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 21):
Also reaccomodating on other airlines requires a connection. That requires finding an airline with zero notice that has seats for sale on two separate flights. With loads as high as they are, that is a challenge.

Not to mention you also run into Visa issues for many transiting passengers...
 
klwright69
Posts: 2393
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2000 4:22 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:40 pm

Quoting maxamuus (Reply 24):
Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 15):you can't pay me a $1000 to go back (hence my dismissal of the tied credit - many people won't be going back to UA).
I wouldnt be surprised to see these vouchers poping up on Ebay any time now for that very reason.

It has been awhile since I was awarded a voucher, but as I recall they are non transferrable, and a must be booked within a specific period of time.

I absolutely believe that during the peak period there were few seats available on scattered flights. Why is this unbelievable to some?

In an earlier post I referred to an 8 hour delay. When the flight departed in the end it had 40 pax, so they do attempt to reaccomodate people.
 
klwright69
Posts: 2393
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2000 4:22 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:48 pm

Quoting DL WIDGET HEAD (Reply 27):
They should have sent a rescue flight. But as a result of not scheduling enough spares into the operation (according to McDonald) this summer, UA rolled the dice and their customers came up short. Or should I say their EX customers.

During peak travel season utilization is extra high, especially with longhaul widebody planes.

I do not necessarily think they are all excustomers. If the voucher is not transferrable than use it.
 
United1
Posts: 2876
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:21 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:48 pm

Quoting DL WIDGET HEAD (Reply 27):
They should have sent a rescue flight. But as a result of not scheduling enough spares into the operation (according to McDonald) this summer, UA rolled the dice and their customers came up short. Or should I say their EX customers.

They did send a spare aircraft (the plane that they flew to EWR was not the same aircraft that went tech.) You of all people should know that airlines do not simply have 777s laying around waiting for an aircraft to go tech. Pete McDonald was referring to spare capacity and flexibility built into the domestic system primarily. Flexing that spare capacity into PVG is far far more complex than on a quick domestic flight between ORD and ATL.

As for those passengers being ex customers...TBD that's not your decision or mine.
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
WROORD
Posts: 667
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 5:36 pm

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:55 pm

Quoting leothedog (Reply 20):
This is so typical of United Airlines. When something doesn't go right, instead of explaining exactly what is going on to the passengers effected, the gate personel do not say anything, or cannot back up what they do say. I know. I've experienced it myself first hand. That's why I avoid United at all costs if possible.

Amen to that I was stuck in MSY in Feb for over 8 hours and the gate people where nowhere to be found. When they finally came to tell us that the flight will not depart all other UA flights departed and they could not put me on AA because there was no seats. I went over to AA counter and was told that there are some seats, returned back to UA counter and told that to the gate agent and she said I still cannot get you on that flight. They just do not care about pax.
My other flight from ORD the following month was delayed over an hour as only half of the crew showed up - c'mon 10 AM flight and the rest overslept or forgot? I think there is a lot of tension between management and the employees and in some instances employees are doing nothing to anger pax. I send complaints letters to Mr. Smisek and still have not heard from them - they cleary do not give a damm.
 
AWACSooner
Posts: 1788
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:35 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:04 pm

Quoting United1 (Reply 11):

Well taking a look at loads right now UA is running at over 99% today (there were 7 empty seats today for example combined on all 4 flights out of PVG.) Just because you may be able to get them to NRT, ICN or another city does not mean that you would necessarily be able to get them on an outbound flight...getting 50 passengers re booked during the high season out of 275 is a decent percentage.

I understand you're trying to defend your airline, but the bottom line is they screwed up big time here!
Why not put them on another airline? There's plenty of Star Alliance carriers in that region.
Plenty of options were on the table for this situation, and it looks like UA picked one of the worst ones!
 
AWACSooner
Posts: 1788
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:35 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:09 pm

Quoting WROORD (Reply 32):
I send complaints letters to Mr. Smisek and still have not heard from them - they cleary do not give a damm.

This was indicative of UA before the merger too. In all the years I've been flying UA, customer service (on the ground) has never seemed to be a priority for them.
 
United1
Posts: 2876
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:21 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:10 pm

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 33):
Why not put them on another airline? There's plenty of Star Alliance carriers in that region.

Who says that they didn't put them on another airline....we have no info that they did or did not...the only thing that we do know is that UA managed to accommodate 50 passengers. UA does not limit its agents to rebooking passengers on UA or Star carriers only...they can and do rebook on most any airline.

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 33):
I understand you're trying to defend your airline, but the bottom line is they screwed up big time here!

I'm not defending them at all but I am saying that the options you, and others, think that they should have taken may not have been as easy (or even possible) as you seem to think that they are.
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
jetblast
Posts: 950
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 11:19 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:11 pm

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 33):
I understand you're trying to defend your airline, but the bottom line is they screwed up big time here!
Why not put them on another airline? There's plenty of Star Alliance carriers in that region.

Easier said than done. What if there were no seats left?
Speedbird Concorde One
 
DL WIDGET HEAD
Posts: 1469
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2000 8:18 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:22 pm

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 33):
the bottom line is they screwed up big time here!

Bingo! This is a major UA screw up. It amazes me how the UA apologists on this forum actually think that UA performed well in this instance. All airlines have technical issues but UA seems to compound their tech issues with all kinds of other issues and then the apologists have the nerve to blame the customers. I'll bet that most of those folks stranded by UA will never fly them again and I don't blame them. This is not an isolated incident. Every day one reads in the newspaper of one epic UA failure after another and yet the UA apologists delude themselves by thinking that evrything is running well and that UA is no different from any other airline which is just bovine scatology. Instead of heaping false praise on UA they should be profoundly embarrased by this event and hope that their airline will turn around. Doesn't look like a turn around is forthcoming though and could get much worse should the pilots get the green light to begin a strike count down.
 
AADC10
Posts: 1507
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 7:40 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:36 pm

The story emphasizes the 3 day delay and that UA was only able to accommodate 50 passengers but I believe it was 50 passengers the day of departure. PVG-EWR is one of first departures of the day and they go the 50 on the later UA flights flights to ORD, SFO or LAX. I doubt that there were more than a handful waiting around until Saturday, some of which may have been VDBs, non-revs and other low boarding priority passengers.
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9606
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:53 pm

Quoting DL WIDGET HEAD (Reply 27):

They should have sent a rescue flight. But as a result of not scheduling enough spares into the operation (according to McDonald) this summer, UA rolled the dice and their customers came up short. Or should I say their EX customers.

I don't know any airline that would have spent a spare airplane to deal with a mechanical writeup where it is believed that a spare part can fix the plane.

The way maintenance at United works is they writeup a mechanical problem. The airplane goes out of service. Maintenance diagnoses the problem and tells scheduling of an Expected Return To Service time. Scheduling/Dispatch then figures out what to do. If it looks like the crew will time out, they will issue a 18 hour delay to give crew rest and time to send the passengers to hotels. If the maintenance problem looks like it will take quite a long time to fix, then they may send another airplane. Sometimes maintenance gets it wrong. Sometimes a second unplanned problem happens (such as it appears the second day's delay was due to airport operations causing the crew to time out).

It's really easy to say that they should have sent a rescue airplane when you read a headline that passengers were stuck for three days, but with the information at hand when the initial mechanical problem happened, did a rescue airplane look like the best option?

Quoting DL WIDGET HEAD (Reply 37):
Bingo! This is a major UA screw up. It amazes me how the UA apologists on this forum actually think that UA performed well in this instance.

I totally agree that it is UA's fault for having passengers stranded for 3 days. I just proposed some reasons why this could have happened. It really can and does happen to every airline.

One thing I know for sure is such a problem would not have happened if the plane was in EWR going to PVG. However dealing with a crisis at a distant outstation involving mechanical problems, shipping parts, customs, immigration, crew timeouts, airport handling problems, etc is difficult for every airline's operation center to handle.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 6688
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:05 pm

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 28):
Buying an additional aircraft just to have spare capacity at peak time is a waste of money. What would you do with it the rest of the year when you don't need it?

Why jump to the extreme and assume new a/c, UA has multiple types of a/c in their fleet, adjusting capacity can also be the a/c type used and the number of seats / classes in different types, like 777, 747, A330, 767.
Capacity adjustment can be a 767 with no first, a 777 with first, 3 class, more / less premium seating etc. etc. etc.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 39):
I don't know any airline that would have spent a spare airplane to deal with a mechanical writeup where it is believed that a spare part can fix the plane.

