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UA48 Toilet Trouble, 19 April 2017, 14+ hour flight

UA48 Toilet Trouble, 19 April 2017, 14+ hour flight

Old Apr 22, 17, 11:22 am
  #1  
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UA48 Toilet Trouble, 19 April 2017, 14+ hour flight

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/58308392.cms

Googling indicates that this is not a rare occurrence for United but impact is much more on 14-15 hour flight compared to 2 hour NYC-Chicago flights.

US3 airlines complain about ME3 but how United handles pax on this route (in economy) is a typical reason why so much traffic has moved to ME3.

Many senior FA (disinterested in work, no enthusiasm, irritated even before any pax has boarded the plane, quite rude) bid for duty on these flights as long flights along with "hardship compensation" minimizes flights they have to take in a month but then behave as if they are being punished. Resulting experience does not help image of United at all.

Not having working toilets from the beginning of the flight, eliminates the possibility of pax can be blamed for breaking it. (Things happen but not caring to fix known broken Y toilets before flights epitomizes United attitude on these routes)

Last edited by desi; Apr 23, 17 at 10:40 am
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Old Apr 22, 17, 11:34 am
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The comment attached to the article is hilariously racist. Anonymous social media is sooo informative and enlightening.
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Old Apr 22, 17, 11:55 am
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Originally Posted by desi View Post
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/58308392.cms

Googling indicates that this is not a rare occurrence for United but impact is much more on 14-15 hour flight compared to 2 hour NYC-Chicago flights.

US3 airlines complain about ME3 but how UNited handles pax on this route (in economy) is a typical reason why so much traffic has moved to ME3.

Many senior FA (disinterested in work, no enthusiasm, irritated before any pax has boarded the plane, quite rude) bid for duty on these flights as long flights along with "hardship compensation" minimizes flights they have to take in a month but then behave as if they are being punished. Resulting experience does not help image of United at all.

Not having working toilets from the beginning of the flight, eliminates the possibility of pax can be blamed for breaking it.
What does the rant about FAs have to do with lavatories? Are they now in charge of toilet maintenance prior to the flight?

Would be interesting to know if UA fixed the lavs for the return flight.
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Old Apr 22, 17, 12:13 pm
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I've been on that flight a couple of times, and it indeed is long.

But there's a lot of info. missing here. No info. on when the problem was discovered - until there is info. otherwise, I'd presume it was only after it took off. We also don't know that there wasn't a check done before take off - very possible for things to break between a check and a flight. I've been on flights where they discover an engine issue, or whatever, after pushback from the gate (see below). It does happen sometimes.

Once in the air, the options are limited. Continue as normal with longer than normal lines for the lav, or land somewhere, presumably in Europe, to have it fixed. If discovered early enough, I suppose there is an option to go back to EWR. Plus crew scheduling is another factor on this flight. Divert or return, you need to find another crew as they can't continue on due to hours on a long-haul like this. Doubtful there's a spare crew sitting in EU anywhere, and even at EWR you need time to get one together. Neither solution is optimal, really. Even absent crew issues, a diversion/return to origin would cause probably as many, or more, complaints as well due to the delay.

I've been on flights where lav's have been non-functional before, but on short-hauls. One case on UA, it was a CVG-ORD. They announced at the gate a little bit before boarding that the lavs were inop, and encouraged people to go before leaving. Given that flight is typically 1 hour or so gate to gate, not a big deal. On another, US flight, CVG-CLT, we left normally, and on taxi, had a maintenance light come on. We went back to the gate eventually, and when I asked to use the lav since we were back, the crew discovered in addition, they forgot to put 'blue juice' (crew's words) in the toilet, as the aircraft had RON'd and they took it out at night to prevent it from freezing (this was winter). Luckily, they were able to get that put on as well.

This goes in the column of stuff happens, without an optimal solution. There are a lot of factors that go into these kinds of decisions, but very possibly continuing to the destination may have just been the best one.
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Old Apr 22, 17, 12:30 pm
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Just wait until a SJW is on a UX flight that has the sink full of individual hand wipe packages.
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Old Apr 22, 17, 12:36 pm
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I've been on TPAC flights where they've run out of potable water. Couldn't flush or wash hands in the lavs. No coffee with the pre-arrival meal.
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Old Apr 22, 17, 12:42 pm
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Looking at today's seat map, the 777-200 appears to have 3 business class lavs and 5 economy lavs.

