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Mid-Atlantic US Winter Storm (Weekend of 12/19) and Impact to UA's Operations

Mid-Atlantic US Winter Storm (Weekend of 12/19) and Impact to UA's Operations

 
Old Nov 16, 09, 2:19 pm
  #1  
Company Representative - United Airlines
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Mid-Atlantic US Winter Storm (Weekend of 12/19) and Impact to UA's Operations

Apologies in advance to the moderators for starting a new thread when there's a separate thread already about today's storms, but I want this message to be prominent (at least for a while) for everyone traveling this weekend...

We are canceling additional United and United Express flights to and from Dulles, National and BWI through 7 p.m. EST today. (Yesterday, we canceled flights scheduled for today through 3:30.) We expect snow-related cancelations and delays at PHL, the three NYC airports, and other airports throughout the mid-Atlantic and New England. AND weather delays are likely at O'Hare (I'm looking out my balcony door near downtown Chicago and glad to see our snow is turning to rain!) and at SFO.

I need your help to spread the word (through Twitter, Facebook, yelling off rooftops, airplane banners): reservations wait times will be longer than normal, as call volume is higher and as many Res agents are making outbound calls to customers with canceled flights. As you (our savviest flyers) know, many people can get everything they need online, specifically at united.com/travelwaivers. If we can get people to try united.com first, then we can reduce call volume and wait times for those who absolutely do need to speak to an agent.

Also, need your help to remind travelers not to show up at an airport for a canceled flight. United.com first, then, if necessary, call reservations or the travel agent. Travelers ticketed for a canceled flight (as you know) may already have been rebooked and that new itinerary would be visible at united.com.

Thanks to all... for being patient and for understanding we sincerely want to get everyone home for Christmas. We've got *hundreds* of employees working overtime (many volunteered to ) and others who themselves won't get home on time because they're at work too. (And where'd I put that magic weather wand. Ugghh!)

UnitedPR

December 20 Update

Originally Posted by United PR View Post
Hi folks,



We're happy to say that – compared to Saturday and Sunday – we have limited cancellations throughout the system today. We have additional aircraft in Dulles, Los Angeles and Denver to operate extra sections. (You might see a couple of 747s in some strange places today!) We're working overtime to get people where they need to go, but still need your help spreading the word that the first place to go to check flight status, rebook or reconfirm a rebooking is at united.com/travelwaivers.



As for the voice recognition system troubles, we had a nice little chat with HAL on Saturday. As you know, the enormous call volume slowed him down a bit, but he’s been back up and running since Saturday evening (maybe he had a little hot tea with lemon). Call volumes are still driving longer wait times than we’d like, but things are improving. And of course, the more we can get people to start their planning at united.com, the fewer people we have calling in to the Reservations lines.



Please, help a poor PR person out to spread the word. Thanks!!!



UnitedPR

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Dec 21, 09 at 12:39 pm Reason: bumped to top of queue
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Old Dec 17, 09, 5:37 pm
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Join Date: Apr 2001
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Mid-Atlantic US Winter Storm (Weekend of 12/19) and Impact to UA's Operations

If you've ever wanted an excuse for escaping the trailer park at IAD......I jumped at the chance to get mainline and a better flight time (and experience) through Chicago/O'Hare........................now PIT-ORD-GSP.

Details:

Traveling to, from or through: Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C
Dates covered: December 19 - 20, 2009
Tickets purchased on or before: December 17, 2009

Last edited by GSP flyer; Dec 17, 09 at 7:47 pm
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Old Dec 18, 09, 7:33 am
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12/19-20 Travel Waiver: IAD / BWI / PHL ... will it expand?

The travel waiver issued yesterday for the East Coast currently only covers 3 cities: IAD, BWI, PHL. But, there is a winter storm forecast to cover a significantly larger area. I'm helping a pax with MDT (Harrisburg, PA) destination for 12/19, which is under winter storm watch for 6-10" snow and wind up to 35 mph.

Is it likely that the waiver might be expanded, or does UA have a history of only covering major markets and not smaller markets?

I appreciate any thoughts.
Modern 49er is offline  
Old Dec 18, 09, 7:52 am
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Can't tell you if they will expand it, but I was flying BWI-SFO tomorrow and was able to change to a cheaper flight out of MDT tonight connecting through IAD, plus got confirmed for first on the IAD-SFO portion. Because of the travel waiver they didn't charge me the $150 change fee and they refunded me the diff in ticket price of $125.

Since the storm isn't supposed to hit until later tonight, hopefully everything will be ok..

First post - great site.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 7:57 am
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Welcome to FT! (Yes, it is a great site.)

I think the weather will hold for today...tomorrow looks like another story.

Nice job on the IAD-SFO UG.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 8:04 am
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Originally Posted by Modern 49er View Post
The travel waiver issued yesterday for the East Coast currently only covers 3 cities: IAD, BWI, PHL. But, there is a winter storm forecast to cover a significantly larger area. I'm helping a pax with MDT (Harrisburg, PA) destination for 12/19, which is under winter storm watch for 6-10" snow and wind up to 35 mph.

Is it likely that the waiver might be expanded, or does UA have a history of only covering major markets and not smaller markets?

I appreciate any thoughts.
Just to clear things up a little, the travel waiver covers WAS and PHL. Specifically WAS includes (IAD and DCA and BWI)

IME, you get a LOT of latitude once a waiver is issued if it effects your origination or destination or connection. However, you also get a bit of latitude if you are flying through those corridors. So long and you qualify by the dates, you should have little problem finding a halpful reservations rep to modify your ticket. I have never had a problem moving a ticket from within the advisory timeline to eaither before or after with no fees associated. Call.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 8:12 am
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I did call. No dice for MDT travel. We were flexible to move the flight a day earlier or a day later (many seats available), but were told that it could only be changed w/o $150 fee plus ticket difference ($400+) if MDT was added to the waiver. The agent checked with a service director who agreed with the stated policy.

It's probably significant that the pax I am assisting is only 3P.

I suppose I could apply the common FT logic (keep calling...) but I'm going to sit on this until later today and watch the weather / waiver situation evolve.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 9:02 am
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Saturday morning will be really tough in the greater DC area. I imagine that all three airports will have plenty of cancellations. Last I heard was 7-10 inches of snow, with heaviest accumulations in Southern Maryland.

First major winter storm in a while though - definitetly looking forward to it!
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Old Dec 18, 09, 10:04 am
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I am on 294 from SFO to BWI today, and am scheduled to arrive at 11:59 p.m., so the waiver does not apply to me (I tried to change yesterday.) But the snow is not supposed to start falling until about 8:00 p.m. at BWI tonight, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 10:17 am
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Considering the weather service just issued a Blizzard Watch for parts of Long Island and Winter Storm Watch for parts of Connecticut (and I'm sure other areas, I only get the mails for a limited region) I would assume that once the track of the storm is determined a bit better they will extend the waivers.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 10:20 am
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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Just tried to move my IAD-ORD-SDF (departs 9:44 am tomorrow) to today... was told no dice and I'd have to pay $150+farediff. How do travel waivers work? Should this have been possible?
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Old Dec 18, 09, 10:30 am
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My understanding is that you are allowed one change without the $150 fee as long as you fit the travel waiver definition--sounds like you do, so I'd call again.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 11:01 am
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Makes me glad I got my 1K MR in at the beginning of the month. Good luck to those traveling thru here this weekend!
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Old Dec 18, 09, 11:31 am
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I have friends here in Thailand heading home through IAD tomorrow en route to SYR. I tried calling on their behalf to route through ORD instead and was told they'd have to pay fare diff. since there's no S-class open. ($500/ticket...)

Here I thought I'd be proactive and save them and UA the hassle of rebooking or whatever they're going to do.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 11:39 am
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12/19 IAD Cancelations Have Been Loaded

I was looking at Expertflyer for my upcoming IAD-MCO flight tomorrow and noticed that some preemptive cancelations have now been loaded. A lot of the first mainline flights out of IAD have been axed.

If you have flights through there tomorrow, it may be a good time to check on them before all of the alternate options fill up.
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