Tuesday, December 4, 2012

More United Dreamliner troubles

As if delivery delays weren't enough of a headache the Boeing 787-8 "Dreamliner" is already starting to experience mechanical problems....

Dreamliner flight from Houston makes emergency landing in New Orleans. Kiah Collier, Chron.com

A United Airlines flight en route to Newark from Houston Tuesday morning was forced to make an emergency landing in New Orleans because of a mechanical issue with the plane, a brand-new 787 Dreamliner.
This story led to another winner comment from a chron.com reader:

TX1836

12:41 PM on December 4, 2012
Way to go United. You screwed Texans fans out of flying the Dreamliner home from Chicago. I really really miss Continental.

Of course, the cancellation of the Dreamliner flight to/from Chicago was due to delivery delays by Boeing, and would have been the same even if Continental were still in Houston.

Not that it means all that much at this point, and there have been no grumblings that I've heard of, but United CEO Jeff Smisek has bet heavily on the success of this plane to differentiate United from the domestic airline field.  You'd have to think that if delivery dates don't start materializing and if this mechanical error is a sign of things to come (on a very complicated plane) then Smisek might start feeling that luxury padded executive seat get just a little bit warm.

For right now United's profits are moving in the correct direction but their operational stats, while improving, are still trending near the bottom of the industry. (Thank goodness for American Airlines)  Personally, I've had good flight experiences on United since my Puerto Rican trip in August.  Things are definitely on the upswing now.  It'd be sad to see that momentum halted due to a plane that didn't deliver on its promise.

1 comment:

  1. I traveled on one of these in November, to Chicago. Our takeoff was delayed by 30 min. for "mechanical problems." It was the plane's fourth flight. I found the seats and aisles unbearably narrow; in the rightmost middle row I was pressed and forced to lean outside and was constantly being slammed into by the flight attendants. Not the center guy's fault, the one to the left was kind of... widebody. Tried playing games or watching a movie, but it was interrupted every time any of the crew touched a microphone and shut down ten minutes before landing.

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