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Topic: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: LImamura
Posted 2003-11-07 23:35:33 and read 5235 times.

The thing that bugs me is rather than UA getting a new livery in hopes that people will see UA as an improved or different airline, I think the money should be invested in making UA a better product overall, just not the appearance.
APPEARANCE IS OFTEN DECEIVING
I think the money should be invested in training and re-training of its employees. If UA employee's could somehow pull their service level to where the Asian airlines have set their standards, then UA would have something to talk about. (Of course Asian Airlines are not governed by Unions, so each individual must perform well in order to keep their jobs)
If UA gave service like CX, SQ, NH, JL, MH, KE etc, then UA would not have to worry about getting passengers. They would not have to worry about a fresh start or to wipe out the memories of the current livery hitting the WTC that may still be fresh in peoples minds.
People will fly UA because of the service, not because of the livery.
I mean what is better great service onboard or a good livery on the outside?!

What do you all think??? Would you rather have UA spend money to improve their livery or improve their service???

(sorry if this has already been said or if others have mentioned this on other threads already)

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: Tommy767
Posted 2003-11-07 23:40:40 and read 5184 times.

Why not kill two birds with one stone?

UAL should make a brand spanking new livery, and improve there overall service too.

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: RiverVisualNYC
Posted 2003-11-07 23:44:34 and read 5162 times.

Right on. The money going to the marketing consultants and web and graphic designers ought to go into training and service. The whole -TED LCC thing is completely ridiculous. But here in America people often buy image, not substance. With respect to airlines, I once heard a senior executive of the late ValuJet (now AirTran), say something to the effect that no one cared how old the planes were or how experienced the employees were as long as the company put out the right image. ValuJet devoted alot of resources to image and marketing while outsourcing most of the staffing function and using 25-30 year old aircraft, and had alot of maintenence issues. In the end they were undone by a horrible accident that was easily avoidable, caused by a maintenence subcontractor if I am not mistaken. People want honest value and an image of competence, not gimmicks, and UA should have learned this from the success of WN and JetBlue

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: Luv2fly
Posted 2003-11-07 23:46:04 and read 5150 times.

Tommy767

Has said it best. I have read on this board that the moral and attitude of the UA employees has changed for the better once they entered bankruptcy. Once they are out I hope it still stays positive.

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: Airways6max
Posted 2003-11-07 23:54:37 and read 5102 times.

Improve service! No-one will care about a new livery if they feel like they're flying in a sardine can.

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: Chgoflyer
Posted 2003-11-08 00:12:26 and read 5032 times.

United will never be able to improve service. The pilots union simply will not allow it to happen. This is a union that downgrades fare paying passengers when their members are dead heading, created the bad feelings toward their company in order to get a new contract, and complains about the meal in the cockpit not being the same as what's being served in business class.
Pilots fly planes.. they are not good business people. Most do not realize that in the transaction one side cashes checks and the other side/passengers write them.
United is going the way of PA and EA is only a matter of time.

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: RiverVisualNYC
Posted 2003-11-08 01:05:46 and read 4946 times.

I am a longtime AA frequent flyer and next week I am flying UA for the first time since the '80s, precisely because I want to see what's up with them. I hope Chgo is wrong, and they can pull off a recovery, but as an aside re pilots, alot of these guys worked very hard for many years to get to where they are. Some flew in our military, some were $15,000 a year freight dogs flying shifts and aircraft no one wanted to, some spent $40,000 to go to an academy. The point is, these people are professionals as much as doctors and lawyers and investment bankers are, and they worked hard and made sacrifices to get where they are today. And when you fly in their aircraft, your life is in their hands. It's not the stockbroker in seat 1A that's going to get you safely on the ground in an emergency. So if they want a decent meal on the job, or if they want to be comfortable deadheading to work a flight, there's nothing wrong with that. Why is it OK to spend millions on advertising, marketing and re-branding while it's somehow wrong to take care of your most mission-critical employees? The issue is customer service, and pilots are not frontline in this function. It's the attitude of the check-in and gate staff and cabin crew that give passengers an impression, positive or negative, and the pilots, like those at FedEx or UPS, are responsible for the safe and timely operation of the aircraft.

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: Bistro1200
Posted 2003-11-08 01:16:11 and read 4903 times.

For an airline going the way of PA and EA, sure is funny how all unions, even the IAM agreed to not only pay cuts but also the outsourcing of a lot of their work. Sure is funny that UA is #2 in on-time performance in 2003, while being #1 in 2002. Seems odd for UA to have fully restored its pre-SARS pacific schedule if they are so close to the end, and getting good loads at that.

UA has to benchmark itself against AA, DL, NW, and CO. Cathay, JAL, and other Asian carriers are not UA's primary competition, US carriers are. Again, it looks to be a sad day for alot of the doom and gloom a.net posters when UA emerges from Ch. 11 with an ATSB loan guarantee in their back pocket. Lower costs, a low-interest loan, and increasing yields... not exactly going the way of EA/PA.

What the industry must confront, however, is the issue of pensions. I hear there is a Senate bill to provide relief from accelerated payments, let's hope that is a start.

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: Andersjt
Posted 2003-11-08 01:53:31 and read 4830 times.

In many threads regarding UA's survival, it is quality of service, and service inconsistencies that have been my sticking point.

UA has always been an innovator among U.S. carriers, especially in service. As they grew to become an international carrier, you could see the additional purser training, language requirements, etc. coming in.

However, it must be incredibly difficult to motivate, and instill a superior customer service attitude when you also have to deliver the message that your pay is going to be cut further, you have to put in more hours, your pension is in jeopardy, and we're cutting back on amenities for passengers. That's a big hurdle to overcome.

Some have noticed an attitude improvement among UA employees. I think much of that can be traced to the seniority of the people who still have jobs. A lot of these employees you may encounter have a lot of years invested with United. We also have to remember that some of the Asian carriers that are mentioned are either state-owned or sponsored. They do not have the same economic hurdles to overcome that U.S. carriers have. With U.S. carriers, the union influences are not always positive either. Finally, in the U.S., airline travel has evolved into more of a commodity, and the customer has come to expect a lot for next to nothing.

