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Whatís going on July 4 weekend? lack of bookable flight options pre-4th

Whatís going on July 4 weekend? lack of bookable flight options pre-4th

Old May 9, 20, 6:14 pm
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Whatís going on July 4 weekend? lack of bookable flight options pre-4th

I was scheduled to fly EWR-ANC July 4 weekend. Checked my itinerary and the July 2 EWR-ANC flight has been changed to a connection through DEN. I can accept it (assuming trip happens at all).

When I went to look at other options I couldnít even find inventory on the flights they put me on. Completely zeroed out. I started exploring other cities and I canít even get results for most cities. Canít even book NYC-ORD without a connection in IAD.

Things seem normal before and after this weekend but it seems very strange.
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Old May 9, 20, 6:17 pm
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Well almost every event has been cancelled around here through August
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Old May 9, 20, 6:29 pm
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Originally Posted by villox View Post
When I went to look at other options I couldnít even find inventory on the flights they put me on. Completely zeroed out. I started exploring other cities and I canít even get results for most cities. Canít even book NYC-ORD without a connection in IAD.
You're seeing the results of July 4th weekend being a popular leisure travel time, and leisure travel is often booked further in advance than business travel. I suspect the reason that you can't find any inventory on the flights that you're on is that they're full, as UA has consolidated a relatively high passenger load onto many fewer flights. Seats may start to open as people cancel affected reservations.
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Old May 9, 20, 6:31 pm
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It isn't just July 4. OP brought up a weird thing UA is doing starting a few weeks ago - I've seen it on a few of my PNRs. Sometime after booking, UA zeros out all inventory but keeps them on the schedule - hence why one does not get rebooked and see the [Schedule Change] notification when going into your reservation. I don't know the rationale, but they seem to leave those who have booked on the flights as optimism... they hope the flights will go out but don't want to accept further bookings. Then about a month out when they're looking at the schedule more seriously, I've been rebooked into the extremely limited bare bones flight schedule. IE one was originally a Thursday redeye early June on a 777 SFO-IAD.I booked it mid-April. A week or two later it went to inventory zero'd out. Then only 2 days ago I was rebooked onto the 1 nonstop SFO-IAD flight in the decimated schedule.

Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
You're seeing the results of July 4th weekend being a popular leisure travel time, and leisure travel is often booked further in advance than business travel. I suspect the reason that you can't find any inventory on the flights that you're on is that they're full, as UA has consolidated a relatively high passenger load onto many fewer flights. Seats may start to open as people cancel affected reservations.
The flights are not full. They purposefully zero out flights they have a good feeling will eventually be removed from the schedule.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; May 9, 20 at 6:55 pm Reason: merged consecutive posts by same member
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Old May 9, 20, 6:39 pm
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There is not a single seat for sale from New York to Chicago on Wednesday, July 1. These theories do not hold up. If there was really that much demand they would run more planes!

in contrast, there are MANY flights for sale from
chicago to New York on Monday, July 6.
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Old May 9, 20, 7:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Clarkcc1 View Post
The flights are not full. They purposefully zero out flights they have a good feeling will eventually be removed from the schedule.
You're correct, but you're also mistaken. I checked the seat maps, and while I understand that they're not definitive, they were full. On the flights that they expect to remove, the seat maps are normally nearly empty.

This particular case, for July 4th weekend, results from a normal summer schedule being compressed down so much. Hub to hub flights fill because so many additional customers need to connect.

Originally Posted by villox View Post
There is not a single seat for sale from New York to Chicago on Wednesday, July 1. These theories do not hold up. If there was really that much demand they would run more planes!
I'm surprised that they're not willing to oversell by more seats. Adding a new flight doesn't make sense, because they understand that most of these reservations will be cancelled.
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Old May 9, 20, 7:32 pm
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Could a lot of people be holding speculative leisure bookings for the long holiday weekend in the USA?
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Old May 9, 20, 7:34 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Could a lot of people be holding speculative leisure bookings for the long holiday weekend in the USA?
Don't recall that the 4th is traditionally a heavy travel weekend especially when the 4th is a weekend date. Driving yes. Flying no.

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Old May 9, 20, 7:34 pm
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Overall, demand for dates around July 4 is weak to due limited business travel demand (same for Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends) and airlines tend to reduce their schedules around these times. UA and DL extended their domestic schedule reductions through June (and partially into July) this weekend (AA did it last weekend). The EWR-ANC flight now does not resume operation until July 6th. UA has zeroed out their two daily EWR-ORD flights for July 1st - 5th. More than likely it's going to cancel these flights rather than them being full.

Last edited by xliioper; May 9, 20 at 7:40 pm
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Old May 9, 20, 7:37 pm
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I think it's pretty clear that UA only uploaded a schedule change that goes through the first weekend of July. I had booked an EWR-PWM RT flight departing Thursday 7/2 and coming back Tuesday 7/7. The Thursday 7/2 flight has been changed to EWR-IAD-PWM (they must have chopped the only direct flight that was on the June schedule), but PWM-EWR on Tuesday 7/7 still shows the usual slate of several nonstops on the E145.
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Old May 9, 20, 7:57 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
You're correct, but you're also mistaken. I checked the seat maps, and while I understand that they're not definitive, they were full. On the flights that they expect to remove, the seat maps are normally nearly empty.

This particular case, for July 4th weekend, results from a normal summer schedule being compressed down so much. Hub to hub flights fill because so many additional customers need to connect.


I'm surprised that they're not willing to oversell by more seats. Adding a new flight doesn't make sense, because they understand that most of these reservations will be cancelled.
again it doesnít make sense that Wednesday, July 1 is totally booked but Monday, July 6 is wide open. it has to be a schedule load issue.

I do recall that United asked for CARES exception to not run Alaska service until July 6 and was denied. There must be something special about the July 6 date.
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Old May 9, 20, 8:24 pm
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Originally Posted by villox View Post
again it doesnít make sense that Wednesday, July 1 is totally booked but Monday, July 6 is wide open. it has to be a schedule load issue.
For the most part, the domestic schedule has only been updated through July 5.
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Old May 9, 20, 8:32 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
For the most part, the domestic schedule has only been updated through July 5.
See now this is the logical (yet disappointing) explanation.
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Old May 9, 20, 8:51 pm
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I had the same issue today: I noticed they had put me on alternate flights for LAX-ORD-AVP on July 2. I was trying to find other options, and they’re not even showing any LAX-ORD flights as bookable on 7/1 or 7/2. My return flights on 7/8 haven’t been touched (yet).
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Old May 9, 20, 8:55 pm
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Another data point - not a single nonstop available for sale from Ewr or lga to Denver between June 27 and July 5.

When I asked an agent, she said she is seeing massively overbooked loads on the few scheduled flights those dates. So strange. Unitedís flexible booking and cancel policy is making it impossible to predict loads or allow new bookings. They need to fix this. Seeing it on the transcon routes too.
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