According to the article, one in J and two in economy were non-functional. It also mentions there were "100-odd" passengers in economy ("that [economy] section" - are they talking about a section of the overall economy cabin?).

While certainly not ideal, I'd rather stand in line a bit longer than have my flight cancelled or significantly delayed.

Having been to India a few times, I have always found it interesting how much the newspapers focus on the airline business and operational problems that get very little attention in the US because they are just part of flying thousands of aircraft around the world every single day.
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Old Apr 22, 17, 12:51 pm
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Originally Posted by sannmann View Post
I've been on TPAC flights where they've run out of potable water. Couldn't flush or wash hands in the lavs. No coffee with the pre-arrival meal.
Had something like it on MUC-EWR. After a 30 min delay the toilets would flush but they said two of the lavs wouldn't have working sinks so they just had bottles of water sitting there.
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Old Apr 22, 17, 1:33 pm
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I'm not sure why OP is bringing ME3 into this. As a person of Indian ethnicity, I would rather fly with 100 stern, unhelpful United employees than unnecessarily transit once in countries with overwhelming racism against people like myself.
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Old Apr 22, 17, 1:37 pm
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I have been on a few flights with no water...the lavs had hand sanitizer.

I was once on IAH-PHL flight on a Boeing 737-800 that had issues with the two rear lavatories and they opened the first class lav to all 130+ passengers.
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Old Apr 22, 17, 2:09 pm
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First the passenger, then the ice cream and now re-accomodating the toilets.
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Old Apr 22, 17, 2:17 pm
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In 1995, I boarded a US Airways 767 in Frankfurt destined for Pittsburgh. We took off late thanks to a mechanical issue, and immediately landed due to the same mx issue. Those who wanted to leave were allowed, but most passengers stayed on board. For more than 2 hours, we sat at a remote stand while mechanics worked the issue. the FAs came through the cabin with drinks. People got up and used the lavs. Finally we took off again, and headed for PIT. Half way across the pond, the Captain comes on the PA to inform us that because the lavs hadn't been completely drained before leaving FRA, he was ordering the FAs to close all lavs except for one, because the tanks were nearly full. He also asked us to please reduce our liquid intake for the rest of the flight.

I will never forget that flight.
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Old Apr 22, 17, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by desi View Post
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/58308392.cms

Googling indicates that this is not a rare occurrence for United but impact is much more on 14-15 hour flight compared to 2 hour NYC-Chicago flights.

US3 airlines complain about ME3 but how UNited handles pax on this route (in economy) is a typical reason why so much traffic has moved to ME3.

Many senior FA (disinterested in work, no enthusiasm, irritated before any pax has boarded the plane, quite rude) bid for duty on these flights as long flights along with "hardship compensation" minimizes flights they have to take in a month but then behave as if they are being punished. Resulting experience does not help image of United at all.

Not having working toilets from the beginning of the flight, eliminates the possibility of pax can be blamed for breaking it.
I was on UA 48 a few months ago where one of the toilets in Business Class (the one by 2L) was inoperative by the time I boarded... and I was like the 3rd person on board. I get toilets breaking down in-flight, but to leave with inop toilets on a 15 hour flight is a joke. I sent a complaint in about that one.
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Old Apr 22, 17, 2:32 pm
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Originally Posted by desi View Post
US3 airlines complain about ME3 but how UNited handles pax on this route (in economy) is a typical reason why so much traffic has moved to ME3.
Broken toilets can occur on other airlines too. I know that LH had a couple of cases, where lav were not working. Depending on the system design, one clogged lav can block multiple lavs.

And let's not forget the instance where BA had to return because someone dropped a really nasty one: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/tr...ur-toilet.html
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Old Apr 22, 17, 2:40 pm
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Originally Posted by WorldLux View Post
Broken toilets can occur on other airlines too. I know that LH had a couple of cases, where lav were not working. Depending on the system design, one clogged lav can block multiple lavs.

And let's not forget the instance where BA had to return because someone dropped a really nasty one: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/tr...ur-toilet.html
The toilet situation can happen to anyone, but in such an exceptional situation not allowing for an exception to the "stay in your cabin" rule is what makes this a non-customer friendly experience.
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