- Jan 10, 2009
QF and CBR don't really have anything to do with this. Customs staff at based at CBR could have process the aircraft had UA asked them to. They likely didn't because their aircraft still had to go to SYD and had they been processed in CBR, they would arrive in SYD as domestic and the UA staff at SYD don't know how that would work while still needing to arrive at T1. UA had new crew position down from SYD to complete the flight.
Why wouldn't the flight just arrive at the international terminal with pax processed as domestic pax like what happens on the JQi flights many of us have travelled on domestically. Guess CBR doesn't have any orange D stickers.
They had just flown for 14 hours from SFO. UA only has 777-200s and 777-200ERs. Only their 200ER can reach SYD/CBR from SFO. It can't do SFO-MEL, and if they were close to landing in SYD when the runway was closed, they wouldn't have had to fuel to turn around and go to BNE. (A 777-200LR or -300ER wouldn't have an issue, UA doesn't have any) By the time they reached SYD airspace, they would have had about 1 hour of fuel and were faced with "runway closed, duration unknown". Their options would have been either orbit SYD for an hour and hope the runway opened in time, or go to CBR 20 mins away.
So what was the alternate city for this flight then? A flight has to have enough fuel for the planned trip SFO/SYD plus reserves plus enough to fly to the alternate if for some reason they can't get into SYD.