Your Flight Is Operated By What?!

Kudos to United for the most honest “aircraft” type I’ve ever seen listed for a flight (thanks to reader Thomas for sending this screenshot along):

United-Bus-Service

Now if only all airlines were this honest!

Comments

  1. “R class requested?” How did he get that? Whenever I redeem GPUs, it shows up as “Upgrade Waitlisted” or similar; it never makes a reference to R class.

    If this is something secret, I’d really, really appreciate an email with the details. My mom has to travel a 24 hr journey (gate-to-gate) to see our family overseas; I used to use miles for business class since she has a bad back, but my company travel was shifted to AI before they joined *A, which prevented me from earning my usual UA miles. Now, I have a stockpile of LH miles from AI flights but not enough for even one way in business. (They charge an exorbitant 92.5k that I don’t have + fuel surcharges.) She’s stuck on an overpriced 14-hour UA flight in economy (among others) right now. (We only booked UA for the upgrade chances.)

    Thanks, Lucky!

  2. @Gene
    That is probably legit screenshot. It is very common to see a Q400 doing your TATL on UA.bomb.
    BTW, there are currently two routes on United that are served by United Express Bus.
    EWR-ABE and IAH-BPT

  3. @Andy: “R class waitlisted” is the same as “upgrade requested” — it happens when they put in the upgrade request manually, or if the itinerary got reticketed or changed after the upgrade request was first made.
    There is some debate on flyertalk about the “R Class Waitlisted” upgrades sometimes not clearing properly, but in my experience it’s been fine. In any case, there is no special secret or easier or cheaper way to get the upgrade.
    Most likely, an upgrade done with miles by a regular member without high status has low chances of clearing anyway. There are only very few routes where that is going to work; or perhaps sometimes if you book very early, almost a year out. Even as a 1k I am often between place 5-15 on the upgrade waiting list on international flights, when the flight closes and takes off without my upgrade clearing (after dozens of upgrades have been processed)

  4. Not sure where the bus segment is on this itinerary :-). But when United offered bus service between San Fran and San Jose (many years ago), the fare basis on the ticket was BUS.

  5. @UAPhil hit it on the head. The flight time and total travel time gives it all away, just need to figure out what is about 19 hours busride from SFO or LHR and you’ve got the flying segment.

    @anon – I’m sure OP blacked out what he did since it would probably give away how this is actually ticketed…

  6. Taking a bus from LHR to SFO? That’s pretty interesting. Even Google doesn’t know how to do that — they only offer plane, driving, bicycle, and walking directions 😛

  7. I have an upcoming flight on the 787 – NRT-LAX. When I requested an upgrade with miles, the aircraft type changed from the Dreamliner to bus service.

  8. The first time I took the bus service from ABE to EWR was one of my first times traveling alone, sometime in my middle school years. I showed up at the ABE airport, got my boarding pass, saw that the gate said “bus,” and thought to myself, “oh, that must be a business gate,” so I kept going and got in the security line. Was almost all the way through security when someone closely looked at my boarding pass and told me that I had to go back upstairs, outside, and get on an actual bus (more like a 12 passenger van) to drive to EWR. Pretty funny looking back on it.

  9. @Andrew

    No TSA on the bus? Sounds great!

    (Actually lack of TSA is a great reason to take a bus or train on the Northeast Corridor)

  10. I take the ABE-EWR trip 6-8 times a year. It’s far more reliable than the ORD flights and its staffed by some of the most dedicated folks (Bob, who recently retired, drove the route 2x a day 6 days a week for 10+ years…talk about consistency). It’s also great that I can use the internet the entire time vs. flying on a cramped regional jet.

    I would love an ABE-PHL bus too if US Airways would do it.

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