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Denver issues: 19 Aug 2021 WX / Gate availability & 20 Aug concourse train breakdown

Denver issues: 19 Aug 2021 WX / Gate availability & 20 Aug concourse train breakdown

Old Aug 20, 21, 2:14 pm
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by fumje View Post
Spotted on the ramp at EWR:
ha, hope they got a few to get that big OT $$!
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Old Aug 20, 21, 2:15 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by mduell View Post
COMMENTS: GROUND STOP FOR UAL MAINLINE AND SUB CARRIERS CANCELLED.
UAL MAINLINE AND SUBCARRIER ONLY GROUND DELAY PROGRAM NOW IN AFFECT,
AIRLINE REQUEST. AIRCRAFT ARE RELEASED ON EDCTS.
Those are issued when an airline is running out of gate space due to the cascading delays. They are used to reduce the incidence of long tarmac delays.
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Old Aug 20, 21, 2:16 pm
  #18  
 
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Wow, I was really lucky yesterday (19th). My 1:50 departure didn't actually lift off until about 2:40, and I was watching the storm a bit north of the airport out of the window and on the weather radar. I told my seat mate that if we didn't get off before the weather hit, we could be stuck for hours. We made it. AND my mainline incoming landed in A, had to train to B. I noticed a walkway from A to baggage claim (I think it is aerial?) but of course, unlike say ATL, no way to hoof it on foot. New (to me) gates at the low numbers in B. Isn't that where the regionals used to go out from, or am I mistaken?

Last edited by MojaveFlyer; Aug 20, 21 at 9:16 pm
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Old Aug 20, 21, 2:39 pm
  #19  
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Originally Posted by 757FO View Post
The only part of this I can comment on is the "wee thunderstorm" comment. As a Captain, there is NO wee thunderstorm. Airliners have crashed because of pilot hubris in thinking they can beat the weather, or it won't be that bad. I will ALWAYS delay or divert if the weather picture doesn't meet my personal standards for safety. I am certain my peers feel the same way.
T-storm was intense, but lasted no more than 30 minutes. UA put a 777 in the air with a crew which had NO margin for error. They stranded a TON of pax in ORD - rippled through this AM with a number of invol deboards to just get the MP pax to Denver. I agree with you and your peers - but if {UA} isn't able (with today's amazing technology) to properly plan out a flight, the pax shouldn't suffer. Looking at the flight track for 407, they were hoping against hope they could get a slot and only turned around at minimum fuel. They were nearly within easy driving distance of Denver when they turned around.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Aug 20, 21 at 2:43 pm Reason: Using symbols, spaces or other methods to mask vulgarities is not allowed.
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Old Aug 20, 21, 3:30 pm
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by BlueHenFlyer View Post
T-storm was intense, but lasted no more than 30 minutes.
In my experience, this is par for the course ex-DEN. My last flight arrival we diverted away from DEN ~200 miles due to weather before circling back.
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Old Aug 20, 21, 6:57 pm
  #21  
 
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I had a friend flying DFW-DEN. 2/3 of the way to DEN they started circling, then diverted to ABQ. Another UA jet PVR-DEN diverted to ABQ as well. Took a good amount of time for them to get refueled and a slot to head back to DEN.

I live near the airport, we had multiple tornado warnings, multiple thunderstorms, two hail storms - over a three hour period. Anyone can arm chair quarterback but the reality is yesterday was not a typical bad weather day for Denver.

As far as inop escalators and moving walkways, there are quite a large number of these in the airport and at any given time one is always having scheduled maintenance. The airport has an on site contractor to provide those maintenance events, so yes, as you move through the airport, you may see something being maintained, but it is all part of the overall plan.

