UA769 9-Sep ORD-BCN returns to Chicago

Old Sep 11, 2023, 4:54 am
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UA769 9-Sep ORD-BCN returns to Chicago

Anyone know anything about why this plane turned around?
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Old Sep 11, 2023, 10:40 am
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Originally Posted by FiveMileFinal
Anyone know anything about why this plane turned around?
Appears a MX issue, per flight status. The exact issue is rarely provide except to those on the flight or with access to UA internal systems
Your flight is canceled because we needed to take the plane out of service to address a technical issue. Your safety is our priority and we're sorry for the inconvenience.
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Old Sep 11, 2023, 10:49 am
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If you are really motivated you can try to track down the ATC recordings via a site like liveatc.net.
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Old Sep 11, 2023, 5:34 pm
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We were supposed to be on the return--which was cancelled about an hour before we needed to go to the airport--and got the same explanation on text. At that point the plane was on final approach to land in ORD when I checked flight aware (all United app / texts indicating everything was a go including BCN gate assignment until that point)...so it must have been serious enough that the pilot decided it wasn't safe to cross the Atlantic or would be a nightmare to fix/strand a 788 in BCN with a maintenance issue, but safe enough to turn around and go back to ORD.

They did run the flight at 6pm yesterday as UA3018 and I guess they are keeping the plane overnight today in BCN, as there is a UA3019 scheduled for Tuesday morning...looks to be about 20-30 seats taken and 15 on the standby list..

I called the 1K line within minutes of the cancel text and had to wait an hour with the east coast storm madness. The agent was super confused as to what was happening and clearly in east coast storm mode. Once we got on same wavelength, she was really diligent and finally able to get us back through Germany today. On Sunday, there was no indication there would be a 3019 on Tuesday and the auto book options all were pretty bad / risky considering the weather issues on the east coast and fact these ORD-BCN flights seem to be running really full (which I hope will be a permanent seasonal route as the flight timing is great if things are running).
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Old Sep 11, 2023, 7:16 pm
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Thought we would have the inside scoop on this by now
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Old Sep 11, 2023, 10:08 pm
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Originally Posted by jackk763
Thought we would have the inside scoop on this by now
Exactly. The first thing I did was check the app and Flightaware. Ive got a friend coming in on it this week and then Im on 770 in a couple weeks. Was pretty reliable earlier this summer but dispatch rate has been kinda in the toilet lately.

Im surprised they didnt just hook a right and land in EWR. Do 788s see a lot of action there? Does it matter?
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Old Sep 11, 2023, 10:14 pm
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Originally Posted by FiveMileFinal
Exactly. The first thing I did was check the app and Flightaware. Ive got a friend coming in on it this week and then Im on 770 in a couple weeks. Was pretty reliable earlier this summer but dispatch rate has been kinda in the toilet lately.

Im surprised they didnt just hook a right and land in EWR. Do 788s see a lot of action there? Does it matter?
For finding an answer, post #3 provides a good suggestion. Just requires a bit of work on your part.

Regarding potentially landing at EWR, if the plane started at ORD and can make it back to ORD, it's much better to go back to ORD. Otherwise you potentially need to get a bunch of folks who don't want to go to BCN any longer back to ORD.
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Old Sep 12, 2023, 5:44 pm
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My spouse was on this flight. He stated they announced an issue with the cooling pumps not working prompted the return back to ORD.
He was provided a day room, meal vouchers and a $300 ETC. I assume Amex Platinum Trip Delay Insurance will cover lyfts to the hotel etc
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Old Sep 13, 2023, 12:51 pm
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Originally Posted by blacke61
My spouse was on this flight. He stated they announced an issue with the cooling pumps not working prompted the return back to ORD.
He was provided a day room, meal vouchers and a $300 ETC. I assume Amex Platinum Trip Delay Insurance will cover lyfts to the hotel etc
Interesting and Thanks for replying with this! As noted above, this was supposed to be our plane home...so I was also curious what exactly happened...especially after seeing flight aware mapping. Also, interesting to hear how they dealt with this upon the return to Chicago.

On the issue of the return to Chicago vs east coast noted above...given the "weather chaos" going on Sunday night in EWR/IAD I'm assuming they made the decision to just go back to ORD where they have a lot 787s these days as 1) they apparently had the parts to fix and 2) they don't compound the situation by having no gate/agents at the airport to deal with this. The plane landed back in Chicago just before 4am...so that's when the redeyes from the west coast start arriving so they likely had the agents on hand to deal with a full 788 vs having it suddenly appearing at EWR at 2am (Plane turned around over the west coast of Newfoundland); plus a guess it was easier to round up an alternate crew to take the plane to BCN on Monday evening than to source from an already stretch crew bases for EWR or IAD.
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Last edited by mike1968; Sep 13, 2023 at 12:53 pm Reason: wrong airport code
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Old Sep 14, 2023, 6:27 am
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I was on this flight. What we were told was that the engine cooling system had failed, and alternate method for engine cooling was already inoperative for this flight (ok to fly in normal circumstances). Whether we HAD TO turn around (e.g. uncertified to fly over water in this condition) or if United needed the plane back at a home base to repair,I am not sure).
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