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United Express Question - multiple UX carriers for same route?

United Express Question - multiple UX carriers for same route?

Old Oct 9, 19, 5:37 pm
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United Express Question - multiple UX carriers for same route?

Looked up CHA-ORD. There were three nonstops by three different United Express airlines. Is this typical on other routes?
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Old Oct 9, 19, 5:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Dalewood View Post
Looked up CHA-ORD. There were three nonstops by three different United Express airlines. Is this typical on other routes?
Three different airlines as in for all three flights, each one is operated by a different regional affiliate? Not unusual.
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Old Oct 9, 19, 6:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
Three different airlines as in for all three flights, each one is operated by a different regional affiliate? Not unusual.

Agreed.
Not quite sure of the rationale behind it, but it's quite common. I know of one route that operates three non-stops flights; one is operated by one affiliate, the other two by another.
Maybe UA doesn't want to give all the 'power' to only one of the express companies, so they split it out?
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Old Oct 9, 19, 7:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Dalewood View Post
Is this typical on other routes?
Common occurrence at my home airport (IAD). Nothing to worry about. 🙂
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Old Oct 9, 19, 9:24 pm
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I'd imagine this has to do with fleet / crew availability. One regional carrier might have more planes available in the morning, another in the afternoon, etc. I'm just speculating here.
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Old Oct 9, 19, 10:23 pm
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Completely normal at my home airport (YOW), which UA mainline doesn't serve. Some flights are operated by Mesa, some by Republic, and some by either Air Wisconsin or SkyWest (I see the first two most often).
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Old Oct 9, 19, 11:48 pm
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I also recall one of the reasons this is done, is that if a certain regional has operational difficulties or goes on strike, the damage is more dispersed
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Old Oct 10, 19, 7:11 am
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Originally Posted by belfordrocks View Post
I also recall one of the reasons this is done, is that if a certain regional has operational difficulties or goes on strike, the damage is more dispersed
That is an interesting theory, which also brings about my point about flight operations recovery. Around 2004-2005, I used to work at Trans States and it always confused me how United would have so many different carriers on a route, for instance ORDSTL. SkyWest, Trans States, Republic, GoJet, Mesa. At one point UA then made some markets exPlus and the mix/match of regionals seemingly was reduced because of the limited number of E170s and CRJ-700s. I always thought that it was scheduler's nightmare to figure out if UA specified 6x flights in a market, how would Trans States determine of those 6 how many they would operate, and then in a scenario where they determined they had a/c availability for say 2 flights in that market, that then SkyWest would be able to take the remaining 5 flights, etc.

In reality, pmUA would build the schedules with the available aircraft from each carrier, and then that is how the other carriers would fly them. So if there were 15 ERJs from Trans States, 15 170s with Republic, and 40 CRJs from SkyWest, pmUA would build a schedule to cover flights for a particular hub and because of the way that those aircraft would be routed out of the hub, and subsequently flown back into the hub from an outstation, it would end up in a scenario where you had multiple carriers flying a single route. Contrast this with how pmCO used to handle schedules which was specific carriers assigned to specific routes. So if ExpressJet was flying IAHSTL, Chautauqua wouldn't have any of their aircraft scheduled on that route.

I'm getting lengthy, but back to the point of "damaged being dispersed", I can say that typically it was actually easier to recover from Irrops if only a single carrier was flying a route. Case in point ORDSTL. If you had one carrier flying the route, say GoJet, and its for a 1200 departure, if the inbound aircraft that was scheduled to turn to the 1200 flight is delayed, you can recover more quickly because flight ops may be able to reroute another GoJet aircraft to cover that 1200 ORDSTL flight. That originally scheduled inbound aircraft can then be moved to cover a different flight. But if the schedule is such that all of the STLORDs are GoJet with the exception of that 1200 operated by SkyWest (with the inbound aircraft going mechanical and no available spare aircraft), you aren't going to be able to get GoJet to cover that 1200 trip because its a SkyWest pairing. Granted in a scenario with only one regional assigned a particular market, that carrier may not actually have available aircraft to cover it either, but its more of a challenge where you have multiple carriers in a market because aircraft cannot be swapped as easily.
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Old Oct 10, 19, 7:27 am
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Do they really treat regional carriers as non-fungible? E.g. if my flight is SkyWest and there is a problem, they will not consider reassigning to GoJet even if same config, but instead will force waiting for another SkyWest aircraft? It's been a while, but I can remember having a late aircraft swap at EWR to recover a 3hr delay into a 20min one. I didn't think to wonder if they swapped UAX carriers or just shuffled within the same carrier.
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Old Oct 10, 19, 7:37 am
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This is a fairly common practice. Different carriers operate different aircraft and thee are different operational needs. Thus, a single cabin CRJ might add a frequency to a route which can't support an additional E-175.

