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Scenic tour of ORD? - and do I get BIS miles for this?

Scenic tour of ORD? - and do I get BIS miles for this?

Old Mar 6, 21, 4:52 pm
  #1  
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Scenic tour of ORD? - and do I get BIS miles for this?

Not venting - but trying to understand a little since it appears more common at ORD and more frequently recent.....
on my ATW-ORD flight this morning - 35 min flight, over-flew the airport by about 10+ miles and approached from the west (ok, maybe winds, traffic, etc)
..but after we landed, it was then about 15 min of taxi'ing around the periphery of the airport - seeing all of the sites of the airport.... clearly did not appear to be the shortest path from the runway to the F-terminal..... without a doubt, we took the long scene route.....

why?
.... and does all this extra ground taxing count for BIS?

... and btw, pandemic or not, but both flights I was on today were completely full and ORD was a zoo (long lines at all the vendors/starbucks/etc)....even chatting with one of the Police and we both agreed that the airport has not been this busy in over a year!
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Old Mar 6, 21, 5:20 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by mfirst View Post
...why? ...
ORD was notorious for this PreCOVID, LAX a close second (SFO-LAX, at times seems like half the travel time is taxiing at LAX -- and SFO is no slouch)
Originally Posted by mfirst View Post
.... and does all this extra ground taxing count for BIS?...
Suspect you know the answer already, indirect flight plans do not count either

Mileage credit for IRROPS / diversions / return to airport / ....
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Old Mar 6, 21, 5:56 pm
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The traffic flows, both airborne and on the ground, are set by ATC to maximize the overall for the airport. This often results in individual flights being routed on what seems like inefficient routes.

In most configurations, ORD lands on three parallel runways while departing on two other runways, not always parallel.

On arrival, it's a big congo line. Your runway assignment is based on the direction from which you approached the airport--know as an arrival. The distance you fly away from the airport, before turning back inbound, is based on the amount of traffic. It's not unusual to join Final 25 or 30 miles from the airport.

Once on the ground, they have standard taxi routes for each airport configuration. Taxiing aircraft often take longer routes to avoid crossing runways, or avoid crossing the departure runway in front of departing aircraft (you pass behind where they start their takeoff). This is more efficient for ATC and reduces the severity of the possible outcomes if there is an error. The longest taxi routes are when you land on either the far north, or far south, runways.

You can watch the taxi flows at the following site. It may require you to setup a free account.

https://www.airportviewer.com/airport/ORD
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Old Mar 6, 21, 5:59 pm
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Originally Posted by mfirst View Post
.....but after we landed, it was then about 15 min of taxi'ing around the periphery of the airport - seeing all of the sites of the airport.... clearly did not appear to be the shortest path from the runway to the F-terminal..... without a doubt, we took the long scene route...
It's been like that for a half year now. I saw some taxiway renovations (maybe some runway reno, too) the last couple times through. I concluded that was the reason for the ground tour.
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Old Mar 6, 21, 6:03 pm
  #5  
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what sort of joking about the BIS (although, if I take 200,000 trips to ORD and with each there is 5 miles of extra taxi that will bump from 1MM to 2MM.....)
but it is just sort of interesting since I would guess that the fuel costs per mile and ground time are not trivial
my flight "landed" at 7:48am - docked at F at 8:05 am and my next flight at the far end of B started boarding at 8am........ these drive arounds can add up.....
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Old Mar 6, 21, 8:00 pm
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That's why I love flying into Midway. There is never overshooting the airport all the way to Elgin and the taxying takes a couple minutes since runways are so short. But United doesn't fly into Midway
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Old Mar 6, 21, 8:27 pm
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Originally Posted by mfirst View Post
Not venting - but trying to understand a little since it appears more common at ORD and more frequently recent.....
on my ATW-ORD flight this morning - 35 min flight, over-flew the airport by about 10+ miles and approached from the west (ok, maybe winds, traffic, etc)
..but after we landed, it was then about 15 min of taxi'ing around the periphery of the airport - seeing all of the sites of the airport.... clearly did not appear to be the shortest path from the runway to the F-terminal..... without a doubt, we took the long scene route.....

why?
.... and does all this extra ground taxing count for BIS?

... and btw, pandemic or not, but both flights I was on today were completely full and ORD was a zoo (long lines at all the vendors/starbucks/etc)....even chatting with one of the Police and we both agreed that the airport has not been this busy in over a year!
​​​​​​​
Originally Posted by mfirst View Post
what sort of joking about the BIS (although, if I take 200,000 trips to ORD and with each there is 5 miles of extra taxi that will bump from 1MM to 2MM.....)
but it is just sort of interesting since I would guess that the fuel costs per mile and ground time are not trivial
my flight "landed" at 7:48am - docked at F at 8:05 am and my next flight at the far end of B started boarding at 8am........ these drive arounds can add up.....
ATC decides the runway, and ATC doesn't pay for the fuel. UA must know the average costs well and build them in.

I'm impressed you had time to chat up a cop when going F to B after boarding had started.
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Old Mar 6, 21, 9:09 pm
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Pandemic or not, I always joke that my taxi time at ORD is longer than my flights to MSP
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Old Mar 6, 21, 10:21 pm
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Originally Posted by mfirst View Post
what sort of joking about the BIS (although, if I take 200,000 trips to ORD and with each there is 5 miles of extra taxi that will bump from 1MM to 2MM.....)
If you take 200,000 trips to ORD, at the 500 mile minimum, it's the difference between being a 100MM and 101MM. I don't believe there's any additional bonus for the latter.
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Old Mar 7, 21, 8:16 am
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Originally Posted by LarryJ View Post

You can watch the taxi flows at the following site. It may require you to setup a free account.

https://www.airportviewer.com/airport/ORD
Fascinating, thank you. One could spend hours watching this display.
Interesting that the flights are coded with the operating airlines codes ( Gojet, Skywest) rather than the chartering airlines.
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Old Mar 7, 21, 9:24 am
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Originally Posted by Putnik View Post
That's why I love flying into Midway. There is never overshooting the airport all the way to Elgin and the taxying takes a couple minutes since runways are so short. But United doesn't fly into Midway
That's a function of traffic. MDW has significant less traffic than ORD.

I went back to 2019 to get pre-COVID numbers:

ORD Total aircraft operations: 919,704
MDW Total aircraft operations: 232,084

Those numbers are from the https://www.flychicago.com/business/...irtraffic.aspx website.
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Old Mar 7, 21, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by LarryJ View Post
Your runway assignment is based on the direction from which you approached the airport--know as an arrival. The distance you fly away from the airport, before turning back inbound, is based on the amount of traffic. It's not unusual to join Final 25 or 30 miles from the airport.

Once on the ground, they have standard taxi routes for each airport configuration. Taxiing aircraft often take longer routes to avoid crossing runways, or avoid crossing the departure runway in front of departing aircraft (you pass behind where they start their takeoff). This is more efficient for ATC and reduces the severity of the possible outcomes if there is an error. The longest taxi routes are when you land on either the far north, or far south, runways.
Yeah, I've had lots of flights where we've approached from the east, passed over the airport and made it half way to Iowa before turning back. Well, not quite. It's really just beyond Aurora, but it seems like that. Just depends on how many planes they are stacking for arrival.

Having worked with the FAA on various matters, I can also say that the current philosophy is to minimize queues and taxi distance for departures, and avoid taxi routes that cross active runways. This basically means long taxi ins. Especially noticeable when you land on the north side of ORD, but even on the south side, you get routed almost to the western fence before turning back to the ramp.

The FAA figures the safety gains and minimal departure time makes up for the long taxi in. I'm not so sure I agree.

Last edited by glbltvlr; Mar 8, 21 at 8:05 am
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Old Mar 7, 21, 1:59 pm
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Anyways, at ORD the worst is not when your plane lands and takes a scenic tour of the airport. The worst is when after landing you see your gate at the F Terminal and the pilot announces that your gate is occupied (a fact that you can see for yourself). Then your plane takes the scenic tour of the airport, stops in the boonies and you wait there with no new announcement from the pilot........counting the minutes ticking.
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Old Mar 8, 21, 8:19 am
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Originally Posted by LarryJ View Post
You can watch the taxi flows at the following site. It may require you to setup a free account.

https://www.airportviewer.com/airport/ORD
This really is an amazing view of the Covid impact on air travel. 9AM local on a Monday at ORD and what looks like about 90% of the movements at ORD are regionals, nothing active around T5/Intl and minimal stacked departure queues. Seeing the orange service vehicles is also interesting.
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Old Mar 8, 21, 9:46 am
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yes - when I was rushing from F to the other side of B for my connecting flight - I even commented to a Chicago Police that the airport was the busiest in well over a year - and he agreed completely - it was a zoo..... 20+ people on line for starbucks, etc

more to the point of this post - how is the decision make (separate from weather and wind) to land a plane then taxi or sit for a bit (for whatever reason - waiting for a gate to open, etc) vs continue to circle in the air around the airport?

if they are busy on the ground, I cant imagine it is any less busy in the air?
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