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Mileage Between Some City Pairs is Different After System Integration-Resolved by UA.

Mileage Between Some City Pairs is Different After System Integration-Resolved by UA.

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Old Mar 5, 12, 3:34 pm
  #91  
 
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Can UAInsider please explain these changes in mileage between city pairs?
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Old Mar 5, 12, 4:48 pm
  #92  
 
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Originally Posted by BayAreaPilot View Post
I mentioned my suspicion earlier in the thread, but I am now pretty convinced that the discrepancies are the result of using a great-circle formula that assumes Earth is a sphere instead of the more accurate Vincenty's formula that assumes Earth is an oblate spheroid.

If you want to test for yourself, use http://www.gcmap.com/ to get the result using Vincenty's formula. Then paste the lat/long of the airports into the boxes at http://www.movable-type.co.uk/scripts/latlong.html, which uses calculations that assume a spherical Earth.

Now whether this was intentional or simply an uninformed programmer using the wrong formula is up for debate. As they say, never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. But it certainly is possible UA did a study and found using the less accurate formula would lead to fewer miles being awarded. And given that nearly every route changed, I would hope the changes would have never made it through QA without UA management signing off on them.
Checking it against my earlier post, it seems like this is the most likely explanation. I get a result for LAX-NRT using the sphere formula of 8754 km, or 5,439.48 miles. Very close to the 5,437 generated by the new formula, so maybe a couple of calculations that were rounded off in the process.

In fact, the website BayAreaPilot provided states:

[In fact, the earth is very slightly ellipsoidal; using a spherical model gives errors typically up to 0.3% see notes for further details].

This means that errors from assuming spherical geometry might be up to 0.55% crossing the equator, though generally below 0.3%, depending on latitude and direction of travel.
I must have fallen asleep in geometry when the differences between spheres and oblate spheroids were discussed, but I'd guess that the routes that changed positively are generally north-south in bearing and closer to the poles would gain the most from the switch?

My NRT-HKG route gained 11 miles, despite it being a much shorter route than the closer-to-the-Equator HKG-SIN route, which only gained 3.

Though I have to disagree that this was intentional -- differences of a few miles on routes would probably the least of the integration team's worries when reviewing the functionality of the combined system. Even if they noticed the minor changes, they might chalk it up to rounding, an inconsistency in the two airlines' databases, or some other reason, and move on, choosing to spend their time focusing on the most-important issues.

In hindsight, it can generate millions of savings for United (since, if my hypothesis is right regarding direction of travel, there are fewer passenger seat-miles in generally north-south routes than there are in east-west routes), but I doubt that UA management (1) noticed this and (2) signed off on it.
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Old Mar 5, 12, 4:51 pm
  #93  
 
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Originally Posted by United757 View Post
Can UAInsider please explain these changes in mileage between city pairs?
Shannon has been asked a number of times to address this in the systems integration master thread. It hasn't been added to the list of official "cock ups" that the airline is trying to fix. I wouldn't hold my breath until every other more serious operational issue is addressed (and that, it would appear, is going to take quite some time).
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Old Mar 5, 12, 8:58 pm
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Originally Posted by BayAreaPilot View Post
I mentioned my suspicion earlier in the thread, but I am now pretty convinced that the discrepancies are the result of using a great-circle formula that assumes Earth is a sphere instead of the more accurate Vincenty's formula that assumes Earth is an oblate spheroid.

If you want to test for yourself, use http://www.gcmap.com/ to get the result using Vincenty's formula. Then paste the lat/long of the airports into the boxes at http://www.movable-type.co.uk/scripts/latlong.html, which uses calculations that assume a spherical Earth.

Now whether this was intentional or simply an uninformed programmer using the wrong formula is up for debate. As they say, never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. But it certainly is possible UA did a study and found using the less accurate formula would lead to fewer miles being awarded. And given that nearly every route changed, I would hope the changes would have never made it through QA without UA management signing off on them.
It can be both. They could be using a less accurate formula, which also just happens to generate ~0.3% savings for them.

This is simply unreal.
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Old Mar 5, 12, 9:07 pm
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The departure screens at SFO still showed 2419 today for flight to IAD. This leads me to believe its a screw up on the internal systems.
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Old Mar 5, 12, 10:09 pm
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

Well my pmua miles just vanished but I can confirm I Only received 1839 eqm for ord-sfo instead of 1846. Ugh! Please fix this. This is NOT right
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Old Mar 5, 12, 10:18 pm
  #97  
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Originally Posted by demkr View Post
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

Well my pmua miles just vanished but I can confirm I Only received 1839 eqm for ord-sfo instead of 1846. Ugh! Please fix this. This is NOT right
+1

I see credit for MCI-SFO on 3/2 in my COdbaUA account, although it's less than I would have gotten under PMUA.. I may call MP and ask for the corrected mileage as it says on my confirmation that I should have gotten 1498, not 1494.. No guarantees that it will work, but you never know.
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Old Mar 5, 12, 10:22 pm
  #98  
 
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I think the calls are going to start piling up so we'll probably get an answer ASAP on this. BTW, did you also lose all of your PMUA EQM's as this flight posted?

As of now it's showing

Year to Date Premier Miles: 4,237
Year to Date Premier Segments: 26.5

When in reality YTD PQM = 65K+. Segment info is still correct.

ORD-SFO posting:

2/29/2012 United 383G
Chicago (ORD)-San Francisco G / G 1839 1,839 3678 1,839

Unless Chicago and San Fran got 7 miles closer together, the system screwed me out of 7 PQM and 14 RDM.
Hopefully the fix for both of these can be automatic. Man, it just seems like everything's getting worse when everything was fine yesterday.
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Old Mar 5, 12, 10:23 pm
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The timetable at http://timetable.continental.com/siteb/co.pdf still has the old mileage amounts. Of course it also has the 500 mile minimum, which is only for elites.
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Old Mar 5, 12, 10:25 pm
  #100  
 
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Sure hope the folks at DL and AA are watching. Their chief competitor now gives you less miles on pretty much every flight!
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Old Mar 5, 12, 10:47 pm
  #101  
 
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Originally Posted by demkr View Post
I think the calls are going to start piling up so we'll probably get an answer ASAP on this. BTW, did you also lose all of your PMUA EQM's as this flight posted?

As of now it's showing

Year to Date Premier Miles: 4,237
Year to Date Premier Segments: 26.5

When in reality YTD PQM = 65K+. Segment info is still correct.

ORD-SFO posting:

2/29/2012 United 383G
Chicago (ORD)-San Francisco G / G 1839 1,839 3678 1,839

Unless Chicago and San Fran got 7 miles closer together, the system screwed me out of 7 PQM and 14 RDM.
Hopefully the fix for both of these can be automatic. Man, it just seems like everything's getting worse when everything was fine yesterday.
Something very similar happened to my account. For the PQM it looks like it credited me for my flight on 3/2 and wiped out all my credits from earlier this year.
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Old Mar 5, 12, 10:50 pm
  #102  
 
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OK. Guess this is something that affected most everybody. I'm sure we'll hear something soon...tomorrow probably considering the late hour
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Old Mar 5, 12, 10:53 pm
  #103  
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Originally Posted by demkr View Post
I think the calls are going to start piling up so we'll probably get an answer ASAP on this. BTW, did you also lose all of your PMUA EQM's as this flight posted?

As of now it's showing

Year to Date Premier Miles: 4,237
Year to Date Premier Segments: 26.5

When in reality YTD PQM = 65K+. Segment info is still correct.

ORD-SFO posting:

2/29/2012 United 383G
Chicago (ORD)-San Francisco G / G 1839 1,839 3678 1,839

Unless Chicago and San Fran got 7 miles closer together, the system screwed me out of 7 PQM and 14 RDM.
Hopefully the fix for both of these can be automatic. Man, it just seems like everything's getting worse when everything was fine yesterday.
Looks like it's all there. I flew 6.5 segments on PMUA



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Old Mar 5, 12, 10:56 pm
  #104  
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Originally Posted by cyanchan15 View Post
yeah i agree. SFO to HKG used to be 6914 but now 690x... couple of miles loss.... well not a big deal but i wonder why UA performed this shrinkage...
Originally Posted by higgsjoa View Post
San Francisco must have moved to the East while I wasn't looking. SFO-IAD is 9 miles shorter (2419 -> 2410), SFO-DEN is 4 miles shorter (967 -> 963) and SFO-ORD is 7 miles shorter (1846 -> 1839). This is gonna add up.
How can SFO be closer to points East AND closer to points West? Only in the world of COdbaUA.

And yes, I lost all my PMUA EQMs suddenly too. They were day on day 1 (march 3). My status has changed also since March 3.
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Old Mar 5, 12, 11:25 pm
  #105  
 
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Originally Posted by uastarflyer View Post
How can SFO be closer to points East AND closer to points West? Only in the world of COdbaUA.

And yes, I lost all my PMUA EQMs suddenly too. They were day on day 1 (march 3). My status has changed also since March 3.
That is my beef with this as well. I wouldn't really care as long as the changes were consistent. I really don't understand how DEN can be closer to both LAX and MSP.
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