I took 3 trips between May and September. For my trip in May, it was 9 first class segments, and for the most part, the service was right on. When talking with the pursers, or other in-flight personnel, these were very senior employees, and while they still had jobs, they found themselves bidding for trips that were less desirable. But being senior, they knew that it was the customer who was important.

The next trip was in July, a short round-trip to Denver and back, both segments first class. With that trip UA got a 50%. The problem I noticed was a lot of people were coming back to flying, but I don't think UA caught up in getting employees back. First class check-in lines were long, and there were other negative things that were very noticeable. Where in-flight crews were based also made a big difference. Sorry to say this, but I have always found LAX based flight attendants to be the worst. I also saw cutbacks in small amenities that I just cannot imagine that they cost that much.

September was the 3rd trip, this was my 9/11 trip through every United hub. It was posted on the "Trip Reports" board, 5 first class segments, and not the best of experiences. Morale problems were very noticeable, and the inconsistency in quality of service problem where in-flight crews (especially pursers) were based. I'm still not sure United will be the choice for my next trip.

Everyone is correct in that it going to take more than changing the exterior look of the planes, and setting a new corporate image. It would be wonderful if UA could also get the new image to its employees, what a fantastic carrier they could be. I don't think a lot of money invested in re-training is the right course. UA already has a lot of different training programs in place. If anything, the effort should be made in getting the right message to the employees of how important the customer is to the airline's survival, and how they interact with them. It is a hard message to deliver to hard-working, not so well paid employees; however, we customers do notice who the dedicated ones are vs. those who are not.

[Edited 2003-11-08 02:02:39]

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: Mariner
Posted 2003-11-08 02:02:02 and read 4791 times.

Anders:

You make some comparatives here, and the only thing that concerns me is this - in another thread (looking for advice) you seemed to suggest that your International First Class experiences were all with UAL.

Yes? No?

If "yes", then I urge you to try another carrier next time - not because they will necessarily be better, but as a basis for comparison.

But, I promise you, once you've tried Singapore First Class, for example, it's a tough habit to break.

If "no", then I'm just talking through my hat and you should ignore me.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

cheers

mariner

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: Andersjt
Posted 2003-11-08 02:13:40 and read 4746 times.

Mariner:

Didn't mean to rattle on about my recent experiences. I've done those to death.

No, I have not had a reason to try Singapore, and I hear it is fantastic. Does UA need to be at that level? I don't know. They probably should strive for it to successfully compete with Singapore.

What UA needs to work on is high-quality, by U.S. standards, across 100% of the system. Read into mine, and a lot of other threads and posts, and there is a pattern of inconsistency of service. Good for one flight, lousy the next. Instead of a 50% grade, why not work for 90%.

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: LImamura
Posted 2003-11-08 02:46:09 and read 4689 times.

Andersjt - You have made many valid points but why should UA strive for 90% and not 100% or even 110%??
Also, I agree with you that UA needs to work on high quality of service throughout its system, but again why should UA put out high quality based on US standards. The reason everyone always raves about the Asian carriers are because Asian carriers try to be the best out of all airlines not just carriers in one specific region. If UA gave superior service like Asian Airlines does then I would imagine most people would fly UA exclusively, like you for example: you will be sure that for your next trip it will be on UA, instead of being unsure like you are now.

Don't you think that in order to get the right message across to the employees of how important the customer is and so forth, that will be done through training. I mean if you just send out a letter or bulletin to employee's most people either will not read it or not take it seriously.

Bottom line..UA should not sell themselves short of what they can accomplish if they wanted too. Trying to be the best is key not just being average.

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: Mariner
Posted 2003-11-08 03:29:35 and read 4633 times.

Anders:

I don't mind you "rattling on" about your flying experiences at all. You should hear me rattle on about mine.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

But I think the simple answer is "yes" - UAL does need to be at that level if only to compete.

SQ (and others) have flat beds. So to compete, UAL has to have flat beds. But you can bet your last dollar that UAL (or AMR) would not have introduced flatbeds if the others didn't have them.

You once said, in another thread, that your boss likes the goodies and doesn't mind paying for them. But how would your boss feel if he pays for the goodies but doesn't get them?

It has to do with perceptions and expectations. If my ticket cost big bucks I expect big bucks service. If my ticket was reasonably priced, then I expect reasonable service.

People tell me the old days are gone, and no one will pay for premium service anymore. But how do we know, since you can't get true premium service (domestically) even if you pay for it?

So I, like so many others, don't even try. I go to the LCC's knowing I'll get to where I want to go for a reasonable price in reasonable comfort.

If I thought that I could get "value for money" out of the majors, I (or my employers) would pay for it.

But I've been too disappointed too often to believe that any more. And Ted/Starfish doesn't help that perception in my mind.

Put it this way: Tiffanys are still selling a whole lot of diamonds, even though you can get good diamonds, much cheaper, a few blocks down the street. If Tiffanys goes down market, why would their clientele go to them anymore?

cheers

mariner

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: AIR757200
Posted 2003-11-08 03:42:01 and read 4602 times.


Memo: To: CEO, UAL.

Please change your livery- we think you need a new one.

Thanks,
From: Airliners.net members (some)


*There are more important things UAL has to work on than the color of their aircraft.

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: StevenUhl777
Posted 2003-11-08 05:31:26 and read 4492 times.

As usual, Mariner and Andersjt make excellent points, and I agree with both. As I have said many times before, it is the morale of the employees that will ultimately determine the fate of any given airline...and I'm not just talking about UA here, though it certainly applies. As with other airlines, there's a lot of bitterness at UA, in all employee groups. Some employees more than others, and I believe that's a big reason why ff's like Andersjt notices the inconsistent service quality with UA. Each of the airlines that have or are experiencing difficulty face this same issue, and the extent to which they try to solve them and the success rate will determine their fate. Either back to the top or go the way of Ch. 7.

On to the passenger service issue. What I haven't read here yet is that passengers from different parts of the world define "customer service" differently, and have differing standards for what "excellent service" means to them, and what an airline would have to do to meet that definition. Imagine being a flight attendant and having to cater to these different levels of expectation in just a matter of a few hours!
- I think most would agree that Asian flyers have the highest expectations, hence Singapore being at the top of the heap.
- Europe....British Airways seems to be another favorite and at one point referred to themselves as "the world's favourite airline"! Lufthansa and SAS are well respected, and KLM in that mix as well.
- North America, I would argue, finishes towards the bottom, and it becomes even more complex...there's folks who don't bat an eyelash when booking first class on UA, AA, NW, etc. Another group just wants to get from point A to point B and doesn't care if it's on a network carrier or LCC. The last group won't spend a penny more than they absolutely have to.
- Are any Latin American airlines known worldwide for "excellent service"? LanChile comes up a lot here, but they seem to be the exception out of the rest.
- As far as Australia goes, perhaps similar to both the US and Europe. Qantas is good and bad, but does it consistently rank high with the likes of Singapore, et. al.?

So, having said all that, I think I've accentuated the challenge that all airlines face: to what standard/level of service do we provide, based on the amount being paid for the ticket and what our individual customers expect? Clearly, there's a bare minimum that HAS to be met, but then from there, it gets complicated.

Go back to 1994...UA was on the brink of Ch. 11 then, following the first Iraq war, and the industry was in turmoil. After employee ownership, then-CEO Stephen Wolf correctly decided it was time for a new external corporate identity, which came about in the current livery. Given UA's expansion internationally, he wanted the livery to be"world class", and ended up being similar to what BA had. It was met with mixed reviews, and to this day either you love it or hate it.

Now to 2003...history has literally repeated itself, and with the exception of dealing with the aftermath of a catastrophic terrorist attack, we're in a similar situation as in 1991/1992, right down to the last name of the President. Since last Dec., UA has restructured its internal appearance by taking the necessary steps to become operationally profitable and restructure internally, evaluating what hasn't worked, what needed to be fixed, and where they want to go. With a few more hurdles to clear, the next stage is about to begin, and once it's over, it will be time to remerge. United once again needs a new livery...to move beyond the employee ownership era, the horror of their plane in current livery slicing into the south tower, and lastly, it's associated with the Ch. 11 perid.

United has been recognized as a respected carrier across the Pacific and Atlantic...I dont know where they rank now, but one thing is for sure: they're not the "best" right now in terms of ranking, but they have the ability to improve in areas where they have known weaknesses. And it all begins with raising morale of its employees...it's their consistent effort (everyone, not just the senior employees) have to be on board. Management must acknowledge this, and their success in doing so will depend if United restores its former glory or experiences more turbulence in the years ahead.

I believe in United, and wish them the best. As long as they are flying, I'll fly them. I hope the day never comes that I see them completely fail and have to settle for an alternate.


Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: Midway2airtran
Posted 2003-11-08 06:21:21 and read 4416 times.

Whatever it takes to change, UAL has a long, long way to go. I think a new Livery might be good thing to inspire change within the company. If not the passengers, it would remind employees that change is on the way. Similar to what Gordon Bethune did when he came to CO.

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: StevenUhl777
Posted 2003-11-08 07:02:20 and read 4376 times.

Midway2airtran: What exactly constitutes a "long, long way to go?" Are you talking about actual number of months left? Or are you talking about specific issues? Or...exactly what do you mean? For those who don't know, what were some of the specific things Bethune did?

Next time, if you're going to open with a statement like that, at least provide some more details so other readers can reply to you with intelligent answers, whether they agree with you or not.

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: UAL777CONTRAIL
Posted 2003-11-08 07:25:25 and read 4327 times.

ANDERJST,
Why on god green earth do you still fly UAL?
ALL YOU DO IS BITCH!!! You always remind EVERYONE that ALL your segments are first class!!! We know that is all you fly, go fly someone else if you don't like our service, put this horse to sleep?

This forum has many,many different cultures and different job groups representing different airlines here, US carriers aren't ASIAN carriers for more reasons than 1, we have many many more fights than our neighbors across the pond. Do you think Singapore would have this heaven like service if they operated 2200 flights a day? HELL No, 3500 flights a day? Please, dream on. Just like when someone tries to argue the fact EL AL has the safest airline to date? Try operating 2200 flights a day EL AL, see how much time you can spend taxiing widebodies to the gate and runway.

All you socialites and season fliers beware of US carriers, not only do they offer excellent service but they offer safe travel from point A to B and if travel calls for C then I would be willing to bet you'll be ok on that one as well.

You get tired of wankers complaining about the busyest airline section of the world!!! No country in this world have more flights airborne a day like we have here in the states, if you don't like the service then do what anderjst does and only fly FIRST, if not be glad you even have the change to step foot on a plane!!!! nuff said


UAL 777 CONTRAIL

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: Mariner
Posted 2003-11-08 08:06:10 and read 4283 times.

Steven:

I'm glad you recognize what Stephen Wolf did - very few people do. Whatever his faulkts, he had a vision.

It wasn't just the outside of the planes, it was what happened inside, too. He tried to create a would class airline that could stand against the best. And, for a while anyway, he succeeded. Remember Connoisseur Class? It was good, damn good.

So what happened, and how does UAL get that back?

What happened, I think, is that old bugaboo (or sacred cow) - market share. Let's remove it from the US and look across the pond, at what was "the world's favorite airline", if only in their own mind.

British Airways has lost a lot of market share - to Virgin Atlantic Upper Class at the high end, and to the UK LCC's at the low end.

It's an odd one, because Virgin shouldn't by most US standards succeed. They only have their long haul routes, they have no regional network feeding into those routes. They are, by US standards, illogical and vulnerable.

