Queen Of The Hangar: A United Express Embraer 170 Has Diverted 6 Times In The Past 2 Weeks And 13 Times In 3 Months

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Airplane diversions, where an aircraft has to change its destination airport after takeoff due to mechanical, weather, or health reasons, are exceedingly rare.

I’ve been on thousands of flights and have yet to experience one.

The US Department of Transportation shows that just 0.23% of US flights were diverted over the past 15 years (which is the entire length of time that you can search for on their site). That’s 2.3 diversions out of every 1,000 flights.

 

If you drill down to United Airlines the number drops to 0.22%, while United’s regional partner Republic Airline number is 0.24%.

In 2016 I flew on United’s final 747 flight and received lots of cool swag and even bought the name off the back of the plane affectionately known as the Queen of the Skies.

The United Express Embraer 170 with registration N857RW operated by Republic Airline for United has much worse luck than your typical aircraft.

Let’s call her the Queen of the Hangar.

Typically I seek out United Embraer 170/175 aircraft. I enjoy their comfortable 1-2 first class and 2-2 coach seating much more than other narrowbody airplanes. Plus they have space for wheeled carry-ons and they have GoGo WiFi which I get for free with my AMEX Business Platinum card.

N857RW operated 30 flights from 12/22/18-12/31/18. 6 of those flights (20%) were diverted. That’s 87 times more likely to be diverted than a typical aircraft. The listed reasons were for mechanical issues. It was taken out of service for a few days, but it’s back to operating flights today.

It operated 371 flights from 10/6/18-12/31/18, which is as far back as FlightRadar24 will allow me to search with my Silver membership. 13 of those flights (3.5%) were diverted. Over that period of time it was 15 times more likely to be diverted than a typical aircraft.

Here is a list of the diverted flights that I compiled from over the past 3 months:

 

Here is where that aircraft is headed to next:If you’re on one of these flights, may the odds be ever in your favor, may the force be with you, beware of gremlins on the wing, and G-dspeed.

How many diverted flights have you been on?

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44 Comments On "Queen Of The Hangar: A United Express Embraer 170 Has Diverted 6 Times In The Past 2 Weeks And 13 Times In 3 Months"

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yankel

been on two this year
one that i was able to get off
cx hkg-ewr instead of jfk
and once for medical reason on b6 near slc on jfk-sfo diverted to las but eventually went to sfo

ws

Was diverted to boston instead of jfk years ago bc of thunderstorms…. group of people paid a shuttle bus to drive us to JFK…. big pain

Ihategoosebay

does goose bay count?

Yechiel Z

Dan, if I answer 0, I am afraid of Ayin Hara. I have 14 flights the next 3 weeks lol

Side question, I once found a website that had a history of every ‘maintenance issue’ an aircraft had based on the tail number. From serious engine issues to replacing seats and other minor details etc, i don’t recall exactly…

Did you ever come across that site ? (I am not referring to planefinders.net and those sites that have the public flight info …)

Boris

http://Www.avherald.com is a good tool for that

Hvaces42

Once 30+ years ago. MIA-JFK on AA diverted to PHL due to lightning. Some people got out and drove. We eventually took off went up to 10k feet and right back down.

Eli

Who remembers Tower Air?!
Every flight that I flew from jfk-tlv or return had to be diverted to Athens
What an airline?!

Tower Air

Tlv – JFK stopped in Maine to refuel wasn’t rare at that time…..

StarGeek

‘May the Force be with you’

Steve

Lol. Was thinking the exact same thing

Jimbo

Would be cool if this gets picked up in a news article

Eitan

Can Bill Shatner take a break from negotiating deals for Priceline and help us sort this out?

Joe

What about LOT has canceled flight everyday! Did LOT had a month or a week without a cancellation? Its ridiculous! Sometimes they just cancels the Points business tickets, its just unbelievable! But they are the (best) route to RZE or WAW if they fly… we need a airline with straight to those places!

Chaim

18 years ago.
Don’t remember which airline
TLV to NYC (don’t remember which airport)
Diverted to Montreal due to heavy winds and not enough fuel to land. Made a 1 hour stop to refuel and than continued to ny

Moshe

This is not a great piece of equipment for the winter…
see: https://www.aeroinside.com/incidents/type/e175/embraer-erj-175

Mendel Zirkind

First time was in June 2014: AA flight LGA-DFW-FAT was official routing leaving NY 6:30 AM, arriving in Fresno, CA around 1pm. We took off from LGA, and as we were about to land in Dallas, the pilot announced that he couldn’t land from the east of Dallas, so he was advised to land from the west of Dallas. We got to the west side of Dallas & the storm was still too bad, so we diverted to AUS for refueling & to wait for a couple hours for the storm to let up. We were parked in middle of the runway, not by a gate.
I finally arrived in Dallas, got rebooked on the 7:30 PM flight DFW-FAT, supposed to arrive at 10:00 PM, but storms delayed that flight. I landed in FAT at 1:30 AM.

