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enilria
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UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:30 am

If this is true UA's OTP is about to collapse, but if this tool really works I guess OTP becomes kinda meaningless.

If you have a tight connection while flying United Airlines, you might benefit from the airline's new ConnectionSaver tool that identifies departing flights that can be held for connecting customers.

Connecting customers receive personalized text messages from ConnectionSaver with directions to the gate for their connecting flight; information about expected travel time between the two gates; and nearby amenities.

United told USA TODAY, "The tool takes that all into account when deciding whether or not to hold the departing aircraft. The goal of the tool is to help connecting customers while not inconveniencing others. So if it will cause customers who are already boarded to miss their connections, or for the plane to arrive at its destination late, the tool will not advise for the departing flight to hold."

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/n ... 417270001/
 
sonicruiser
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:33 am

This is impressive. It's simple but useful. I like where the new United is going.
 
kalvado
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:37 am

depending on implementation, this can become the greatest thing since sliced bread, a total nightmare, or anything in between.
Departure hold has to be accommodated either by delay down the line or by block time engineering. If it is about short delays, when pax run to the gate to see the pushback, it may work great. But... we will see... UA should have lots of data on how many people miss their connections.
 
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janders
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:41 am

UA finally realized after months of coming up short they will never catch DL on OTP and now have dialed things back to lesson absolute focus on D:0 and instead use reasoned decision making.
"We make war that we may live in peace." -- Aristotle
 
alasizon
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:44 am

The piece certainly makes it sound like UA is doing something more revolutionary when holding flights but the tool itself is no different than similar tools from the major US3 that helps make informed decisions on whether or not to hold.

The new piece here is the customer outreach portion that helps guide customers to their connecting gate which is currently the biggest downfall when it comes to holding flights. You plan to hold for 10 minutes but then the customers get lost, wander off course, intentionally delay themselves because the airline is holding, or simply just aren't able to get there in time. That 10 minutes becomes 20 and then the delay starts to roll.
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FromGSPtoChi
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:45 am

The Tribune had an article yesterday.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/business ... story.html
 
jcwr56
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:55 am

So....who’s this Tool that will be making decisions to hold or not. God help ‘em.... :D
 
N649DL
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:07 am

kalvado wrote:
depending on implementation, this can become the greatest thing since sliced bread, a total nightmare, or anything in between.
Departure hold has to be accommodated either by delay down the line or by block time engineering. If it is about short delays, when pax run to the gate to see the pushback, it may work great. But... we will see... UA should have lots of data on how many people miss their connections.


Absolutely. The app is probably going be useful at some hubs where it's a straight shot to the gate for a connection (DEN / IAD / IAH) but hazardous with terminal switching and/or bad hub on-time performance (EWR / SFO.) Let's hope the app is will be built well like the current UA app.
 
alasizon
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:10 am

N649DL wrote:
Absolutely. The app is probably going be useful at some hubs where it's a straight shot to the gate for a connection (DEN / IAD / IAH) but hazardous with terminal switching and/or bad hub on-time performance (EWR / SFO.) Let's hope the app is will be built well like the current UA app.


The app itself isn't like the UA phone app (and I'll give UA credit for the functionality of their app); it doesn't have to be pretty or easy to use but rather its the data behind it that matters.
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DFW17L
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:13 am

I like what AA does at their hubs for tight connections. They’ll have an Escalade parked next to the jet bridge to hurry the CK customers to their connection. If I owned a business, I too would focus on my best customers.
 
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Stitch
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:17 am

alasizon wrote:
The new piece here is the customer outreach portion that helps guide customers to their connecting gate which is currently the biggest downfall when it comes to holding flights. You plan to hold for 10 minutes but then the customers get lost, wander off course, intentionally delay themselves because the airline is holding, or simply just aren't able to get there in time. That 10 minutes becomes 20 and then the delay starts to roll.


That should hopefully get connecting passengers to their gate faster by showing them they can make it so they should hustle.

