UA872 TPE-SFO time change

Old Apr 9, 16, 7:29 pm
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UA872 TPE-SFO time change

Ever since this flight went 789, they have changed the departure time to 9:50AM instead of the previous 11:10AM. Scheduled arrival time at SFO is 6:30AM, but the flight has been arriving before 6:00AM almost daily. Today's flight landed around 5:45AM and we had to sit in the plane for 45 minutes waiting for customs to open.

TPE Terminal 2 is also absolutely bursting at the seams around 8AM, with very long security and immigration lines.

Why did UA move the departure time from TPE? Is it a gate availability issue at SFO? TPE gates are pretty empty starting from 9:30AM and the UA plane is parked overnight at a remote gate and towed over right before departure. Either way they should push the time to 10:30-10:45AM to move out of the TPE rush time and to arrive at SFO right when customs opens.
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Old Apr 9, 16, 8:04 pm
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Originally Posted by ryder1650 View Post
Why did UA move the departure time from TPE? Is it a gate availability issue at SFO? TPE gates are pretty empty starting from 9:30AM and the UA plane is parked overnight at a remote gate and towed over right before departure. Either way they should push the time to 10:30-10:45AM to move out of the TPE rush time and to arrive at SFO right when customs opens.
East Coast connections and others.

SFO-TPE is the only route UA has for ex-TPE.
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Old Apr 9, 16, 8:09 pm
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
East Coast connections and others.

SFO-TPE is the only route UA has for ex-TPE.
Sure, but no one is getting off the plane before 6:30AM because customs doesn't open until then. Why time it such that the plane keeps landing before 6AM?
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Old Apr 9, 16, 8:20 pm
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schedule padding right - so that in case there is a small delay/unfavourable winds, they can still arrive on time
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Old Apr 9, 16, 8:28 pm
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ryder1650 - I agree, timing makes no sense. On one of my TPE-SFO flights we arrived early and sat in the plane for 1/2 hour until customs opened and we were allowed to exit the plane. This was a waste of everyone's time. Even if we arrived later, there is ample opportunity to connect to east coast flights. Scheduled departure 9:50 am means it is impossible to connect to this flight from say BKK without spending the night at TPE.
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Old Apr 9, 16, 11:47 pm
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Can you all add more info about the check-in / exit immigration lines at TPE in the morning? How long is each step taking typically, and how long before the flight time would you recommend arriving?
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Old Apr 10, 16, 3:21 am
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Originally Posted by ryder1650 View Post
Sure, but no one is getting off the plane before 6:30AM because customs doesn't open until then. Why time it such that the plane keeps landing before 6AM?
I think it is work-in-progress between SFO and CBP.

It is also a systemwide issue for UA to pack additional time at the end to avoid being late.
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Old Apr 10, 16, 3:30 am
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TPAC winds have been strong lately. My IAH-TPE was 30 min late despite blocking out 10 min early and no taxi-out delays.
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Old Apr 10, 16, 8:20 am
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Originally Posted by TA View Post
Can you all add more info about the check-in / exit immigration lines at TPE in the morning? How long is each step taking typically, and how long before the flight time would you recommend arriving?
In the morning (9-11am), check-in should be a breeze with Premier Access. Security usually takes about 10 minutes unless it's a long holiday in Taiwan. Without a Taiwan passport, immigration could take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. Once you pass immigration, it shouldn't take you more than 10 to 15 minutes to walk to the furthest gates.
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Old Apr 10, 16, 8:51 am
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This schedule change also likely reflects that this is an sCO-staffed flight now that it's a 789. They don't have the same rest restrictions as an sUA crew would. UA can now make it a shorter layover and bring the plane back earlier for better equipment utilization. The CTU flight (on a 788) has a similar schedule and the crew layover is something like 14 hrs.
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Old Apr 10, 16, 10:45 am
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
East Coast connections and others.

SFO-TPE is the only route UA has for ex-TPE.
OP is talking about TPE-SFO. Used to be scheduled for 8am arrival, though often times would arrive earlier and would be subject to airplane holding to wait for official CPB opening at 7:30am.

Old schedule worked fine for east coast connections.
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Old Apr 10, 16, 10:48 am
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Originally Posted by 1K-SFO View Post
This schedule change also likely reflects that this is an sCO-staffed flight now that it's a 789. They don't have the same rest restrictions as an sUA crew would. UA can now make it a shorter layover and bring the plane back earlier for better equipment utilization. The CTU flight (on a 788) has a similar schedule and the crew layover is something like 14 hrs.
Interesting. Probably why the now sCO 789 operated flights out of SYD leave so early versus when they were flown by sUA 777 and 747s.
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Old Apr 10, 16, 6:23 pm
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Originally Posted by TA View Post
Can you all add more info about the check-in / exit immigration lines at TPE in the morning? How long is each step taking typically, and how long before the flight time would you recommend arriving?
Having just done the TPE-SFO flight on 4/9 with the new times, here is my experience (note, I fly this route monthly and am very familiar with TPE):

Arrived TPE at 8AM
Check-in: Quick at the 1K/BF line. Probably about 5 min.

Security: Longest I have ever seen it. With the old flight time it would take 10-15 minutes. This time the line was stretching all the way to the UA ticket counter and had several weaves before you even get past the point where the guard scans your boarding pass. Once you get past that, there were several more weaves before you broke into individual lines for each security lane. Total time - about 35 minutes

Immigration:
All the people from security are funneled straight to immigration. When the security line is long, the immigration line will be just as long. They had all the counters open. Total time - about 20 minutes

The lounges are right after immigration, so I went inside for about 2 minutes to grab some water.

Boarding started at about 9:10AM (boarding pass said 9:00AM).

Overall, I'd say the entire process from check-in to post-immigration took about 30-35 minutes longer than it did when the flight was after 11AM. The EVA lounge has a window that looks down on the check-in hall and the security line. By around 9AM, the line was pretty much gone, which matches my experience from all the previous times I've taken UA872. EVA has their morning rush out of terminal 2 between 8-10AM, so this is most likely why.
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Old Apr 10, 16, 6:34 pm
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Originally Posted by 1K-SFO View Post
This schedule change also likely reflects that this is an sCO-staffed flight now that it's a 789. They don't have the same rest restrictions as an sUA crew would. UA can now make it a shorter layover and bring the plane back earlier for better equipment utilization. The CTU flight (on a 788) has a similar schedule and the crew layover is something like 14 hrs.
Interesting. However, supposedly this route is going back to sUA crews in August as part of the 787 crew settlement. I wonder if the times will change then.
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Old Apr 10, 16, 6:45 pm
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Originally Posted by ryder1650 View Post
Interesting. However, supposedly this route is going back to sUA crews in August as part of the 787 crew settlement. I wonder if the times will change then.
Let us hope so.
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