Major crew issues?

Old Dec 29, 12, 5:40 pm
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Major crew issues?

A friend of mine has been stuck at DEN the past 36 hours due to what appear to be serial delays-turned-cancelations due to crew availability. She claims she's in good company among other ExpressJet-operated flights there experiencing the same thing. The agents are blaming weather for the crew mis-alignment, although my pal was given a hotel voucher (so they must recognize it's not entirely a weather delay).

But, after several flights to the same city were progressively delayed and then ultimately canceled, her report from the front lines perked my curiosity and so I went to the web. It appears EV is, in fact, having a quiet meltdown in DEN (and perhaps elsewhere) from flight operational stats--although I can't find any mention of it at ua.com, in local news reports, etc.

The past few weeks have been rough, as we all know, but even after the disaster earlier this week, it seems at DTW at least, Delta was pretty-much back to normal (operationally) by Friday... and even all but a few stranded pax from Wednesday's storm were yet to be re-accommodated.

Is there something particular going on with EV (or UA in general) that would make their ability to bounce-back operationally after a storm so slow -- particularly as it relates to crews?
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Old Dec 29, 12, 5:56 pm
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There have been some issues with crew mis-alignment as more PMCO aircraft fly into PMUA stations and visa versa. Crew bases are being added to support these aircraft.
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Old Dec 29, 12, 6:39 pm
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I think cptlflyer is saying that this is an ExpressJet (United Express) crew problem.
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Old Dec 29, 12, 6:45 pm
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This wouldn't happen if United was truly one airline instead of two subsidiaries operating under one brand.
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Old Dec 29, 12, 6:47 pm
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Happened to me with 3 Q400 DEN-ABQ-DEN segments cancelled in the 5 days - definitely not weather.

Twice they had to bring in an E70 crew to rescue us. Big for saving us (and getting the nicer A/C to boot), but I will think twice about booking any Q400 segments ex-DEN going forward.
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Old Dec 29, 12, 6:51 pm
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There is some generalized situation going on at DEN. Friend of mine was stuck there overnight with Frontier on alleged weather problems and got on his way with UA to AUS.

As far as what crews are responsible, all the RJs from DEN are pmUA crews running CRJs. Not sure whether this is a reflection to the newly ratified CBA with the (merged) UA pilots that allows mainline pilots to fly planes previously classified as RJs or what, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out
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Old Dec 29, 12, 6:55 pm
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
This wouldn't happen if United was truly one airline instead of two subsidiaries operating under one brand.
This is an ExpressJet issue - what does that have to do with the comment above?
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Old Dec 29, 12, 6:58 pm
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Originally Posted by star_world View Post
This is an ExpressJet issue - what does that have to do with the comment above?
United has experienced the same issues regarding crew availability between their two subsidiaries.

Are you suggesting that maintaining two separate workforces is a good thing?
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Old Dec 29, 12, 7:02 pm
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Originally Posted by IflyfromABE View Post
There is some generalized situation going on at DEN. Friend of mine was stuck there overnight with Frontier on alleged weather problems and got on his way with UA to AUS.

As far as what crews are responsible, all the RJs from DEN are pmUA crews running CRJs. Not sure whether this is a reflection to the newly ratified CBA with the (merged) UA pilots that allows mainline pilots to fly planes previously classified as RJs or what, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out
Im pretty sure the Expressjet operated flights out of DEN come from the CO side.
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Old Dec 29, 12, 7:15 pm
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Originally Posted by star_world View Post
This is an ExpressJet issue - what does that have to do with the comment above?
So, like I always say, stay away from Express. United wants you to think express is United.
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Old Dec 29, 12, 7:19 pm
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Originally Posted by IflyfromABE View Post
There is some generalized situation going on at DEN. Friend of mine was stuck there overnight with Frontier on alleged weather problems and got on his way with UA to AUS.

As far as what crews are responsible, all the RJs from DEN are pmUA crews running CRJs. Not sure whether this is a reflection to the newly ratified CBA with the (merged) UA pilots that allows mainline pilots to fly planes previously classified as RJs or what, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out
Has nothing to do with United mainline pilots, and we're not flying RJ's.

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Old Dec 29, 12, 7:23 pm
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Originally Posted by COSPILOT View Post
Im pretty sure the Expressjet operated flights out of DEN come from the CO side.
ExpressJet operated flights out of DEN for UA Express before the merger. The aircraft that operated under sUA have a differnent color seat covering and a poorly redone bulkhead wall covering to match UA.
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Old Dec 29, 12, 7:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Olton Hall View Post
ExpressJet operated flights out of DEN for UA Express before the merger. The aircraft that operated under sUA have a differnent color seat covering and a poorly redone bulkhead wall covering to match UA.
I guess i dont recall flying anything but Skywest for majority of the RJ flying out of DEN, and we certainly didn't have 145's or Q400's.

I fly to ABQ at least once a month, most all flights are Q400's and are very delay prone. Its a a suprise for me to have an on time departure and arrival. I don't fault the aircraft, as I think its actually a great plane. I have no clue why this is such a problem. I now have to fly into ABQ the day before my meetings to avoid problems. I could fly US via PHX and mainline service, something that is becoming difficult with UA out of DEN for majority of my destinations.

Edit: just realized that the 145's are operated by Express, and the Q400's are by Republic. Too many segments on RJ's for me to keep track of... Nevertheless, both are problematic from my experience.

Last edited by COSPILOT; Dec 29, 12 at 9:02 pm
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Old Dec 29, 12, 7:56 pm
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Does someone know the hub breakdown mainline/express. For CLE it is over 80 per cent express. I would be interested in this number for the other hubs. If I had the good old timetable I could do a rough-cut analysus. I would guess ORD is maybe 35 percent express and 65 per cent mainline.
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Old Dec 30, 12, 5:45 pm
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Thanks to the weather everywhere, we've been having some serious crew misalignment problems at Expressjet. Because trips tend to circulate through most bases nowadays, the repeated winter storms in the northeast and elsewhere have seriously messed up our operation. I can tell you, the last two weeks at work have been serious hell. We've been in recovery mode for almost two weeks and they have been offering double-pay for people to pick up on off days. We aren't improperly staffed, we've just had too many people out of position.
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