A long time ago I had like 4 minutes to make my connection at ORD from - literally - the farthest gate in Terminal 2 to the farthest gate in Terminal 1. I knew rushing was pointless, but I headed for the gate anyway since I figured I'd swing back to the T1 Red Carpet Club and explore my options (heading home to SEA when it was still a major station so I knew I had options via DEN, SFO and LAX). Was surprised to see my 777 (tells you how long ago it was :rotfl: ) still waiting for me some 15 minutes after her scheduled departure time (evidently there were a significant number of mis-connects so they held the plane longer).

If I had known they were holding it for me, I'd have hustled there and knocked at least five minutes off my time so as to win the :goldmedal: instead of the :silvermedal: . :biggrin:
 
Duality
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:25 am

enilria wrote:
United told USA TODAY,

if it will cause c... the plane to arrive at its destination late, the tool will not advise for the departing flight to hold."[/i]



So if the 'hold' will cause a plane to arrive late, it will not hold the flight???????????


Seems like BS to me. or maybe marginally useless. Only if they can delay and still ARRIVE on time, which means the possible hold him is only the 'slop' built into a schedule. a few minutes here and there.

However, when I was reviewing the code, I saw this:

IF(manifest=duality) THEN(dont delay)

;)

PS When I was a CK, the Escalade met every flight (not just tight ones)- you could get whisked to a gate near your desired bar/restaurant, or the AC or the next gate.
 
Caspian27
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:28 am

DFW17L wrote:
I like what AA does at their hubs for tight connections. They’ll have an Escalade parked next to the jet bridge to hurry the CK customers to their connection. If I owned a business, I too would focus on my best customers.


United does this already and they use Mercedes's
Meanwhile, somewhere 35,000 ft above your head...
 
N649DL
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:30 am

alasizon wrote:
N649DL wrote:
Absolutely. The app is probably going be useful at some hubs where it's a straight shot to the gate for a connection (DEN / IAD / IAH) but hazardous with terminal switching and/or bad hub on-time performance (EWR / SFO.) Let's hope the app is will be built well like the current UA app.


The app itself isn't like the UA phone app (and I'll give UA credit for the functionality of their app); it doesn't have to be pretty or easy to use but rather its the data behind it that matters.


I definitely don't think the current UA app is pretty or anything, it's just reliable and functional. These days I have more issues using United.com and/or Delta.com than their respective apps. With UA's website, it always seems to bug out on flight searches unless I go Incognito, and DL's never remembers my PW resets on Firefox. Maybe it's my new MacBook Pro from my company which is an expensive POS and needs to be re-booted every other day otherwise the browser just becomes a standstill.

If this app is a PITA to use (or app dev is still in BETA mode), then that's not going to be good for anybody.
 
Karlsands
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:05 am

There has to be some time limit in regards to the flight being waited on, right ? If it’s close I understand but imagine hours on hours just fo a few people
 
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ssteve
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:15 am

Does this apply to UA's regional carriers? Nothing like stewing on a mobile lounge at IAD to deal with the completely uncaring folks from Air Wisconsin or whomever the low bidder was that month...
 
codc10
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:42 am

enilria wrote:
If this is true UA's OTP is about to collapse, but if this tool really works I guess OTP becomes kinda meaningless.


My understanding is the tool looks to planned enroute time and considers A:14 performance in scoring whether to recommend a hold. If systemwide OTP suffers measurably I'm sure UA can and will tweak the algorithm.

At the end of the day, it's only "suggested" to the GA and he/she can still close out a flight on time if they choose.

N649DL wrote:
If this app is a PITA to use (or app dev is still in BETA mode), then that's not going to be good for anybody.


There's no new app. The functionality is already built into the map feature in the existing UA app. The new thing is text messages being pushed to pax with connection-specific gates, walking time (conservative) and a link to actual directions.
 
