BA289 concerns and PHX

Old Apr 14, 19, 3:37 pm
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BA289 concerns and PHX

Hi,

I travel to the US several times a year for work usually via ORD or PHL, but after Easter I have a rare treat to go purely for holiday - taking a parent who has never travelled long-haul to see Arizona and Utah, and hoping to make it a special smooth experience for them. Been looking forward to it for a long time, and am aware of the mid-J 747 refresh scheme (crossing fingers to get the updated IFE, although not good that G-BNLN flew this route more than any other aircraft in March).

But whilst browsing FR24 for any patterns in airframe usage in recent days, I've noticed the flight performance and it's terrible. It's nearly always delayed, sometimes significantly. Today it was delayed by over 3 hours - does anyone know what happened? Is there something about this service that makes it prone to such extensive delays?

Secondly, what to expect at PHX? I've used it before but only domestically, haven't done an international arrival there before. I guess they don't have many international arrivals compared to some other US airports which could either be a good thing (empty immigration lanes) or a bad thing (not sufficiently staffed for a 747 arriving)? I have a two hour drive up to Flagstaff after arrivals, so hoping I can get through PHX quickly especially in light of BA289's track record.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 3:45 pm
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One thing to expect at PHX is that the "rental car facility" is offsite and quite some distance from the airport. Driving from/to it is somewhat confusing (there are some tricks to avoid traffic). Allow extra time for this step. The last time I was there (about nine months ago), I experienced some bad road construction around the terminal and also near the rental car place, but there's a chance that it's finished by now.

Moreover, expect a lot of traffic and aggressive drivers on the expressways around Phoenix. Personally, I wouldn't want to try to drive here (on the wrong side of the road for you?) after a long TATL flight. Stay in an airport hotel (or go to Tempe/Phoenix/Scottsdale for a pleasant evening) and return to the airport the next day to get your rental car.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 3:50 pm
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For the past few days, there has been awful weather across the last 1,500 miles of the typical flight path for the PHX run. Don't let that concern you.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 4:05 pm
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I had my first immigration/customs experience at PHX about 10 days ago when I ended up on a direct flight from London rather than taking a circuitous route. It was the quickest I have been allowed into the country. I don't know if I was just lucky with the timing or not. The people giving directions to machines and which desk to go to were unusually pleasant as well!

The car rental shuttles were very slow to arrive and there were massive queues though they were well marshalled. It was a long wait for a bus though and even worse coming back. Loads of construction work going on but getting to/from the car rental centre was well signed.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Moreover, expect a lot of traffic and aggressive drivers on the expressways around Phoenix. Personally, I wouldn't want to try to drive here (on the wrong side of the road for you?) after a long TATL flight. Stay in an airport hotel (or go to Tempe/Phoenix/Scottsdale for a pleasant evening) and return to the airport the next day to get your rental car.
If the overnight stay appeals to you then you might consider finding a nice hotel with an airport shuttle and a nearby car rental facility. If you can get one with no fee for returning the car at the airport then you could have a relaxing first night.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 4:22 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
One thing to expect at PHX is that the "rental car facility" is offsite and quite some distance from the airport. Driving from/to it is somewhat confusing (there are some tricks to avoid traffic). Allow extra time for this step. The last time I was there (about nine months ago), I experienced some bad road construction around the terminal and also near the rental car place, but there's a chance that it's finished by now.

Moreover, expect a lot of traffic and aggressive drivers on the expressways around Phoenix. Personally, I wouldn't want to try to drive here (on the wrong side of the road for you?) after a long TATL flight. Stay in an airport hotel (or go to Tempe/Phoenix/Scottsdale for a pleasant evening) and return to the airport the next day to get your rental car.
Thanks, but I've used the rental car centre at PHX before and know the drill - I drive regularly in the US when over for work (including after TATL) so no worries there. I make sure to allow myself an additional hour or two of sleep on the plane if I know I have to drive at the other end.

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
For the past few days, there has been awful weather across the last 1,500 miles of the typical flight path for the PHX run. Don't let that concern you.
Yes, I've just come back from the mid-West and saw the weather reports about what was coming in from the north west. It doesn't account for why it was so late departing LHR though - it's operated by G-CIVT today which arrived at LHR from Denver on time this morning.

Originally Posted by Iamnotlost View Post
I had my first immigration/customs experience at PHX about 10 days ago when I ended up on a direct flight from London rather than taking a circuitous route. It was the quickest I have been allowed into the country. I don't know if I was just lucky with the timing or not. The people giving directions to machines and which desk to go to were unusually pleasant as well!

The car rental shuttles were very slow to arrive and there were massive queues though they were well marshalled. It was a long wait for a bus though and even worse coming back. Loads of construction work going on but getting to/from the car rental centre was well signed.
Great, I'll cross fingers I have a similar experience with immigration! I remember some queues for the rental car shuttles last time I was there, but then that was the Memorial Day weekend a couple of years ago, and everywhere was crazy busy. One would hope that Tuesday evening isn't a peak spot for people arriving with rental cars booked.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 4:55 pm
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I have been to PHX many times, the company I used to work for had an office there. I am still surprised that they still haven't extended the people mover to the car rental center.

Looks like it is supposed to be extended finally in 2020.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 5:24 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
One thing to expect at PHX is that the "rental car facility" is offsite and quite some distance from the airport. Driving from/to it is somewhat confusing (there are some tricks to avoid traffic). Allow extra time for this step. The last time I was there (about nine months ago), I experienced some bad road construction around the terminal and also near the rental car place, but there's a chance that it's finished by now.

Moreover, expect a lot of traffic and aggressive drivers on the expressways around Phoenix. Personally, I wouldn't want to try to drive here (on the wrong side of the road for you?) after a long TATL flight. Stay in an airport hotel (or go to Tempe/Phoenix/Scottsdale for a pleasant evening) and return to the airport the next day to get your rental car.
The construction is still ongoing around the rental car facility, and honestly doesn't look to be near completion to me. This is from Feb and March trips to PHX
But honestly, it was not that bad.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 7:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Gshumway View Post
I have been to PHX many times, the company I used to work for had an office there. I am still surprised that they still haven't extended the people mover to the car rental center.

Looks like it is supposed to be extended finally in 2020.
I had to google this people mover. I've been in and out of PHX at least once or twice a year for the last 5-6 years and had no idea there was a train!
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Old Apr 15, 19, 3:20 am
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Originally Posted by Iamnotlost View Post
I had my first immigration/customs experience at PHX about 10 days ago when I ended up on a direct flight from London rather than taking a circuitous route. It was the quickest I have been allowed into the country. I don't know if I was just lucky with the timing or not. The people giving directions to machines and which desk to go to were unusually pleasant as well!

The car rental shuttles were very slow to arrive and there were massive queues though they were well marshalled. It was a long wait for a bus though and even worse coming back. Loads of construction work going on but getting to/from the car rental centre was well signed.
Same first-time Immigration experience for us in February on BA289. Quick and efficient. Quite a long walk to Reclaim, but that's no bad thing after a 10h+ flight.

No issue with Rental Shuttle - as quick and efficient as usual. The road works coming out of the Rental Center caused minimal problems, although a bit exciting in the dark with flashing lights everywhere! Fortunately I knew from experience where I should be going.

My destination was only 10 miles away, in Chandler, so the subsequent drive down I-10 was painless. Not sure I'd fancy a 2h drive, though, but then I'm not as young as some of you guys!

Ancient CIVN outbound, shiny CIVT coming home! TR here if anyone is interested >>> 98% OK Ö BA in Business, JER-LGW-LHR-PHX
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Old Apr 15, 19, 3:29 am
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BA289 has been prone to delays as long as I can remember - I don't know the reason but certainly not only weather related.

However, as you don't have any connecting flights from PHX you will be fine, even if the flight is delayed. Nothing to worry about.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 3:34 am
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I like the Phoenix area and Arizona in general, when its not hot-hot season that is... I used to a do a lot of them as crew, and always rented a car, as other have said, but you are used to, information about the car rental centre, so you are god with that...

I drove out on the Apache Trail several times, a few nice places to eat out there, places to stop off by the lake for a coffee or whatever. Nice day trip!

Hope you have a great time... As someone else who travels a lot for work, it is nice to be able to do it now and again for pure leisure and not have to be on someone else schedule!
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Old Apr 15, 19, 5:00 am
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I flew to PHX in December. Never again. The plane was awful, it was delayed (albeit not significantly) and immigration took an hour (and it wasn't even that busy). It was the holidays and I was transiting to PDX - at least I was upgraded for the final leg (no idea why).

Last edited by ouennais; Apr 15, 19 at 5:00 am Reason: Error
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Old Apr 15, 19, 5:30 am
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Iíve flown to PHX a couple of times recently. Immigration on both occasions was smooth, took a while for bags to come out on one occasion. There is a fair amount of walking after an international arrival, but thatís pretty pleasant in my view after a long flight.

For the IFE prepare for the old system and be pleasantly surprised if you get the new one is my advice.

As far as delays go, I donít think there is any pattern or particular issue. Terminal 3 seems to be more prone to issues around late inbound aircraft though, I suspect because of congestion in the terminal.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 7:47 am
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The rental car shuttle is a nose bleed, but hopefully your arrival time helps. Even under good circumstances it adds 30+ minutes to arrival/departure. I believe the completion target for the SkyTrain is 2022.

Hopefully you're traveling through Arches National Park. I had to reroute a drive from SLC back east through there a few years ago and could only spend about 3 hours driving and walking at a half dozen stops. Some of the most beautiful scenery I have seen. Enjoy your holiday!
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