My family and I are about to return to SFO on UA 931 and had a question for you gurus out there vis a via UA operations.
1. It seems that UA routes the aircraft on these flights as follows:
FRA to SFO
SFO to LHR
LHR to SFO
SFO to FRA
What seems to have been happening a lot in the last few weeks is the a/c from FRA to SFO is running about 2 hours late. This of course results in the domino affect of the SFO to LHR leg running about two hours late (happened to us on the outbound leg). It also means the LHR to SFO segment is delayed by a similar amount. This happened to us on our outbound segment on 31 May and is also happening today (Sunday 12 June). I'll keep my fingers crossed things are on time for our flight later this week
Does anyone from UA know why these delays continue to occur with such frequency? I've kept an eye on these flights since mid May as we were coming up to the start of our holiday and wasn't thrilled to see this happening so often. Traveling with kids can be a challenge and tacking on an extra two hours at the airport isn't fun.
2. Although these flights are listed as using their new International Config a/c (with upgraded IPTE and 3-3-3 in Y and Y+), they often wind up swapping with a 2-5-2 config'd World Wide 1 set up a/c. This results in the loss of around 30 Y+ seats and the same number of folks who have paid $$/££/miles to upgrade being shoved back into Y.
I can tell you that on UA 930 on 31 May, we saw those 30 people seriously pissed off as we boarded the flight for LHR. We were already running two hours late due to the late a/c arrival from FRA.
Has UA considered whether to hold off assigning any more than the 77 or so seats the old config a/c can hold until they are certain which a/c type will run the route? I know they delay the 24 hour check in process, not opening up for check in until about 10 hrs before the flight (once they confirm which a/c will show up).
Thanks in advance for anyone who has insight on these issues.
Edit: Looking at FlightAware, it appears UA930 was hit with long delays (one hour or more) from 28 May through 11 June a total of 4 times out of the 15 flights (26%). For the LHR-SFO segment, 33% (5/15) flights were delayed an hour or more with todays flight set to depart a whopping 2h15m late. It appears many of the LHR departure delays were due to air traffic control as it looks like UA may have a different a/c available to fly the LHR-SFO leg.
[Edited 2011-06-12 02:58:47]