While there are occasional substitutions, it is worth remembering that a change in operating carrier does give passengers the right under DOT rules, to cancel for a full refund.
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Old Oct 10, 19, 7:46 am
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Originally Posted by fumje View Post
Do they really treat regional carriers as non-fungible? E.g. if my flight is SkyWest and there is a problem, they will not consider reassigning to GoJet even if same config, but instead will force waiting for another SkyWest aircraft? It's been a while, but I can remember having a late aircraft swap at EWR to recover a 3hr delay into a 20min one. I didn't think to wonder if they swapped UAX carriers or just shuffled within the same carrier.
Operationally it makes sense to just swap one CR7 for another; logistically though it proves to be tougher since the regionals are pretty much bound to stay in their swim lane because of crew pairings and what other trips a particular aircraft may be assigned to. If for instance the GoJet aircraft was supposed to fly INDORD, ORDSTL, terminate and fly a STLDEN trip the next day, if the INDORD inbound is delayed you can't take a SkyWest aircraft to cover the ORDSTL flight because it may have been assigned to fly ORDBNA then BNAIAD and it would leave you with a SkyWest aircraft sitting in STL and it can't just be reassigned to cover a different trip operating by a different airline because you would still end up with aircraft imbalance. If it was same metal (mainline) its one thing, but its not easy to swap between regionals because each one is operating independently to the schedule that UA builds and any deviations to that would impact downline aircraft, crew, etc.
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Old Oct 10, 19, 8:38 am
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Originally Posted by fumje View Post
Do they really treat regional carriers as non-fungible? E.g. if my flight is SkyWest and there is a problem, they will not consider reassigning to GoJet even if same config, but instead will force waiting for another SkyWest aircraft? It's been a while, but I can remember having a late aircraft swap at EWR to recover a 3hr delay into a 20min one. I didn't think to wonder if they swapped UAX carriers or just shuffled within the same carrier.
They will rarely swap carriers. Things are planned weeks in advance at the carriers. If Skywest has lets say an airplane problem, GoJet will not fill in and vice versa. Certainly not day of. These companies are competitors, they do not talk to one another and no one at United is coordinating at this low a level. It's up to Skywest to recover Skywest ops, Mesa deals with Mesa issues. Even if GoJet had an airplane and crew available, they would save them for covering a GoJet problem. The regionals are all judged on their performance metrics and if GoJet loaned a plane and crew to fix a Skywest problem and then had a problem themselves, their own numbers would suffer.
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Old Oct 10, 19, 8:52 am
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Originally Posted by qukslvr619 View Post
Operationally it makes sense to just swap one CR7 for another; logistically though it proves to be tougher since the regionals are pretty much bound to stay in their swim lane because of crew pairings and what other trips a particular aircraft may be assigned to. If for instance the GoJet aircraft was supposed to fly INDORD, ORDSTL, terminate and fly a STLDEN trip the next day, if the INDORD inbound is delayed you can't take a SkyWest aircraft to cover the ORDSTL flight because it may have been assigned to fly ORDBNA then BNAIAD and it would leave you with a SkyWest aircraft sitting in STL and it can't just be reassigned to cover a different trip operating by a different airline because you would still end up with aircraft imbalance. If it was same metal (mainline) its one thing, but its not easy to swap between regionals because each one is operating independently to the schedule that UA builds and any deviations to that would impact downline aircraft, crew, etc.
Originally Posted by Raymoland View Post
They will rarely swap carriers. Things are planned weeks in advance at the carriers. If Skywest has lets say an airplane problem, GoJet will not fill in and vice versa. Certainly not day of. These companies are competitors, they do not talk to one another and no one at United is coordinating at this low a level. It's up to Skywest to recover Skywest ops, Mesa deals with Mesa issues. Even if GoJet had an airplane and crew available, they would save them for covering a GoJet problem. The regionals are all judged on their performance metrics and if GoJet loaned a plane and crew to fix a Skywest problem and then had a problem themselves, their own numbers would suffer.
Thanks, it makes sense now that I consider it.

I suppose in situations like that, typically I am more concerned with moving myself to a different flight than predicting how they may swap. All of the ops are behind the scenes to me.
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Old Oct 10, 19, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by fumje View Post
Thanks, it makes sense now that I consider it.

I suppose in situations like that, typically I am more concerned with moving myself to a different flight than predicting how they may swap. All of the ops are behind the scenes to me.
My advice, and this is just how I handle these situations, track your flight back to the aircraft and where it is coming from all the way back to the beginning of the day. For instance if I am on a 1745 STLORD, I look at where the inbound a/c is coming from, where it came from before that, etc, etc. I have found that recovery on regional flights is not as successful as mainline (since mainline has the ability to swap a/c) and more often than not if the aircraft has a delay on one flight, it impacts all downline flights.

For example aircraft #1 starts the day as a MCIORD, then ORDMKE, then MKEORD, then ORDSPI, then SPIORD, before finally flying the ORDSTL leg that then turns the aircraft to the 1745 STLORD flight. If ORDMKE is late an hour, then ORDSPI, SPIORD, ORDSTL are each consecutively delayed by an hour not to mention any additional delays that may add to that. FLIFO isn't dynamic and even if there is a 5 hour delay on the first flight that aircraft is flying in a day, it may take hours before the original departure time of the flight you are on posts a delay. Granted I realize that not every delay is going to spill into the next flight, but there have been several occasions where a delay on the flight I am on is imminent because the inbound aircraft hasn't even left the hub. Unless you get a proactive RES agent who will rebook you onto another routing/flight, they will use the standard "you're flight is scheduled to depart on time, you'll make your 30 minute connection they will hold the flight".....except that 30 min connection is now -30 because the flight will inevitably depart late!
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