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antoniemey
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:07 am

UA has already had a hold/no hold recommendation system built into AERO for several years. I never got to use it because I worked at small outstations not hubs, but the functionality was there. This is merely adding on a notification to the customer that, yes, your flight is being held X long and here's where it is. It may also be slightly more automated than the system has been as my understanding is that, as of the time I left my airline contractor job for something more... financially rewarding, the recommendation was entered by someone in the daily planning areas.
Make something Idiot-proof, and the Universe will make a more inept idiot.
 
N649DL
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:51 am

codc10 wrote:
enilria wrote:
If this is true UA's OTP is about to collapse, but if this tool really works I guess OTP becomes kinda meaningless.


My understanding is the tool looks to planned enroute time and considers A:14 performance in scoring whether to recommend a hold. If systemwide OTP suffers measurably I'm sure UA can and will tweak the algorithm.

At the end of the day, it's only "suggested" to the GA and he/she can still close out a flight on time if they choose.

N649DL wrote:
If this app is a PITA to use (or app dev is still in BETA mode), then that's not going to be good for anybody.


There's no new app. The functionality is already built into the map feature in the existing UA app. The new thing is text messages being pushed to pax with connection-specific gates, walking time (conservative) and a link to actual directions.


Interesting. I think I know what platform they're using to push out the SMS / Push Notifications to PAX. I consult on this platform and it's likely in the same universe as what UA uses for Email Campaigns (a company I worked for a few years ago did a one off gig with UA for Emails and it's unlikely they switched between now and then.)
 
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:15 am

As someone who has missed a couple of flights because of late arriving flights, on UA and UAX, I appreciate this. Most times, passengers miss their flight by a couple of minutes. In fact, I missed one flight where the gate agent saw me coming and still shut the gate on my face. I do not think this would change OTPs that much. Flights would be merely held for a few minutes to allow passengers to make it.

The part about directions and time to the new gate and all the information provided will be very useful to pax and agents who can use it to estimate how long to keep a flight on hold. It is these little things that should help UA with its image where they show their caring side. Their current updated app is pretty functional and clear. I wish they would have fleet information and other cool stuff on it as DL does.
Last edited by airboss787 on Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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strfyr51
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:15 am

we've held flights before for connecting passengers to keep down the miss-connects that just snowball to the next flight. Many times the time can be made up in the air by flying M.86 rather than M.82, so it might be OT+10 and Land OT+3-5. We have in the past Held International flights when we knew the connecting passengers were late due to no fault of their OWN, This really just good Business.. CS managers, OPS Managers and Maintenance Managers are evaluated on the on time performance at their Stations.
The FAA is also looking at On Time Performance and we had to account for EVERY Delay, with an explanation.. Including ACFT that go out of service Sometimes? To the point of being ANAL about it! Sometimes? It caused Ill will at SFO where I was a Terminal Maintenance Supervisor for 16 years.
 
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:36 am

ssteve wrote:
Does this apply to UA's regional carriers? Nothing like stewing on a mobile lounge at IAD to deal with the completely uncaring folks from Air Wisconsin or whomever the low bidder was that month...


There needs to a like button on A.Net. This is heavy facts.

77H
 
LH658
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:12 am

Flying domestic in the US i try to have at least 90 mins to 120 mins between connections. I don't know why airlines sell tickets with 40 min connections, by the time plane parks and you get into the terminal, go to the other gate the flight would have already pushed back or be on the runway.
 
mandargb
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:32 am

I agree, keeping 90 minutes for connection is what we do for our trips.
I have had few bad experiences on UA for connections, and agents have closed the gate doors in front of us for our next flight.
And in all those cases my designed connection time was 2 hours and arriving flight delay messed up the connection.
They do give connecting flights with 40 and 50 minutes gap between scheduled arrival and departure times and at hubs like EWR, MSP, IAH, ORD, IAD, ATL you have to be lucky to make it.
 
jayunited
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:02 pm

janders wrote:
UA finally realized after months of coming up short they will never catch DL on OTP and now have dialed things back to lesson absolute focus on D:0 and instead use reasoned decision making.


