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United LHR-ORD delays/cancelled

Brighton, United...
posts: 163
reviews: 1
United LHR-ORD delays/cancelled

I will be flying with United 959 15.20 from LHR to ORD (Chicago) and am wondering what the problem can be that over the last 4 days the flight has either been very late departing, cancelled on Saturday and yesterday. Today again it is now delayed 2 hours and looking like it might be cancelled again as it keeps being put back.

Airline cite Aircraft Servicing as the reason. I don't understand how these things work but how can this keep happening?

The morning flight seems to be OK.

Can anyone offer any possible explanations for the way this is operating?

Edited: 11:13 am, July 23, 2013
Waterlooville...
posts: 3
1. Re: United LHR-ORD delays/cancelled

What day are you flying? My family and I are also having the same discouraging thoughts. Our problem is that we are supposed to be catching a connecting flight to Santa Ana, California for a different terminal so any delay to the flight could affect this.

Also looking for answers that could calm our nerves.

Thanks

Liverpool, UK
posts: 11,724
reviews: 23
2. Re: United LHR-ORD delays/cancelled

The facts are that any airline can suffer delays or cancellations on any route/date for a wide variety of reasons including some outside their control such as bad weather.

My approach is that all of it is outside my control (as long as I allowed a reasonable time to make a connection) and as I always book direct with the airline on a single ticket then I know they have to get me to my destination.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 18,999
reviews: 5
3. Re: United LHR-ORD delays/cancelled

Well today's UA959 departed at 6.09pm and is scheduled to arrive at ORD at 8.53pm (2hr38 late). There can be many reasons for that flight being delayed/canceled on successive days, one being pure coincidence. The aircraft operating today's flight arrived on time at LHR and has been operating on time for the past few days.

JoeyBaxter,

This is one reason for you to get to Heathrow early - at least 3 hours before your scheduled departure, AND to check your reservation on the morning of your flight. IF the flight is delayed and you find out soon enough, you may be able to get rerouted onto another United flight from Heathrow that will enable a connection to SNA. That happened to me a couple of years ago; I was due to fly LHR-ORD-PDX, but due to a seven hour delay to the ORD flight I got rerouted via SFO (and actually got home earlier than my original schedule). That won't work all the time, as it would depend on the cause of the delay and when it was discovered, but it gives you another shot at getting home that day.

You can view the status of your scheduled aircraft on the flight status page of united.com, and from United's mobile app it's even easier (look for the text "Where is this aircraft coming from?). united.com/web/…default.aspx

Edited: 4:47 pm, July 23, 2013
Romford, United...
posts: 2,065
reviews: 22
4. Re: United LHR-ORD delays/cancelled

JoeyBaxter-I do the LHR-SNA via ORD(normally with AA) quite often and find that when arriving at ORD early in the day(meaning leaving LHR very early) the queues for INS/Customs and transfers are not too bad but get worse after about midday onwards plus if for some reason I miss my scheduled flight(which has happened) AA have another later flight to SNA

Waterlooville...
posts: 3
5. Re: United LHR-ORD delays/cancelled

USBuisnessTraveller,

So what you are trying to say is that the morning before the flight I should check and see if the flight has been delayed or cancelled and keep a close eye on it. If I do this, could this mean that we get united on the phone in time they could get us onto a flight to to be able to catch our connecting flight to Santa Ana, as if they cause us to miss both flights they will be losing more money.

Would it also be a good idea to keep an eye on the flight status up until the date of travel and try and catch the possible delay or cancellation of the flight?

Thanks

UK
posts: 44,835
reviews: 89
6. Re: United LHR-ORD delays/cancelled

Absolutely, for several reasons, principally it puts you more in control, and secondly the earlier you discover there isa problem, the earlier you are on the phone ahead of all the folks who discover at the airport.

Think of it as a race, there are only so many alternate flights right now, they can put you on, the earlier you call, the higher the odds you will be in time for that flight, or get that last seat on a flight. Also far better to be calling from somewhere with access to PC and a phone line or at least a power supply, rather than from an airport with a mobile phone running out of battery.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 18,999
reviews: 5
7. Re: United LHR-ORD delays/cancelled

Agree 100% with Joe (in the UK), and just to add a couple of points re United.

The "track the tail" facility ("Where is this aircraft coming from?" linked to in #3) should be available in your reservation between 48-72 hours before your departure. That's when the actual aircraft is assigned to your flight. If you repeatedly hit that link you can actually work out that plane's entire schedule before arriving at Heathrow.

So, as soon as you wake up on the day of the flight, go check the status of the incoming aircraft (better still, do it before you go to bed). If it's showing a long delay, contact United. You can be further prepared by having a list of United's scheduled departures** for that day to discuss options with the reservations agent (also have Air Canada's schedule, they code share). And be prepared to head to the airport earlier. If you're on UA959, note that's one of the last United departures of the day, so any alternative flights to get you a connection to SNA will be earlier and so you'll need to be prepared to get to Heathrow earlier.

Still do online check in for your scheduled flight at T minus 24 hours. You can still get a reroute even if you've checked in.

That's what I do especially for my long haul flights. As I mentioned before, it's not 100% fail safe, as a problem could be detected shortly before departure. But, it gives you more control and other options and puts you one step ahead of others.

(** - to get the schedule, I'd use www.flightstats.com and search by airport, airline = United, and when the results are displayed click "hide code shares").

Edited: 6:18 pm, July 23, 2013
Brighton, United...
posts: 163
reviews: 1
8. Re: United LHR-ORD delays/cancelled

Thanks for all the suggestions. We too are connecting in Chicago (to go on to Las Vegas) with United.

Waterlooville...
posts: 3
9. Re: United LHR-ORD delays/cancelled

How long is your connection time in Chicago, so that you know if the first flight is delayed you may have a chance of still managing to get your connecting flight.

Brighton, United...
posts: 163
reviews: 1
10. Re: United LHR-ORD delays/cancelled

It's 2hrs 30 m - which I think can stand a small delay but nothing over 2 hrs. Anyway it's out of my control, but was just a bit concerned as to why the on going probs!