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United Express Flights Through O'Hare

Wisconsin
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United Express Flights Through O'Hare

We have just experienced two United Express flight cancelations from Appleton, Wi. to O'Hare. (This has effectively ruined our vacation plans to spend first half of January in Florida.) Both times the weather in Appleton was optimal for January in the Midwest, all flights other than United Express were on, and our scheduled flight from O'Hare to Ft. Myers took off on time. Checking departures/arrivals at O'Hare, I noticed many more cancelations of United Express flights than regular United flights. Is there a reason for this beyond the obvious that larger flights carry more paying passengers? Does United have a policy of canceling United Express flights much more readily than regular flights? Does United not have the crews hired to handle United Express flights or is it a gate problem at O'Hare? For future reference, I'd be interested in knowing if we were just uniquely unlucky or is this a pretty common pattern with United Express?

Thanks for any information you can give me.

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: United Express Flights Through O'Hare

united.com/CMS/…

UA does not control the weather. This is a WEATHER problem and not specific to UA. See below:

delta.com/content/…midwest-winter-storm.html

http://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInformation/travelAlerts.jsp#!travelPolicy

southwest.com/html/advisories/swa_travel_adv…

http://www.airtran.com/weather/

And on and on.

Edited: 06 January 2014, 18:10
Chicago
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2. Re: United Express Flights Through O'Hare

Southwest has had major issues at Midway. My own, strictly anecdotal, experience leads me to believe that the smaller flights are the first to go. The internationals take priority, I believe.

Can you drive to O'Hare, or at least to Milwaukee to catch the Coach bus?

Remember also that many of these regional flights are actually operated by other carriers.

Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: United Express Flights Through O'Hare

Firstly, it's not just United (Express). If you look at the stats for American at Chicago yesterday you'll see a swathe of cancellations, mostly American Eagle regional flights.

When bad weather hits a major airport many things come into play. Air traffic control implements flow control, restricting the number of take offs and landings. And usually that flow control gives priority to longer flights and it's the closeby airports that get hit. As ATW is just 160 miles from ORD your flights are prime for being cut in this situation, and it may not have mattered whether it was a UX turboprop or a 737 (we get flow control at SFO all year round and flights from Portland OR get delayed or canceled whether they're RJs or full size Boeings/Airbuses). Secondly, there are issues with deicing the aircraft, which slows down the number of planes that can depart, and hence arrive (gate space is limited).

Other airline specific factors may be in play (crew timeouts, crew stranded elsewhere, aircraft stranded elsewhere). But with these extreme weather situations I don't see any conspiracy on the part of United or any other airline against any passenger. It's just a very difficult situation to have to deal with.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: United Express Flights Through O'Hare

You're not thinking of the aircraft operation itself. Yes, other airlines may be operating from Appleton and ORD but where are they stuck down route? Do those other airlines operate from there?

Aircraft don't just shuttle back and forth between two airports (for the most part!)

Phoenix, Arizona
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5. Re: United Express Flights Through O'Hare

Though it will not make you feel any better, in April we were at TYS (under clear skies), and all UA Express flights were going out - except for our flight to ORD, to connect with UA to SFO. It was raining hard at ORD, so we were on a ground hold for about 2 hours. Finally got to ORD, and the rain had ceased, but our flight to SFO had zero problem taking off, so was gone. The sun was breaking through at ORD - oh well.

We were able to get re-routed to CLT on US, then to SFO, also on US. When all was said and done, we were about 4 hours late, but as SFO was our final destination for that day, it only meant that we had to order in room service.

Weather happens, and can cause all sorts of issues for the airlines.

I do not know about RJ's, etc., being the first to be affected, but it does seem to be the case, just from simple observations on my part.

Sorry about the vacation.

Houston, Texas
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6. Re: United Express Flights Through O'Hare

Having flown into ATW often, yes you are captive to ORD if you are flying UA; and they do operate some flights on back-and-forth schedules. There are other choices. Delta, for example, flies to MSP, DTW, and ATL from ATW - and Allegiant to Vegas. As stated in #2, I would have also gotten a rental car and driven, if I could.

flightstats.com/go/…

NH
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7. Re: United Express Flights Through O'Hare

Your cancelation is weather related. My friend's 14 year old son is stuck in Atlanta with JetBlue....For two more days! He has been trying to get home since Saturday. Jet Blue is canceling all BOS flights again today at 5PM thru 10AM tomorrow.

Just read on the TA Caribbean threads about a guy whose family was involuntarily bumped from their flight back to LGA and can't get another flight until Jan 11.

This is an avalanche effect of 1000s of flights that have been cancelled. You can't control the weather!

Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: United Express Flights Through O'Hare

The smaller regional flights are more likely to get cancelled. Fewer passengers means less disruption overall. And smaller planes means more weather issues are possible

Houston, Texas
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9. Re: United Express Flights Through O'Hare

wes032: Usually your answers are spot on, but in this case, they do not appear to be. Pull up the flightstats for ATW yesterday/today/tomorrow (I posted the link above). UA has chosen to cancel all flights until tomorrow, while DL continues to operate, even with RJ's, to its destinations (ie. DTW and MSP). I know this does not help the OP, and my advice to drive to ORD still stands, but your answer doesn't fully align with the stats I saw.

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: United Express Flights Through O'Hare

Just based on personal experience but I did not check flight stats. Chicago airports in general are a mess right now and lots of everything is being cancelled. Midway and SWA were so bad it was front page if the sat paper BEFORE 12" more snow and -15 degrees Sunday and Monday.

Could be DL has very few routes from ORD so much less to juggle than UA.

Edited: 06 January 2014, 22:25