roseflyer
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:49 pm

Quoting codc10 (Reply 49):
Quoting N1120A (Reply 39):
A plane definitely should have been available - RONing somewhere. You're telling me they couldn't find 2 pilots and 3 FAs who were willing to earn overtime and help some people? Out of their NYC or EWR bases? LOL. Of course they could. They just didn't.

... what happened next was an unmitigated disaster and a symptom of the underlying problem this airline has in its complete inability to get out of first gear in the post-merger process. Too many layers of management, a culture of fear, lack of common sense, poor coordination and too much emphasis on trying to do things on the cheap. For all intents and purposes, company is still, operationally, two airlines (maybe 1.5 if one is inclined to be generous).

There's plenty of blame to go around, but the real question is why are these operational meltdowns continuing to occur years into the process? I don't see similar instances happening with such regularity at Delta.

The airplane landed at Goose Bay at 11:30pm. United had a plan for a 767 at 9am the following morning at EWR ready to fly to YYR. That is pretty good planning. The problem was that for various mechanical and operational reasons, the airplane was delayed by 5 hours.

I haven’t heard of this happening on Delta recently, but I provided two links to very similar incidents with Lufthansa and Air France in Goose Bay. United is not the only airline that has diversions to airports they don’t service. The most I could have expected is the plane to leave EWR at 9am, and then fly to YYR, pick up the passengers and continue to LHR. For various reasons they could not do that. Some is United’s fault because the plane didn’t leave EWR until 2pm. At that point, they had to go back to EWR because they could not wait around long enough with duty time restrictions to get to LHR after curfew the next morning.

I don’t know if it is because people love one airline over another, but I don’t think you understand the challenges of recovering an airplane at a remote station that is not supported in a foreign country. United has to not only get crew, but also ensure that maintenance, fuel and cargo loading are all available on the ground in YYR and that the plane at least has basic catering. United can fly a mechanic on the airplane, but they have to also be able to retrieve the cargo & get the plane fueled, etc. Dispatch files YYR as an alternate so they have contracts for fuel, but not necessarily the logistics for how to process 180 people on to the airplane. Immigration can be a challenge as well since YYR does not receive many international passengers.

I don’t think you can say that this is an unmitigated disaster. I agree that there are plenty of operational problems at United, but that doesn’t mean that this was an inability to get out of first gear in the post merger process. Delta had a 747 divert to Midway Island. The airplane landed before dark, but the passengers were forced to stay on the airplane until 5am the next morning when a different plane picked them up. http://www.eturbonews.com/23506/delt...ency-landing-remote-pacific-island I would say spending 27 hours stuck inside an airplane is worse than going to an Army Barrack, getting a cot to sleep on and also being provided two meals. I’m not bringing this up to slam Delta or defend United, but rather comment that diversions are very difficult to manage when they go somewhere remote.

[Edited 2015-06-15 07:56:26]
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Carfield
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:39 pm

Roseflyer - thanks for your detailed explanation of the challenges of handling a diverted flight. Despite I still think United could have done better, there are additional challenges with the diversion happening in the middle of the night. However, United is a worldwide airline with operations round the clock, and while it might be midnight in Newark, it is midway in Asia with many United flights actively working. Honestly there is really no downtime anymore and most airlines run a 24/7 dispatch operations and many mechanical fixes happened in the middle of the night. Getting crews would perhaps be the most problematic part, but 19 hours is a long wait considered United has three major hubs within two and three hours range, compared to Air France and Lufthansa with a home base much further away. I guess everything would work out if the original replacement flight took off on time at 9am, and it was just unfortunate that that replacement 767 breaking again. Plus UA offers two version of the 767-300 with various crews can only work on one type of plane, and not the other.

However, I still think this story will not make the headline across the world (and yes I saw it in Hong Kong news today) if the communication was there. I don't think people are whining about making their own beds or sharing bathrooms, (but two of the barracks did not have heat so those were legitimate concerns). Again and again, the main issue remains on the lack of communication and there is just no continent plan at all. Customer service is not up to par and many frustration contributed to the lack of communication from a United staff. When answered in twitters, United twitter team made the situation worst by tweeting some rude comments. I understand that United does not serve Goose Bay and does not have an agent. However Air Canada its JV and Star Alliance partner operates there, and how about flying someone in from Toronto, Montreal or Halifax to at least comfort the passengers and yes it would not be a pleasant job, but at least United has a real human presence. Surely United outsources many of the ground positions in these stations, but should at least have some station managers in Toronto or Montreal. I am actually a bit shocked that United did not call, email, or text the passengers affected with the latest information. The least they can do is frequent update through emails and texts.

Another question is that I still don't understand why the plane has to return to Newark/USA! I think many additional complains came from United not telling the passengers that they need to fly back to the US first before continuing to London. Then in Newark, they had to clear immigration & custom, and then checked in again. If they have to return to the US regardless, will it be easier for United to just fly a few narrowbody to YYJ first and take them to the USA earlier in the day? That is why I question if United even has a contingency plan.

About the Delta case, Delta actually flew in a rescue plane much earlier than your quoted 24 hours. The original plane could not leave till 24 hours later, but the replacement aircraft left Sand Island before daybreak on the same day and most passengers reached Osaka within 16 hours of their departure from Honolulu. If you compare Delta with United, Sand Island/Midway Atoll diversion is a really rare occurrence, while Goose Bay diversion occurs very frequently, and United 757s frequent diverted there in the winter months for refueling and as some of the passengers noted, there was another UA diversion to Goose Bay while they were on the ground. If we compare Delta's Sand Island diversion to United's Goose Bay diversion, it actually points further to United's deficiency and how Delta is rising to the top in the US.

Anyway, I am curious if United will make further statement today, and I am surprised that United is mostly silent on this diversion after the initial statement. When I watched some clips, some passengers told news reporters that their bags were missing too.

I guess I come from a more customer-service oriented POV, but thanks Roseflyer for your insights and it is good to hear from the other side of the story.

Carfield
 
codc10
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:16 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 50):
The problem was that for various mechanical and operational reasons, the airplane was delayed by 5 hours.

This is the problem. Multiple intercontintental mx cancellations are becoming commonplace every day at UAL... after years of pay cuts, outsourcing, layoffs and slow play on an integrated contract, this is a pretty angry group of mechanics. They are professionals and won't jeopardize the safety of passengers and crew, but it's amazing how much more effective a motivated employee can be!
 
roseflyer
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:04 pm

I fully agree that United could have done better. I think taking 16 hours to get a rescue airplane there was a bit long. Based on infrastructure at YYR and the time of day, I doubt many airlines could have gotten a plane there in less than 10 hours. While it sounds easy to go find a spare crew and spare airplane and have it there within 4 hours, it is not that easy.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 51):
However Air Canada its JV and Star Alliance partner operates there, and how about flying someone in from Toronto, Montreal or Halifax to at least comfort the passengers and yes it would not be a pleasant job, but at least United has a real human presence. Surely United outsources many of the ground positions in these stations, but should at least have some station managers in Toronto or Montreal.

