Dc10s4ever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (7 years 11 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7408 times:
Back in the early 1990's United started an "Airline within an airline" concept called Shuttle by United. The program lasted several years, then was later integrated back into mainline United. Why did the program fail?
N1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26358 posts, RR: 76
Reply 1, posted (7 years 11 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7404 times:
Quoting Dc10s4ever (Thread starter): Back in the early 1990's United started an "Airline within an airline" concept called Shuttle by United. The program lasted several years, then was later integrated back into mainline United. Why did the program fail?
One of the big reasons it failed was because it really didn't change anything other than increasing frequency on certain western routes. The aircraft still had F cabins, the same staffing, etc.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
AirScoot From United States of America, joined May 2005, 688 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (7 years 11 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 7362 times:
I flew quite a bit up and down the west coast (LAX-SEA/LAX-PDX) in the mid 90's. In coach, most fares did not allow for preassigned seating which put them squarely up against WN on many routes. Their price structure was similar to UA's but their fare rules and restrictions were heathen. If you had a "regular" UA flight connecting to a "shuttle by united" flight any changes required a degree in advanced mathamatics and geometry to figure out.
Ultimately it turned out - IMO - to be "Southwest With First Class" rather than "Shuttle By United".
I only flew it for the miles.. and the fact that my company paid for it
Most times, yes... at least if you were flying out of a station other than LAX. At LAX it depended on how grumpy the people at the ticket counter in Terminal 8 were. The rest of the time you had to get through the throng at the gate to get them. For some reason they held back about a bajillion seats (ok.. maybe 1/2 a bajillion) for gate assignment.
Stitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30547 posts, RR: 84
Reply 6, posted (7 years 11 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 7295 times:
UA started Shuttle to compete with WN and AS along the West Coast. To improve yields, they never installed Economy Plus and to save weight, they removed the ovens and refrigeration equipment from the plane. So for a time, you could not get milk in Economy, since they could only keep enough "on ice" for First Class.
Since AS offered First Class and UA wanted to both appease their elites and try and lure full-fare passengers from WN, UA kept two rows of First Class on the Shuttle planes. In fact, UA used to offer free upgrades at the gate to Mileage Plus 1Ks.
Unfortunately for UA, the wage and non-fuel block costs of the SHT (as I refer to it) 737s were identical to those of the mainline 737 fleet, so UA's cost structure could not remain profitable at WN pricing. And with UA offering F for free to top-tier elites, they were less likely to buy an F ticket (even though fares were quite reasonable due to competition with AS).
So UA ended Shuttle as a formal program and eventually installed Economy Plus into the fleet.
Dc10s4ever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (7 years 11 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 7233 times:
My understanding of the whole "Shuttle" concept was the employees would be at much lower wages than mainline United and you could not "cross over" the fence to mainline. In essence they were two totally separate carriers and Shuttle could gain some cost advantages by a single fleet, lower wage employees, and a simplified operation in comparison to mainline UAL.
Laxintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24811 posts, RR: 46
Reply 12, posted (7 years 11 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 7204 times:
The Shuttle program eventually was discontinued and rolled into mainline ops as the reduced pay rates for the crews were eliminated by the pilot contract at the time.
Crews operating Shuttle routes had been earning a lower hourly pay rate, however made up for it via significantly improved productivity versus mainline flying.
When the cost advantage of Shuttle ops was lost there was really no reason to keep a separate operation fenced off from the remainder of United.
The Shuttle however cant be viewed as a failure. United managed to compete quite well against Southwest and defended its SFO and LAX hubs. The Shuttle was also quite innovative as it served as a test ground for many operational efficiency experiments at United which were later rolled out across the remainder of the company including various boarding techniques, e-tickets, aircraft handling procedures etc.