This afternoon the airport acknowledged that the train situation was unacceptable. The new Airport CEO has made preventative maintenance and creating the best traveler experience a very high priority for DEN. I expect he will give people a short period of time to give a full assessment and recommendations for improvement and he will then implement the changes with approvals from City Council. Watch this space.
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Old Aug 20, 21, 8:34 pm
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by BlueHenFlyer View Post
T-storm was intense, but lasted no more than 30 minutes. UA put a 777 in the air with a crew which had NO margin for error. They stranded a TON of pax in ORD - rippled through this AM with a number of invol deboards to just get the MP pax to Denver. I agree with you and your peers - but if {UA} isn't able (with today's amazing technology) to properly plan out a flight, the pax shouldn't suffer. Looking at the flight track for 407, they were hoping against hope they could get a slot and only turned around at minimum fuel. They were nearly within easy driving distance of Denver when they turned around.
I'll let the actual UA pilots chime in as well, but they obviously wouldn't let the flight go with zero margin for error respective of safety, connections, plus a host of other considerations that you neglected to mention. The flip side to this is the flight didn't leave ORD for another 6 hours and there would still be gripes. If there was not a decent chance that the flight would have made it to DEN, it likely wouldn't have been dispatched (especially with so many PAX on a domestic leg).

You can disparage United's flight planning all you like, but a lot more goes into it then you know. This speaking from someone who has been delayed (and stuck) almost 20 hours in airports the last two days with Denver being included in that.
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Old Aug 20, 21, 9:27 pm
  #23  
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Travel Waiver: Denver Train Outage (August 20, 2021)

(FWIW)

Airport:
  • Denver, CO (DEN)
Original ticket must have been purchased by: August 19, 2021

Rebook language: The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before August 21, 2021, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed. View your reservation and select Change Flight to search for alternate flights.

Waiver (normal folks): https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...merica-waivers

Jetstream Waiver (posted): https://jetstream.united.com/#/all-travel-waiver

Waiver Parameter Code (posted): 1+

David

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Old Aug 20, 21, 9:31 pm
  #24  
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Originally Posted by BlueHenFlyer View Post
T-storm was intense, but lasted no more than 30 minutes. UA put a 777 in the air with a crew which had NO margin for error. They stranded a TON of pax in ORD - rippled through this AM with a number of invol deboards to just get the MP pax to Denver. I agree with you and your peers - but if {UA} isn't able (with today's amazing technology) to properly plan out a flight, the pax shouldn't suffer. Looking at the flight track for 407, they were hoping against hope they could get a slot and only turned around at minimum fuel. They were nearly within easy driving distance of Denver when they turned around.
things can and do change quickly sometimes.

first of all, with thunderstorms, note that if there is lightning within some amount of miles of the airport (I forgot how many), crew can not be outside for something like 20 minutes. That clock resets anytime there is additional lightning. That means yes, it could very well be due to weather (and then the backlog it causes).

second, weather and other factors can change quickly sometimes, and also in unexpected ways. If you think UA was trying to do something without a margin of error, think again. Everything in aviation has backups and many times backups for the backups. It is surely an inconvenience for your wife, yes, but it is much worse of an inconvenience for the airline…puts crew and planes in places they are not supposed to be, which has down line consequences, has them scrambling to rebook potentially hundreds of passengers, no easy feat in the pre-covid days, much less when schedules have less leeway than before, and cost a lot of $, which they need to absorb.

Ive been flying UA as a premier of various flavors for 15+ years, hundreds of segments for sure, and I can recall being diverted a total of 3 times. Definitely had well more major weather delays and cancellations than that, it’s not even close. Say what you will, but I think they’re record, overall, is pretty good, even though Ive certainly had my share of inconveniences, late arrivals, etc.

