sldispatcher
Topic Author
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Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:18 am

It seems like ExpressJet is imploding from a customer service/maintenance standpoint.

I live in SHV. We have an ExpressJet maintenance base here. That's my background.

Morning flight departures to IAH are either constantly hit with maintenance issues (sad really considering the above) or late arriving crews due to previous night flights late arrival/quick turn. My favorite was an early AM departure delayed..because maintenance brought the wrong plane over from the hangar. And they are supposed to be maintaining the planes????

Just this past week, 3 different groups of family members traveling on different fights all hit with maintenance problems/delays varying from 20 minutes to 5 hours. The worst offender was last Thursday..plane hit with maintenance delay..lasting over 5 hours..sitting here in an E145 maintenance base!

I know new planes are coming and the jungle jets are getting long in the tooth. I know management is partly to blame for think scheduling and corner cutting.

But are they becoming the new Colgan? This isn't the ExpressJet of even 3 years ago. I'd appreciate info/feedback/insight.
 
tyler81190
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:26 am

SHV is not alone... Most mx/crew bases for EV are having major issues. While I doubt they are "imploding" they are probably not far from it... Hopefully they don't drag OO down with them.
 
ual777
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:47 am

MX bases are not having major issues. SHV does heavy me so aircraft with big issues are sent there. Sometimes they don't get fixed in time before they are sent back Ito the system. RIC is the same.
It is always darkest before the sun comes up.
 
sldispatcher
Topic Author
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:54 am

It's not just about maintenance base issues, it seems to be a growing problem system wide although I make that statement with anecdotal evidence of reviews of daily random daily departure issues mixed with personal experiences.

Tyler 81190 seems to have some insight as well. Customer service (or lack thereof) and I'm sure they are pushed to the limited by United. Do as we say or lose the contract.

Again, all insight/reflections welcome.
 
iahcsr
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:26 am

Over the last days/week we have had dozens of EV flts cancel in IAH due to 'No Crew' . The recent weather plays some part in this but EV seems to have a MASSIVE pilot shortage.
Working Hard, Flying Right Friendly....
 
tyler81190
Posts: 720
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:45 am

Quoting sldispatcher (Reply 3):
Tyler 81190 seems to have some insight as well. Customer service (or lack thereof) and I'm sure they are pushed to the limited by United. Do as we say or lose the contract.

EV is pushed to the limit of the operations... But they are only on the edge due to the lack of crews, and the lack of ground time for the fleet. If you have no time to fix the planes, then they will have to cancel a flight or two. The crew issues are a whole different animal, which will cause immense strain on the UA feed.

Quoting iahcsr (Reply 4):
Over the last days/week we have had dozens of EV flts cancel in IAH due to 'No Crew' . The recent weather plays some part in this but EV seems to have a MASSIVE pilot shortage.

It is beginning to happen all over the system, and as spring break gets into full swing next week it will only get worse unfortunately...
 
strfyr51
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:37 am

the Express trips that are at the end of the day usually have major delays getting In so getting the aiirplae out is a chore as well.

Changing a part takes the same time no matter what time it arrives. If a Jet engine Fuel Control takes 6 hours to change?
It's going to be 6 hours if the airplane is on TIME arriving or Late arriving.
There is no provision to add people to make it go faster because it's a 1 man Job and 6 hrs is 6 hrs.
They can't speed up doing a check, or speed up changing Tires and Brakes or Troubleshooting.
It takes what it takes. I've long thought that the Express maintenance should be done right along side of the major maintenance at ajoining bases where parts could be flown in on mainline and Express flights.
Where if one base was overloaded? They could ferry mechanics in from other bases to help out.
Even We at United do that once in a while. If the Express guys had a problem they couldn't handle or needed some qualification lile composite repairs then the Major might assist them .
Why UAX and United do NOT work together? Or even why the UAX carriers do not assist each other more I cannot say.
It would seem that with all of them flying nearly the same equipment they would be more attuned to helping each other out with major bases across the country.
I know that over my past 30 years we've helped American, Northwest Delta, Jet Blue, USAir, Eastern and Pan AM from time to time , as well as them helping US at United.
I know when someone has an emergency, Everybody comes to help regardless of hte airline. Safety is safety!
And {assenger safety is paramount! ) Nobody waould ever deny help when another airline is in a jam..
As much as the management types like to deny it We've taken in Southwest airplanes for work when they needed help up to anf including An engine change where we installed OUR engine and then? Fixed theirs!
Nobody gets upset when the airplane is in the hangar. It's Broke and it needs to be fixed.
Sometimes the guys will go the little EXTRA so the airline KNOWS who can "handle business".
We have our friendly competitions too.
If WN can change the engine in 6 hrs? We might try to do it in 5.5hrs. And we wouldn't cut corners to do it either.
The Quality of an airline is first known by it's maintenamce.
We're seeing a resurgence at United in doing the Reliability work we were known for.
Things We hadn't done whiile in Bankruptcy . Were getting caught up on now and pretty soon we'll be back where we were. And We WERE formidable in EVERY respect. . It's just now that Management realizes that fact as well.
You can defer maintenance and reliability Modifications for only so song before it comes back to bite you.
And the Bite is Painful!! Worse than That?? Everybody KNOWS you got BIT TOO!!
 
tyler81190
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:49 am

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 6):
Changing a part takes the same time no matter what time it arrives. If a Jet engine Fuel Control takes 6 hours to change?
It's going to be 6 hours if the airplane is on TIME arriving or Late arriving.

