UA A320 EWR-SEA stops for fuel in BZN

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by TravelerRob, Jan 18, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    Yet another reason I will not fly on any UA Airbus plane (especially westbound) that's a transcon. Today's UA499 EWR-SEA (10am departure) stopped in BZN for fuel. The website says "Diverted to Bozeman, MT (BZN) -- Planned fuel stop".

    It's winter and the headwinds are always worse but if an A320 can't make it from EWR to SEA then maybe the airline should stop scheduling them for such long routes. The 738 can make it without issue.

    -Rob
     
  2. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    What's your Flyertalk handle?
     
  3. davef139

    davef139 Gold Member

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    I suggest we just replace everything with 747s. This should solve any fuel diverts :rollseyes:
     
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  4. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Silver Member

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    AC routinely flies A319s, A320s and A321s on YYZ-YVR which is a similar distance, without issue. They also fly 320s YUL-YVR (along with the odd A321) and A319s and 320s YOW-YVR. I haven't heard of any need for frequent technical stops (or, indeed, of any stops other than the odd MX).
     
  5. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    For the record YYZ-YVR is 2085 miles while EWR-SEA is 2402 miles. That's almost an hour of flying against a strong headwind.

    -Rob
     
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  6. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    UA (and AA) B738s have also made tech stops on E-W transcons periodically.

    I'm not sure why you believe the A320 is the only narrowbody subject to this problem e.g:

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/jetb...all-westbound-transcons-technical-stop-3.html

    Even Song;s 757 was reported as having made a tech stop for fuel, although in comparison to other types, that must have been caused by elective limited fuel uplift at departure.

    Sectors such as BOS/EWR/JFK-PDX/SEA/SFO are at the operating range limits for both 738 and 320 when there are consistent 120+knot headwinds.
     
  7. guberif

    guberif Silver Member

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    Good thing gas is like 2 bucks a gallon right now.
     
  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Bozeman is probably where UA now takes fuel deliveries after the recent lawsuit in Chicago.
     
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  9. unavaca
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    unavaca Gold Member

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    EWR-SFO is regularly done with 319 and 320s. At >2500 miles, it beats EWR-SEA.
     
  10. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    and "right now" there's an Alberta Clipper headed east right along the flight path that was used.

    Quotes because I'm posting this the "next" day

    DTWBOB
     
  11. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    Ok and an even dumber idea than EWR-SEA in an Airbus if the thing can't make it.

    -Rob
     
  12. 2wheels

    2wheels Silver Member

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    Are you also suggesting that 757s shouldn't be used TATL? They have been known to make fuel stops as well. If UA was losing money by making too many fuel stops, they would reassign planes/reroute.

    This thread is way too negative for my liking...
     
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  13. sfogate
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    sfogate Gold Member

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    There is alot of things that factor into a planned fuel stop. Take off weight, landing weight, enroute weather issues, fuel requirements to diversion landing spots and on and on.
     
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  14. dayone
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    dayone Silver Member

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    Thank you for saving me the time required to look up the correct mileage to refute the earlier post.
     
  15. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    I'm surprised UA hasn't put their 319s and 320s on the Hawaii routes yet :rolleyes:
     
  16. JetsettingEric
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    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    No one hates these planned diversions more than the airline.

    Next winter, they should have a lot more flexibility with cross fleeting, and likely a few more 737-900s to go around. I suspect that you will see more 737s on the transcons from EWR and BOS (which used to be mostly 757s). 737s in DEN make sense for their better hot & high performance. Also might make more sense for Caribbean travel if they are ETOPS/Overwater equipped and the airbus are not. I suspect the 320s will be popular in Chicago and Houston, as well as shorter flights from LAX/SFO. The 319s have great range and I heard are getting more seats, so they might be another option on the longer flights. There are likely more 757s out of service this winter with the p.s. fleet getting the businessfirst lie flats.
     
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  17. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    Sorry, wasn't trying to upset anyone with this thread. Wow.

    I've never liked the Airbus and now UA flies them between two key markets (EWR-SEA as an example) with at minimum 25% less FC seats than the 738 (16 to 12) and the airplane has to make a fuel stop on the way. I'm sure it's not an everyday occurrence but still...

    I've been on 738s on EWR-SEA in the dead of winter with a 100-150kt jet right on the nose to give us a 7hr15min scheduled flight plan (yes, 7:15) and the plane made it without issue and without diversion. The flight plan for the A320 that diverted wasn't near 7:15.

    -Rob
     
  18. Hartmann
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    Hartmann Gold Member

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    There's a lot more that goes into a fuel tech stop than just "can the plane fly the distance". They have to figure weather at destination, whether or not they'll be putting in a holding pattern, etc.
     
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  19. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Silver Member

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    I also posted YUL-YVR and YOW-YVR which, while less than 2400, are each within 150 miles of the length of EWR-SEA.

    Shorter, yes, but not much shorter.

    Air Canada flies an E190 YYZ-SEA, despite having a 2200-mile range compared to the quoted 2760-mile range of Air Canada's 319s and 320s.
     
  20. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Quite recently UA had a scheduled fule stop on SFO-BOS IIRC. Plane stopped in DEN. It was because the nearst diversion airoprt they could use for route planning when planning the flight was more than 500 miles away from BOS. That's a lot of extra fuel to plan for, even when the planes are generally quite able to make the flight with the tailwinds in their favor.

    This is not gross incompetence by the airlines. It is a system which works spectacularly well 99%+ of the time. And occasionally they have to tweak things.
     
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  21. lhrsfo
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    lhrsfo Silver Member

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    Agreed entirely that it's better to be in an aircraft that can make it in one hop when it's scheduled to do so. Also, agree that there are very weird circumstances where that's not going to work out, given diversion airports etc.

    The substance of the complaint is that UA schedules an aircraft that they know cannot make it X% of the time in the season for which it's scheduled. If that X is 1% of the time, it's no biggie. If it's 5% of the time, I'm starting to feel that it's inappropriate to have scheduled it.

    Having said that, as I'm generally stuck in E+, I'd far rather be on an Airbus than a 737 with its rock solid seats and distracting screens 12" from my eyes, which can't be properly turned off.
     
  22. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Yeah, the button labeled "off" is quite confusing. :rolleyes:
     
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  23. lhrsfo
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    lhrsfo Silver Member

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    If the button called "off" worked it would not be confusing at all. However, both times I've endured those planes, the tv came alive every time they decided to show advertisements for UA. So, it didn't work. Next time I'll bring some Scotch tape, tear a picture of Smisek out of it and tape it over the screen.....
     
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  24. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    Does it actually say "off"? I think you have to press the "minus" button to dim the screen. Several people couldn't figure that out and asked me for help. Other people just don't care, and it creates a cabin full of flickering screens, which is annoying to me on overnight flights.
     
  25. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Except there is no actual "off" button.
     
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