So how do they survive? By making people want to fly them. Not for their network, but because they are good.

How does BA counteract this? By doing it better. So they introduce the flat beds in Business Class, and make a huge to-do about it. Rightly. I dont know if they're going to regain market share because of it, but I doubt they'll lose much more.

But I think BA's decision about the lost low end is even more sensible. How do they fight the LCC's? They don't.

After a few false starts (their own LCC) they have decided to cede a certain portion of the market (mostly leisure) to Ryanair and Easyjet. They are concentrating on their core business - the business traveller, the person who needs to fly to Paris proper (say) than some small airport halfway to the Normandy coast.

In other words, they are reinventing themselves by capitalizing on their strengths and cutting off their weaknesses. They're more concerned with profit margins than market share.

This is almost exactly the opposite of what is happening here, where to deliberately give up market share is seen as a sign of failure or weakness.

Whereas in the case of British Airways it may very well be their salvation.

So - does every US airline have to fly to every US city?

If UAL misses out on 5 pax from Podunk, Idaho, is that really the end of the world, if they have persuaded 1000 pax from Beverly Hills that they, UAL, are the best in the world?

It comes back to the vision thing. I think CEO Tilton has done a remarkable job at UAL, if only be negotiating a very difficult bankruptcy. How many people insisted that UAL wouldn't last this long? However, in one sense, that part of the job is easy. Cut costs and cut more costs until you get it right.

But what he has not done - or what he has not communciated to me, Joe Blow - is what sort of airline he wants UAL to be once they are out of bk.

And that's the part that's going to matter.

cheers

mariner

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: BN747
Posted 2003-11-08 08:24:35 and read 4251 times.

"ANDERJST,
Why on god green earth do you still fly UAL?
ALL YOU DO IS BITCH!!! You always remind EVERYONE that ALL your segments are first class!!!"


"BN747,
You have a lot of whinny threads."


"bn747,
It is hard to read your whole thread, you slam everyone and make no sense most of the time, you didn't get a lot of hugs growing up did you?"


All the above are from UAL 777 Contrail

UAL777,

Does living in/near the Vatican give you this sanctimonious 'I'm above it all' mindset? Who have I slammed? Look above at yourself...just one thing, PLEASE tell me you are coming to the Airliners 2004 show in Los Angeles, I'll be easy to find..I'd like to meet you. And hear more of your psycho analysis of me. In the interim, I look forward to more of your assesments of the contributions of others here.


Does that make sense...or is further clarification needed?

BN747

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: Bigphilnyc
Posted 2003-11-08 08:40:17 and read 4231 times.

My God. Thread after thread, some of you just dont get it. Smae people who just believe waht they want and dont pay attention to other posts as they jsut like to listen to themselves talk.

If United get a new livery and decides to only paint their planes when the aircraft has D-checks (when they would re-paint their planes anyway), if their scheme is cheaper than their current one, which shouldn't be so difficult, then they will be SAVING money, not spending more.

Then maybe that money would go to improved service or wherever.

A NEW LIVERY WILL NOT COST THEM MORE MONEY!!!!!!!

Understand that.

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: StevenUhl777
Posted 2003-11-08 09:46:59 and read 4182 times.

Mariner,

Great post...and background on BA, since I knew very little about them overall. My reply would be that the domestic aviation market in the UK and US are near polar opposites, just due to mere size of the two countries.

* The UK sees a lot of in-transit customers coming in from one country on their way to another country. To offer support to your statement on BA not needing to worry about regaining market share from the LCC's, take me for example: if I want to fly from SEA to say, CPT, the most efficient way for me is to fly nonstop to LHR on BA, not even pass through UK customs, and then continue south on BA to Cape Town. BA makes money on a non-citizen, twice! The same idea holds true for SAS in Copenhagen and LH in Frankfurt. With small countries, there isn't really a feeder network at all, but they can capitalize on the in-transit customers instead.

* The US is a different story. While each airline has their "hub" in a selected city, in order to make it even MORE successful and profitable, or these days to minimize their loss, they have to resort to getting additional people from smaller cities to feed into it on their airline. Using myself as an example again, if I wanted to fly to SYD from SEA, I could fly SWA to an LA/SF area airport to save money, then get to LAX/SFO for the UA nonstop to SYD. While United makes money for the SYD flight, they still lose because they lost potential revenue as I didn't fly UA from SEA to begin with. If everyone flew only LCC's domestically, but then transferred to a network carrier for a longer flight, the network carriers would be in even worse shape, because that's a huge revenue chunk they're not getting, but could. Hence, the repeated attempts by various carriers to emulate their success and regain market share. UA seems to have learned a little from the first experiment, in that they're aren't taking on SWA directly this time around. Still, the LCC's are a success because they started out that way, not a bastardization of a larger, higher cost structure.

Re: Stephen Wolf...at the extreme risk of becoming flame bait, one of two of the greatest CEO's in United's recent history, the other being Glenn Tilton. Dick Ferris and Eddie Carlson were miserable failures...they only wanted to build a hotel/travel empire, totally departing from the core business model. Remember Allegis? What a joke that was. Wolf knew/knows the industry inside and out, and should be considered along the same lines as Bob Crandall (who I believed he worked for while at AA) and not Lorenzo, like others want to compare him to. Wolf saw exactly what he had in United in 1987, especially since the Pacific routes from PA came over a year earlier, and quickly sought to get an alliance with BA, but that broke down because the IAM refused to join in with the management and pilots and BA. Imagine if that had actually gone through! Connoisseur class, while still with UA to this day, isn't what it was, and I think it was one of Wolf's brainchilds as part of his efforts to upgrade UA's international image. He is the reason United is as big as they are today, and UA probably wouldn't not have got the LHR slots had he not been there when they came available when PA failed. Anyway...Wolf had to make some tough decisions towards the end of his tenure, and was at one point had contracts drawn up to farm out maint. and other services in 1994 to save money and prevent Ch. 11 back then. He may even have thought of selling off assets, which would have been a mistake. The employees bought the company instead through pay cuts and formation of Shuttle to preserve their jobs, out of necessity, and that hurried approach hurt them in the long run. A great idea at the starting gate, and I still think that was the best idea rather than breaking up the company back then. Turns out that buyout, while successful in the early years, delayed the inevitable, and now we're in an exact repeat of 1994. I think United's recovery in the 2-3 years will mirror the first successful years of the ESOP. The restructuring that took place under Ch. 11 will determine how much further beyond 2-3 years the recovery will last for. I just hope UA won't be in the same situation they were in last year 7-10 years down the road.

