AA737-823
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:20 pm

This question has been rolling around in the back of my mind ever since UA made the initial 747 reorganization announcement.

UA management decided, some weeks ago, that the 747 fleet needs to be kept close to home (with limited exception, like LAX-SYD and ORD-HKG I believe) in San Fran, to maximize the availability of maintenance and spares, in an effort to improve dispatch reliability.
And since Thursday, 179 has been stuck at SYD, and (rumor has it) is FERRYING to SFO on the 27th.
See reply 37 in this thread: United/Cont. Existing Fleet Upgrade Status 15 (by iowaman Feb 19 2013 in Civil Aviation)
Of course, that's just one situation, and ferrying happens to all fleets at all carriers, so we can't conclude much from that one particular instance of ferry.
BUT... the overall theme here is that UA's 747's aren't particularly reliable.
Compare that with Lufthansa, who is now retiring 744's with 120,000 hours on the clocks! We never heard LH announce "Oh, well, these birds are old, we're basing all of them out of MUC to improve reliability."

My question is whether DELTA is experiencing similar issues, with their fleet of ex-NW 744's.
The last time I flew in a NW 744, N665US, it was in appalling condition, in terms of the limited things that a passenger (who happens to also be an airline mechanic) can see in the cabin and out the window.
I didn't have much respect for NW as an airline, except for their DC-9 expertise. Otherwise, I found all their planes to be completely shabby.

So I wonder if DL's 747 fleet is a problem child like UA's seems to be.

Any insights?
 
LAXintl
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:26 pm

Simply put the 744 are yesterdays plane.

Besides United, the entire industry experiences lower reliability on the model compared to more contemporary fleets like the 777. (this is a fact and published by Boeing monthly).
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
TC957
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:27 pm

Come on Boeing ! You need some good news now - make both UA and DL an offer for 748i's they can't possibly turn down.  
 
FWAERJ
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:27 pm

DL refurbished all of their 744s a while back with new seats and AVOD in both classes.

That said, I don't think DL is having the same issues as UA.
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Triple7Lr
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:31 pm

Just curious when was the last time you were on a DL 47. They're actually pretty nice with the new mods.
 
FlyHossD
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:32 pm

I've heard a recent rumor from the UA Training Department that a 777-300 order will happen this calendar year. The 773s will replace the 744s.

And if that's accurate, I'd guess the L-UAL order for A350s will be cancelled.

Some rumors come true, many don't. Please keep in mind the adage, "You get what you paid for" and this rumor was free!
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
phxa340
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:37 pm

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 5):

Unless Boeing can offer UA availability within a year, pay for the 350 cancellations and sell the 77W at practically a loss that rumor makes no sense.

Don't understand so many members obsession to can the A350 order ... It's going to be a great plane for UA. Lets move on ...
 
JimJupiter
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:39 pm

Quoting AA737-823 (Thread starter):
Compare that with Lufthansa, who is now retiring 744's with 120,000 hours on the clocks! We never heard LH announce "Oh, well, these birds are old, we're basing all of them out of MUC to improve reliability."

Well, they're actually all based in FRA.  
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codc10
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:41 pm

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 3):


DL refurbished all of their 744s a while back with new seats and AVOD in both classes.
Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 3):
Just curious when was the last time you were on a DL 47. They're actually pretty nice with the new mods.

The interior and IFE are not the reason why UA's (or any operator's) 744 fleet generally has poorer reliability than its more modern stablemates, though the perception is certainly that United's 747s are bigger 'hangar queens' than Delta's.
 
kamboi
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:42 pm

It's sad that the only 777 one sees at SFO are AF, JAL, SQ, EVA. No UA  
 
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lightsaber
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:08 pm

What are the hours on the UA planes? 747s are durable, but when they start to age, it is (purely in my opinion) a steeper 'knee in the curve' than with Douglas products.

The Airbus I've worked on aren't old enough for this discussion.   

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 6):
Unless Boeing can offer UA availability within a year, pay for the 350 cancellations and sell the 77W at practically a loss that rumor makes no sense.

Exactly. UA is going with the A350 which is a great plane for their needs.
So is the 787...   

