Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums >
Reload this Page >

Miles&Points

Airlines and Mileage Programs

United Airlines | MileagePlus

What is the future of Hong Kong in the Unitedís Asia Route Network? Alternatives?

What is the future of Hong Kong in the Unitedís Asia Route Network? Alternatives?

Old Aug 26, 22, 7:35 am
  #106  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: PMD
Programs: UA*G, NW, AA. WR-G, HH-S, IHG, ALL. TT-GE.
Posts: 2,659
Originally Posted by moondog View Post
In the case of UA857/858, I don't think there is any overnighting involved; 857 arrives in Shanghai at 530p and departs as 858 at 11p (in theory); after the 90-minute stop in ICN, it continues onto SFO
How AC does HKG: Midnight departure from YYZ/YVR, pre-dawn ICN crew change, mid-morning HKG turn around, afternoon ICN crew change, daytime YYZ/YVR arrival.

GUM consideration:
Westbound: Pax from SFO cannot get off the plane, or their PCR (48-h countdown) are invalidated.
Eastbound: USCBP needs to sign off on something. Crew changes for incoming intl flights while pax remain seated have been done in US airports due to crew hour limits. Basically USCBP officer comes to the bridge and verify each crew member as they get off or on the aircraft.

Back when UA sold HKG-GUM-HNL (and still from MNL), pax went like this:
GUM: US immigration, Guam customs, TSA, US immigration pre-clearance.
HNL: Skip immigration, bag claim, US customs, TSA.
SPN Lifer likes this.
HkCaGu is offline  
Old Aug 26, 22, 9:04 am
  #107  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: IAH
Programs: UA 1K 2MM, Marriott LT Plat, IHG Spire
Posts: 3,262
This thread is reminding me of when there were daily flights to HKG from SFO, ORD, EWR, and I just had to try to calculate which one had the best chances for upgrade. I still hope that someday things will be like that again.
Daze, EWR764, drewguy and 3 others like this.
JNelson113 is offline  
Old Aug 26, 22, 11:01 am
  #108  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Latin America and USA
Programs: UA 1K, AA Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 306
Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
I don't really understand why the need for a crew change at ICN or any other city. Won't the new crew face the same quarantine risk when they arrive in HKG?
Here's how it worked during the time that Taiwan's quarantine restrictions for flight crew were super-draconian (late 2020 or early 2021 IIRC), forcing TPE-SFO and SFO-TPE to become TPE-GUM-SFO and SFO-GUM-TPE. One crew would fly SFO-GUM. Plane makes technical stop at GUM. All passengers required to stay on board, but full crew change. New crew goes GUM-TPE. At TPE, passengers and cargo unload and new passengers and cargo board, but flight crew never leaves the plane. Because flight crew never leaves the plane, they don't have to participate in any quarantine measures. Then crew flies TPE-GUM, technical stop crew change again, and new crew back to SFO.

It did change the flight times, I don't recall exactly by how much.

Even with light (almost zero) passenger loads, UA's cargo contracts were lucrative enough they were running 871/872 daily with those technical stops in GUM, plus a non-passenger cargo-only 77W daily for a while. I imagine if the economics made sense, they would do the same in HKG.
IMissThe747 is offline  
Old Aug 27, 22, 1:45 am
  #109  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 35
Originally Posted by SPN Lifer View Post
Hear, hear!
HKG is more practical than GUM as a final destination or connection point. HKG certainly has better connectivity to Asia than GUM, and its overall city transportation system is good. Not sure GUM "is a perfectly good hub." There is no nonstop flights to or from GUM to North America. Once GUM-HKG returns, this route (like that of MNL) will likely be served by crummy aircraft with no internet. UA's ground staff in both HKG and GUM are very good so it's a tie there. But after China's draconian Covid policies have lightened up, HKG will eventually be up and running. When that happens HKG will resume as the better airport for travel than GUM unless your origination or final destination is GUM. I say the above even though it's an admission against interest. Would love UA to designate GUM as a hub like SFO, IAH, ORD, EWR, and IAD with a Polaris lounge and nonstop flights to North America as well as expanded flights from GUM to SIN, SGN, BKK, TPE, KUL, PEK, and PVG, with Polaris seating, for example. Just don't see that happening.
JNelson113 and SPN Lifer like this.
tj96821 is offline  
Old Aug 27, 22, 4:49 am
  #110  
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Houston, TX
Programs: UA silver, Bonvoy gold
Posts: 1,055
Originally Posted by HkCaGu View Post
How AC does HKG: Midnight departure from YYZ/YVR, pre-dawn ICN crew change, mid-morning HKG turn around, afternoon ICN crew change, daytime YYZ/YVR arrival.

GUM consideration:
Westbound: Pax from SFO cannot get off the plane, or their PCR (48-h countdown) are invalidated.
Eastbound: USCBP needs to sign off on something. Crew changes for incoming intl flights while pax remain seated have been done in US airports due to crew hour limits. Basically USCBP officer comes to the bridge and verify each crew member as they get off or on the aircraft.

Back when UA sold HKG-GUM-HNL (and still from MNL), pax went like this:
GUM: US immigration, Guam customs, TSA, US immigration pre-clearance.
HNL: Skip immigration, bag claim, US customs, TSA.
Why would US immigration need to be done a second time?
Unitedloyalflyer is offline  
Old Aug 27, 22, 1:57 pm
  #111  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: PMD
Programs: UA*G, NW, AA. WR-G, HH-S, IHG, ALL. TT-GE.
Posts: 2,659
Originally Posted by Unitedloyalflyer View Post
Why would US immigration need to be done a second time?
Due to different visa regimes, admission to Guam/CNMI does not mean admission to the states. And territories other than PR are outside US customs zone. Therefore flying from a foreign point to GUM to HNL to points further requires 3 encounters with USCBP and 2 encounters with TSA. Originating from Guam only eliminates 1 USCBP encounter.
SPN Lifer and lsquare like this.
HkCaGu is offline  
Old Aug 27, 22, 3:37 pm
  #112  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: HNL
Programs: UA GS4MM, MR LT Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 5,872
Originally Posted by tj96821 View Post
HKG is more practical than GUM as a final destination or connection point. HKG certainly has better connectivity to Asia than GUM, and its overall city transportation system is good. Not sure GUM "is a perfectly good hub." There is no nonstop flights to or from GUM to North America. Once GUM-HKG returns, this route (like that of MNL) will likely be served by crummy aircraft with no internet. UA's ground staff in both HKG and GUM are very good so it's a tie there. But after China's draconian Covid policies have lightened up, HKG will eventually be up and running. When that happens HKG will resume as the better airport for travel than GUM unless your origination or final destination is GUM.
With a population of 170,000 (about the size of Maui) it just isnít feasible for GUM to be a hub
HNLbasedFlyer is offline  
Old Aug 27, 22, 3:48 pm
  #113  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Programs: AS MVP Gold 75K, DL Platinum, UA 1K, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Titanium + LT Silver, Hertz PC
Posts: 6,705
Originally Posted by tj96821 View Post
Would love UA to designate GUM as a hub
Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
With a population of 170,000 (about the size of Maui) it just isnít feasible for GUM to be a hub
GUM is a hub.

https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...port/maps.html
SPN Lifer and lsquare like this.
Repooc17 is offline  
Old Aug 27, 22, 3:49 pm
  #114  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: DL, OZ, AC, AS, AA, BA, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG
Posts: 13,416
Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
What's the difference between a hub and a "key airport"?
lsquare is online now  
Old Aug 27, 22, 4:03 pm
  #115  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 17,198
Originally Posted by tj96821 View Post
HKG is more practical than GUM as a final destination or connection point. HKG certainly has better connectivity to Asia than GUM, and its overall city transportation system is good. Not sure GUM "is a perfectly good hub." There is no nonstop flights to or from GUM to North America. Once GUM-HKG returns, this route (like that of MNL) will likely be served by crummy aircraft with no internet. UA's ground staff in both HKG and GUM are very good so it's a tie there. But after China's draconian Covid policies have lightened up, HKG will eventually be up and running. When that happens HKG will resume as the better airport for travel than GUM unless your origination or final destination is GUM. I say the above even though it's an admission against interest. Would love UA to designate GUM as a hub like SFO, IAH, ORD, EWR, and IAD with a Polaris lounge and nonstop flights to North America as well as expanded flights from GUM to SIN, SGN, BKK, TPE, KUL, PEK, and PVG, with Polaris seating, for example. Just don't see that happening.
HKG is a better choice for GUM than a hub in a vacuum. GUM is a much, much, much better choice than HKG as a hub for UA.