Glenn Tilton, while still very new, is one of the greatest CEOs of UAL, simply because he has far exceeded most everyone's expecations...that of an oil exec. with Chapter 11 management experience, coming in to an embattled company well on the fast track to Ch. 11. I'm amazed at what he and his team have accomplished, as are the outside analysts and DIP lenders. A year ago, I really feared for the future of UA. It was a 50/50, if not greater, chance of Ch. 7. Now, I'm very optimistic for them, and Ch 7. is only mentioned by the less educated folks on this forum. Still a long way to go, but...anyone less than Tilton in this situation (like Jack Creighton or Jim Goodwin) would have been disastrous and United wouldn't be here today.

Anyway...this has been fun...thanks for the info. on BA. Sure is great to have an intelligent conversation on this website, for once!

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: Mariner
Posted 2003-11-08 17:33:23 and read 4054 times.

Steven:

Wolf: In some ways, I could claim that Wolf was a better "airline" CEO than Crandall - at least initially.

Crandall created a lean, mean money making machine - a remarkable achievement - but he is the man who took Class out of First.

Wolf, on the other hand, wanted a great airline, and came some way to achieving it. Finally, I think that one of two things happened:

Wolf lacked "follow through". Either that, or he failed to communicate his vision to the people who were carrying it out, or he failed to put the right people in place to carry it out.

Or, which is more likely, he got bored with all the day to day infighting. It isn't uncommon. People who have a vision sometimes throw up their hands when others either can't see the vision or try to change it.

Whatever actually happened, Wolf laid down the basis of greatness, and, yes, that does apply to the livery, too.

Yes, that livery has been controversial - but not nearly as controversial as BA's world tails.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

People are suggesting it be changed in part because of the image of the planes flying into the WTC.

Well, I'm a resident, not yet a citizen, and from where I stand that image is absolutely nothing of which to be ashamed, or to try and hide or change. It is an image that I think should be worn with honor. The most enduring image out of WW2 (for those of us old enough to remember) is of St. Paul's Cathedral in London, standing proud amidst the flames and destruction of the Blitz.

To change the UAL livery just because of the WTC is to give one round to the terrorists.

I think, fwiw, that Americans are more likely to repsond postively to a company that is proud of being American - with all that that implies.

Tilton: I agree that he has done a remarkable job (I think that was my point), but I think it's a bit early to accord him greatness. Yes, steering a massive company through bk is an achievement, but finally it is simply accounting and bloody mindedness. Greatness requires some vision.

BA and the UK: Yes, the market is different. But it isn't all that different. I notice you don't address the issue of Virgin's lack of feed, but hey, I get your general point.

The thing is, no one can say what would happen here if an airline willingly ceded market share - because no airline has ever done it.

To me, it smacks of "mine's bigger than yours." Well - who cares?

For the greatest part of it's life, PanAm had very little domestic feed. You can argue (and I would agree) that this was part of it's eventual problem. But it wasn't the whole problem.

PanAm tried desperately to increase it's domestic size/feed, through the acquisition of National, and it didn't help much.

The problem was simpler. PanAm had been run by one of the greatest visionaries of civil aviation. It had an international route structure (and international agreements) that was the envy of many, many airlines. Only three or four of the internationals, at most, had a better route structure.

Post-Trippe, the airline was taken over by bean counters who tried to make it all things to all people. By doing so, they killed the thing that made PanAm great.

I guess the better comparison is not BA, but Air France. AF has a very large but finally quite limited "base" market. That is, for the most part AF is the "home" airline of those who speak French - a declining number.

AF has not tried to change this. They haven't thrown out their "French" image, they have embraced it - they have, in effect, deliberately limited their own home market. They have accepted that market share is not necessarily the key to profitability.

They have also, and this is the important part, remained profitable throughout these dreadful times.

Apply that rule to UAL and you get something interesting. Not an attempt to be all things to all people - which is what every US major is doing. Instead, a determination to be so good that people will choose to fly UAL - even if it involves some inconvenience.

Finally, I guess it's the difference between the Crandall approach and the Wolf attitude.

cheers

mariner

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: Icarus75
Posted 2003-11-08 17:39:35 and read 4040 times.

Improve the service and the breakfast in coach section in flights between US and Europe!!! How is it possible to serve such a bad meal to people?
I also experienced a flight between LAS and ORD, departing from LAS around 0600am. What did we get during dervice : coffee and.....salted peanuts!!!!
I understand that the company is in bad shape but it is not, in my opinion, an excuse!!
Again : UA should keep is livery and improve the service!!!!

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: Lhr001
Posted 2003-11-08 17:48:33 and read 4000 times.

In reviewing the previous posts in regards to UAL changing its livery and its service, no one has yet stated the attitude of Flight Attendants. It is sad to say, but some of the Flight Attendants get the feel comfortable feeling after a few years and hide behind the unions. In turn they feel that they do not have to offer the best of service, or customer assistance.

In recent years, I have witnessed not only United Airlines.. But American, Delta, Southwest, and British Airways Flight Attendants standing idly by as senior citizens required assistance with locating their seat, storing cabin baggage, or even the ever constant ignoring of a Flight Attendant Call Button. It is true United Airlines is not to solely blame for this.

However, if the new United Airlines wishes to make an even better impact on the flying public. The attention must be centered on the in-flight experience! What mistakes were made on the ground, can be turned around in the air!


LHR001

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: StevenUhl777
Posted 2003-11-08 18:04:36 and read 3972 times.

Mariner and LHR001: Both of you make excellent points!  Big thumbs up

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: UAL777CONTRAIL
Posted 2003-11-08 18:22:07 and read 3949 times.

BN747,
You are a very defensive poster, I guess being a TV consultant makes you an authority on aviation.

why in the world would I waste time coming to the airliners 2004 convention? If I am not from Los Angeles then I don't think you will see me there. Sadly enough, would like to meet the attitude behind the responses.

How do you feel about the fact we don't operate 60, 777's? Or do you still think your right on that topic?

When you are from the Vatican city you have to make good with everyone. I know that some aren't worth making good with but your one you can over look pretty easy. If your feeling guilty about something let me know, I'll say a few words to the pope for you.

UAL 777 CONTRAIL

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: LImamura
Posted 2003-11-08 18:59:29 and read 3888 times.

A few of you in this thread seems to think that United's biggest difficulty in striving and achieving for better service throughout UA would be the Unions as stated by chgoflyer & LHR001. I for one totally agree that Unions, though they provide job security and many people swears by the union, but the truth is, that by having the union people does hide behind the curtain once a few years have passed. Knowing that whether you give exceptional service or just decent service, but the paycheck and your job will still be there next week, gives no motivation to people to do better or to better themselves. Like I said in my original post (Of course Asian Airlines are not governed by Unions, so each individual must perform well in order to keep their jobs), that's why Asian Airlines are so good because none of them are hiding behind a curtain because they realize that if they don't perform well, or even if they make a significant mistake then there is always a chance of them being fired or at the least they may be suspended for a while and will have to attend a seminar or additional training class.
I really hate to say this especially since many of you may be in the union but, one of the only way to strive for excellent service throughout UA may be to abolish the Union. This will make people think about their job and also put a little fear in everyone that they better put 100% effort in their job and not just the 50-80% effort that I see some times from employees.
I AM NOT A UNION HATER, but I just think that the union was created originally to protect employees from the company, but as companies and unions got bigger the original idea got distorted and power struggles became the norm. What I mean by distorted is the unions and employers were supposed to protect one another and to work together, but somehow everything is now a struggle. Each side does not want to comprimise and work together most of the time regardless of which side is being unreasonable or right. In some ways I feel that the union has grown too strong and also the airlines too, and since both have grown to be too big for their own good, that limits each other to what they will or will not do, can or cannot do.
This situation and thread reminds me of the movie with Michael Keaton, where the Japanese automaker goes to Detriot and tries to run the company as if it were in Japan. And there is the struggle between the Unions and the Japanese employers both who wants to make good cars AND HAVE A EXCEPTIONAL PRODUCT, but has their own idea on how to achieve this. The movie portrayed those Union workers to be too comfortable with their work, whereas the Japanese couldn't understand why the workers didn't take more pride and give 100% in the work that they were doing. They also couldn't understand why the workers were not willing to work till they finish their work, which is common in Asia.

I guess, it all has to do with different ideas and work ethics, much of it however, is shaped by the Unions.

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: Ord
Posted 2003-11-08 22:51:18 and read 3818 times.

"Go back to 1994...UA was on the brink of Ch. 11 then, following the first Iraq war, and the industry was in turmoil. After employee ownership, then-CEO Stephen Wolf correctly decided it was time for a new external corporate identity, which came about in the current livery."

This statement is incorrect. United unveiled its gray/blue livery in January 1993. Employee ownership did not occur until July 1994.

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: UAL777CONTRAIL
Posted 2003-11-08 23:09:46 and read 3782 times.

Llmamura,
Very well said, I do however have to disagree with you. I am a union hater, I am in a union that is crap, I have seen this crappy union protect people who would be flat out on their ass if it wasn't for them.

It protects lazy people, lets use Union ramps in hub cities. This is a prime example, now I know most on here who are hard workers, never complain and always do what they are told, I don't refer to you. I do refer to the jackass who is still sitting on his ass when a guppy or 57 rolls down the lead in line, that is someone that will ALWAYS benefit from a union.

The other side now is that the company wont take care of you if you don't have a union. Example: UAL after they got rid of the C scale. You would have new employees or less than 5 years with the company do 75% of the work at 85% less pay. You cant run an airline without equal opportunity, you need to have it good on both sides. They need to have a cap or a ceiling for pilots that WONT allow them to rape companies any longer. They should pay ground workers by what they know, if you are in a line station and you can work gate,counter,ramp and load planning then you should be topped out, if you chooses to only work ramp because you suck in front of people then you should make less. This is just my opinion but there should be change, and it would save money down the long road.

Make people earn their keep at these major airlines, let the company get rid of a screw off who will only hurt those around him, make it a respectful job again, now? Please working for Wal-Mart is the cool thing, if you have a green card.

UAL 777 CONTRAIL

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: StevenUhl777
Posted 2003-11-09 00:31:44 and read 3713 times.

ord: Thank you...my mistake. I knew it was towards the end of Wolf's tenure, and I had 1994 in my mind. But Jan. 1993 sounds about right to me, the more I think about it.

Limamura: I both agree and disagree with you. The airline industry is cutthroat, and the management/CEOs have been the same way. To counter that, employees felt the need for some sort of protection instead of being rolled over. On the flip side, there's a lot of folks who are deadwood and that is one factor that affects morale, no matter where you go...when lazy people are protected but good people get shown the door in bad times. Great post!
 Big thumbs up

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: Jaysit
Posted 2003-11-09 01:10:52 and read 3652 times.

Improve their service.

I flew United on a three-class 777 to San Francisco recently in Business Class and I couldnt believe how pathetic it was. The seat was good, but the service was reminiscent of Tower Air. In Economy. There was one meal choice - a soggy beef sandwich and some chips. Not to make too much of a fuss about it, but when one dishes out $ 2500 for a business trip, the least you can expect is some finesse.

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: BN747
Posted 2003-11-09 03:18:29 and read 3526 times.

UAL777 Contrail wrote:
why in the world would I waste time coming to the airliners 2004 convention? If I am not from Los Angeles then I don't think you will see me there. Sadly enough, would like to meet the attitude behind the responses.


How unfortunate, many aviation enthusiast from around the world attend thes events regardless of their loactions. And too bad I missed you in Rome..when I was there I did have a great time and do look forward to returning.

How do you feel about the fact we don't operate 60, 777's? Or do you still think your right on that topic?

Must I quote you 'AGAIN" when you said "we have no where that many?" The number you (UAL) have or operate is far closer to 60 than the 43 or so you claimed. Big deal I'm off by 3 or 4 ships....you're off by what? 10-15 ? and you claim to work for them? Or to be an expert on them.

When you are from the Vatican city you have to make good with everyone. I know that some aren't worth making good with but your one you can over look pretty easy. If your feeling guilty about something let me know, I'll say a few words to the pope for you.

The only thing I feel guilty about is, when I was young, gullible and stupid for falling for all that crap the Vatican represents...you personally may be an okay kid...but as for the Vatican and the Pope..you can give him a messege for me...'He can kiss my ass!'...be sure to put that in a nice envelope when you hand it to him...better yet hold it still so he read it ...'clearly'!

BN

And ah FYI...I was in aviation LONG before I was into tv/film.

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: UAL777CONTRAIL
Posted 2003-11-09 06:03:31 and read 3461 times.

bn747,
You really need to pay attention, I said 52 777's and 777man said 56, you need to pay attention.

and no offense but I don't waste my time attending airliner rallies, I have a couple jobs.

ual 777 contrail

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: BN747
Posted 2003-11-09 08:05:04 and read 3408 times.

UAL 777 Contrail wrote:
bn747,
You really need to pay attention, I said 52 777's and 777man said 56, you need to pay attention.


SESGDL's post:
Posted Fri Oct 31 2003 22:08:01 UTC+1 and read 1460 times:

United owns 163 widebodies.

48 747-400
19 767-200/200ER
34 767-300ER
60 777-200


UAL 777 Contrail response:
SESGDL,
UAL doesn't have all the planes you listed, those are pre-9/11 numbers.
we don't have 60 777's like we once did, but we are still the largest operator of that fleet type.


BN747 reply: (with the list)
UAL 777 Contrail, UAL does have all 60 those 777s (except N230UA [#61] which hasn't and may not be built) which is a total of 61 ships. Now some may be parked... along with about 20 some odd 747s. UAL hasn't sold any 777s nor lost any of them (thank god) . And I have them all photographed....except N230UA.
Count 'em...

28714 205 B777-222(ER) 03/22/99 UNITED AIRLINES N205UA 2705
30212 216 B777-222(ER) 05/18/99 UNITED AIRLINES N206UA 2706
30213 232 B777-222(ER) 07/21/99 UNITED AIRLINES N207UA 2707
30214 254 B777-222(ER) 11/12/99 UNITED AIRLINES N208UA 2708
30215 259 B777-222(ER)12/16/99 UNITED AIRLINES N209UA 2809
30216 264 B777-222 01/28/00 UNITED AIRLINES N210UA 2510
30217 282 B777-222 05/18/00 UNITED AIRLINES N211UA 2511
30218 293 B777-222 07/28/00 UNITED AIRLINES N212UA 2512
30219 295 B777-222 08/15/00 UNITED AIRLINES N213UA 2513
30220 296 B777-22208/25/00 UNITED AIRLINES N214UA 2514
30221 297 B777-222 08/30/00 UNITED AIRLINES N215UA 2515
30549 291 B777-222(ER)07/21/00 UNITED AIRLINES N216UA 2816
30550 294 B777-222(ER) 08/14/00 UNITED AIRLINES N217UA 2817
30222 317 B777-222(ER) 01/10/01 UNITED AIRLINES N218UA 2818
30551 318 B777-222(ER) 01/23/01 UNITED AIRLINES N219UA 2819
30223 340 B777-222(ER) 05/25/01 UNITED AIRLINES N220UA 2820
30552 347 B777-222(ER) 06/22/01 UNITED AIRLINES N221UA 2821
30553 352 B777-222(ER) 07/24/01 UNITED AIRLINES N222UA 2822
30224 357 B777-222(ER) 08/24/01 UNITED AIRLINES (WFBN) N223UA 2823
30225 375 B777-222(ER)12/07/01 UNITED AIRLINES N224UA 2824
30554 377 B777-222(ER) 12/12/01 UNITED AIRLINES N225UA 2825
30226 380 B777-222(ER) 01/14/02 UNITED AIRLINES N226UA 2826
30555 381 B777-222(ER) 01/14/02 UNITED AIRLINES N227UA 2827
30556 384 B777-222(ER) 02/14/02 UNITED AIRLINES N228UA 2828
30557 388 B777-222(ER) 03/07/02 UNITED AIRLINES N229UA 2829
30227 *** B777-222(ER) YTB UNITED AIRLINES N230UA 2830
26917 8 B777-222 05/24/95 UNITED AIRLINES N766UA 2366
26918 9 B777-222 05/31/95 UNITED AIRLINES N767UA 2367
26919 11 B777-222 06/26/95 UNITED AIRLINES N768UA 2368
26921 12 B777-222 06/28/95 UNITED AIRLINES N769UA 2369
26925 13 B777-222 07/13/95 UNITED AIRLINES N770UA 2370
26932 3 B777-222 11/27/95 UNITED AIRLINES N771UA 2371
26930 5 B777-222 09/29/95 UNITED AIRLINES N772UA 2372
26929 4 B777-222 01/31/96 UNITED AIRLINES N773UA 2373
26936 2 B777-222 03/29/96 UNITED AIRLINES N774UA 2374
26947 22 B777-222 01/22/96 UNITED AIRLINES N775UA 2375
26937 27 B777-222 04/11/96 UNITED AIRLINES N776UA 2376
26916 7 B777-222 05/15/95 UNITED AIRLINES N777UA 2377 [1ST B777 DELY][FRF 07JUN95]
26940 34 B777-222 07/18/96 UNITED AIRLINES N778UA 2378
26941 35 B777-222 07/26/96 UNITED AIRLINES N779UA 2379
26944 36 B777-222 08/06/96 UNITED AIRLINES N780UA 2380
26945 40 B777-222 09/12/96 UNITED AIRLINES N781UA 2381
26948 57 B777-222(ER) 03/07/97 UNITED AIRLINES N782UA 2782
26950 60 B777-222(ER) 03/11/97 UNITED AIRLINES N783UA 2783
26951 69 B777-222(ER) 04/29/97 UNITED AIRLINES N784UA 2784
26954 73 B777-222(ER) 05/21/97 UNITED AIRLINES N785UA 2785
26938 52 B777-222(ER) 04/04/97 UNITED AIRLINES N786UA 2786
26939 43 B777-222(ER) 06/05/97 UNITED AIRLINES N787UA 2787
26942 82 B777-222(ER) 07/15/97 UNITED AIRLINES N788UA 2788
26935 88 B777-222(ER) 08/11/97 UNITED AIRLINES N789UA 2789
26943 92 B777-222(ER) 09/01/97 UNITED AIRLINES N790UA 2790
26933 93 B777-222(ER) 08/28/97 UNITED AIRLINES N791UA 2791
26934 96 B777-222(ER) 09/25/97 UNITED AIRLINES N792UA 2792
26946 97 B777-222(ER) 10/07/97 UNITED AIRLINES N793UA 2793
26953 105 B777-222(ER) 11/18/97 UNITED AIRLINES N794UA 2794
26927 108 B777-222(ER) 12/09/97 UNITED AIRLINES N795UA 2795
26931 112 B777-222(ER) 01/28/98 UNITED AIRLINES N796UA 2796
26924 116 B777-222(ER) 02/20/98 UNITED AIRLINES N797UA 2797
26928 123 B777-222(ER) 02/28/98 UNITED AIRLINES N798UA 2798
26926 139 B777-222(ER) 05/08/98 UNITED AIRLINES N799UA 2799

