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wally34949 Nov 9th, 2007 03:43 AM

Airlines could be cancelling flights
Due to the high price of fuel, airlines could be grounding planes, and combining and cancelling flights.

I hate to see planes flying that are only half full (unless on the flight)

FainaAgain Nov 9th, 2007 12:42 PM

I thought they are doing it already - combining flights!

Last time flew Southwest, in LA they've cancelled the next flight to OAK and put them on our flight. It was full :(

P_M Nov 9th, 2007 03:56 PM

Faina, I think you are right that airlines have always cancelled flights if they weren't full enough to justfy the expenses. But with high fuel prices they might be raising the bar even further, meaning the flight must be even more full in order to run it. UGH.

FainaAgain Nov 9th, 2007 04:04 PM

How can a flight be even more full if all seats are taken :)

Standing room only? Lying in the overhead? Stuffing kids under the seats? Squatting under the beverages cart?


Cassandra Nov 9th, 2007 04:24 PM

Seems to me almost all flights are essentially full now, but UA and others are already saying they plan to cut some number of flights from their schedule anyway. I'm guessing it's the ones that run consistently close to the margin so that just few no-shows mean they don't break even. That could mean the smaller jets, and thereby some of the secondary routes.

Or -- sadly -- maybe the ones most likely to draw award-travel and award-upgrade. Anyone want to guess what's going to happen to our FF miles down the road?

cfc Nov 9th, 2007 04:28 PM

I think what UA said is that it's grounding "unencumbered" planes -- which sounds to me like giving up their back-up fleet in case of problems. That too is worrisome.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - United Airlines, a unit of UAL Corp (UAUA.O), could ground up to 100 planes, if necessary, to save money on fuel expenses, a company official said, and other big carriers are talking about similar steps, an industry source said on Friday.

P_M Nov 9th, 2007 04:28 PM

Faina don't be silly. I thought it was obvious that I meant they will add seating in the cargo hold.


OK, on a serious note: on a flight that is marginally half full, they will be more likely to cancel, when in the old days they might just run it anyway. I hope that makes sense.

AAFrequentFlyer Nov 9th, 2007 04:48 PM

Cancelling a flight on a whim becomes a logistical nightmare for airlines and that's why the theory that airlines cancel 1/2 full flights is an urban legend.

The planes and crews fly to 3-4 destinations during the day. It may start in Tampa, go to Dallas, then Chicago and finally to NY. Let's assume the TPA-DFW morning flight is 1/3 full. AA decides to cancel it.

What if the DFW-ORD-LGA flights are full? What are they going to tell the folks waiting for their flights in the other 2 cities? What about the folks in NY waiting for their next morning flight out on the same exact plane? What about crews? Many of them live somewhere else or they may be needed on a DFW-LAX flight after they finish the TPA-DFW run.

It's an urban legend folks. In today's airline business that tries to squeeze every minute out of every plane and crews, cancelations don't happen just because. Planes don't make money when they sit at the gate. Also, don' forget, cargo is a big business for airlines. An airline that has a contract with USPS or even UPS or FedEx or many other commercial entities, can't afford to disappoint their customer because they would be breaking a contract.

What they mean by canceling flights is a scheduled cancelations of some of the non-profitable routes. The schedule changes happen every 3 or so months so the airline may start tweaking the schedule few months before and finally not offer any tickets after certain dates and pull the plug when the time comes. The airline has enough time to reschedule the flights, crews, retire some older planes or put them in storage, etc.

mrwunrfl Nov 9th, 2007 04:56 PM

unencumbered by debt or a lease payment.

rkkwan Nov 9th, 2007 08:02 PM

Agree with AAFF 100%.

AnnRiley Nov 10th, 2007 06:14 PM

You have a very clear way of putting things across that could be complicated in the wrong hands!!

You are the voice of common sense..

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