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Jshank83
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Towing planes from arrival gate after international arrival

Wed Jul 07, 2021 4:09 am

I was having a conversation about how common it is for planes to be towed from an FIS gate arrival to their normal departing gate. At STL Frontier, AA, and soon to be Spirit will have to do it because the FIS gates are in the terminal Southwest uses.

I just was curious how much this happens at other airports, especially if any of them are major airports with a lot of international flights.
 
jetmatt777
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Re: Towing planes from arrival gate after international arrival

Wed Jul 07, 2021 4:15 am

It’s fairly common, especially at busy airport. Usually gate fees are higher per turn for FIS gates. Also, these arrivals usually occur on common-use gates (that are limited in number to accept international screening) which the airport may need vacant for another arrival soon, so they may only allow the use for the arrival and the appropriate security sweep and instruct the airline to move the aircraft to their leased gates for departure. Otherwise that airline could hold up arrivals for other airlines.

Before UA had a big presence on A in DEN, most International arrivals on A would be towed over to B for departures. This is not the case anymore as UA runs a decent sized (and growing) operation on A that utilizes the international arrival gates for quick turns back to domestic departures.

Al
 
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zeke
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Re: Towing planes from arrival gate after international arrival

Wed Jul 07, 2021 4:36 am

Jshank83 wrote:
I just was curious how much this happens at other airports, especially if any of them are major airports with a lot of international flights.


PEK has been doing this due COVID, arrivals and departures are in different terminal areas.
 
Scarebus34
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Re: Towing planes from arrival gate after international arrival

Wed Jul 07, 2021 4:37 am

Happens at ORD for all AA/UA flights... Happens frequently at EWR for UA as well.
 
maps4ltd
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Re: Towing planes from arrival gate after international arrival

Wed Jul 07, 2021 4:43 am

I was going to say my home airport, but I recognized the OP from the STL thread as I clicked to open this one :)
 
DaCubbyBearBar
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Re: Towing planes from arrival gate after international arrival

Wed Jul 07, 2021 4:44 am

Very rarely happens at KLAS, unless aircraft is overnighting
 
ScottB
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Re: Towing planes from arrival gate after international arrival

Wed Jul 07, 2021 5:41 am

Jshank83 wrote:
I just was curious how much this happens at other airports, especially if any of them are major airports with a lot of international flights.


It's common at BOS; all international arrivals without pre-clearance arrive at Terminal E. DL tows over to Terminal A while AA tows to Terminal B. B6 may or may not tow over to Terminal C as C & E are connected beyond security. In the busy pre-Covid times, aircraft from foreign carriers with lengthy turns would be towed off the gate to a hardstand since the gates were needed for other aircraft.
 
blacksoviet
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Re: Towing planes from arrival gate after international arrival

Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:42 pm

It sounds like STL needs to build more FIS gates.
 
Jshank83
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Re: Towing planes from arrival gate after international arrival

Wed Jul 07, 2021 7:45 pm

blacksoviet wrote:
It sounds like STL needs to build more FIS gates.


They have 3, which are enough for now. The most international flights they have a day is 5. They have put out RFPs to discuss moving it but they won't ever have more than one anytime soon.
 
N1120A
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Re: Towing planes from arrival gate after international arrival

Wed Jul 07, 2021 10:44 pm

This happens at ORD for all of UA and AA flights, along with some of their partners.
 
AT
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Re: Towing planes from arrival gate after international arrival

Thu Jul 08, 2021 7:58 pm

Interesting. Does EWR Terminal C have no international arrival facilities at all? Or is it that the international gates are limited?

Same question for United at ORD?

In a different situation, I flew Swissair and Lufthansa into Chicago (before the Int'l terminal) opened, we would park at the last pier (K or L gates) and then disembark from the right side through stairs into a bus that took us to immigration. In that case, the plane stayed put, but the passengers were moved.
 
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AirKevin
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Re: Towing planes from arrival gate after international arrival

Thu Jul 08, 2021 9:57 pm

AT wrote:
Interesting. Does EWR Terminal C have no international arrival facilities at all? Or is it that the international gates are limited?

It does, but I don't know if they're limited or just not open at all. Reading another thread here seems to suggest that it's not open at the present time.
 
N1120A
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Re: Towing planes from arrival gate after international arrival

Thu Jul 08, 2021 10:52 pm

EWR Terminal C definitely has FIS capabilities, though I have no idea if they are open currently.
 
phatfarmlines
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Re: Towing planes from arrival gate after international arrival

Fri Jul 09, 2021 10:26 pm

TPA: During the NW MBJ/CUN arrivals from the 1990's, these flights would arrive at Airside F, and then would be towed to the former Airside D for departures.

DL was also doing the same thing for the recent AMS flight, arrive at Airside F and tow to Airside E.

FI was different in that while the flight arrived at Airside F, the plane would then sit for a day at the Airside D RON ramp before flying off the next evening, and then using Airside E for departures.

All airlines that had Cuba arrivals up until COVID (WL/WQ/SY/WN/AA) would arrive at Airside F and be towed to their respective departure airside (Exception: AA & WQ stayed at Airside F for departures).

Strangely enough, the current B6 CUN arrives at Airside F, but the subsequent departure, typically a DCA departure, leaves from the same gate at Airside F. Perhaps this is to allow for a quick turnaround that would not be possible by towing the plane back to Airside A, but also takes advantage of the common-use gate setp.
 
dfwjim1
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Re: Towing planes from arrival gate after international arrival

Sat Jul 10, 2021 6:33 pm

In the examples given, do the aircraft usually go straight to a departure gate or are they parked at a hardstand and then later moved to their departure gate?
 
Jshank83
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Re: Towing planes from arrival gate after international arrival

Sat Jul 10, 2021 7:08 pm

dfwjim1 wrote:
In the examples given, do the aircraft usually go straight to a departure gate or are they parked at a hardstand and then later moved to their departure gate?


STL they go straight to departure gate.
 
FGITD
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Re: Towing planes from arrival gate after international arrival

Sat Jul 10, 2021 9:57 pm

dfwjim1 wrote:
In the examples given, do the aircraft usually go straight to a departure gate or are they parked at a hardstand and then later moved to their departure gate?



Boston is a mix. Domestic airlines (namely DL) arrive at the international terminal, E, and get towed back to their own terminal for departure.

International airlines (Emirates, Qatar, etc) tow off E to a hardstand for a few hours, then back to E. Sometimes back to the same gate. These cases are simply to make gate space for other turnarounds. No sense leaving an aircraft occupying a gate for 7-8 hours.
 
dfwjim1
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Re: Towing planes from arrival gate after international arrival

Sun Jul 11, 2021 4:13 pm

In FLL the Azul flight from Brazil would arrive at Terminal 4, be towed to a hardstand and then be towed to Terminal 3 for departure later in the evening.

Nowadays the flight still arrives at 4, is towed to the hardstand and then towed back to the same gate at 4 in the evening.

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