I was more referring to RON aircraft at mx bases... The scheduling is often so tight that a 6 hour repair would cause a delay for the morning departure.

But other than that, I agree... UA is making steps at the mainline to get back to where BOTH carriers were a few years ago, though CO had significantly better reliability at merger time.

UA mainline should be helping UAX if at all possible, as in the end it is the UA brand they represent.
 
AA737-823
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:32 am

Quoting tyler81190 (Reply 7):
I was more referring to RON aircraft at mx bases... The scheduling is often so tight that a 6 hour repair would cause a delay for the morning departure.

Speaking from line maintenance here, I have to say that one possibility you may not have considered is that IF the plane arrived for RON in a not-broken condition, and then failed the next morning during wake up, then the fact that the aircraft is at a heavy MX facility is really irrelevant. Further, and you may know more about this as it relates to SHV than I do, if the plane breaks on the line, what makes you think that heavy MX crews will be pulled off of their tasks to go fix it?
Line maintenance is line maintenance, regardless of which airport you're located at.
Like I said, I don't know specifically how it work in that place at that airline. But I know other airlines use completely different work groups for line MX versus check MX.

"Bringing the wrong airplane over from the hangar" is a pilot's way of blaming the delay on someone else. It's not like the mechanics over there are imbeciles (well, at least, I doubt they are). What's far more likely is that dispatch received notice of a NEED for a tail swap, processed it, and didn't notify the right people quickly enough to avert the mistake. "Someone didn't get the memo," in other words.
 
sldispatcher
Topic Author
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:47 pm

So how much "relief" will the system see with the Cleveland shutdown in terms of crews/maintenance/ etc?

Did I see that with the Cleveland shutdown the ERJ-135's go back to the desert?
 
PHLapproach
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:18 pm

Legacy ExpressJet was known for starting everday off fresh with roughly only 8-10 MELs systemwide. Yes you read that right systemwide. Post merger, switching to an ASA/Skywest style parts system brings on a reactive approach instead of a proactive approach with Maintenance. Now many aircraft operate with anywhere from 1 to 4 MELs and they often will not be repaired until literally the day before it expires or even the very night it's doing to become a Drop Dead MEL.

Some of the MTC delays could probably be mitigated if ORD and DEN would do some work. No overnight MTC is done at any Legacy UA station for whatever reason. Currently the only facilties that do major work are EWR, CLE, TYS, BNA, MCI, SHV and IAH. Those alone can not handle the load of all the major repairs needed for RONs.

It's not even just Maintenance where issues are. Huge issues arising in the Crew Scheduling department which are causing a lot of flights to be cancelled or severely delayed. And not just due to 117 Regs and lack of crews. But very preventable mistakes that have been happening over the past few months.

Yes, ExpressJet is imploding from within...
 
C767P
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:20 pm

Quoting tyler81190 (Reply 1):
Hopefully they don't drag OO down with them.

Some of the issues at EV are because of OO.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 6):
Why UAX and United do NOT work together? Or even why the UAX carriers do not assist each other more I cannot say.

That’s a novel concept! If only it did work that way. It is all a blame game, as long as its not UA’s fault, UA doesn’t care. And with UAX carriers unable to take care of their own business, trying to help anyone else out isn’t even on the radar.
 
azstar
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:34 pm

Skywest, which owns Expressjet is not much better. I live in a city which is both a crew and maintenance base. There have been several days where every single UA departure, 22 of them, were OVER an hour late. Some 2,3,4 hours. One day I was waiting to board an Expressjet flight. The captain told the gate agent they needed an "air start" which is an external unit that blows hot air into the engine. For OO aircraft it's done by Skywest maintenance. However, when UA operations called OO maintenance they said they would not come to the aircraft unless they got a "work order" from Expressjet. The captain didn't even know it was required. They would not do the air start and worry about the work order later. Eventually, there was a ramp crew member who knew how to do it, and the flight eventually was able to leave. However, if the ramper didn't help, the flight would have been cancelled, or delayed longer. Really unacceptable IMO.
 
tlhgator
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:53 pm

Unfortunately ExpressJet is having problems on the Delta side as well. Ever since ExpressJet and Asa were merged together by OO EV staffing has been thin. Take their eqpt routers, they are spread thin between the UA/AA/DL operations. It's the do more with less mentality, unfortunately in the end it's the customer that suffers. The mtc guys, dispatchers, crews, sector managers, they are doing a heck of a job with the adversity they face, yes planes are late or crews time out, as more and more regionals either disappear through merger or closure, you will probably see more issues like these arise.
 