I somewhat miss the frequent 737 "Guppy" (UA internal nickname) flying up and down the California coast along to places like PHX & LAS. Also one benefit was free unlimited upgraded to F class for 1K flyers on Shuttle routes.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
Ramprat74 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1521 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (7 years 11 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 7185 times:
Quoting Dc10s4ever (Reply 10): My understanding of the whole "Shuttle" concept was the employees would be at much lower wages than mainline United and you could not "cross over" the fence to mainline. In essence they were two totally separate carriers and Shuttle could gain some cost advantages by a single fleet, lower wage employees, and a simplified operation in comparison to mainline UAL.
That wouldn't have worked. Most of the stations that had Shuttle flights also had mainline flights to the hubs. So you had the same people working the counters, gates, and ramp.
That might be able to work these days with Ted. There are a few stations with Ted only flights, LAS, MCO, TPA, MIA, etc.
United_fan From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 7447 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (7 years 11 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 7140 times:
I only flew 'Shuttle' once LAS-LAX-TUS & back in June 2000. I remember the fare was very cheap @ $160 r/t.
The Shuttle planes had/still have? no trolley carts,drinks were ordered and brought on a tray.
'Empathy was yesterday...Today, you're wasting my Mother-F'ing time' - Heat.
Charlienorth From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1119 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (7 years 11 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 7096 times:
The shuttle was run with pay and workrule differences for pilots, Ramp and mx procedures were also different,in SFO they might run 8-10 flights through a gate in an 8 hour shift as opposed to 6 or less in mainline ops,contrary to popular WN did not run the Shuttle out of business,as long as the Shuttle operation was in effect there was a No-layoff clause in the ALPA contract and after 9-11 it was clear that there would be lay-offs.
CWAFlyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 666 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (7 years 11 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 7090 times:
Part of the problem too was that Shuttle flew on city pairs that simply didn't make sense for a 737. Routes like LAX-SBA, LAX-PSP, and LAX-SAN. Most (and maybe all at one point) LAX-SFO flights were Shuttle and would frequently get cancelled and combined when SFO flow hit. I actually saw a couple planes in ORD a couple months ago that still had the Shuttle titles on them. I thought it was kinda funny.
Greg3322 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 205 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (7 years 11 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 7057 times:
Quoting United_fan (Reply 17): I only flew 'Shuttle' once LAS-LAX-TUS & back in June 2000. I remember the fare was very cheap @ $160 r/t.
The Shuttle planes had/still have? no trolley carts,drinks were ordered and brought on a tray.
That explains something I wondered about. I was on a former Shuttle 737-500 two weeks ago, DEN-TUL, and the cabin crew served drinks on trays instead of directly from the carts.
Travatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2173 posts, RR: 7
Reply 24, posted (7 years 11 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 7057 times:
I flew First Class on Shuttle once PHX-LAX. For a short hop, it seemed no different than mainline F/C. I remember I had a coupla beers, but I think real glassware was used, and the flight attendants weren't in any casual uniforms... It was my only experience on Shuttle, but it was a pleasant one (unlike the UA DC10 redeye to IAD I connected to that night.... oi!).
: I think it was more so to compete with WN than AS. The only Shuttle route out of Seattle was to San Francisco, which of course competed with WN to OA
: Shuttle flights had a max range. Thats why you didn't see them on the LAX-SEA runs. The LAX-PDX was just below the max range. I don't remember what th
: Didn't EconomyPlus roll out AFTER Shuttle went away?
: Indeed did. I also forgot the range limitation. In addition the Shuttle was barred from operating intra-hub flying with the exception of LAX-SFO corr
: Shuttle planes were converted to Economy Plus during 2004. Economy Plus was announced on August 5, 1999. Shuttle by United was discontinued on Octobe
: Actually- alone with the side galley and one of the rear lavs- more galley space was added ALONG with a refrigerator. It is still in use today. They
: Goodbye and good riddance. Those compactors were a piece of crap. Ditto my comments above. I've been meaning to ask for a while now, so who came up w
32 We're Nuts
: Indeed. TED is in fact the ass-end of United.