It is easy to not understand how remote Goose Bay is. If you decide at midnight on a Friday night that you want to get from either Toronto or Montreal to Goose Bay, the earliest that Air Canada can get you there is 5pm the next day. If the rescue flight had left on time, all the passengers would have left by the time a person would have been able to get there. On a Saturday, YYR only has a couple CRJs and props per day.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 51):
I am actually a bit shocked that United did not call, email, or text the passengers affected with the latest information. The least they can do is frequent update through emails and texts.

I am a little surprised if that is true as well. United usually is very good about sending electronic updates to passengers via voicemail, email and text message. Many passengers probably didn't have cell phone plans that cover Goose Bay Canada, but I would have expected United to send those who had connections updates. Knowing how good UA is with its App (probably one of the best airline apps out there), I would be very surprised if it did not have updates on when the rescheduled and rebooked flights would be. I know that when I fly United, if for any reason there are delays or cancellations, the app on my phone keeps as up to date as calling reservations does.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 51):
Despite I still think United could have done better, there are additional challenges with the diversion happening in the middle of the night. However, United is a worldwide airline with operations round the clock, and while it might be midnight in Newark, it is midway in Asia with many United flights actively working. Honestly there is really no downtime anymore and most airlines run a 24/7 dispatch operations and many mechanical fixes happened in the middle of the night. Getting crews would perhaps be the most problematic part, but 19 hours is a long wait considered United has three major hubs within two and three hours range, compared to Air France and Lufthansa with a home base much further away. I guess everything would work out if the original replacement flight took off on time at 9am, and it was just unfortunate that that replacement 767 breaking again. Plus UA offers two version of the 767-300 with various crews can only work on one type of plane, and not the other.

Typically when United has overnight cancellations or irregular operations, their operations center will reschedule a flight. After they find out, dispatch usually takes a few hours to sort through the situation and schedule a replacement flight. Any time there is bad weather or maintenance, United is usually pretty good about having their operations center schedule a flight the next morning. Typically it leaves in the 9-11am time frame to allow passengers to get to the airport and to find a crew. I am sure some of the dispatchers here could comment that even in ideal conditions with a crew and plane available, dispatching a plane to an airport in a foreign country that your airline does not serve in less than 3 hours is almost impossible. If you want it catered, expect 8 hours at that time of day. With no infrastructure at the destination, you likely have to wait until morning to be able to confirm everything is ready in YYR to receive the plane and transfer passengers.

In this case United was able to do it, but the problem was that the plane leaving EWR got delayed. If the rescue flight was to an airport that UA normally serves and had reliable infrastructure, I would have expected it to leave EWR around 6-7am. It takes longer to figure things out at a remote station like YYR since there is nobody working in the middle of the night. The operations center is 24.7 and easily can schedule a flight in the middle of the night, but finding people to work on the ground in YYR is likely what took more time. Catering can also be difficult without 8 hours notice. If UA dispatched a 767 at 6am, it would only make things worse if the airplane arrived in YYR, but there was no one to coordinate passengers, fuel, etc.

[Edited 2015-06-15 10:09:57]

[Edited 2015-06-15 10:11:17]
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NickLAX
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:09 pm

I also don't get the fact they were going to reposition back to EWR; why not just cancel the flight fully (instead of plane swap) and do the rebooks with AC (Air Canada) assist.

I don't get that AC has presence in YYR and flies to Halifax which has onward to LHR; You would have thought SOME pax would have gotten to Halifax and onto LHR and most others would have gotten back to EWR. Just don't get how * Alliance has such inept ability to handle diversions where one of the partner carriers has issues.

I'm bang out of order here but I've been on AA last two years mostly and I had a misconnect thru NRT where AA staffing was already gone (late PM), they told me to go to JL who fully helped me rebook and got me through HND that same night. (this was replacing an AA segment on an AA issued ticket). Seen the same with CX touching an AA record/ticket and helping. Never had other * Alliance carriers help me ever on a UA booking.

[Edited 2015-06-15 10:09:53]
 
AWACSooner
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:18 pm

Quoting compensateme (Reply 32):
- In order to accommodate this flight into slot-restricted LHR, UA ended up cancelling the evening EWR-LHR flight, inconveniencing even more passengers - and by several accounts, for whatever reason, too many of these passengers were auto booked onto the stranded flight, causing even more headache.

This brings up my point and question...if they couldn't get em into LHR due to slot restrictions, wouldn't it have been better to fly them into another non-slot restricted airport in the UK and arranged alternate transportation/arrangements from there? Or, why not run some of them via Air Canada (they do have flights into Goose), as they're star alliance? 20 hours seems excessive...
 
wdleiser
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:39 pm

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 12):

How about when United had a 777 flying HNL-GUM last summer and it diverted to Midway Island and UA had a replacement aircraft there in 6 hours.
 
roseflyer
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:52 pm

Quoting NickLAX (Reply 54):
I also don't get the fact they were going to reposition back to EWR; why not just cancel the flight fully (instead of plane swap) and do the rebooks with AC (Air Canada) assist.

Air Canada can't accommodate all the passengers with their 3 flights on a Saturday leaving YYR. Air Canada may have been about to take 15 or 20 of the passengers, but I doubt that many seats are available. I am sure some could have found ways on Air Canada, but I doubt they would have arrived in LHR much sooner.

Quoting NickLAX (Reply 54):
I'm bang out of order here but I've been on AA last two years mostly and I had a misconnect thru NRT where AA staffing was already gone (late PM), they told me to go to JL who fully helped me rebook and got me through HND that same night. (this was replacing an AA segment on an AA issued ticket). Seen the same with CX touching an AA record/ticket and helping. Never had other * Alliance carriers help me ever on a UA booking.

It is impossible to miss a connection between two American flights at NRT, so you had to have arrived on a different airline (did you arrive on JL or CX?). If so, it is actually the responsibility of JL to rebook you if it was a through ticket since they caused you to miss the connection.

For a single passenger or small group, it is much easier to accommodate someone. An agent for a different airline can usually fix any misconnects with a phone call. Rebooking 180 people is something entirely different.

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 55):

This brings up my point and question...if they couldn't get em into LHR due to slot restrictions, wouldn't it have been better to fly them into another non-slot restricted airport in the UK and arranged alternate transportation/arrangements from there? Or, why not run some of them via Air Canada (they do have flights into Goose), as they're star alliance? 20 hours seems excessive...

Flying to a different airport sounds even more challenging. I can't imagine flying to STN or LGW with no UA support and bussing people being very easy. If UA cancelled one of the 757 EWR flights, most likely they could find other options for those people.

[Edited 2015-06-15 10:54:30]
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global2
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:53 pm

Quoting Carfield (Reply 51):
Another question is that I still don't understand why the plane has to return to Newark/USA!

I can imagine the additional frustration upon learning that your "rescue" plane is going to take you backwards where you would basically have to start your trip all over again. If they planned for that plane to leave EWR at 9AM (which of course didn't happen because of additional mx issues), wouldn't you think they'd load it up with catering and a crew to pick up the stranded passengers and bring them onwards to their destination?
 
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ams747757
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:00 pm

Quoting maxamuus (Reply 16):
DL has some vodo magic where they can pull a Ritz Carlton out the arse end of the plane?

   Made my day
 
roseflyer
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:00 pm

Quoting Global2 (Reply 58):

I can imagine the additional frustration upon learning that your "rescue" plane is going to take you backwards where you would basically have to start your trip all over again. If they planned for that plane to leave EWR at 9AM (which of course didn't happen because of additional mx issues), wouldn't you think they'd load it up with catering and a crew to pick up the stranded passengers and bring them onwards to their destination?

I would hope that they could, but LHR does have a curfew to deal with.
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UA444
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:05 pm

Quoting wdleiser (Reply 56):

That's what makes this instance even more pathetic. They did a fantastic job that time and completely dropped the ball for this one not even a year later, and what should've been easier circumstances than Midway Atoll.
 
FlyHossD
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:33 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 39):
The passengers should have at least as good as the crew get.

And if there aren't enough hotel rooms for the passengers? UA - or any other airline in the same circumstance should magically pull a 200 room hotel out of it's arse?

Quoting N1120A (Reply 39):
Sounds like a SHARES problem.

HOW is this a SHARES issue?

Your trolling is way past very old.

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 48):
Did we find out what the cause of the diversion was yet?

Another board had a quote from a passenger that it was a "jammed rutter." I'm assuming that means jammed rudder. Any flight control malfunction is a serious matter.
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COSPN
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:38 pm

Well they outsourced ALL yes Every UA employee in Canada last year .. otherwise someone could have flown up there t help..
 
toxtethogrady
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:40 pm

Yet another embarrassment for United.
 
AWACSooner
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:33 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 57):

Flying to a different airport sounds even more challenging. I can't imagine flying to STN or LGW with no UA support and bussing people being very easy. If UA cancelled one of the 757 EWR flights, most likely they could find other options for those people.

Ummm...I never mentioned just London area airports...please go back and re-read my post.
 
ckfred
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:48 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 46):
For the purpose of the FAA, a military barrack for sleeping and meals is adequate. Providing everyone a hotel room is not required.

FAA may not care, but the folks at DOT, who enforce the rules about passenger treatment, such as limiting the amount of time a plane can sit in the penalty box before offloading passengers, may have a different mindset.

Quoting Mir (Reply 47):
Probably because Goose Bay was closer at the time. Some problems require a diversion to the nearest suitable airport.

That raises the question as to how serious the issue was. Yesterday, United was flying the Los Angeles Dodgers on a charter, from SAN to LAX. The plane had an MX issue, as it was approaching the California-Arizona border. In looking at Flight Aware, it appears that PSP was the closest airport, followed by SAN. Yet, the plane diverted to LAX.
 
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Pellegrine
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:59 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 50):
The airplane landed at Goose Bay at 11:30pm. United had a plan for a 767 at 9am the following morning at EWR ready to fly to YYR. That is pretty good planning. The problem was that for various mechanical and operational reasons, the airplane was delayed by 5 hours.

How is this good planning?

Why couldn't an airline the size of UA scramble together a couple of crews and aircraft within 1-2 hours? It doesn't have to be a widebody, it could be two 737/A320s. Get them back to BOS/JFK/EWR and then put them on your own aircraft or other airlines to LHR.

That would be good planning.
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ua900
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:04 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 39):
A plane definitely should have been available - RONing somewhere. You're telling me they couldn't find 2 pilots and 3 FAs who were willing to earn overtime and help some people? Out of their NYC or EWR bases? LOL. Of course they could. They just didn't.

Exactly. I've met plenty of UA employees who care. This whole story is downright embarrassing and a failure of whoever runs that shiny UA ops center. EWR is a hub, AC is a founding member of *A, as is UA. EWR has plenty of 767s/777s. And if the load was light enough, even a CO 752 could have been pulled from something like EWR-SFO and replaced with a 739 that day.
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SonomaFlyer
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:13 pm

At the risk of sounding like I am a UA fanboi (which my post history does not support):

1. They had a plan and that plan fubar'd when the replacement 767 was delayed a further five hours out of EWR. Keep in mind the diversion was in the middle of the night;

2. How many back ups to the back ups should an airline have? The airlines have little slack in their fleets, especially wide bodies and they don't have much slack with crews either;

3. Pilots are required in some circumstances to divert to the nearest available airfield, not the most convenient;

4. UA can and should have some kind of plan in place with their * partner AC to help out at such times if AC is able.

5. If my math is right, the delayed 767 couldn't make it to LHR before the curfew which is why the folks were flown back down to EWR rather than spend a second night in Goose Bay.

The only conceivable thing UA could've done different/better is fly up whatever plane was at hand and ferry as many folks as possible back to a hub earlier in the day with the hope that some could connect onward to LHR. Sometimes plans just don't work out despite the best of intentions.
 
ScottB
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:05 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 50):
The airplane landed at Goose Bay at 11:30pm. United had a plan for a 767 at 9am the following morning at EWR ready to fly to YYR. That is pretty good planning. The problem was that for various mechanical and operational reasons, the airplane was delayed by 5 hours.

Well, you're playing a bit fast-and-loose with time zones and the timeline of events here. The problem with the aircraft became apparent around 9:30 PM EDT even though it didn't land until 11:20 PM ADT/10:20 PM EDT -- so UA's planned response would have taken around 14 hours for the replacement aircraft to arrive from when the decision was made to divert.

And honestly, if the intent truly were to fly the replacement aircraft on to LHR from YYR, scheduling a 9 AM departure from EWR was poor planning considering there would be limited opportunity to recover from a potential delay and also make it to LHR before curfew at 11:30 PM; the normal 9 AM EWR-LHR flight is scheduled to arrive at 9:20 PM and that doesn't include a stop at YYR.

It's also arguable that UA might have been able to "steal" the late TLV 777 for a rescue flight -- but then, they would have had to pay for hotel rooms at EWR instead of unheated barracks at YYR.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 50):
Delta had a 747 divert to Midway Island. The airplane landed before dark, but the passengers were forced to stay on the airplane until 5am the next morning when a different plane picked them up.

Sure, but there's more-or-less permanent human habitation at YYR. There's no permanent human settlement at MDY anymore and it would be unsafe to have people wandering around the airfield in the dark, particularly if there were a plan to bring in another aircraft to retrieve them. And besides, apparently the Fish & Wildlife Service staff on the island needed time to build some steps to put on top of the stairs they had since theirs were too short to reach the boarding door.

And MDY is really out there with nothing much nearby. YYR is a couple hours' flight time from one of UA's largest hubs.

Quoting B737900ER (Reply 3):
Guess they should have crashed into the ocean. Fairly certain they would have been colder and gone longer then eight hours with out food.

United continues to set new standards in customer service -- "Hey, at least we didn't crash you into the ocean! You should be thanking us for that!"
 
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fxramper
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:16 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 60):
I would hope that they could, but LHR does have a curfew to deal with.

Curfew at LHR can be waived.

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 48):
Did we find out what the cause of the diversion was yet?

The pilots didn't get their first meal choice.   

Rudder issue.

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 69):
5. If my math is right, the delayed 767 couldn't make it to LHR before the curfew which is why the folks were flown back down to EWR rather than spend a second night in Goose Bay.

The crew went to a hotel in Goose Bay and got a rest.
 
roseflyer
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:32 pm

Quoting COSPN (Reply 63):

Well they outsourced ALL yes Every UA employee in Canada last year .. otherwise someone could have flown up there t help..


I don't know if you read my post earlier, but the earliest you can get someone from a city that UA serves to YYR was 5pm Saturday since there are so few flights. United scheduled the rescue plane to arrive around noon. It was impossible to get any UA employee to YYR to help unless they chartered a jet.

Quoting Pellegrine (Reply 67):
Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 50):
The airplane landed at Goose Bay at 11:30pm. United had a plan for a 767 at 9am the following morning at EWR ready to fly to YYR. That is pretty good planning. The problem was that for various mechanical and operational reasons, the airplane was delayed by 5 hours.

How is this good planning?

Why couldn't an airline the size of UA scramble together a couple of crews and aircraft within 1-2 hours? It doesn't have to be a widebody, it could be two 737/A320s. Get them back to BOS/JFK/EWR and then put them on your own aircraft or other airlines to LHR.

That would be good planning.

I explained earlier how incredibly difficult it would be to get a plane to YYR and fly back to EWR that same night. Here are zero employees working overnight at YYR, so who would have been available at 3am to coordinate the loading of a 737? Who could fuel it? Even if UA could get a plane there in the middle of the night, there is not the support to get the plane back to EWR in the middle of the night. Putting people in the barracks and letting them rest makes the most sense. In a perfect world UA could have got the rescue plane earlier but 1-2 hours is unrealistic. I don't know many dispatchers that can get the paperwork ready and coordinate the effort in the middle of the night in a city in a foreign country that has no UA service.
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MSJYOP28Apilot
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:13 pm

Diversions in the middle of the night to remote airports are the most difficult. At a hub airport, planes that overnight are usually there for required routine scheduled maintenance especially the wide bodies. At 10PM east coast time, if the planes are not already flying or at an outstation then they are likely going through maintenance checks at the hub. Every airline operates this way as you need to get the maintenance done otherwise the plane can get grounded at outstations without company maintenance to do these checks. Some checks are not allowed to be done by contract maintenance.

Crews do not sit around at all hours of the day. Even if there are crews available some crews may call in fatigued if called at 10PM to do a Europe trip from the states. Since you need crews to fly, if the earliest you can get a crew to fly is 9AM then that is the best you can do.

Dispatchers who works ETOPS flights are taught in training how much of a disaster it is to have to divert to many of these places. If you think YYR is bad, imagine diversions to SYA/YZF/PKC/BRW/YKS/DYR/AKN/GDX! If a plane is stuck in any of those places good luck getting people out anytime soon! In some airports dispatchers are told if a plane diverts here then the arrivals hall without any benches are the only place we can accommodate 200+ pax until the rescue mission can be arranged.

These people were just lucky Canada is an easy country to operate to. Other places like Russia can be a red tape nightmare if these ETOPS diversions occur.
 
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:32 pm

Quoting jpetekyxmd80 (Reply 40):
Agree. They could have done better, but chose not too. I think thats the New United mission statement.

Yup. Like 80% being good enough.

Quoting Nouflyer (Reply 41):
It's not okay to say "hey, we didn't fly you into the ocean, be grateful".

Exactly.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 43):
I think many people are forgetting how remote and small of a city it is and how difficult it is to support an airplane grounded in a city of 7,000 people.

The city is built around supporting aviation, including diversions.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 43):
Yes there are planes available. There aren’t always crew available at that time of night. Finding a crew to operate a plane can take a bit of time, especially outside of the normal times when a reserve crew would be called up.

Oh please. With all their crews in those 3/4 different bases, you can't tell me there weren't 2 pilots and 3 FAs who were legal and willing to run a rescue.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 43):
At midnight there also are limited services available.

Not midnight. 1020 p.m. Eastern is when the plan landed. They knew they were diverting an hour before. There was plenty o time to deal with things.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 43):
You’ll also need maintenance & fuel available which might not be that easy in the middle of the night in YYR. YYR on a normal night has zero flights between 8pm and 8am.

No you don't. You can fly in a mechanic as a precaution, and tanker in fuel.

Quoting codc10 (Reply 49):
... what happened next was an unmitigated disaster and a symptom of the underlying problem this airline has in its complete inability to get out of first gear in the post-merger process. Too many layers of management, a culture of fear, lack of common sense, poor coordination and too much emphasis on trying to do things on the cheap

Exactly.

Quoting codc10 (Reply 49):
Nobody is questioning the judgment of the flight crew to divert to the nearest suitable facility upon the identification of a critical safety issue, but...

Exactly.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 50):
The airplane landed at Goose Bay at 11:30pm.

Local. 10:30 p.m. in EWR and IAD. 9:30 p.m. in ORD.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 50):
United had a plan for a 767 at 9am the following morning at EWR ready to fly to YYR. That is pretty good planning

That was idiotic planning. They have had widebody MX issues of late and they were only going to EWR anyway.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 53):
Based on infrastructure at YYR and the time of day, I doubt many airlines could have gotten a plane there in less than 10 hours.

You're wrong.

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 55):
This brings up my point and question...if they couldn't get em into LHR due to slot restrictions, wouldn't it have been better to fly them into another non-slot restricted airport in the UK and arranged alternate transportation/arrangements from there? Or, why not run some of them via Air Canada (they do have flights into Goose), as they're star alliance? 20 hours seems excessive...
Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 57):
Air Canada can't accommodate all the passengers with their 3 flights on a Saturday leaving YYR. Air Canada may have been about to take 15 or 20 of the passengers, but I doubt that many seats are available. I am sure some could have found ways on Air Canada, but I doubt they would have arrived in LHR much sooner.

15-20 passengers on AC, meaning 15-20 wouldn't be stuck 20 hours at YYR and then to just get to EWR. That way, you cut the passengers you need to accommodate to what will fit on a 738 or A320. Now you have even more rescue plane options.

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 62):
HOW is this a SHARES issue?

Scheduling.

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 62):
And if there aren't enough hotel rooms for the passengers? UA - or any other airline in the same circumstance should magically pull a 200 room hotel out of it's arse?

No, they should not-so-magically pull one of nearly 1000 airplanes out of their arse.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 66):
Yesterday, United was flying the Los Angeles Dodgers on a charter, from SAN to LAX.

It was going SAN-DFW.

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 69):
1. They had a plan and that plan fubar'd when the replacement 767 was delayed a further five hours out of EWR. Keep in mind the diversion was in the middle of the night;

Their plan was stupid in the first place. They should have just used a narrowbody.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 72):
I don't know if you read my post earlier, but the earliest you can get someone from a city that UA serves to YYR was 5pm Saturday since there are so few flights. United scheduled the rescue plane to arrive around noon. It was impossible to get any UA employee to YYR to help unless they chartered a jet.

What are all those things United uses to fly people around usually?

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 72):
I explained earlier how incredibly difficult it would be to get a plane to YYR and fly back to EWR that same night. Here are zero employees working overnight at YYR, so who would have been available at 3am to coordinate the loading of a 737?

You pay the FBO overtime. You put a UA res agent and a mechanic on the plane coming from EWR, ORD or IAD. You tanker the fuel in.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 72):
Who could fuel it?

Come on - I know you aren't dumb. A 2 hour flight means they could tanker the fuel in on anything they fly.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 72):
Putting people in the barracks and letting them rest makes the most sense.

Rest how? With 2 blankets in an isolated barracks? Makes no sense. Get them out of there ASAP.
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:54 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 74):
You pay the FBO overtime. You put a UA res agent and a mechanic on the plane coming from EWR, ORD or IAD. You tanker the fuel in.

My point exactly. You pay to get stuff done. FBOs at CYYR have fueled 737s and widebody a/c before...
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:03 am

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 69):

1. They had a plan and that plan fubar'd when the replacement 767 was delayed a further five hours out of EWR. Keep in mind the diversion was in the middle of the night;

2. How many back ups to the back ups should an airline have? The airlines have little slack in their fleets, especially wide bodies and they don't have much slack with crews either;

3. Pilots are required in some circumstances to divert to the nearest available airfield, not the most convenient;

4. UA can and should have some kind of plan in place with their * partner AC to help out at such times if AC is able.

5. If my math is right, the delayed 767 couldn't make it to LHR before the curfew which is why the folks were flown back down to EWR rather than spend a second night in Goose Bay.

Understood you're not a fanboy.

1. Ok plan, 9am leave time was a bit late though given the LHR curfew.

2. From my POV, EWR has some int'l 752s in the CO subfleet that regularly do TATL. 4-5 of these birds do domestic runs during the daytime and 1-2 (depending on load of the flight 958) could be swapped for 738/9s if needed. We're talking about an airline that has zero qualms flying 752s TATL and 738s Mainland-Hawai'i. Robbing Peter to pay Paul. No precious wide bodies needed.

3. No one is blaming the pilots, nor the crew. It's about the failure on the part of ops leadership to protect the passengers as well as the crew. Had everyone gone to a hotel or been ferried out that night, no news outlet would have picked this up.

4. Indeed, could have used AC, put together an A321 or something to get them back to YYZ and distribute them from there, metal neutral.

5. UA should have thought of that when scheduling the 767 for a 9am departure out of EWR.
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:07 am

Quoting Pellegrine (Reply 67):
How is this good planning?

Why couldn't an airline the size of UA scramble together a couple of crews and aircraft within 1-2 hours? It doesn't have to be a widebody

Did you read nothing else Roseflyer wrote? At a station as small as YYR in a city as small as Goose Bay they would have to wait until morning just to get in touch with anyone on the ground to line up fuel etc.

In case anyone missed it, Goose Bay is about the same size as Kosciusko, MS. It is nothing more than a large village.
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:19 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 74):
Come on - I know you aren't dumb. A 2 hour flight means they could tanker the fuel in on anything they fly.

They could ferry fuel in to bring the plane back to EWR. To land with enough fuel to complete the trip to LHR from YYR? Depends on the winds, payload and LHR weather. Landing with 60-90K of gas in the 767 plus your EOW can put you close to max landing structural weight. Last thing you want is a 767 burning fuel to get down to landing weight because it would defeat the purpose of tankering in fuel in the first place.

[Edited 2015-06-15 17:20:32]

[Edited 2015-06-15 17:21:41]
 
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:25 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 74):
Oh please. With all their crews in those 3/4 different bases, you can't tell me there weren't 2 pilots and 3 FAs who were legal and willing to run a rescue.

Happens all the time. Pilots and flight attendants even if they are legal are still human. Would you want to on last minute notice fly a long flight plus jet lag late at night? Many do call out fatigued to get out of flying a trip like this. All this assumes there is a legal crew.

If you get a crew from a different base you need to either get the plane from that base or fly the crew to the plane. That is very time consuming.

Airlines staff flying like they do planes. Its costly to pay a pilot on reserve his min guarantee to not fly most of the month waiting for one or two trips a month to open up. Thats another reason why airlines don't have dozens of crews that are legal and available to fly at all hours of the day.

[Edited 2015-06-15 17:29:25]
 
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:48 am

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 77):
Did you read nothing else Roseflyer wrote? At a station as small as YYR in a city as small as Goose Bay they would have to wait until morning just to get in touch with anyone on the ground to line up fuel etc.

In case anyone missed it, Goose Bay is about the same size as Kosciusko, MS. It is nothing more than a large village.

It is so funny....sooooooo funny when people talk about things which they don't know about. Both FBOs at CYYR have 24/7 service, and they can fuel 737/757+ sized a/c.

They'd be happy to do it at 1AM, because for them they're probably going to charge you $8/gal...$$$$$$$$$$$$$.
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A346Dude
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:48 am

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 77):
Did you read nothing else Roseflyer wrote? At a station as small as YYR in a city as small as Goose Bay they would have to wait until morning just to get in touch with anyone on the ground to line up fuel etc.

In case anyone missed it, Goose Bay is about the same size as Kosciusko, MS. It is nothing more than a large village.

Goose Bay may be small but YYR handles tech stops and diversions all the time. It has two 24 hr FBOs and getting fuel would be no problem any hour of the day, even on short notice.

Quoting MSJYOP28Apilot (Reply 78):
They could ferry fuel in to bring the plane back to EWR. To land with enough fuel to complete the trip to LHR from YYR? Depends on the winds, payload and LHR weather. Landing with 60-90K of gas in the 767 plus your EOW can put you close to max landing structural weight. Last thing you want is a 767 burning fuel to get down to landing weight because it would defeat the purpose of tankering in fuel in the first place.

Given a 767-300 has a payload of ~120,000 lbs, landing empty you could easily tanker enough fuel to get to LHR.

[Edited 2015-06-15 17:55:24]
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:54 am

Quoting A346Dude (Reply 81):
even on short notice

Yup, just confirmed that. They're pretty friendly too. "Anything you want."
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:11 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 74):
Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 50):
United had a plan for a 767 at 9am the following morning at EWR ready to fly to YYR. That is pretty good planning

That was idiotic planning. They have had widebody MX issues of late and they were only going to EWR anyway.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 53):
Based on infrastructure at YYR and the time of day, I doubt many airlines could have gotten a plane there in less than 10 hours.

You're wrong.


Well you are free to disagree with me, but I have worked with many different airlines around the world. I have spent a lot of time in airline operations control centers and recognize all the challenges associated with a diversion like this. I think your statements are representative of the most ideal case. I am speaking about what reality is since it only takes one missing piece of the puzzle to slow things down. Within the entire network in the busy summer season, u tied will only have one or two spare 767s on any given day on the entire network. I don't think it is reasonable to expect that an airline can get a plane to YYR in the middle of the night like you seem to think.

I am not trying to be defensive of United. I am just describing why I think what happened did. It is not idiotic planning. It is one of the most difficult logistics challenges that an airline will face. I don't think any U.S. Airlines would be able to get a plane there much quicker than United. United planned on them being on the ground for 14 hours, which is enough to rest the crew in case they were needed. Most airlines that have an overnight cancellation usually don't schedule the recovery flight until about 9-11am the next day in my experience. Where they failed was that the rescue flight was 5 hours late. If they had to steal a plane from maintenance, then that does not completely surprise me.

[Edited 2015-06-15 18:16:16]
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:21 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 39):
A plane definitely should have been available - RONing somewhere. You're telling me they couldn't find 2 pilots and 3 FAs who were willing to earn overtime and help some people? Out of their NYC or EWR bases? LOL. Of course they could. They just didn't.
Quoting N1120A (Reply 39):
Accommodations. YYR is a well known diversion point, and I'm sure there is more than just some military barracks with no blankets and proper beds.
Quoting N1120A (Reply 39):
Really?
Quoting N1120A (Reply 39):
Seriously. This isn't the middle of the ocean. You can bring in a 737. You can book people on AC.
Quoting N1120A (Reply 39):
The passengers should have at least as good as the crew get.
Quoting N1120A (Reply 39):
Not to mention that this happened around 1030 p.m. Eastern, which means that they should have had some planes RONing at EWR and IAD.

The posts above show a complete lack of knowledge of airport and airline operations.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 43):
The military barracks get used about once a year for transatlantic diversions. While not comfortable, Goose Bay does have the ability to accommodate people over night. I think many people are forgetting how remote and small of a city it is and how difficult it is to support an airplane grounded in a city of 7,000 people.

To some it doesn't matter. All the comforts of a 5 star hotel should be available and those inconvinienced should be made multi-millionaires.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 43):
A rescue flight with a timed out crew, no catering, and no one to fuel it or dispatch the airplane does not help anyone.

That airport in Happy Valley Goose Bay was probably all but shut down for the night. Recovering airplanes in remote locations can be a adventure. Have done many. Usually we were on our own till morning when folks started to show up for work. Even in the US of A. In some big airports, there is no way to get fuel past a certain time. Have to wait till morning.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 43):
Yes there are planes available. There aren’t always crew available at that time of night. Finding a crew to operate a plane can take a bit of time, especially outside of the normal times when a reserve crew would be called up.

Most everybody is at home, done with their duty day. There are not crews standing by in Hubs ready to go at a moments notice. Passengers would not and will not pay for this extra cost.

Quoting windy95 (Reply 44):
Great post

I concur.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 45):
I'm curious as to why the aircraft diverted to Goose Bay, rather than Gander or St. John's. Both are larger cities that presumably would have more hotel rooms, and presumably more commercial facilities to handle a widebody aircraft.

With flight control issues, put her down now. Gander and St. John's were further away.

Quoting Mir (Reply 47):
If the passengers have a sleepless night, they can sleep on the flight out in the morning. If the crew have a sleepless night, the flight out in the morning doesn't happen. So that's a very good reason for the crew to get priority on hotels (in addition to the fact that it's easier to find rooms for a few crew than a plane full of passengers).
A good explanation, and the rooms were few in Happy Valley Goose Bay.

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 62):
Another board had a quote from a passenger that it was a "jammed rutter." I'm assuming that means jammed rudder. Any flight control malfunction is a serious matter.

Airframe vibration with aileron and elevator issue. Very serious matter.

Quoting fxramper (Reply 71):
The pilots didn't get their first meal choice.

Rudder issue.

Was not a rudder issue. Shows how wrong the narrative is.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 72):
I don't know if you read my post earlier, but the earliest you can get someone from a city that UA serves to YYR was 5pm Saturday since there are so few flights. United scheduled the rescue plane to arrive around noon. It was impossible to get any UA employee to YYR to help unless they chartered a jet.
Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 72):
explained earlier how incredibly difficult it would be to get a plane to YYR and fly back to EWR that same night. Here are zero employees working overnight at YYR, so who would have been available at 3am to coordinate the loading of a 737? Who could fuel it? Even if UA could get a plane there in the middle of the night, there is not the support to get the plane back to EWR in the middle of the night. Putting people in the barracks and letting them rest makes the most sense. In a perfect world UA could have got the rescue plane earlier but 1-2 hours is unrealistic. I don't know many dispatchers that can get the paperwork ready and coordinate the effort in the middle of the night in a city in a foreign country that has no UA service.