NickLAX
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:54 pm

SkyWest has been just as miserable as ExpressJet on the longer routes (AUS-LAX, etc)

Forget about later night departures on any United Express carrier; my last such 3 flights when crew time illegal due to upstream delays. There is NO slack in the system at all today - any weather or minor mx utterly hoses later day segments with crew/aircraft. This lack of focus on running United Express better from UA's side (they are way over committed on the routes to the express carriers) shows - it's a reason I've stopped flying UA and just focus on WN and AA even if it means driving from one of their destinations vs. a closer in but unreliable UA/UX station.
 
Goldenshield
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:58 pm

Quoting azstar (Reply 12):
The captain told the gate agent they needed an "air start" which is an external unit that blows hot air into the engine. For OO aircraft it's done by Skywest maintenance. However, when UA operations called OO maintenance they said they would not come to the aircraft unless they got a "work order" from Expressjet.

Unless the APU happened to break when the plane landed, operations SHOULD have known prior that the airstart would have been required, and should have arranged it before hand. That's a failure on the stations part, in that they never arranged it, or Expressjet's part for never advising the station.

Quoting azstar (Reply 12):
The captain didn't even know it was required.

And he shouldn't have to. It's not his job to know the intricacies of station and inter-airline beauracracy.
Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
 
azstar
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:04 pm

[quote=Goldenshield,reply=15]Unless the APU happened to break when the plane landed, operations SHOULD have known prior that the airstart would have been required, and should have arranged it before hand. That's a failure on the stations part, in that they never arranged it, or Expressjet's part for never advising the station.[/unquote]

I was sitting at the gate. I overheard the agent telling someone they would need an airstart BEFORE the aircraft arrived. After the aircraft arrived I heard the Captain or FO tell the gate agent they didn't know a work order was required.
 
azstar
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:06 pm

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 15):
Unless the APU happened to break when the plane landed, operations SHOULD have known prior that the airstart would have been required, and should have arranged it before hand. That's a failure on the stations part, in that they never arranged it, or Expressjet's part for never advising the station.

I was sitting at the gate. I heard the gate agent tell someone they would need an airstart BEFORE the aircraft arrived. I also heard the Captain or FO tell the gate agent he didn't know a work order was required.
 
Goldenshield
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Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2001 3:45 pm

RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:13 pm

Quoting azstar (Reply 17):
I was sitting at the gate. I heard the gate agent tell someone they would need an airstart BEFORE the aircraft arrived. I also heard the Captain or FO tell the gate agent he didn't know a work order was required.

Hey, I believed you the first time. I just stated how things are supposed to work. In this case, it sounds like a failure on the station's part, not Expressjet.

Quoting NickLAX (Reply 14):
Forget about later night departures on any United Express carrier; my last such 3 flights when crew time illegal due to upstream delays. There is NO slack in the system at all today

Or any day, really. Especially with SFO, despite how often that airport has delays.
Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
 
durangomac
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:06 pm

Quoting azstar (Reply 17):
I was sitting at the gate. I heard the gate agent tell someone they would need an airstart BEFORE the aircraft arrived. I also heard the Captain or FO tell the gate agent he didn't know a work order was required.

This could be for a couple different reasons why OO MX personal have to have a work order, probably because they haven't been signed off on any one except OO as normal business. Outside of that they have to have a work order because it becomes a Line MX issue not normal operating issue.



There are a lot of problems at EV that aren't at OO. These last couple months have been hard on every airline because of FAR 117 and weather.

Quoting PHLapproach (Reply 10):
Legacy ExpressJet was known for starting everday off fresh with roughly only 8-10 MELs systemwide. Yes you read that right systemwide. Post merger, switching to an ASA/Skywest style parts system brings on a reactive approach instead of a proactive approach with Maintenance. Now many aircraft operate with anywhere from 1 to 4 MELs and they often will not be repaired until literally the day before it expires or even the very night it's doing to become a Drop Dead MEL.

This is strictly an EV issue, they are running parts much thinner than OO. OO does try to clear MELs as quickly as possible in fact at this very moment there are less than 1 MEL per OO aircraft, currently 136 planes have MELs out of 335 aircraft.
 
sldispatcher
Topic Author
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:17 pm

I remember ASA being a chronic underperformer from a public perception viewpoint with my days as a Delta Frequent Flyer. I greatly feared ExpressJet going down the tubes once ASA was involved. Again, I'm not talking about any individual but a corporate culture problem. It has infected ExpressJet.
 
tyler81190
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:33 pm

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 8):
Speaking from line maintenance here, I have to say that one possibility you may not have considered is that IF the plane arrived for RON in a not-broken condition, and then failed the next morning during wake up, then the fact that the aircraft is at a heavy MX facility is really irrelevant. Further, and you may know more about this as it relates to SHV than I do, if the plane breaks on the line, what makes you think that heavy MX crews will be pulled off of their tasks to go fix it?

