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Consolidated "Channel 9 Availability" Discussion Thread [Merged]

Consolidated "Channel 9 Availability" Discussion Thread [Merged]

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Old Oct 10, 19, 12:47 am   -   Wikipost
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Wiki note about the forum’s several, active “Channel 9” threads.

Offering live ATC communications on UA flights on Chanel 9 of the audio entertainment system (“Channel 9”) is exclusive to United and offered at the Captain’s discretion. This forum has four prime, active threads about Channel 9. This note will guide you to the right thread for your post, or to where you would look for those channel 9 posts you’re interested in.

1) This discussion thread to pursue issues about Channel 9 availability. (See the next paragraph. if you merely wish to list the flights offering or not offering channel 9.)

2) A thread – intended as a basic status thread only to list the specific channel 9-equipped flights offering or not offering Channel 9. The thumbs-up/down codes used in the thread are:
^ Channel 9 offered on this flight but no announcement made about it.
^^ Channel 9 offered and crew announced or promoted its availability.
Channel 9 not offered on this flight.
Channel 9 availability reports (no discussion)[Consoldidated]

3) A thread, to discuss interesting things heard on Channel 9, such as interesting exchanges between pilots and controllers or asking about pilot-controller phraseology. The Consolidated "Interesting Things Heard on Channel 9" Thread [Merged]

4) A thread to discuss United’s progress in converting legacy Continental aircraft to offer Channel 9.
Anyone get channel 9 on a reconfigured CO or PDE aircraft yet?

The following aircraft types have "From the Flight Deck" installed (commonly known as "Channel 9," as that's the location it is found on audio handset selectors):
pmUA 777-200ERs
pmCO 777-200ERs
pmUA 777-300ERs
pmUA 777-200As (high density, first class only)
pmUA 767-300ERs
pmCO 767-400ERs
pmUA 757-200 (28J p.s.)
pmCO 757-200 (16J p.s.) -- effective with cabin refresh announced October 2019

[pmUA A320 and A319 aircraft have had it removed. It is not installed on any 737s, 787s, nor pre-2019/2020 cabin refresh program pmCO 757-200s (16J p.s.) or pmCO 757-300s.]

The Moderators may move misplaced posts to conform to these thread aims.

Archived posts in Consolidated "Channel 9 Availability" Discussion Thread [ARCHIVE]
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Old Jul 8, 19, 1:19 am
  #196  
 
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Originally Posted by zspitzer View Post
I always ask the FA's to ask the cockpit crew to turn it on if I'm on a plane that has it installed. Usually gets met with some confusion from the FA as I try to explain that no, nothing is broken, I would just appreciate they relay the message to the cockpit that I'd appreciate they flip the switch on. I'm always hesitant to come up myself, I stopped doing cockpit tours when I stopped being a cute little kid. These days I'd just be that obnoxious PPL offering his services if you both eat the fish!
My wife always asks the Purser when we are flying Polaris Business. Half the time the Purser sends her to the cockpit to ask the Captain. Half the time the Purser does the asking. My wife stopped being a "cute little kid" in the 60's.....

If we are in Economy, she does not ask and just hopes that Channel 9 is on. With the added problem that we usually are in the bulkhead seats of the pmUA772 and the TV has to be stowed for take-off and landing.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 9:47 am
  #197  
 
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Originally Posted by StuckinITH View Post
My wife always asks the Purser when we are flying Polaris Business. Half the time the Purser sends her to the cockpit to ask the Captain. Half the time the Purser does the asking. My wife stopped being a "cute little kid" in the 60's.....

If we are in Economy, she does not ask and just hopes that Channel 9 is on. With the added problem that we usually are in the bulkhead seats of the pmUA772 and the TV has to be stowed for take-off and landing.
This has been my MO too. I always ask if I'm in business (which isn't often) but just hope for the best in Economy. I haven't heard Ch9 in years...
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Old Jul 8, 19, 12:22 pm
  #198  
 
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Was on a yet converted 772 pmua flight lax to ord Saturday night. During the boarding process the Captain was at front door greeting passengers in the old 1st class section. I asked about channel 9 for the flight and he said it was now mandatory they are not allowed to turn it on because of frivolous lawsuits that the company has recieved over the years.

Why would someone sue over what is said on ATC?
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Old Jul 8, 19, 12:47 pm
  #199  
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Originally Posted by bhunt View Post
Why would someone sue over what is said on ATC?
Can't find it, but the "ready to taxi, and we've got whiskey" story comes to mind... Usually a statement like that is being made up to cover for an individual decision not to turn on Ch 9 though.

For people who approach the flight crew, is there a polite way to do it? Unthinking, I once poked my head in the cockpit during boarding on a 752. The captain and FO were very friendly and turned on Channel 9 for me, but when I turned around it was to see a startled-looking FA who had clearly been ready to tackle me to the floor if my motives had been more nefarious.. only then did it occur to me that, oh yeah, the flight deck is kind of a sensitive area

Requests through the FAs to turn on Channel 9 have an extremely low success rate for me.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 1:12 pm
  #200  
 
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
For people who approach the flight crew, is there a polite way to do it? Unthinking, I once poked my head in the cockpit during boarding on a 752. The captain and FO were very friendly and turned on Channel 9 for me, but when I turned around it was to see a startled-looking FA who had clearly been ready to tackle me to the floor if my motives had been more nefarious.. only then did it occur to me that, oh yeah, the flight deck is kind of a sensitive area

Requests through the FAs to turn on Channel 9 have an extremely low success rate for me.
I always ask a FA if I can visit the cockpit, I don't walk up without an invitation. My success rate for FAs passing along Ch 9 request is essentially 0.

