Lack of BF capacity on SFO/LAX-EWR

Old Jan 11, 18, 6:51 am
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Lack of BF capacity on SFO/LAX-EWR

United (and the other airlines) is missing a big opportunity to sell more BF seats on these transcon routes.

United seems to have significantly decreased the frequency of SFO-EWR flights what happened to hourly flights on the 752s? Now theres a 6, 8:40, etc and many are on the 8 across in BusinessFirst 772.

The problem is that youve replaced multiple 16/28 seat BF 752s with a single 772 with 28 BF seats. Week after week, I book last minute for business travel, and there is no BF available even as GS. And every other airline is booked up in First as well (even the non-lieflat VA product).

What do we think is going on? There is a major business contingent that needs to get on these transcons every week (sometimes multiple times in a week) and is willing to pay $1000+ each way. United, at least start running more flights on the busy Monday and Thursday travel days!
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Old Jan 11, 18, 6:53 am
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capacity control to maintain higher fares?
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Old Jan 11, 18, 6:58 am
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Originally Posted by NH_Clark View Post
capacity control to maintain higher fares?
By very definition of supply and demand, if UA is fully booked and has travelers like OP wanting to book, then UA is leaving money on the table by either not raising fares or adding more flights.
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Old Jan 11, 18, 7:18 am
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Originally Posted by ZachAJ View Post
United (and the other airlines) is missing a big opportunity to sell more BF seats on these transcon routes.
Just to be precise, the "BusinessFirst" brand is gone systemwide. The former p.s. brand on these transcon routes is now just "United Business."
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Old Jan 11, 18, 7:25 am
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Ive noticed the same. As EWR increasingly becomes UAs hub for Europe and SFO becomes UAs hub for Asia, SFO-EWR p.t.s. is increasingly filled with people connecting onwards (e.g., SFO-EWR-AMS/BCN/BOM, EWR-SFO-SIN). Couple this with the fact that capacity has been seriously reduced and you get p.t.s. flights that are now often fully booked upfront one week. This means that when Im just looking to fly premium transcon last minute, I often have to end up flying AA.

The irony is that UA used to have upward of 18 SFO-EWR, many on which were on the premium heavy 28J 752s. Now with far fewer flights and the pathetic 777HDs, I feel like AA sometimes has as much premium seat capacity as UA on SFO to NYC. The AA transcons all have 20J and 10F seats on an A321!
UA really needs to step up its game when it claims these two cities as major hubs. (And when its at it, it should really give Polaris lounge access to p.t.s. flyers as the product is currently uncompetitive compared to AA/Delta in that regard.)
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Old Jan 11, 18, 7:30 am
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Originally Posted by UAflyer93 View Post
Ive noticed the same. As EWR increasingly becomes UAs hub for Europe and SFO becomes UAs hub for Asia, SFO-EWR p.t.s. is increasingly filled with people connecting onwards (e.g., SFO-EWR-AMS/BCN/BOM, EWR-SFO-SIN).
If you're selling out the cash for business class over the pond, it seems you'd want to at least fly non-stop from SFO then connect in Europe.. SFO-EWR-Europe (and the return journey more so) seems crazy
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Old Jan 11, 18, 7:55 am
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Originally Posted by rufflesinc View Post
By very definition of supply and demand, if UA is fully booked and has travelers like OP wanting to book, then UA is leaving money on the table by either not raising fares or adding more flights.
That's true, but seats can't be added in increments of one. Maybe they'll figure it out and have day-of-week pricing with a premium for Mondays.
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Old Jan 11, 18, 7:56 am
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Originally Posted by UAflyer93 View Post
The irony is that UA used to have upward of 18 SFO-EWR, many on which were on the premium heavy 28J 752s. Now with far fewer flights and the pathetic 777HDs, I feel like AA sometimes has as much premium seat capacity as UA on SFO to NYC. The AA transcons all have 20J and 10F seats on an A321!
UA really needs to step up its game when it claims these two cities as major hubs. (And when it’s at it, it should really give Polaris lounge access to p.t.s. flyers as the product is currently uncompetitive compared to AA/Delta in that regard.)
A few of the premium heavy 752s are allocated to the SFO-BOS route (at least 3 out of 5 flights), so maybe there's more premium traffic there? Based on today's departures, UA still has more premium capacity than AA on NYC-SFO.

AA has 5 flights = 50F/100J, or 150 total premium seats.
UA has 10 flights (3 premium 752, 6 regular 752, and 1 772HD) = 264 total premium seats.
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Old Jan 11, 18, 8:49 am
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I think there is just a lack of appropriately configured aircraft to meet the demand - the 77G/H should be relegated to Hawaii and midcons, and UA should really think about creating a dedicated 739/MAX 10 fleet with the Zodiac Optima seats for premium transcon service absent the launch of the MoM or any stopgap 763s. Whether this would make sense from a ROI perspective, I don't know.
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Old Jan 11, 18, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
That's true, but seats can't be added in increments of one. Maybe they'll figure it out and have day-of-week pricing with a premium for Mondays.
They know how many seats they have left and can increase the price as they get close to full
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Old Jan 11, 18, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by UAflyer93 View Post
I’ve noticed the same. As EWR increasingly becomes UA’s hub for Europe and SFO becomes UA’s hub for Asia, SFO-EWR p.t.s. is increasingly filled with people connecting onwards (e.g., SFO-EWR-AMS/BCN/BOM, EWR-SFO-SIN). Couple this with the fact that capacity has been seriously reduced and you get p.t.s. flights that are now often fully booked upfront one week. This means that when I’m just looking to fly premium transcon last minute, I often have to end up flying AA.

The irony is that UA used to have upward of 18 SFO-EWR, many on which were on the premium heavy 28J 752s. Now with far fewer flights and the pathetic 777HDs, I feel like AA sometimes has as much premium seat capacity as UA on SFO to NYC. The AA transcons all have 20J and 10F seats on an A321!
UA really needs to step up its game when it claims these two cities as major hubs. (And when it’s at it, it should really give Polaris lounge access to p.t.s. flyers as the product is currently uncompetitive compared to AA/Delta in that regard.)

Let's not forget all the BOS-SFO frequencies are now lie flat and as Hirohito points out still the most premium cabin lift by a wide margin - DL is only running 7 flights a day.

Though come later in the spring summer it's up to 14 nonstops for UA. The only hole is the 2pm hour (there's a 1:30 and 3), but there's a 5pm in the mix, as well as the new 1am redeye.

Net more lie flat domestic transcon capacity out of SFO than before, but what passenger wouldn't want to see even more premium airframes and premium frequency.
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Old Jan 11, 18, 9:28 am
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what I find surprising that UA does not upgauge EWR/BOS-SFO during high demand dates like this week. A couple of 764s should be somehwere available during the winter season.
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Old Jan 11, 18, 9:45 am
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It seems like more of SFO-BOS has the 28 J now than SFO-EWR.
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Old Jan 11, 18, 9:51 am
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This is nothing new, there have been complaints about lack of last minute J inventory on the ps routes ever since the move from JFK to EWR, which as has already been noted shifted more connecting traffic onto these flights.
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Old Jan 11, 18, 9:52 am
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I agree this is an issue. I'm out of PHL and I frequently will compare EWR-SFO with PHL-SFO. EWR-SFO is often nearly half the price as PHL-SFO. EWR-SFO has better frequency but it is inconvenient to drive up to EWR. Ironically, on PHL-SFO, I have a higher chance of upgrading even on an A319 than on EWR-SFO where I have nearly zero chance. If I actually had some chance of getting upgraded, I'd probably fly EWR-SFO more often.
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