Early arrival - gate is occupied

Reply

Old Apr 23, 19, 12:52 pm
  #61  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Programs: Marriott LT Tit; Hyatt Explorist; Hilton CC Gold; IHG CC Plt; Hertz (MR) 5 star
Posts: 5,214
Originally Posted by buckeyefanflyer View Post
You never should have a lengthy gate wait at a hub airport they should be changing the gate. Operations people need to be monitoring this.
Gates can only fit certain aircraft. For example, most Airbus gates can't be used for a 777.
And there is a dedicated person in Operations at major hubs whose only job is to juggle gates.

Last edited by iflyjetz; Apr 23, 19 at 1:00 pm
iflyjetz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 23, 19, 12:58 pm
  #62  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Programs: Marriott LT Tit; Hyatt Explorist; Hilton CC Gold; IHG CC Plt; Hertz (MR) 5 star
Posts: 5,214
Originally Posted by Boofer View Post
This.

In nearly every major airport around the world, they make good use of remote stands. During the busiest times, aircraft can park and disembark pax using shuttle buses. This works for domestic and for international arrivals, and it's a smooth and logical solution to the ups and downs of gate demand through the day - it's surge capacity.

But if these US hub airports we're talking about used remote stands like this, then we would hear endless whinging about "why can't XXX airport use more regular gates with jet bridges. I don't want to have to ride a bus."
The reason why remote stands are used at some international airports is that they have a LOT of empty tarmac where they can park aircraft remotely. That is not the case in most major US airports that have overcrowding. Almost every square inch of airport property is being used at almost all major US airports. Take an overlay of remote parking at an international airport and then try to find that much unused concrete at EWR, ORD, LAX, SFO.
iflyjetz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 23, 19, 1:02 pm
  #63  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Programs: Marriott LT Tit; Hyatt Explorist; Hilton CC Gold; IHG CC Plt; Hertz (MR) 5 star
Posts: 5,214
Originally Posted by narvik View Post
I give kudos to the pilots' announcements when they have an estimated early arrival into EWR.
Most of the times when this occurs, they offer something like this: "We expect to land about xx minutes early into Newark, and we hope we will have an open gate available so we can have an early arrival."
With our ACARS system, the person who monitors gates in the hub's Operations center knows exactly what time an aircraft will arrive. There is no need to send an additional message to the station.
iflyjetz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 23, 19, 1:26 pm
  #64  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Frisco, TX
Programs: The Airline Run by Doug P
Posts: 17,179
Originally Posted by freshairborne View Post
I will always make a PA announcement if I will not be able to taxi right into the gate.
Yes but do you say "well folks....:"


enviroian is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 23, 19, 1:36 pm
  #65  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 9,599
My perennial "favorite" is UA 58, the afternoon (~ 2:00 pm) flight SFO-FRA (formerly UA 900).
Whenever it arrives early into FRA, there is never a gate available. First of all, you get less sleep time
inflight, and then you sit around at the tarmac.........
Enjoyed that process dozens of time.
cesco.g is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 23, 19, 2:01 pm
  #66  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 9,204
Originally Posted by worldclubber View Post
Happened to me last week at LAX. Had to wait for about 20 minutes before we could get a gate at T7.
Didn't say it doesn't happen anymore, but the fact is the return of the 3 (more?) gates that were out at the peak of terminal refurbishment / UC / Polaris lounge construction has made a significant difference in my experience.

LAX T7/8 will always suffer due to the single a/c alleys. Even if a gate is available, a/c pushing back from other gates may clog things up a bit.
ContinentalFan likes this.
IAH-OIL-TRASH is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 23, 19, 2:10 pm
  #67  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Programs: Marriott LT Tit; Hyatt Explorist; Hilton CC Gold; IHG CC Plt; Hertz (MR) 5 star
Posts: 5,214
Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
LAX T7/8 will always suffer due to the single a/c alleys. Even if a gate is available, a/c pushing back from other gates may clog things up a bit.
Exactly. It's one plane in OR one plane out of the alley. Can't do both directions.
iflyjetz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 23, 19, 3:54 pm
  #68  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 531
a major part of the issue is UA (and other airline's) reluctance to change the gate for the next flight. Ie, if your plane is going DTW-EWR and then the physical plane is going EWR-MCO and the EWR-MCO flight is scheduled from C85, if they change the gate coming in from DTW to C72, you need to get word to 200 people to go from C85 to C72. As more passengers get comfortable using the app, move away from paper based boarding passes, etc, those gate changes 'could' get a bit easier
johnsmith is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 24, 19, 6:34 am
  #69  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 681
Originally Posted by johnsmith View Post
a major part of the issue is UA (and other airline's) reluctance to change the gate for the next flight. Ie, if your plane is going DTW-EWR and then the physical plane is going EWR-MCO and the EWR-MCO flight is scheduled from C85, if they change the gate coming in from DTW to C72, you need to get word to 200 people to go from C85 to C72. As more passengers get comfortable using the app, move away from paper based boarding passes, etc, those gate changes 'could' get a bit easier
I'm not certain, but imagine the operations and ground staff is a much larger concern than passengers when switching gates.
gold23 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 29, 19, 10:28 am
  #70  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Sydney, NSW Australia
Posts: 882
DEN this morning arrived 35 minutes early, dispatched to some sort of penalty box adjacent to Concourse C. It was clear for all to see every gate was indeed occupied on the B Concourse. After about 20 minutes we got parked at gate 81
Aspen is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 8, 19, 11:20 am
  #71  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 531
wish we had more pilot input on why this issue persists

landed at EWR at 11:40pm last night, after a diversion. Waited until 12;20am for a tug to pull us into C-71. Sat in front of C-73 for 40 minutes, which was available the whole time. Kills my idea that the issue was matching inbound frame to the next flight going out, since no one was in the terminal waiting for a plan after midnight.

