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Topic: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: klwright69
Posted 2012-11-29 01:37:20 and read 16078 times.

Nothing here we don't already know really. Hope there isn't a thread on this already. But it's still worth sharing. The article acknowledges the problems of the company.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/29/bu...ntinental.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: clrd4t8koff
Posted 2012-11-29 05:10:10 and read 15713 times.

So is this just "teething" problems so-to-speak or did Smisek bite off more than he could chew?

*Not wanting to turn this into a Smisek bash, just curious if perhaps he isn't the right fit for this?

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: klwright69
Posted 2012-11-29 06:30:34 and read 15447 times.

The article says that improving customer care is the top priority. Let's hope that means something.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: NWAROOSTER
Posted 2012-11-29 06:57:27 and read 15319 times.

Bigger is not always better. It can like holding onto a gorilla by its tail.   

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: VC10er
Posted 2012-11-29 07:10:23 and read 15234 times.

They must be trying hard to fix what they know is problem #1, I recently got a GS online survey that took a solid 10 to 15 minutes to complete. It was very geared towards "customer service" and while each page was multiple choice, there was a box to write verbatims in. If you clicked and gave a low score, then it grilled you on that low score in order to get under the cause of the low score. Also a lot of probing about other airlines, both US and international carriers.

In my company, when we do 3rd party online surveys with clients, that data is taken very seriously and addressed. I hope United and Star Alliance really listen.

(not really related but the NYT story about Jennifer Lopez on UA is hysterical- more to do with bad customers vs bad customer service  

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: saab2000
Posted 2012-11-29 07:13:27 and read 15208 times.

It is not possible to serve the customers by alienating your employees.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: eastern023
Posted 2012-11-29 07:19:45 and read 15155 times.

Customer care? It took United 7 months to get back back at my wife on an online complaint she made about a flight delay (handled horribly) and regardless of what she got as compensation the point is that it took them 7 months....!!!! Way to go UA...not!!!

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: Delta777Jet
Posted 2012-11-29 07:21:07 and read 15137 times.

Hi folks,

I just flew with the "new" United ,

the routing was FLL - (sCO) UA 737-800 - IAH - (sUA) UA B-757-200 - LAS.

The ex Continental Aircraft looked fresh , with PTV and the Crew Uniform looked professional the crew somewhat tired though, the average Age (Crew) on Board was about 35 years. No Channel 9 but very informative Pilots.

The United Aircraft (sUA) B-757 was about 20 years old, looked tired, old and crampy. The Crew was wearing different uniform and the avarage age on Board was about 60! Channel 9 working, Pilots very informative and friendly.

Did not seems like one airline, more like 2 different to me!

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: JAAlbert
Posted 2012-11-29 07:49:37 and read 14983 times.

[quote=NWAROOSTER,reply=3]Bigger is not always better. It can like holding onto a gorilla by its tail.

Which must mean it's pretty near impossible since gorillas don't have tails!

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: IrishAyes
Posted 2012-11-29 08:47:06 and read 14748 times.

The article blurs some lines by mentioning the Houston situation. The City was angry that the airline moved jobs and the HQ out of Houston, but there was definitely no backlash against WN opening up an FIS facility at HOU. Then, they became angry again when UA announced they were reducing capacity and jobs at IAH and dropping the AKL flight on the 787.

But, then again, maybe the scope of the article wasn't to go into that whole debacle since that is a story in and of itself. However, there was still a key chronology in how that all played out.

Quoting Delta777Jet (Reply 7):
Did not seems like one airline, more like 2 different to me!

Very much so.

Also, so glad that I've discovered this @FakeUnitedJeff and am now following him on Twitter. This is absolutely hysterical!!!!

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: mcdu
Posted 2012-11-29 09:01:01 and read 14668 times.

Quoting Delta777Jet (Reply 7):
The United Aircraft (sUA) B-757 was about 20 years old, looked tired, old and crampy. The Crew was wearing different uniform and the avarage age on Board was about 60! Channel 9 working, Pilots very informative and friendly.

Ironic that you felt it was cramped. S-UA is the reason Econ + is being installed in the S-CO fleet. Different uniforms are because we have not been issued new uniforms. Latest for the pilots is that we will receive our new combined airline uniforms in the fall of 2013. A full year and a half after being fitted!

As to the age of the crew you are seeing the difference in what has taken place at the two carriers. S-UA hasn't hired in many years due to the continuous reduction in size of the airline since 2001. S-CO on the other hand has been adding employees. Currently the pilots are about to commence voting on a combined contract. Those that vote NO will assure the continuous shrinking of S-UA at the benefit to the S-CO side of the house. S-UA will be parking many of their older 757's. the replacement is supposed to be 737-900's on the S-UA side. However, it makes no sense to create a separate program on the S-UA side when S-CO has a program and a payrate. When the TPA agreement expires with ALPA in March there will be zero protections for block hours on the s-UA portion.

If you like S-CO you potentially will get a lot more of it shortly. The S-CO pilots are trying to torpedo the potential contract because they stand to benefit the most with a continued decimation of the S-UA group. It is a shame that two ALPA groups have cratered the potential benefits of this merger.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: strfyr51
Posted 2012-11-29 09:22:35 and read 14587 times.

Quoting clrd4t8koff (Reply 1):

A much as I hate to admit it, the former CAL management decided to keep their system and scrap the United system which Many of us feel was a mistake. Their system is built on servers while ours was built on mainframes that are pretty much bulletproof. A new computer center is being built in Elk Grove at the former WHQ but it's not built YET and until it is?? Stuff Happens, We're still operating as 2 separate airlines at present and when THAT will change? I have NO Idea.
I wish I COULD say it's somebody's Fault but it's Not.. it is what it is for the moment.
Jeff Smisek can be held accountable for one thing and one thing ONLY, all the open Contracts Still to settle and the Diddling while Rome is burning he's done with the pilot's contract, because THAT contract is holding up EVERY BODY ELSE'S contract and the CONTRACTS are holding up the unification of the workforce !!

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: strfyr51
Posted 2012-11-29 09:37:31 and read 14488 times.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 9):

Is Houston STILLL crying about that?? they need to get a GRIP. with 77 Wacker Drive closing and moving to the Willis tower?? They're going to be unhappy a DAMN LONG time at LEAST until 2028 if not FOREVER

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: Mir
Posted 2012-11-29 10:35:59 and read 14257 times.

The most telling line from the article:

“You know, the cultural change takes time,” Mr. Smisek said. “And people resist change. People are sort of set in their ways.”

He added the airline was now intent on providing better operational performance and consistently good customer service. “And there are people who don’t like that,” he said. “I understand that. What I want is those people to either change or leave.”


He just doesn't get it. You can't blame your cultural problems on employees not wanting to do a better job. It's the CEO's job to change the culture. And if there are actually a significant number of people who don't want to provide better performance or customer service (which I doubt), then why is he waiting for them to change or leave when it's within his power to get rid of them?

-Mir

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RDH3E
Posted 2012-11-29 11:15:58 and read 14091 times.

Quoting Mir (Reply 13):
It's the CEO's job to change the culture.

The CEO can present a framework for a culture. He cannot force John Doe at EWR to be nicer to his ramp supervisor.

Quoting Mir (Reply 13):
when it's within his power to get rid of them?

Firing people in unions takes a very long time, not to mention it is detrimental to negotiations. He has gotten rid of people at WHQ that didn't get with the program, and that is going to continue.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: Alias1024
Posted 2012-11-29 12:50:24 and read 13793 times.

Quoting saab2000 (Reply 5):
It is not possible to serve the customers by alienating your employees.

This just about says it all. I often feel that management at UA is an impediment rather than an enabler to the rank and file employees providing good customer service.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2012-11-29 13:56:38 and read 13599 times.

Quoting Mir (Reply 13):
He just doesn't get it. You can't blame your cultural problems on employees not wanting to do a better job.

While SHARES seems to have settled down now, back in March it appeared that some on the sUA side didn't commit to learning how to use it. When it all got too difficult they did nothing and blamed management.

Sure, management really should have provided better SHARES training, but there were some who were so anti it that they deliberately didn't learn how to use it.

Those are the sort of people he is referring to.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: strfyr51
Posted 2012-11-29 14:15:40 and read 13524 times.

Quoting Mir (Reply 13):

WHERE do you and others get a CULTURE from?? There is NO SUCH THING!! If your people are treated and PAID well then you can ask for MORE from them.. If you're NOT willing to do that?? Then you GET what you GET!! People got the idea that we at UNitede needed a culture fix, that is a bunch of Bunk!! We were undermanned and went toward tech to solve our problems No we Don't Kiss anybody's butts .. You're not Paying to get your butt kised you're paying to get where you're going SAFELY and that's ALL you should care about! And with the load factors we're flying?? Evidently nobody cares either!!

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: cosyr
Posted 2012-11-29 14:23:10 and read 13417 times.

Quoting clrd4t8koff (Reply 1):
*Not wanting to turn this into a Smisek bash, just curious if perhaps he isn't the right fit for this?

I don't want to bash Smisek either, he has his strengths, but there are different types of CEO's with different strengths. There are those great at Turn Arounds (Bethune), those great at cost cutting (Crandall), those best for steady the course (Kellner), and I think Smisek was what the Board wanted at the time to get a merger done and see it through. I don't think he's done yet, but after the labor contracts have been merged, it might be a better time for a Kellner type.

For an example of what I mean, Glenn Tilton was a Bankruptcy CEO who stuck around after the bankruptcy was done, and United was worse for it. Carlos Ghosn turned around Nissan, but now that it is a fresh booming company, time for a different type of leadership.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2012-11-29 14:23:55 and read 13417 times.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 12):
Is Houston STILLL crying about that??

They can't be--IAH/HOU has gotten more OA capacity than UA has dropped. Europe capacity is up 10% because OA is up 20% and UA is down 10%. The capacity is following the money and jobs, and those are in Texas.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: Flighty
Posted 2012-11-29 14:48:58 and read 13117 times.

Quoting cosyr (Reply 18):
I don't want to bash Smisek either, he has his strengths, but there are different types of CEO's with different strengths. There are those great at Turn Arounds (Bethune), those great at cost cutting (Crandall), those best for steady the course (Kellner), and I think Smisek was what the Board wanted at the time to get a merger done and see it through. I don't think he's done yet, but after the labor contracts have been merged, it might be a better time for a Kellner type.

IMO UA needs a Crandall type, then a Bethune type. Crandall for the no nonsense chainsaw mentality, then Bethune to spread excellence.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: EASTERN747
Posted 2012-11-29 17:00:08 and read 11980 times.

I'm really getting sick and tired of a bred of a.netter bashing older crew members. When they entered the airline business they were developing a career. A CAREER. I,m starting work at 20-21 and plan to retire with that company. Lawyers, doctors. police fireman etc looked to a career. We wanted this as how we wanted to make our living. People today jump from job to job like frogs. No loyality, and a no care attitude. These people have worked all their lives to do good things and service. Let's not forget that the folks sitting in airline seats are alot different and don't appreciate that. BTW I was not a F/A.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: clrd4t8koff
Posted 2012-11-29 17:22:34 and read 11781 times.

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 21):
I'm really getting sick and tired of a bred of a.netter bashing older crew members.

As someone who spends a good amount of time on this site, I can honestly tell you that you're a little off base with this comment. Most on here don't bash older crew members because of their age, it's because of their surly and poor attitudes. I fail to see what the rest of your comment in regards to job loyalty has anything to do with your comment? So because a flight attendant is older and has shown the airline loyalty, we should respect their grumpy demeanor and overall lack of interest in their job?   

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: par13del
Posted 2012-11-29 17:56:22 and read 11480 times.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 11):
all the open Contracts Still to settle and the Diddling while Rome is burning he's done with the pilot's contract, because THAT contract is holding up EVERY BODY ELSE'S contract and the CONTRACTS are holding up the unification of the workforce !!

Why, are they expecting to get the same percentages and perks?
The pilots have the power which they usually wield only for themselves, until all their demands are settled they will not sign a contract, as mentioned in the article, US pilots still have no contract 7 years after their merger. Not saying it will take as long, but how long will the other unions whose jobs do not involve piloting an a/c intend to wait before pushing their demands for their members and their working conditions?

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: EASTERN747
Posted 2012-11-29 18:18:40 and read 11309 times.

.Older F/as and newer ones are taught to dress well, proper makeup and pressed uniforms and a sense of pride. They are generally meet with passengers in tank tops, cut offs and flip flops. They are most likely hooked up to ear phones and ignor f/a,s , It's called respect. WN F/A's are down to earth and go with the flow, and it works. Senior F/A's were doing their job long before you were born. Get off their case

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: b52murph
Posted 2012-11-29 18:57:27 and read 11429 times.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 11):
A much as I hate to admit it, the former CAL management decided to keep their system and scrap the United system which Many of us feel was a mistake. Their system is built on servers while ours was built on mainframes that are pretty much bulletproof. A new computer center is being built in Elk Grove at the former WHQ but it's not built YET and until it is?? Stuff Happens, We're still operating as 2 separate airlines at present and when THAT will change? I have NO Idea.

Sums it up really well here. As a 1K, I recently got a survey after a phone call regarding customer service on the phone, which...on the 1K dedicated phone line was very good. I imagine, though, they probably don't send many surveys to non-status MileagePlus members...or even Premier Silver members.

The "Continental system" issue makes me want to scream with regard to upgrades. For work requirements, I've made multiple trips US-->Asia and back (10+ round trips) in the last 10 months (150K+ premier miles since April). All but one of those has been booked in a full Y booking code...meaning even as a Gold, Platinum, and certainly as a 1K, I should be at or near the top of the list for the upgrade to clear at the gate if it doesn't clear 24 or more hours before. However...EVERY TIME...the system dumps my upgrade request at the 24 hour mark, and they have to re-add me to the list (if they can figure out how to do it) at the airport. First time, they didn't know how to re-add me...I lost the miles (got them back eventually) and wasn't allowed to fill an empty seat in BusinessFirst. Good way to lose the top customers....

Enough already...

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: FI642
Posted 2012-11-29 20:29:16 and read 10644 times.

Quoting saab2000 (Reply 5):

It is not possible to serve the customers by alienating your employees.

This is key to any airlines success. Happy Employees lead to Happy Customers.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: strfyr51
Posted 2012-11-29 21:35:00 and read 10502 times.

Quoting par13del (Reply 23):

I don't know HOW it works at other airlines but when all the contracts became due the Pilots contract gets settled first then all the other contracts. Before bankruptcy there was a 2 yr offset in contracts between the different union groups, But all the post bankruptcy contracts came due in 2010 and the unions are on interim contracts. with final unified contracts still to be negotiated with the exception of the PAFCA Dispatchers who's contract is being done at a snails pace until the ALPA contract and seniority integration is completed.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: liftsifter
Posted 2012-11-29 21:39:49 and read 10493 times.

At my hotel, whenever I greet a guest and check them in, we ask how their trip in was. Whenever there is a complaint it's about United, losing a bag or missing a connection. Also, all of our discounted stays through Airport Accommodations are almost always only coming from United. Something tells me these aren't teething problems.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: Mir
Posted 2012-11-29 22:54:23 and read 10088 times.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 17):

FYI, my post was actually defending the employees and implying that the problems that United faces are ones of poor executive leadership (i.e. failing to establish the proper culture - and yes there is a culture, every big organization has one and airlines are no exception, just look at Delta or JetBlue or Southwest and you'll see it right away).

But after reading your reply, maybe Smisek was actually onto something.  

-Mir

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: chopchop767
Posted 2012-11-29 23:12:33 and read 9982 times.

Quoting b52murph (Reply 25):
The "Continental system" issue makes me want to scream with regard to upgrades. For work requirements, I've made multiple trips US-->Asia and back (10+ round trips) in the last 10 months (150K+ premier miles since April). All but one of those has been booked in a full Y booking code...meaning even as a Gold, Platinum, and certainly as a 1K, I should be at or near the top of the list for the upgrade to clear at the gate if it doesn't clear 24 or more hours before. However...EVERY TIME...the system dumps my upgrade request at the 24 hour mark, and they have to re-add me to the list (if they can figure out how to do it) at the airport.

I knew I wasn't the only one! This exact same occurence has happened on multiple occassions with me on European sectors also booked in full Y, albeit as a Star Gold. Moreover, I'm not certain if the Shares system is the route of the problem, but I've also attempted to claim miles on multiple Start Alliance flights because my Mileage Plus number wouldn't read correctly. One of the polite girls at LH told me that she actually had to enter it as a CO number for the system to read it. Then for upgrades, the website only works for LH flights, in my experience, and when you call the Star Alliance upgrade desk, they advise you that they're using the same page! In sum, since the merger, Mileage Plus has been a disaster.

That said, I still fly UA and avoid CO. They really still are two separate airlines.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: bjorn14
Posted 2012-11-30 05:36:20 and read 9332 times.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 9):
The City was angry that the airline moved jobs and the HQ out of Houston, but there was definitely no backlash against WN opening up an FIS facility at HOU

I think Houston was just looking out for its own. No longer having a 'hometown' airline they need to do what they need to do.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: EaglePower83
Posted 2012-11-30 06:37:21 and read 9243 times.

Quoting clrd4t8koff (Reply 22):
I'm really getting sick and tired of a bred of a.netter bashing older crew members. When they entered the airline business they were developing a career. A CAREER. I,m starting work at 20-21 and plan to retire with that company. Lawyers, doctors. police fireman etc looked to a career. We wanted this as how we wanted to make our living. People today jump from job to job like frogs. No loyality, and a no care attitude. These people have worked all their lives to do good things and service. Let's not forget that the folks sitting in airline seats are alot different and don't appreciate that. BTW I was not a F/A.

As part of the Millenials generation, I can tell you there's no real company loyalty bred in us.
Why should there be?
We've seen our parents laid off countless times in spite of their dedication.
Those of us Millenials who've been in the workforce now for 10 years have seen our co-workers laid off, in spite of their loyalty.
Why should we be loyal when we don't see loyalty in return?
When I was in Engineering school, we were "braced" for not staying at any job for longer than 5 years because that's the average time companys today like to rotate their staff.
In Grad school, many "industry" students had career stories that matched that. They weren't at any job for longer than 7 years because they were always getting laid off.
The longest career man in my classes was a former Northwest Airlines pilot, who was with NW for almost 20yrs.
We looked at him like a museum piece, because we knew we'd be more than lucky to ever stay at a company for longer than 10yrs.

So those of you on this board who deem yourselves "job creators." Think about that.
You sit in your offices wondering why these young punks don't show you any loyalty?
Maybe it's time to stop rotating the staff so often......

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: Mir
Posted 2012-11-30 07:29:43 and read 9111 times.

Quoting EaglePower83 (Reply 32):
So those of you on this board who deem yourselves "job creators." Think about that.
You sit in your offices wondering why these young punks don't show you any loyalty?
Maybe it's time to stop rotating the staff so often......

While everything you've said is true, you could also look at it from the employer's end: now that the mindset you've described is pretty much ingrained in the younger members of the workforce, why should they show any loyalty to the employees when the employees aren't going to show loyalty to them, and might not even expect any loyalty whatsoever?

So it's kind of a chicken/egg situation. Neither side wants to take steps to change the mentality until the other does.

-Mir

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: Flighty
Posted 2012-11-30 07:45:11 and read 9070 times.

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 21):
People today jump from job to job like frogs. No loyality, and a no care attitude

It doesn't sound like you have any regard for the people you're denigrating. Not a way to win friends.

Quoting EaglePower83 (Reply 32):
We looked at him like a museum piece, because we knew we'd be more than lucky to ever stay at a company for longer than 10yrs.

If somebody is expecting to just do the same job forever -- sorry -- that person won't even stay relevant in their field unless they keep advancing, keep moving. The young generation knows this. They never plan to settle down -- at this moment in time, settling makes you vulnerable. Unless it's called retirement. I much prefer the new way.

But it does reach absurd levels -- usually a new hire is not valuable for 6 months to 1 year. If they move faster than every 2 years, that's a problem.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: EaglePower83
Posted 2012-11-30 07:45:34 and read 9061 times.

Quoting Mir (Reply 33):
So it's kind of a chicken/egg situation. Neither side wants to take steps to change the mentality until the other does.

Agreed :/

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: tommy767
Posted 2012-11-30 07:55:03 and read 9090 times.

Quoting Delta777Jet (Reply 7):
The ex Continental Aircraft looked fresh , with PTV and the Crew Uniform looked professional the crew somewhat tired though, the average Age (Crew) on Board was about 35 years. No Channel 9 but very informative Pilots.

The United Aircraft (sUA) B-757 was about 20 years old, looked tired, old and crampy. The Crew was wearing different uniform and the avarage age on Board was about 60! Channel 9 working, Pilots very informative and friendly.

Did not seems like one airline, more like 2 different to me!

That is all subjective. I had an interview with UA in Houston and there was a girl who flew in from PHX. I asked her how the was the flight and she told me she flew on this old piece of crap plane with directv on it (I'm guessing a 73G or 738). So it really all depends on who you are. I prefer the UA 757s as they are more comfortable and apparently the interiors are being refreshed.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: ScottB
Posted 2012-11-30 08:13:37 and read 9010 times.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 17):
People got the idea that we at UNitede needed a culture fix, that is a bunch of Bunk!! We were undermanned and went toward tech to solve our problems No we Don't Kiss anybody's butts .. You're not Paying to get your butt kised you're paying to get where you're going SAFELY and that's ALL you should care about! And with the load factors we're flying?? Evidently nobody cares either!!

That attitude might be OK if you were a monopoly like the phone company used to be, but you have competitors. And those competitors foster a corporate culture where customer service is valued along with safety. If you're competing with another global carrier like Delta with an equally enviable safety record, customers will choose Delta if their customer service is better. Even more importantly, the high-revenue frequent flyers in competitive markets will leave, making the company less able to pay good wages to its employees.

There's an enormous difference between "Paying to get your butt kised [sic]" and expecting a smile versus a scowl. And given the price of first class travel, those customers are absolutely paying to get their butts kissed!

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 14):
The CEO can present a framework for a culture. He cannot force John Doe at EWR to be nicer to his ramp supervisor.

But if there are many John Does at EWR/IAH/ORD/SFO/DEN then there's an indication that something's wrong with the corporate culture. New Jersey isn't exactly known for great customer service, and yet Gordon Bethune managed to turn an airline that was dead-last in customer service into one of the better U.S. carriers, and that's even with a hub at EWR.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: tommy767
Posted 2012-11-30 08:22:55 and read 8993 times.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 37):
New Jersey isn't exactly known for great customer service, and yet Gordon Bethune managed to turn an airline that was dead-last in customer service into one of the better U.S. carriers, and that's even with a hub at EWR.

EWR gate agents in my experience this year have been really good. I think it's the below the line staff that sets people off.

But that quote that Smisek said, "Embrace the corporate culture or get out" is total arrogance. Not that I didn't see it coming but I still have yet to see some good rhetoric from Continental not shoved down employees throats. I still have yet to see what was so great about their corporate culture compared to pre merger United.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2012-11-30 08:25:38 and read 8979 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 38):
I still have yet to see what was so great about their corporate culture compared to pre merger United.

Not that.

Please understand that Jeff Smisek and Continental Airlines are NOT synonymous.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2012-11-30 08:48:49 and read 8925 times.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 34):
If somebody is expecting to just do the same job forever -- sorry -- that person won't even stay relevant in their field unless they keep advancing, keep moving.

   That same person probably put all their retirement in Enron 
Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 21):
When they entered the airline business they were developing a career. A CAREER.

The problem is that the job was really never meant to be a career, which causes all sorts of problems, particularly since the crewmember skill set has a fraction of the value outside of the airlines if, as often is the case, airlines go under, through major layoffs, and/or through bankruptcy.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: Tdan
Posted 2012-11-30 09:06:34 and read 8896 times.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 39):
Quoting tommy767 (Reply 38):
I still have yet to see what was so great about their corporate culture compared to pre merger United.

Not that.

Please understand that Jeff Smisek and Continental Airlines are NOT synonymous.

The corporate culture that Gordon nurtured and became synonymous with Continental has not been around since he left. With Larry, it was similar, but somewhat of a slow degradation of the 'Working Together" attitude and front line empowerment. When Jeff became the CEO, that slow degradation fell off a cliff into the current, merged incarnation.

As a result, I'd argue the current UA corporate culture IS synonymous with Jeff as that was the way CO was heading pre-merger.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: slider
Posted 2012-11-30 09:10:38 and read 8871 times.

Quoting Mir (Reply 13):
He just doesn't get it. You can't blame your cultural problems on employees not wanting to do a better job. It's the CEO's job to change the culture. And if there are actually a significant number of people who don't want to provide better performance or customer service (which I doubt), then why is he waiting for them to change or leave when it's within his power to get rid of them?
Quoting tommy767 (Reply 38):
But that quote that Smisek said, "Embrace the corporate culture or get out" is total arrogance.

On the topic of culture, there are several things that need to be repeated here on this board.

First, so much of culture is that of PLACE. Not only did the Bethune/Brenneman turnaround help start the CO Working Together culture, but with HQ being in Houston, Texas, there is a sense of attitude that follows. Conversely, with the new UA being based on Chicago, much of the corporate culture follows that place. It just is. And there is and will be continuing lingering bitterness about it because it was the wrong decision, motivated only by politics, unfortunately.

As for "embracing" the culture, this is a fallacy too since, in Jeff's own words that have been repeated infinitely, this was a "merger of equals". What a crock. There are far too many sub UA folks in leadership positions who don't get the culture and undermine it actively. Some by design, others by ignorance, but few are carrying the torch because they still haven't reallybeen shown what it all means. Lip service a lot of times.

Smisek doesn't see what's going on in a lot of areas, so his rosy view of the culture is off base IMO.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: TakeOff
Posted 2012-11-30 09:15:15 and read 8851 times.

All I'll say is: I MISS CONTINENTAL.

TakeOff

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: charlienorth
Posted 2012-11-30 10:04:58 and read 8761 times.

SOOO..what I'm gathering here is they should have kissed Houston"s butt and all would have been good?

Quoting slider (Reply 42):
There are far too many sub UA folks in leadership positions who don't get the culture and undermine it actively.

What culture should they embrace? The CO side isn't real impressive. I see too many contintogasms, the culture the 2 class config but nothing I've seen is anymore impressive than sub_UA..as far as the CEO goes I see criticism without merit, "culture" needs to come from others not just one man.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2012-11-30 10:19:22 and read 8727 times.

Quoting Tdan (Reply 41):
The corporate culture that Gordon nurtured and became synonymous with Continental has not been around since he left. With Larry, it was similar, but somewhat of a slow degradation of the 'Working Together" attitude and front line empowerment. When Jeff became the CEO, that slow degradation fell off a cliff into the current, merged incarnation

Absolutely. I do feel that Kellner did his best and actually managed to hold up the Gordon coalition pretty well, although it is fair to say that by the end of his tenure the airline was no longer at its peak. Then Jeff came along...

Quoting Tdan (Reply 41):
I'd argue the current UA corporate culture IS synonymous with Jeff as that was the way CO was heading pre-merger

Oh I agree. I think it is possibly fair to say that the fabled Continental culture was certainly dying, if not dead, pre-merger.

The distinction I was trying to make is that Jeff = NewUnited, but not Gordon's Continental which is what people refer to when they talk about the Continental culture.

Quoting charlienorth (Reply 44):
The CO side isn't real impressive. I see too many contintogasms, the culture the 2 class config but nothing I've seen is anymore impressive than sub_UA

If you are only looking at it post-merger then you are probably right, unfortunately.

Quoting TakeOff (Reply 43):
I MISS CONTINENTAL



  

Don't get me wrong, I still think the merger was the best outcome for the long term viability of both companies, and I am genuinely excited to see what the future has in store a couple of years down the track once we are at a stage that DL is at today. It is, however, sad that Continental (or at least what was left of it post-Gordon) has had its reputation trashed and dragged through the dirt by the United customers and staff.

I understand that they are unhappy with how the merger has progressed, both sides are, but in this case I think we should blame the player and not the team.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2012-11-30 10:27:19 and read 8718 times.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 45):
I think it is possibly fair to say that the fabled Continental culture was certainly dying, if not dead, pre-merger.

Probably, but on the UA side you had a company that was run by finance, shrinking for a decade, in bankruptcy for half of that, had one mission and one mission only--to sell or merge asap, and didn't spend money on anything whether it was the product, or people, or fleet, but maybe multiple HQs in the Chicago area. Nothing ever surpassed the financial metric du jour, so nothing was ever done, until the very end when they realized no one wanted to buy UA and they had to start running it as an airline--it became a pretty caustic environment from top to bottom.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RDH3E
Posted 2012-11-30 11:07:54 and read 8631 times.

Quoting slider (Reply 42):
with the new UA being based on Chicago, much of the corporate culture follows that place.

Ever heard of midwest hospitality? People in Chicago are very nice. If everyone treated each other the way people do in the Loop we'd have world peace by now.

http://www.specialtyansweringservice...1/08/top-10-most-polite-us-cities/

Quoting slider (Reply 42):
There are far too many sub UA folks in leadership positions who don't get the culture and undermine it actively.

Huh? Do you work at HDQ or WHQ?

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: denoldman
Posted 2012-11-30 11:10:28 and read 8690 times.

As a former 30 year employee of UA and a current employee of a major express carrier I simple had to join in this discussion. In my experience as managment and front line employee I must state that: Culture does not start with the CEO. It starts with the front line manager. Respect for what the employee accomplishes on a regular basis is the first step in creating a positive culture.
All work groups have their whiners and complainers, however it has been my experience that no matter how angry or mis-treated an employee feels they ALL attempt to do a professional job, no one gets up at "0 dark thirty" to come into a job and fail, it not human nature to do this ! They are not give the tools, respect, resources or training to successfully accomplish their duties and this creates a disconnect in their experience. This dis-connect causes a accute desire to fight back and they really can't attack the real cause, so unfortunitly this colors the face to face contact with the customers. Sad but true!
Finally, as to the points on wanting a career, UA had Ramp service agents that became industry experts in particular aspects of their jobs. Baggage handeling, scanner tecnology, de-icing, operational computer programming and fueling. I inagine that other departments also had driven employees that took on more than required. However the upper management types at HQ discounted these experts and many of these jobs were eliminated for "cost" reasons. These jobs are now "outsourced" to the lowest bidder. What do you expect the responce from the affected employee groups is. They are no longer respected for their job skills and this knowledge is discounted by the powers that be causing anger and resenment.     

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: T5towbar
Posted 2012-11-30 11:29:03 and read 8603 times.

As a result, I'd argue the current UA corporate culture IS synonymous with Jeff as that was the way CO was heading pre-merger.

Very true...........on all accounts. Jeff may not be the right person for this merger. Larry knew when to get out when the writing was on the wall for this merger.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 45):
Quoting Tdan (Reply 41):
The corporate culture that Gordon nurtured and became synonymous with Continental has not been around since he left. With Larry, it was similar, but somewhat of a slow degradation of the 'Working Together" attitude and front line empowerment. When Jeff became the CEO, that slow degradation fell off a cliff into the current, merged incarnation

Absolutely. I do feel that Kellner did his best and actually managed to hold up the Gordon coalition pretty well, although it is fair to say that by the end of his tenure the airline was no longer at its peak. Then Jeff came along...

It held up till Gordon left. Larry had to do some of the dirty work by cutting. (2004-2005 and 2008) A lot was lost, but I guess in that timeframe, everybody else in the industry was going into or already into bankruptcy. Larry knew what had be be done to keep things afloat, and the culture that Gordon nurtured took a hit. Problem was once Larry left (he didn't want the merger) who was going to oversee this combo? Could someone better on the UA side of the house do a better job? This is a big undertaking and what may worked successfully for sCO (which was smaller) work for a combined entity which would be larger and complex than anything out there at the present time.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RDH3E
Posted 2012-11-30 11:50:01 and read 8516 times.

Quoting T5towbar (Reply 49):
Could someone better on the UA side of the house do a better job?

John Tague

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2012-11-30 11:52:15 and read 8535 times.

Quoting T5towbar (Reply 49):
Larry knew when to get out when the writing was on the wall for this merger.

  

While he did well to bail when he did, he might have been a good candidate right now. He wasn't too timid to avoid making the tough decisions, but he still carried the goodwill of Bethune on his shoulders.

Quoting T5towbar (Reply 49):
Could someone better on the UA side of the house do a better job?

I guess that's the problem. While everyone loves to hate Smisek, Tilton bailed, and as Maverick points out:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 46):
on the UA side you had a company that was run by finance, shrinking for a decade, in bankruptcy for half of that, had one mission and one mission only--to sell or merge asap, and didn't spend money on anything whether it was the product, or people, or fleet, but maybe multiple HQs in the Chicago area. Nothing ever surpassed the financial metric du jour, so nothing was ever done

I'm not sure that PMUA had the vision to muddle through this, certainly not any more successfully than Smisek has.

Even things like SHARES would most likely have happened anyway given the significant cost savings that were accrued by switching sUA over to it.

Quoting T5towbar (Reply 49):
This is a big undertaking and what may worked successfully for sCO (which was smaller) work for a combined entity which would be larger and complex than anything out there at the present time.

Going off this, I think that possibly the single biggest mistake of the merger (at least symbolically) was not 3/3 but the choice of livery. There should have been a totally new brand. No tulips, no globes.

The adoption of the PMCO livery gave those factions within PMUA that wanted to rant something that they could rally behind, as it became a symbol of how their once proud global airline was taken over by some rinky dink little outfit from Dixie (or so some argue, especially at that other place)

Let's face, despite what the FT 1K brigade would have us believe, the UA brand wasn't exactly well respected by the late 2000s. There would therefore almost certainly have been the inverse reaction from the PMCO side had they gone with the tulip.

While I cannot precisely say why this has proved more contentious at UA than DL, I genuinely believe that a clean slate design would have sent the signal that this was something new that both sides could (however begrudgingly) accept, rather than still bitch about the tulips dying 3 years after the initial announcement.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: tommy767
Posted 2012-11-30 14:38:36 and read 8244 times.

Quoting denoldman (Reply 48):

That's too bad. Thanks for your insight.

Quoting TakeOff (Reply 43):

I don't. I'm glad they merged as if they didn't, CO would have been in deep doo-doo.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 46):

Tilton might had been arrogant, but he did his job. He worked to make UA profitable again by 2009-2010 including being #1 in on-time arrivals (remember the napkins circa early 2010??)

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...rline-analyst-continental-airlines

I think UA should be doing less costly things like buying 737s and taking the time to REALLY improve the experience for the passenger.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: Alias1024
Posted 2012-11-30 15:35:08 and read 8138 times.

Quoting denoldman (Reply 48):
Culture does not start with the CEO. It starts with the front line manager. Respect for what the employee accomplishes on a regular basis is the first step in creating a positive culture.

This is very true. For most front line employees, their job satisfaction and performance will be more greatly influenced by their direct supervisor than what's going on in the C-suite. However, it is the job of those in the C-suite to ensure they've put the right managers in place to get the best out of the rank and file. Those top leaders can also have a negative influence on the rank and file through the directives they pass down to the front line management, which is then passed down to the front line employees.

One of the areas where I feel this is best seen is how delays are treated. Running on time is obviously important, but it shouldn't be to the point that station personnel will sacrifice decent customer service to avoid being blamed for a two minute delay. Right now too many gate and ramp agents seem to be petrified to have any delay coded as being their fault. Where does this come from? Front line managers that are being harassed by upper management to hit the on time figures with no regard for doing the job well.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: Coairman
Posted 2012-12-01 08:24:32 and read 7728 times.

I think the article is rather negative.

UAL's ontime month to date, domestic mainline rate as of yesterday for November was near 86%. September finished in the 80 percent rage too.

Operationally and customer service wise, UAL is "Rising" and I am tired of the negativity.

The PMUA agents are more proficient with shares now since last spring. Plus if the new labor agreement with the pilots passes, it even gets better!

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: FreshSide3
Posted 2012-12-01 16:55:19 and read 7457 times.

M

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 11):
A much as I hate to admit it, the former CAL management decided to keep their system and scrap the United system which Many of us feel was a mistake. Their system is built on servers while ours was built on mainframes that are pretty much bulletproof.

Yes, major mistake. Also, not letting the agents do their job.......to much reliance on the "help desk" instead of being able to to the things they used to be able to do......

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: FreshSide3
Posted 2012-12-01 17:00:46 and read 7455 times.

The other thing is not being in synch with where the demand for the flights are.

(1) All RJ's on SEA-LAX....and in fact, one is a single-cabin plane. What's up with that??
(2) Not getting a grip on the Hawaii market.......Alaska Airlines seems to understand Hawaii better than UA, and lots of missed opportunities that AS scooped up on.
(3) Getting rid of Copenhagen and Moscow service.

Just to name a few.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: United1
Posted 2012-12-01 17:23:08 and read 7434 times.

Quoting FreshSide3 (Reply 56):
(2) Not getting a grip on the Hawaii market.......Alaska Airlines seems to understand Hawaii better than UA, and lots of missed opportunities that AS scooped up on.

United is the largest airline between the mainland and Hawaii and has been for years...even bigger then HA....AS has certainly found a little nich and is doing very well but to say that UA doesn't understand Hawaii is simply wrong. UA does incredibly well to Hawaii....

Quoting FreshSide3 (Reply 56):
(1) All RJ's on SEA-LAX....and in fact, one is a single-cabin plane. What's up with that??

With AS and VX shooting it out in the market UA simply decided to not try and chase after trash yields...the RJs allow them to maintain a presence in the market and to go after fares that will actually make them money.

Quoting Coairman (Reply 54):
The PMUA agents are more proficient with shares now since last spring.

That and the new interface (which is allot like FastRes/FastAir) is quite a bit easier to use.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: FreshSide3
Posted 2012-12-01 17:55:08 and read 7371 times.

Quoting United1 (Reply 57):
United is the largest airline between the mainland and Hawaii and has been for years...even bigger then HA....AS has certainly found a little nich and is doing very well but to say that UA doesn't understand Hawaii is simply wrong. UA does incredibly well to Hawaii....

Seattle really got hosed, in the Hawaii market. For a while, a few years ago, there was a Saturday-only HNL flight that never did well, mostly due to lack of promotion. It wouldn't have been that bad except.......Alaska has flights to all the major island destinations from SEA now, where we could have made some money.

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 53):
One of the areas where I feel this is best seen is how delays are treated. Running on time is obviously important, but it shouldn't be to the point that station personnel will sacrifice decent customer service to avoid being blamed for a two minute delay. Right now too many gate and ramp agents seem to be petrified to have any delay coded as being their fault. Where does this come from? Front line managers that are being harassed by upper management to hit the on time figures with no regard for doing the job well.

Amen to that!!

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: United1
Posted 2012-12-01 18:14:12 and read 7345 times.

Quoting FreshSide3 (Reply 58):
For a while, a few years ago, there was a Saturday-only HNL flight that never did well, mostly due to lack of promotion.

The Sat only SEA-HNL and SAN-HNL flights were flown for a while as a part of a contract with Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays...when that contract ended UA dropped the flights. Years and years ago UA did fly ORD-SEA-HNL with a DC-10 but that was dropped when UA started pulling SEA down.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: Mir
Posted 2012-12-01 19:59:18 and read 7135 times.

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 53):
For most front line employees, their job satisfaction and performance will be more greatly influenced by their direct supervisor than what's going on in the C-suite. However, it is the job of those in the C-suite to ensure they've put the right managers in place to get the best out of the rank and file. Those top leaders can also have a negative influence on the rank and file through the directives they pass down to the front line management, which is then passed down to the front line employees.

You can have the best front line employees in the world and the best direct supervisors, but if the upper management isn't up to snuff you will have issues, as those front line employees and their supervisors will have their hands cuffed by having to deal with the inappropriate directive that come down from above. You can cover up for bad management with good employees for a little while, but eventually things will start to snowball and the cracks will start to show.

-Mir

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: UnitedTristar
Posted 2012-12-01 21:17:37 and read 7052 times.

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 50):
John Tague

HA the man who drove ATA under?

Why would you want to let him at the helm of another airline to overspend and under plan?

-m

  

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: jamake1
Posted 2012-12-01 21:49:54 and read 7036 times.

As a legacy United employee, I frequently engage the company's highest level elite customers. The common theme among them since the merger has been how the cut-over to SHARES has impacted the execution of taking care of the company's top customers. What is most often reflected back to me is the systemic problems with regard to SHARES. For all of it's faults, legacy United did a much better job at taking care of the company's most valued customers. Legacy United had a much higher concentration of elite flyers due to the company's large operations in SFO, LAX, ORD, IAD, LHR, and NRT.

The systems that were in place eased the process for upgrades and for managing service disruptions for this important customer segment. Since the cut-over, the theme that customers share with me is that they do not feel as valued under legacy CO management. This target market also conveys their collective frustration over the inferior systemic processes under SHARES vs. Apollo.

For many employees on the legacy-UA side, there was a sense that the company was finally turning a corner after a decade of reeling from the aftermath of 9/11 and a protracted bankruptcy court restructuring. Prior to the merger announcement, there was hopeful optimism with regard to the Senior Leadership under John Tague and CFO Kathryn Mikells. United had been reporting solid operating and financial metrics.

There was a collective sense of pride having had Cynthia Rowley commissioned to create a new uniform look for United's front facing employees. There is a sense that the hybrid livery of the combined carrier was done on the cheap. Ms. Rowley was shown the door under legacy CO leadership. United's highest valued customer have conveyed to me, that recognition of their loyalty to UA has been watered down.

Going forward, I think that 2013 will bring much better continuity to both sides of the operation. Hopefully the pilot groups will ratify their TA; All front-line customer contact employees will be sporting a new uniform in late Spring; The legacy UA side of the operation will begin accepting delivery of brand new 737-900 aircraft to replace the antiquated sub-UA 757 fleet; And additional 787 aircraft will be joining the fleet to replace the antiquated 747-400 fleet that are operating from key sub-UA gateways.

Has the merger been executed as smoothly as Delta's integration of Northwest? No, it has not. But I am cautiously optimistic that UA's best customers will see considerable improvements within the next year. Taking delivery of new aircraft on the sub-UA side will greatly enhance the reliability of the operation and provide the company's best customers with the newest in-flight technology.

Personally, I am hopeful that within the next year and a half, the combined UA will be fully integrated with combined labor agreements having been ratified; newer aircraft on the sub-UA side; and that the current dis-synergies and hiccups will have been fully ironed out...

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: jamake1
Posted 2012-12-01 22:02:08 and read 6977 times.

Quoting FreshSide3 (Reply 56):
Getting rid of Copenhagen and Moscow service.

From what I've been told, Moscow is a seasonal suspension through the winter. IAD-DME will resume in Spring 2013.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: klwright69
Posted 2012-12-02 01:52:23 and read 6810 times.

Quoting jamake1 (Reply 63):
Quoting FreshSide3 (Reply 56):
Getting rid of Copenhagen and Moscow service.


From what I've been told, Moscow is a seasonal suspension through the winter. IAD-DME will resume in Spring 2013.

There was another thread on here some time ago, indicating that IAD-DME is gone for good.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2012-12-02 10:44:36 and read 6592 times.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 51):
Let's face, despite what the FT 1K brigade would have us believe, the UA brand wasn't exactly well respected by the late 2000s

It was basically NW with better hubs, and a less reliable operation. It's funny how the FT 1K brigade think that the finance-run airline that charged for wifi and liquor in their clubs, tried to charge for meals Transatlantic, didn't have some nasty surprises cooked up for frequent fliers if the merger didn't pan out.

Quoting jamake1 (Reply 62):
For all of it's faults, legacy United did a much better job at taking care of the company's most valued customers.

Perhaps, but I just don't buy it. UA's customer service metrics were always at the bottom until the very end of the 2000s.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 52):
Tilton might had been arrogant, but he did his job. He worked to make UA profitable again by 2009-2010 including being #1 in on-time arrivals (remember the napkins circa early 2010??)

Did he though? He got the carrier through one of the longest bankruptcies in history, which I think most analysts agree was a mixed bag, at best. And after not finding a buyer/merger partner for so many years he finally decided to run an airline, and its ontime performance started to climb in 2010; why not do that earlier?

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: freakyrat
Posted 2012-12-02 11:17:17 and read 6518 times.

Qouting eastern023

"Customer care? It took United 7 months to get back back at my wife on an online complaint she made about a flight delay (handled horribly) and regardless of what she got as compensation the point is that it took them 7 months....!!!! Way to go UA...not!!!"

Funny I was on a flight from IAH-AMS last summer that had to dump fuel and divert to EWR to fix a maintenance issue and we were given a special website to go to concerning any compensation. I had already gotten an email before I returned from AMS 10 days later with an apology for the delay and an offering of compensation.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: tommy767
Posted 2012-12-02 11:41:16 and read 6483 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 65):
Did he though? He got the carrier through one of the longest bankruptcies in history, which I think most analysts agree was a mixed bag, at best. And after not finding a buyer/merger partner for so many years he finally decided to run an airline, and its ontime performance started to climb in 2010; why not do that earlier?

All things considered, I'd give Tilton a B- and Smisek more like a C- or D+. I think when we look back 5 years from now the main culprits of the failed CO leadership at UA will be loosing high yield revenue generating pax because of faulty customer service. This is huge. At least under Tilton a 1K or Global Services member would get a response in 24 to 48 hours, now there are reports of it being over 6 months. It also goes to show that CO had no common sense on how to provide customer service to their high ranking elites. CO had them by the balls at fortress hubs, well only 2 hubs EWR and IAH. CO customer service record was a PR stunt. They had no idea of how to please their customers.

I have a friend's dad who got stranded in IAH during the week on his way back to EWR. His flight got cancelled, got bumped to a 6am flight, and lost his first class seating assignement. He said he might be heading over to DL and that this was the last straw.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: brilondon
Posted 2012-12-02 11:54:50 and read 6452 times.

I find that the service is hit or miss. I found that if you take an old CO route through IAH you are more than likely to get a CO crew and a CO plane, although there are times when you get an ex-CO plane on a old UA routing. When I fly back to YXU to visit my parents I have been on both and don't really miss CH. 9 on the ex-CO aircraft.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: FlyHossD
Posted 2012-12-02 12:15:38 and read 6408 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 10):
As to the age of the crew you are seeing the difference in what has taken place at the two carriers. S-UA hasn't hired in many years due to the continuous reduction in size of the airline since 2001. S-CO on the other hand has been adding employees. Currently the pilots are about to commence voting on a combined contract. Those that vote NO will assure the continuous shrinking of S-UA at the benefit to the S-CO side of the house. S-UA will be parking many of their older 757's. the replacement is supposed to be 737-900's on the S-UA side. However, it makes no sense to create a separate program on the S-UA side when S-CO has a program and a payrate. When the TPA agreement expires with ALPA in March there will be zero protections for block hours on the s-UA portion.

If you like S-CO you potentially will get a lot more of it shortly. The S-CO pilots are trying to torpedo the potential contract because they stand to benefit the most with a continued decimation of the S-UA group. It is a shame that two ALPA groups have cratered the potential benefits of this merger.

Blatant lies. You act as though there are no Scope provisions in the L-UAL contract. Even if the TPA expires, you still have the block hour protections of the (old) contract. Why do you give in to fear-mongering?

And I know of NO former CO employees that want to do what your suggesting. NONE.

Quoting saab2000 (Reply 5):

It is not possible to serve the customers by alienating your employees.

Is it Smisek's ego? That is, is he so competitive that he doesn't realize that he should be leading people instead of trying to beat them? I heard Bethune talk about Smisek's competitive streak - that he'll compete on ANYTHING - once.

From my perspective as a former employee and from those that I often communicate with that are still there, Smisek is a utter failure as a CEO.

Having said that, I do hope the the UCH Board can learn from their mistake, fix it and move forward. The new UAL should be a powerhouse, but the merger seems to be stuck in first or second gear.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2012-12-02 18:59:32 and read 6170 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 67):
, I'd give Tilton a B-

For doing what? He took an airline through bankruptcy, and then just let it wither away, when instead he could have leveraged the newish post bankruptcy cost advantage, the excellent network, and strong fleet in a similar way DL did after their turn through CH11. But instead it was cut, cut, cut, cut. Hand DEN to F9, downgauge everything to RJs, hand over international flying to EI, charge premium flyers for everything.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 67):
. It also goes to show that CO had no common sense on how to provide customer service to their high ranking elites. CO had them by the balls at fortress hubs

This is just not born out by any data whatsoever. The customer service metrics are what they are, and UA was always familiar with the bottom in just about every metric/survey/award/you name it until about 2009/2010, even as CO was duking it out in *the* most competitive marketplace in the world in NYC. IAH is pretty similar to SFO, and ultimately owning a hub is a product of taking on the competition, which UA really never did--they just cut everything down to RJs and handed the traffic over to F9/VX/WN. DL/NW/AA/US would aggressively go after competition; UA would aggressively go after consultants to come up with a plan to go after competition, hence Ted 

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2012-12-02 20:09:20 and read 6050 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 70):
they just cut everything down to RJs

While I agree with your sentiment, have you been to EWR at any point since 2001? #ERJcity   

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 65):
He got the carrier through one of the longest bankruptcies in history, which I think most analysts agree was a mixed bag, at best. And after not finding a buyer/merger partner for so many years he finally decided to run an airline

Exactly. However one might spin it, Tilton was the Parker of the last decade: a salesman first, and CEO second. Just as Parker has an obsession with trying to merge US with anyone, so did Tilton with UA.

I can't remember who wrote this, but I credit them in absentia: "Tilton was so desperate to sell United that he would have done so to an alpaca farm in Kalamazoo"

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 70):
This is just not born out by any data whatsoever

Tommy, I accept that you don't have much respect for awards (I have a thing against Skytrax, so I can see where you are coming from) but Maverick is absolutely right in this instance. In terms of objective metrics, CO ranked pretty high and UA ranked pretty low. However much you can spin a private-sector award ceremony, I would suggest that DoT data is pretty reliable.

Does this mean that CO had as many customers spending over $100,000 per annum than UA? Probably not. I certainly don't have access to that information, and I'm assuming you don't either. That said, I am sure that UA did carry a higher proportion of HVCs with PS, F, NRT+HKG hubs etc. Let's be honest though, in most cases this probably wasn't because of an overwhelming love of United Airlines.

Also, I think that on FT (and to a lessor extent on here) that a bit too much focus is put on HVCs and FFs. Sure, they are the bedrock of any airline, who is reliant on those people to keep showing up to ensure them a minimum level of traffic (and with better yields than mom and pop). BUT a corporation's first priority is profit. If CO made money flying 757s to EDI and CGN, what precisely is wrong with that model? OK, those routes would drive less corporate demand than SFO-HKG but that does not, of itself, make CO's slightly subtler approach any less worthwhile.

Of course the best strategy is to adopt both. That's where DL is now, with its massive Asia presence on the one hand and 757s out of JFK on the other. And that's where, hopefully, UA can be very shortly.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: FreshSide3
Posted 2012-12-02 20:59:40 and read 5975 times.

Quoting United1 (Reply 57):
That and the new interface (which is allot like FastRes/FastAir) is quite a bit easier to use.

Yes, that helps, but SHARES needed to get fixed before the "shell" was put on. The REAL issues are with the "base" program.

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 69):
From my perspective as a former employee and from those that I often communicate with that are still there, Smisek is a utter failure as a CEO.

Yes, definitely true....

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2012-12-02 21:27:44 and read 5913 times.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 71):
While I agree with your sentiment, have you been to EWR at any point since 2001? #ERJcity

True but that is more due to CO's constrained mainline fleet, rather than years of gauge reduction in EWR

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 71):
Tilton was the Parker of the last decade: a salesman first, and CEO second. Just as Parker has an obsession with trying to merge US with anyone, so did Tilton with UA.

Parker and his team cobbled together two nonviable carriers into a consistently profitable carrier with an operation that hums like clockwork. Considering where US/HP were before vs after Parker, he may have magical powers. That team could do great things at AA, or UA.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2012-12-02 21:47:50 and read 5886 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 73):
True but that is more due to CO's constrained mainline fleet, rather than years of gauge reduction in EWR

Good point, although being cynical it was probably more to do with scope than vision on the part of Kellner/Smisek.

If they could have got large RJs I think we would have seen the 735s parked several years ago.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 73):
Parker and his team cobbled together two nonviable carriers into a consistently profitable carrier with an operation that hums like clockwork. Considering where US/HP were before vs after Parker, he may have magical powers.

True, I was probably a bit harsh on Parker.

I have enormous respect for what he has done with US/AWE. While the USAPA issue is legendary (and much overblown on here), the improvement (both service and financial) over the past couple of years is definitely impressive. While everyone sings Anderson's praises (and justifiably), DL certainly wasn't the only successful merger of the past decade

While I consider UA-by-way-of-CO to be "my" US carrier, US is often more convenient for me so I actually fly them quite a bit more than UA. Never had a bad flight, and on one of my flights this year I wish I'd made a note of one of the FAs names so I could write to them and commend her. She didn't do anything extraordinary for me, just went through the routine with an enthusiasm and demeanor that was very refreshing.

[Edited 2012-12-02 22:17:47]

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: tommy767
Posted 2012-12-03 00:30:14 and read 5771 times.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 71):
In terms of objective metrics, CO ranked pretty high and UA ranked pretty low. However much you can spin a private-sector award ceremony, I would suggest that DoT data is pretty reliable.

NOT in 2009/2010 when they merged. Anyone on this forum will tell you that CO was cut, cut, cut as well with a plethora of 739s and ERJs for expansion out of fortress hubs (2 hubs) only.

At least UA had an abundant amount of wide body aircraft for leverage within their large and powerful network which they did, admittedly extremely well whether you believe so or not.

Also you can't compare DL and UA post BK. DL gobbled up NW by the time UA exited BK.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 73):

True but that is more due to CO's constrained mainline fleet,

Which is because of poor fleet planning at CO

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: delta2ual
Posted 2012-12-03 04:58:37 and read 5626 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 75):
Also you can't compare DL and UA post BK. DL gobbled up NW by the time UA exited BK.

DL merged with NW in 2008. UA emerged from BK in 2006.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: EaglePower83
Posted 2012-12-03 06:06:33 and read 5602 times.

Quoting Coairman (Reply 54):
One of the areas where I feel this is best seen is how delays are treated. Running on time is obviously important, but it shouldn't be to the point that station personnel will sacrifice decent customer service to avoid being blamed for a two minute delay. Right now too many gate and ramp agents seem to be petrified to have any delay coded as being their fault. Where does this come from? Front line managers that are being harassed by upper management to hit the on time figures with no regard for doing the job well.

Agreed. I witnessed something interesting shortly after the merger.
I was connecting to BDL via EWR one night, and the plane leaving my gate prior to my flight was about 10min late.
They were waiting for connecting passengers. A few filtered in and got on, and the gate agents decided to close the flight.
Sure enough, 2 min. after door close, another 8 or so passengers RAN up to the counter.
The surley NJ crew (agents and 1 clown make-up mgr) got beligerent with the late passengers, who were obviously frustrated, coming back from Haiti. It was loud and ugly and if the CO staff just waited a few more minutes; counting how many connecting passengers they were supposed to have, they could've made the experience much easier on everyone.

As opposed to my lateest experience with AA a few months ago MIA > BDL.
We waited 40min for a dozen connecting passengers and their luggage. The pilots and staff kept the whole plane informed about our wait and how many passengers we were counting down prior to departure.
Honestly, I was fine waiting, because if I had a tight connection I'd want them to wait for me.
The passengers were VERY greatful to get on their flight, obviouisly.

The two experiences were like night and day.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: jamake1
Posted 2012-12-03 06:25:35 and read 5576 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 70):
For doing what? He took an airline through bankruptcy, and then just let it wither away, when instead he could have leveraged the newish post bankruptcy cost advantage, the excellent network, and strong fleet in a similar way DL did after their turn through CH11. But instead it was cut, cut, cut, cut. Hand DEN to F9, downgauge everything to RJs, hand over international flying to EI, charge premium flyers for everything.

Sorry, but I respectfully disagree. Glenn Tilton did not let UA wither away, post-bankruptcy emergence. During his leadership, the LAX/SFO-JFK trans-con service was transformed with new p.s. service in specially configured 757's that gave UA a competitive advantage in the trans-con market; gateways such as JFK and MIA were right-sized where UA was a distant competitor and assets re-deployed to UA's key strengths, such as the IAD hub, which was transformed into a truly global gateway with new markets such as NRT, EZE, GIG, PEK, FCO, DME, ACC, LOS, and KWI.

There are things that I can fault Mr. Tilton with, but letting UA "wither away", as you've stated, is not one of them...

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: strfyr51
Posted 2012-12-03 06:36:03 and read 5569 times.

Quoting clrd4t8koff (Reply 22):

That Sir? is a load of Bunk! I've SEEN the comments where A-Netters want the Flight attendants to be retired at 30-35 years old to keep young and comely hotties as your eye candy so you do NOT really want to honor seniority AT ALL! the previous poster is EXACTLY right! and NO I'm Not a Flight attendant Either!

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: Tdan
Posted 2012-12-03 07:00:07 and read 5517 times.

Quoting jamake1 (Reply 78):
Sorry, but I respectfully disagree. Glenn Tilton did not let UA wither away, post-bankruptcy emergence. During his leadership, the LAX/SFO-JFK trans-con service was transformed with new p.s. service in specially configured 757's that gave UA a competitive advantage in the trans-con market; gateways such as JFK and MIA were right-sized where UA was a distant competitor and assets re-deployed to UA's key strengths, such as the IAD hub, which was transformed into a truly global gateway with new markets such as NRT, EZE, GIG, PEK, FCO, DME, ACC, LOS, and KWI.

There are things that I can fault Mr. Tilton with, but letting UA "wither away", as you've stated, is not one of them...

And lets see, 5/9 of those IAD routes are now gone. A 44% success rate on longhaul routes is about the same as DL's much maligned dartboard (for good reason)! Is that the kind of leadership from Mr. Tilton that you are referring to, or is UA's network planning just that bad? Or were they both terrible? The improvements made under Tilton's leadership were no different than those that could be made by that alpaca from Kalamazoo.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2012-12-03 07:07:52 and read 5504 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 75):

NOT in 2009/2010 when they merged

Two years. They managed to barely pull it together for 2 years, after almost a decade of doing as little as possible.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 75):
Anyone on this forum will tell you that CO was cut, cut, cut as well with a plethora of 739s and ERJs for expansion out of fortress hubs (2 hubs) only.

CO was one of the only (the only?) legacy carriers consistently growing in the late 2000s.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 75):
Which is because of poor fleet planning at CO

CO had a major narrow and widebody orderbook. UA's fleet plan? No fleet plan. Not even an order until 2009, and then only for widebodies, about a year after CO was supposed to get its first 787:

http://crankyflier.com/2009/12/09/un...gain-orders-787-and-a350-aircraft/

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 74):
If they could have got large RJs I think we would have seen the 735s parked several years ago.

Probably very true.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: avek00
Posted 2012-12-03 07:26:56 and read 5454 times.

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 21):
When they entered the airline business they were developing a career.

Unfortunately, that expectation should have never been sold to the vast majority of any airline's workforce.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 51):
I think that possibly the single biggest mistake of the merger (at least symbolically) was not 3/3 but the choice of livery.

Post-merger United has been forced to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to bring many areas of the sUA operation up to snuff. Other posters hit the nail on the head in mentioning that part of Tilton's/Mikells' trick to making United's numbers appear good was to simply not spend any money on the sorts of items CO, and other quality carriers spent money on. That won't fly in the combined operation, so the money was best spent fixing those shortcomings instead of expensively prolonging the length of time it would take to give new United consistent brand image.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: ual777uk
Posted 2012-12-03 07:44:46 and read 5417 times.

Quoting avek00 (Reply 82):
Other posters hit the nail on the head in mentioning that part of Tilton's/Mikells' trick to making United's numbers appear good was to simply not spend any money on the sorts of items CO, and other quality carriers spent money on

So they were not spending money on PS, IPTE configered aircraft etc, that was a freebie was it???

Quoting Tdan (Reply 80):
And lets see, 5/9 of those IAD routes are now gone

You seem to have glossed over the fact that since the merger, certain routes have been moved to other hubs which makes much more commercial sense, that was always going to happen. All mergers are about synergies etc so its easy to make that statement now.

Tilton can be maligned for many things but the fact remains that if he had not had the balls to to what he did, we would now be talking about UA in the same sentence as PA,TWA etc.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2012-12-03 08:50:52 and read 5336 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 75):

I do in fact acknowledge up thread that CO was into cut mode by 2009. The nature of the cuts was only brining CO into line with its legacy peers (meal at mealtimes) and arguably the cuts weren't anywhere near as drastic as some carriers during BK.

Not to mention that they were expanding their mainline fleet.

Quoting jamake1 (Reply 78):
Sorry, but I respectfully disagree. Glenn Tilton did not let UA wither away, post-bankruptcy emergence. During his leadership, the LAX/SFO-JFK trans-con service was transformed with new p.s. service in specially configured 757's that gave UA a competitive advantage in the trans-con market; gateways such as JFK and MIA were right-sized where UA was a distant competitor and assets re-deployed to UA's key strengths

I might have my history mixed up, but I thought that all of these things happend before or during bankruptcy?

I give Tilton credit for IPTE, but other than that there wasn't any significant changes in UA post-BK

Quoting ual777uk (Reply 83):
Tilton can be maligned for many things but the fact remains that if he had not had the balls to to what he did, we would now be talking about UA in the same sentence as PA,TWA etc.

That much I definitely credit him for

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 79):
That Sir? is a load of Bunk! I've SEEN the comments where A-Netters want the Flight attendants to be retired at 30-35 years old to keep young and comely hotties as your eye candy so you do NOT really want to honor seniority AT ALL! the previous poster is EXACTLY right!

Geez. For a start don't take it out personally on clrd4t8off, by insinuating that he personally has an issue with senior crews, that's not what he wrote at all.

And I think that he was right. Yes, a tiny but vocal minority on here dislike senior crews because they're senior. But the VAST majority of anti-senior posts have less to do with their seniority than their attitude. It's just an unfortunate reality that the two are - to a greater or lesser extent - somewhat synonymous.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: tommy767
Posted 2012-12-03 10:33:50 and read 5212 times.

Quoting Tdan (Reply 80):
And lets see, 5/9 of those IAD routes are now gone. A 44% success rate on longhaul routes is about the same as DL's much maligned dartboard (for good reason)! Is that the kind of leadership from Mr. Tilton that you are referring to, or is UA's network planning just that bad? Or were they both terrible? The improvements made under Tilton's leadership were no different than those that could be made by that alpaca from Kalamazoo.

What are you talking about? The only route that doesn't exist from PM UA's portfolio at IAD is DME and Ghana.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 81):

CO had a major narrow and widebody orderbook. UA's fleet plan? No fleet plan. Not even an order until 2009, and then only for widebodies, about a year after CO was supposed to get its first 787:

That is clearly because UA had a much larger domestic narrow body fleet without breaking a sweat. 97 757, 97 A320, and 55 A319. CO had to rely on their 757s for international use and the only flexibility they had domestically were the 737s.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 81):
CO was one of the only (the only?) legacy carriers consistently growing in the late 2000s.


Says who and where? They were only growing out of EWR and um....oh yeah just EWR. Nowhere else.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 81):

Two years. They managed to barely pull it together for 2 years, after almost a decade of doing as little as possible.

CO went into BK twice in the 1990s so they got their costs negotiated pre-9/11. UA was in deep doo-doo but emerged as a very strong carrier by the late 2000s whether you think so or not.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: jamake1
Posted 2012-12-03 10:52:27 and read 5199 times.

Quoting ual777uk (Reply 83):
Quoting Tdan (Reply 80):
And lets see, 5/9 of those IAD routes are now gone

You seem to have glossed over the fact that since the merger, certain routes have been moved to other hubs which makes much more commercial sense, that was always going to happen. All mergers are about synergies etc so its easy to make that statement now.

Tilton can be maligned for many things but the fact remains that if he had not had the balls to to what he did, we would now be talking about UA in the same sentence as PA,TWA etc.

  


Exactly right. IAD may have lost ACC and DME, but has gained DUB, MAN, and HNL service because of fleet/route re-deployment. I stand by my original posting; IAD was historically a European-centric hub and under Tilton, flights to China, Japan, Africa, the Middle East, and South America were added, making a IAD a stronger global gateway for UA.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2012-12-03 12:27:49 and read 5118 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 85):
That is clearly because UA had a much larger domestic narrow body fleet without breaking a sweat. 97 757, 97 A320, and 55 A319. CO had to rely on their 757s for international use and the only flexibility they had domestically were the 737s.

It was because UA saw no value in investing in capital under Tilton, whatsoever, whether it was new planes, or updating the product. Even AA's M80s have wifi and powerports. Heck even NW was getting new planes.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 85):
Says who and where? They were only growing out of EWR and um....oh yeah just EWR. Nowhere else.

Any capacity metric: your choice. UA annual report 2005-2009: capacity down 15%. CO during the same period: up 8%.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 85):
CO went into BK twice in the 1990s so they got their costs negotiated pre-9/11. UA was in deep doo-doo but emerged as a very strong carrier by the late 2000s whether you think so or not.

I don't think anyone would qualify UA as strong in the late 2000s.

Quoting ual777uk (Reply 83):
So they were not spending money on PS, IPTE configered aircraft etc, that was a freebie was it???

PS was what, a dozen aircraft? And I think the 787 development and rollout was faster than the IPTE update.

Quoting ual777uk (Reply 83):
Tilton can be maligned for many things but the fact remains that if he had not had the balls to to what he did, we would now be talking about UA in the same sentence as PA,TWA etc.

True, although post bk UA needed a leader to move the carrier forward and Tilton and team were clearly not that leader. It was fairly clear the goal was to move as much flying to third parties as possible, whether it was OO, EI, or anyone in between.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2012-12-03 15:29:10 and read 4918 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 85):
They were only growing out of EWR and um....oh yeah just EWR. Nowhere else.

So?

Maverick never said that they were growing across the system:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 81):
CO was one of the only (the only?) legacy carriers consistently growing in the late 2000s.
Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 87):
And I think the 787 development and rollout was faster than the IPTE update.

To be fair, the CO BF upgrade wasn't much better.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 87):
It was because UA saw no value in investing in capital under Tilton, whatsoever, whether it was new planes, or updating the product

Plus their now infamous maintenance program that seemed to be focussed more on MELing everything than actually stop the issues from arising.

And even if they had IPTE upgrades, some of the non-ps 757s were getting pretty ratty inside, with old interiors and acid trip seats.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2012-12-03 16:04:35 and read 4852 times.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 88):
Maverick never said that they were growing across the system:

I think it was pretty well balanced; it might have even been mostly CLE/IAH.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 88):
To be fair, the CO BF upgrade wasn't much better.

True but I think that started about 2 years later and is done, or almost done, plus they've gotten through almost all of the 763s. And there are still non-IPTE planes floating around after the pace was accelerated post merger.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2012-12-03 16:13:42 and read 4842 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 89):
I think it was pretty well balanced; it might have even been mostly CLE/IAH.

I don't doubt you, especially re IAH, but I was trying to point the extreme illogicality in Tommy's statement. He basically responded to you suggesting that they grew by acknowledging that they grew, and then turning it on its head and somehow turning that into a negative!

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 89):
True but I think that started about 2 years later

OK, I though that it started about the same time.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: tommy767
Posted 2012-12-03 21:01:27 and read 4679 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 89):

The only programs PMCO accelerated were the 777s (slowish) and 757s (fast.) This is because CO had no other widebodies to work with and had to compete in some way, although somewhat pathetic considering UA had a massive amount of leverage in their international fleet. We forget that PMCO never bothered to refresh the 764s until the merger, way behind the IPTE 777 program.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 90):

I don't doubt you, especially re IAH, but I was trying to point the extreme illogicality in Tommy's statement. He basically responded to you suggesting that they grew by acknowledging that they grew, and then turning it on its head and somehow turning that into a negative!

You are kidding, right? CLE was cut massively by Kellner in 2008 after a brief build up. CLE is no bigger now than it was before the merger. Except now CLE flyers are now privileged to fly on larger 757s on domestic routes -- something CO was not capable of before the merger.

IAH was more or less consistent, not in exactly in expansion mode. As said, only EWR really benefited by offering 757s across the pond.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 87):

It was because UA saw no value in investing in capital under Tilton, whatsoever, whether it was new planes, or updating the product. Even AA's M80s have wifi and powerports. Heck even NW was getting new planes.

Because they clearly did not need to. The 319, 320, and 757 were young to middle age throughout the BK and pre-merger. Going by that logic, AA might have added wifi in the last year or so and CO never bothered with Wifi ever. They went with PPV DTV program instead.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 74):

True, I was probably a bit harsh on Parker.

No Parker totally sucks. We forget about the stupid failed takeover try of DL and ripping out IFE on the new airbuses for cost savings, failing to integrate "east" and "west" and worse, charging Y pax for water.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 81):
UA's fleet plan? No fleet plan. Not even an order until 2009, and then only for widebodies, about a year after CO was supposed to get its first 787:

A350s?

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2012-12-03 22:52:02 and read 4590 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 91):

The only programs PMCO accelerated were the 777s (slowish) and 757s (fast.)

  Yeah, CO announced the new product and refitted the planes quickly, unlike UA's rebrand or IPTE which took longer than Haley's comet to come back around

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 91):
IAH was more or less consistent, not in exactly in expansion mode.

IAH and EWR both grew; in fact IAH probably grew faster

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 91):
No Parker totally sucks. We forget about the stupid failed takeover try of DL and ripping out IFE on the new airbuses for cost savings, failing to integrate "east" and "west" and worse, charging Y pax for water.

Two carriers on life support just turned themselves around? It's funny you bash Parker for honestly one of the most miraculous turnarounds in history, yet you totally ignore at UA the failed US merger, or famously poisonous labor, or charging for wifi/liquor in the lounges, or the attempt to charge for meals Transatlantic, or farming out Transatlantic flying to another carrier, resulting in even worse labor relations. UA and US were pretty similar in the 2000s, in more ways than one!

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 91):

A350s?

The order was firmed in 2010, two years after the first 787 were supposed to arrive at CO.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: gigneil
Posted 2012-12-03 23:44:00 and read 4532 times.

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 69):
And I know of NO former CO employees that want to do what your suggesting. NONE.

Correct.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 73):
True but that is more due to CO's constrained mainline fleet, rather than years of gauge reduction in EWR

Huh? CO's mainline fleet was wildly overprovisioned.

NS

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2012-12-04 07:44:01 and read 4372 times.

Quoting gigneil (Reply 93):
Huh? CO's mainline fleet was wildly overprovisioned.

They sent RJs to PHX/DEN/DCA/ORD because they had too many mainline aircraft? 

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RDH3E
Posted 2012-12-04 08:07:34 and read 4328 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 92):
The order was firmed in 2010, two years after the first 787 were supposed to arrive at CO.

And? UA is still supposed to receive 787's and 350's before Delta sees either. Does that make DL a failure?

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2012-12-04 08:44:19 and read 4270 times.

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 95):
And? UA is still supposed to receive 787's and 350's before Delta sees either. Does that make DL a failure?

It's about investing in the product, whether it's the fleet or anything the passenger touches. Delta has been very proactive and public about investing in the product, probably the leader in the industry in terms of its spend and desire to offer a consistent product from its 744s down to its RJ providers, so no.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RDH3E
Posted 2012-12-04 09:23:36 and read 4216 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 96):
probably the leader in the industry in terms of its spend and desire to offer a consistent product from its 744s down to its RJ providers, so no.

So saying they didn't order aircraft is meaningless in and of itself. I won't argue that UA was the best airline in the world pre-merger, but things were on the up and up. There was supposed to be a narrowbody order summer of '10 to follow the '09 widebody order, but obviously with CO's orderbook that was no long necessary once merger talks were made public in May '10.

The IPTE was under way, although slow. All of the international 763's had seat back IFE, even if it was looped feed. And wi-fi had been explored and "piloted" on the PS fleet. But the technology wasn't to the point where it was a value add. And now anyone that went with ground based wi-fi is having to reinstall satellite based or have various types of setups.

The narrowbody fleet was stretched, yes, but somehow UA still managed to put up #1 A:14 in 2010 despite the vaunted "maintenance shortcomings" (which only became a problem when CO folks pushed their type of planning on the Airbus fleets).

I think both sides had their strengths, and I believe that is why over the next couple years UA will become a Juggernaut.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2012-12-04 09:52:41 and read 4165 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 91):
ripping out IFE on the new airbuses for cost savings, failing to integrate "east" and "west" and worse, charging Y pax for water.

IFE: hmm marginal, how many people (not on ANet) refuse to fly US because of this? I don't know the answer, but I for one don't bother with IFE even when offered. If a transcon I was on were to get subbed to an international frame then that would be great, but I generally ignore overhead video systems.

East/West: I think management should take some responsibility for the fact that the FAs aren't merged, they were convinced that they had a deal with the last offer. But the USAPA mess has absolutely nothing to do with Parker.
The sooner people on ANet stopped blaming Parker for the pilot integration issues, the sooner we can have productive discussions about US Airways on this site. (Not aimed at you personally!)

Water: yeah, well, that was a pretty dumb decision. At the time US didn't know whether they wanted to be NK or UA. Thankfully they moved back towards being a legacy carrier.

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 97):
I think both sides had their strengths, and I believe that is why over the next couple years UA will become a Juggernaut.

100% agree   

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: tommy767
Posted 2012-12-04 10:45:32 and read 4113 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 96):
It's about investing in the product, whether it's the fleet or anything the passenger touches. Delta has been very proactive and public about investing in the product, probably the leader in the industry in terms of its spend and desire to offer a consistent product from its 744s down to its RJ providers, so no.
Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 92):
Yeah, CO announced the new product and refitted the planes quickly, unlike UA's rebrand or IPTE which took longer than Haley's comet to come back around

CO did nothing to reconfigure their 764s until the merger. And by 2009 they were already getting a little long in the tooth.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 92):
Two carriers on life support just turned themselves around? It's funny you bash Parker for honestly one of the most miraculous turnarounds in history, yet you totally ignore at UA the failed US merger, or famously poisonous labor, or charging for wifi/liquor in the lounges, or the attempt to charge for meals Transatlantic, or farming out Transatlantic flying to another carrier, resulting in even worse labor relations. UA and US were pretty similar in the 2000s, in more ways than one!

I bash him after years of losing money, cost cutting, and not improving the overall product. Funny how you are bashing PMUA for not improving the product, yet there hasn't been a single thing US has done to improve their product except cater to the slaves at their hub and ripping screens off their new a/c.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: sxf24
Posted 2012-12-04 12:13:45 and read 4031 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 99):
CO did nothing to reconfigure their 764s until the merger. And by 2009 they were already getting a little long in the tooth.

The lead time for reconfiguration is significant - often several years. You can't judge on when the planning process started based on when the first aircraft was reconfigured. For what it is worth, the 767-400s were delivered between 2000 and 2002. While the product wasn't a horizontal bed, it seems laughable to argue 7-9 year old widebodies were long in the tooth.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 99):
I bash him after years of losing money, cost cutting, and not improving the overall product. Funny how you are bashing PMUA for not improving the product, yet there hasn't been a single thing US has done to improve their product except cater to the slaves at their hub and ripping screens off their new a/c.

US is in the middle of a massive fleet renewal and is taking a significant number of new aircraft. A new A321 - even without IFE - is better than a ratty old 737-300 for most people. While they still have very ratty 767-200s, the Airbus A330s have managed to take their international hard product from the worst among US carriers to one of the best.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2012-12-04 12:40:11 and read 4006 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 99):
yet there hasn't been a single thing US has done to improve their product

Their new Envoy product is, by most accounts, excellent.

Plus they are phasing out the 737s in favor of brand new A321s, effectively growing capacity.

Also the E90s that were leased to RP are returning to the fleet. While everyone loves DL for introducing 100 seaters at mainline, it was US who did it first.

Also (while not "product" related) Parker deserves kudos for the slot-swap. US dumped its loss making LGA operations and turned one of the highest yielding markets in the country into a quasi-fortress.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: sshank
Posted 2012-12-04 13:24:01 and read 3966 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 70):
Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 70):
Quoting tommy767 (Reply 67):
, I'd give Tilton a B-

For doing what? He took an airline through bankruptcy, and then just let it wither away, when instead he could have leveraged the newish post bankruptcy cost advantage, the excellent network, and strong fleet in a similar way DL did after their turn through CH11. But instead it was cut, cut, cut, cut. Hand DEN to F9, downgauge everything to RJs, hand over international flying to EI, charge premium flyers for everything.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 67):
. It also goes to show that CO had no common sense on how to provide customer service to their high ranking elites. CO had them by the balls at fortress hubs

This is just not born out by any data whatsoever. The customer service metrics are what they are, and UA was always familiar with the bottom in just about every metric/survey/award/you name it until about 2009/2010, even as CO was duking it out in *the* most competitive marketplace in the world in NYC. IAH is pretty similar to SFO, and ultimately owning a hub is a product of taking on the competition, which UA really never did--they just cut everything down to RJs and handed the traffic over to F9/VX/WN. DL/NW/AA/US would aggressively go after competition; UA would aggressively go after consultants to come up with a plan to go after competition, hence Ted

I think you are missing the point here. No one claimed that UA was providing good customer service to everyone -however, they did provide good customer service to their GS and 1K. As 1K for nearly a decade and well over a million miles on UA, I have been through the far corners of the UA network. They did take care of their elites. The once a year vacation flyer? may be not so much. So the metrics you cite are meaningless when it comes to measuring treatment of elites.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: avek00
Posted 2012-12-04 13:56:59 and read 3935 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 91):
We forget that PMCO never bothered to refresh the 764s until the merger, way behind the IPTE 777 program.

CO had announced pre-merger that its international fleet was to receive Flat Beds, starting with the 777s, then the 757s and 767s. The project was frozen to completing the 777s and 757s when the merger was announced, in keeping with the general corporate practice of suspending expensive new initiatives (beyond work already underway) until the merger is completed and the new leadership team gets a chance to review what's going on. United did a similar thing with IPTE -- once the merger was announced, the 777 conversions ground to a virtual halt until the new management team figured out what it wanted to do.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: STT757
Posted 2012-12-04 14:24:26 and read 3894 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 91):
CLE was cut massively by Kellner in 2008 after a brief build up

And the reason was perhaps the economic collapse? Or was the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression a time CO should have been more aggressively adding capacity in your opinion.

US jobs losses by month 2008

September - 432,000
October - 489,000
November - 803,000
December - 661,000

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 85):

CO went into BK twice in the 1990s so they got their costs negotiated pre-9/11

I don't know where you came up with that, CO's first bankruptcy was in September 1983. Their second was December 1990 (22 years ago), CO exited bankruptcy two years later, after floundering a bit CO finally "took off" after Bethune took over from Fergusson in 1994. Under Bethune CO was profitable and rapidly growing throughout the '90s. That momentum carried them through the tough years of 2001-2008, in fact CO was the first US carrier to return to profitability after 9/11.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: gigneil
Posted 2012-12-04 14:45:59 and read 3859 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 94):
They sent RJs to PHX/DEN/DCA/ORD because they had too many mainline aircraft? 

Maybe. But its more likely its because those planes had lower fixed costs to fly and that's what the market would bear.

The big items of the merger were CO had too many narrowbodies for their schedule and UA had slack in the widebody fleet. That's why sCO planes were very quickly moved into sUA hubs.

NS

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2012-12-04 16:32:16 and read 3759 times.

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 97):

So saying they didn't order aircraft is meaningless in and of itself

It was part of a bigger lack of investment in the carrier, until 2009/2010 after it became clear no one wanted to buy what Tilton was selling, or finance realized they had their formula wrong, who knows.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 99):
I bash him after years of losing money, cost cutting, and not improving the overall product. Funny how you are bashing PMUA for not improving the product, yet there hasn't been a single thing US has done to improve their product except cater to the slaves at their hub and ripping screens off their new a/c.

US has been taking delivery of new aircraft, refitted their 330s with probably the leading hard product in the US industry, added wifi across the fleet, swapped hubs with DL, and on and on. All this from two carriers that had no future less than 10 years ago.

Quoting sshank (Reply 102):
they did provide good customer service to their GS and 1K.

NW/PA/EA/AA/etc all have/had their satisfied high yield passengers, although I'm skeptical this is any more than an anecdote. It's tough to run an airline focused entirely on a volatile minority of its revenue

Quoting sshank (Reply 102):
So the metrics you cite are meaningless when it comes to measuring treatment of elites.

What metric do you recommend using?

Quoting gigneil (Reply 105):
The big items of the merger were CO had too many narrowbodies for their schedule

Ha. No. Not by any stretch of the imagination. No US carrier can afford to have too many of any aircraft for long.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2012-12-04 17:53:43 and read 3692 times.

Quoting gigneil (Reply 105):
The big items of the merger were CO had too many narrowbodies for their schedule and UA had slack in the widebody fleet.

I've heard this a couple of times, but I'm confused why CO was taking delivery of 737s if they had too much narrow body capacity. Also, the last 733 didn't leave until 2010. I'm inclined to believe that CO management were either negligent, or this is an ANet myth.

Quoting sshank (Reply 102):
they did provide good customer service to their GS and 1K.

I would agree with this. As someone who didn't fly UA pre-merger, it appeared from the outside that UA compensated for its product by providing great benefits to their elites to keep them locked in. I would suggest that keeping those people loyal was probably smart.

Nonetheless, I can't help but feel that this was a case of fighting the symptoms rather than the virus. Had they got a product that people were willing to buy, then it might not have been as necessary to constantly ensure that those HVCs didn't walk.

That said, I respect PM MileagePlus, it was almost certainly the best FF program in the world.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 106):
What metric do you recommend using?

FlyerTalk       

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: tommy767
Posted 2012-12-05 07:27:52 and read 3456 times.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 107):
I'm inclined to believe that CO management were either negligent, or this is an ANet myth.

They were negligent in the realm of wide bodies. They cancelled 10 764s, a few 777s, and but all their eggs into the 787 basket.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2012-12-05 07:59:53 and read 3410 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 108):
They were negligent in the realm of wide bodies. They cancelled 10 764s, a few 777s, and but all their eggs into the 787 basket.

No they weren't; they had an order for 25 787s by 2007.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: sxf24
Posted 2012-12-05 08:00:49 and read 3405 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 108):
They were negligent in the realm of wide bodies. They cancelled 10 764s, a few 777s, and but all their eggs into the 787 basket.

How is it negligent to plan your future fleet around the most capable and efficient aircraft available? Or, are you saying they were inherently negligent because they didn't work for UA?

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: STT757
Posted 2012-12-05 08:07:55 and read 3402 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 108):
They cancelled 10 764s, a few 777s

They converted the 764s into additional 777s, remember CO originally only had 4 777s on order.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RDH3E
Posted 2012-12-05 08:30:35 and read 3367 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 109):
No they weren't; they had an order for 25 787s by 2007.

He's saying they didn't contingency plan for 787 delays.

Quoting sxf24 (Reply 110):

How is it negligent to plan your future fleet around the most capable and efficient aircraft available?

Ahem *available* would be relative. You mean "for sale" the aircraft clearly wasn't available since we JUST got them  

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: STT757
Posted 2012-12-05 08:38:07 and read 3367 times.

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 112):
He's saying they didn't contingency plan for 787 delays.



They did, they ordered 8 additional 777s in 2008. They later pared it back after the Economic collapse.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2012-12-05 08:40:41 and read 3357 times.

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 112):
He's saying they didn't contingency plan for 787 delays.

I think he's just saying (incorrect) things to say them

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: tommy767
Posted 2012-12-05 09:03:09 and read 3318 times.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 113):

They did, they ordered 8 additional 777s in 2008. They later pared it back after the Economic collapse.

That's a bit of a weak excuse considering DL and AA took delivery of 777s during 2007-2008. CO needed the metal as they relied too heavily on 757s for TATL routings.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 114):
I think he's just saying (incorrect) things to say them

How does my logic not make sense? CO advertised itself as a global airline so for them to have had the fewest widebodies compared to AA, DL, UA, and NW really set them back in terms of expanding. Of course, this is why they inevitably had to merge with UA.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2012-12-05 13:10:59 and read 3215 times.

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 112):
He's saying they didn't contingency plan for 787 delays.

And they weren't the only airline, rightly or wrongly.

Although, yes they did order 777s

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 115):
That's a bit of a weak excuse considering DL and AA took delivery of 777s during 2007-2008

2007-2008 was before the worst of the crisis, which really hit in June/July time. I don't know what months AA and DL took delivery, but even if after August it was probably too late too cancel.

Also, while not relevant for AA, DL were taking 77Ls for specific missions, which otherwise have been flown with larger and less efficient 744s (SYD) or not at all (JNB).

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 115):
CO needed the metal as they relied too heavily on 757s for TATL routings.

Sigh. Yes, I fully agree that CO needed more widebodies, but the 777 was almost definitely not the right plane for them in 2008-9. If they were take anything, then it should have been some 763s. The TATL market (and LHR-NYC in particular) practically dried up to nothing during this time period.

And how can you continually repeat that they "relied too heavily" on 757s? I accept that this issue will never be resolved on ANet, but the aircraft was, in terms of performance, adequate for EWR ops (I accept that maybe not IAD) and has a hard product that is identical in every way to the 777 fleet, just with one less aisle.

[Edited 2012-12-05 13:25:02]

[Edited 2012-12-05 13:26:06]

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: Tdan
Posted 2012-12-05 13:18:57 and read 3208 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 115):
Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 114):
I think he's just saying (incorrect) things to say them

How does my logic not make sense? CO advertised itself as a global airline so for them to have had the fewest widebodies compared to AA, DL, UA, and NW really set them back in terms of expanding. Of course, this is why they inevitably had to merge with UA.

Stop right there, this is complete nonsense!

CO didn't have to merge with anyone for fleet reasons. Heck, they had the best order book of the mainline US carriers! The 787s were delayed and caused some strain on the widebodies, but I don't think CO was too concerned with a lack of shells in 2008/2009 when traffic fell off a cliff. CO would have and could have received more 777s in the interim if their widebodies were so incredibly constrained as you suggest. Your logic makes no sense.

CO merged with UA because if they didn't UA was going to merge with US and this would have severely handicapped CO in the long-run.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: sxf24
Posted 2012-12-05 13:26:40 and read 3190 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 115):

That's a bit of a weak excuse considering DL and AA took delivery of 777s during 2007-2008. CO needed the metal as they relied too heavily on 757s for TATL routings.

Actually, using the smallest and most efficient aircraft that can feasibly operate a route makes excellent business sense. Flying a larger gauged aircraft than the market will support is an excellent way to loose money. Look at what happened to Delta after flying widebodies to/from Florida for many years.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 115):
How does my logic not make sense? CO advertised itself as a global airline so for them to have had the fewest widebodies compared to AA, DL, UA, and NW really set them back in terms of expanding. Of course, this is why they inevitably had to merge with UA.

Revisionist history.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: STT757
Posted 2012-12-05 13:38:19 and read 3178 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 115):
That's a bit of a weak excuse considering DL and AA took delivery of 777s during 2007-2008.

Tommy, the economic collapse was late 2008 into 2009. AA did not take delivery of any 777s after the economic collapse, their newest 777 is from 2006.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: tommy767
Posted 2012-12-05 20:18:49 and read 3054 times.

I see the CO snobs have come out to play. Accept it. CO had faults and that is why they don't exist anymore. And I find it funny some are sticking up for US and bashing PMUA. Hilarious stuff.

Quoting Tdan (Reply 117):
CO didn't have to merge with anyone for fleet reasons. Heck, they had the best order book of the mainline US carriers! The 787s were delayed and caused some strain on the widebodies, but I don't think CO was too concerned with a lack of shells in 2008/2009 when traffic fell off a cliff. CO would have and could have received more 777s in the interim if their widebodies were so incredibly constrained as you suggest. Your logic makes no sense.

Oh yes they did. CO mentioned that their domestic network was unprofitable compared to their international network. Except one problem, by 2008-2009 they couldn't grow internationally any further. They didn't have the aircraft to do so. And how were the 777s not the right aircraft? CO could have expanded further in India from EWR had they had the aircraft.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 119):

Tommy, the economic collapse was late 2008 into 2009. AA did not take delivery of any 777s after the economic collapse, their newest 777 is from 2006.

That's a BS excuse. Global recession yet they were taking delivery of 739s like it was nobody's business. Yet deferred delivery of 777s? Why?

Meanwhile in 2008-2009 DL was taking delivery of 777s and 73G, AA 738s, US airbusses, B6 airbusses and 190s, the list goes on and on. Stop making excuses for a carrier that doesn't exist anymore.

Quoting sxf24 (Reply 118):

Actually, using the smallest and most efficient aircraft that can feasibly operate a route makes excellent business sense. Flying a larger gauged aircraft than the market will support is an excellent way to loose money. Look at what happened to Delta after flying widebodies to/from Florida for many years.

Ok and that's why when the merger approved they immediately started to move 170s to EWR to replace Q400s and 145s on business routes? CO also proved that too small an aircraft can kill profits as well.

DL still operates the 763s domestically and 757s to Florida. Yes they moved the 763s off hourly flights to FL, but kept seat capacity up.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2012-12-05 20:43:55 and read 3008 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 120):
Accept it. CO had faults

I think if you re-read this thread then you will see that we have done so.

Accept it. UA had faults as well.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 120):
and that is why they don't exist anymore

No. They don't exist anymore because a UA-US merger was imminent, and Smisek jumped in and woed Tilton at the final hour so that CO wasn't cut out to dry in the mega-merger era like US is today.

That's not to say that CO's business model was flawed. Just look at US: they're making record profits. BUT after the DL and UA mergers, US is very much a minor competitor and an after thought. That is the position that CO would have found itself in, and that is why Parker and Smisek were both keen to merger with UA.

It had nothing to do with the short term business model of either carrier, as both were fundamentally sound. It merely reognized that the industry had gone through a fundamental re-alignment with the DL-NW merger, and the new mantra was bigger is better.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 120):
CO mentioned that their domestic network was unprofitable compared to their international network

I'm struggling to think of a legacy that this doesn't apply to.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 120):
And how were the 777s not the right aircraft?

They are the largest aircraft in the CO fleet. To add that much capacity during the economic downturn when TATL yields were severely depressed wouldn't have been a smart move. Had it been 1998 rather than 2008 then, sure, bring them in and bring them fast. But the economy changed, and CO reacted.

As for India, that has always been a relatively low-yielding market from the USA. Maybe they could have expanded more to Asia, but without a west coast hub CO was at a disadvantage in that market.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 120):
Global recession yet they were taking delivery of 739s like it was nobody's business. Yet deferred delivery of 777s? Why?

To backfill the domestic 757 capacity that was shifted to international and to retire the aging 733 fleet.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 120):
DL was taking delivery of 777

As I said, these were 77Ls purchased with specific, relatively niche markets in mind.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 120):
73G, AA 738s, US airbusses

OK, so you've just established that all legacies (other than UA) were adding new narrow body capacity, and somehow use that to suggest that CO made fundamentally flawed fleet decisions ... by adding narrow body capacity.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 120):
Ok and that's why when the merger approved they immediately started to move 170s to EWR

No, that's because CO had the most restrictive scope in the industry. As they hadn't traipsed through bankruptcy or imposed special "instead of bankruptcy" provisions on their crews during the 2000s, CO was stuck with scope clauses that say that all jets larger than 50 seats have to be flown at mainline. That is why COEx was ERJ paradise. It had nothing to do with management not having the vision to order ER7s or CR7s at the same time everyone else did, they were simply prohibited from doing so (without flying them with legacy costs). That is why CO went for the Q400 instead.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: klwright69
Posted 2012-12-06 00:33:55 and read 2911 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 85):
Quoting Tdan (Reply 80):And lets see, 5/9 of those IAD routes are now gone. A 44% success rate on longhaul routes is about the same as DL's much maligned dartboard (for good reason)! Is that the kind of leadership from Mr. Tilton that you are referring to, or is UA's network planning just that bad? Or were they both terrible? The improvements made under Tilton's leadership were no different than those that could be made by that alpaca from Kalamazoo.What are you talking about? The only route that doesn't exist from PM UA's portfolio at IAD is DME and Ghana.

No, LOS and EZE are also no longer from IAD.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 85):
Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 81):CO was one of the only (the only?) legacy carriers consistently growing in the late 2000s. Says who and where? They were only growing out of EWR and um....oh yeah just EWR. Nowhere else.

No, not really, CO added EZE, LOS, and GIG were added from IAH.

Quoting jamake1 (Reply 86):
Quoting ual777uk (Reply 83):Quoting Tdan (Reply 80):And lets see, 5/9 of those IAD routes are now goneYou seem to have glossed over the fact that since the merger, certain routes have been moved to other hubs which makes much more commercial sense, that was always going to happen. All mergers are about synergies etc so its easy to make that statement now.Tilton can be maligned for many things but the fact remains that if he had not had the balls to to what he did, we would now be talking about UA in the same sentence as PA,TWA etc. Exactly right. IAD may have lost ACC and DME, but has gained DUB, MAN, and HNL service because of fleet/route re-deployment. I stand by my original posting; IAD was historically a European-centric hub and under Tilton, flights to China, Japan, Africa, the Middle East, and South America were added, making a IAD a stronger global gateway for UA.
Quoting tommy767 (Reply 115):
Quoting STT757 (Reply 113):
They did, they ordered 8 additional 777s in 2008. They later pared it back after the Economic collapse.
That's a bit of a weak excuse considering DL and AA took delivery of 777s during 2007-2008. CO needed the metal as they relied too heavily on 757s for TATL routings.

But, it should be noted that many TATL markets are best suited for the 757, and not a high capacity airframe.

Quoting Tdan (Reply 117):
Quoting tommy767 (Reply 115):Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 114):
I think he's just saying (incorrect) things to say them

How does my logic not make sense? CO advertised itself as a global airline so for them to have had the fewest widebodies compared to AA, DL, UA, and NW really set them back in terms of expanding. Of course, this is why they inevitably had to merge with UA.
Stop right there, this is complete nonsense!