What is the issue UA is having? I'm not hearing anything engine related... What is the cause?

Lightsaber
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FlyCaledonian
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:08 pm

Isn't DL's 744 fleet quite under utilised, so that slack would surely help them by having more spares? UA seems to use their fleet more intensively, so basing them out of SFO makes more sense.
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LAXintl
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:09 pm

Here are some reliability stats for period ending December 2012.

Fleet average was 98.30%

Some airlines -
Air France - 97.32
ANA - 99.25
BA - 97.59
Cathay - 97.94
China - 98.67
Delta - 97.76
El Al - 96.17
EVA - 99.61
Korean - 99.78
Lufthansa - 98.92
KLM - 98.82
Malaysia - 97.52
Qantas - 97.42
United - 97.56
Virgin - 98.46

In comparison the 777 fleet average was 99.32

For those wondering how this is measured, it takes the total cancellations, air turn backs, maintenance diversions, divided by total scheduled departures.

To add some color, that 1.0 variance between the 744 and 777 is huge.
It basically means an average of 3.5 additional cancellations, diversions, or air turnback incidents annually for each aircraft per year. In otherwords the 744 will go AOG significantly more frequently then the 777.

Quoting kamboi (Reply 9):
It's sad that the only 777 one sees at SFO are AF, JAL, SQ, EVA. No UA

I was there the other day. Something like 4-5 UA 777s were around.
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panamair
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:12 pm

Quoting kamboi (Reply 9):
It's sad that the only 777 one sees at SFO are AF, JAL, SQ, EVA. No UA

Huh? SFO-KIX is currently a 777...the new SFO-TPE starting this summer will also be a 777, as will the second SFO-NRT this summer...
 
brilondon
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:13 pm

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 6):
Unless Boeing can offer UA availability within a year, pay for the 350 cancellations and sell the 77W at practically a loss that rumor makes no sense.

Why would they have to basically have to give the planes away for free? Who said they were cancelling the A350 deal? You just spouting wishes or are these statements facts you can back up?

[Edited 2013-02-26 14:51:02]
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b727fa
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:14 pm

Quoting AA737-823 (Thread starter):

I would say the DL dispatch rate is pretty high and is reliable as a fleet. Additionally, as a mechanic, you would know that "shabby" doesn't mean "unreliable" or "bad."
My comments/opinions are my own and are not to be construed as the opinion(s) of my employer.
 
Norcal773
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:28 pm

Quoting kamboi (Reply 9):
It's sad that the only 777 one sees at SFO are AF, JAL, SQ, EVA. No UA

You obviously haven't been to SFO lately!
If you're going through hell, keep going
 
jayunited
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:36 pm

Quoting AA737-823 (Thread starter):
BUT... the overall theme here is that UA's 747's aren't particularly reliable.

I would agree with your post if you had posted this last year, because it would have been true. However ever since UA started moving the 744 to SFO the dispatch reliability of the 744 has greatly improved because that is where the main maintenance base for the 744 is located.

Quoting AA737-823 (Thread starter):
We never heard LH announce "Oh, well, these birds are old, we're basing all of them out of MUC to improve reliability."

Well of course you have never heard of LH doing this because they already are doing this most (not all) of their 744 are based out of FRA so they don't need to announce it. UA back in the day use to have 744 bases at ORD, SFO, LAX, and they use to fly them out of DEN, IAD, and HNL although i'm not sure if those stations were ever 744 bases. So there is nothing strange about UA's announcement and you can't compare UA to LH because LH flies international mostly from FRA, MUC, and DUS. While UA now fly international from EWR, IAD, IAH, ORD, LAX, SFO, HNL, and SEA so the announcement makes sense.
 
PHX787
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:54 pm

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 3):
DL refurbished all of their 744s a while back with new seats and AVOD in both classes.

I heard the 747 is going to be staying with DL for at least 10 more years so they seem to have it under control.

Flying her next month DTW-NRT   

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 1):
Simply put the 744 are yesterdays plane.

Besides United, the entire industry experiences lower reliability on the model compared to more contemporary fleets like the 777. (this is a fact and published by Boeing monthly).

It also kinda puts the 748i in perspective....if the 77W or 77L can't handle the capacity that the 744 has, then I'm going to expect UA to eventually order the 748i once they begin retiring their 744s.
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phxa340
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:59 pm

Quoting brilondon (Reply 14):

How about you read the statement I was responding to before responding all high and mighty.      
 
brilondon
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:10 pm

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 19):

Quoting brilondon (Reply 14):

How about you read the statement I was responding to before responding all high and mighty.      

I was asking for a source for your facts and I find your comments rather rude and I certainly was not being all high and mighty.
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777STL
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:16 pm

Quoting brilondon (Reply 20):
I was asking for a source for your facts and I find your comments rather rude and I certainly was not being all high and mighty.

You're out of line here. Why don't you try reading what he actually wrote before you light him up? You guys basically agree with each other - he was questioning the veracity of that rumor just as you were. Relax.
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COSPN
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:22 pm

Quoting AA737-823 (Thread starter):
(with limited exception, like LAX-SYD and ORD-HKG I believe)

Is ORD-HKG going to be a 744 all summer ? I thought all 744 is moving to SFO and the one SFO-SYD-LAX run ??
 
flightsimer
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:26 pm

Quoting brilondon (Reply 20):

I'm siding with PHX here. He said nothing that would require a source. Unless Boeing was to offer United a great deal they couldn't refuse, their would be no reason for them to switch is what he said (paraphrasing).

However, let's not forget that the 350's were ordered prior to the merger. Since then, united has gone on the record (last year) as saying the A350-900 will no longer be replacing the 747's and that they were looking at the 777-x, A350-1000 and 747-8i as as replacements now.

However, they did not say they were going to drop the -900's if they ordered something else as the replacement.
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AADC10
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:36 pm

I hope the UA 744 dispatch reliability problems are not related to the outsourcing to China of their heavy maintenance.

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 5):
And if that's accurate, I'd guess the L-UAL order for A350s will be cancelled.

I doubt that UA would order the 773 or cancel the A350. The A350 is at least a half generation ahead of the 773. The A350 order was also connected to an A319/320 order that was cancelled in Ch. 11. Part of the settlement was the A350 order, so it will cost far more than the typical cancellation fee to drop the order.

Quoting kamboi (Reply 9):
It's sad that the only 777 one sees at SFO are AF, JAL, SQ, EVA. No UA

I believe that SFO-KIX and SFO-PVG are usually operated with a 772.
 
jumpjets
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:39 pm

Quoting AA737-823 (Thread starter):
UA management decided, some weeks ago, that the 747 fleet needs to be kept close to home

I certainly saw one coming into LHR one day within the last week - so not so close to home. Does the reasonable number of UA flights to LHR each day mean they keep more spares here than at other destinations?
 
sac
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:46 pm

Delta ferried one from TLV-JFK last Saturday.
 
LAXintl
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:53 pm

Quoting panamair (Reply 13):
Huh? SFO-KIX is currently a 777...the new SFO-TPE starting this summer will also be a 777, as will the second SFO-NRT this summer...

Actually TPE was to be 744 when launched but with 787 delays it got downgauged. But KIX going to 744 in April.

But there are certainly other UA SFO 777 services still - like LHR, domestic flights and plus NRT and TPE as mentioned.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 18):
I heard the 747 is going to be staying with DL for at least 10 more years so they seem to have it under control.

God help them. In 10-years those frames will be pushing 35 years in age.

Quoting COSPN (Reply 23):
Is ORD-HKG going to be a 744 all summer ?

Switches to 777 end of March.

Quoting COSPN (Reply 23):
and the one SFO-SYD-LAX run ??

LAX-SYD stays 744. LAX is the sole other 744 crew base outside SFO.

Also for the summer HNL-NRT will run on a 744.

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 25):
I hope the UA 744 dispatch reliability problems are not related to the outsourcing to China of their heavy maintenance.

If anything the Asian operators tend to have the highest fleet reliability.

Anyhow DL sends its to Singapore.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
modesto2
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:55 pm

I can't speak about dispatch reliability, but as far as the cabin is concerned, DL's 747s are great with their recent mods. The 747 flat-bed is the most comfortable in the DL fleet, and I'll gladly take an upper deck seat any day. With these cabin mods, DL is certainly committed to the 747 fleet for the near future.
 