40 minute wait for a gate after a diversion and ultimately 3.5 hr delay is brutal
johnsmith is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 8, 19, 12:00 pm
  #72  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: KEWR
Programs: Marriott Platinum
Posts: 521
Originally Posted by johnsmith View Post
wish we had more pilot input on why this issue persists

landed at EWR at 11:40pm last night, after a diversion. Waited until 12;20am for a tug to pull us into C-71. Sat in front of C-73 for 40 minutes, which was available the whole time. Kills my idea that the issue was matching inbound frame to the next flight going out, since no one was in the terminal waiting for a plan after midnight.

40 minute wait for a gate after a diversion and ultimately 3.5 hr delay is brutal
Not sure if I or any other pilot has the exact solution to justify the gate waits. I do know from experience that things are just not as simple as they seem. This industry is extremely dynamic with a ton of moving parts, issues then compound with multiple diverts or irregular ops due to weather.

Back in the day I worked on the ramp to help pay for my pilot training. It’s not an easy job and ground staff get very little positive feedback. 99% of the interactions with passengers involved snarky comments insinuating myself or my crew’s laziness and unwillingness to work. Meanwhile we’ve been grinding for hours flipping planes trying to catch up to the schedule. People just don’t see that part.

On the occasions where I have a ground delay I get frustrated too, so I totally get it. I also make a habit to speak with the ramp or crew lead once parked at the gate to see what the delay was, for my own knowledge. Most of the time it is due to a mx aircraft return, last minute gate swap, or some other irregular operation forced upon them which caused a time conflict. The ground crew usually isn’t in the break room watching sports, Jerry Springer, whatever....like we all assume they are!

ajGoes likes this.
clubord is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 19, 6:59 am
  #73  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 531
thanks--thats helpful. I think the 'on the ground' team gets the bulk of the passenger frustration (and my pilot on wed night conveyed his frustration in every announcement thru the delay). I think the question many of have is why network opps isn't able to manage this kind of thing better--what metrics drive their decisions? what is an 'acceptable' wait vs unacceptable. I've seen some data about passenger willingness to wait before cust sat scores nose dive and UA is getting killed based on these types of issues (plus passengers remember last interaction more than first interaction -- i.e., a gate delay is much more memorable than a booking challenge)
johnsmith is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 19, 19, 4:47 pm
  #74  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Programs: BAEC Silver, TK M&S Elite Plus, KE SPC, PC Bolbol, KK Brnz, LCA Clsc, HH Blue
Posts: 1,224
Yesterday, we have arrived at ORD, 40-45 minutes ahead of schedule on LO1. When we had arrived, we have taxied about 10-15 minutes and then waited 30-35 mins for a gate in concourse M to open up. The reason was simple, the MU flight that needed to depart at 14:50 (2:50 PM), pushed back at 15:40 (3:40 PM) and because of that we had arrived at our parking position 15 minutes after scheduled arrival time despite arriving that early. Most of the passengers were not-USA based passengers and wasn't used to see a situation like this. And, the immigration lines... I was out of the terminal at 16:30 (4:30 PM), literally 1 hour 45 minutes after we landed.

Another funny point, a Finnair aircraft which had landed after us, got a space immediately while we were waiting with a RJ and an EK aircraft.

However, I think that this issue, generally, is related to the airport and terminal managements' themselves.

1- In most USA airports, they don't use remote stands. In case of 15min+ gate waiting times, no-one would like to sit on a seat where no phone signal is present and where you can't even go to the toilet.
2- Also in ORD ( actually it applies for most USA airports ), I don't understand the logic of UA, AA, NH, LH, IB, JL, NK aircrafts parking to Terminal 5 only to drop their passengers to the immigration hall and remove their baggage and then towed to their departure terminal. For convenience to the passengers, other passengers wait around an hour for a gate. Some buses and some stairs would simply solve the situation. For example, A LH aircraft arriving from MUC could park at Terminal 1 and the passengers could be bussed to the immigration hall keeping the Terminal 5 gates empty.

So, my advise to USA airport managements': Don't be stingy and buy some stairs and buses. Maybe some apron elevators for mobility pax as well.
narvik likes this.
ISTFlyer is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old May 19, 19, 4:58 pm
  #75  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: AVP & PEK
Programs: UA 1K MM, Hertz PC
Posts: 2,054
Originally Posted by ISTFlyer View Post
So, my advise to USA airport managements': Don't be stingy and buy some stairs and buses. Maybe some apron elevators for mobility pax as well.
Amen to THAT!


- May 16, PEK-EWR
- Landed 1 hour early
- Had to wait for originally assigned gate to vacate
- That gate's plane went MX, so we waited for gate next to it
- Both gates became available at the same time

Summary: 20 minutes late!


Interestingly, Flightaware has the flight landing 1hr early, and 28 minutes early to gate, which is bogus.
narvik is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread