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UA69 (ARN-EWR): Wrong plane, wrong fuel calculations, or bad weather?

UA69 (ARN-EWR): Wrong plane, wrong fuel calculations, or bad weather?

Old Dec 7, 13, 3:28 pm
  #1  
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UA69 (ARN-EWR): Wrong plane, wrong fuel calculations, or bad weather?

My friend was on UA69 this morning, ARN-EWR. They were diverted to BDL, because they "ran out of fuel" (hearing this second-hand, so unsure of the actual reason given, and this friend is not a frequent traveler).

Checking Flightaware, I see a lot of diversions for this flight over the past month:
  • Yesterday, diverted to BGR
  • Sunday and Monday, diverted to YYR (Goose Bay, Labrador)
  • Nov 27, diverted to YYT (St. John's, Newfoundland)
  • Nov 16, diverted to YYR
  • Nov 14 & 15, diverted to YQX (Gander, Newfoundland)

Is this just a consequence of the crowded NYC airspace, is UA running an inappropriate aircraft for this route, or are the fuel calculations that poor?

Also, is my friend likely to get compensation for their delay?

Last edited by ianmanka; Dec 7, 13 at 3:29 pm Reason: add link
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Old Dec 7, 13, 3:38 pm
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Originally Posted by ianmanka View Post
My friend was on UA69 this morning, ARN-EWR. They were diverted to BDL, because they "ran out of fuel" (hearing this second-hand, so unsure of the actual reason given, and this friend is not a frequent traveler).

Checking Flightaware, I see a lot of diversions for this flight over the past month:
  • Yesterday, diverted to BGR
  • Sunday and Monday, diverted to YYR (Goose Bay, Labrador)
  • Nov 27, diverted to YYT (St. John's, Newfoundland)
  • Nov 16, diverted to YYR
  • Nov 14 & 15, diverted to YQX (Gander, Newfoundland)

Is this just a consequence of the crowded NYC airspace, is UA running an inappropriate aircraft for this route, or are the fuel calculations that poor?

Also, is my friend likely to get compensation for their delay?

Winter is always like that since COdbaUA uses the 757s.
Huge debates in the past but nothing has changed.
Right size for the COmpany but inconvenience for customers is the way to do business.
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Old Dec 7, 13, 3:39 pm
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An oldie but a goodie
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/conti...ds-merged.html

As for compensation, would you rather have the plane run out of fuel?
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Old Dec 7, 13, 3:42 pm
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
An oldie but a goodie
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/conti...ds-merged.html

As for compensation, would you rather have the plane run out of fuel?
I think customers want a plane can really handle the wind in the winter rather than to gamble we may / may not divert this time / every time.
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Old Dec 7, 13, 4:06 pm
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Smile

Originally Posted by ianmanka View Post
My friend was on UA69 this morning, ARN-EWR. They were diverted to BDL, because they "ran out of fuel" (hearing this second-hand, so unsure of the actual reason given, and this friend is not a frequent traveler).

Checking Flightaware, I see a lot of diversions for this flight over the past month:
  • Yesterday, diverted to BGR
  • Sunday and Monday, diverted to YYR (Goose Bay, Labrador)
  • Nov 27, diverted to YYT (St. John's, Newfoundland)
  • Nov 16, diverted to YYR
  • Nov 14 & 15, diverted to YQX (Gander, Newfoundland)

Is this just a consequence of the crowded NYC airspace, is UA running an inappropriate aircraft for this route, or are the fuel calculations that poor?

Also, is my friend likely to get compensation for their delay?
I was on this one.
My company has offices in Santa Clara California and Stockholm Sweden. I bounce between the two offices and I take this flight about 8 times a year.

On November 15th we were told before taking off we'd be stopping to refuel in Newfoundland because of a very strong head wind.

We were all given compensation (I got a $250 ecert) and thankfully I still made my connection to SFO.
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Old Dec 7, 13, 4:09 pm
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
As for compensation, would you rather have the plane run out of fuel?
I'd rather have UA fly an aircraft that didn't need to stop for refueling when there are headwinds.
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Old Dec 7, 13, 4:10 pm
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
An oldie but a goodie
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/conti...ds-merged.html

As for compensation, would you rather have the plane run out of fuel?
Thanks for the thread link. I was almost certain it had been discussed ad nauseam, but couldn't find it in my searches.
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Old Dec 7, 13, 4:13 pm
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
I'd rather have UA fly an aircraft that didn't need to stop for refueling when there are headwinds.
Then you would probably have to make a European connection instead to catch a 767 or 777. I'm not sure of the percentage of flights with stops, but as I recall it was less than 5%. I've flown 757-200s in the winter approx 15 times without a stop.

thankfully, they didn't "run out of fuel" or your friend would be in the atlantic. UA runs PMCO 757-200s to ARN and many other European cities where a larger plane isn't warrented. By using the 757-200, UA can offer many direct flights to more cities without the need for a connection. The downside is that in certain wind situations flying westward, almost always during the winter, a fuel stop is required. There's little doubt that this was in the flight plan on take off.
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Old Dec 7, 13, 4:18 pm
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Originally Posted by hughw View Post
thankfully, they didn't "run out of fuel" or your friend would be in the atlantic. UA runs PMCO 757-200s to ARN and many other European cities where a larger plane isn't warrented. By using the 757-200, UA can offer many direct flights to more cities without the need for a connection. The downside is that in certain wind situations flying westward, almost always during the winter, a fuel stop is required. There's little doubt that this was in the flight plan on take off.
Right, as a more-frequent traveler, I know they didn't "run out of fuel," but that (the amount of fuel required for BDL-EWR) > (what was left in the aircraft, less safety fuel percentages).
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Old Dec 7, 13, 4:19 pm
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Originally Posted by hughw View Post
Then you would probably have to make a European connection instead to catch a 767 or 777. I'm not sure of the percentage of flights with stops, but as I recall it was less than 5%. I've flown 757-200s in the winter approx 15 times without a stop.
I'd rather connect using a 767 or 777. I love the 757, but not for more than 5-6 hours. When UA tried running 757s IAD-CDG, I flew DL/AF on that route.
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Old Dec 7, 13, 5:05 pm
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TLV-EWR yesterday

Resting pilot sitting next to me told me it was the longest TLV-EWR flight he has ever done with headwinds at some point reaching 190 miles an hour. Route took us way north over Scandinavia and Greenland. We flew almost due north from TLV for a couple hours.

Last edited by iquitos; Dec 7, 13 at 10:29 pm Reason: too many zeros
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Old Dec 7, 13, 5:08 pm
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Originally Posted by iquitos View Post
Resting pilot sitting next to me told me it was the longest TLV-EWR flight he has ever done with headwinds at some point reaching 1900 miles an hour. Route took us way north over Scandinavia and Greenland. We flew almost due north from TLV for a couple hours.
So the plane was flying backwards at 1300 MPH?
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Old Dec 7, 13, 5:11 pm
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Originally Posted by iquitos View Post
Resting pilot sitting next to me told me it was the longest TLV-EWR flight he has ever done with headwinds at some point reaching 1900 miles an hour. Route took us way north over Scandinavia and Greenland. We flew almost due north from TLV for a couple hours.
1900 mile an hour headwind? He should have just turned the aircraft 180 degrees and taken the eastern route. (Except I'm not sure that airframe can handle mach 3+.)
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Old Dec 7, 13, 5:11 pm
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Originally Posted by iquitos View Post
Resting pilot sitting next to me told me it was the longest TLV-EWR flight he has ever done with headwinds at some point reaching 1900 miles an hour.
This would make a good math question

That is a windspeed of 850 m/s
A typical airplane travels at about 250 m/s

a) If an airplane A leaves TLV at noon traveling west at 250m/s, and encounters headwinds of 850m/s. How fast does the airplane fly?
b) At what time will the airplane reach EWR?

Answers:
a) -600m/s
b) Quarter to never.
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Old Dec 7, 13, 5:24 pm
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Originally Posted by ianmanka View Post

Is this just a consequence of the crowded NYC airspace, is UA running an inappropriate aircraft for this route, or are the fuel calculations that poor?
^

Originally Posted by ianmanka View Post
Also, is my friend likely to get compensation for their delay?
usually in these cases compensation is offered proactively through United.com/appreciation link sent to the inbox of the email address on the reservation

i'd direct your friend to try the link first, and if not successful, email customer care with a brief note about the details (plane did not have enough fuel capacity to fly scheduled route, UA flew it anyways, plane diverted to BDL and delayed arrival of x:xx) and a request for compensation. i'd suggest asking for a minimum of $250 ecert. seems like lately the CC email line diverts to giving RDMs...probably hurts the bottom line less.
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