Most ticket counters, even in major hubs, are pretty much shutdown by 9-10 PM, except for the occasional redeyes.
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2175301
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:24 am

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 77):
Did you read nothing else Roseflyer wrote? At a station as small as YYR in a city as small as Goose Bay they would have to wait until morning just to get in touch with anyone on the ground to line up fuel etc.

Not true. Just because all of the various companies may have "closed" for the day; I am quite sure that the owners and managers were readily available by phone and would have responded. I grew up in a combined town/city of 4000. When something unusual happened the various civic organizations (every town has at least one of these) and the police and fire departments call whoever they need (they know who all the business owners and managers are)- and there is response.

OK so here is my take on what should have happened for such a diversion.

The emergency response center calls appropriate agencies at Goose Bay and ensures that shelter and food are organized (and I am quite sure that the local restaurants would gladly have catered in food for several hundred on a several hour notice - it may not have been fancy food; and it may have taken all the restaurant's working together; but, it would have happened).

Since the Flight Crew needs rest and could not take direct control of being a spokesperson; United should have hired a local person to act as coordinator and communicator. I am sure the local emergency center could have identified several people who could have done the job.

Once it was apparent that this may last more than a few hours - United should have flown at least a several person response team to Goose Bay to take charge. This would have been via chartered business jet; which are normally available within an hour at any major airport (I have charted business jets before on a short notice).

If the passengers saw that the airline was taking charge of communications and doing their best to take care of them (catered food from local restaurants, etc); most of the other grips disappear.


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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:42 am

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 84):
The posts above show a complete lack of knowledge of airport and airline operations.

No, they just show that I'm not willing to defend the indefensible.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 83):
Within the entire network in the busy summer season, u tied will only have one or two spare 767s on any given day on the entire network.

Who says it has to be a 767? They flew them to EWR, not LHR. With rebooking, they could have used anything A320-sized or larger.

Quoting Pellegrine (Reply 80):
Both FBOs at CYYR have 24/7 service, and they can fuel 737/757+ sized a/c.

Exactly.

Quoting MSJYOP28Apilot (Reply 79):
Pilots and flight attendants even if they are legal are still human. Would you want to on last minute notice fly a long flight plus jet lag late at night? Many do call out fatigued to get out of flying a trip like this. All this assumes there is a legal crew.

Again - huge bases.

Quoting MSJYOP28Apilot (Reply 78):
They could ferry fuel in to bring the plane back to EWR.

Easily.
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Pellegrine
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:43 am

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 85):

Once it was apparent that this may last more than a few hours - United should have flown at least a several person response team to Goose Bay to take charge. This would have been via chartered business jet; which are normally available within an hour at any major airport (I have charted business jets before on a short notice).

   It just depends how much an airline wants to spend on a diversion. Bringing safety into it is cursory, and really disrespectful to paying passengers.
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:48 am

Thank you RoseFlyer and CALTECH for being the voices of reason on this subject. Some people are completely out of touch in understanding what occurs during IRROPS . Earlier this year, UA had a Mx on a 738 in POS because the overnight cleaning crew forgot to turn off a switch to the battery. UA Ops in Chicago had to find a new battery on a Sunday morning in Trinidad. The Captain kept us informed of the situation. Ops actually found a new battery, it was installed and then we had to wait for over three hours for all the FAA required paperwork to get signed and sent back and forth between UA and the airline providing the new battery. In the end the Captain told us they waited over two hours just for a local person on Sunday morning to come back into the airport who had the authority to sign off on the Mx logbook before the flight could depart for IAH. We arrived over eight hours late. It would have taken more time to fly in another plane with a new UA battery. Not exactly the same as the story in YYR, but it does show how out of UAs control the situation can be in a foreign country. As a 3MM 1K, I learned years ago to take diverisions and Mx delays in stride, because complaining only increases your blood pressure and solves nothing. You know, UA has always gotten me safely to my destination.   
 
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:51 am

Quoting Pellegrine (Reply 87):
It just depends how much an airline wants to spend on a diversion. Bringing safety into it is cursory, and really disrespectful to paying passengers.

Exactly.
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:56 am

The bottom line is Delta has shown they can deal better and more expediently with a situation in the middle of nowhere Pacific than United can with a location within 3 hours of 3 hubs. Like I said, far from the worst customer service i've seen, but a good job by no stretch of the imagination.

How is N1120A wrong about RON-ing? They clearly did not require a widebody.
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N1120A
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:05 am

Quoting jpetekyxmd80 (Reply 90):
How is N1120A wrong about RON-ing? They clearly did not require a widebody.

Exactly. The 3-class 763ER holds exactly 4 more seats than the 739 does. The plane wasn't full. They are guaranteed to have multiple RON 739s at EWR, and they can crew that airplane out of the UA or CO side for FAs. AC was an option for a certain number of people, and that would have meant only sitting around YYR until 10 a.m.

There was absolutely no excuse for this.
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:16 am

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 77):
At a station as small as YYR in a city as small as Goose Bay they would have to wait until morning just to get in touch with anyone on the ground to line up fuel etc.

That's simply not true; diversions to YYR just aren't all that rare an occurrence given its location near the extreme eastern tip of the continent. See: http://irvingoilcommercial.com/Produ...Services/FBOServices/GooseBay.aspx The FBO offers 24-hour service.

I was on a DL flight back from AMS back in December which was delayed a couple of hours due to a diversion to YYR (in the middle of the night) on the inbound aircraft. They almost certainly needed to load fuel at YYR in order to complete the flight to AMS.

Moreover, if there aren't people available at night at YYR, how exactly was it that the UA passengers got bussed to Canadian Customs and then to the barracks -- and how did the crew make it to their hotel?
 
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:34 am

I see a UA 2195, 767-300ER about a half hour out from YYR to EWR. FR24 says N663UA. Is this the plane that diverted?
 
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:40 am

Quoting Pellegrine (Reply 87):
It just depends how much an airline wants to spend on a diversion. Bringing safety into it is cursory, and really disrespectful to paying passengers.

Yup, the new United has a lower spending cap on that than the old United.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 91):
Exactly. The 3-class 763ER holds exactly 4 more seats than the 739 does. The plane wasn't full. They are guaranteed to have multiple RON 739s at EWR, and they can crew that airplane out of the UA or CO side for FAs. AC was an option for a certain number of people, and that would have meant only sitting around YYR until 10 a.m.

All of the above options were attainable.

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 84):
In some big airports, there is no way to get fuel past a certain time.
YYR has 24 hr FBO.

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 84):
To some it doesn't matter. All the comforts of a 5 star hotel should be available and those inconvinienced should be made multi-millionaires.

