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Old Aug 12, 12, 1:47 am   #1
 
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United flight cancellation reason

Good afternoon everyone,
I posted this on the Air Travel board on Trip Advisor and it was suggested that I also post here, just to cover all bases.

United flight 818 SFO-MSY on July 13 was cancelled (about 30 mins before scheduled departure time). My husband and I were rebooked on the same flight the following night, thus necessitating a night's stay in San Francisco and losing a night's paid accommodation in New Orleans.

At the airport we were told (by three different people) the flight was cancelled due to:

1. A mechanical issue
2. A missing pilot (one can only hope the found him/her!)
3. Weather
so it did seem like United staff weren't entirely sure why the flight had been cancelled.

At the customer service counter we pointed out that we had now been given three reasons for the cancellation and were told that it was not weather-related.

Home again, we are making a claim on our travel insurance for the additional expenses and needed an official comfirmation from United for the cancellation. In what they have sent, they have said that the reason for the cancellation was weather related. This directly contradicts what they told us on the night. (I understand that they don't owe compensation for a weather-related cancellation).

I'm not that bothered since our travel insurance will cover our costs but I am curious to know if there is anywhere that any other cancellation reason may be recorded?

Does anyone know of anywhere? If not, it doesn't matter, I'm really just curious.

The TripAdvisor member who suggested posting here did say that United had found June-July to be rather bad for cancellations and delays (which was evident just watching the boards at SFO).

Thanks.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 2:27 am   #2
 
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Could be all three. Lightning struck the plane, damaging the aircraft and taking out one of the flight crew.

That aside, blatant misinformation is par for the course at United these days. Doubt you will get United to concede it wasn't weather related at this point, and don't think there's an easy way to get cancellation info easily this far past the date of travel.

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Old Aug 12, 12, 2:30 am   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aCavalierInCoach View Post
Could be all three. Lightning struck the plane, damaging the aircraft and taking out one of the flight crew.

That aside, blatant misinformation is par for the course at United these days. Doubt you will get United to concede it wasn't weather related at this point, and don't think there's an easy way to get cancellation info easily this far past the date of travel.

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What is a good way to find out the TRUE reason a flight cancelled? (as long as you check within 24 hours)
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Old Aug 12, 12, 2:40 am   #4
 
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To date I have never purchased travel insurance, but with all of the issues with UA I would think more people would do this moving forward.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 2:43 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortkidd View Post
To date I have never purchased travel insurance, but with all of the issues with UA I would think more people would do this moving forward.
Can't wait for trip insurance companies to announce that their premiums have skyrocketed due to UA's general incompetence.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 3:47 am   #6
 
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United flight cancellation reason

UA seem to be seeking to push some of their liabilities onto their customers and the insurance industry rather than improve customer centric service.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 4:48 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinatraderjmr View Post
What is a good way to find out the TRUE reason a flight cancelled? (as long as you check within 24 hours)
fair point (I assume that was rhetorical), but usually with a bit of work you can piece together whether weather is a reasonable explanation versus something else.

Of course, I don't know where United or DOT draws the line. I had an experience back with ACA dba UAX where I was able to piece together that weather was delaying an inbound flight so badly at an outstation that they switched in our aircraft (granted, this was before the days of "where is my plane coming from", but it was fairly obvious what happened when our flight went "cancelled" and suddenly this other severely delayed flight had its departure moved up materially and its gate changed to the one we were getting ready to board out of) . UX/UA claimed no accommodation due as it was the cancellation was coded as "weather" -- it was 11pm on Christmas Eve

Anyone else remember the "barn"? I don't like the long flights on the CRJs, but when you remember riding the J41s... well, yeah. But I digress...

edit: guess the barn was a result of ACA quitting so it must've been a colgan 340 at that point.

Last edited by aCavalierInCoach; Aug 12, 12 at 4:52 am.. Reason: anachronism
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Old Aug 12, 12, 5:47 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenF View Post

At the airport we were told (by three different people) the flight was cancelled due to:

1. A mechanical issue
2. A missing pilot (one can only hope the found him/her!)
3. Weather
so it did seem like United staff weren't entirely sure why the flight had been cancelled.
Hi JenF, welcome to Flyertalk! As others have suggested, irregular operations (IRROPS) on UA have been quite challenging the last couple months. In these situations, I always check the mobile site (mobile.united.com) to see what the reason for any delay/cancellations is. If it's mechanical, I take a screenshot. I believe there is an official documentation somewhere, and I'm sure one of the UA employees who post on this board will chime in. At this point the mobile site won't help you, but a possible way to explain two out of those three is a weather related delay or cancellation at another airport caused you to be one pilot short and they couldn't locate another. If you want to pursue this a little further, you could try sending a private message UA Insider.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 7:41 am   #9
 
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My experience is that even if the engine fell off the pylon and hit the pilot, if one drop of rain or flake of snow can be seen anywhere, it's Weather. Sorry about that.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 7:52 am   #10
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Not an uncommon situation. MX delays the inbound flight initially. By the time the inbound is ready to go, there are ATC delays which cause the scheduled crew to time out. And the Captain rescheduled to fly the outbound is now delayed on another inbound flight.

Sometimes this stuff is easy to pinpoint. Others it's not. That's why travel interruption insurance is essential. Costs the same to spend the night at SFO whether the flight went MX or WX and the pax has equally little control.

For claim purposes, just note that the carrier gave three reasons. Why? Because it did.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 7:55 am   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinatraderjmr View Post
What is a good way to find out the TRUE reason a flight cancelled? (as long as you check within 24 hours)
Fly on an airline that hasn't developed a culture of routinely providing misiniformation to its customers.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 11:23 am   #12
 
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Originally Posted by Beerman92 View Post
Fly on an airline that hasn't developed a culture of routinely providing misiniformation to its customers.
Even the best airlines lie. Some just do it more then others
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Old Aug 12, 12, 11:43 am   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortkidd View Post
To date I have never purchased travel insurance, but with all of the issues with UA I would think more people would do this moving forward.
I would think more people would find it easier and cheaper to simply avoid UA unless or until all this blows over.
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Old Jan 17, 13, 11:46 am   #14
 
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4 Hour Delay: Real Reason?

Booked on UA3755 today, IAD-LGA..

Its been delayed by 3 hours and 44 minutes as of now, due to a waiting inbound aircraft. HOWEVER, when I look at the "Where is this aircraft coming from", the plane seems to have arrived at IAD early..

Doesn't add up!

Are they covering up a mechanical delay?.

Btw, the reason for not switching flights is that I've checked bags and am only in NYC for one night. Can't deal with delayed luggage.
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Old Jan 17, 13, 12:00 pm   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsb21 View Post
Booked on UA3755 today, IAD-LGA..

Its been delayed by 3 hours and 44 minutes as of now, due to a waiting inbound aircraft. HOWEVER, when I look at the "Where is this aircraft coming from", the plane seems to have arrived at IAD early..

Doesn't add up!

Are they covering up a mechanical delay?.

Btw, the reason for not switching flights is that I've checked bags and am only in NYC for one night. Can't deal with delayed luggage.
Heres what I see on EF
F IAD/ETD 409P L03.44 AWAITING FLT 3732
F LGA/ETA 506P L03.20
D CRC/IAD...POSSIBLE DELAYS DUE TO SNOW

Seems your inbound is another plane either that or crew from the other flight is supposed to fly your aircraft. 3732 is delayed 4hr 25 min now.

3732 is delayed awaiting 3731 which is about to land in CLT (EF shows 3731 diverted due to aircraft servicing?)
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Last edited by CDKing; Jan 17, 13 at 12:08 pm..
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