Often discussed is UA's lack of concern for New England outside of BOS, a friend of mine related his recent attempt at flying MHT-ORD the other day. He justified flying UA by saying he was taking the first flight in the morning, what could go wrong. When he showed up at the airport to check his bag, he was greeted with a 3-hour delay and was told it was quite common. Once it did take off, it went nonstop to Dayton instead of ORD, which he was told was not common. He was happy to arrive in ORD early enough in the day to be reaccommodated on a different connecting flight, but he ended up in a middle seat the rest of the way to LAX. Anyway, here's the track record for some of these UA flights at MHT. Maybe others can find and post some of the other chronically late flights in the region. All airlines have them, but some airlines don't make much attempt to spread the pain around and keep hitting the same cities. It seems the B6 JFK-ORH flight is an attempt to give ORH some extra service for a time when a plane is available, but it doesn't appear as if the airline is trying too hard to make it a good experience.
ZW3832 MHT-ORD Scheduled departure 6:45AM
5/15 9:45am - sent to DAY
ZW3853 MHT-ORD Scheduled departure 6:10pm
A few Super Bowl Sundays ago I was scheduled to fly to San Francisco for a business trip that required that I be there Monday. So I booked the late-afternoon UA flight from MHT that gave me good connection time to the last ORD-SFO flight…a 777. Of course, the plane had to come in from Chicago before it could empty out and fill back up for the return, and it was running late. I saw my connection time evaporating before my eyes at MHT, and to make a long story short I just did miss the 777 and had to spend the night at a Des Plaines hotel. I was rebooked in the middle seat of a 737-900 next morning and it was no fun.
So, as someone who flew several times on UA 757s between MHT-ORD ‘back in the day,’ this was the last straw for me as far as UA and MHT. In fact the only times I now use MHT are for WN nonstop flights.
So, my observations are these: MHT doesn’t have to ‘prove’ it can support mainline flights. I was on those 757s many times, and they were always full. Now someone will whine, “But…but…but…YIELDS!” Come on. The fares MHT-ORD were more than BOS-ORD fares, so no one will convince me these were ‘money-losing’ flights.
Second, MHT is no further away from BOS than PVD is. Yet the fortunes of both airports have diverged. I don’t buy the argument than MHT is ‘too close’ to Boston to do well. Back in the early 2000s MHT was STILL the same 50 miles from Boston it is today.
Third, the UA RJ’s pull into gates FAR from the main B & C concourses at ORD. You need to factor in that time, and you’re exhausted if your connection time is slim. Nothing is worse than RUNNING to your next gate and you STILL miss the flight.
Fourth, You’re so much better off taking the morning flight rather than the late one for the reason I explained above. You literally have no way to get further west if you’re on that late flight and all the connections have left. At least in the morning you have some same-day options if you’re heading to SFO, SEA, LAX, SAN, PDX or wherever.