UA Schedule Change pattern

Old Sep 28, 17, 5:53 pm
  #1  
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UA Schedule Change pattern

AA releases schedule changes weekly on Sunday mornings to firm up flights about 20 weeks out.

Does UA have a pattern? Specifically, looking at a flight in mid Jan 2018 and wondering if the schedule today reflects the original placeholder schedule as released 330 days before departure. If still the orginal, any way to predict when UA will firm up the schedule?
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Old Sep 28, 17, 6:09 pm
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Last week my Jan 11-15 SFO-YYC flights had schedule changes up about 30-45m if that's any help of a data point.
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Old Sep 28, 17, 6:13 pm
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I already got some schedule changes for January, so they have started to firm up their plans. Will there be additional changes? I'd say that is likely for January as they see how the low/holiday season is shaping up.
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Old Sep 28, 17, 6:15 pm
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I booked flights in Sep 2016 for Jul 2017 CHS-IAD-HNL-IAD-HNL I had 16 changes throughout the roughly 8 months. 2 of the 16 were self inflicted (I class cleared) but the other 14 were all schedule changes or swapping aircraft (763 changed to 764 for return flight)

EVERY schedule change, including the I class was on a Sunday except one, when they swapped planes.

Last change was in early May, approx 60 days from flight
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Old Sep 28, 17, 6:21 pm
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I find it always happens late Friday night.
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Old Sep 28, 17, 6:25 pm
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UA firms up about 3 months out last I looked.

edit: Still does. Looking at flights in the month of September 2017. Using the schedule released 2017-9-1 as 'truth'. Schedule column is the date the schedule came out. Percentages are how many flights are the same as the 'truth' schedule.

Taking a very literal definition: change to any of flight number, origin, destination, departure time, and arrival time counts as different.

Code:
  schedule  | mainline | express 
------------+----------+---------
 2016-10-01 |   5%     |   1%
 2016-11-01 |   5%     |   1%
 2016-12-01 |   5%     |   1%
 2017-01-01 |   5%     |   1%
 2017-02-01 |  11%     |   1%
 2017-03-01 |  12%     |   1%
 2017-04-01 |  13%     |   1%
 2017-05-01 |  14%     |   2%
 2017-06-01 |  26%     |  16%
 2017-07-01 |  86%     |  85%
 2017-08-01 |  98%     |  97%
 2017-09-01 | 100%     | 100%
Looks like express has a little more literal churn later, probably due to flight number changes or trivial departure/arrival time changes.

Taking a looser definition: change to origin, destination, or departure time by more than 10 min counts as a change.

Code:
  schedule  | mainline | express 
------------+----------+---------
 2016-10-01 |  41%     |  38%
 2016-11-01 |  41%     |  39%
 2016-12-01 |  42%     |  39%
 2017-01-01 |  42%     |  39%
 2017-02-01 |  44%     |  39%
 2017-03-01 |  45%     |  39%
 2017-04-01 |  49%     |  43%
 2017-05-01 |  51%     |  45%
 2017-06-01 |  71%     |  70%
 2017-07-01 |  96%     |  97%
 2017-08-01 |  99%     |  99%
 2017-09-01 | 100%     | 100%
At 4 months out you're a 50%/50% chance of a schedule change using the loose criteria.
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Last edited by mduell; Sep 28, 17 at 7:07 pm
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Old Sep 29, 17, 10:33 am
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90 days out is usually our goal, given the difficulty in crew scheduling within 3 months

January 2018, for example, saw the last 'major' ASM & schedule adjustment occur on September 15th
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Old Oct 16, 17, 1:05 pm
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my mid-Jan schedule change came through last weekend

35 minute schedule change, request for date change to a couple weeks earlier, done in 2 minutes

felt out the ground for a full refund and she wasn't having it
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Old Oct 16, 17, 3:52 pm
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LOL. Every flight I take has multiple schedule changes right up to the week before. However, I live in Saskatchewan and rely on AC to get me to a connecting airport for UA. What complicates things is that Saskatchewan doesn't change clocks in the Spring or Fall. I would have thought that it would be easy to program into the schedule but depending upon the time of year and the direction we fly, what was a reasonable connection at booking becomes unworkable and everything has to be rescheduled. Usually 2 or 3 times because AC seems to tweak things all the time.
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Old Oct 16, 17, 9:39 pm
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Originally Posted by mduell View Post
UA firms up about 3 months out last I looked.

edit: Still does. Looking at flights in the month of September 2017. Using the schedule released 2017-9-1 as 'truth'. Schedule column is the date the schedule came out. Percentages are how many flights are the same as the 'truth' schedule.

Taking a very literal definition: change to any of flight number, origin, destination, departure time, and arrival time counts as different.

Code:
  schedule  | mainline | express 
------------+----------+---------
 2016-10-01 |   5%     |   1%
 2016-11-01 |   5%     |   1%
 2016-12-01 |   5%     |   1%
 2017-01-01 |   5%     |   1%
 2017-02-01 |  11%     |   1%
 2017-03-01 |  12%     |   1%
 2017-04-01 |  13%     |   1%
 2017-05-01 |  14%     |   2%
 2017-06-01 |  26%     |  16%
 2017-07-01 |  86%     |  85%
 2017-08-01 |  98%     |  97%
 2017-09-01 | 100%     | 100%
Looks like express has a little more literal churn later, probably due to flight number changes or trivial departure/arrival time changes.

Taking a looser definition: change to origin, destination, or departure time by more than 10 min counts as a change.

Code:
  schedule  | mainline | express 
------------+----------+---------
 2016-10-01 |  41%     |  38%
 2016-11-01 |  41%     |  39%
 2016-12-01 |  42%     |  39%
 2017-01-01 |  42%     |  39%
 2017-02-01 |  44%     |  39%
 2017-03-01 |  45%     |  39%
 2017-04-01 |  49%     |  43%
 2017-05-01 |  51%     |  45%
 2017-06-01 |  71%     |  70%
 2017-07-01 |  96%     |  97%
 2017-08-01 |  99%     |  99%
 2017-09-01 | 100%     | 100%
At 4 months out you're a 50%/50% chance of a schedule change using the loose criteria.
Wow, that data is super insightful, thank you.
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Old Oct 17, 17, 9:09 am
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Just yesterday I got a schedule change notice for a mid-Jan SFO-EWR redeye in J. The flight was eliminated and I was rebooked onto SFO-IAD-EWR.
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Old Jun 20, 18, 9:59 am
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Just got a schedule change for IAH-SAV for next January from 740 pm to 615. Pretty big change this far out but odd since the plane is staying overnight as it is in SAV.
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Old Jun 20, 18, 10:01 am
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Originally Posted by slickvik View Post
Just got a schedule change for IAH-SAV for next January from 740 pm to 615. Pretty big change this far out but odd since the plane is staying overnight as it is in SAV.
It's probably a result of crew rest times before a downstream outbound flight from SAV the next day, whose schedule will also have changed.
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Old Jun 21, 18, 11:54 am
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
my mid-Jan schedule change came through last weekend

35 minute schedule change, request for date change to a couple weeks earlier, done in 2 minutes

felt out the ground for a full refund and she wasn't having it
Published policy is basically that you need at least a 2h change to get a refund: https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...e-changes.html
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