In preparing for Superstorm Sandy, we made the safety of our customers and employees our No.1 priority, as always. We also focused our attention on keeping our aircraft secure so that we were well-positioned to resume operations quickly.
On Sunday, we moved hundreds of planes out of Newark (EWR), Washington Dulles (IAD) and other airports in Sandy’s path. We parked 35 planes in Cleveland (CLE), more than 75 each in Houston (IAH) and San Francisco (SFO) and nearly 100 more at our Chicago hub (ORD).
By positioning aircraft out of the storm’s path, we were able to resume service quickly once airport conditions allowed. We began operations at the Washington airports on Tuesday and at Newark and Kennedy on Wednesday. Today (Thursday), EWR and JFK are running regularly planned mainline schedules, with some reductions in United Express flying.
Given conditions at LaGuardia, we operated fewer flights than normal. United 668 from Chicago represented our return to LGA when the Airbus A320 touched down at 8:52 a.m. with 76 customers on board.
According to Jeff Clark, our Houston Airport Operations Control Move Team Manager, “It becomes a bit of ‘aircraft Tetris’ to shift and move all these extra planes, but it’s something we planned for, prepared for and have dealt with before. We were ready."
Thanks to almost 300 co-worker volunteers who arrived Wednesday from other parts of the country, we have adequate staffing at all three New York City airports today. We continue to work to ensure we have adequate crews in place to fly our scheduled flights, and we’re working to support those New York-area co-workers who were also directly impacted by the storm.