United1
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:01 am

Quoting jumpjets (Reply 26):
Quoting AA737-823 (Thread starter):
UA management decided, some weeks ago, that the 747 fleet needs to be kept close to home

I certainly saw one coming into LHR one day within the last week - so not so close to home. Does the reasonable number of UA flights to LHR each day mean they keep more spares here than at other destinations?

UA is basing the 744s at SFO (which is one of UAs MTC centers) but they continue to fly them to Europe, Asia and Australia. The theory is that by basing them at UAs 744 MTC center the reliability will tick up a bit until UA can replace them with something newer. I don't think they keep any spare aircraft at LHR but IIRC UA does have a parts warehouse there.

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 25):
Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 5):
And if that's accurate, I'd guess the L-UAL order for A350s will be cancelled.

I doubt that UA would order the 773 or cancel the A350. The A350 is at least a half generation ahead of the 773. The A350 order was also connected to an A319/320 order that was cancelled in Ch. 11. Part of the settlement was the A350 order, so it will cost far more than the typical cancellation fee to drop the order.

I can't see any reason why they would cancel the A350 even if they were to order the 77W/748 to replace the 744. At worst they simply delay taking delivery of them (something that is built into the contract) and use them as a 772 replacement when the time comes.

Quoting AA737-823 (Thread starter):
.

Based on the numbers that LAXint posted UAs seem to be about the same as DLs....a .2% difference between the two airlines. UAs 744s seem to have the same level of dispatch reliability as QF, BA and AF so I don't think the reliability issues are all that much of an issue. I kind of find you asking if UAs 744s are junk as being a bit rude...you really should consider changing the title.
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jayunited
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:08 am

Quoting jumpjets (Reply 26):
Quoting AA737-823 (Thread starter):
UA management decided, some weeks ago, that the 747 fleet needs to be kept close to home

I certainly saw one coming into LHR one day within the last week - so not so close to home. Does the reasonable number of UA flights to LHR each day mean they keep more spares here than at other destinations?

Close to home does not mean that the aircraft doesn't ever leave SFO.   

And UA does not keep spare 744 in LHR nor any other type. All aircraft that UA sends to LHR are back on U.S. soil the following day.
 
MaverickM11
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:17 am

Quoting United1 (Reply 30):
I kind of find you asking if UAs 744s are junk as being a bit rude...you really should consider changing the title.

I think anyone flying or trying to fly ORDNRT/HKG in the last couple years would find the moniker quite apt 
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United1
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:19 am

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 32):
I think anyone flying or trying to fly ORDNRT/HKG in the last couple years would find the moniker quite apt 

....I've flown both those routes multiple times in the past few years   One MTC delay and three ATC/Weather issues...the other flights were fine.
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
kamboi
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:22 am

Quoting panamair (Reply 13):

I was there yesterday for almost 2 hours and watched all the heavy take offs and landings and non was a UA777
 
kamboi
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:23 am

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 16):

was there yesterday and on saturday
 
ikramerica
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:26 am

Quoting United1 (Reply 30):
I can't see any reason why they would cancel the A350 even if they were to order the 77W/748 to replace the 744. At worst they simply delay taking delivery of them (something that is built into the contract) and use them as a 772 replacement when the time comes.

That is exactly what will happen. UA has a large fleet of 767 and 777 needing to be replaced. The 787 and A350 can do that. pmUAs claim that the A359 could replace the 747 was unbelievable. I always saw it as a place holder statement for what the future would really bring, without UA having to make a decision. They knew they would need A350s, and wanted to order them, but didn't want to tip their hat about what the future might bring, for at least the reason of not tipping the unions of their plans.
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United1
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:28 am

Quoting kamboi (Reply 34):
I was there yesterday for almost 2 hours and watched all the heavy take offs and landings and non was a UA777

KIX, PVG and 2 of the HNL flights are on the 777 still...I am not sure if there are any other UA 777 flights out of SFO any longer.
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LAXintl
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UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:32 am

You picked a bad time.

UA 777 scheduled movements on Monday:

0835 UA858 PVG-SFO
0842 UA663 SFO-HNL
1008 UA201 SFO-HNL
1100 UA886 KIX-SFO
1120 UA885 SFO-KIX
1310 UA857 SFO-PVG
2023 UA724 HNL-SFO
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
roseflyer
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RE: UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:53 am

First off, I appreciate the fact that you are talking about airplane reliability and not the often posted comment of UA's 747s are archaic because they don't have PTVs in Y.

One of the problems that UA has is that the 747 fleet is so small. In peak season, they typically only have 1 spare airplane. Having the fleet split between ORD and SFO means it is challenging to cover one airplane going out of service due to reliability problems. I think operational flexibility is why they are moving them to SFO and not because of a dramatic drop off in reliability numbers.

Overall, the UA fleet has a relatively good dispatch reliability. The low utilization during most of the year helps this a lot. There are spare aircraft to cover mechanical problems. UA in the past operated a SFO-ORD-SFO route to help cover the 747s in case one went out of service. They essentially flew the second spare so that it would be in SFO in the morning in case they expected any maintenance problems with one of the inbound Asia arrivals, and then they moved it to ORD so that it could be dispatched in place of one of the ORD routes. This was relatively inefficient having a sacrificial airplane in the network. Another factor is that the 747 is the only airplane with enough capacity to cover one of the 2 class 777s. If one of those is out of service, they need to use the 747 to HNL.

20 year old airplanes always have more mechanical problems. UA was relatively unique with its hub structure in that it was using 747s out of two hubs. Almost every other airline limits its 747s to a single hub. Even DL limits the 747 to the NRT hub. LH uses 747s mostly out of FRA. BA out of LHR. CX out of HKG.... Splitting the hubs, splitting the spares causes inefficiency in a small fleet.

UA's 767s were even worse than the 747. Multiple hubs, small fleet, and operating to airports with no maintenance support caused those airplanes to have very bad dispatch reliability.

[Edited 2013-02-26 16:55:01]
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avek00
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RE: UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:54 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 10):
What is the issue UA is having? I'm not hearing anything engine related... What is the cause?

Many years of poor utilization, and underinvestment on maintenance during United's decade of hell (2000-2010).

1. Utilization -- until the fleet was halved by the end of the bankruptcy proceedings, United would routinely operate 747s on routes like IAD-ORD, ORD-DEN and DEN-SFO/LAX. On a one-off basis, that's no big deal. But do that for a span of months into years, and you're running up the cycle counts (and wear and tear) on your fleet.

2. Maintenance -- when United's fortunes turned south, the airline focused more on reactive than preventative maintenance. Over time, this results in a fleet more prone to maintenance troubles.
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YYZAMS
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RE: UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:11 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 10):
Exactly. UA is going with the A350 which is a great plane for their needs.
So is the 787...   

What is the seating plan like for UA's A350? or A350 in general?

I know it varies by airline but I like most of the A330s because they have 2 seats near the window and not 3.
 
AA737-823
Topic Author
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RE: UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:36 am

Wow, everybody, thanks for the replies.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 3):
DL refurbished all of their 744s a while back with new seats and AVOD in both classes.
Quoting Triple7Lr (Reply 4):

Just curious when was the last time you were on a DL 47. They're actually pretty nice with the new mods.

Indeed, they are much better NOW; sadly, I'm a Star Alliance captive flyer, so I won't get the chance to sample them!

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 5):
Some rumors come true, many don't. Please keep in mind the adage, "You get what you paid for" and this rumor was free!

Time will tell whether this rumor was worth what you paid or not! I'm still holding out for a 748i order!

Quoting JimJupiter (Reply 7):
Well, they're actually all based in FRA.

My comment was meant both as a joke, AND as a compliment to Lufthansa's maintenance capabilities.

Quoting B727FA (Reply 15):
I would say the DL dispatch rate is pretty high and is reliable as a fleet. Additionally, as a mechanic, you would know that "shabby" doesn't mean "unreliable" or "bad."

Certainly, but they SOMETIMES go hand-in-hand.

