UA 763?


Question for UA insiders, tenatively booking flight through SFO on 9/25, web site shows flt 601 from SFO to SAN as a 763. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen UA 767 metal at SAN, is this a scheduling mistake or for real? :smiley:


Yes, that flight will operate as a 2-class 767-300 for just that day. The aircraft will then pick up the Kansas City Chiefs and fly them back to MCI after their game against the Chargers.

SAN regularly sees UA 767’s during football season for charters.


That’s pretty neat. A chance to take a 767 for a 500 mile flight.

I’ve never thought through how that works. I guess I always assumed the plane would just take the team from MCI to SFO. Wait. Then take them back to MCI. But that doesn’t make sense for UAL. Gotta fly the thing to make money.

Can you expand a little more on how they slide these planes for charters in and out of the “rotation”. Can you share the 5 flights before and after the charter leg you mention? Just curious. Or maybe an example from the past if you don’t want to discuss the future.


Individual planes aren’t scheduled that far out - there are just “lines of flying” which are stored in AirFlight by the Scheduling department. Chances are the plane will be coming into SFO from a redeye from Hawaii.

After the plane gets to MCI it will probably fly empty to DEN or perhaps LAX or SFO since it will be arriving pretty late.

The flights are called “live ferries” and they are flown as scheduled service when the schedule allows. Other routes that have seen the 2-class 767 (that usually only have a token or no mainline service, let alone widebody) in this way are ORD-ATL, STL-ORD, and DEN-TPA.

Sometimes when the aircraft is close to a hub that doesn’t usually see the 2-class 767 (such as IAD) it will ferry there empty then fly a revenue flight to its “normal” hub - for example CLT-IAD empty then IAD-LAX revenue.

Usually when the station that they are dropping off/picking up the team from is very close to a hub that has the aircraft available (for example DTW) they just ferry the aircraft. When the ferry required is longer and the timing works, a live ferry becomes more attractive. In this instance there probably were no 2-class 767’s available at LAX thus necessitating the ferry from SFO, which was was an attractive live ferry.

I don’t know why the NFL teams all charter the 2-class 767 - it seems like more aircraft than they need (occasionally for short flights some teams do charter a 757 - the Denver Broncos almost always have a 767 though).


Thanks for the info, looking at the UA schedule, see that on 9-24, after dropping the KC Chiefs off in SAN, UA will operate the same 767 as a scheduled SAN SFO segment early Saturday evening, park at SFO overnight and then come back to SAN as a scheduled flight in my initial inquiry.

Didn’t know that NFL charters were used this way, would have thought they just parked the aircraft overnight at the destination. :smiley:


No, they can’t afford for such a valuable asset (aircraft and crew) to just sit for over 24 hours.

Charters carry even more crew than normal as there is an extra airline employee to handle the logistics of the charter and when the charter is from an airport where there is no UA station, a loadmaster must ride along as well.


It could be that the 757 doesn’t have enough first class/business class seats.

Do NFL teams allow the family of the players to go on the team plane? That would require more seats.


I took a UA 777 on a 84-mile flight once. No lie.


From KOA on to ORD


I was on a A300 from LAX to ATL with three passengers in 1978. EAL.


I did end up on this flight, it was sold out, United made some $ on this. However, it would never work full time, for an hour and 10 minute flight, late out of SFO, loading bags took extra 15 minutes, and bags were really slow in SAN. Baggage in SAN is not set up to unload containers used on 763’s, so it was slow to say the least. Got upgraded, nice, dissappointed with no ch 9, would’ve liked to hear seperation, heavy warning on SAN approach and tower. Asked, Capt said no… :frowning: