Today began as many travel days do. I checked the phone and looked to see what United's app said before jumping in the shower. Like usual it said our flight should take off on time and land a few minutes early.
After wrapping up the suitcase and heading outside I got my first indication how wrong that was. The often sunny Cupertino was showing it's rainy-season side again with torrential rains. During my first meeting of the day I pulled up the FAA's website and sure enough just down the road San Francisco Airport showed a flow control program in effect. Flow control delays are often quite exacerbating when you're on smaller regional jets because you wait around for the aircraft that was late, get on board and then end up waiting, sometimes for quite a while, for clearance to take off because the FAA is managing traffic flows into the airport you're headed to.
United's site and app, however, showed my flight at approximately 4PM to be on schedule. Wondering how likely that is I traced back just where aircraft #982 was coming from. Turns out our plane started the day in Eugene, Oregon. From there it was bound for San Francisco, on to Tucson and back to San Francisco before making the trip to Boise and back.
While it was annoying enough that United waited until 12:48 PM to send the first text notification that the flight might be late. Mind you at this point the flight from San Francisco to Tucson had just taken off, nearly two hours late. The indication according to United at the time was that we'd leave the gate about 90 minutes late. Flying time to Boise is just over an hour most days so with that 90 minute late departure and some careful planning we'd arrive at the gate in Boise 3 minutes before we took off. Wow good work there United. Please share your time machine.