Quoting jayunited (Reply 17):
I would agree with your post if you had posted this last year, because it would have been true. However ever since UA started moving the 744 to SFO the dispatch reliability of the 744 has greatly improved because that is where the main maintenance base for the 744 is located.
Quoting jayunited (Reply 17):
Well of course you have never heard of LH doing this because they already are doing this most (not all) of their 744 are based out of FRA so they don't need to announce it. UA back in the day use to have 744 bases at ORD, SFO, LAX, and they use to fly them out of DEN, IAD, and HNL although i'm not sure if those stations were ever 744 bases. So there is nothing strange about UA's announcement and you can't compare UA to LH because LH flies international mostly from FRA, MUC, and DUS. While UA now fly international from EWR, IAD, IAH, ORD, LAX, SFO, HNL, and SEA so the announcement makes sense.

You're missing my point; my point is that other carriers can maintain 747s anywhere in the world, yet somehow, United can only keep the fleet going if it is based in SFO??? Odd.

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 25):
I hope the UA 744 dispatch reliability problems are not related to the outsourcing to China of their heavy maintenance.

They are not related; the Chinese are fast becoming the preeminent aircraft maintenance experts. As a mechanic, it pains me to be faced with that situation, but it is becoming the reality, whether I like it or not.

Quoting jumpjets (Reply 26):
I certainly saw one coming into LHR one day within the last week - so not so close to home.

Did you somehow interpret my post as suggesting that they did SFO-SFO flightseeing trips?

Quoting modesto2 (Reply 29):
I can't speak about dispatch reliability, but as far as the cabin is concerned, DL's 747s are great with their recent mods. The 747 flat-bed is the most comfortable in the DL fleet, and I'll gladly take an upper deck seat any day. With these cabin mods, DL is certainly committed to the 747 fleet for the near future.

Indeed, and I'm glad. A 747 is a fantastic airplane, having formerly been a mechanic on them! Love 'em!

Quoting United1 (Reply 30):
UA is basing the 744s at SFO (which is one of UAs MTC centers) but they continue to fly them to Europe, Asia and Australia.

Astute.

Quoting United1 (Reply 30):
I kind of find you asking if UAs 744s are junk as being a bit rude...you really should consider changing the title.

Sorry to have hurt you; lucky for you, the mods changed my title to something more milquetoast.

Quoting jayunited (Reply 31):
Close to home does not mean that the aircraft doesn't ever leave SFO.

Thank you!

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 39):
One of the problems that UA has is that the 747 fleet is so small.

If this is the case, then why are there lots of ex-UA 744's sitting in Arizona? Would it make sense to reclaim some of those aircraft, rather than leave them for scrap? I'm sure they were rejected in bankruptcy, but I wonder if something can be done about getting a couple of them back in the fleet, for situations such as this...

Quoting YYZAMS (Reply 41):
What is the seating plan like for UA's A350?

No one knows yet.
 
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jetjack74
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RE: UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:57 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 18):
I heard the 747 is going to be staying with DL for at least 10 more years so they seem to have it under control.

Uhhhhhh, highly unlikely there slim.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 28):

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 18):
I heard the 747 is going to be staying with DL for at least 10 more years so they seem to have it under control.

God help them. In 10-years those frames will be pushing 35 years in age.

Yeah I highly doubt they'll be going that long. They're on lease for 5 years, and I think the highest-time airframes will be leaving the fleet about that time.

Quoting AA737-823 (Thread starter):
My question is whether DELTA is experiencing similar issues, with their fleet of ex-NW 744's.
The last time I flew in a NW 744, N665US, it was in appalling condition, in terms of the limited things that a passenger (who happens to also be an airline mechanic) can see in the cabin and out the window.
I didn't have much respect for NW as an airline, except for their DC-9 expertise. Otherwise, I found all their planes to be completely shabby.

So I wonder if DL's 747 fleet is a problem child like UA's seems to be.

I've flown a few 747 trips, from regular trips SEA-NRT and a few charters here and I haven't noticed any delays on the part of the aircraft. Of course that doesn't represent accurate statistics, but I haven't noted anything out of the ordinary of recent times. Most of the problems associated with our 767/747/A330 aircraft were non-critical items, such as IFE, reading lamps, inop ovens and other relatively minor things. But most of those problems were addressed with the reconfiguring of the aircraft

[Edited 2013-02-26 18:00:23]
Made from jets!
 