I am saying when the aircraft comes into station with a know issue that is scheduled to be fixed... The ground time is often not long enough to accomplish the backlog of issued scheduled for that stop in mx base. Not talking about the aircraft at the gate with a faulty sensor just before departure, I am talking about mx coming and taking the plane to the hangar from the gate, but not having the required time to get it fixed.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 8):
"Bringing the wrong airplane over from the hangar" is a pilot's way of blaming the delay on someone else. It's not like the mechanics over there are imbeciles (well, at least, I doubt they are). What's far more likely is that dispatch received notice of a NEED for a tail swap, processed it, and didn't notify the right people quickly enough to avert the mistake. "Someone didn't get the memo," in other words.

I agree, that line is nothing but B.S. however accepting "the wrong plane" could mean more mx issues than the one originally scheduled.

Quoting sldispatcher (Reply 9):
Did I see that with the Cleveland shutdown the ERJ-135's go back to the desert?

E135s are supposed to be parked by the end of march per UA fleet plan.

Quoting PHLapproach (Reply 10):
Some of the MTC delays could probably be mitigated if ORD and DEN would do some work. No overnight MTC is done at any Legacy UA station for whatever reason. Currently the only facilties that do major work are EWR, CLE, TYS, BNA, MCI, SHV and IAH. Those alone can not handle the load of all the major repairs needed for RONs.

That is one f the problems, the smaller outstations for UA that do EV heavy mx work get all the broken planes. Which isn't a huge problem in itself, but only having 6-7 hours from arrival (if no delays) to departure time is not long enough to clear a backlog of mx issues, never mind the heavy mx.

Quoting PHLapproach (Reply 10):
It's not even just Maintenance where issues are. Huge issues arising in the Crew Scheduling department which are causing a lot of flights to be cancelled or severely delayed. And not just due to 117 Regs and lack of crews. But very preventable mistakes that have been happening over the past few months.

Crew scheduling is crap!!! they cancel 3 or 4 departures from XXX (crew/mx base) because they have no crews... Yet they oversell 8 flights to deadhead 6 crews out of that base to another city, often the flight that they are to deadhead on has no crew assigned and the deadhead crew end up working it.

Quoting C767P (Reply 11):
Some of the issues at EV are because of OO.

Some, maybe, but not all. I think many more issues arose from the EV/XE merger. But OO didn't help.

Quoting C767P (Reply 11):
That’s a novel concept! If only it did work that way. It is all a blame game, as long as its not UA’s fault, UA doesn’t care. And with UAX carriers unable to take care of their own business, trying to help anyone else out isn’t even on the radar.

But the problem is, when EV cancels a flight, UA is the one who pays for hotels, OA accommodations, meals, etc... Also, the plane has UA on the side of it (passenger perception).

Quoting durangomac (Reply 19):
There are a lot of problems at EV that aren't at OO. These last couple months have been hard on every airline because of FAR 117 and weather.

FAR117 and weather are not the only issues here... EV had a ton of issues back in November and December too.
 
IAHAAPLATINUM
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:35 pm

I'm not sure what's happening with ExpressJet, but I've stopped flying out of HOU, on AA Eagle flights subcontracted to ExpressJet. I'll only fly out of HOU now if it's on an Eagle Embraer. I've been on multiple ExpressJet Canadairs (200s) that were delayed for maintenance, not just an hour or so, but 6-8 hoiurs. Twice in December, at DFW, I was on flights that were cancelled, with flights later in the evening also cancelled, leaving me to overnight at DFW. Also in December, I waited over 8 hours for a connecting flight that was delayed to mechanical reasons. HOU is far more convenient for me, but I'll take the time to drive to IAH rather than risk mechanical delays. BTW, the gate crew at HOU, especially Mary, handle these delays, and the many upset passengers, very well.
 
sldispatcher
Topic Author
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:35 pm

Quoting tyler81190 (Reply 21):
I agree, that line is nothing but B.S. however accepting "the wrong plane" could mean more mx issues than the one originally scheduled.

Incorrect. It is not BS. There are two morning departures from SHV of which both aircraft are pulled over from the hangar. Neither of the RON's tend to stay the night at the gate. They brought the 145 over when it should have been the 135 model. Different seat count as you know.
To their credit, the actual bird used each morning can vary day to day. What is sold as a 135 capacity flight may very well come in the night before as a 145. No big deal. Flip it around and it would be a significant issue.
 
tyler81190
Posts: 720
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:44 pm

Quoting sldispatcher (Reply 23):
Incorrect. It is not BS. There are two morning departures from SHV of which both aircraft are pulled over from the hangar. Neither of the RON's tend to stay the night at the gate. They brought the 145 over when it should have been the 135 model. Different seat count as you know.
To their credit, the actual bird used each morning can vary day to day. What is sold as a 135 capacity flight may very well come in the night before as a 145. No big deal. Flip it around and it would be a significant issue.

I was not speaking specifically about the SHV operation, but the system in general, if it were a E145 to E145 frame swap. But yes, a 145 to a 135 could cause quite a commotion during boarding! "my row isn't here!!!"
 
mcdu
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:38 pm

Quoting tyler81190 (Reply 7):
UA mainline should be helping UAX if at all possible, as in the end it is the UA brand they represent.

Expressjet is a subcontractor. Could UA step in and fuel their own planes with fuel trucks they don't have if the contract fueling company is having reliability issues? Probably not, UA would just look to find a new vendor. Which is exactly what I hope they are doing expressjet. The reliability and operational integrity of Expressjet is some of the worst in the history of express ops. The bar was very low during some of the Mesa and ACA days at UAX but Expressjet has gone the extra mile to make themselves the poorest performer ever. I hope UA cuts ties with express jet and the employees can all start over at a new company. Giving them a wakeup call about their miserable operation may be the only way to get their attention. Some seriously bad attitudes that I've noticed at express jet. They are not providing the services they were contracted to provide.
 
tyler81190
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:01 pm

Quoting Mcdu (Reply 25):
Expressjet is a subcontractor. Could UA step in and fuel their own planes with fuel trucks they don't have if the contract fueling company is having reliability issues? Probably not, UA would just look to find a new vendor. Which is exactly what I hope they are doing expressjet. The reliability and operational integrity of Expressjet is some of the worst in the history of express ops. The bar was very low during some of the Mesa and ACA days at UAX but Expressjet has gone the extra mile to make themselves the poorest performer ever. I hope UA cuts ties with express jet and the employees can all start over at a new company. Giving them a wakeup call about their miserable operation may be the only way to get their attention. Some seriously bad attitudes that I've noticed at express jet. They are not providing the services they were contracted to provide.

The problem with that is, who is going to fill the vacancy of EV? No regional carrier currently has the fleet, crew, or aircraft on order to step in as a replacement.

If EV liquidated tomorrow, UA would be brought to it's knees. That is why UA should be offering assistance where they CAN help... mx, route planning, possible crew scheduling planing, who knows. But the fact is that until there is another carrier able to take the place of the sizable EV operation there isn't much UA can do, other than outright buy an airline strictly for their aircraft to provide feed and dump the rest of the operation.
 
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RyanairGuru
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:11 pm

Quoting Mcdu (Reply 25):
UA would just look to find a new vendor. Which is exactly what I hope they are doing expressjet.

The Continental side of the business should probably be very glad they merged with United, as otherwise their EV would most likely still be their ENTIRE regional feed other than a handful of Dash 8s!

Quoting tyler81190 (Reply 26):
The problem with that is, who is going to fill the vacancy of EV? No regional carrier currently has the fleet, crew, or aircraft on order to step in as a replacement.

  

EV fly something like 250 aircraft for UA, that is a lot of feed that nobody else could fill.

Quoting tyler81190 (Reply 26):
If EV liquidated tomorrow, UA would be brought to it's knees

  
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
strfyr51
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:40 am

Quoting tyler81190 (Reply 7):
I was more referring to RON aircraft at mx bases... The scheduling is often so tight that a 6 hour repair would cause a delay for the morning departure

I started at a Regional as a Mechanic back in 1980. It might have changed now but Every airplane got some sort of check Every night or every day.
If for nothing else than condition and security of systems to make sure all the airplane Parts were flying in the same direction
If there were still decent tires and brakes, the engine Oil and Hydraulics were up to snuff the cockpit interior lights and exterior lights were still working. .
We don't do checks every night at United if the layover is away form a base But EVERY DAY we accomplish a #1 svc check (basicly a Terminal or through check) To make sure we have all of our Pieces.
Are the regionals THAT short of mechanics??
We have contract help every now and then as well at Non-Maintenance stations
And I would sure Reccomend a couple of Groups to help them .. Timco, and JettPro, in the USA and Skytech in Canada.
there are more but they're smaller or local companies. I will say the contract guys we deal with are top drawer mechanics all over the country.
 
INFINITI329
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:23 am

Quoting sldispatcher (Reply 3):
Tyler 81190 seems to have some insight as well. Customer service (or lack thereof) and I'm sure they are pushed to the limited by United. Do as we say or lose the contract.

True, but it is becoming apparent that, that mentality cannot be held by the majors any longer... They can threaten all they want but whom would they give the contract to? Every regional (probably except QX) is flying on fumes now and is about to hit DEFCON 1 now. Sh*T is starting to hit the fan.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 6):
Why UAX and United do NOT work together? Or even why the UAX carriers do not assist each other more I cannot say.
It would seem that with all of them flying nearly the same equipment they would be more attuned to helping each other out with major bases across the country.

To many hands in cookie jar. To many regional carriers. They look at each other as competitors not as partners even while flying under the same banner.

Quoting azstar (Reply 12):
For OO aircraft it's done by Skywest maintenance. However, when UA operations called OO maintenance they said they would not come to the aircraft unless they got a "work order" from Expressjet.

Its the same bloody company! Thats ridiculous
 
flight152
Posts: 3403
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2000 8:04 am

RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:31 am

Quoting Mcdu (Reply 25):
The reliability and operational integrity of Expressjet is some of the worst in the history of express ops.

Half of the problems due to performance can be attributed to United itself.

Their crappy ground handling causes countless delays; in fact I'd be willing to bet at least half the delays I take on a given trip; half can be blamed on United. Slow boarding, bag loading, missing rampers, no fuel, no catering no lav service, the list can go on forever.

No worries, just keep on thinking that United can do no wrong and everything can be blamed on EV.
 
mcdu
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:45 am

Quoting flight152 (Reply 30):
Half of the problems due to performance can be attributed to United itself.

I would say 100% of the problems are EV caused. Your company over promised on what it could do as an airline. Your company decided not to have spare aircraft nor any type of reserve crew coverage for average usage and what is quite apparent a complete inability to recover from irregular operations.

The sooner UA can shed EV and their unreliable, unstaffed an unprofessional operations the better. Keep blaming UA for your company's shortcomings. When you guys get comair'd then you might finally realize what you have done to yourselves.

I hear your crews talking about advocating shutting EV down because you were offered a contract you didn't like. There have been some vocal EV pilots in crew vans and boarding areas explaining to anyone in earshot how they will change the industry and how they want to screw over the mainline company and or pilots because they make more than EV pilots. Your "spokesmen" are not helping your cause

[Edited 2014-03-06 17:54:45]
 
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RyanairGuru
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:51 am

Quoting flight152 (Reply 30):
Their crappy ground handling causes countless delays; in fact I'd be willing to bet at least half the delays I take on a given trip; half can be blamed on United. Slow boarding, bag loading, missing rampers, no fuel, no catering no lav service, the list can go on forever.

I know this doesn't make it right, but many of those functions would be outsourced to third party vendors on the regional side and not the responsibility of United per se. Now, United should hold all their contractors to a higher standard (both regional feed and ground operations) but the same is also true at all the legacies.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
IndianicWorld
Posts: 3183
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2001 11:32 am

RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:02 am

The regional current regional carrier model seems unsustainable at this rate.

All the regional carriers seem to be under the pump, cost cutting and under huge pressure to produce or the contract will go elsewhere. This has a very deep effect on the way airlines can manage their operations, which leaves very little room for much else than the bare bones.
 
tyler81190
Posts: 720
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:15 am

Quoting infiniti329 (Reply 29):
True, but it is becoming apparent that, that mentality cannot be held by the majors any longer... They can threaten all they want but whom would they give the contract to? Every regional (probably except QX) is flying on fumes now and is about to hit DEFCON 1 now. Sh*T is starting to hit the fan.

the Sh*t really will hit the fan, and SOON!!!

Quoting flight152 (Reply 30):
Their crappy ground handling causes countless delays; in fact I'd be willing to bet at least half the delays I take on a given trip; half can be blamed on United. Slow boarding, bag loading, missing rampers, no fuel, no catering no lav service, the list can go on forever.

I would offer a another proposal, half of the delays are due to EV, slow boarding because the crew doesn't arrive until boarding time, or is in the jetway talking to the inbound crew instead of getting the plane ready to go. On a 25 minute turn, the crew should not be talking in the jetway for 5 mins. I get that EV crews are stretched thin, but blaming everything on UA isn't the answer... EV crews are not really at fault most of the time... Management is.

Quoting Mcdu (Reply 31):
I would say 100% of the problems are EV caused. Your company over promised on what it could do as an airline. Your company decided not to have spare aircraft nor any type of reserve crew coverage for average usage and what is quite apparent a complete inability to recover from irregular operations.

I don't think 100% is right, UA does cancel a large portion of EV flights in weather situations and offers no service substitution.

Quoting Mcdu (Reply 31):
I hear your crews talking about advocating shutting EV down because you were offered a contract you didn't like.

I think EV will close themselves down no matter what contract is offered. But talking about it in earshot of passengers is distasteful.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 32):
I know this doesn't make it right, but many of those functions would be outsourced to third party vendors on the regional side and not the responsibility of United per se. Now, United should hold all their contractors to a higher standard (both regional feed and ground operations) but the same is also true at all the legacies.

Exactly... and the vendors are horrible at some stations DEN is one example. OO ground crews there are the WORST!!!

Quoting IndianicWorld (Reply 33):
The regional current regional carrier model seems unsustainable at this rate.

I couldn't agree more, but the major airlines have no choice until they either buy a ton of planes and bring the flying to mainline, or suddenly jettison half of their operation.

All the regional carriers seem to be under the pump, cost cutting and under huge pressure to produce or the contract will go elsewhere. This has a very deep effect on the way airlines can manage their operations, which leaves very little room for much else than the bare bones.

We shall see the perfect storm begin this next week with spring break...
 