We read on here all the time about the number of a/c required to provide long haul service, the figure banted about is usually 3 frames, it does not mean that 2 a/c are stiiting waiting for a failure, but it means that if available, the time frames for resolution are known and not in the 3 days range.
In this case something else happened, the crew timing out issue on the second cancellation is suspect, if true, I would say that someone rolled the dice and attempted to use a crew not involved in the 3 plane rotation to speed up the retireval of the situation and it backfired due to the pax delay.
 
User avatar
RWA380
Posts: 4463
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 10:51 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:07 pm

Quoting GALLEYSTEW (Reply 4):
Hate to tell you this......but THIS was CONTINENTAL metal. United in name only, still running subsidiary airlines. I think they did the best they could considering the circumstances. it is summer and flights are full. You can only accomodate on other airlines if there are seats available.

When is this going to stop? CO is gone, flown into the sunset, accept it. There is no CO any more. It's sad, fine airline, fine employees, good service. But if those were the benchmarks of staying in business we'd still have BN, WA Transworld Airlines (USA)">TW and WA.

Quoting par13del (Reply 8):
Does it make the UA employees feel better saying oh it was those folks CO that screwed up?[/quote

Most likely, heck I've heard people working for the same carrier tossing the blame ball around hoping not to be the one.
Oh wait, these are employees of the same carrier, so yes, it most likely does make some employees feel better to say, oh they were CO so it's their fault, but it's not. It's an all UA issue now.]

[quote=AWACSooner,reply=9]Only 50 out of 180+ accommodated? Pathetic! You have hubs at NRT, ICN, HKG and PEK nearby...all with large operations to and from the states

Not to mention the numerous options via non *A carriers, how about even LH or any other European carrier star A or not.

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 15):
I genuinely have a hard time believing that United couldn't find 275 seats for stranded pax over 3 days

I can only imagine it was hard to do, but I've found seats 2 days prior to Dec 25th for ten in one or two keystrokes, it's got to be hard, but not impossible. I guess once UA paid off the other 225 passengers, they figured why try any harder, they have been compensated, we'll fix it when we can.

Quoting sevenheavy (Reply 16):
Its impossible for anyone who wasnt there to know the full story, but I have a hard time believing that UA made no attampt to reaccommodate at least some of these passengers. Its not in their interest to do so - its far cheaper to reprotect them on another carrier rather than pay the accommodation, meal, transport and eventual compensation costs.

Agreed, But have you ever been stuck in a foreign country by a US carrier? I think what they are able to do and what they are willing to do, are two different things, The whole story lies with those involved behind the scenes at UA, the passengers have their point of view, so do the airline personal at PVG, but UA ops has the most accurate version.

Quoting WarmNuts (Reply 18):
Furthermore, IMO, a $1,000 voucher for a future flight is insufficient given the prolonged nature of their delay... I remember when airlines would give you a $500 for volunteering to get bumped an hour or two. At the very least, include a system-wide upgrade or a comped RT ticket anywhere they fly

Yes, those were the days when you'd volunteer get delayed a few hours, and arrive home with a $500.00 voucher. Now the airlines need to be neck deep in s**t before they start looking at this kind of option. But $500 back in the day could get you to Europe in the off season, including the taxes, now $1000.00 barely gets you out of the country. Do these compensation vouchers allow taxes to be covered? Most freebie tickets don't allow you to pay the taxes from the total value of the voucher.

Quoting leothedog (Reply 20):
This is so typical of United Airlines. When something doesn't go right, instead of explaining exactly what is going on to the passengers effected, the gate personel do not say anything, or cannot back up what they do say. I know. I've experienced it myself first hand. That's why I avoid United at all costs if possible

Honestly, this is not unique to UA, I have been through the wringer with AA, DL and OZ at one time or another, UA is just so large that it does not communicate that well with everyone that it should communicate with.

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 28):
Not to mention you also run into Visa issues for many transiting passengers

A well thought out point, who knows how many nationalities UA was dealing with on this flight, probably mostly US and Chinese, but transit issues could have been a consideration when accommodating these poor folks.
Next Flights: PDX-HNL-OGG-LIH-PDX On AS, WP & HA
 
DL WIDGET HEAD
Posts: 1469
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2000 8:18 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:09 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 39):
It's really easy to say that they should have sent a rescue airplane when you read a headline that passengers were stuck for three days, but with the information at hand when the initial mechanical problem happened, did a rescue airplane look like the best option?