9v-svc
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RE: UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:58 am

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 5):
I've heard a recent rumor from the UA Training Department that a 777-300 order will happen this calendar year. The 773s will replace the 744s.

Nonsense, why will UÃ order the 773 when this aircraft is lacking of range and less fuel efficient than the 77W?

77W makes more sense but even so, I doubt very much your rumour is true. If they wanted to order, they would have already done so quite some time ago.
Airliners is the wings of my life.
 
jayunited
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RE: UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:00 am

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 43):
You're missing my point; my point is that other carriers can maintain 747s anywhere in the world, yet somehow, United can only keep the fleet going if it is based in SFO??? Odd.

Really which airlines?

BA: all their 744 are based and maintained out of LHR
AF: their 744 based and maintained out of CDG
LH: most of their 744 based and maintained out of FRA
CX: HKG based and maintained
SQ: when they had 744 based and maintained out of SIN
JL: NRT

The list of airlines goes on and on and they are all based out of one central location if you get my point and see the parallel.

United will still be flying these 744 all over to places like LHR,FRA, SYD, NRT, KIX, PVG, PEK, ICN, HKG, LAX, HNL and there might be a few more stations that I am forgetting. There will be no difference in what United intends to do starting this spring and in what other airlines are already doing. Uniteds 744 fleet will be based out of SFO.
 
anrec80
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RE: UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:08 am

Quoting AA737-823 (Thread starter):
BUT... the overall theme here is that UA's 747's aren't particularly reliable.
Compare that with Lufthansa, who is now retiring 744's with 120,000 hours on the clocks! We never heard LH announce "Oh, well, these birds are old, we're basing all of them out of MUC to improve reliability."

I don't believe LH is basing any 744 in MUC or DUS. They are all in FRA  ))
 
AA737-823
Topic Author
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RE: UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:17 am

Quoting jayunited (Reply 46):
The list of airlines goes on and on and they are all based out of one central location if you get my point and see the parallel.

I see your point, but you're still missing mine. Other airlines do what they wish with their fleet, meanwhile, United finds it necessary to base the planes out of home-base, rather than keep them (and crew bases) at other hubs as well.

Quoting jayunited (Reply 46):
There will be no difference in what United intends to do starting this spring and in what other airlines are already doing.

Delta has major 747 ops in NRT, DTW, ATL, etc. United relegates them to SFO, with much more limited exception.

Quoting anrec80 (Reply 47):
I don't believe LH is basing any 744 in MUC or DUS. They are all in FRA

Again, it was a joke used as an illustration. I wish LH would base all of theirs at SFO or LAX- then we UA flyers could have the nice LH 744/748 product as an alternative to riding in the dark ages in Y on a UA 744!!!
 
LAXintl
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RE: UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:23 am

The comment about UA 744 schedules and basing are very accurate.

Unlike most 744 operators that have a single home bases, the UA fleet tended to float around the network across hubs without a single maintenance focal point.

This combined with the aircraft age produced growing reliability issues. As mentioned the UA 744 was not the sole one that suffered. The 3-class 763 fleet faced similar issues including the fact that its most frequent ly visited station of IAD was virtually all made up of quick turns, and IAD also had virtually zero heavy maintenance infrastructure.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
n7371f
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RE: UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:23 am

Is it possible that UA's problems with 744 reliability could be related to the Glenn Tilton years? Obviously UA kept up with all mandated maintenance but as even Smisek has mentioned, UA pull backed on some preventative maintenance during bankruptcy and one of the merger's issues has been bringing the PMUA fleet up to PMCO's standards. Just a thought...my pals down in MCO at CO Technical Ops don't hear much about the 744's but they do tell me that UA's 757's are in pretty sad shape in some cases.
 
tommy767
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RE: UA 744's Keep Breaking; Do Delta's Too?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:25 am

Quoting n7371f (Reply 50):

No. That's just a a.net myth. UA had better operational stats than CO post BK right before the merger.
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