Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Discontinued Programs/Partners > United Mileage Plus (Pre-Merger)
Reload this Page >

April/May 2010 - Volcanic Activity in Iceland and Impact to United's Operations

April/May 2010 - Volcanic Activity in Iceland and Impact to United's Operations

 

Old Apr 14, 10, 10:18 pm
  #1  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: SNA
Programs: UA Million Mile Nobody, Marriott Platinum Elite, SPG Gold
Posts: 25,229
Exclamation April/May 2010 - Volcanic Activity in Iceland and Impact to United's Operations

Yup. Volcanoes in London!!! Run for your lives!

UA page here.

I know, Iceland, but can't they just fly around it?
flyinbob is offline  
Old Apr 14, 10, 10:22 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SFO/SJC
Programs: DL Gold, Marriott
Posts: 2,308
LOL. "Following the eruption of a volcano in Iceland earlier (Wednesday), the Met Office (weather forecasting service) have advised airlines that the ash plume may reach UK air space overnight,"

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp...7BF4RhloTmAMfw
kjnangre is offline  
Old Apr 14, 10, 10:35 pm
  #3  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: GVA (Greater Vancouver Area)
Programs: DREAD Gold; UA 1.021MM; Bonvoy Au-197; PCC Elite+; CWC Au-197; CCC Elite; WoH Dis
Posts: 49,129
Originally Posted by flyinbob View Post
I know, Iceland, but can't they just fly around it?
There's this thing called "wind"...

Originally Posted by kjnangre View Post
LOL.
NLM. Volcanic ash is an extremely dangerous condition for aircraft. It can shut down an engine as easily as a bird strike and covers a vastly larger area.
mahasamatman is offline  
Old Apr 14, 10, 10:36 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Arlington, VA
Programs: United MP 1p, PC Ambassador, GP Platinum
Posts: 439
@UnitedAirlines has already sent out three separte tweets about it. I guess they're really trying to get the word out to (now stranded) passengers.

I guess no one wants to repeat BA flight 9:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Airways_Flight_9
IADtoWhere is offline  
Old Apr 14, 10, 10:42 pm
  #5  
us2
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Southern California/In the air
Programs: DL
Posts: 10,382
Bob, Keflavik (BIKF) is a key alternate for ETOPS. And the ash will drift. As long as its out there, it can and will disrupt operations. And justifiably so. Volcanic ash in a jet engine is a nasty business.

There's a thread about this over on PPrune: http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/4...r-traffic.html Quite a mess in Norway and the UK.
us2 is offline  
Old Apr 15, 10, 1:02 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Programs: UA, Starwood, Priority Club, Hertz, Starbucks Gold Card
Posts: 3,842
Wow, people who actually think a volcanic eruption is a funny matter. What's the big deal with some smoke? Haha.
sinoflyer is offline  
Old Apr 15, 10, 1:03 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: BHD
Programs: United 2P, HHonors Gold
Posts: 15
I depart tomorrow ogg-lax-lhr-bhd hope it has blown away by then!
ir68 is offline  
Old Apr 15, 10, 1:05 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: second-tier member of various hotel and airline programs
Posts: 143
Morning TV in London has talked of "huge disruption" for transAtlantic flights ("all UK airports") as a result of the ash cloud. 90% of all flights out of the international UK airports are expected to be affected, along with similar problems at domestic airports. Interestingly, UA's status page does not currently evidence the same alarm -- I guess they too are tracking the progress of the ash. Since the volcano is still erupting, if you were planning to fly into or out of Scotland, Ireland, or England today it's going to be ugly!
the cranky banker is offline  
Old Apr 15, 10, 1:49 am
  #9  
TA
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: if it's Thursday, this must be Belgium
Programs: UA 1K MM
Posts: 6,071
I wonder, in a situation like this, is it even an option to turn some of those cancelled LHR flights into CDG/BRU flights to let people get at least close?

Although it's probably too complicated, and people generally want to land in the country they planned on, and may not think of such options....

It should certainly be a good day for Eurostar.

