Early arrival - gate is occupied

Old Apr 21, 19, 4:29 pm
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Early arrival - gate is occupied

How often does this happen to folks who fly UA? I find that this seems to happen a fair amount at EWR, and itís really annoying to deal with. It comes to mind as Iíve been sitting on the ground after having landed on PEK-EWR for almost half an hour now - and our gate arrival is now going to be after the stated arrival time, despite landing plenty early.

Iíve noticed this tends to happen a bit at SFO as well, and rarely have encountered this issue at other UA hubs.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 4:31 pm
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Originally Posted by PsiFighter37 View Post
How often does this happen to folks who fly UA?
I'd say 15-20% of the time
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Old Apr 21, 19, 4:44 pm
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Best line ever from the Captain: "Welcome to Newark. Our gate is occupied. So we'll circle the block looking for a parking spot, like any good New Yorker."
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Old Apr 21, 19, 5:20 pm
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Has happened maybe 4 or 5 times in the last year, all at LAX
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Old Apr 21, 19, 5:34 pm
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I'd say it happens 30-40% of my flights into ORD that arrive at or before scheduled departure time (about 60% of total flights into ORD) and not infrequently at EWR. Can't say I've experienced it in IAD or IAH, and I don't get to the Western hubs often enough to have a valid sample.

A couple years ago I actually misconnected at ORD because our gate was occupied, the previous flight departed a few minutes late and the agent operating the jetway disappeared -- so we were on the ground ~30 early, but the door didn't open until +20 and I had to go from B22 to F16 or thereabouts. Got to the gate just as the door was slamming closed.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 5:36 pm
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Originally Posted by mathprof View Post
Has happened maybe 4 or 5 times in the last year, all at LAX
Long term issue at LAX
Consolidated No Gate Available on Arrival at LAX

But a bit of a downside of padded schedules and early arrivals, IME, at SFO or EWR also,

While annoying, if eventual arrival is on-time, I can live with it.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 5:52 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Long term issue at LAX...
With completion of T7 re-model, Polaris lounge (gate space was used for construction staging), and re-opening/re-configuration of some 70s and 80s gates, Iím finding the LAX wait issue is much diminished. For some reason, SFO is where my flights seem to be waiting nowadays more often than they were.

Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Apr 21, 19 at 9:34 pm
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Old Apr 21, 19, 6:00 pm
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Had a first for this last week. Flying SFO-EWR, about 30 mins before landing the pilot told us that we'd probably have to wait on the ground for 10-15 mins as our gate likely wouldn't be ready as we were landing ~30 mins early.

He was right, except the plane that was at the gate ended up departing late, so we sat literally in sight of the gate (and the plane still at it) for over 30 mins until we were finally able to park.

I've had plenty of waits for gates before (mainly at SFO, and to a lesser extent at LAX and EWR as others have said), but never with that much notice...
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Old Apr 21, 19, 6:31 pm
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EWR - ORD - all the time - I avoid these airports - but our corp office is in Chicago so VoV
IAD-IAH rare - and I fly there a LOT more
DEN - never happened to me - but I fly there very little
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Old Apr 21, 19, 6:49 pm
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Been an issue for a while now and I don't see it being resolved in the next few years. Pretty annoying, but had to just get used to it.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 6:49 pm
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30-40% in EWR and ORD
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Old Apr 21, 19, 7:06 pm
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It's far from a UA problem. Happens with most carriers using a hub system at their hubs. An efficient and well-run schedule means that leaving valuable gates unoccupied is a bad idea.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 7:10 pm
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It's so amazing to me that people complain when they don't have a gate because their flight arrived early. So, the winds were more beneficial than planned....big deal. Airlines only have a set number of gates they lease (or own). If you are seriously late because of an occupied gate, then I could see maybe complaining about it. But if you land early, what difference does it make that you didn't spend that time in the air instead of on the ground?
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Old Apr 21, 19, 7:12 pm
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Happens frequently at DFW.

There is NO reason for the pilot to come on the horn after landing. If he does you can most certainly expect either your gate is occupied or there is traffic blocking entry.

If you hear the following two words come over the horn from the pilot during taxiing to your gate you aren't goin' far:

"Well, folks...."
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Old Apr 21, 19, 7:15 pm
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Originally Posted by fredc84 View Post
It's so amazing to me that people complain when they don't have a gate because their flight arrived early. So, the winds were more beneficial than planned....big deal. Airlines only have a set number of gates they lease (or own). If you are seriously late because of an occupied gate, then I could see maybe complaining about it. But if you land early, what difference does it make that you didn't spend that time in the air instead of on the ground?
I highly doubt that UA's early arrivals have much to do with beneficial winds, but more with how much they pad the schedule. Earlier this year I made an EWR-DEN flight - so flying against the jetstream - 40(!) minutes early. No gate issues at DEN, of course...
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