You offered a very valid assessment. I concur with most of your analysis. In the end, yes, I think a rescue flight would have been better. There was no way of knowing for sure that the part(s) being sent from wherever would have even solved the problem. Again, UA was rolling the dice at the customers expense. UA has a problem with not having enough spare aircraft for their summer operation. This is a problem that the UA planners brought upon themselves. There was an incident like this just a few days ago in UA's back yard near Houston where UA stranded passengers for a whole day due to lack parts, spare aircraft, crew duty time etc. It's not just an international phenomenon. There is an ugly pattern developing here for UA.

[Edited 2012-07-15 13:12:01]
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 11508
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:14 pm

Quoting DL WIDGET HEAD (Reply 42):
Again, UA was rolling the dice at the customers expense. UA has a problem with not having enough spare aircraft for their summer operation.

What evidence do you have that the result would have been different for AA or DL?
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9606
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:22 pm

Quoting DL WIDGET HEAD (Reply 42):

You offered a very valid assessment. I concur with most of your analysis. In the end, yes, I think a rescue flight would have been better. There was no way on knowing for sure that the part(s) being sent from wherever would have even solved the problem.

True you never know if the mechanic or maintenance controller who made the call about what the problem was correct or not and return to service time was correct.

However, I think you underestimate the impact of a spare aircraft. On domestic flights spare aircraft are easier since the same crew that brings it in can take it out. On international flights, you have to find a crew with duty time available and get the airplane dispatched to PVG. That's about 4-6 hours to notify crew, get an airplane, clean & fuel it, dispatch it, file paperwork for arrival slot in PVG, etc. Then you have to have a crew to operate the flight back. UA is more likely to have a 777 in SFO, but a PMCO crew can't operate that plane and it is not configured correctly.

On the other hand if it is a spare part, it can be sent on the next plane on any airline priority to PVG. Then maintenance can fix it. Even if an engine run is required, the airplane would be fixed and ready to go before the spare even got to PVG. So you wasted the cost of an airplane and crew in PVG for no reason which impacts the operation and costs. In the end it makes more sense to run the risk of a 3-day delay to keep the whole operation moving rather than plan for the worst and long term Out of Service Event in PVG.

Quoting DL WIDGET HEAD (Reply 42):
Again, UA was rolling the dice at the customers expense. UA has a problem with not having enough spare aircraft for their summer operation. This is a problem that the UA planners brought upon themselves. There was an incident like this just a few days ago in UA's back yard near Houston a where UA stranded passengers for a whole day due to lack parts, spare aircraft, crew duty time etc. It's not just an international phenomenon. There is an ugly pattern developing here for UA.

Just about every airline has the problem of not enough spare aircraft in their peak season schedule. Airline management is willing to take a few more long delays and cancellations in exchange for the additional revenue of operating a tighter schedule. The spares are enough for typical operation, but events always happen. There's no way in the world that AA could have maintained a realistic schedule following the day when they had 20% of their fleet taken out of service after a hailstorm in DFW. Or how about EK's spares mess caused by the A380 crack inspections and repairs.

My point is that it happens to airlines and mechanical problems are a fact. It's hard to judge the overall health and network of an airline from a single event. Sure, if you want top level dispatch reliability and the best handling of irregular operations, the industry leaders are almost always ANA and JAL. However, their maintenance programs are also an extreme cost burden on those airlines. What frustrates me is saying, it's the merger's fault, or CO screwed UA or UA screwed CO or Smisek should be blamed. I really don't understand how blaming a bearing failure or a cracked fan blade or a bad hydraulic pump on an executive or a whole corporation makes sense.

[Edited 2012-07-15 13:33:02]
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
DL WIDGET HEAD
Posts: 1469
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2000 8:18 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:42 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 43):
What evidence do you have that the result would have been different for AA or DL?