If its not on and I don't see the Captain/FO I dont' ask.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 2:56 pm
  #201  
 
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Originally Posted by bhunt View Post
Was on a yet converted 772 pmua flight lax to ord Saturday night. During the boarding process the Captain was at front door greeting passengers in the old 1st class section. I asked about channel 9 for the flight and he said it was now mandatory they are not allowed to turn it on because of frivolous lawsuits that the company has recieved over the years.

Why would someone sue over what is said on ATC?
Unless something recently changed, I don't think it is policy to not have it on. I think it's just up to the pilot in command. Honestly, seems like an excuse by the pilot.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 3:55 pm
  #202  
 
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Originally Posted by UAL250 View Post
Unless something recently changed, I don't think it is policy to not have it on. I think it's just up to the pilot in command. Honestly, seems like an excuse by the pilot.
The Channel 9 policy statement is false.

The frivolous lawsuit part is unfortunately absolutely true.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 4:00 pm
  #203  
 
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Originally Posted by UAL250 View Post
Unless something recently changed, I don't think it is policy to not have it on. I think it's just up to the pilot in command. Honestly, seems like an excuse by the pilot.
The policy is it is on at the pilot's discretion. A few pilots, like a few FAs, make up their own interpretation. Fortunately, it's a few.

A story I heard from a UA pilot whom I respect and trust: The hourly recorded airport weather, "ATIS," must be acknowledged by the pilot upon receiving the pre-departure clearance on the ground, as well as initial contact with approach control on initial decent. ATIS editions are coded using the phonetic alphabet, starting with ALPHA and ending with ZULU. A passenger heard an acknowledgement of "We have WHISKEY" and reported to the FAA the pilots had alcohol in the cockpit. And the crew had a mountain of paperwork to fill out. It just ruins it for all when that happens.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 4:33 pm
  #204  
 
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Originally Posted by wxguy View Post
The policy is it is on at the pilot's discretion. A few pilots, like a few FAs, make up their own interpretation. Fortunately, it's a few.

A story I heard from a UA pilot whom I respect and trust: The hourly recorded airport weather, "ATIS," must be acknowledged by the pilot upon receiving the pre-departure clearance on the ground, as well as initial contact with approach control on initial decent. ATIS editions are coded using the phonetic alphabet, starting with ALPHA and ending with ZULU. A passenger heard an acknowledgement of "We have WHISKEY" and reported to the FAA the pilots had alcohol in the cockpit. And the crew had a mountain of paperwork to fill out. It just ruins it for all when that happens.
I guess I can see why a novice passenger would think that meant they literally had alcohol in the cockpit, but still very silly. I guess the way around that would be "We have information whiskey."
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Old Jul 8, 19, 6:51 pm
  #205  
 
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Just a bummer they won't turn it on. That's probably the biggest reason a became a United frequent flyer 15+ years ago.

I use the ATC app on my phone but it's difficult to change to all the correct frequencies to follow the flight especially in the air when they switch Centers since they all have multiple frequencies for each center.
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Old Jul 15, 19, 2:57 am
  #206  
 
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12/7 UA900 LHR-SFO B773 On at gate, but then switched off during taxi out. Spoke to purser about 90 mins out from SFO, who called the Captain to ask and was put back on :-) Purser checked it was working, and then enthusiastically announced it's availability. So that's a ^^^ from me!
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Old Jul 15, 19, 7:25 am
  #207  
 
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Originally Posted by bhunt View Post
I use the ATC app on my phone but it's difficult to change to all the correct frequencies to follow the flight especially in the air when they switch Centers since they all have multiple frequencies for each center.
I really wish there was a way you could easily link liveatc.com and flightradar24.com so that you could follow the ATC for your flight. Like the system would automatically switch you to the right frequency as you move along in flight.
Say Vandelay likes this.
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Old Jul 15, 19, 7:45 am
  #208  
 
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Finally a trip with a 100% success rate. Until now, I was stuck at exactly 50%.

6/28 UA835 ORD-PVG pmUA 772. The Purser sent my wife to ask the Captain who immediately said yes.

7/11 UA 836 PVG-ORD Polarized pmUA 772. My wife asked the Captain who was outside the cockpit who also immediately said yes. It was still working for the 20 minutes we had to wait for a plane to leave the gate that we were supposed to use (although in the end we got a different gate).
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Old Jul 15, 19, 8:58 am
  #209  
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How do you access this on a 789 assuming it is turned on?

As an aside, they have overlayed a new IFE GUI on some 789s which looks nice but has worse usability.
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Old Jul 15, 19, 9:26 am
  #210  
 
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Originally Posted by uastarflyer View Post
How do you access this on a 789 assuming it is turned on?

As an aside, they have overlayed a new IFE GUI on some 789s which looks nice but has worse usability.
None of the 787s (-8, -9, -10) has it installed. See the Wiki in this thread for info on the fleet types where it is installed. On those where it is installed, it will be through the AUDIO menu selection "FROM THE FLIGHT DECK." Push it once when it says "LISTEN," (it will then display "STOP") then touch the X to return to the prior menu. Selecting any other audio-related function overrides the ATC.
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