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northwestEWR
Posts: 1974
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RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:22 am

As a United employee in an out-station that deals with UA's slew of regionals on a daily basis, Expressjet has been the worst. No one else is even close. I had two EV ERJs in a row in such terrible interior and exterior condition that their crew addressed it on the PA! We're talking dents, missing paint (BADLY), a broken seat, it was just a mess. In the minute or two I had to talk to the crew, they were really upset, the aircraft had been on a MTC schedule that just kept getting deferred and deferred. They were ashamed to be flying that aircraft and I can't blame them at all.

Endless delays are not a surprise for us given UA's dependance on ORD but with EV it's the worst. Go-Jet, Shuttle, Trans-States and Skywest have been a lot more reliable and less delayed in the past month. Crew and maintenance being the biggest factors.

Interesting that EV's Delta side doesn't seem to have the same problems for us. Nor does Skywest for either airline.
Northwest Airlines - Now You're Flying Smart
 
crj900lr
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:44 am

RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:08 am

Quoting tyler81190 (Reply 21):
But the problem is, when EV cancels a flight, UA is the one who pays for hotels, OA accommodations, meals, etc... Also, the plane has UA on the side of it (passenger perception).

EV is responsible for the cost of the re-accommodation of the passengers, weather it be hotels, food, or car rentals to get them to the destination. UA will give out the vouchers and get billed but in the end the costs inherited by UA for that canceled EV flight will be billed back to EV. If it is a WX cancellation or one of those " act of God" issues then no vouchers should be given out. Flight Crew, MTC. and other issues that EV can control fall directly on them and whatever the cost is to re-accommodate the effected passengers they, not UA, pay in the end.
 
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mayor
Posts: 6218
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:58 pm

RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:19 am

Quoting tyler81190 (Reply 21):
Crew scheduling is crap!!! they cancel 3 or 4 departures from XXX (crew/mx base) because they have no crews... Yet they oversell 8 flights to deadhead 6 crews out of that base to another city, often the flight that they are to deadhead on has no crew assigned and the deadhead crew end up working it.

My daughter is a F/A for SkyWest, based in DEN. I've seen, quite often, when she's scheduled for a flight, gets to her destination and then, per her schedule, sits around for a day and a half (or more). Now, I'm not sure how often this happens around their system, but it certainly seems inefficient to me......kind of like having an aircraft sit around instead of getting some use out of it. Anyone have any explanations on this strange method of scheduling?
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
sldispatcher
Topic Author
Posts: 361
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2007 3:55 am

RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:42 am

So when the 50 seat flying goes away, and it will eventually, what will ExpressJet's fate be then?

Some smaller markets in our area (look at BTR and LFT) are simply 145'd to death. At some point the teat of frequency is just milked to death.

When we lost Colgan flights, we lost 2 frequencies a day. 5 is plenty here. I would say 5 is plenty in many stations. I am ready for the eventual upgauging of aircraft to 70 seat levels. We lived for years in smaller stations with only 3 or so mainline flights to cities for decades.

Time to wean off the frequency addiction that created issues like we see with EV today.
 
Mir
Posts: 19491
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:57 am

Quoting Mcdu (Reply 31):
I would say 100% of the problems are EV caused. Your company over promised on what it could do as an airline.

That's going to happen when United (or any other carrier) looks for cheap bids. Did United examine EV's proposal to see if it was realistic or not, or did they just see dollar signs and make their decision based on that? Pay peanuts, get monkeys.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
durangomac
Posts: 408
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2006 5:18 am

RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:22 am

Quoting mayor (Reply 37):
My daughter is a F/A for SkyWest, based in DEN. I've seen, quite often, when she's scheduled for a flight, gets to her destination and then, per her schedule, sits around for a day and a half (or more). Now, I'm not sure how often this happens around their system, but it certainly seems inefficient to me......kind of like having an aircraft sit around instead of getting some use out of it. Anyone have any explanations on this strange method of scheduling?

This is because of FAR 117, it's makes it really hard to efficiently flow crews in the regional model.

Quoting tyler81190 (Reply 34):
Exactly... and the vendors are horrible at some stations DEN is one example. OO ground crews there are the WORST!!!

That's funny because the customer satisfaction survey's show DEN as one of the better hubs on the Express side.

Quoting infiniti329 (Reply 29):
Its the same bloody company! Thats ridiculous

They are not the same company, they have the same holding company, they try to share as much as possible but there is a point where they have to be separate.
 
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mayor
Posts: 6218
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:58 pm

RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:25 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 39):
That's going to happen when United (or any other carrier) looks for cheap bids. Did United examine EV's proposal to see if it was realistic or not, or did they just see dollar signs and make their decision based on that? Pay peanuts, get monkeys.

I'm not sure how those negotiations go, but it would seem to me that it would be the legacy making a proposal to the regional and not the other way around......the legacy knows what it wants, routewise and schedulewise and asks the regional if they can do it. Wouldn't that make more sense?
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
INFINITI329
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Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:53 am

RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:56 pm

Quoting sldispatcher (Reply 38):
So when the 50 seat flying goes away, and it will eventually, what will ExpressJet's fate be then?