Actually UA has been using ConnectionSaver at both DEN and ORD and there has only been a slight drop in D:0. But I agree D:0 should have never been the metric UA used, it should have been A:14.
ConnectionSaver takes a lot of information from a lot of departments crunches the numbers and puts out a recommendation. It looks at things like A:14, impact on downline connections, gate to gate travel times by foot, crew duty limits for both pilots and FA's, current gate utilization (potential impact on next arrival at the gate), connecting baggage impact at downline station, estimated flight time, estimated time of arrival, coverage for potential misconnects (can UA accommodate potential misconnects on another flight the same day, or if its a late night flight can we accommodate them early the next morning) among other factors.

Looking at that list, there are a lot of departments involved some of them are in station operations while others are at the network operation center NOC. What this program does is take all of this information, which all these separate departments have and makes a recommendation that it believes will be the most beneficial with the least impact to all passengers involved. With so many people including mainstream media and airlines dead focused on D:0 we seem to have forgotten the potential negative impact D:0 can have on passengers who miss a connection they otherwise could have made, while the flight could have still made A:14 which is what the DOT considers an onetime arrival.

United has been testing this program at DEN for the past 4 months, ORD for the past few weeks, and over that 4 month period UA told employees that ConnectionSaver saved over 14,400 customers at DEN alone who otherwise would have missed their connecting flight. D:0 numbers look great when mainstream media talks about on-time airlines. Truth is with hubs in some of the most delay pronged airspace UA was never going to catch DL D:0 numbers. But what we can do and what we are doing at DEN, ORD and soon all our hubs is we will be leaving fewer passengers behind. Instead of being laser focused on D:0 we are focusing on whats best for all our customers but causes the least amount of inconvenience or disruption to all involved.
 
slider
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:14 pm

Thanks for the skinny, Jay!
 
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exunited
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:35 pm

janders wrote:
UA finally realized after months of coming up short they will never catch DL on OTP and now have dialed things back to lesson absolute focus on D:0 and instead use reasoned decision making.


Not bad, only 4 posts before a Delta fanboy shows up. D0 was always a dumb metric to worry about when the flight was scheduled to arrive early anyways and promotes bad will among customers just so a random executive gets their multi million $ bonus for meeting some arbitrary metric.
 
atrude777
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:35 pm

Just to chime in, I actually saw this play out last night!

United Flight 640 ORD-PHL last night delayed due to misconnecting passengers. I think when I looked it was around 20-30 possible misconnects.

If you guys use the UA App or United.com, you'll see the flight left at 9:44pm, even when it was scheduled to depart at 9:10pm. Based on the information they used...

*It was the last flight of the day
*There was no one connecting out of PHL on that flight
*Large amount of misconnects
*Even with the late departure, the flight would still wind up arriving on time

Everyone made the connection, and the plane left at 9:44pm instead of 9:10pm, and still managed to arrive 4 minutes early!

I was also told the passengers got a text stating that the flight was delayed, advising them it would be held. They were advised of the gate their connecting flight was departing from, and the UA App also showed them the step by step process of how to get from their inbound gate to the PHL Gate.

Pretty Neat! Hopefully everyone was happy, those that made the connection and those already on board, still managed to arrive on time.

Alex
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
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spinotter
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:40 pm

exunited wrote:
janders wrote:
UA finally realized after months of coming up short they will never catch DL on OTP and now have dialed things back to lesson absolute focus on D:0 and instead use reasoned decision making.


Not bad, only 4 posts before a Delta fanboy shows up. D0 was always a dumb metric to worry about when the flight was scheduled to arrive early anyways and promotes bad will among customers just so a random executive gets their multi million $ bonus for meeting some arbitrary metric.


DL is a well-oiled piece of machinery right now and no one can deny that - their profits speak louder than your disparagement.

All these people who say that they shut the door in their faces, people, the door has to be shut at some point - sorry and better luck next time. I doubt if they are doing it on purpose to diss you.
 
