Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
United Airlines New Competitive Advantage  
User currently offlineATLflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 736 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 11149 times:

The WSJ had a great article today about how United will continually introduce new amenities and services as it enters bankruptcy. Here is the link for WSJ subscribers: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1137...31145633.html?mod=home_page_one_us

Here are a couple paragraphs for those without a subscription:


Now United is gambling on a flight plan that takes it in the opposite direction of the rest of the U.S. industry. Determined not to be another clone of low-cost, low-fare juggernaut Southwest Airlines, United is making an all-out effort to raise revenue by pampering its best business travelers -- and keeping them on United whether they are flying to a meeting on the coast, or taking the family to Orlando.

In the face of rising fuel prices and continuing losses, competitors have cut back on frills and simplified their offerings across the board. United is keeping onboard blankets and pillows, making seating more spacious and designing new services for both the high and low ends of the market. The airline hopes these steps will allow it not only to charge more but to steal some customers from rivals, or, in the case of its new leisure division, Ted, to better compete with discounters.

"It doesn't take talent to take the pillows off" planes, says Mr. Tilton, a former oil-industry executive who has guided United since September 2002. "In the industry's herd mentality, we were supposed to trundle down the runway of commoditization," he says. "But if you're blessed with this network, to optimize it, you overlay an array of products that people want."

United has reduced the number of seats on more than 100 regional jets flying with its commuter affiliates so it could install roomier Economy Plus seating and first-class cabins -- the first time anyone in the industry has so broadly tried an upscale approach on such small jets. It radically cut the seating in a luxurious transcontinental service called "p.s." The extra room enables United to be the only airline that offers fully reclining, first-class seats on coast-to-coast flights. Now, following a big expansion of overseas routes, United also is planning a multimillion-dollar upgrade of its international first- and business-class cabins.

[Edited 2006-01-14 02:00:03]

35 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline777fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2501 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 11113 times:

Amen, UA! Seems to me like they're serious about getting back on track but can't afford to forget about customer service as it's often the ultimate factor in retaining customers.

Can't wait to see those new biz and first class interiors - some of UA's planes are in dire need of a freshening up.



DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT
User currently offlineATLflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 736 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 11097 times:

I guess p.s. is profitable...

From WSJ:

But United is finding that more people are willing to pay $4,500 to fly first class on its new transcontinental p.s. offering, if they get top-notch service. That means personal DVD players, service carts decorated with fresh flowers and the fully reclining seats. Full-fare first-class ticket sales on the New York-San Francisco route are up 37% in p.s.'s first year, United says.

[Edited 2006-01-14 02:01:23]

User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 59
Reply 3, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 11047 times:

Quoting ATLflyer (Reply 2):
But United is finding that more people are willing to pay $4,500 to fly first class on its new transcontinental p.s. offering, if they get top-notch service. That means personal DVD players, service carts decorated with fresh flowers and the fully reclining seats. Full-fare first-class ticket sales on the New York-San Francisco route are up 37% in p.s.'s first year, United says.

quite impressed as I wish UA well..but if the economy tapers off..then how will they be able to keep this up?



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineLaxintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25369 posts, RR: 49
Reply 4, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 11004 times:

Longish tread in the subject already.
WSJ: Article On United's Strategy (by ORD Jan 13 2006 in Civil Aviation)



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineSpyglass From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 110 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 10955 times:

Bankruptcy lets you try a lot of things you couldn't ordinarily do in this vein....or at least it used to....

User currently offlineIceTitan447 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 10926 times:

Quoting Spyglass (Reply 5):
Bankruptcy lets you try a lot of things you couldn't ordinarily do in this vein....or at least it used to....

Very true, but it is refreshing to see an airline make such a bold move. I have always felt UAL was a trend starter, not on everything but on some cool stuff.

Hope the best for all at Ual!


User currently offlineAirCanada014 From Canada, joined Oct 2005, 1513 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 10786 times:

I wish UA good luck as I did with AC. Lets hope they are as successful as AC.

User currently offlineUadc8contrail From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1782 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 10553 times:

Quoting ATLflyer (Reply 2):
I guess p.s. is profitable...

From WSJ:

But United is finding that more people are willing to pay $4,500 to fly first class on its new transcontinental p.s. offering, if they get top-notch service. That means personal DVD players, service carts decorated with fresh flowers and the fully reclining seats. Full-fare first-class ticket sales on the New York-San Francisco route are up 37% in p.s.'s first year, United says.

ATLflyer,
did some comparison shopping and came up with some competitive fares on ua.
jfk-sfo one way fully refundable
aa-$1928.00
ua-$2269.00
i personally would pay the $341 and fly ua as the first class seats on ua are better than what aa has on the 762...

Quoting Spyglass (Reply 5):
Bankruptcy lets you try a lot of things you couldn't ordinarily do in this vein....or at least it used to....

i guess ch11 let ua become competitive(right sizing) or on the other hand made aa become more competitive on the trans con routes.....either way if you are flush with cash and need to get to the bay area in style i find it reasonable to pay 2k to get you there in comfort



bus driver.......move that bus:)
User currently offlineAASTEW From Dominican Republic, joined Oct 2001, 447 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 10430 times:

Seems as though UAL is trying to emulate CO's product! Please be careful UAL, customers aren't product sensitive. It's all about that LOW FARE in the US airline industry. If it was all about profit CO would still be profitable.

User currently offlineUnitedtristar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 10406 times:

Quoting AASTEW (Reply 9):
Seems as though UAL is trying to emulate CO's product!

I don't even know where to start telling you how wrong you are with that statement. CO has nothing even close to the PS product. Nothing even close to E+. Nothing even close to United's new intl F/C products.

Please explain your self!

-m

 airplane 


User currently offlineUAL777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 1556 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 10326 times:

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 3):

quite impressed as I wish UA well..but if the economy tapers off..then how will they be able to keep

If the economy tapers off, consumers will dump AA's crap service and jump to the better service...in this case UA.



It is always darkest before the sun comes up.
User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 59
Reply 12, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 10214 times:

Quoting UAL777 (Reply 11):
If the economy tapers off, consumers will dump AA's crap service and jump to the better service...in this case UA.

respectfully disagree...people will go for the cheapest/lowest fare...not pay for the "extras".....thats where the problem is...



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineCTHEWORLD From Mayotte, joined Dec 2004, 478 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 10096 times:

Quoting AASTEW (Reply 9):
Seems as though UAL is trying to emulate CO's product! Please be careful UAL, customers aren't product sensitive. It's all about that LOW FARE in the US airline industry. If it was all about profit CO would still be profitable.

CO and UAL, 2 class cabin vs 3 class cabin, sleeper seat vs non-sleeper etc etc etc... Additionally most of the seats sold in the two front cabin on p.s. are sold to customers who have companies have contracts with UAL, not just johnny leisure traveler, if that were the case, they would put TED planes on the route.


User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2760 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 10093 times:

Quoting AASTEW (Reply 9):
Please be careful UAL, customers aren't product sensitive.

Business travelers are product sensitive. If you fly frequently, you begin to care about things like schedule, onboard service, free upgrades, and preboarding. Some business travelers are willing to pay more to fly on an airline with a better product. This has been the strategy of CO, and is why their yields are among the highest of all airlines in the country.

It looks like UA has decided to adopt the same strategy. Good move, as UA has a lot to offer business travelers. Great network, E+, PS on a few routes. Now if they would just get rid of Ted.



It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlineMrSTL From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 468 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 10037 times:

It seems that AA and UA are headed in two different directions. I am glad to hear that at least two airlines CO and UA are still offering a respectable premium product as AA's at times has really gone downhill. All that being said it will be interesting to see who is ultimately most successful. Not everyone chooses price over service. I for one will pay somewhat more for better service. Maybe both will be successful as they serve different market niches. Time to do a status match on UA and give them a try. How is the first class on the RJ's or is it economy plus?

User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 9872 times:

Quoting MrSTL (Reply 15):
It seems that AA and UA are headed in two different directions. I am glad to hear that at least two airlines CO and UA are still offering a respectable premium product as AA's at times has really gone downhill. All that being said it will be interesting to see who is ultimately most successful. Not everyone chooses price over service. I for one will pay somewhat more for better service. Maybe both will be successful as they serve different market niches. Time to do a status match on UA and give them a try. How is the first class on the RJ's or is it economy plus?

Just to let you know starting this year AA is installing lie flat biz class seats on their 767's. Along with that on the "old style" 767's new overhead bins, new sidewall paneling and improved IFE. Next year lie flat biz class seats will be installed on their 777's. So as you can see AA is not necessarily sitting around twiddling their thumbs.

To all the folks at UAL it's nice to see that you guys are finally getting out of the woods. Best of luck.


User currently offlineATLflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 736 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 9743 times:

Does anyone have any idea what UA's new First and Business class seats will look like? I would imagine that their business product will be similiar to First on p.s. I hope they recover all the economy seats too, so they are atleast all us the same fabric or leather.

I wonder if a new IFE with AVOD is in the works as well? Thoughts?


User currently offlineTozairport From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 686 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 9657 times:

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 16):
To all the folks at UAL it's nice to see that you guys are finally getting out of the woods. Best of luck.

Thank you and right back at ya! By the way, you can take financial advice from co-workers. You just have to do a "George" and do the exact opposite of what they recommend. Works every time!  bigthumbsup 



Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
User currently offlineUAL777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 1556 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 9560 times:

Quoting MrSTL (Reply 15):
How is the first class on the RJ's or is it economy plus?

Its not bad. The seats are leather. Its not as comfortable as main-line, but it is a helluva lot better than sitting in a regular RJ or regular coach seat.

BTW, regular economy plus ROCKS!



It is always darkest before the sun comes up.
User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 59
Reply 20, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 9384 times:

hey......rather than saying "mine is better than yours" or "air carrier xyz is better than carrier lmnop"......at least we should be grateful we have a plethora of options to a vast amount of destinations at a very low price....can't say that about too many other things (well..besides computers and most other electronics)


"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineFlyguy595 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 54 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 9359 times:

Quoting MrSTL (Reply 15):
How is the first class on the RJ's or is it economy plus?


I flew on ExPlus From CHS to ORD and was some impresses with it. I had the biggest snack box I had seen probably ever with great FA's service constant refills and even got a Hot towel which is a commodity I have grown to forget about. The Front is quiet and can barely tell your flying comparable to a 747 first in quiet not size but its definitely a great stretch for a 6'4" person like myself. Keep it up UA!!!


User currently offlineUAL777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 1556 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 9179 times:

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 20):
hey......rather than saying "mine is better than yours" or "air carrier xyz is better than carrier lmnop"......at least we should be grateful we have a plethora of options to a vast amount of destinations at a very low price....can't say that about too many other things (well..besides computers and most other electronics)

You're right. Im glad I have the options available to me when I fly so when I am on UA I learn to appreciate it  Wink



It is always darkest before the sun comes up.
User currently offlineIncitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 4014 posts, RR: 13
Reply 23, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 8962 times:

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 14):
Business travelers are product sensitive. If you fly frequently, you begin to care about things like schedule, onboard service, free upgrades, and preboarding. Some business travelers are willing to pay more to fly on an airline with a better product. This has been the strategy of CO, and is why their yields are among the highest of all airlines in the country.

For the most part this statement is not accurate. Yes business travelers are product sensitive. But it almost boils down to the schedule. Frequently the decision on business travel is made because of a corporate contract, or the travel policy clauses that state that the traveler has to go on the cheapest flight available relative to comparable choices. Often the decision will be take carrier XX for $1105 as opposed to carrier YY for $1110.

This thread is grossly misnamed. A product feature that competitors can catch on in a few weeks or months is not a competitive advantage. In this case, United is just driving all competitors to improve in amenities. In the end the relative differences will be small and everybody ends up with smaller profits due to higher costs. Real competitive advantages are slots and gates in desirable airports, low costs, high efficiency, corporate contracts.

Tilton should know. There has never been a brand of gas station that focused on selling "de-luxe gas".



Stop pop up ads
User currently offlineFXramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7298 posts, RR: 85
Reply 24, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 8433 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Uadc8contrail (Reply 8):
i personally would pay the $341 and fly ua as the first class seats on ua are better than what aa has on the 762...

 checkmark 

Couldn't agree more, and there are people on there that claim to be frequent flyers of transcons and try and make a case for AA being better that UA.

Laughable.

Last time I checked, AA was only operating 762 on high density transcons and 757s outta BOS MIA to LAX SFO etc.

Regards.


25 CTHEWORLD : This comment is so blatantly wrong, I don't even know where to start, or if it dignifies a rebuttal.
26 Post contains images BMIFlyer : United is a great airline, and is why I have continued to fly on them. The international product does need updating yes, but right now, having flown i
27 Stitch : Do not forget the power of frequent flier programs and elite status to business travellers. Unlike leisure travellers, businessfolk do not spend thei
28 Post contains images DLKAPA : Why are you posting a 3 year old article? Uhhh dude you realise that CO is profitable...right? I mean I want to think you're joking cause that statem
29 Jacobin777 : incorrect, AA use a plethora of planes....only BOS-west coast doesn't use a twin..and 763's are used for transcon flights....
30 Halls120 : Couldn't agree more. When I'm on UA in E+, I can use the laptop and get work done. On DL and AA in coach, forget it, unless I can snag an exit row. O
31 ATLflyer : Incitatus: Sorry, but this thread is not "grossly misnamed." Here is the definition of a competitive advantage: "A competitive advantage is an advanta
32 DTWAGENT : UA is doing something different then other carriers. I know that on ORD-HNL or ORD-OGG services they are still offering a free decent meal in economy
33 FA4UA : Excluding PS, all complementary meal service ceased in June 05 domestically including our Hawaiian flights. We do offer a variety of snack boxes and
34 Uadc8contrail : DTW, WN,CO &AA are still making cash and they stopped paying out commision...give airtran and the others a few quarters of positive cash flow and the
35 Incitatus : Which is unsustainable. Thus it has no staying power and can't be described as a competitive advantage. Slots in desirable airports, yes, United has
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
United Airlines New Livery Unveiled? posted Mon Feb 2 2004 10:33:41 by EK413
John W. Creighton Is United Airlines New Ceo! posted Mon Oct 29 2001 14:15:05 by 777-500ER
United Airlines New Look? Interiors? posted Sat Apr 8 2000 03:45:49 by DeltaMD11
United Airlines B744 In New Colors posted Mon Apr 12 2004 18:56:01 by RG777
United Mayanmar Airlines-New Carrier posted Mon Jun 30 2003 12:24:45 by Airmale
New Color-scheme For United Airlines? posted Mon Jul 22 2002 22:34:11 by Tallguy14
New United Airlines Livery? posted Sat Dec 2 2000 06:53:58 by Sp400cdt
Something new from United Airlines posted Fri Feb 5 1999 03:18:30 by United777
Possible United Airlines Service From MAN? posted Wed Nov 15 2006 14:47:47 by 8herveg
United Airlines @SLC Pre-Deregulation, 1978 posted Wed Nov 15 2006 08:42:17 by SLCUT2777