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https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/united-airlines-mileageplus/1957323-ua-ux-ferry-fligh

Old Sep 17, 19, 12:14 pm
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https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/united-airlines-mileageplus/1957323-ua-ux-ferry-fligh

Originally Posted by UAinAUS View Post
77E:
N209UA scheduled to exit XMN 18Sept with Polaris/PE
N794UA scheduled to ferry XMN 17Sept for Polaris/PE mod
Sort of off-topic, but curious if anyone knows how the staffing works on these ferry flights? The old aircraft is scheduled into XMN around 5AM. The refurbished aircraft is scheduled to fly back around 4 hours later.

Do they bring 2 “full” sets of pilots along, since they’re basically turning right around and coming back? Or did one crew deadhead to XMN a few days ago to bring it back? Perhaps just a 3rd pilot or one more person in the rotation? Is there a FA onboard to take care of the flight crew? This is the logistics stuff that fascinates me.

I do find it odd that since they’ve dropped ORD-HKG that they’re doing it like this now. They used to just ferry it up and down from HKG. Seems like doing the same from PVG, PEK or even NRT would be much more economical than an empty round trip all the way there and back (but what do I know).
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Old Sep 17, 19, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by MBS MillionMiler View Post
Sort of off-topic, but curious if anyone knows how the staffing works on these ferry flights? The old aircraft is scheduled into XMN around 5AM. The refurbished aircraft is scheduled to fly back around 4 hours later.

......
One of the pilots, or perhaps UA insiders chimed in on similar question (you'd have to try Google advanced search as FT search is useless as we all know).

IIRC they also deadhead 767s - something to do with impacting pax in case there was a change and the possible revenue from pax on these positioning flights just isn't worth the risk of changes. IIRC no FAs on these flights.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 12:42 pm
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Pilots probably wear pajamas (only half-joking). There was a story about a cargo pilot who changed soon after takeoff into practically PJs. When asked about it by his co-pilot, he said something like "I'm not wearing my full uniform for boxes of flowers."

It would be kind of fun to be one of the pilots on that flight. Just six of you or so. No passengers or FAs. Can kind of do what you want lol. I would be running around in the cabin like a little girl.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 7:58 am
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Originally Posted by UAL250 View Post
Pilots probably wear pajamas (only half-joking). There was a story about a cargo pilot who changed soon after takeoff into practically PJs. When asked about it by his co-pilot, he said something like "I'm not wearing my full uniform for boxes of flowers."

It would be kind of fun to be one of the pilots on that flight. Just six of you or so. No passengers or FAs. Can kind of do what you want lol. I would be running around in the cabin like a little girl.
Many years ago I flew on a UA 747-SP (ex-PA) ferry flight SFO-JFK. Three pilots and me. The pilots stayed in uniform the entire flight. Even though I spent most of the flight in the cockpit (I had FAA authority to do so back then), it was cool roaming around a completely empty 747-SP. It was BYO food/drink -- no catering on board! With neither pax nor freight, we were up to FL410 in minutes!
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Old Sep 18, 19, 8:24 am
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Originally Posted by wxguy View Post
With neither pax nor freight, we were up to FL410 in minutes!
I mean, the SP could climb like a homesick angel even when full!

Very cool...
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