SFO to SYD / Very Few Pax

Old Nov 9, 2023, 1:24 am
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SFO to SYD / Very Few Pax

UA 863 on 7th November.
Lightest pax load I can remember and Iíve been flying that route for 25 years.
Lucky to be 100 pax total on the 777-300ER
Main reason it seems was a flight 3 hours earlier on the same route.
Canít be a sustainable schedule you would think unless UA are happy just filling up the pointy end.
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Old Nov 9, 2023, 3:16 am
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Originally Posted by grapegrower
UA 863 on 7th November.
Lightest pax load I can remember and Iíve been flying that route for 25 years.
Lucky to be 100 pax total on the 777-300ER
Main reason it seems was a flight 3 hours earlier on the same route.
Canít be a sustainable schedule you would think unless UA are happy just filling up the pointy end.
It also depends whatís in the belly of the plane. Cargo can make a route viable.
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Old Nov 9, 2023, 3:42 am
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Originally Posted by grapegrower
UA 863 on 7th November.
Lightest pax load I can remember and Iíve been flying that route for 25 years.
Lucky to be 100 pax total on the 777-300ER
Main reason it seems was a flight 3 hours earlier on the same route.
Canít be a sustainable schedule you would think unless UA are happy just filling up the pointy end.
We've air shipped freight between SYD and the US using a forwarder and the boxes often arrive with UA stickers on them.

I am hoping the craziness we saw through August is coming to an end but don't want things going over a cliff, either.
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Old Nov 9, 2023, 6:08 am
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A lot of Unitedís US-Australia flights seem to be pretty empty at the moment. Great for upgrades.
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Old Nov 9, 2023, 7:37 am
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Article I saw yesterday said that UPS was down 9% for the first 8 months of the year. I mention this just to say that belly freight may not save United on the Sydney route if the cabin is sparsely filled.
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Old Nov 9, 2023, 7:51 am
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Lots of award availability on the various Australia/NZ routes through March if you’re flexible. Looks like UA and other carriers over estimated the market for 15 hour flights in a metal tube. Of course, the end of post-covid “revenge travel” and economic issues play a large part in the slowdown.
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Old Nov 9, 2023, 8:45 am
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Originally Posted by jackk763
A lot of Unitedís US-Australia flights seem to be pretty empty at the moment. Great for upgrades.
sure is. Got upgraded both ways for later this month!
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Old Nov 9, 2023, 10:00 am
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Surprising...it's springtime Down Under so one would think that tourism would be strong.
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Old Nov 9, 2023, 10:03 am
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Originally Posted by grapegrower
UA 863 on 7th November.
Lightest pax load I can remember and Iíve been flying that route for 25 years.
Lucky to be 100 pax total on the 777-300ER
Main reason it seems was a flight 3 hours earlier on the same route.
Canít be a sustainable schedule you would think unless UA are happy just filling up the pointy end.
comes up all the time here, same answer: cargo.
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Old Nov 9, 2023, 10:08 am
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I am on one of the SFO-SYD flights, the later one, in December and both of the flights look sparsely filled. Already have the upgrade for the return flight.

I use to catch the LAX-SYD flight but it has a fuller load.

I personally like the later arriving flight (easier to adjust to the jetlag) and prefer the later flight when I return to avoid the commuters on the morning trains as i make my way to the airport so if they get rid of a flight hope it is the earlier flights on the SFO-SYD-SFO routes
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Old Nov 9, 2023, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by ContinentalFan
It also depends whatís in the belly of the plane. Cargo can make a route viable.
It's not just "can". United can make a ton of money even with no passengers on this route.
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Old Nov 9, 2023, 10:19 am
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Originally Posted by mnhusker
Article I saw yesterday said that UPS was down 9% for the first 8 months of the year. I mention this just to say that belly freight may not save United on the Sydney route if the cabin is sparsely filled.
FedEx is also down and is asking pilots to fly AA regional jets until business picks up again.

I wonder if UA is pricing cargo more competitively. I suppose the added bonus of passenger jets is that you can actually load humans who will pay money to be on the same flight as the cargo.
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Old Nov 9, 2023, 10:48 am
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I flew SFO to AKL on the 7th, Air NZ. The flight was nearly full, and there was another Air NZ 3 hours later! Iím in Auckland, and the weather is perfect. ( I flew United from Boston to SFO, the less said about that flight, the better.).
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Old Nov 9, 2023, 10:50 am
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Not sure why the USA airlines are doubling down on Oceania right now when airfare to Asia is still absurdly high and the Chinese airlines have still not resumed their TPAC flights? The LAX-AKL route wars make no sense at all to me. UA, DL, and AA all have direct flights to AKL, and they are all currently slashing fares to compete (sub $700, occasionally below $600 RT). Meanwhile, NZ is still charging 3x as much for the same route.
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Old Nov 9, 2023, 11:23 am
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My upgrade did not clear to PP or Polaris on UA839, LAX-SYD, a week ago (so I canceled and flew QF instead ). SFO flights also full. Could have done SFO-BNE, but did not have the time for the extra stop. I think with SFO-CHC and LAX-AKL/BNE, upgrades are going to become easier and there probably are too many seats. But you don't know until you try, right?
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