: Shuttle's legacy lives on as many, if not all, of the aircraft have not had the ovens reinstalled. Therefore, if one shows up on a route like SEA-LAX
: Weird. I distinctly recall milk not being available on Shuttle flights for some time in Economy (Hemispheres even noted the fact in the drink section
: Actually LAS is not Ted only...it has UAX flights to PSP and FAT. Same with MCO...they still have mainline service to LAX and SFO -m
: Recently, I flew BDL-ORD UA 1249 on an a/c that had a United Shuttle livery and they had not carts, you had to order them right after take-off, I thi
: I do remember that milk was not available on Shuttle flights. I think the reason that milk was not available is because of the amount of space availa
: Yup. As one FA noted when serving drinks in plastic cups "they don't let me play with the breakables".
: Most of my UA flights were Shuttle SFO-ONT / ONT-SFO. At the time I was living in Marin County so it was easier to go to SFO than OAK (airport bus-wis
: Just to add what's already been said; After United signed a very expensive pilot contract, Shuttle lost its cost advantage. Additionally, right after
: Agreed. It was an experiment like the one from CO.. They finally integrated it into mainline just like CO did to their experiment. I had never seen a
: Are you totally sure about that? I know I didn't have to walk from Portland to Seattle. They may have discontinued the route service at one point, bu
: AH Beat me to it, N1120A I agree especially with the concept of e-tickets. Shuttle invented that as a cost saving measure, now its the INDUSTRY STAND
: Honestly, UA should have dumped the 727s first, then the 732s.
: Also,UA order the -500's just for Shuttle . Also remember the white -300 Shuttles? They looked sharp when they were clean.
: Well 8 first class seats and the rest being economy was nothing different from what mainline offered in that same era. Economy plus on Ted airplanes
: They didn't run them between SEA and PDX. I was referring to LAX-SEA. You said there was no nonstop service.. I know there was nonstop LAX-PDX as wel
: They were grounded simultaneously immediately after 9/11. Refer to the second sentence in my post #40. Not quite correct. The 737-500's were in the U
: Wrong, UA ordered and were receiving the 737-500's a couple years before Shuttle By United was a twinkle in WHQ's eyes.
: Here's a routemap I made since I can't find an official one anywhere. Accurate as of Sep 2000.
: I recall flying 735s on ORD-AUS and ORD-SAT roundtrips in about 2002 or so and was never a big fan of them. 777fan
: I used to work on the Shuttle in a management position. TED is different in inflight service and seating but it is UAL's way of competing with LCC's
: Anyone else remember the airport monitors has '$huttle' with a '$' for flights to LAS & RNO on the monitors?
: I was under the impression that PDX-SFO/LAX and SEA-SFO went to Shuttle, but SEA-LAX stayed mainline. In fact, during Christmas of 1996, I remember f
: SEA-LAX was mainline- you are correct. Growing up- I flew United Shuttle between PDX-LAX and back at least once a month and often times once a week.
: Glad you like my map,took a while going through my old PAPER!! timetable. Man,I miss those.I used to drive to the airport every month and they'de have
: I miss them too. I have every one from the June 1999 when I got hired to the Fall 2001 timetable, when they stopped printing them.
: WeAreUnited,you are correct, there was SLC-LAX on Shuttle.
: That is because e+ serves other purposes, besides just servicing elites. Passengers like myself pay to get an E+ seat when checking in online, and ot
: I doubt myself so often- so Thank You United_Fan- you made my Friday. That's more sad then the fact that these are express routes now. Excuse me as I
: Excuse myself as I go for something stronger
: Looking thru my Sep 2000 timetable I found this; "United Shuttle" "United's 'airline within an airline' serves major markets in the western U.S. with
: Oh yes. I remember the white Shuttle planes. They've been retired since (even the 733s in that scheme went back to the leasors). God I hated the look
: USPIT10L,not all white shuttles went back.N366UA was the first white shuttle I flewon LAS-LAX in June 00. This plane was first in 'mainline white' Vie