As 1K MM UA has never given me a *5 hotel, nothing past 3 1/2 and about $21 for dinner and $14 for breakfast (5 $7 vouchers) and that was for a 24 hour delay caused by them. Far from the Ritz, far from becoming a multi-millionaire. And honestly, I didn't ask for that and neither did people affected by this.

People expected UA to try a little harder, get one of their oh-so-fabulous and super-capable shiny new 739s on a 2 hr flight out of one of their signature hubs. You seem to keep saying that ticket prices are too low so passengers shouldn't expect too much, but passengers don't set prices, airlines do. Perhaps UA should raise their prices to $2000 r/t on EWR - LHR and in return guarantee passengers a 752 across the Atlantic or a 739 to EWR within say 4-5 hours of their original plane going tech.

[Edited 2015-06-15 19:58:49]
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:52 am

Quoting UA900 (Reply 94):
As 1K MM UA has never given me a *5 hotel, nothing past 3 1/2 and about $21 for dinner and $14 for breakfast (5 $7 vouchers) and that was for a 24 hour delay caused by them. Far from the Ritz, far from becoming a multi-millionaire.

You got $14 for lunch and $21 for dinner. That is a lot more than me and my wife I got last fall (perhaps twice what we got). I guess you got more because of your ff status.


You are right, that it is hard to eat well on that in travel hotels with restaurants.


But, you are right that people expect the Airline to try harder when there is a problem. I have had my share of diversions, reroutes, canceled flights, etc. I look past what caused the event; what I want to know is what is the airline doing about the my and the other passengers dilemma. Even if all that occurs is a an Agent, FA, or the Pilot making an announcement on what they know (and don't know) - timely communication helps.

To have no one there communicating, no one available to ask questions after a reasonable time - speaks volumes.... My previous stated expectation that United should have flown in an event response team via chartered business jet could have been done for about $5000 (or less). Peanuts in the scheme of things.


Have a great day,

[Edited 2015-06-15 20:00:00]
 
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:32 am

Quoting B737900ER (Reply 3):
Guess they should have crashed into the ocean. Fairly certain they would have been colder and gone longer then eight hours with out food.

They should have dispatched a replacement aircraft to Goose Bay the very instant they realized that their aircraft was going to divert. And they should have spares as close as IAD or EWR.

If they don't, then that's UA's fail. An airline with a fleet of 700+ aircraft needs to have some spares.

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 34):
That is our line of work, get one there safely.

That's the first and most important part, but that's not the end of it. Safety is job #1, but it isn't the end of the job at all. Comfort is job #2.

And let's talk about "safe." "Safe" doesn't mean that the passengers aren't dead, it also means that they aren't in freezing conditions in an inadequate facility. Whether it's hypothermia or an airplane crash, neither situation is "safe."

And let's not pretend that the pilots simply "got the passengers there safely." The pilots got themselves there safely and the passengers were there. I'm not trashing the pilots and saying that they didn't care about the passengers, but it's not as if the landing of the plane was completely selfless.

Telling passengers that they should be thankful to just be alive is insulting to paying customers. They expect to be alive. If they expected anything less than near 100% odds of that, none of them would have bought a ticket.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 50):
The airplane landed at Goose Bay at 11:30pm. United had a plan for a 767 at 9am the following morning at EWR ready to fly to YYR. That is pretty good planning. The problem was that for various mechanical and operational reasons, the airplane was delayed by 5 hours.

So basically, because UA couldn't maintain two different airframes on the same day, it's not UA's fault?

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 50):
I don’t know if it is because people love one airline over another, but I don’t think you understand the challenges of recovering an airplane at a remote station that is not supported in a foreign country.

You're right; I don't. But that's not my job or the passengers' job, is it? That happens to be UA's job, though. And they didn't do it, did they?

In 2009, DL had a 763 do a medical emergency landing at YHZ and they had the replacement 763 there within 5 hours departing 8 hours after the initial flight landed there. In 2011 DL had a 744 HNL-NRT divert to Midway island and they got a replacement 744 (yes a replacement 744!) there and got the passengers to NRT only 16 hours late. And those passengers had to stay aboard the aircraft because there were no airstairs, but DL kept them comfortable as best as they could and they kept them informed so we didn't hear a bunch of angry passengers after those incidents.

So while I may not understand the challenges, DL certainly does and they have a much better track record than their competitors at UA, don't they?

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 42):
What financial or competitive incentive does UA or other major airline have to really take care of pax ?

And that's just if. If this sort of behavior led to a $10-100M fine, UA would be prepared for these eventualities. But because there is poor regulatory oversight of anything besides safety in the US industry and because corporations control the Congress that is supposed to be protecting consumers, they can just behave this way.
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:55 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 96):

Were there spares? How do you know? They could have been out of service. Airlines are dynamic, nothing stays the same. There could have been 4 spares at 9pm. By 11pm they may have been all dispatched.

The efficiency that airlines run at is remarkable when you consider the myriads of regulations and logistics that go into dispatching just one flight, not to mention the logistical challenges that go into putting together a relief flight. The majority unseen. It's easy to point fingers, be critical, and Monday morning quarterback everything, but the reality is, that dispite the best efforts of hundreds of people, sometimes things won't go perfect. It's the nature of the business. Diversions happen daily, and are handled very well usually. But we never talk about them. We only focus on the most negative things we can find, and then add more negative speculation on top of it. It's a horrible way to live, and I feel sorry for the people who feel it's their duty to make sure every reasonable statement from an airline professional that's made on this site is contradicted by their speculation and mock outrage.
 
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:58 am

Quoting B737900ER (Reply 97):
Were there spares? How do you know?

I don't know. But there should be spares. Any airline with 707 airframes should have spares. If they don't, then the public needs to know loud and clear that if their flight diverts, they will be stranded for a long time.

Quoting B737900ER (Reply 97):
It's easy to point fingers, be critical, and Monday morning quarterback everything, but the reality is, that dispite the best efforts of hundreds of people, sometimes things won't go perfect.
UA is one of the largest airlines in the world; I expect them to be prepared for this. They showed that they were not.

At the very least, they could have communicated with passengers. Did they not have a single spare person at Ops to send some information to passengers, in addition to no spare aircraft?

Like I said, DL got a 744 to the middle of the Pacific in significantly less than 22 hours. It's not unreasonable to expect UA to perform similarly.

[Edited 2015-06-15 21:04:28]
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RE: United 958 Diversion 6/13

Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:03 am

Not a spare airplane .. but one UA employee in Canada (over 200 Canadian UA employees fired to save money) with a Canadian phone and a Canadian check to write to provide food and some blankets ...

That is not too much to ask ...

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