Second time was in December 2018: AA flight LAX-SFO-MIA was official routing leaving LA 6:30 PM arriving in Miami 6 AM. I noticed at 6 PM that we weren’t boarding due to ATC at SFO (rain). I started chatting with the gate agents & I informed them regarding my second flight, to figure out my best option. I was told that the nonstop flights to Miami were full, so they couldn’t book on those & they couldn’t even change the routing. But they informed me that if we’re really delayed, I’ll be booked on both SFO-MIA flights of that evening. Finally we board 2 hours later & mid flight the pilot announced we’re just circling SFO for several minutes. Eventually that several minutes took too much time & the pilot diverted to SJC for refueling. Parked in middle of the runway until ATC @ SJC & SFO figured out what to do with us, as every gate was occupied.
I realized while I was
in SJC that I would miss both SFO-MIA flights, so I started searching for alternate routes between SFO-MIA. I called AA to book a 12:49 AM flight SFO-DFW (thanks to my Platinum Pro status, I got an aisle seat in premium economy on the 787-8) & 11:00 AM DFW-MIA (thanks to my platinum pro status, I got an aisle in business class on the refurbished 777-200). I just barely made the SFO-DFW flight as they started boarding & needed to be checked in, as I wasn’t able to check in via AA mobile app, nor was the phone agent able to check me in.

Happened twice

Missed our own Sheva brochos on route from LA to Montreal with a stopover in Boston. They brought us back to Boston because of mechanical problems and there weren’t any more flights out that night. Everyone came to the 7brochos but us. In-laws were fuming, sure we missed the flight and were spinning a tale.

Second time was almost worse. We were flying LA to NY and because of a storm got diverted to Pittsburgh. The airline technically didn’t have to put us up for the night because it was weather related but gave everyone vouchers anyway. We didn’t think of checking out the place first and found it to be a little “dated” but still functional. In middle of the night – no joke – we hear a key turning in the lock, the door opening and a hotel worker saying “Ok here is your room”!!!!! Lesson learned: Always use the deadbolt on your hotel rooms!!

rob

Some of those diversions are weird and make you think it must’ve been something other than a mechanical problem.

For example, the 12/9 DTW-EWR flight “diverted” to LGA. I can’t imagine it diverted to LGA for mechanical reasons considering:
1) EWR is 17 miles from LGA (and slightly closer to DTW)
2) If the plane did have mechanical problems, you’d think they’d want the plane at United’s massive hub.

There had to have been some extraneous reason for this diversion. Mechanical just doesn’t make sense.

Menashe

Three diversions that I can recall:
1. Porter Airlines (Dash-8), took off from YTZ headed for EWR. Biden was apparently leaving NY and they shut down the airspace. We circled for about 45 minutes, they diverted to YUL for fuel. After about half an hour, NYC was reopened, we took off and went straight to Newark.

2. Lufthansa (747-8), Frankfurt to Newark, diverted to BOS due to weather. We stayed on the grind for about an hour, then took off again and continued on to EWR.

3. El Al (747-400), left TLV for JFK after a long delay for a mechanical issue. I fell asleep, only to wake up some 6 hours later asking us to put our tray tables up in preparation for landing. I thought I somehow managed to sleep through the entire flight, but alas we were heading back to TLV. The problem resurfaced over Greece and they decided to turn back. After transferring us to another plane (a multi-hour process), we went on to JFK.

Anon

Perhaps Republic has a larger maintenance base at LGA rather than ewr

reb yid

Dan has exceptional luck. The probability of an event, whose odds of occurring is 0.0023, not occurring after thousands of (let’s say at least 2000) trials, is less than 1%. In other words, 99% of people who have flown thousands of flights would be expected to have experienced at least one diversion.

Dave Weintraub

I’ve posted in Quora the story of a friend of mine who was diverted multiple times in one night.
Was flying from MacArthur to Boston. For diversion to Providence. Lost hydraulics on takeoff (attempting to return to MacArthur). Plane in front of theirs at Kennedy blew a tire, so they were diverted to Philadelphia. Lanced safely. Airline flew him to LaGuardia.

Eric

Around 18 years ago EL AL TLV – NYC (don’t remember which airport) diverted to Bangor, ME due to shortage of fuel. Sat on ground for a few hours and continued on to NYC. Pretty sure it was a “security” issue and not a fuel issue…

yy

We were also diverted to Bangor because they didn’t have enough fuel to get from TLV to NYC. It was probably in the early 90’s and it was probably Tower.

Yechiel

In 2007 I was on flying air Canada from yyz to tlv after pesach to go back to yeshiva. Flight was packed with frum yiden. Someone had a heart attack in the middle of the night and after three hours of cpr they made an emergency landing in Munich 7 in the morning . There is no air Canada there and they had no clue what they were doing with us. So first we sat on the plane for a few hours then we sat in a terminal for a few hours. Till 1/2 in the afternoon they finally realized that we are stuck there till the morning when the crew can fly again. So the put us up in hotels for the night. Was an experience. Bh the flight was Wednesday so we arrived Friday midday in Israel, can’t imagine if it was Thursday flight.

DSK

I’m a bit older than you, but I am shocked you’ve never experienced a diversion. Here are just a few I remember off the top of my head on full sized aircraft:

1. Delta from Atlanta to New York–turned around over North Carolina to return to Atlanta because a navigation equipment issue that was supposed to have been fixed before takeoff wasn’t.

2. American from New York to DFW diverted to Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport due to weather in Dallas–bought a metal plate with the name of the airport to prove I was there that cost me 98 cents.

3. American from DFW to New York diverted to Richmond due to weather in New York.

4. American from Chicago to Denver diverted to Colorado Springs due to weather in Denver–then they wouldn’t let us off the plane for 3 1/2 hours due to thunderstorms in Colorado Springs (too risky to walk on the metal jetway) and the crew went over on hours. Reserved the last available rental car while sitting on the plane so we could drive that night to Denver and avoid having to spend the night at the airport.

Also have a few almost diversions where the pilot said we were going to divert but air traffic control ultimately opened up a slot for us at the intended destination airport.

You are a very lucky man!

jew

lax-jfk 4 years ago for best friend wedding,
pregnant woman got contractions and scared baby coming out…. stopped in chicago for to drop her off and husband
I was in seat 1a (AA321) so heard all the gossip of the FA’s etc
pulled up to 770 just as my friend was on the way to yichud room 🙂

Bob

Flight to Dulles, a few years ago, could not land because of summer storm and after circling for more than an hour, diverted to PHL to refuel. Then a short hop to IAD but not in time to make the connection to Rome. Business class, so American took care of me, booking me on flights connecting at Heathrow. Arriving in Rome, all passengers were told to skip passport control, even those arriving from outside Schengen (there must have been a strike). Not getting stamped in caused me some grief when I tried to leave; a supervisor at FCO disappeared with my passport for what seemed like an hour but was probably half that. Did not bother me because my return flight was delayed three hours.

The Mel

We are flying on sister ship N859RW tomorrow. Hope she’s much healthier.

SearchGuy

On my JFK-ZRH LY glitch in 2011 my flight was returned to JFK due to medical, BH i still made my connection in ZRH!

iahphx

How did you find out about that troubled aircraft? It seems crazy. Do we know what the cause is? Is it the same problem over and over?

I am surprised that the number of diversions is only 2 in 1000. I get more than 1 percent of my flights diverted. I had 3 in 2018: two medical diversions (one on UA from Puerto Rico, and one on AA from Florida) and a pressurization diversion on JetBlue out of JFK. That’s a bad year! But I’d say I average one diversion every 2 years or so. They are mostly weather related. Like thunderstorms pop up by an airport and landings get delayed; aircraft is running out of fuel so the pilot needs to divert to get more fuel. You are very lucky to never have this happen!

Leah

Our flight from LGA-ORD for our new couple’s sheva brachos was diverted to indianapolis. We got into Chicago at midnight. A replay dinner was set up in our hotel lobby, by the newlyweds. That was fun! Headed back on our 6am schedueled flight.

Aymie

@Dan was that a Brian Regan reference? Have a nice flight!

Meir

Was June 2017 going from JFK-HKG with Cathey should of been a non stop flight, diverted to Japan for an hour to pick up a crew. Flight hours wasn’t long enough in first place . Chutzpah

morris winter

Hi Dan i was on a united express flight from ewr to yul and crazy isn’t the word. the flight was scheduled for 6 final y at 7 we boarded, an hour later they tell us to get off the plane because the pilots seat was jammed??? OK 10 o’clock we board again we take off and 10 minutes in the pilot says were returning to ewr because of technical reasons???. now there people that were afraid to go on to the 3rd plane and said they are going by bus so we had to wait an hour till they got there luggage off. finally at 1 we took off and the pilot announced strike 3 and were out lol. and all this was after getting delayed in tlv and sleeping in Ramada because i mist the last flight to yul.

Graz

About 3 weeks ago Alaska lax to ewr half an hour into flight we heard a groan and a thud. Fellow passes out in aisle. Two nurses happened to be right near gave him oxygen and after a lil while Thank Gd he was good. No diversion no delay! They each got good samaritan free flights.

Graz

What happened to the Antarctica trip report??

Pete

What are the potential options if a flight get diverted, particularly if you miss a connecting flight? Does the airline give any type of compensation for those instances?

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