61 SHIPS


777MAN's reply:
Reply: 85Posted Sat Nov 8 2003 08:11:42 UTC+1 and read 821 times:


UAL's SkyNet in the A.I.R part shows only four 777s in the "non-operational" fleet eg stored. So UA currently has in service 56 777s.

Now since I'm not paying attention (as you say)...just when and where did you say this?
"I said 52 777's"


As you said above, "we don't 60 777s like we once did" I don't see you saying "we have 52" in there anywhere there! Or in any of your threads...

And they are not 'Airliner Rally's', they are Airliner Conventions, you 'actually meet' a lot of people like you do here but in person and also buy,sell and trade airline collector items. You ought to, attend one you might like it and get to meet some of or chat buddies. I'm sure between your two jobs, you get days off somewhere and these conventions are in Europe as well.

As for my small number of respected users and the like...I'm not here to chalk up 'respected users.' I'm here to share input and gain knowledge from users who do exhibit a great deal of information...that's good enough for me.
Now it's Sat. Nite, I'm out to pound a few beers and commit sin, feel free to pass that on to the Pope if you wish...that I freely and willfully did this....the devil had nothing to with it!

BN747

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: UAL777
Posted 2003-11-09 16:06:39 and read 3301 times.

wow.....this is fun to watch. Anyway, the only thing i wanted to respond to was Mariner in that UA DOES have flat beds in first class. I know because I have had the pleasure of flying in them 2 times.

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: Killerbabe
Posted 2003-11-09 16:14:07 and read 3284 times.

UA Should improve their services. IT Has a great livery, but I find its service terrible.

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: UAL777CONTRAIL
Posted 2003-11-09 17:54:42 and read 3232 times.

BN747,
My reply that I "dissed the messenger" was in the AA:WHY NO ASIA thread, it is reply 84.

what was the thread you made ignorant claims that AA would be killing everyone else if Crandall would have gotten the 747's and more Asian routes, remember? That was the thread you said Crandall had a big set of nutz, I said he had the lack of them for not going into ASIA when he had the chance.

UAL 777 CONTRAIL

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: Klwright69
Posted 2003-11-09 17:58:53 and read 3217 times.

Midway2airtran,

You spoke about a livery change sprucing up UA's image. You compared it to what Bethune did at Continental. Not totally true. Bethune changed a lot at CO. BUT, the design of the livery and its introduction into the fleet was well underway before Bethune ever got there. The livery was unveiled in 1991. Bethune didn't come along until a few years later.

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: BN747
Posted 2003-11-10 09:50:28 and read 3110 times.

UAL 777 Contrail wrote
what was the thread you made ignorant claims that AA would be killing everyone else if Crandall would have gotten the 747's and more Asian routes, remember? That was the thread you said Crandall had a big set of nutz, I said he had the lack of them for not going into ASIA when he had the chance.

What's ignorant about the claim? AA offers a better product than NW or UA. So if they had gone with the 744s, they had at the time and still do have the necessary foundation to build upon and implement a competitive and superior inflight service rivaled only by the asian carriers.

As for you, re:Crandall... you're entitled to your opinion.

BN747

Topic: RE: UA New Livery Or Improve Service
Username: Aviatortj
Posted 2003-11-10 10:02:48 and read 3100 times.

I'm not reading all these long posts, so I apologize if this has been said...

The cost of repainting the planes is a set cost. When they go in to get painted, all that changes is what livery they put on the outside. The one-time cost for UA do design a new livery is likely much less than designing a new way to train and retrain employees. People are so critical of the airlines. If you feel so strongly, write a letter to UAL and tell them why your way is economically better for them.

-TJ


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