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UA retimes, downgauges SFO/DCA slot for Summer 2019

UA retimes, downgauges SFO/DCA slot for Summer 2019

Old Dec 17, 18, 5:27 pm
  #1  
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UA retimes, downgauges SFO/DCA slot for Summer 2019

This one is a bit personal to me since I fly the route a lot, but I found it odd. UA is moving their SFO slot at DCA to a morning/evening flight for the spring and summer (eliminating RON), and is currently slated to downgauge it from a 753 to a 738. Personally, I find this distressing as the eastbound flight was excellently timed for me and there is sadly no replacement option on any carrier. I'm surprised about the downgauge though; this has always been a flight that's difficult to purchase at anything below full fare, at least up front.

Not sure why they would move the time either -- could it possibly be gate issues? It brings them into direct competition with AS, whereas previously they split the time slots and essentially cooperated to offer double-daily service to DCA. With the perimeter restriction in force, it feels like I've been robbed of a DCA flight.

SFO to DCA

Code:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cxr  Flight  Orig  Dest   Dep     Arr   Equip  Days      Starts      Ends
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 UA    2046   SFO   DCA  13:15  21:15    753  M   FSU  05-Dec-18  17-Dec-18
 
 UA    2046   SFO   DCA  13:15  21:21    738   T       18-Dec-18  18-Dec-18
 UA    2046   SFO   DCA  13:20  21:23    738  MTWRF U  19-Dec-18  28-Dec-18
 UA    2046   SFO   DCA  14:00  22:03    738       S   22-Dec-18  22-Dec-18
 UA    2046   SFO   DCA  13:20  21:23    738  MTWRFSU  29-Dec-18  13-Feb-19
 
 UA    1672   SFO   DCA  09:00  17:03    738  MTWRFSU  14-Feb-19  05-Mar-19
 UA    1672   SFO   DCA  09:02  17:04    738    W      06-Mar-19  06-Mar-19
 UA    1672   SFO   DCA  09:00  17:03    738     R     07-Mar-19  07-Mar-19
 
 UA    1672   SFO   DCA  08:41  16:55    753  MTWRFSU  08-Mar-18  30-Mar-19
 UA    1672   SFO   DCA  08:46  17:00    753  MTWRF U  31-Mar-19  28-Apr-19
 UA    1672   SFO   DCA  08:38  16:52    753       S   07-Apr-19  27-Apr-19
 
 UA    1672   SFO   DCA  08:35  16:56    738  MTWRFSU  29-Apr-19  26-Oct-19
 
 UA    2046   SFO   DCA  13:10  21:31    738  MTWRFSU  27-Oct-19  18-Dec-19
DCA to SFO

Code:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cxr  Flight  Orig  Dest   Dep     Arr   Equip  Days      Starts      Ends
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 UA    2042   DCA   SFO  08:30  11:44    753  MT  FSU  05-Dec-18  18-Dec-18
 
 UA    2042   DCA   SFO  08:30  11:52    738  MTWRFSU  19-Dec-18  13-Feb-19

 UA    1554   DCA   SFO  17:55  21:17    738  MTWRFSU  14-Feb-19  07-Mar-19
 
 UA    1554   DCA   SFO  18:00  21:04    753  MTWRF U  08-Mar-19  29-Mar-19
 UA    1554   DCA   SFO  17:59  21:03    753       S   09-Mar-19  30-Mar-19
 UA    1554   DCA   SFO  18:03  21:11    753  MTWRF U  31-Mar-19  28-Apr-19
 UA    1554   DCA   SFO  17:55  21:03    753       S   06-Apr-19  27-Apr-19
 
 UA    1554   DCA   SFO  18:00  21:05    738  MTWRFSU  29-Apr-19  26-Oct-19
 
 UA    2042   DCA   SFO  08:30  11:35    738  MTWRFSU  27-Oct-19  18-Dec-19
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Old Dec 17, 18, 5:45 pm
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SFO IAD is not an option?
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Old Dec 17, 18, 5:57 pm
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753 is a nasty relic CO bird for the 200+ pax in Y that I find UA is using on routes where they want pricing power, typically ORD-SFO/LAX and a few others. So evidently, according to my theory, they’re out of that game now for the SFO-DCA city pair.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 6:08 pm
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I am actually a fan of the new route timing, but I can see how it will not work for everyone.

Also glad it is no longer on the 753! Much prefer the 738.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 6:10 pm
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Originally Posted by RJNYC View Post
SFO IAD is not an option?
I find connecting to the Uber service IAD-DCA to be almost as much of a hassle as connecting in ORD on the way to DCA. Also the 1pm SFO-IAD has a bad habit of being an sCO 752 or something similarly difficult to find even C space on. That being said, of course I will switch to IAD or a connection to DCA instead of not flying.. I'm just annoyed. The DCA flight was a wonderfully efficient way to get to downtown

Originally Posted by AirbusFan2B View Post
753 is a nasty relic CO bird for the 200+ pax in Y that I find UA is using on routes where they want pricing power, typically ORD-SFO/LAX and a few others.
I'd much rather be up front on a 753 than anything else other than a lie-flat.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 6:17 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post

I'd much rather be up front on a 753 than anything else other than a lie-flat.
shhh,,,, the 753 in F is a secret gem. no talkie.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 6:19 pm
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Originally Posted by aCavalierInCoach View Post
shhh,,,, the 753 in F is a secret gem. no talkie.
Especially the very front and on the left.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 6:25 pm
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Originally Posted by fumje View Post
especially the very front and on the left.
shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
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Old Dec 17, 18, 6:28 pm
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Originally Posted by bman1002 View Post
I am actually a fan of the new route timing, but I can see how it will not work for everyone.
My annoyance is more that both SFO slots are now at the same time, instead of offering two options. There are arguments for both the morning SFO and morning DCA departures
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Old Dec 17, 18, 6:36 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
My annoyance is more that both SFO slots are now at the same time, instead of offering two options. There are arguments for both the morning SFO and morning DCA departures
Ah, I missed that point in your first post. That is very true.

I have been tempted to take that Alaska flight, but my main fear with them is being screwed in the case of IRROPs.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 6:39 pm
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The downgauge is really surprising. The timing might be an attempt to take business from AS, which is struggling a bit in the bay area.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 8:09 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
The downgauge is really surprising. The timing might be an attempt to take business from AS, which is struggling a bit in the bay area.
I wonder if they anticipate slightly lower loads when competing head to head. I also confess I'm less familiar with the Y loads, which are going to be carrying the bulk of the revenue -- I just know that even on a 753, which is basically the largest premium lift they can reasonably stick on SFO-DCA, they routinely sell out the entire cabin on J/C (formerly F/A) fares and maybe a discount one or two.

Sadly, the (6pm) DCA-SFO is still a bit early for me or I'd be happy at the option to fly home from DCA. I'm really upset at UA's schedule to WAS right now, since they have eliminated both the 8pm (my usual) and 10pm IAD-SFO also (both come back in the summer though).

Last edited by findark; Dec 17, 18 at 8:18 pm Reason: clarity
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Old Dec 17, 18, 8:17 pm
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The DCA-SFO current time of ~830am was WAY too late given that (I suspect) most of the traffic was O/D. It should have been 6a or 7a to enable an earlier arrival at SFO.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 8:37 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
I wonder if they anticipate slightly lower loads when competing head to head. I also confess I'm less familiar with the Y loads, which are going to be carrying the bulk of the revenue -- I just know that even on a 753, which is basically the largest premium lift they can reasonably stick on SFO-DCA, they routinely sell out the entire cabin on J/C (formerly F/A) fares and maybe a discount one or two.
My only experience this year, it was completely packed in Y, with E+ sold out for weeks in advance. (This was my miracle +1 RPU to F, the only one all year where RPU made a difference over CPU.)
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Old Dec 17, 18, 8:47 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post

Sadly, the (6pm) DCA-SFO is still a bit early for me or I'd be happy at the option to fly home from DCA. I'm really upset at UA's schedule to WAS right now, since they have eliminated both the 8pm (my usual) and 10pm IAD-SFO also (both come back in the summer though).
I totally share your frustration there! Wish the current schedule had more afternoon/evening flights.
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