My comments are about UA's deteriorating, self induced operational failure(s). I'm not here to say that AA or DL or LH are far superior nor did I even imply it. But since you brought it up, in regard to DL's operation, there is a sufficient number of spares built into the summer schedule to prevent 3 day strandings at far away or even close places. This is a decision that each airline has to make and it requires immense discipline due to unrealized revenue opportunities by maintaining spares. UA is on the wrong side of the equation in this regard.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 44):
My point is that it happens to airlines and mechanical problems are a fact. It's hard to judge the overall health and network of an airline from a single event.

That would be true if this was an isolated event but sadly it is not. As mentioned before, this situation has become prevalent at UA and what's worse seemingly acceptable.
 
DL WIDGET HEAD
Posts: 1469
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2000 8:18 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:53 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 44):
What frustrates me is saying, it's the merger's fault, or CO screwed UA or UA screwed CO or Smisek should be blamed. I really don't understand how blaming a bearing failure or a cracked fan blade or a bad hydraulic pump on an executive or a whole corporation makes sense.

It's not the Tech issue that's at fault. It's the recovery issue (or lack of recovery) that's at fault here. Bad decisions from the top down resulted in this and other UA fiasco's of late. Yes it's a merger problem. Yes, it's Smisek problem. Yes, this is way more of a problem at UA right now that at other airlines. Stop sugar coating UA's piss poor performance and accept it as it really is.
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9606
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:58 pm

Quoting DL WIDGET HEAD (Reply 45):
That would be true if this was an isolated event but sadly it is not. As mentioned before, this situation has become prevalent at UA and what's worse seemingly acceptable.

Do you have data supporting that? I have seen data that reflects the opposite of that for maintenance events. However UA certainly was behind the pack in 2007-2008 but things are far better now from a maintenance and scheduling standpoint. Reservations and airport operations is where the airline has fallen apart.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
cmf
Posts: 3120
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:22 pm

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:16 pm

Quoting United1 (Reply 7):
They were not able to leave Friday due to the crew timing out because of a boarding issue...that boarding issue was caused by the passengers refusing to go to the correct gate by the wa

Sorry but while I wasn't there I don't think it was caused by the passengers but rather by poor information to the passengers.

Quoting United1 (Reply 7):
What more could they have done?

That is what they should look at for the next time. Sadly I think airlines stopped doing that long time ago. They will analyze if they could have put the plane back in service faster but that's about it.

I am convinced we will see a lot more passenger rights regulation going forward. Among things I think is coming, some will take a long time, are: Cash instead of vouchers. Passengers flying out in order of their scheduled flight times, i.e little pain over many instead of a lot of pain to a few. Contacting passengers and offer compensation to stay until later flights.

Quoting United1 (Reply 23):
That's pretty good compensation when you consider that they basically just received a free trip to China and a voucher that will cover the cost of another transpacific flight with some level of planning (with notice EWR-PVG is ~1100... short notice is around ~1850.)

Is it? What costs did the passengers have because of the delay? Without considering that I don't think you can say it is good.

I know someone will say that is what travel insurance is for. I agree, airlines should have insurance to cover the problems they cause. Passengers should have insurance for the problems they cause. Passengers should not need insurance to cover problems caused by airlines.

Quoting DL WIDGET HEAD (Reply 25):
This sounds absurd. Why would the passengers who have been stranded there for 2 days and who obviously want to be on their way "refuse to go to the correct gate"?

Because of poor communication. If you have been lied to over and over there is a time when you stop trusting what they say. If you see a plane in front of you and they ask you to go somewhere else....

Quoting United1 (Reply 26):
In other words a few idiots behaved like jackasses and screwed over their fellow passengers.

Probably. But I think the jackasses are the airline representatives communicating with the passengers.

Quoting WROORD (Reply 32):
I went over to AA counter and was told that there are some seats, returned back to UA counter and told that to the gate agent and she said I still cannot get you on that flight.

Have had this happen to me many times. Part of why people do not believe what the airlines say. Not even when it is the truth.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 39):
It's really easy to say that they should have sent a rescue airplane when you read a headline that passengers were stuck for three days, but with the information at hand when the initial mechanical problem happened, did a rescue airplane look like the best option?

20/20 makes things so much easier 
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
Confuscius
Posts: 3568
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 12:29 am

RE: United Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days

Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:01 pm

Quoting flybry (Thread starter):
Passengers Stuck In Shanghai For 3 Days 

Seems like the passengers got shanghai'd in Shanghai!
Ain't I a stinker?