CO didn't have to merge with anyone for fleet reasons. Heck, they had the best order book of the mainline US carriers! The 787s were delayed and caused some strain on the widebodies, but I don't think CO was too concerned with a lack of shells in 2008/2009 when traffic fell off a cliff. CO would have and could have received more 777s in the interim if their widebodies were so incredibly constrained as you suggest. Your logic makes no sense.

CO merged with UA because if they didn't UA was going to merge with US and this would have severely handicapped CO in the long-run.

After DL/NW it became imperative for CO to merge. And with only two big hubs, CO needed to do something in light of this merger situation. Tommy is implying that due to lack of widebodies they were on the verge of extinction. Not so. I recall CO in 1990 and 1991. Now that was an on the verge of extinction situation. I actually think UA needed CO more than US, and the play for US was more to lure CO in. CO had hubs in TX and the NYC area, things UA desperately needed. You can imagine in the minds of UA, downsizing a once major presence in NYC it was a regrettable situation. CO always had more routes to Europe, Asia, and Latin America than US did. CO had more international routes than US. It seems obvious UA would have preferred a marriage with CO from the word go.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: toobz
Posted 2012-12-06 00:59:28 and read 2902 times.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 121):

I'm struggling to think of a legacy that this doesn't apply to.


I believe DL stated they made a nice profit off of domestic flying!

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: EaglePower83
Posted 2012-12-06 05:58:50 and read 2822 times.

I've been doing some thinking...about US.
Yeah it looks bleak for US if they don't get to hook up with AA........but, being based in the Hartford area, it seems like US has the best network, schedule and prices in on the east coast.
AA is very weak. UA does't always have a good schedule or price. Delta is outrageously priced on most of my routes from BDL.
So I find myself taking US more and more.
They're not the fanciest, and I'm not liking their website but they've been quite reliable and convenient with their Philly hub.
US goes to so many Northeastern cities that most airlines don't go to.
In that respect, I think they could be a strong nitch player if the others are not willing to strengthen their Northeast presence.

Thoughts?

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: Tdan
Posted 2012-12-06 06:38:56 and read 2793 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 120):
Oh yes they did. CO mentioned that their domestic network was unprofitable compared to their international network. Except one problem, by 2008-2009 they couldn't grow internationally any further. They didn't have the aircraft to do so. And how were the 777s not the right aircraft? CO could have expanded further in India from EWR had they had the aircraft.

I don't know why I'm still arguing as it seems futile at this point, but maybe some facts will help

Nobody was growing in 2008-2009...anywhere. According to IATA, 2009 was the 'worst demand decline in history' falling 3.5% globally. Cargo was down over 10%. Every airline, including CO was in survival mode and either trying to find homes for aircraft or simply parking them. If CO would have taken delivery of new shells during this time period, they would have sat idle.

http://www.iata.org/pressroom/pr/Pages/2010-01-27-01.aspx

On a side note, CO would not have grown in India with additional 777s. Firstly, they do not have the range for other cities of interest from EWR (HYD, BLR, MAA). They needed the supposed range of the 787 that was being promised at the time in order to even fly these routes without severe weight penalties. Secondly, CO was doing all it could to make EWR-BOM survive which launched at the absolute worst time (Fall 2007).

A profitable international network typically requires domestic feed. This is especially important in the US. Depending on how internal costs are allocated, one particular network can appear more profitable than the other. CO, for example, allocated more costs to the domestic system as opposed to DL for example. Both methodologies are fine as long as the short-comings are realized by those who plan the network. At the end of the day, all that matters is if the airline generates enough cash from operations to cover the rest of its expenses. Easier said than done in this industry.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 120):

That's a BS excuse. Global recession yet they were taking delivery of 739s like it was nobody's business. Yet deferred delivery of 777s? Why?

Meanwhile in 2008-2009 DL was taking delivery of 777s and 73G, AA 738s, US airbusses, B6 airbusses and 190s, the list goes on and on. Stop making excuses for a carrier that doesn't exist anymore.

CO was swapping 733s and 735s with new 737s and during this time period that you mention, the fleet was definitely shrinking. On an operating basis, the 739 is not much more expensive than the 733 and gives you nearly 50 seats virtually for free.

Plus, you seem to only think international expansion must occur with widebodies. Look at CO's Latin and Caribbean networks and all the international growth that occurred there. Don't you think more 738/739s imply that this could be where CO was seeing relative strength? If you don't believe me, look at DL's expansion during this time period and the routes that are still operated today. TGU, RTB, JFKBOG all come to mind.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: strfyr51
Posted 2012-12-06 06:54:03 and read 2783 times.

Quoting United1 (Reply 59):

UA pulled SEA down when we had to give up the SEA-HKG route to CO after the Pan AM Pacific division came to United.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2012-12-06 09:21:17 and read 2759 times.

Quoting EaglePower83 (Reply 124):
being based in the Hartford area, it seems like US has the best network, schedule and prices in on the east coast.

Based in Greensboro, NC I 100% agree. Sure, having CLT up the road means that US has a pretty strong following in this state, but between CLT, PHL and DCA, US can normally connect me to where I want to go more conveniently than any other legacy.

DL has mainline to ATL, but that's about it, and ATL involves a backtrack if you are not heading west or to Florida. UA have something like 3-4 ERJs to EWR and 4-5 ERJ/CRJs to IAD, and AA... well, about that...

US, however, has 9 flights to CLT, 6 to PHL and 4 to DCA, meaning that in terms of schedule they are unsurpassed in this market

Quoting EaglePower83 (Reply 124):
So I find myself taking US more and more.

  

Quoting EaglePower83 (Reply 124):
In that respect, I think they could be a strong nitch player


I agree. I've said this before and I'll say it again, US are very good at what they do well: shifting people up and down the Eastern Seaboard. With PHL, CLT and DCA, I think if the merger doesn't happen and they are happy being a 2nd tier carrier, then they can continue as a strong independent carrier. I can't speak for the PHX operations (although I hear that they are profitable) but US could conceivably function as something approaching an east coast AS.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: sxf24
Posted 2012-12-06 10:27:00 and read 2700 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 120):
Ok and that's why when the merger approved they immediately started to move 170s to EWR to replace Q400s and 145s on business routes? CO also proved that too small an aircraft can kill profits as well.

DL still operates the 763s domestically and 757s to Florida. Yes they moved the 763s off hourly flights to FL, but kept seat capacity up.

I see nothing to show that CO proved too small an aircraft can kill profits. The shift you're seeing is the deployment of 2-class regional jets, which were not allowed under CO's scope, to markets where there's premium demand. Conversely, you see the influx of sCO 737s to UA hubs to replace sUA aircraft that weren't the optimal gauge.

For what's its worth, you're flat out wrong about DL. Capacity to Florida continues to be aggressively managed, particularly from ATL.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: FreshSide3
Posted 2012-12-06 10:31:47 and read 2702 times.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 126):
UA pulled SEA down when we had to give up the SEA-HKG route to CO after the Pan AM Pacific division came to United.

It may be a good time to review a return to having SEA-HKG on the schedule, since UA/CO are now merged. There are a lot of concerns in SEA about losing the NRT trip, after ANA bringing the Dreamliner service in. Having BOTH a NRT and a HKG trip would be ideal, and preferable. But HKG on UA without NRT would be OK, too, still having presence in Asia from SEA.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: tommy767
Posted 2012-12-06 11:38:17 and read 2642 times.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 121):
t the economy changed, and CO reacted.

The airline business in the US was changing, and CO sat and watched.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 121):
No, that's because CO had the most restrictive scope in the industry.

And that's not their fault how?

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 122):
No, not really, CO added EZE, LOS, and GIG were added from IAH.

As said, CO was only growing from EWR and IAH. They had a very poor network overall, especially compared to UA.

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 122):
But, it should be noted that many TATL markets are best suited for the 757, and not a high capacity airframe.

Except when January hits and they start diverting.

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 122):
I actually think UA needed CO more than US, and the play for US was more to lure CO in.

You honestly think that this was the case for the UA/CO merger? Please, take the play by US with a grain of salt. UA and CO were set up to merge back in 2008 and Kellner refused but I think we all knew back then that consolidation was inevitable. Besides, a UA/US merger was already shot down in 2000 and would have definitely been shot down again by the DOT with Obama in the WH. UA's interest in UA was total busch league -- it was a ploy for CO to step up and shut up.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2012-12-06 12:13:06 and read 2609 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 130):
And that's not their fault how?

Because in 1991 nobody had even heard of an Embraer 145, so the idea that they would have forced through higher scope clauses is faintly ridiculous. As I said:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 121):
they hadn't traipsed through bankruptcy or imposed special "instead of bankruptcy" provisions on their crews during the 2000s,
Quoting tommy767 (Reply 130):
The airline business in the US was changing, and CO sat and watched

Now I'm really confused. What precisely do you mean by that?

If you are referring to consolidation with Parker and Tilton biting at the leash to merge with anybody, then AA also "sat and watched".

If you are referring to anything else then I'm not sure what it is.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 130):
a UA/US merger was already shot down in 2000 and would have definitely been shot down again by the DOT with Obama in the WH.

In 2000 it would have been the first mega-merger. DL-NW, however, meant that the situation had fundamentally changed since then. And what has Obama being President got to do with it?

That said, US would have brought little value to UA other than a focus city at LGA. It's difficult to see how PHL, IAD, and CLT could have coexisted as they are practically next to each other, and PHX doesn't really offer much that LAX and DEN doesn't.

And as for CO being the preferred carrier, everyone who has said that is probably right. These comments in 2007 are interesting in this regard:

"There's no question that if you had a blank piece of paper, you probably wouldn't come up with six hub-and-spoke carriers. I think that has probably been the underlying thesis for consolidation," Continental Airlines Chairman and CEO Larry Kellner told analysts and investors recently at the JP Morgan Aviation and Transportation Conference. But, he quickly noted, "We don't see huge benefits in consolidation for us."

...

During UA's first-quarter earnings conference call with analysts and reporters, Tilton chided airline executives who say consolidation may be theoretically necessary but aren't willing to push for mergers presently: "It is a little puzzling to me for someone to think about it in a passive context, as if you had nothing to do with it."


http://atwonline.com/airline-finance...us-consolidation-inevitable-0309-0

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 130):
Quoting klwright69 (Reply 122):
I actually think UA needed CO more than US, and the play for US was more to lure CO in.

You honestly think that this was the case for the UA/CO merger? Please, take the play by US with a grain of salt. UA and CO were set up to merge back in 2008 and Kellner refused but I think we all knew back then that consolidation was inevitable

I take it you realize that you are agreeing with him? If so, there's really no need to adopt such a bellicose tone.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RDH3E
Posted 2012-12-06 12:19:31 and read 2586 times.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 131):
then AA also "sat and watched".

Did you forget a little blip where AA took over TWA?

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2012-12-06 12:22:29 and read 2583 times.

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 132):
Did you forget a little blip where AA took over TWA?

Given the frame in discussion, I assumed that we were discussing 2007-2010. By that point STL had been substantially de-hubbed, and very little of TW's network really remained.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2012-12-06 12:23:54 and read 2597 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 130):
As said, CO was only growing from EWR and IAH. They had a very poor network overall, especially compared to UA.

Very poor = the largest hub in the world's top financial market, main energy market, 2nd largest Latin American network, 2nd largest European network, and more international destinations than any other US carrier   If so then I think any carrier would love to have a very poor network, let alone one that was growing.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 131):
Because in 1991 nobody had even heard of an Embraer 145, so the idea that they would have forced through higher scope clauses is faintly ridiculous. As I said:

...never mind a 70 seater

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: klwright69
Posted 2012-12-06 13:04:39 and read 2513 times.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 131):
I take it you realize that you are agreeing with him? If so, there's really no need to adopt such a bellicose tone.

I was responding to some people on a.net that thought UA really wanted US.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2012-12-06 14:40:34 and read 2433 times.

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 135):
I was responding to some people on a.net that thought UA really wanted US.

Sorry! I wasn't referring to you. I was actually taking to Tommy, saying that because his fundamental point was fundamentally the same - UA wanted CO more than US - that his tone was a little unnecessary

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: strfyr51
Posted 2012-12-06 16:37:29 and read 2353 times.

Quoting FreshSide3 (Reply 129):

CO didn't Keep the SEA-HKG flight. (I have no Idea why) I think it went to Delta who moved it to PDX but NOW?? I have no IDEA who holds the route authority. I doubt that UA still does unless that route authority resides in SFO.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: mia
Posted 2012-12-07 04:25:02 and read 2191 times.

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 21):
I'm really getting sick and tired of a bred of a.netter bashing older crew members.

I don't mind "older" crew members. In fact age of crew has nothing to do with quality of service.

Topic: RE: NY Times: UA Merger Still Rough
Username: Antoniemey
Posted 2012-12-08 02:48:22 and read 1997 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 120):
That's a BS excuse. Global recession yet they were taking delivery of 739s like it was nobody's business. Yet deferred delivery of 777s? Why?

To replace older frames that cost much more (on a per-seat basis) to fly.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 120):
CO also proved that too small an aircraft can kill profits as well.

Umm... 170s and Q400s are the same size, and while an E145 might not be the most profitable option around, they don't tend to keep routes that don't contribute to the bottom line in some way.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 121):
To backfill the domestic 757 capacity that was shifted to international and to retire the aging 733 fleet.

  

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 130):
Except when January hits and they start diverting.

Which is accounted for in several ways and is still preferable to flying an aircraft you can't fill at a profit.


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