UA/CO gets panned by WSJ for unscheduled fuel stops on trans-atl 757 routes

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by adambadam, Jan 11, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. adambadam
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    adambadam Silver Member

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  2. Scottrick
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    It was a front page story. Glad I flew IAD-CDG last year when it was still a 777!
     
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  3. mrredskin
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    "Well, of all the cheap lousy ways to save a buck!"
     
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  4. mht_flyer
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    Flying back from St. Johns (YYT) Sunday and even from there strong headwinds down to EWR delayed our arrival. When I went to customs baggage claim (YYT doesn't have US Immigration since there's only 1 US flight from their) noticed CO flight on the board from "Goose Bay". I said to myself they don't fly from there, being nosy I looked on UA app and it was a divert from MUC.
     
  5. EWR764
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    Interesting, since MUC is a 767/777 destination.

    Just a note, Delta's transatlantic 75Es are some of the last built, originally ordered by TWA, and have substantially more range than CO's RR-powered 752s. This explains why DL has not encountered any fuel-related diversions with its 757 opreations.

    I know more seats than ever are being held back for weight restrictions, but UA seriously needs to consider the possibility of adding fuel capacity to the 757s (I believe it can be done, extra tanks would fit in the cargo hold like the available option for the 739ER) to mitigate these issues in the winter. It has no doubt been a PR nightmare for the airline.
     
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  6. canucklehead
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    Not good for logistics and $$$. Hopefully this scheduling hiccup will get corrected as I cannot see it be financially viable if they have to divert that many planes (and lucky that these airports are there to handle the diversions).
     
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  7. HeathrowGuy
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    My gut says this was a hit job pushed by Delta.
     
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  8. Scottrick
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    Could this be the motivation behind the recent sales (award tickets and revenue tickets) for trips to Europe? Fare sales normally aren't really sales, but while the discounts aren't amazing, they actually made me take a look.
     
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  9. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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    There is a thread on this topic that was started late last year.

    It even turned into a betting pool on whether the diversions would continue in 2012. Not sure what the current odds are, but feel free to join in ;)
     
  10. Infinite1K
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    How is it a "hit job" to point out facts?

    And it appears that this isn't the first time Continental has run into problems running their 752's on TATL. The feds were looking into similar problems with Continental four years ago.

    What's that saying? Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice...

     
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  11. HeathrowGuy
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    Facts don't just publish themselves in major newspaper articles -- someone pushed this story. I don't knock Delta for pushing it if they were indeed the pushers, it's what aggressive competitors do.
     
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  12. LETTERBOY
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    Personally, I'd never dream of flying a narrowbody TATL. Partly because of comfort (narrowbodys are fine for domestic, but I would feel rather constrained in a narrowbody TATL, since my paid travel is in coach), but also because of the fuel/diversion mentioned in the article. I'm worried that the new UA will start expanding this practice.
     
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  13. COFlyerCLE
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    It is important to look at the other factors involved here - notably the winds right now, which on other aviation forums are being described as "insanely strong headwinds". There are reports of 767, 777, and even a 747 from other airlines that had to divert for fuel on TATL routes recently. The report in the WSJ was clearly just focused on making UA/CO look bad, but there IS more to the story.

    Just my 2 cents. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Scottrick
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    If there is no conflict, there's no story.
     
  15. SFOtoORD

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    Interesting quote from the article

    On a related note, I wonder if the addition of E+ to these planes will help at all since I believe it removes one row of seats IIRC.
     
  16. Infinite1K
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    The news isn't that planes make stops for refueling. It is the increased frequency of only one type of plane, the 752 by one airline. And the reason Continental has been "targeted" is that they chose to fly this equipment on routes that were very close to the limit of what the 752 can do.
     
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  17. Scottrick
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    I would imagine that the bigger benefit of E+ is inventory management, reducing the number of seats total in addition to what they were able to achieve by switching to a 757 from larger craft.

    Is the volume of 757 flights really similar to last year? I know it's not like they suddenly have more or fewer 757s on hand, but I thought they significantly increased the number they dedicated to TATL routes. The quote isn't clear where the 757s were flying last year, so it isn't really fair to compare diversions if last year they were, say, flying between SEA and SFO.
     
  18. Infinite1K
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    There are at least more 752s flying due to the to the IAD routes that have been converted from 763/777.
     
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  19. Wandering Aramean
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    Not really. The total number of daily flights TATL on a 752 hasn't changed much.
    The lower weight - both in the hardware of the seats as well as fewer passengers will definitely make a difference. JetBlue saw a similar effect when they dropped to 150 seats on their A320s. They marketed it as better pitch in the cabin but it also meant many fewer westbound diversions on transcons.

    Yes.
    Nope.
    They weren't. They were flying TATL, just like today. And the quote does mention flights "headed to the USA" which implies the TATL bit reasonably clearly to me.
     
  20. Scottrick
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    Wouldn't necessarily mean they were headed to the USA from Europe. And those were two separate sentences. Newspaper journalists have a knack for overlooking specifics if it makes for a better story. Sorry, my job makes me obsess over wording.

    But thanks for the clarification.
     
  21. HeathrowGuy
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    I don't dispute the underlying facts of the story -- but I speak from actual experience when I assure everyone present that stories like these just don't "happen". Modern-day journalism is entirely "political" -- what gets covered and printed, and the angle from which it is presented are subjective decisions.

    In recent days or weeks, someone or some organization "pushed" the story to writers and editors at the WSJ, and that's how this article came to be. My gut feeling is that Delta pushed it as: 1) This is prime time for many corporate travel contract negotiations; 2) Delta's success in building its premium footprint in TATL flying from the East Coast has been largely halted by the synergies resulting from the UACO merger; 3) The article portrays the issue as more the fault of the airline than, say, the chronic mess that is ATC in the Northeast USA.
     
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  22. HeathrowGuy
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    Indeed, we must not forget that Delta Air Lines is the Wing of Satan and will be brutally smashed by the might of the New United under the guidance of the dear respected Supreme Leader Jeff Smisek.
     
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  23. davef139

    davef139 Gold Member

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    Isn't there plans to retires some of the 752's this year anyways? I need to find my notes from last quarters call.
     
  24. tommy777
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    The aircraft's used for TATL are CO 757s and they are not set to be retired. The ones UA have (the ones who haven't been cleaned since Clinton was President) are the ones who are set to be retired.
     
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  25. PanAm
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    But I'm sure all the passengers were given free 1-year subscriptions to the Jelly of the Month Club
     
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