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Is United quoting wrong reasons for delay? How is the reason determined?

Is United quoting wrong reasons for delay? How is the reason determined?

Old May 6, 2014, 11:12 am
  #76  
 
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It is even worse if you don't have any visibility into what is going on at all. The "where is my flight now" tool at least gives you some clues that were not available before. The reasons given are cryptic and don't always make sense to me either, but I have learned to get a decent feel for how things are going to go on a given day and I would rather have the information than not. What the automated system can put in the "reason" field seems pretty limited and it can only hold one reason at a time, so prior "reasons" get flushed out. I saw this happen this week for the flight before mine out of a regional airport. An E-145 broke and the delay was "maintenance"; United ferried in an empty plane hours later, the final reason was "late arriving aircraft" - because the new plane was indisputably, late arriving (about 5 hours worth).

Complain too much about the posted "reasons" given not matching up with what you can observe out the window and United might just stop posting anything so no one accuses them of giving out wrong information.
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Old May 6, 2014, 11:59 am
  #77  
 
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Originally Posted by BlackMountain
It is even worse if you don't have any visibility into what is going on at all. The "where is my flight now" tool at least gives you some clues that were not available before. The reasons given are cryptic and don't always make sense to me either, but I have learned to get a decent feel for how things are going to go on a given day and I would rather have the information than not. What the automated system can put in the "reason" field seems pretty limited and it can only hold one reason at a time, so prior "reasons" get flushed out. I saw this happen this week for the flight before mine out of a regional airport. An E-145 broke and the delay was "maintenance"; United ferried in an empty plane hours later, the final reason was "late arriving aircraft" - because the new plane was indisputably, late arriving (about 5 hours worth).

Complain too much about the posted "reasons" given not matching up with what you can observe out the window and United might just stop posting anything so no one accuses them of giving out wrong information.
I agree with the above. I prefer having whatever real-time info is available, even if it ends up changing because of a plane swap or other operational changes. It helps you plan. I don't really see it as a misrepresentation if the reason given is "late incoming aircraft" when it was a "maintenance" issue somewhere in causal chain. They are letting you know there is a delay. Its a different story if UA tries to blame a maintenance or other UA-caused delay on weather or ATC, which sometimes happens.
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Old May 6, 2014, 12:13 pm
  #78  
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I also am quite pleased and impressed with the timeliness and the accuracy of the automated information that UA gives out about flights. One of their strong suits.
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Old Aug 6, 2014, 4:58 pm
  #79  
 
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Inbound Aircraft Delay Reason (When it isn't the root cause)

We have all seen this - a flight is delayed and the reason provided by United is the inbound aircraft is "late". Certainly a valid reason, however I've noticed many times that the inbound flight (which experienced NO delays - was on time) was scheduled to arrive after the departing flight was to leave (e.g. scheduled departure of 1:00, but inbound isn't scheduled to come in until 2:30). The real reason / root cause isn't inbound aircraft delays, but rather the fact that UA decided to switch aircraft.
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Old Aug 6, 2014, 9:54 pm
  #80  
 
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Sometimes they take the blame when it isn't theirs. Tonight I flew EWR-TYS. We pushed back from the gate 6 min late (no big deal), then the taxi to the runway took about an hour due to the 40 odd planes in the row in front of us. The delay is marked as "Aircraft Preparation"..., but really it was just traffic
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Old Aug 6, 2014, 10:05 pm
  #81  
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Originally Posted by kranabargar
We have all seen this - a flight is delayed and the reason provided by United is the inbound aircraft is "late". Certainly a valid reason, however I've noticed many times that the inbound flight (which experienced NO delays - was on time) was scheduled to arrive after the departing flight was to leave (e.g. scheduled departure of 1:00, but inbound isn't scheduled to come in until 2:30). The real reason / root cause isn't inbound aircraft delays, but rather the fact that UA decided to switch aircraft.
I've seen this too, however, you should also take into account the possibility that the inbound plane you see on there now is different than the one that was scheduled several minutes ago. I.e., there could have been a last-minute swap, and the delay information is correct, but using the original aircraft would have resulted in a longer delay, because it was scheduled to arrive, at say, 12:05, but was delayed and will now not arrive until 3:00pm.

This is the problem with showing all this info. - its impossible to know the details behind it - so even though it looks to the naked eye like it is incorrect, its not necessarily.
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Old Aug 24, 2014, 6:08 pm
  #82  
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Today's UA 1144, SFO-IAD, boarded on time (the inbound, from EWR, arrived ~10 minutes early, too).

After we had sat there for a while, the captain announced a maintenance issue "with a seat" and that it would be "about 5 minutes." A few updates later, we were still "waiting for maintenance to show up with the seat cushion."

During this time, I actually got a text from UA saying the flight was delayed "for customer service."

45 minutes late all told, we departed. Instead of the projected 20 minute early arrival, we had a 17 minute late arrival into IAD (and then a delay at the gate waiting for the jet bridge, but that's another matter).

Now, .bomb says the delay was due to "late inbound aircraft." Uh, hello? An early inbound a/c and a maintenance issue = late inbound a/c?!?!

Not that I was expecting any compensation for a 45 minute departure delay... but I wonder if UA is telling any misconnecting pax that the delay was out of their hands... "Sorry, the system says the inbound was late, which must be due to weather."
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Old Aug 24, 2014, 6:16 pm
  #83  
 
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Originally Posted by exerda
After we had sat there for a while, the captain announced a maintenance issue "with a seat" and that it would be "about 5 minutes." A few updates later, we were still "waiting for maintenance to show up with the seat cushion."



Now, .bomb says the delay was due to "late inbound aircraft." Uh, hello? An early inbound a/c and a maintenance issue = late inbound a/c?!?!
Perhaps they took a seat cushion off of another plane
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Old Sep 20, 2014, 11:39 pm
  #84  
 
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UA.com delay reasons are a doozy

On 9/20 I flew TPE-SFO on UA872. Scheduled departure time is 11:10AM local time. The plane was all boarded with door closed at around 11:00AM. Pilot comes on the PA and says the cargo is overloaded and we need to offload some pallets before we will be safe to take off. They first have to decide what cargo to remove, then the ground crew comes back, removes the cargo, and the pilots have to re-do their calculations. We don't end up taking off from TPE until about 12:30PM.

Obviously not the world's worst or most annoying delay. Being SFO based I just lost about 1 hour of Saturday morning relaxing, not a big deal at all. Wasn't even going to bring it up/complain until I saw UA.com's reason for the delay:

United Flight 872
Status: Delayed due to severe weather conditions in our route network (Arrived Gate 1 Hour 10 Minutes Late)

How are they allowed to get away with that? There were clearly no weather implications at all. TPE had clear skies Saturday morning (Saturday evening a storm came in, but we were long gone). The ground crew was already standing at the rear corners of the plane holding their orange batons up to hold the ground traffic for our push back. And being a long haul flight, we had no hold issues at SFO. The delay was fully caused by a cargo loading error that put us above MTOW.
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Old Sep 20, 2014, 11:44 pm
  #85  
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I witnessed a similar fabrication on a recent flight LAX-SFO.

Not a big deal if your final destination is SFO, but falsification of reason for the delay could be a real problem if you miss an onward connection.
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Old Sep 21, 2014, 12:08 am
  #86  
 
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I guess they assumed if there was any severe weather patterns from TPE to SFO, they used that as the official excuse
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Old Sep 21, 2014, 12:17 am
  #87  
 
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File it with the DOT. Please, really, do it. It is the only way this stops. For those who say it isn't a big deal, there are literally thousands of people each week screwed out of hotels, refunds, fees, upgrades etc because UA does this.
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Old Sep 21, 2014, 8:22 am
  #88  
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Originally Posted by ryder1650
Status: Delayed due to severe weather conditions in our route network (Arrived Gate 1 Hour 10 Minutes Late)

How are they allowed to get away with that?
Because people continue to fly them. Until enough revenue walks away from such a flight, they will continue to lie, cheat, and steal from passengers.

Why wouldn't they, if they can do it with impunity?
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Old Sep 21, 2014, 10:38 am
  #89  
 
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Originally Posted by CO_Nonrev_elite
File it with the DOT. Please, really, do it. It is the only way this stops. For those who say it isn't a big deal, there are literally thousands of people each week screwed out of hotels, refunds, fees, upgrades etc because UA does this.
UA should probably publish a real time rough and rumble best guess at reason and follow up with a final post mortem for refunds and compensation. Internally they need this information to improve reliability.

Just to make life tough, many employees will prefer to blame anybody but their group for a delay. I'm sure maintenance wants to blame the GA who wants to blame the crew who wants to blame maintenance. So even if Smisek wants the real answer, he's not likely to get it easily. I see this at work and we are not nearly as dysfunctional as UA
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Old Sep 21, 2014, 10:46 am
  #90  
 
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Originally Posted by CO_Nonrev_elite
File it with the DOT. Please, really, do it. It is the only way this stops. For those who say it isn't a big deal, there are literally thousands of people each week screwed out of hotels, refunds, fees, upgrades etc because UA does this.
I finally have to agree - this morning on a flight to ORD I watched as my local airport outsourced (to AA) crew couldn't figure out how to "turn on" the new 737 that was sitting at the gate - I kid you not! They couldn't get the plane's PA system to work or the AC on ground power...

Finally, they figured it out and we boarded and arrived almost in to ORD late - the reason posted on UA? "Delayed due to crew availability" LOL - what a bold faced LIE! As if the new crew scheduling rules had anything to do with it.... This is now the fourth time in three weeks I've seen (and taken screen shots) UA change the reason for delays to suit their own internal metrics / deny passengers proper compensation... Perhaps UA should reconsider paying their teams bonuses based on OTD and OTR - bc what is happening in reality is that people are making things up / pointing fingers at others instead of focusing on operating an airline properly...

As proof of the above - let me show you all a recent progression of flights delays from ORD to ROc on a recent business trip... An interesting progression to say the least....

As it begins:



Then it changes:







and finally - it's crew availability of course - forget the fact the orignial reason was mechanical!




Just so everyone knows - the orignal reason for the delay was a bad engine on the original plane - what get's recorded officially is crew availability....

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Sep 21, 2014 at 1:41 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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