Skywest Inc has MRJ's and E-Jets on order
 
mcdu
Posts: 1507
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:23 am

RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:09 pm

Quoting infiniti329 (Reply 42):
Skywest Inc has MRJ's and E-Jets on order

Wouldn't hold my breath waiting on the MRJ. Have a gut feeling it will never be delivered. The E175's are all assigned to Skywest flying. I don't think Skywest will pump in additional assets into the horrible EV operation. ASA was abysmal as a stand alone company, adding the dysfunction of expressjet in the merger to create one large poorly run airline was a giant mistake for Skywest. With the 50 seat cost being unsustainable and UA removing 50 seat jets in large numbers over the next few years, the winding down of EV is pretty obvious. The unemployed pilots at EV may be able to get jobs elsewhere but the pilot shortage myth will be exposed as thousands of former 50 seater pilots are looking for work.
 
NW747-400
Posts: 405
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 1999 4:42 am

RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:42 pm

Funny that you all blame the regionals for the problems the industry is facing today. The only people to blame for the poor performance of a regional are mainline management. Their thirst for cheaper subcontractors is horrific. ExpressJet ran a fine operation when they had the resources to do it, but United wanted cheaper flying and ExpressJet delivered, but at the cost of reliability because the budget is stretched far too thin.

Do you think we want to run an airline on a shoestring budget? Of course not, its embarrassing. We don't have much choice though because UA, DL, etc won't pay what it costs to run an airline and regional management has to keep hammering costs down in order to stay afloat in a hyper competitive industry.
 
Goldenshield
Posts: 5019
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2001 3:45 pm

RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:49 pm

As much as I hate to say it, I actually agree with what McDu has to said so far, with exception of the MRJs---as long as Mitsu holds up their end of the agreement, that is.

Also, without going into detail, there is a ton of drama on other boards between the two work groups (ASA/EV, and not just the pilots here...) that is hindering any real hope of successful unification of the two cultures. It's rather frustrating to understand their mentality, to say the least. I've been optimistic about their future because mergers and synergies DO take time, but with each earnings calls, that optimism slowly wanes.

[Edited 2014-03-07 06:59:18]
Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
 
slider
Posts: 7339
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:42 pm

RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:21 pm

The crew pressure on EV right now is immense. It will get worse--FAR worse--before it gets better.

EVERY regional is going to be faced with that same kind of pressure, especially with the 117 rules. But how you deal with it is another matter altogether--and candidly, ExpressJet's leadership (and SkyWest in turn) has utterly failed in handling it. When you see a problem--a massive iceberg dead ahead--and do nothing to avoid it, then you deserve to crash into it. It's unfathomable and incomprehensible why they are SO drastically short of pilots.
 
mcdu
Posts: 1507
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:23 am

RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:32 pm

Quoting NW747-400 (Reply 44):
Their thirst for cheaper subcontractors is horrific. ExpressJet ran a fine operation when they had the resources to do it, but United wanted cheaper flying and ExpressJet delivered, but at the cost of reliability because the budget is stretched far too thin.

Why did EV management agree to the contracts and hours terms that they couldn't fulfill? It's two parties that enter into an agreement. If EV signs on the dotted line then the inability to complete the contract terms is all on them. As far as I know UA has met their side of the agreement. It is EV that is not complying and in what you say is a loss making agreement. Wouldn't they know it was loss making at the outset if they know their own cost?
 
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mayor
Posts: 6218
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:58 pm

RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:36 pm

Quoting durangomac (Reply 40):
This is because of FAR 117, it's makes it really hard to efficiently flow crews in the regional model.

But the implementation of FAR 117 is fairly recent, isn't it? SkyWest has been scheduling her in that manner for quite awhile, back when she was still at SLC and for several years before that.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
durangomac
Posts: 408
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2006 5:18 am

RE: Is ExpressJet Imploding From Within?

Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:46 pm

Quoting mayor (Reply 48):

But the implementation of FAR 117 is fairly recent, isn't it? SkyWest has been scheduling her in that manner for quite awhile, back when she was still at SLC and for several years before that.

Then she was probably selecting trips with that because that wasn't the norm until FAR 117. Once FAR 117 started there were a lot more overnights with more than 24 hours rest. Most people in the industry told the law makers that these rules would not actually help QOL, and pairings like these are proving it. OO tried for months prior to make efficient pairings with as few long over nights and commutable trips but it just wasn't happening. They are still tweaking the settings now that they are seeing how the pairings actually flow, it's not been an easy task.

Quoting Mcdu (Reply 43):
The E175's are all assigned to Skywest flying. I don't think Skywest will pump in additional assets into the horrible EV operation.

At this point other than the 40 assigned to OO the rest of the E175's are on order for SkyWest, Inc. and haven't been assigned to either airline. While I have no insight to how they are going to use the rest of them, their is always a chance they are just getting them so they can sub lease them to another regional, they do have SkyWest Leasing in the company structure, again though I have no clue what they have planned for the 60 E175 (& 100 options) and the 100 E175-E2 (& 100 options).

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