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Guam Senators Ask United to Address Mechanical Problems


Guam Senator Brant McCreadie has penned a letter to United CEO Jeffery Smisek expressing concern about the recent mechanical issues involving United Airlines flights to and from the U.S. Territory of Guam. The letter, also signed by Guam Senators Tony Ada, Aline Yamashita, Tommy Morrison, Chris Duenas, Dennis Rodriguez and Tina Rose Muña Barnes, calls for “the overall goal to replace the aircraft to ensure that the lives and the livelihoods of the people of Guam are not affected.”

The action by Guam legislators follows a series of high profile mechanical problems affecting United aircraft flying to and from Guam, including an incident in July in which a flight leaving Honolulu International Airport (HNL) bound for Guam Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport (GUM) was forced to divert to the remote and largely unpopulated Pacific island of Midway due to mechanical issues. On Tuesday, a maintenance issue forced United Airlines Flight 200 from GUM to HNL to turn back. The following day, Flight 2056 was cancelled while a maintenance crew addressed a “seal issue” on the same plane.

In a statement, Senator McCreadie described the letter as an attempt to express “the people of Guam’s desire that measures be taken to ensure that these mechanical issues do not worsen.” McCreadie continued, “The people of Guam are rightfully concerned with the mechanical issues that have been faced by United Airlines. My colleagues and I want to ensure that United Airlines is aware of how important an issue this is to the people of Guam.”

There is a sense among many Guam-based air travelers that post-merger United Airlines abandoned Continental’s commitment to providing new aircraft to serve the island. This is a sentiment echoed by Senator McCreadie. Speaking on News Talk K57, the senator told Breakfast Show host Ray Gibson, “That is what I have heard the most: Bring back the newer planes that they had when Continental was here.”

Gibson added that many flyers prefer to travel to Hawaii and the mainland U.S. via Japan than travel on the older Boeing 777 fleet that United operates between Guam and Honolulu. “I like to take the flight that goes through Japan,” Gibson said. “Then I can ‘Dreamline’ across the Pacific.” United operates Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on routes between Tokyo and LAX.

McCreadie, who pointed to bipartisan support for his efforts to call United Airlines to account, promised Gibson he would not rest until the need for such detours is a thing of the past. “This is just the beginning to what we feel will be a positive ending with a new fleet of aircraft out here.”

[Photo: iStock]

Comments are Closed.
edgewood49 August 12, 2014

I too can attest to the lousy service since the merger. Before the CO birds were fresh and great service with the merger they must have sent al the Ghetto Birds to this route. While it's a pain to fly DL to NRT and then back across at least the metal is much more comfortable and decent service, not the attitude and really really bad food. UGH Goes to show you how really poor UA is being run

4jaded August 11, 2014

Having Flown the route to Gum via HNL I can attest to the fact that the old 777's UA has been using on the route can be extremely uncomfortable even back when they had 1st Class. Example from Oct 2013 Gum-HNL was a " Domestic" 777 that in First was less comfortable that sitting on a park bench for 7 hours. UA has a monopoly in GUM, prices it as such, and treats it like an unwanted step child.

HkCaGu August 8, 2014

You're missing the other half of the story: Saipan. Continental contracted Cape Air 10 years ago to replace the 738s CO was flying. In the past year or two, Cape Air went down to one ATR plane and when encountering mechanical problems would cancel GUM-SPN for days, only to have UA flying a jet once a day stranding SPN flyers for tens of hours.

fjfv19 August 8, 2014

The dated 777 that UA flies on this route is the quintessential definition of unpleasant.

notsosmart August 8, 2014

Hmmm. An enterprising carrier might sense an opportunity here.