Last edited by TA; Apr 15, 10 at 1:59 am
TA is offline  
Old Apr 15, 10, 2:06 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: here and there
Programs: EB*G, UA ex1K
Posts: 568
Sweden airspace north of 63N and all Norway airspace are closed...definitely not conditions to take an airplane into.

But I'm curious about long term contingencies, especially if emergency access to KEF is an ETOPS requirement. If Eyjafjallajoekull is really entering an period of increased activity -- this is the second eruption in a month -- is there contingency plan to keep to TATL traffic running reasonably reliably in the longer term (months/year)? I'm not even sure what authority would be responsible for this kind of planning?

Last edited by neko; Apr 15, 10 at 2:37 am
neko is offline  
Old Apr 15, 10, 2:14 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Posts: 12,083
The jet stream is right on top of erupting Eyjafjallajoekull (yes, it's a mouthful).
hillrider is offline  
Old Apr 15, 10, 2:34 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: here and there
Programs: EB*G, UA ex1K
Posts: 568
Originally Posted by TA View Post
I wonder, in a situation like this, is it even an option to turn some of those cancelled LHR flights into CDG/BRU flights to let people get at least close?

Although it's probably too complicated, and people generally want to land in the country they planned on, and may not think of such options....
Especially with UK outside Schengen zone, I think this is pretty complicated for the airlines to implement on a wide-scale.

But obviously it could be a good solution for proactive passengers with the appropriate passports.
neko is offline  
Old Apr 15, 10, 2:37 am
  #13  
us2
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Southern California/In the air
Programs: DL
Posts: 10,382
Originally Posted by neko View Post
Sweden airspace north of 63N and all Norway airspace...definitely not conditions to take an airplane into.

But I'm curious about long term contingencies, especially if emergency access to KEF is an ETOPS requirement. If Eyjafjallajoekull is really entering an period of increased activity -- this is the second eruption in a month -- is there contingency plan to keep to TATL traffic running reasonably reliably in the longer term (months/year)? I'm not even sure what authority would be responsible for this kind of planning?
I believe the answer to the problem if it persists would be to reroute traffic south using the Azores as an alternate rather than Keflavik. The tracks for the North Atlantic are set by an office of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization). The tracks are set daily, so this kind of change could be implemented quite quickly. Unfortunately, there's no fix if the volcano continues to erupt and ash is hanging over the UK; you simply cannot fly into the stuff.
us2 is offline  
Old Apr 15, 10, 2:40 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: What I write is my opinion alone..don't read into it anything not written.
Posts: 9,586
This is turning into a real pain in the ash!
fastair is offline  
Old Apr 15, 10, 2:53 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: London & Sonoma CA
Programs: UA 1K MM, Hertz PC, BAEC Silver
Posts: 7,931
Originally Posted by neko View Post
Especially with UK outside Schengen zone, I think this is pretty complicated for the airlines to implement on a wide-scale.

But obviously it could be a good solution for proactive passengers with the appropriate passports.
It shouldn't be too complicated - Schengen has nothing to do with it, it's all EU. CDG could even be used as a divert airport for LHR in some circs. However, there are a number of complications, even going beyond practicalities such as inadequate staffing at CDG or BRU. First off, as I understand it, it's possible that LHR will be shut down this afternoon. Eurostar will continue running from Paris and Brussels, but it has limited capacity for all the flights terminating. Second, how are UA pax flying out of London going to get to CDG or BRU in reasonable time for the plane's return flight? Third, LHR is a major transfer airport for UA pax on to other *A flights. *A is weak in both CDG and BRU. In that sense, it would be more sensible simply to increase flights to ZRH, GVA, FRA or MUC (or maybe CPH if it's outside the smoke zone).

UA has cancelled its last three incoming flights to LHR today. Its afternoon arriving flights to FRA are running very late, with significantly extended flight times. The SFO/FRA flight (at least when I have been on it) flies pretty well over LHR, so I'm guessing that route diversions will cover pretty well all of UA's TATL flights and introduce delays.
lhrsfo is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread