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Topic: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: LDIkaros
Posted 2008-08-04 07:50:51 and read 13918 times.

According to

http://www.upgradetravelbetter.com

United sent out a survey to its frequent flyers to find out if they could get away charging for food on international flights.

I am not sure how far this idea has progressed but it seems United is serious about making some extra $$ on all flights, domestic and international.

Personally, I wouldn't mind paying extra for high-quality meals on international flights as long as they also offer free standard fare. Charging for all food, though, would go too far, IMO.

What are your thoughts about this?

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: FXramper
Posted 2008-08-04 07:56:53 and read 13909 times.



Quoting LDIkaros (Thread starter):

Why would they send the survey to frequent flyers? Why not the guy that uses UA once or twice a year in coach. A frequent traveller on UA is going to get upgraded or not pay for the food.

Take a piece of advice from US Airways.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: PanAm747
Posted 2008-08-04 08:11:01 and read 13838 times.

Airlines have to find ways to make money in any way they can with the sole exception of raising air fares. Instead, they will be nickel-and-diming their passengers in all forms. This has been discussed here ad nauseum, and further debate should occur elsewhere.

Having said that, though, I will say that crossing certain lines might be dangerous - and this one might be one. Domestic service is one topic, but international service is MUCH more competitive. At least UA is polling its frequent fliers and thinking this decision through before making unilaterally making a decision that could end up being as poorly thought through as Captain Smith steering the Titanic into a field of ice at top speed.

My personal opinion is that if the airlines really want to charge customers for the extras that used to be included, that those options should be able to be paid for at the time of the purchase of the ticket, rather than the endless charging of customers at the time of purchase.

Would you like to check a bag (add $25) [ ] Yes [ ] No

Would you like an upgrade on your meal from the standard fare? (add $10) [ ] Yes [ ] No

This would not preclude customers from changing their minds at the airport and adding it on, and it certainly could speed things along.

My two cents.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Max999
Posted 2008-08-04 08:23:45 and read 13796 times.

United is considering charging $24 (2 meals on a typical 14 hour flight) for their standard economy meal! I think people's tolerance for crap is pretty high when the food is complimentary. But when you start charging that much money for the same shit, people are going to protest.



[Edited 2008-08-04 08:24:59]

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: LAXdude1023
Posted 2008-08-04 08:27:19 and read 13778 times.

I took the survey. I think this would be a bad move. To not feed flyers on flights like ORD-HKG or LAX-SYD would be awful.

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 2):
My personal opinion is that if the airlines really want to charge customers for the extras that used to be included, that those options should be able to be paid for at the time of the purchase of the ticket, rather than the endless charging of customers at the time of purchase.

I agree 100%. If the airline wants to charge more for random stuff, they need to do it at the time of booking.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: MasseyBrown
Posted 2008-08-04 08:46:38 and read 13654 times.



Quoting Max999 (Reply 3):
United is considering charging $24 (2 meals on a typical 14 hour flight) for their standard economy meal! I think people's tolerance for crap is pretty high when the food is complimentary. But when you start charging that much money for the same shit, people are going to protest.

A while ago (in the 1980's?), my wife and I bought a picnic basket from Fortnum and Mason in London and carried it onboard a PA flight in Economy Class. The flight was about half full and the FA's were very accomodating. Bread, cold meats, cheeses, salad, wines and desserts for about 40 pounds for the two of us. Very tasty, plus we got to keep (and still use) the basket, plates, glasses, and utensils.

That was the best solution to the rear-cabin food problem I've found. I've seen a few "buy-and fly" food outlets in US airports, but they don't seem that popular. Can't figure out why not.

Experience says I'd not want to take UA up on their $24 offer; probably better to fast.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: RwSEA
Posted 2008-08-04 08:46:46 and read 13650 times.

At least SOME food needs to be offered free of charge. In a metal tube for 10 hours, there's no way to get food and you're at the airlines' mercy. I recently had a friend get pickpocketed in Barcelona and had no money on his way home. He literally had to scrounge around LHR for 3 hours looking for change so he could buy a candy bar. Now imagine if there's no food available on the plane either?

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: LH4116
Posted 2008-08-04 09:24:54 and read 13531 times.



Quoting RwSEA (Reply 6):
I recently had a friend get pickpocketed in Barcelona and had no money on his way home. He literally had to scrounge around LHR for 3 hours looking for change so he could buy a candy bar. Now imagine if there's no food available on the plane either?

That kinda remembers me of my short trip (long stopover) to Paris last month. I hadn't eaten anything that day except for a small airline breakfast. In Paris i decided not to buy anything since the prices there were ridiculously expensive and at the airport they didn't accept my card. Fortunately i was served a delicious dinner free of any charges on the 2h 30m hop to Stockholm. If i wouldn't have got that dinner on the plane i would probably have starved to death at the time i arrived home (at 5.30am).

Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 5):
I've seen a few "buy-and fly" food outlets in US airports, but they don't seem that popular. Can't figure out why not.

At ARN nearly all of the shops have this so called "Buy-and-Fly" concept. The prices are sky high, even higher than the prices on the BOB menu.

If UA starts charging for food on intl flights wouldn't most pax fly with foreign carriers that offer free food instead?

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Nighthawk
Posted 2008-08-04 09:27:21 and read 13517 times.

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 2):
those options should be able to be paid for at the time of the purchase of the ticket, rather than the endless charging of customers at the time of purchase.

er... that makes no sense?

To be honest I wish airlines would just scrap the whole idea of free catering / drinks, airlines offering paid for service offer a far better choice. I recently flew KLM to Kiev via Amsterdam. The only choices for drinks were beer (heineken) or wine. Whereas on easyjet you would get the full choice of spirits and a couple of beers / lagers. Food is just as bad, a tiny packet of pretzels on the AMS leg, whereas easyjet would offer a range of crisps, sandwiches etc.

I would much rather pay £2 and get a decent drink rather than get a free can of something im not a fan of.

[Edited 2008-08-04 09:31:34]

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: AmricanShamrok
Posted 2008-08-04 09:33:10 and read 13466 times.



Quoting Max999 (Reply 3):
United is considering charging $24 (2 meals on a typical 14 hour flight) for their standard economy meal! I think people's tolerance for crap is pretty high when the food is complimentary. But when you start charging that much money for the same shit, people are going to protest.

I agree, this is getting ridiculous and people expect free food when they pay high fares for the ticket. I could see if UA were really cheap like Jetblue or Southwest but for what people are paying for their tickets...forget it.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: United1
Posted 2008-08-04 09:33:35 and read 13464 times.



Quoting RwSEA (Reply 6):
At least SOME food needs to be offered free of charge. In a metal tube for 10 hours, there's no way to get food and you're at the airlines' mercy.

I agree, I think they should provide meal service for free and if they must charge for something charge for snacks (ie pringles, candy bars, fruit ect.)

I actualy took the survey and at the end there is a space for your comments. I linked the thread on US charging for water/drinks on flights and mentiond that this was why this was a bad idea.... Smile

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Lambert747
Posted 2008-08-04 09:56:28 and read 13347 times.



Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 2):
Airlines have to find ways to make money in any way they can with the sole exception of raising air fares. Instead, they will be nickel-and-diming their passengers in all forms. This has been discussed here ad nauseum, and further debate should occur elsewhere.

Unfortunately these kind of charges for this kind of service are both absurd and without standing. United Airlines competes with BA on LAX-LHR, SQ on SFO-HKG, AA on ORD-NRT, AF on IAD-CDG, KL on ORD-AMS and so forth. They cannot continue to compete on a service level when they are attempting these childish and distasteful charges for very simple service onboard intercontinental flights.

Quoting FXramper (Reply 1):
Why would they send the survey to frequent flyers?

They want to see the outrage from the loyal flyers before the hit and miss flyers.

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 4):
To not feed flyers on flights like ORD-HKG or LAX-SYD would be awful.

 checkmark 

Comparing United Airlines service on LAX-HKG by CX, and LAX-SYD by QF is already dismal. When one takes into consideration this latest money mongering attempt you have nothing short of a purge of loyal flyers to other airlines in the market. It is not just the cost of the meal, it is the piss-poor onboard service.

Quoting United1 (Reply 10):
I agree, I think they should provide meal service for free and if they must charge for something charge for snacks (ie pringles, candy bars, fruit ect.)

Why not offer a more substantial and responsible snack type such as lunch meats, vegetables, what is it with the American love affair with potato chips, saturated fats, and sodium loaded foods. Charge for a decent product if one is offered. Dont charge for crappy overly preserved foods processed time and time again.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Tommy767
Posted 2008-08-04 09:58:48 and read 13342 times.

If UA goes through with something like this, you can expect travelers (who are aware of the change) to take International carriers as they do not charge for alcohol or food in Y.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Ikramerica
Posted 2008-08-04 10:04:02 and read 13316 times.



Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 2):
Airlines have to find ways to make money in any way they can with the sole exception of raising air fares.

This is the unproven a.net mythology, but it doesn't make sense. After all, all airlines aren't the same price already, yet people still fly all of them. WN is cheaper on many routes out of Houston, but people fly CO out of IAH like there's no tomorrow. And WN and CO both have good reputations. CO just provides a few more amenities. And the tickets are usually a bit more (sometimes just a few bucks).

UA and US are considering these things because they can't admit they have a crappy product, so they are blaming price inelasticity instead. But the end result is making their products even crappier!  Wink

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: AussieItaliano
Posted 2008-08-04 10:18:54 and read 13249 times.

As a Premier Exec, I just hope that CO comes into Star Alliance really soon. That way I'll have options for domestic as well as International Travel within Star. UA seems intent on competing with US in the attempt to become the worst airline in the history of US aviation.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Iloveboeing
Posted 2008-08-04 10:21:07 and read 13237 times.



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 13):

UA and US are considering these things because they can't admit they have a crappy product, so they are blaming price inelasticity instead. But the end result is making their products even crappier!

 checkmark 

Agreed! IMO, if these airlines want to survive, they need to get rid of the nickel-and-diming charade and upgrade their products, not degrade them. Yes, they have competition, but that is no excuse to make their product crappier. Competition should encourage product differentiation, and as UA has claimed to be a "premier and premium" carrier, they need to act like it.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: AussieItaliano
Posted 2008-08-04 10:30:03 and read 13188 times.

And here's another thing. When the airlines started the whole buy on board concept for domestic flights in 2002-2003, the promise was that the food was gong to now be "restaurant quality". Did that happen? NO! Instead of getting our complimentary economy class meal, we began paying for a snack box. This is what's coming on international flights if UA gets their way. Not only will we be paying for what used to be complimentary, we'll be getting less quality. I, for one, do not believe for a second that they plan to offer "restaurant quality" meals.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: United1
Posted 2008-08-04 10:31:04 and read 13185 times.

Well this is not about food but I think this "nickle and diming" that UA just announced is brilliant.

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/080804/clm034.html?.v=101

Its called the award accelerator, basically for a fee you can double or triple your FF miles that you earn on a flight.

ie:

ORD-CLE
Double Miles: $9
Triple Miles: $19

[Edited 2008-08-04 10:44:19]

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: United1
Posted 2008-08-04 10:37:58 and read 13140 times.



Quoting AussieItaliano (Reply 16):
And here's another thing. When the airlines started the whole buy on board concept for domestic flights in 2002-2003, the promise was that the food was gong to now be "restaurant quality". Did that happen

When BOB started they were restaurant quality meals branded with well known names like Wolfgang Puck, Hard Rock Cafe, TGI Fridays ect.... Now the airlines have modified BOB domestically to snack boxes on short flights and higher quality meals on longer ones but they did start the programs with restaurant quality meals.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Iloveboeing
Posted 2008-08-04 10:38:30 and read 13142 times.



Quoting AussieItaliano (Reply 16):
And here's another thing. When the airlines started the whole buy on board concept for domestic flights in 2002-2003, the promise was that the food was gong to now be "restaurant quality". Did that happen? NO! Instead of getting our complimentary economy class meal, we began paying for a snack box. This is what's coming on international flights if UA gets their way. Not only will we be paying for what used to be complimentary, we'll be getting less quality. I, for one, do not believe for a second that they plan to offer "restaurant quality" meals.

Ugh! Could you imagine? A snackbox (or two) on an ORD-HKG run that you have to pay for? I flew that route a few years ago and I was very grateful for the food I received (two hot meals, a snackbox and instant noodles). I still could have used a PTV, though. UA would be foolish to get rid of all complimentary meal service on international flights. That would put them at a severe competitive disadvantage. UA management really needs to observe how SQ does business and take notes....

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Airbazar
Posted 2008-08-04 10:41:33 and read 13129 times.



Quoting Max999 (Reply 3):
United is considering charging $24 (2 meals on a typical 14 hour flight) for their standard economy meal! I think people's tolerance for crap is pretty high when the food is complimentary. But when you start charging that much money for the same shit, people are going to protest.

I would tend to agree with you but the fact that UA and other US carriers are still in business despite the endless alternative of much better carriers tells me that there are enough people out there that will continue to fly United and pay the $24 for a couple of really crappy meals.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Ikramerica
Posted 2008-08-04 10:44:22 and read 13087 times.



Quoting Iloveboeing (Reply 19):
That would put them at a severe competitive disadvantage.

They'd be on par with JQ in the Pacific, making it even harder to compete with QF and VA.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Talaier
Posted 2008-08-04 11:11:16 and read 12998 times.

The problem here is that airlines (and not only UA) are struggling to end the year with a balance sheet that gives out a decent profit. Bearing in mind that the current shareholders of many big airlines are largely formed by banks and investment societies that could not care less about the airline itslef and only focus on receiving a big, fat dividend, it is not surprise that companies start putting these sort of ideas on top of the table.

In my view airlines are on an increasingly discriminating product strategy: fancy J's and F's for business FF's and rich leisure travellers and crappy Y's that will lack any kind of extra service where the rest of humanity will be forced to travel. This allows airlines to push down prices on Y to a maximum while ripping off as much as they can to the people on the front cabin. The issue here is that all those that travel in Y will continue paying as much (or even more) money as they do now for a product that is way inferior. Passengers travelling on the front will probably experience price rises, but so will the level on service.

In the end it's the average traveller that is penalised in order to keep airline profits up. So maybe UA's idea might sound like utter crap right now, but I strongly believe that if oil prices start to soar we are going to see more of this in the future.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Iloveboeing
Posted 2008-08-04 11:26:59 and read 12851 times.



Quoting Talaier (Reply 22):
Bearing in mind that the current shareholders of many big airlines are largely formed by banks and investment societies that could not care less about the airline itslef and only focus on receiving a big, fat dividend, it is not surprise that companies start putting these sort of ideas on top of the table.

And that is a problem right there. Most of these shareholders don't care about serving customers. They don't care about the airlines providing the best service possible. All they care about is money. It is greed that fuels a lot of these investors and they don't care about serving others. They forget and/or simply don't realize that an airline is a customer service business and that customers are essential for the business to operate. No customers, no business.

Quoting Talaier (Reply 22):
In the end it's the average traveller that is penalised in order to keep airline profits up. So maybe UA's idea might sound like utter crap right now, but I strongly believe that if oil prices start to soar we are going to see more of this in the future.

And I think that that is very unfair. People in coach deserve to be treated well, just as much as the people up front. There needs to be great products in all classes. Carriers such as SQ, EK and CX, to name a few, provide great service to ALL their customers. Why can't U.S. carriers do the same?

Coach passengers are NOT cargo!!!!!!

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: SPREE34
Posted 2008-08-04 11:34:38 and read 12796 times.

Just say no.

My BA and IB trips were great.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: HercPPMX
Posted 2008-08-04 11:55:56 and read 12592 times.



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 13):
UA and US are considering these things because they can't admit they have a crappy product, so they are blaming price inelasticity instead. But the end result is making their products even crappier!

I Find this to be a new low for an airline that I actually some what like. They are not going to generate revenue as much as piss off loyal customers. Here is just a thought for the B.O.D. 1.fire your management. THEY ARE STUPID 2. quit screwing over your employees, after all they sell your product. (think SQ F/A's) 3. Invest in your product, yes it costs up front, but in the long run your return on Investment may just be people paying higher fares without a problem knowing the service they are paying for. (maybe at that point you could become an airline that doesn't nickel and dime.) If UA Keeps down this path they may make NW's trans pac service look good. UA is heading in a Scary Direction.
Just my 2 cents.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Indio66
Posted 2008-08-04 12:22:26 and read 12914 times.



Quoting Nighthawk (Reply 8):
I would much rather pay £2 and get a decent drink rather than get a free can of something im not a fan of.

Try buying an $8,000 VS upper class ticket, where they have two kinds of beer - Heineken and Stella . . . . .

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2008-08-04 12:39:58 and read 12718 times.

$39 for a "restaurant-style meal"? You gotta be kidding me!

And let me guess... no credit cards, only cash will be accepted just like on UA domestic BOB, so FAs would have to count out and handle multiple currencies, giving them big headaches. (Not to mention the missed opportunity for Chase and the Mileage Plus Visa.)

Could UA's service get any worse? They're already my least-favorite carrier (but, then again, I've never flown US)...

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Iloveboeing
Posted 2008-08-04 12:41:34 and read 12669 times.



Quoting HercPPMX (Reply 25):
Here is just a thought for the B.O.D. 1.fire your management.

 checkmark 

Quoting HercPPMX (Reply 25):
THEY ARE STUPID

That is an understatement. IMO, they're more on the lines of insane crooks.

Quoting HercPPMX (Reply 25):
3. Invest in your product, yes it costs up front, but in the long run your return on Investment may just be people paying higher fares without a problem knowing the service they are paying for. (maybe at that point you could become an airline that doesn't nickel and dime.)

YES!!!!! Exactly! SQ has done what you are saying here. They are committed to providing the best service of any airline in the world and are continually investing in their products in order to stay on top. Yes, it costs money in the beginning, but it pays off in the long run. And SQ is also able to command a premium for their services because of their high quality.

Quoting HercPPMX (Reply 25):
UA is heading in a Scary Direction.

They are indeed.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: MadameConcorde
Posted 2008-08-04 12:52:53 and read 12626 times.

I am a United (UA metal) One Million + Miles Flyer. I was 100K Flyer more than 10 years in a row until last year (07) Did not make the status in 08 because of health problems. I did not receive any survey.

So who is going to pay for the food on long haul international routes? First Class passengers? Business passengers or just those flying in the back of the bus, the E+ and Eminus proletarian class flyers?

Are UA Million + Milers, Globak Service, 1K and PremEx cards going to be waived from having to pay for the meals or will it be everybody?

If UA Million + Milers (UA metal) do not qualify as frequent flyers, I wonder who does!

Quoting LDIkaros (Thread starter):
United sent out a survey to its frequent flyers to find out if they could get away charging for food on international flights.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: DLPhoenix
Posted 2008-08-04 12:53:50 and read 12545 times.

This is dumb:
- The business travelers that account for the higher proced Y tickets will fly on partner airlines if they are not guaranteed an upgrade.
- The loads may improve but yields will be abismall (Anybody considering anything but proce will go away).
- There are always a few irresponsible passengers that are willing to pay for alcoholic beverages. How many of those will save the food money to buy more alcohol and become a safety problem?

DLP

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: StarGoldLHR
Posted 2008-08-04 12:57:14 and read 12491 times.



Quoting RwSEA (Reply 6):
At least SOME food needs to be offered free of charge. In a metal tube for 10 hours, there's no way to get food and you're at the airlines' mercy. I recently had a friend get pickpocketed in Barcelona and had no money on his way home. He literally had to scrounge around LHR for 3 hours looking for change so he could buy a candy bar. Now imagine if there's no food available on the plane either?

Ive flown many times without eating Uniteds food. There food is fowl. Why would anyone pay for it.

To be honest... buy on board will be doomed.. they will carry around 400 meals on a flight that they bought and paid for.. however anyone with any sense will buy and bring on board not buy on board.

At least if their savvy, they will sell it to the unsuspecting public before they get on board and carry just the number of meals they need...

but oh dear... UA food is the pits, however AA and US isnt exactly a shining comparison.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: MasseyBrown
Posted 2008-08-04 13:04:46 and read 12381 times.



Quoting Iloveboeing (Reply 23):
Most of these shareholders don't care about serving customers. They don't care about the airlines providing the best service possible. All they care about is money.

If you can demonstrate that the "best service possible" is also the most profitable service possible, those shareholders will support you 100%. If you can demonstrate that "on the whole, pretty good service" is the most profitable, they will support you 100%.

Unfortunately, today, minimum service seems to be the most profitable, at least in the short run; and therein lies the service problem.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: MadameConcorde
Posted 2008-08-04 13:12:48 and read 12333 times.

You can fly other airlines where you don't have to buy the meals and the food offered on board (whatever the distance) will be tasty and of good quality.

Austrian Airlines serves delicious hot meals in Economy Class, even on intra-European flights. Seriously they are delicious and I am one who is fussy about food quality.

Every time I fly with them from Nice to Vienna (or the other way around) I am always surprised by the high quality of their hot meals. They must be just as good if not better on their long haul routes.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Iloveboeing
Posted 2008-08-04 13:17:13 and read 12284 times.



Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 32):
If you can demonstrate that the "best service possible" is also the most profitable service possible, those shareholders will support you 100%. If you can demonstrate that "on the whole, pretty good service" is the most profitable, they will support you 100%.

Well, SQ has demonstrated that the "best service possible" is also the "most profitable service possible." SQ is a very profitable carrier and they provide some of the best service in the world. I really think that U.S. carriers should try their business model. I think they'd be surprised at what might happen.


Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 32):
Unfortunately, today, minimum service seems to be the most profitable, at least in the short run; and therein lies the service problem.

And there's a problem: short run. A lot of these airline executives and shareholders are very short-sighted and are only looking for short-term gains. What about the long term health of the company? What about making the airline the best airline it could possibly be? What about working to outdo the competition in terms of service?

Sadly, many of these executives only care about their bonuses, stock options, and the dividends they're going to give to shareholders. Short-term-focused management is not the best way to do business.

These airlines have got to stop trying to kill each other by underpricing, rather they should try to outdo each other in terms of service. They need to "Wow!" their customers. When people step onboard their planes, it should take their breath away. That is a way to ensure customer loyalty.

Having amazing service and ensuring customer loyalty will benefit everyone in the long-run and yes, the greedy executives/shareholders will get their bonuses/dividends; they just have to be patient.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Ushermittwoch
Posted 2008-08-04 13:28:09 and read 12173 times.

What I don't get is why people always overgeneralize US. It is the original US that sucks. The America West division is far superior to UA and AA!
But to comment on this topic, there is a reason why I switched over to SkyTeam. It is becoming more obvious every day. DL is becoming more and more appealing.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Dz09
Posted 2008-08-04 13:29:11 and read 12140 times.



Quoting FXramper (Reply 1):
hy would they send the survey to frequent flyers? Why not the guy that uses UA once or twice a year in coach. A frequent traveller on UA is going to get upgraded or not pay for the food.

Frequent flyers get free upgrades on international flights? Is that true? We don't get that with CO.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Fsnuffer
Posted 2008-08-04 13:30:05 and read 12145 times.



Quoting United1 (Reply 17):
Well this is not about food but I think this "nickle and diming" that UA just announced is brilliant.

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/080804/clm034.html?.v=101

Its called the award accelerator, basically for a fee you can double or triple your FF miles that you earn on a flight.

ie:

ORD-CLE
Double Miles: $9
Triple Miles: $19

Why would I pay a fee to earn more FF miles that I cannot redeem?

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: United1
Posted 2008-08-04 13:34:52 and read 12068 times.



Quoting Fsnuffer (Reply 37):
Why would I pay a fee to earn more FF miles that I cannot redeem?

Huh? I have never once had a problem using my miles for free flights or upgrades. Can I always find the saver awards on the dates I want to travel no but with some flexibility you can always get seats. If you really have to travel on a specific date try using a standard award they are good for any seat, anytime, anywhere.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: AussieItaliano
Posted 2008-08-04 13:44:38 and read 12002 times.



Quoting Iloveboeing (Reply 34):
And there's a problem: short run. A lot of these airline executives and shareholders are very short-sighted and are only looking for short-term gains. What about the long term health of the company? What about making the airline the best airline it could possibly be? What about working to outdo the competition in terms of service?

Sadly, many of these executives only care about their bonuses, stock options, and the dividends they're going to give to shareholders. Short-term-focused management is not the best way to do business.

Even in the US today, the carriers with the best service are posting the profits (or at least the minimal losses). CO just swung to a loss this quarter, and WN is still profitable. It is the airlines such as UA, US, and AA that are hit hardest by this fuel crisis, and why? Because they were mismanged before the fuel crisis hit!!!!

Customers should pay a reasonable price for what they receive. However, we should not pay for foolish decisions by management. Not hedging is one of those decisions that was stupid and short sighted. Now we're going to be sold a line of crap that these extra fees are necessary given the fuel crisis. I will take my money and fly on carriers that provide good service at a reasonable price.

Whether the airline makes money or not is not of my concern as a customer. Whether I get the best value for my money is my concern. I'll fly the carriers that don't charge the extra fees, and I especially won't pay the walk-up fares to carriers that nickel and dime me. If I'm paying more, I expect better service.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Brilondon
Posted 2008-08-04 13:47:51 and read 11967 times.



Quoting Max999 (Reply 3):
United is considering charging $24 (2 meals on a typical 14 hour flight) for their standard economy meal! I think people's tolerance for crap is pretty high when the food is complimentary. But when you start charging that much money for the same shit, people are going to protest.

I have to echo this sentiment. Basically you are getting warmed over leftovers and now you have to pay extra for the privilege of eating it. I don't like where this is going. Just another reason not to fly the unfriendly skies.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Iloveboeing
Posted 2008-08-04 14:01:30 and read 11849 times.



Quoting AussieItaliano (Reply 39):
Even in the US today, the carriers with the best service are posting the profits (or at least the minimal losses). CO just swung to a loss this quarter, and WN is still profitable. It is the airlines such as UA, US, and AA that are hit hardest by this fuel crisis, and why? Because they were mismanged before the fuel crisis hit!!!!

 checkmark 

Exactly!

Quoting AussieItaliano (Reply 39):
Not hedging is one of those decisions that was stupid and short sighted. Now we're going to be sold a line of crap that these extra fees are necessary given the fuel crisis. I will take my money and fly on carriers that provide good service at a reasonable price.

Yep! The decision to undertake a massive hedging program at WN was a brilliant one and now they are reaping the reward.

A lot of these other executives simply don't want to admit that they screwed up and they are using high fuel prices as an excuse to nickel-and-dime customers to death. The whole "a la carte" system is not going to save these airlines; it is going to tick off customers to the point where they won't fly them anymore. I really think that these airlines are going to lose a lot of business and they are going to pay for bad management. If they don't stop these paranoid measures soon, they are going to push them to the point of no return, putting them on a runaway train to Chapter 7.

And if/when that happens, it'll be their own fault; they brought it on themselves.

Quoting AussieItaliano (Reply 39):
I'll fly the carriers that don't charge the extra fees, and I especially won't pay the walk-up fares to carriers that nickel and dime me. If I'm paying more, I expect better service.

Me too! In the past, I've paid a good deal of money to fly on these so-called "premium, legacy" carriers (before the nickel-and-diming crap began) to fly from the Midwest to the East Coast and I didn't get much at all. Nearly $600, and all I got was a tiny drink and no snacks. For $600, I'd expect much more! (Btw, I flew those airlines because those were the lowest fares from a small airport in the Midwest). No more of that!

These carriers don't deserve our business, based on the levels of service they currently provide.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: AussieItaliano
Posted 2008-08-04 14:17:17 and read 11733 times.



Quoting United1 (Reply 18):
When BOB started they were restaurant quality meals branded with well known names like Wolfgang Puck, Hard Rock Cafe, TGI Fridays ect.... Now the airlines have modified BOB domestically to snack boxes on short flights and higher quality meals on longer ones but they did start the programs with restaurant quality meals.

Exactly, but it didn't last long. Now it has degenerated into snack boxes that are similar to the complimentary ones on WN. What do you think the future of international BOB will become in a year or two? Remember, history repeats itself. The fuel crisis of the 1970's and the mismanagement of US airlines in the 1980's by the likes of Icahn and Lorenzo seem to be repeating themselves at the present time.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: BMIFlyer
Posted 2008-08-04 14:19:46 and read 11717 times.

Hmm.

If UA want to charge for meals on I'ntl sectors, i'll look at flying US or CO Transatlantic instead.


Lee

[Edited 2008-08-04 14:20:52]

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Panamair
Posted 2008-08-04 14:27:48 and read 11659 times.



Quoting Iloveboeing (Reply 28):
And SQ is also able to command a premium for their services because of their high quality.

Then why does SQ still need to sell Y seats on the cheap for their transpacific flights through Chinatown bucket-shop travel agencies? Why does SQ still bother to offer low sale fares such as US$794 roundtrip LAX-NRT directly on their website? Why could SQ not command a premum for Y on their SIN-EWR and SIN-LAX services?

Service that "even other airlines talk about" as well as one of the world's most advanced and comprehensive IFE systems are still not enough to make people want to pay more for an Economy seat than say a CI or a BR or a PR.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Iloveboeing
Posted 2008-08-04 14:30:52 and read 11616 times.



Quoting Panamair (Reply 44):

Service that "even other airlines talk about" as well as one of the world's most advanced and comprehensive IFE systems are still not enough to make people want to pay more for an Economy seat than say a CI or a BR or a PR.

But their First and Business Class are out of this world and for that they do command a premium. Also, SQ has lower CASM that a lot of carriers, so they probably don't take as much of a loss on the economy tickets.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Panamair
Posted 2008-08-04 15:08:30 and read 11326 times.



Quoting Iloveboeing (Reply 45):
But their First and Business Class are out of this world and for that they do command a premium

Yes, but this whole thread started out about Economy; UA is not offering a la carte pricing for their J or F pax.

Bottom line is, free amenities and gadgets, or excellent service offered in Y for the most part do not generate a significant premium for an airline in the back half of the plane.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Iloveboeing
Posted 2008-08-04 15:14:07 and read 11277 times.



Quoting Panamair (Reply 46):
UA is not offering a la carte pricing for their J or F pax.

I wouldn't put it past UA management to think of something like that....

Quoting Panamair (Reply 46):
Bottom line is, free amenities and gadgets, or excellent service offered in Y for the most part do not generate a significant premium for an airline in the back half of the plane.

The premium might not be significant, but it is something that the airline can use. It doesn't need to be a 500% markup or anything, but a slight premium, such as 30-50% would be more reasonable.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: AussieItaliano
Posted 2008-08-04 15:23:17 and read 11215 times.



Quoting Panamair (Reply 46):
Yes, but this whole thread started out about Economy; UA is not offering a la carte pricing for their J or F pax.

I don't think it's wise to alienate Y pax. Almost all F and J pax find themselves in Y from time to time. And when they do, they're not going to like the nickel and diming, especially on international flights.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Sq2ams
Posted 2008-08-04 15:36:49 and read 11096 times.

OMG, I don't believe this, it's screwy enough checking in with United and now I have to tell them if I "want fries with that," my ticket. OMG what has happened to the airline industry. I'll bet William A. "Pat" Patterson is turning over in his grave. Just sell everything off and take your signs down. You know it's a shame, you can't bleed anymore money from your employee's so you are going to keep trying to bleed your customers. Close the doors and go home.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Iloveboeing
Posted 2008-08-04 15:45:54 and read 11020 times.



Quoting Sq2ams (Reply 49):
OMG what has happened to the airline industry.

I know. It's crazy! The once prestigious carriers of the USA are crumbling from within. They have forgotten what it means to serve the people. They haven't got a clue what good service is anymore and foreign carriers have beaten them to the punch. They have lost their sense of innovation and desire to serve customers above all else. Management cares about itself and only itself.


Quoting Sq2ams (Reply 49):
Just sell everything off and take your signs down. You know it's a shame, you can't bleed anymore money from your employee's so you are going to keep trying to bleed your customers. Close the doors and go home.

I am sorry to say this, but I agree. I know it's sad to see thousands of people lose their jobs, but these carriers cannot continue in panicked/paranoid/desperate mode they're in. Some of these legacies are going to have to go and the government should NOT bail them out.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: LACA773
Posted 2008-08-04 16:22:53 and read 10664 times.

UA opened a whole can of worms with this one.
They should be ashamed of theirselves for even mentioning such a thing.
As it is, the choices in Y+ is one salad and one sandwich choice, BOB, thankyou very much.
Their midcons Westcoast to ORD offer those junk boxes. Instead they could offer a better, healthy and tasty meal and charge more for it. This will allow them to make more money as people might actually want to eat it.
Internationally, no way. Complimentary meals need to stay put. If they offer an upgraded meal from the standard garbage they serve, for a fee, by all means do it. I'd buy it.
This is really starting to get out of hand.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: YULWinterSkies
Posted 2008-08-04 16:57:54 and read 10413 times.



Quoting LH4116 (Reply 7):
If UA starts charging for food on intl flights wouldn't most pax fly with foreign carriers that offer free food instead?

I would fly a foreign carrier anyway, no matter how much UA charges for their food. Bad move, bad move...
But, if UA is $5 cheaper on a $1000 fare, i doubt the lambda pax would not fly UA...

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: QANTAS077
Posted 2008-08-04 17:02:32 and read 10368 times.



Quoting LDIkaros (Thread starter):
Personally, I wouldn't mind paying extra for high-quality meals on international flights as long as they also offer free standard fare. Charging for all food, though, would go too far, IMO.

now go to a restaurant and see what they charge for that style meal that's pictured there and see if its value for money or not, why don't they just upgrade their meal service?

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: LTBEWR
Posted 2008-08-04 17:19:54 and read 10292 times.

In 1986, I traveled round-trip on PeopleExpress EWR-BRU. On flights on 747's (EWR to GWK, BRU, LAX, SFO) they offered for sale snacks packs and light meals (cold chicken platter I recall was one) for about $3 - 4. I believe some transatlantic charters do the same thing had have done so for years. I ate before the flight to BRU and for the EWR flight picked up at a Sunday street maket a nice fresh bagalett of bread, some cold cut ham and fresh cut goulda cheese, a bag of chips and a Godiva chocolate bar which I had on the flight. Some around me were kinda envenious of my lunch. It was a lot better tasting and quality than most in flight meals. I could also choose the time I wanted to eat rather than wait for the cart.

This idea of UA is just plain stupid. Many do not have the time to get a meal before getting to the airport or at the airport especially with today's security problems. Of course, to/from the USA you can't bring through security any liquids to drink. If you bring something from home, it may spoil by the time you get to eat it, especially on those trans-pacific flights. Already there is enough hassles with tighter limits as to carry ons, then you add 100 + bringing on food, all the hassles of the trash, and so on, and you may create more problems. Then if their is a delay in taking off or landing, you are going to need a meal.
I know the USA based airlines are in obscenely bad shape, but there is a point where you lose to competitors foreign and domestic (I bet CO wouldn't consider this on Int'l flights). It also gives a horrible impression to non-USA citizens of how we do things. That isn't good for tourism either.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Tommy767
Posted 2008-08-04 17:26:32 and read 10212 times.



Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 54):
In 1986, I traveled round-trip on PeopleExpress EWR-BRU. On flights on 747's (EWR to GWK, BRU, LAX, SFO) they offered for sale snacks packs and light meals (cold chicken platter I recall was one) for about $3 - 4. I believe some transatlantic charters do the same thing had have done so for years. I ate before the flight to BRU and for the EWR flight picked up at a Sunday street maket a nice fresh bagalett of bread, some cold cut ham and fresh cut goulda cheese, a bag of chips and a Godiva chocolate bar which I had on the flight. Some around me were kinda envenious of my lunch. It was a lot better tasting and quality than most in flight meals. I could also choose the time I wanted to eat rather than wait for the cart.

It's always fun to read about the ol' peopleExpress stories. The funny thing is that it was this type of business model that they used in the Transatlantic market from EWR that eventually killed the airline. Domestic over-expansion and no-frill's long haul service on pre-owned 741's didn't work back in the early 1980s. And the same type of no-frill's transatlantic service (if UA actually pulls through with charging meals in Y) won't work in 2008. Not as long as there is Continental, Northwest, British Airways, Air France, and Virgin Atlantic around.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: 1821
Posted 2008-08-04 17:32:15 and read 10162 times.



Quoting Max999 (Reply 3):

My friend i agree 110% !!!! Atleast if they start charging us for meals on flights , why not make the meals that actually taste like something?

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: FlyMD
Posted 2008-08-04 18:13:14 and read 9900 times.

I love UA and always have (and fly UA/Star exclusively). But, if they start to charge for meals on international flights, they can forget it. LH/LX/OZ/NH/SQ/TG will get all of my international business. UA's international service is already sub-par, that will be too much!!!!!

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Bok269
Posted 2008-08-04 18:25:33 and read 9807 times.



Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 33):

When Austrian starts EWR-STL please let me know.  sarcastic 

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Zone1
Posted 2008-08-04 18:49:12 and read 9666 times.

I don't know why UA would think about doing this. This will just drive more and more UA flyers to fly other Star Alliance carriers. But this could become a pretty large onboard nightmare for F/As. They would probably have to accept multiple currencies onboard. Which of course would allow people like me to figure out arbitrage opportunity with the exchange rate UA would set onboard. If AA didn't match this you might see quite a few people in Chicago switching away from the home team.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Sampa737
Posted 2008-08-04 19:14:16 and read 9475 times.

I was wondering when this would come about. I fly Brasil-USA-Brasil quite often. Most flights leave so late, either from Brazil or the US, that I've already eaten something for dinner anyway. And once I land in the US, I hit Starbucks on the way to my connection. The meals are nice and I do eat them but if they were not offered, I would not miss them. A snack would be nice but I think taking away or charging for meals on long flights would be a mistake. Not everyone eats before they fly. Just add the cost to the price of the ticket!

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Chgoflyer
Posted 2008-08-04 19:18:04 and read 9470 times.



Quoting FXramper (Reply 1):
A frequent traveller on UA is going to get upgraded or not pay for the food.

What makes you think that? I was either 1k or Premier Exec for 8yrs in a row and never was just "upgraded" I always paid.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Baw716
Posted 2008-08-04 20:14:43 and read 9154 times.



Quoting Max999 (Reply 3):
United is considering charging $24 (2 meals on a typical 14 hour flight) for their standard economy meal! I think people's tolerance for crap is pretty high when the food is complimentary. But when you start charging that much money for the same shit, people are going to protest.

If UA is going to charge $24 for two meals on an international flight, what they are doing is simply criminal. It costs about $6-7 meal incl the entree for the main meal; the second service is probably running at $3-4. If we are talking about $10-11/passenger and UA is contemplating charging $24, that is about 100% markup.

This is fundamentally wrong and is, once again, part of the extremely shortsided view of US carriers to nickel and dime the passenger for everything it can. US Airways is the worst and if UA goes this direction, then we will see people bringing on food on international flights and the implications for arrivals, especially in the USA is huge, considering the amount of control we have on food coming into the USA....UA is playing with fire....and is being incredibly stupid for even considering it.

There are other ways UA could increase revenues without nickel and diming the passenger. In fact, if we are talking about UA specifically, there are so many things that they could do to control costs that they haven't done that this idea just makes their management team look even more totally silly than ever.

It's a really sad thing...I used to work for that company when they were the true leader in the industry.

baw716

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: PagoFlyer
Posted 2008-08-04 20:16:42 and read 9146 times.

We use to joke about installing pay toilets on international flights...it's not a joke anymore. Sad...

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Skytroll
Posted 2008-08-04 21:14:18 and read 8798 times.



Quoting Indio66 (Reply 26):

Yes and who makes a profit????

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: BALHRWWCC
Posted 2008-08-04 21:27:39 and read 8724 times.



Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 43):
If UA want to charge for meals on I'ntl sectors, i'll look at flying US or CO Transatlantic instead.

Yes but once one starts as has already been seen with the checked baggage charges others will follow suit

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: 777law
Posted 2008-08-04 21:38:45 and read 8682 times.

UA should take a close look at some of its rivals before it does this. The airline would probably be better off internationally if it started offering better food to all passengers and adding $15 - $20 to the base price of a ticket. UA could then start using it's improved food offerings as a way to advertise it's "enhanced" international service.

As I recall, after KE went through a rough spell in the 1990's, one of the first things it did was enhance the quality of it's in flight meals. KE subsequently won an award for best in flight meal. While this alone didn't turn KE around, it was one important step that helped KE fix its reputation to be taken as top-notch international airline. UA could learn a lot from KE.

UA is clearly at a crossroads here. It can either become "Skybus International" and suffer the consequences, or it can start making some real investments in its product and become a truly competitive international airline. As it is now, UA is sadly coming perilously close to the "Skybus" model. I have already started taking my business elsewhere.

[Edited 2008-08-04 21:42:05]

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: HAMAD
Posted 2008-08-04 21:52:44 and read 8589 times.



Quoting FXramper (Reply 1):
Why would they send the survey to frequent flyers? Why not the guy that uses UA once or twice a year in coach. A frequent traveller on UA is going to get upgraded or not pay for the food.

i think UA has gone mad!

by the way, i am a premier, but i haven't got the survey link.. can any one send it to me?

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Iloveboeing
Posted 2008-08-04 21:55:00 and read 8589 times.



Quoting 777law (Reply 66):
UA is clearly at a crossroads here. It can either become "Skybus International" and suffer the consequences, or it can start making some real investments in its product and become a truly competitive international airline. As it is now, UA is sadly coming perilously close to the "Skybus" model. I have already started taking my business elsewhere.

Yes it has. UA has gotten to the point where, honestly, it's nothing really special anymore. UA (and most other major U.S. carriers) used to be known as some of the world's premier and most prestigious carriers. Now it is a mere shell of what it used to be.

Things at UA, such as like corrupt management and failure to upgrade the inflight products to international standards, are driving customers (such as myself) away. UA seriously needs to do an about-face from this nickel-and-diming garbage and undergo the necessary, radical changes to become a competitive, premium international carrier.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: MasseyBrown
Posted 2008-08-04 22:04:24 and read 8541 times.



Quoting Iloveboeing (Reply 34):
And there's a problem: short run. A lot of these airline executives and shareholders are very short-sighted and are only looking for short-term gains. What about the long term health of the company?

For some airlines, there is no long-term unless they get through the next 18 months. They are trying to survive. Most will; but getting there will be ugly and they will sacrifice anything in the meantime. I doubt that the managements are quite so venal as you make them sound, although some of the outside stockholders and creditors are.  Smile

Quoting Iloveboeing (Reply 50):
The once prestigious carriers of the USA are crumbling from within. They have forgotten what it means to serve the people. They haven't got a clue what good service is anymore and foreign carriers have beaten them to the punch.

Are you talking mostly about cabin and counter service? US airlines have sometimes been known for good and even very good service, but foreign lines have always offered better personal service. The airline with the best reputation for service has varied over the years, but, since jets' arrival, I don't remember it ever being a US carrier.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: HAMAD
Posted 2008-08-04 22:11:32 and read 8514 times.



Quoting Chgoflyer (Reply 61):
Quoting FXramper (Reply 1):
A frequent traveller on UA is going to get upgraded or not pay for the food.

What makes you think that? I was either 1k or Premier Exec for 8yrs in a row and never was just "upgraded" I always paid.

United doesn't "just" upgrade on international or domestic, the majority of the time you either need to use upgrade certificates or miles (domestic wise) . on international flights upgrade is even tougher.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Iloveboeing
Posted 2008-08-04 22:18:35 and read 8482 times.



Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 69):
For some airlines, there is no long-term unless they get through the next 18 months. They are trying to survive. Most will; but getting there will be ugly and they will sacrifice anything in the meantime. I doubt that the managements are quite so venal as you make them sound, although some of the outside stockholders and creditors are.

But trying to survive should not equal upsetting customers. These airlines, IMO, would do so much better if they offered better service. Customers are vital to the survival of an airline. If they are alienated, they won't come back and the airline will eventually fail.

Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 69):
Are you talking mostly about cabin and counter service? US airlines have sometimes been known for good and even very good service, but foreign lines have always offered better personal service. The airline with the best reputation for service has varied over the years, but, since jets' arrival, I don't remember it ever being a US carrier.

It just seems that, while on U.S. carriers, a lot of (but not all) of the people I encounter don't seem interested in their job and many have attitudes. I know that management has treated them horribly, so I can understand why they're upset. If management would just learn how to respect the customers and the employees, instead of worrying about personal gain, it would go a long way in helping their airlines.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: HercPPMX
Posted 2008-08-04 23:14:54 and read 8267 times.



Quoting Iloveboeing (Reply 71):
If management would just learn how to respect the customers and the employees, instead of worrying about personal gain, it would go a long way in helping their airlines.

Quite Down Someone May Be Listening..... Seriously what is next for this group of people who are willing to run a once great airline into the ground. Let Me Guess... A slot in an overhead bin $5. Working IFE $10. Being Able To Hear Channel 9 $5... Use Of tray table 50 Cents... coin operated for you convinence... I could go all day but I would hate for united management to read this and get an idea because of a joke.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: AussieItaliano
Posted 2008-08-04 23:45:41 and read 8137 times.



Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 69):
For some airlines, there is no long-term unless they get through the next 18 months. They are trying to survive. Most will; but getting there will be ugly and they will sacrifice anything in the meantime.

The problem is that by alienating your key customers (I'm talking about the people who pay the higher Y fares and fly more often), then all you get are the budget travellers thereby decreasing revenue. It's true, the loyal customers will take their business elsewhere.

Quoting BALHRWWCC (Reply 65):
Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 43):
If UA want to charge for meals on I'ntl sectors, i'll look at flying US or CO Transatlantic instead.


Yes but once one starts as has already been seen with the checked baggage charges others will follow suit

But I don't think it will be followed by foreign carriers, and probably not even all US carriers. Remember that not all US carriers have implemented the new baggage fees on domestic flights, and foreign airlines still serve free alcohol in Y. There is no way that I could see all of those foreign carriers implementing all of these asinine measures.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Burkhard
Posted 2008-08-05 00:07:23 and read 8045 times.

No airline ever can give you anything for free. It either charges you inclusively or exclusively. I hate to have to pay for an inclusve meal that I don't want or cannot eat since it is junk.

The last flight I made, as soon as the fasten seat belt signs went off, a friendly stewardess came around, and with a smile gave us a menu card. We ordered, it was late morning, some crosissant and a small bottle of Champain, and paid 18€ for this. Didn't have Champain aboard an aircraft for a while, so why not? The croissants were fresh, and the Champain tasted well, ( OK I would prefer true glasses but security does not allow true champain glasses aboard I understand ).

So what was wrong with this?

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: LACA773
Posted 2008-08-05 00:09:12 and read 8042 times.



Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 54):
In 1986, I traveled round-trip on PeopleExpress EWR-BRU. On flights on 747's (EWR to GWK, BRU, LAX, SFO) they offered for sale snacks packs and light meals (cold chicken platter I recall was one) for about $3 - 4. I believe some transatlantic charters do the same thing had have done so for years. I ate before the flight to BRU and for the EWR flight picked up at a Sunday street maket a nice fresh bagalett of bread, some cold cut ham and fresh cut goulda cheese, a bag of chips and a Godiva chocolate bar which I had on the flight. Some around me were kinda envenious of my lunch. It was a lot better tasting and quality than most in flight meals. I could also choose the time I wanted to eat rather than wait for the cart.

Laker Airways-"Skytrain" did this back in the day when they flew their routes to the USA. They had something similar to a first-business class with complimentary meals and such. In the main cabin, you had different options on what you could purchase, from simple snack to a full typical meal.

Like I said earlier, I just can't seem them cutting their meals on transatlantic/pacific flights. I could see them offering a better, more upgraded premium meal in which they can charge extra for at the time you pay for your reservation. If they offered this in addition to the complimentary meals, this too would bring added revenue in.
It would be nice to see them upgrade their Y+ service and offer a better product.
Domestically, bring back full catering, but charge for decent, tasty and high quality meals. Lots of revenue here.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: BCAL
Posted 2008-08-05 01:22:38 and read 7753 times.



Quoting LACA773 (Reply 75):
Laker Airways-"Skytrain" did this back in the day when they flew their routes to the USA. They had something similar to a first-business class with complimentary meals and such. In the main cabin, you had different options on what you could purchase, from simple snack to a full typical meal.

Not quite correct. In its early days and throughout most of its life Laker's Skytrain was single class and passengers had the option to purchase an in-flight meal at the time of booking only (which was in the very early days the day of travel). For GBP 5 and USD 7.50 you had the option of a hot three-course meal and pre-landing snack. Free tea/coffee was served to all passengers but other drinks were BOB and the airline carried a range of snacks also available for purchase but no hot meals were available for purchase on board. This remained Skytrain's policy for about 2-3 years. Passengers were also welcome to bring their own food on board.

Established airlines like PanAm, TWA, BA etc soon offered fares to compete with Laker's fares but initially the number of seats available were limited or stand-by only. However, in the late 1970s and early 1980s there was a large over-capacity on the Atlantic market which, combined with an economic downturn, resulted in extraordinary measures by the airlines to attract passengers. The discounted fares with the established airlines became more easily available and PanAm at one stage even undercut Laker's fares. Laker fought back by offering fares that included complimentary meals and later in 1981 a dedicated business class.

UA's move is testing the water before gambling on charging for meals on international flights. Clearly there are too many airlines fighting for the same passengers and as a result unrealistic fares are being charged. Increasing fuel prices are making it necessary to trim other costs wherever possible. With most costs already trimmed, it is now a case of being first to do away with elements of the flight that were taken for granted, hoping others will follow suit.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: BlueFlyer
Posted 2008-08-05 01:41:43 and read 7663 times.

I'm not sure it is such a foolish idea by UA, it is certainly a very interesting one either way. The public at large is well aware that costs for almost everything are increasing and, by and large, it has adapted to the new realities without massive protests and street revolts. In other industries, vendors have increased their prices or lowered the quantity of goods available for the same price, added fees for things that used to be free, and a few have changed their pricing policy altogether, switching from a small margin with a large volume, to a small volume with a high margin, and while it is still too early to tell, not one strategy has so far been proven better than the others.

UA will definitively lose some passengers due to their nickel-and-diming, if implemented, but the question is how many. On any given flight, most of the passengers are of the occasional flyer type, the ones least likely to notice a difference in service level between UA and its competitors, and even if they did, the price increases seen pretty much everywhere else will have dulled them to what is in effect a price increase on behalf of UA (at some point, a price increase is just another price increase...).

Frequent flyers can certainly no longer be counted on to be buying expensive, high yield tickets, so while UA could certainly lose some with this new policy, their loss will not be as dramatic as one might think, especially coupled with the capacity reduction UA and other carriers plan for the fall. In fact, if the capacity shrinks enough system-wide, some would-be "switchers" may not even have any other choice but to stick it out with UA for a lack of alternative options (or available seat) and, in some markets, UA may even gain some frequent flyers whose carrier of choice is no longer as convenient as before, or even present.

Finally, one has to ask how many passengers (others than on a.net) even have the option to care about UA's new proposed BOB. Even though SQ definitively offers a superior service to US-based carriers, it does not own the skies as others have pointed out already. Some occasional passengers are not aware of the difference, others are aware but go with whoever is cheapest at the time of purchase, another group cares more about scheduling and connection than service and yet others have no choice (Fly America Act, corporate contract, etc...). That doesn't leave too many passengers for whom the differentiating factor is whether or not one of their options will charge them for extras once on board.

Overall, UA is doing the right thing by polling its passengers, and if it does go ahead with the proposed change, it would be interesting to see whether it works. If it doesn't affect UA negatively, expect DL and US to follow suit, and possibly even AA. Even if it wanted to, CO probably couldn't adopt the same measure because so much of its marketing efforts focus on it maintaining current service levels.

If the industry were indeed to segment itself along those lines both domestically and internationally, WN would be in an interesting position, sandwiched somewhere between full-service carriers (AA and CO) and a la carte basic airlines (DL, UA and US) while having neither full-service nor a la carte offerings (but having perhaps the most loyal customer base of all).

Quoting Iloveboeing (Reply 23):
Why can't U.S. carriers do the same?

Because there are too many US carriers competing for too few customers. UA and US should be gone by now (no offense to their respective employees), and the remaining carriers would be more profitable and would have enough cash flow to invest into their service. Of course, flying would be more expensive. So do we want to bitch about nickel-and-diming on cheap tickets (relatively speaking), or do we want to bitch about expensive tickets ?

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 2):
that those options should be able to be paid for at the time of the purchase of the ticket

Great idea, love it, airline management hates it. As airline advertising in general and FR in particular have shown, airlines want to make it very hard for passengers to be able to comparison-shop based on the full price of a flight from A to B. Giving passengers the option to pay for the extras as they buy their ticket is a step in the opposite (ie wrong) direction...

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 29):
Are UA Million + Milers, Globak Service, 1K and PremEx cards going to be waived from having to pay for the meals or will it be everybody?

I don't think anyone will be "waived" per say, it would create resentment in the cabin between the passengers paying for their meals and the ones who don't, and it would add yet another level of complexity for F/As having to remember who is entitled to a free BOB while dealing with the customers who claim, but cannot prove, that they too should get their food for free and explaining to the other customers why they need to pay, unlike the guy sitting next to them. UA might issue free vouchers on the other hand...

Quoting Dz09 (Reply 36):
Frequent flyers get free upgrades on international flights? Is that true? We don't get that with CO.

It happens, not very often, and usually for operational or sales reasons (like upgrading an Elite to free up a coach seat for someone willing to pay the walk-up fare for that seat), but every now and then, it also happens for no apparent reason. But. It. Is. Rare.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Hrvhow1
Posted 2008-08-05 02:27:50 and read 7496 times.

Reading this article I'm truly amazed at how greedy Americans are. I cannot believe you would rather complain about something so trivial as a meal. There are so many other issues out there today more important than this.

When I fly my biggest concern today is safety and security. When I fly I want to be assured the airline is spending money maintaining their aging fleets. I want to be assured the ground personnel have not loaded something dangerous onto the airplane.

Further, US Airlines cannot offer the same service levels as international carriers such as SQ, EK and CX. If these carriers were allowed to operate in the US the American culture would destroy their product. These carriers business models also allow them to focus more on their product because they have smaller fleets and their clientele is not as price sensitive as the American Traveler.

In closing, could someone make a suggestion on how and airline in the US can generate more profit. Raising Fares is not the solution.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Signol
Posted 2008-08-05 03:00:41 and read 7361 times.

This wouldn't stop me from flying UA (I've never flown them before), but I'd consider paying a little more to fly with an airline that does provide food. Or I'll pack sandwiches for myself. As long as they don't charge for (tap) water...

signol

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Burkhard
Posted 2008-08-05 03:10:54 and read 7317 times.



Quoting Signol (Reply 79):
but I'd consider paying a little more to fly with an airline that does provide food.

How much?

Are you willing to pay 20$ more for an inclusive service that costs you 24$ when you pay for it - and less if you choose for less?

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Bramble
Posted 2008-08-05 03:13:47 and read 7317 times.



Quoting Max999 (Reply 3):
United is considering charging $24 (2 meals on a typical 14 hour flight) for their standard economy meal! I think people's tolerance for crap is pretty high when the food is complimentary. But when you start charging that much money for the same shit, people are going to protest.



[Edited 2008-08-04 08:24:59]

Lets be honest. There is no way that your "restaurant style meal" will actually look like the picture in the brouchure.

Offering no complimentary food on a longhaul is close to forcing pax to buy your wares.

Next you know all pax will have to 'meal list' for their flights beforehand just like standby staff pax. "Sorry sir but due to weight constraints we only load meals for the passengers who pre-order on our website when booking. Doing this allows us to offer you the passenger low cost competitive airfares. Please be aware of this for your next flight with us"

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Brilondon
Posted 2008-08-05 06:24:54 and read 6558 times.



Quoting Baw716 (Reply 62):
It's a really sad thing...I used to work for that company when they were the true leader in the industry.

They still are a leader in the industry. I don't known of any airlines that charge Intl. Pax for food. Hence they are still leaders in the industry.  thumbsdown  to UA.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: StarGoldLHR
Posted 2008-08-05 06:52:54 and read 6408 times.



Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 33):
Austrian Airlines serves delicious hot meals in Economy Class, even on intra-European flights. Seriously they are delicious and I am one who is fussy about food quality.

OS learnt the hard way, around 2005/6 they dropped food for a buy on board snack box which back fired so badly they nearly went out of business !!!

Quoting Ushermittwoch (Reply 35):
The America West division is far superior to UA and AA!

I will never set foot on an AW aircraft ever again after the way they treated me 8 years ago... thats how deep my passions are on this airline.

Quoting Dz09 (Reply 36):
Frequent flyers get free upgrades on international flights? Is that true? We don't get that with CO.

Only if you bought a mass expensive last minute ticket, which is usually cheaper than advance business tickets.

Quoting Brilondon (Reply 82):
They still are a leader in the industry. I don't known of any airlines that charge Intl. Pax for food. Hence they are still leaders in the industry. to UA.

You have never had the priviledge of Ryanair then  Smile

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: EXAAUADL
Posted 2008-08-05 08:10:38 and read 6082 times.



Quoting Brilondon (Reply 82):
I don't known of any airlines that charge Intl. Pax for food.

JetStar does, but they always have. The thing is your expectations for Jetstar are low, for UAL they arent so low as to expect to pay for meals on longhaul flights.

This will backfire on routes where they compete with other * alliance members.

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 74):
No airline ever can give you anything for free. It either charges you inclusively or exclusively. I hate to have to pay for an inclusve meal that I don't want or cannot eat since it is junk.

The last flight I made, as soon as the fasten seat belt signs went off, a friendly stewardess came around, and with a smile gave us a menu card. We ordered, it was late morning, some crosissant and a small bottle of Champain, and paid 18€ for this. Didn't have Champain aboard an aircraft for a while, so why not? The croissants were fresh, and the Champain tasted well, ( OK I would prefer true glasses but security does not allow true champain glasses aboard I understand ).

So what was wrong with this?

Was this on a 7+ hour flight?



The more airline cut back on services, the harder it will be for them to sell up to the next higest fare bucket. UAL riskes becoming PE with a better route network. But hte point is they wont appeal to anyone but the backpackers.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: EXAAUADL
Posted 2008-08-05 08:15:06 and read 6070 times.



Quoting Hrvhow1 (Reply 78):
Further, US Airlines cannot offer the same service levels as international carriers such as SQ, EK and CX. If these carriers were allowed to operate in the US the American culture would destroy their product. These carriers business models also allow them to focus more on their product because they have smaller fleets and their clientele is not as price sensitive as the American Traveler.

But on order to compete with these airlines in the global market, they HAVE to offer something at least compatible with SQ and CX. Or else guesswhat, they wont be able to stay in business. Especially in Intra-Asia, this policy will kill off UAL's NRT routes.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Spacecadet
Posted 2008-08-05 08:17:52 and read 6062 times.



Quoting 777law (Reply 66):
UA should take a close look at some of its rivals before it does this. The airline would probably be better off internationally if it started offering better food to all passengers and adding $15 - $20 to the base price of a ticket. UA could then start using it's improved food offerings as a way to advertise it's "enhanced" international service.

Yup.

The problem for UA is that while in the domestic market other airlines generally follow when one takes the lead on stuff like this, that's not really true with overseas airlines. And that's who UA is competing with on international routes.

Why on Earth would I fly United to Japan, for example, given that ANA already has better service to begin with *and* they don't charge for food? (Assuming UA starts to do so.)

I wouldn't mind paying *extra* for better quality food in coach - I'd pay $20 or so extra to get a business class meal in economy - but they really need to just raise fares by $10-$20 rather than start charging for food for everybody.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: EXAAUADL
Posted 2008-08-05 08:37:21 and read 6034 times.

Actually for all those defening UA on this thread, you might want to read the link at the top of the page. It details how US's BOB for drinks is running into opposition from PAX. If UA does this only with cash, it will certainly fail

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Signol
Posted 2008-08-05 08:58:42 and read 5991 times.



Quoting Burkhard (Reply 80):
Are you willing to pay 20$ more for an inclusive service that costs you 24$ when you pay for it - and less if you choose for less?

If I could feed myself with a picnic for $10, then I would say $15 more for the convenience of having the food prepared for me. Otherwise - I'll stop at a supermarket en route to the airport.

signol

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Iloveboeing
Posted 2008-08-05 09:27:12 and read 5948 times.



Quoting EXAAUADL (Reply 85):

But on order to compete with these airlines in the global market, they HAVE to offer something at least compatible with SQ and CX. Or else guesswhat, they wont be able to stay in business. Especially in Intra-Asia, this policy will kill off UAL's NRT routes.

 checkmark 

Exactly! I really think that many U.S. carriers are approaching competition (domestic and international) the wrong way. Competition should be an incentive to upgrade your product, across the board, to stay ahead of your competitors. As much as I love Boeing (hence my username), I am glad that Airbus exists because the intense competition forces both companies to continually upgrade and improve their products, benefiting airlines and aviation enthusiasts alike.

This same principle applies to the airlines. Foreign carriers, such as SQ and CX have competition and they realize that in order to continue to ensure customer loyalty, they must continually upgrade their products. The U.S. carriers need to do the same. Instead of degrading their products to the point of sub-human, they should be going in the opposite direction, and trying to offer the best service possible.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Mk777
Posted 2008-08-05 09:31:13 and read 5938 times.

I think charging for everything is becoming a little too much. Why don't the carriers hike their price to reflect all these (hidden) charges that one must pay when checking in or on the plane???

Is it because raising the price of a ticket would lead less people to fly??

For eg, a current price from IAD-LAX is say $300 but with one bag to check in and buying food, would come out to be $350 or so, so why not charge that much in the first place???

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: LACA773
Posted 2008-08-05 10:29:14 and read 5854 times.



Quoting BCAL (Reply 76):
Not quite correct. In its early days and throughout most of its life Laker's Skytrain was single class and passengers had the option to purchase an in-flight meal at the time of booking only (which was in the very early days the day of travel). For GBP 5 and USD 7.50 you had the option of a hot three-course meal and pre-landing snack. Free tea/coffee was served to all passengers but other drinks were BOB and the airline carried a range of snacks also available for purchase but no hot meals were available for purchase on board. This remained Skytrain's policy for about 2-3 years. Passengers were also welcome to bring their own food on board.

Thanks for the correction BCAL! I apreciate mate. I wasn't too far off.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Skytroll
Posted 2008-08-05 13:34:00 and read 5766 times.

Surely if they insist on taking this airline to low cost would this affect there membership in star alliance??? is this not what happened to Aer Lingus at oneworld?

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: EXAAUADL
Posted 2008-08-05 14:33:19 and read 5727 times.



Quoting Skytroll (Reply 92):
Surely if they insist on taking this airline to low cost would this affect there membership in star alliance??? is this not what happened to Aer Lingus at oneworld?

It certainly should. Will LH want its best pax flying on UAL? I dont think so.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Brilondon
Posted 2008-08-05 15:13:20 and read 5679 times.



Quoting StarGoldLHR (Reply 83):
You have never had the priviledge of Ryanair then

Fortunately I have not since but have been tempted by their low fares but decided not to because they don't go to where I would like to go. They get me close but not to my actual destination.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: IAirAllie
Posted 2008-08-05 15:17:59 and read 5667 times.



Quoting StarGoldLHR (Reply 31):
There food is fowl.

Yes, and sometimes it is beef or pasta. Sometimes regardless of the entree it is FOUL.  Big grin

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: MMEPHX
Posted 2008-08-05 19:48:28 and read 5563 times.



Quoting AmricanShamrok (Reply 9):
I could see if UA were really cheap like Jetblue or Southwest but for what people are paying for their tickets...forget it.

this is my problem with all these fees from US Legacies for so called 'unbundling' there is no reduction or unbundling they are all extras to existing fares. If I'd paid $40 on Ryanair, Easyjet etc. etc. and then got charged $2 for soda, $5 for a snack, $35 for a bag etc. I'd have no problem but when so called Legacies charge $1500 PHX-CLT (thank you US for that non refundable ticket) and then get lumbered with all the extras it is a bit steep.

I was thinking of UA to Europe this fall. $1300 for the ticket which was OK but if they want to charge $39 on top for a meal, I think I'll give the same $1300 to NW instead.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: JoeCanuck
Posted 2008-08-05 20:16:19 and read 5537 times.

The folks who really get screwed would be connecting passengers. They are completely at the mercy of the airport extortionists and the security types.

At a whim, security, (or those who control it), could decide that no food be brought into the airport past security. There goes your supermarket food. Now to get that bottle of water or crappy sandwich, you have no choice but to pay up to the airport mafia or go hungry.

It's a pretty low class move to even do a survey on the subject. I wonder if ANA, SQ, EK, EY, or CX have even asked that question in public?

Smart move, UA. Good thing for you there is so little full service competition on those international routes you fly...

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Eghansen
Posted 2008-08-05 20:30:15 and read 5531 times.



Quoting Hrvhow1 (Reply 78):
When I fly my biggest concern today is safety and security. When I fly I want to be assured the airline is spending money maintaining their aging fleets. I want to be assured the ground personnel have not loaded something dangerous onto the airplane.

Really? I never think about safety at all. I can't even remember the last time that there was a fatal airline accident in the US. Maybe someone could help me. Was it that Delta RJ that used the wrong runway in Lexington, KY and when was that?

Quoting Hrvhow1 (Reply 78):
In closing, could someone make a suggestion on how and airline in the US can generate more profit. Raising Fares is not the solution.

If the airlines are going to make money they are going to have to clean up their balance sheets. That may include some bankruptcies to clean out the deadwood.

United Airlines for 2007:
Total Interest Expense: $642 million
Total Revenues: $21,430 million

Southwest Airlines for 2007:
Total Interest Expense: $69 million
Total Revenues: $9,861 million

If Southwest was as big as United, its relative interest expense would be $149 million
If United was as big as Southwest, its relative interest expense would be $295 million

To look at it another way:
United has total assets of $21,336 million and long-term liabilities of $13,128 million
Southwest has total assets of $23,262 million and long-term liabilities of $6,158 million.

In other words, WN has greater assets than UA and less than half as much debt. They can pay lower interest rates on their debt as well because they are a better credit risk.

The media has made a big deal of Southwest's fuel hedging, but the main reason that Southwest continues to make money is that it has far less debt. United is drowning in it.

The only real way that I can see the US with a healthy airline industry is if some of the current debt-ridden airlines go out of business and the Federal Government puts limits on the amount of debt that the remainding ones can carry on their books. Otherwise, the financial guys in Wall Street will keep skimming off the assets of US carriers and loading them down with more debt.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Iloveboeing
Posted 2008-08-05 20:40:28 and read 5521 times.



Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 97):
Smart move, UA. Good thing for you there is so little full service competition on those international routes you fly...

That could change. Maybe SQ should start flying SIN-HKG-ORD with A380s and show UA (and the general public) what "airline service" actually is. I know that UA and SQ are Star Alliance partners, but UA has a monopoly on the nonstop ORD-HKG segment and they could really use some competition.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Iloveboeing
Posted 2008-08-05 20:44:04 and read 5512 times.



Quoting Iloveboeing (Reply 99):
That could change. Maybe SQ should start flying SIN-HKG-ORD with A380s and show UA (and the general public) what "airline service" actually is. I know that UA and SQ are Star Alliance partners, but UA has a monopoly on the nonstop ORD-HKG segment and they could really use some competition.

Or maybe SIN-HKG-SFO would be a better way to start (which I've heard some people on a.net saying that they are planning to do). SQ needs to dramatically expand service to the USA and show U.S. carriers what airline service really is. It is really sad because our carriers haven't got a clue of what good service is.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: JoeCanuck
Posted 2008-08-05 21:21:06 and read 5512 times.

EK, QR,EY...44 minute flight; sandwich, sweet, coffee, soda, water, etc.

1 hour flight Hong Kong air, Bangkok air,...sandwich, sweet, coffee, soda, water, etc.

UA...international flight...hopefully you managed to sneak a cough drop past security.

Class...nothin' but class.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Vincewy
Posted 2008-08-06 01:46:06 and read 5417 times.



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 13):
UA and US are considering these things because they can't admit they have a crappy product, so they are blaming price inelasticity instead. But the end result is making their products even crappier

Instead of trying to figure out the curve of price elasticity (IMO it's very flat [highly elastic]), why not improve the products and services AND charge more? This will also move the demand curve up, rather than changing the quantity demanded. CO is a proven example, as Bethune said, when you take all the toppings off the pizza, nobody would buy it no matter how cheap it is.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: JoeCanuck
Posted 2008-08-06 02:05:07 and read 5407 times.

I reckon they think all of their potential passengers are idiots and they can't figure out that they'll pay anyway...either on the ground or in the air.

They'll pass it off as a saving and hopefully the suckers buy into it. Next; Pay-Per-Pee...it'll be a double saving for those who don't want to pay for water on board...and a double fee for those who do.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Beagleboys
Posted 2008-08-06 04:28:13 and read 5357 times.

Big version: Width: 450 Height: 338 File size: 73kb

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: EBGflyer
Posted 2008-08-06 04:37:11 and read 5337 times.

I think consumers like simplicity but also choice. However, I can only imagine once UA opens pandoras box of charging for food they will find a logistical nightmare. If they start charging they'd have to give people more choice. Logistically and for the flight attendants it would require more.

I'd say keep it simple - don't start charging extra!

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Caribb
Posted 2008-08-06 04:50:30 and read 5328 times.

Humm I don't like the idea. I'd rather they just charge an overall higher air fare. I may not like it but at least I won't leave a flight feeling I've been stripped of all my cash. Incidentally.... our opinions are worth something to them so perhaps we should charge them a fee for our opinions for any surveys they do.... $1.50 per answer (exact change would be appreciated) sounds good to me.... seems appropriate given they have no trouble nickle and diming us.

[Edited 2008-08-06 04:57:39]

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: EXAAUADL
Posted 2008-08-06 09:16:48 and read 5219 times.

Why is it US airlines think that compying SkyBus is the key to profitability?

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Iloveboeing
Posted 2008-08-06 09:35:54 and read 5203 times.



Quoting EXAAUADL (Reply 107):
Why is it US airlines think that compying SkyBus is the key to profitability?

I really think that by copying Skybus, they'll going to lose so much more money than they think that they'll gain. The whole nickel-and-diming charade does nothing but tarnish their already-weakened reputations even further and will cause them to lose customers.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: EXAAUADL
Posted 2008-08-06 15:16:38 and read 5113 times.

It is interesting that the very same airline that just aslt week was touting the success of PS, thinks that the no firlls is the way to go to places like LHR, NRT, HKG, SIN and FRA among others

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: United1
Posted 2008-08-06 15:34:07 and read 5095 times.

Quoting EXAAUADL (Reply 109):
thinks that the no firlls is the way to go to places like LHR, NRT, HKG, SIN and FRA among others

UA doesn't think that, UA is asking its Frequent Flyers what they think the route that UA should take when it comes to service in Y.

[Edited 2008-08-06 15:35:42]

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: DTWAGENT
Posted 2008-08-06 15:56:54 and read 5084 times.

If I paid $2,000.00 or more for business class tickets and then had to pay for my in flight food I would not be happy about that at all. I don't even think it is right to charge a coach pass. for food or drinks when they are in most cases these days of pay $300.00 or $400.00 or more for a ticket. This charging for everything is getting out of hand. Charging $7.00 for a pillow and blanket is just crazy. What the airlines need to do is Cut their upper managements pay to 50% and use the extra money to put back into the airline. Airline management is getting paid way to much money these days for nothing.

chuck

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: JoeCanuck
Posted 2008-08-06 21:41:55 and read 4973 times.



Quoting United1 (Reply 110):

They should be looking at what their more successful competitors are doing. There is tons of data out there for the looking. All they have to do is spend a few thousand dollars flying Y on other airlines.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: IAirAllie
Posted 2008-08-06 23:54:12 and read 4931 times.



Quoting DTWAGENT (Reply 111):
Charging $7.00 for a pillow and blanket is just crazy.

No, it is not. It is very reasonable. You get to keep the pillow and blanket. They are a much nicer product than is offered for free the free stuff is nearly worthless on domestic coach flights. I bring my own anyways as mine is nicer and at least I know when it was last cleaned.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Christao17
Posted 2008-08-07 04:21:41 and read 4869 times.

Since I moved to Thailand nearly three years ago, I have enjoyed flying transpacific on a wide number of carriers that weren't UA. There are options for international travel, both in the Star Alliance and outside of it. No need to lower your expectations; fly another carrier (especially one based outside the US) and discover that flying economy can actually be enjoyable.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: A340600
Posted 2008-08-07 04:43:36 and read 4856 times.



Quoting United1 (Reply 17):
Its called the award accelerator, basically for a fee you can double or triple your FF miles that you earn on a flight.

ie:

ORD-CLE
Double Miles: $9
Triple Miles: $19

Another example of the dilution of FF programs from a US carrier, pathetic!

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: AviationMaster
Posted 2008-08-07 04:54:47 and read 4844 times.

Instead of even considering charging for meals on international flights, they may as well stop flying outside their borders completely. Having passengers pay for food would be the biggest 'thank you' for the competition.

The first US carrier to charge its passengers on long-haul international flights will also be the first one to disappear.

How much does it cost to prepare the airline food they serve nowadays?

*Thank god CO is joining the Star Alliance.  Wink

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Iloveboeing
Posted 2008-08-07 07:15:38 and read 4779 times.



Quoting AviationMaster (Reply 116):

The first US carrier to charge its passengers on long-haul international flights will also be the first one to disappear.

 checkmark 

Quoting AviationMaster (Reply 116):
*Thank god CO is joining the Star Alliance.

I think there's more reasons to CO joining the Star Alliance than simply that DL is merging with NW. I think the Alliance knows that UA and/or US are probably going to go out of business and they need a strong partner in the U.S. market and abroad.

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 112):
They should be looking at what their more successful competitors are doing. There is tons of data out there for the looking. All they have to do is spend a few thousand dollars flying Y on other airlines.

Exactly! They merely need to look at how several partners (such as NZ, NH, SQ, and TG) provide service and then make (albeit radical) changes to their business models. If they don't adapt, they're going to fall apart.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: EXAAUADL
Posted 2008-08-07 07:26:06 and read 4764 times.



Quoting United1 (Reply 110):
UA doesn't think that, UA is asking its Frequent Flyers what they think the route that UA should take when it comes to service in Y.

Well I think it is obvious what UAL wants to do.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Maxisno1
Posted 2008-08-07 07:42:25 and read 4742 times.

What a bloody joke! Do they really expect people to pay for the same meals that have been the aviation joke for decades? That is disgusting - And I'm not talking about the food.

Even if they did amp it up, getting people to pay on top of a ticket price is just stupid. If this is what they best those people up there can come up with then they might as well throw in the towel now. $24? What a a rip-off! Surly they must be charging $5 a napkin and $2 for the plastic cup. Long haul eco is bad enough, making us pay for food that seems to always be horrible is just a slap in the face.

 down   no 

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Sq2ams
Posted 2008-08-07 10:27:14 and read 4666 times.



Quoting Maxisno1 (Reply 119):
making us pay for food that seems to always be horrible is just a slap in the face.

Let me fix this for you.......making us pay for food that seems to always be horrible is just "another" slap in the face.

And they just keep on coming, one slap in the face after another.  yuck 

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: UAL777UK
Posted 2008-08-07 10:42:33 and read 4635 times.



Quoting DTWAGENT (Reply 111):
If I paid $2,000.00 or more for business class tickets and then had to pay for my in flight food I would not be happy about that at all.

Isn't this all about charging in Y, not J of for that matter F.

I think its a really bad idea, as much as i like UA and fly them over tyhe pond often, this leaves a bad taste in my mouth (pardon the pun!)

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: United1
Posted 2008-08-07 10:43:19 and read 4630 times.



Quoting A340600 (Reply 115):
Another example of the dilution of FF programs from a US carrier, pathetic!

How is it "pathetic" to give your customers the option of earning more miles if they want?

Quoting EXAAUADL (Reply 118):
Quoting United1 (Reply 110):
UA doesn't think that, UA is asking its Frequent Flyers what they think the route that UA should take when it comes to service in Y.

Well I think it is obvious what UAL wants to do.

Not really I have no idea if you took the survey or not but there were quite a few options presented for your opinion. One of them was to change nothing, one of them was to keep the main meals free and to charge for snacks, another was to charge for gourmet meals ect.

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 112):

They should be looking at what their more successful competitors are doing.

Great on board food not not necessarily equate to profitability or to a successful company...

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: SparkingWave
Posted 2008-08-07 10:55:42 and read 4606 times.

Sigh.

If UA charges for food on international flights, then I'm switching to other carriers. Period.

Charging money for food on long-haul international flights should be prohibited on the passengers' bill of rights.

This will contribute to air rage by causing more pax frustration. Already many pax have decided not to fly due to the increase in the airfares from the rising price of oil. This move, if made by UA will cause even more hesitation to fly, or a passenger stampede to fly on the other carriers who provide food for free.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Iloveboeing
Posted 2008-08-07 10:59:09 and read 4594 times.



Quoting United1 (Reply 122):

Great on board food not not necessarily equate to profitability or to a successful company...

But it can certainly help. To make it more general, I think that great service on board can equal profitability and a successful company. SQ and EK both have great service and they are both very successful.

All this desperate cost cutting and nickel-and-diming by the U.S. majors is going to cost them dearly. What they gain in the short-run will be lost in the long-run. All this will do nothing more than irritate already irritated customers.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: United1
Posted 2008-08-07 11:28:05 and read 4577 times.



Quoting Iloveboeing (Reply 124):
I think that great service on board can equal profitability and a successful company. SQ and EK both have great service and they are both very successful.

I think great on board service can help attract customers but it isn't the magic cure-all to ensure a successful company nor is it the lions share of the reason why a company succeeds.

It's a little hard to compare SQ/EKs financials with UAs or any other domestic carriers simply because the business are operated quite differently....ie International Only vs International & Domestic Carrier, quasi-government owned vs free market carrier.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Iloveboeing
Posted 2008-08-07 12:35:44 and read 4530 times.



Quoting United1 (Reply 125):
It's a little hard to compare SQ/EKs financials with UAs or any other domestic carriers simply because the business are operated quite differently....ie International Only vs International & Domestic Carrier, quasi-government owned vs free market carrier.

Well, to use a private carrier as an example, there is KE. KE provides excellent service on its flights and they have a domestic network (even though South Korea is a much smaller domestic market than the USA). KE is a private carrier with competition, and they are motivated to provide good service because if they don't, they will lose customers.

The U.S. majors should be motivated to upgrade and provide better service due to intense competition. They need to stop trying to be a LCC, which they can never be, and go in the other direction. They have so much potential; it just needs to be realized.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: United1
Posted 2008-08-07 13:03:16 and read 4507 times.



Quoting Iloveboeing (Reply 126):
KE is a private carrier with competition, and they are motivated to provide good service because if they don't, they will lose customers.

They also had a net loss of something like 325 Million USD in the first quarter....

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: Maxisno1
Posted 2008-08-07 17:16:28 and read 4442 times.



Quote:
The in-flight food airlines used to give you for free now costs $7.00. The price increase has done nothing to improve taste or quality. Those brightly colored yellow boxes are still filled with crappy tasteless snacks that have accumulated more frequent flyer miles than me. However, somebody with a Ph.D in food science thought that including yogurt on the menu would be a good idea. And now I’ll tell you why this isn’t so.

Topic: RE: UA Survey - Charging For Food On Int'l Flights
Username: JoeCanuck
Posted 2008-08-07 20:08:29 and read 4383 times.



Quoting United1 (Reply 122):
Great on board food not not necessarily equate to profitability or to a successful company...

Perhaps, but look at it another way; food itself might not equal profitability, but profitable airlines are offering great food.

As soon as a passenger has to pay for a meal, that's the point where an airline becomes a LCC...regardless of their history/legacy...not that there's anything wrong with that. Public perceptions about LCC's is that you pay for food. If United wishes to be perceived that way, so be it.

I wonder how many empty seats it would take to wipe out the savings derived from cancelling meals...

I think they should be looking at ways to fill seats, not empty them.


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