The fact is there are issues sometimes that aren’t the fault of the airline or the passenger, but when both suffer. That traveling, love it or hate it.
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Old Aug 21, 21, 8:30 am
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by BlueHenFlyer View Post
T-storm was intense, but lasted no more than 30 minutes. UA put a 777 in the air with a crew which had NO margin for error. They stranded a TON of pax in ORD - rippled through this AM with a number of invol deboards to just get the MP pax to Denver. I agree with you and your peers - but if {UA} isn't able (with today's amazing technology) to properly plan out a flight, the pax shouldn't suffer. Looking at the flight track for 407, they were hoping against hope they could get a slot and only turned around at minimum fuel. They were nearly within easy driving distance of Denver when they turned around.
Respectfully, we don't operate like that. We don't launch a flight with "NO margin for error" as you state. We aren't NASA or the military, where risk is assumed to meet an operational goal. There is a reason commercial aviation is as safe as it is, because we don't operate like that! Yes the technology we have is very sophisticated, but even with the best planning and technology, you can't beat mother nature. I'd rather see my pax's suffer with a delay, than the potential for severe turbulence or worse.

Further, just because a storm only lasted 30 minutes, doesn't mean that the severe WX hazards are now gone.
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Old Aug 21, 21, 8:36 am
  #26  
 
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Four years ago (August 20th, 2017) I posted this on Facebook:
Well, last night was fun. My 4.5 hour trip took over 8. Got to Denver and had severe weather including wind shear during landing and had to execute a go-around just before landing and then tried to wait out the storm, but we ran out of fuel and had to go to Colorado Springs and wait it out there. So much fun!

Seems this time of year brings these severe storms to Denver.

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Old Aug 25, 21, 3:29 pm
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by 757FO View Post
The only part of this I can comment on is the "wee thunderstorm" comment. As a Captain, there is NO wee thunderstorm. Airliners have crashed because of pilot hubris in thinking they can beat the weather, or it won't be that bad. I will ALWAYS delay or divert if the weather picture doesn't meet my personal standards for safety. I am certain my peers feel the same way.
I love that attitude on the part of the flight crew. Have been listening to the Flight Safety Detectives podcast and their dissection of various mishaps.
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Old Aug 25, 21, 4:28 pm
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by ExplorerWannabe View Post
I love that attitude on the part of the flight crew. Have been listening to the Flight Safety Detectives podcast and their dissection of various mishaps.
It may be a bit morbid but I really enjoy (maybe "enjoy" isn't the right word) reading NTSB reports and programs like "Seconds from Disaster" / "Mayday: ACI" -- my wife doesn't understand how I can watch, let alone appreciate, those with how often I fly (and for the same reasons she will not be in the same room at the same time as I'm watching them) -- but the disasters and mistakes we circulate, appreciate, discover the failure chain, and learn lessons from, while frequently tragic, are the disasters that are less likely to occur again. I remember several years ago there was a Delta crash where one of the last things on the CVR was something along the lines of "looks like we're going to get our plane washed" as they flew into a thunderstorm with severe low-level wind shear -- the crew didn't appreciate (and didn't have the training/instrumentation, IIRC) to appreciate the imminent risk to the aircraft and continued with a landing that...for the sake of discretion...did not end well. While that was tragic the the industry learned a lot of lessons that make and keep all of us safer every time we fly... Including deemphasizing mission completion fixation (e.g. it's OK if you divert/you're no less good as a pilot...)

Beyond those incidents that make the news if you look at NTSB dockets and accident reports it's rather shocking how dangerous the back of an airplane can be during turbulence. I've read more than a few operator reports/crewmember statements involving broken limbs in the aft galleys (particularly on express-sized aircraft) for turbulence on descent that the PIC described in their account as "a few bumps" or "light chop".

I'll reiterate: I put my life and safety in the hands of a professional every time I fly. I'd much rather that professional say "sorry, we can't get you there now" than "Yes sir! Of course, sir!" while flying me into the ground somewhere near my intended destination.
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Old Aug 25, 21, 4:49 pm
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc View Post
I remember several years ago there was a Delta crash where one of the last things on the CVR was something along the lines of "looks like we're going to get our plane washed"
Several years ago? You must be my age!

That was Delta 191, L1011 at DFW. August 2, 1985. We learned quite a bit about microbursts since then and now have much better predictive and detection equipment in the airplanes and ATC facilities. If I remember correctly, it was the DL191 accident that led to the development of the wind shear escape profile that we all train on today.
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