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scbriml
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:49 pm

atrude777 wrote:
*It was the last flight of the day
*There was no one connecting out of PHL on that flight
*Large amount of misconnects
*Even with the late departure, the flight would still wind up arriving on time

Everyone made the connection, and the plane left at 9:44pm instead of 9:10pm, and still managed to arrive 4 minutes early!


So great - in those very specific circumstances, a number of passenger caught the flight that might have previously departed without them. However, I'm struggling to see how it's much benefit for all the other flights that don't meet those criteria.
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Antarius
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:04 pm

scbriml wrote:
atrude777 wrote:
*It was the last flight of the day
*There was no one connecting out of PHL on that flight
*Large amount of misconnects
*Even with the late departure, the flight would still wind up arriving on time

Everyone made the connection, and the plane left at 9:44pm instead of 9:10pm, and still managed to arrive 4 minutes early!


So great - in those very specific circumstances, a number of passenger caught the flight that might have previously departed without them. However, I'm struggling to see how it's much benefit for all the other flights that don't meet those criteria.


Because chasing D0 and leaving passengers behind is a PITA for the passengers and for the airline.

American in the last few years is bloody awful at this. 10 connecting passengers and they shut the door early on my last flight stranding people, who needed 5 or so minutes. Now I'm taking up a revenue seat on a later flight on a premium route that they cannot monetize.

This makes a lot of sense. Obviously, they will not wait for every single passenger, but having a metric to determine when to wait will benefit them immensely.
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blockski
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:11 pm

scbriml wrote:
atrude777 wrote:
*It was the last flight of the day
*There was no one connecting out of PHL on that flight
*Large amount of misconnects
*Even with the late departure, the flight would still wind up arriving on time

Everyone made the connection, and the plane left at 9:44pm instead of 9:10pm, and still managed to arrive 4 minutes early!


So great - in those very specific circumstances, a number of passenger caught the flight that might have previously departed without them. However, I'm struggling to see how it's much benefit for all the other flights that don't meet those criteria.


It won't. But so what? Those specific circumstances are a) something United can address, b) happen more often than you might think, and c) impose real costs on both the airline and the passengers.
 
GoSharks
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:22 pm

LH658 wrote:
Flying domestic in the US i try to have at least 90 mins to 120 mins between connections. I don't know why airlines sell tickets with 40 min connections, by the time plane parks and you get into the terminal, go to the other gate the flight would have already pushed back or be on the runway.

Because a 40 min connection means that you have 40 mins between the plane parking and the other plane pushing, in a normal circumstance. That’s enough time for most airports.
 
FSDan
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:36 pm

I like this idea. I've benefited over the past few years from both UA and DL holding departing flights for a few minutes to allow me to connect from a slightly delayed inbound flight - it feels great, and the airline gets a lot of goodwill from the customer as a result.

On the other hand, it felt terrible when AA didn't do anything to help me make a connection at PHX that I and several other passengers from my inbound flight could have made if they had just held the departure (the last flight out of the day, mind you) for 5 extra minutes. No goodwill for AA.
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enilria
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:45 pm

atrude777 wrote:
Just to chime in, I actually saw this play out last night!

United Flight 640 ORD-PHL last night delayed due to misconnecting passengers. I think when I looked it was around 20-30 possible misconnects.

If you guys use the UA App or United.com, you'll see the flight left at 9:44pm, even when it was scheduled to depart at 9:10pm. Based on the information they used...

*It was the last flight of the day
*There was no one connecting out of PHL on that flight
*Large amount of misconnects
*Even with the late departure, the flight would still wind up arriving on time

Everyone made the connection, and the plane left at 9:44pm instead of 9:10pm, and still managed to arrive 4 minutes early!

I was also told the passengers got a text stating that the flight was delayed, advising them it would be held. They were advised of the gate their connecting flight was departing from, and the UA App also showed them the step by step process of how to get from their inbound gate to the PHL Gate.

Pretty Neat! Hopefully everyone was happy, those that made the connection and those already on board, still managed to arrive on time.

Alex

I wonder if this will lead to even more block time padding so they can depart late and still arrive on time?
 
winginit
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:51 pm

Caspian27 wrote:
DFW17L wrote:
I like what AA does at their hubs for tight connections. They’ll have an Escalade parked next to the jet bridge to hurry the CK customers to their connection. If I owned a business, I too would focus on my best customers.


United does this already and they use Mercedes's


As does Delta with Porsches
 
codc10
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:56 pm

enilria wrote:
atrude777 wrote:
Just to chime in, I actually saw this play out last night!

United Flight 640 ORD-PHL last night delayed due to misconnecting passengers. I think when I looked it was around 20-30 possible misconnects.

If you guys use the UA App or United.com, you'll see the flight left at 9:44pm, even when it was scheduled to depart at 9:10pm. Based on the information they used...

*It was the last flight of the day
*There was no one connecting out of PHL on that flight
*Large amount of misconnects
*Even with the late departure, the flight would still wind up arriving on time

Everyone made the connection, and the plane left at 9:44pm instead of 9:10pm, and still managed to arrive 4 minutes early!

I was also told the passengers got a text stating that the flight was delayed, advising them it would be held. They were advised of the gate their connecting flight was departing from, and the UA App also showed them the step by step process of how to get from their inbound gate to the PHL Gate.

Pretty Neat! Hopefully everyone was happy, those that made the connection and those already on board, still managed to arrive on time.

Alex

I wonder if this will lead to even more block time padding so they can depart late and still arrive on time?


That would be the opposite of what United has been doing lately, trying to squeeze more utilization out of the domestic fleet.

If anything, this just allows United to save on reaccommodation cost while using slack available in an already-padded schedule, but not fully utilized. If a last flight out was already due to arrive before A:14, why not trade some of those minutes to board late-arriving pax to save on hotels, meal vouchers, ground transportation, endorsements to OAL, staff overtime, etc.? Adding to block times defeats the purpose of any cost savings this program delivers.
 
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enilria
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:02 pm

codc10 wrote:
enilria wrote:
atrude777 wrote:
Just to chime in, I actually saw this play out last night!

United Flight 640 ORD-PHL last night delayed due to misconnecting passengers. I think when I looked it was around 20-30 possible misconnects.

If you guys use the UA App or United.com, you'll see the flight left at 9:44pm, even when it was scheduled to depart at 9:10pm. Based on the information they used...

*It was the last flight of the day
*There was no one connecting out of PHL on that flight
*Large amount of misconnects
*Even with the late departure, the flight would still wind up arriving on time

Everyone made the connection, and the plane left at 9:44pm instead of 9:10pm, and still managed to arrive 4 minutes early!

I was also told the passengers got a text stating that the flight was delayed, advising them it would be held. They were advised of the gate their connecting flight was departing from, and the UA App also showed them the step by step process of how to get from their inbound gate to the PHL Gate.

Pretty Neat! Hopefully everyone was happy, those that made the connection and those already on board, still managed to arrive on time.

Alex

I wonder if this will lead to even more block time padding so they can depart late and still arrive on time?


That would be the opposite of what United has been doing lately, trying to squeeze more utilization out of the domestic fleet.

If anything, this just allows United to save on reaccommodation cost while using slack available in an already-padded schedule, but not fully utilized. If a last flight out was already due to arrive before A:14, why not trade some of those minutes to board late-arriving pax to save on hotels, meal vouchers, ground transportation, endorsements to OAL, staff overtime, etc.? Adding to block times defeats the purpose of any cost savings this program delivers.

I guess if it blocks an arriving gate to depart late then by doing a hold it could create a cascading delay. I wonder if they included that impact in their math?
 
Scarebus34
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:15 pm

I believe the tool only recommends holds no longer than 15 minutes. A majority of the time, that can be made up in the air. No, they won’t be holding every flight for everyone. But sometimes it recommends holds for as few as two people....
 
jayunited
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:20 pm

enilria wrote:
I wonder if this will lead to even more block time padding so they can depart late and still arrive on time?


No it will not lead to block time padding because the cumulative effect of block time padding decreases aircraft utilization rates, and decrease gate utilization as well. Those are two things UA is short on when compared to both AA and DL especially the mainline aircraft component. UA is growing not contracting, increasing block times is counterintuitive to an airline that is growing with the least number of narrow body mainline jets.
If UA was going to increase the block time of all flights then there would be no need for ConnectionSaver, and UA could have saved the money they spent developing this system. This system looks at each flight on a flight by flight by flight case. In some cases ConnectionSaver may recommend on-time departure, in other cases a delay is recommended because the flight is estimated to arrive 30 minutes early. And what is the point of arriving 30 minutes early if you have to sit in the penalty box for 20 of those 30 minutes because there is no gate available. Instead could the flight have taken a slight delay accommodated the potential misconnects and still arrived either on-time or perhaps with slight acceptable delay that has little to no impact on the other passengers.
 
blockski
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:33 pm

enilria wrote:
codc10 wrote:
enilria wrote:
I wonder if this will lead to even more block time padding so they can depart late and still arrive on time?


That would be the opposite of what United has been doing lately, trying to squeeze more utilization out of the domestic fleet.

If anything, this just allows United to save on reaccommodation cost while using slack available in an already-padded schedule, but not fully utilized. If a last flight out was already due to arrive before A:14, why not trade some of those minutes to board late-arriving pax to save on hotels, meal vouchers, ground transportation, endorsements to OAL, staff overtime, etc.? Adding to block times defeats the purpose of any cost savings this program delivers.

I guess if it blocks an arriving gate to depart late then by doing a hold it could create a cascading delay. I wonder if they included that impact in their math?


I'm sure they did. From the Chicago Tribune article linked earlier: https://www.chicagotribune.com/business ... story.html

The length of time United is willing to wait depends on the flight. For example, It’s riskier to delay a morning flight to a major hub, which might not be the final stop for the plane or its passengers, than a city’s final flight of the day.


If they're accounting for this, then I'm sure they're also accounting for any delays from hogging a gate.
 
UpNAWAy
Posts: 526
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:42 pm

This is much to do about nothing and is 100% marketing, props to United. They are changing nothing (accept the passenger notification part) its operating as usual and the same as United has been and all the airlines currently do operational decision making.
 
jayunited
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:53 pm

enilria wrote:
I guess if it blocks an arriving gate to depart late then by doing a hold it could create a cascading delay. I wonder if they included that impact in their math?


This system has been in use and fully deployed at DEN for 4 months, June is the start of the 5 month for DEN using this system, and June 6th was the first full day that UA's schedule at DEN exceeded 500 flights. UA on Flying Together posts daily updates for the entire system but also they break it down to a hub by hub basis. On yesterday June 11, at DEN where the system is fully deployed UA's D:0 was 63%, A:14 was 89.4%, completion rate was 100%. For UAX the D:0 number still hasn't been published, but the A:14 was 84.5% and the completion rate was 99.6%. The ORD numbers were worst because ORD was on an ATC ground delay program all day do to high winds but the the number were D:0 38.4%, A:14 57.6%, competition rate 100% for UAX at ORD D:0 again not published yet, A:14 40.2%, completion rate 99.4%. Both of these hubs each had a load factor of 90.6 and 90.1% respectively.
Again ORD's number which are terrible was caused by the all day ATC ground delay program do high winds. However DEN's numbers which was fully within UA's control are great and this was with over 500 departures and ConnectionSaver being fully deployed. So I would say UA has done their homework and covered all their bases and the over 14,400 connection passengers who would have misconnected over the previous 4 months at DEN alone is proof ConnectionSaver is working.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:56 pm

strfyr51 wrote:
we've held flights before for connecting passengers to keep down the miss-connects that just snowball to the next flight. Many times the time can be made up in the air by flying M.86 rather than M.82, so it might be OT+10 and Land OT+3-5. We have in the past Held International flights when we knew the connecting passengers were late due to no fault of their OWN, This really just good Business.. CS managers, OPS Managers and Maintenance Mconcentrating on A1anagers are evaluated on the on time performance at their Stations.
The FAA is also looking at On Time Performance and we had to account for EVERY Delay, with an explanation.. Including ACFT that go out of service Sometimes? To the point of being ANAL about it! Sometimes? It caused Ill will at SFO where I was a Terminal Maintenance Supervisor for 16 years.


Sounds like concentrating on A14 instead of D0, which is nearly impossible anyway given EWR and ORD many days. This will work out fine, unless the crew is facing pumpkin time, and the reserves are already used up.
 
blockski
Posts: 549
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:30 pm

Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:01 pm

UpNAWAy wrote:
This is much to do about nothing and is 100% marketing, props to United. They are changing nothing (accept the passenger notification part) its operating as usual and the same as United has been and all the airlines currently do operational decision making.


Of course they're marketing it, and obviously airlines would hold flights for connections previously. But United's own comments make clear that earlier decisions were made on a case-by-case basis, and the new tool is supposed to help standardize that decision-making.

The passenger notification is kinda an important piece. The last thing you want to have happen is to hold a connecting flight for a passenger who already assumes they missed that connection.
 
WeatherPilot
Posts: 514
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:07 pm

Sounds like this would have a domino effect on their system. Plane holds for late passengers taking up more gate time. Now next arriving flight has to wait for their gate to clear now making that planes' next flight late.
 
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enilria
Topic Author
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:49 pm

jayunited wrote:
enilria wrote:
I guess if it blocks an arriving gate to depart late then by doing a hold it could create a cascading delay. I wonder if they included that impact in their math?


This system has been in use and fully deployed at DEN for 4 months, June is the start of the 5 month for DEN using this system, and June 6th was the first full day that UA's schedule at DEN exceeded 500 flights. UA on Flying Together posts daily updates for the entire system but also they break it down to a hub by hub basis. On yesterday June 11, at DEN where the system is fully deployed UA's D:0 was 63%, A:14 was 89.4%, completion rate was 100%. For UAX the D:0 number still hasn't been published, but the A:14 was 84.5% and the completion rate was 99.6%. The ORD numbers were worst because ORD was on an ATC ground delay program all day do to high winds but the the number were D:0 38.4%, A:14 57.6%, competition rate 100% for UAX at ORD D:0 again not published yet, A:14 40.2%, completion rate 99.4%. Both of these hubs each had a load factor of 90.6 and 90.1% respectively.
Again ORD's number which are terrible was caused by the all day ATC ground delay program do high winds. However DEN's numbers which was fully within UA's control are great and this was with over 500 departures and ConnectionSaver being fully deployed. So I would say UA has done their homework and covered all their bases and the over 14,400 connection passengers who would have misconnected over the previous 4 months at DEN alone is proof ConnectionSaver is working.

You would need to look at a comparable period of time before and after the change. That's not enough data to form an opinion.
 
AEROFAN
Posts: 1759
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:56 pm

Karlsands wrote:
There has to be some time limit in regards to the flight being waited on, right ? If it’s close I understand but imagine hours on hours just fo a few people
I highly doubt waiting hours and hours would be involved. They wouldn't need an APP to do that would they?
 
QXorVX
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:45 am

Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:04 pm

Nonrev passengers are going to be getting the short end of this stick, misconnects were the golden ticket for getting on sold out flights ;)
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: UA Will Now Hold Flights for Connects

Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:06 pm

QXorVX wrote:
Nonrev passengers are going to be getting the short end of this stick, misconnects were the golden ticket for getting on sold out flights ;)

As an airline employee, it totally blows!

But I'm very glad to see more customer advocacy in the industry, which leads to higher CS rankings.
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