The reason is simple -- competition. With a hub at HKG, UA competes directly against CX and indirectly against any foreign carrier that happens to gain traffic rights (SQ); plus, if you're going to connect anyway, HKG vs TPE vs NRT vs etc. are fairly similar experiences. With a hub at GUM, UA eliminates the first set of competitors. Foreign carriers are not allowed to compete on the lucrative GUM-HNL or GUM-mainland routes (not to mention GUM-SPN . UA has an advantage at GUM that it can never get at HKG.

And, specifically because the market is too small, it's unlikely that AA or DL are going to go head-to-head vs. UA at GUM. Only HA would be a realistic threat, and I think HA would rather focus its efforts on the mainland.

The question is whether or not UA needs / wants an Asian hub at all, given its preference for long-and-thin routes nonstop from SFO and the presence of the JV hub(s) at TYO. But if they do, GUM seems to make the most sense to me.
jsloan is offline  
Old Aug 27, 22, 4:08 pm
  #116  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Programs: AS MVP Gold 75K, DL Platinum, UA 1K, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Titanium + LT Silver, Hertz PC
Posts: 6,705
Just realized, why is the thread title "Is Hong Kong Dead as a United Hub?" - when was HKG ever a hub for UA?
Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
What's the difference between a hub and a "key airport"?
Non-hub airports where UA has a good size presence and/or non-hub airports strategically important to UA.
SPN Lifer and lsquare like this.
Repooc17 is offline  
Old Aug 27, 22, 4:48 pm
  #117  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 38,018
Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
The question is whether or not UA needs / wants an Asian hub at all, given its preference for long-and-thin routes nonstop from SFO and the presence of the JV hub(s) at TYO. But if they do, GUM seems to make the most sense to me.
Obviously, the ability to facilitate smooth connections is arguably the most important criteria for being a hub. However, having strong O&D demand is also important. In this respect, Guam is laughable.

Just look at the former hubs in the middle of the US that existed when there were 8 network carriers, but lost hub status post consolidation. St. Louis probably has a geographical advantage to DFW, but DFW remains, presumably because the market itself is much stronger.
moondog is offline  
Old Aug 27, 22, 5:39 pm
  #118  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Programs: UA 1K 1MM (finally!), IHG AMB-Spire, HH Diamond
Posts: 58,822
Originally Posted by moondog View Post
In this respect, Guam is laughable..
In every respect. Same with CLE.

what has happened to HKG as a key business center is so unfortunate. But key business centers are where the focus needs to be.
uastarflyer is offline  
Old Aug 27, 22, 6:02 pm
  #119  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 38,018
Originally Posted by uastarflyer View Post
In every respect. Same with CLE.

what has happened to HKG as a key business center is so unfortunate. But key business centers are where the focus needs to be.
While Hong Kong is obviously going through some hard times, I do not foresee descending into complete irrelevance (i.e. it is NOT like Cleveland). Furthermore, before all of this quarantine madness started, HKIA was my preferred way to get to Shenzhen. HKG is more convenient for Shekou, Futian, etc than SZX. The case for Zhuhai is less compelling, but if I wanted to visit Zhuhai from overseas, flying into HKG would make more sense than PVG, CAN, or BJS.
moondog is offline  
Old Aug 27, 22, 10:00 pm
  #120  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 61,382
A couple of thoughts to add
-- UA shows no inclination to resume fifth freedom flights, so UA will be looking at O/D or connecting flights using partners
-- UA's preCOVID plan was long thin routes, covering the major manufacturing / financial centers directly. But those are not major leisure destinations.
-- UA has closed all Asian crew bases and seems very unlikely to re-open
-- American carriers will avoid become too dependent on locations with potential political issues, so not to become pawns in a game they have no standing.
WineCountryUA is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread