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Travel Waiver: Northern California Wildfires (October 11, 2017 - October 15, 2017)

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Old Oct 12, 17, 11:34 am
  #1
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Travel Waiver: Northern California Wildfires (October 11, 2017 - October 15, 2017)

Airports:
  • Arcata/Eureka, CA (ACV)
  • San Francisco, CA (SFO)
  • Santa Rosa, CA (STS)​
Rebook by October 20, 2017.

Waiver: https://www.united.com/CMS/en-US/tra...eptionPolicies

Waiver Parameter Code: 1+

David
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Old Oct 12, 17, 12:57 pm
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SFO Delays Due to Napa Fire?

Just received a travel disruption email from UA regarding the fire.

Any one had any issues at SFO in the last day or so?

I have a 45 min connection tomorrow to TPE and debating on a change since they are offering it, but would rather stay since I will be on a new 773.
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Old Oct 12, 17, 1:01 pm
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Several friends are trying to fly in today. One group had their flight cancelled and is looking at a 10 hour delay to get on another flight. Another has been delayed 3 hours already. The others are all experiencing delays as well. With a 45 minute connection to a long haul flight, I'd be changing to another flight even if I had to pay for it.
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Old Oct 12, 17, 1:02 pm
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I'm not sure whether the fires have anything to do with it, but SFO is currently under a traffic management program through midnight local with pretty extensive delays due to low visibility.

Even under normal circumstances, 45m is asking for trouble at SFO. I'd do what I could to get to SFO earlier.
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Old Oct 12, 17, 1:04 pm
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Dropped my wife off at SFO this morning for an 11:00 AM departure. Smoke is very heavy throughout the Bay Area due to the fires. Just got notice her flight is delayed 20 minutes due to conditions preventing departure.
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Old Oct 12, 17, 1:10 pm
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To the OP. Yes. Plenty of flights. Some cancelled others delayed.

It depends when your connecting flight gets in. Anything before 8:30AM seems to be fine.

Not sure where you're coming from, but isn't SFO-TPE the new 773 anyway? You'll get the experience from SFO-TPE, not sure if you really want to risk it for a chance to fly on the 773 from ??? - SFO.

I moved my flight earlier. A mid-afternoon departure to me has a high chance of delay. I'd rather not risk it.
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Old Oct 12, 17, 1:10 pm
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Your choices:

1) Stay on your new, shiny 773 and misconnect
2) Switch to an earlier flight and hopefully make the connection

Huge delays in SFO due to both the wildfires as well as taxiway construction project which has shortened one of the runways.
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Old Oct 12, 17, 1:10 pm
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The smoke is not an issue, period. Fog/low clouds - which reduce the visibility so only one runway can be used - would be the issue.

Yesterday guests of ours were delayed into SFO by 2 hours 15 minutes, people at United said it was the "fires" yet the App showed it was a late arriving aircraft, and sure enough the earlier two flights were both late due to a MX that never got caught up.

The smoke is unpleasant, but its not a visibility issue. Think landing at LAX on a bad smog day...
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Old Oct 12, 17, 1:13 pm
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I got a text flying PDX-SFO tonight. If you go to the link I think it's more for flights to/from the NorCal airports but they're throwing SFO in there as it's likely the connecting point.
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Old Oct 12, 17, 1:16 pm
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
The smoke is not an issue, period. Fog/low clouds - which reduce the visibility so only one runway can be used - would be the issue.

Yesterday guests of ours were delayed into SFO by 2 hours 15 minutes, people at United said it was the "fires" yet the App showed it was a late arriving aircraft, and sure enough the earlier two flights were both late due to a MX that never got caught up.

The smoke is unpleasant, but its not a visibility issue. Think landing at LAX on a bad smog day...
I know UA and other airlines 'fib' on the reason for a delay sometimes. However, are you suggesting that smoke doesn't cause low visibility, which doesn't cause delays?

If you Google "SFO smoke delays" you'll see dozens of articles stating "Smoke drifting south from the fires blazing in Wine Country prompted a ground delay program at San Francisco International Airport..." or "The FAA implemented a flight delay program at SFO because of the smoke from fires"...

Are you saying those articles are all wrong?
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Old Oct 12, 17, 1:34 pm
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
The smoke is not an issue, period. Fog/low clouds - which reduce the visibility so only one runway can be used - would be the issue.

Yesterday guests of ours were delayed into SFO by 2 hours 15 minutes, people at United said it was the "fires" yet the App showed it was a late arriving aircraft, and sure enough the earlier two flights were both late due to a MX that never got caught up.

The smoke is unpleasant, but its not a visibility issue. Think landing at LAX on a bad smog day...
How is smoke different than fog, clouds, or smog? How do you know the delays of the earlier aircraft wasn't compounded by the conditions at SFO?
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Old Oct 12, 17, 1:36 pm
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There are 4 flights a day RNO-SFO. Two of these were cancelled yesterday, and two today so far, due to "air traffic control conditions". Only the 0530 flight is really reliable.
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Old Oct 12, 17, 1:37 pm
  #13
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Wife's total delay on her SFO-PEK flight this morning was 26 minutes.

I was at the airport, visibility really sucked due to the smoke. Delays are due to the smoke as it is restricting visibility, just like fog and clouds do.
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Old Oct 12, 17, 1:49 pm
  #14
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
The smoke is unpleasant, but its not a visibility issue.
Sure it is. For much of the past few days we've been unable to see either the hills or the bay from our offices in downtown Oakland.
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Old Oct 12, 17, 1:51 pm
  #15
 
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I just got a text and email from United telling me to anticipate delays. Per FAA website, they're piling up, averaging on 2 1/2 hours now. Visibility up there must be very bad.
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