FlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 6520 posts, RR: 11 Posted (9 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 20500 times:
One of my hobbies is following DOT reports. Looking at June's report, things were quite scary. Namely the complaints section. If i'm reading this right, of the 5,000+ consumer complaints filed against US airlines since January (through June which is the report's run date), UA had close to 2,000; or about 1/3. I'm guessing a lot of it has to do with the merger but looking at the big picture, it seems like they've went to the dogs in almost every category!
I just hope that they can get a handle of their operation SOON.
VC10er From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 2428 posts, RR: 9 Reply 1, posted (9 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 20236 times:
I read the same report. It confirmed 33% of complaints. I personally think 75% of the complaints come from the "switchovergate" which will take a while for the flying public to forget. I have 3 friends at United who have said that as bad as it was for passengers, it was worse for United (both CO and UA) people who had to use the new system. Especially those on the front lines. Every day after work they went home crying. I don't know what "quick res" is, but it was a PMUA thing that they lost in the merger.
I have been on UA a lot in the past 6 months, in fact today when I fly I will hit my 1K, and if you are in E+, business or first on an sCO or SUA aircraft - and they have the new seats, renovated interiors, new IFE and the improved food etc..there isn't much to complain about until you get a rotten FA. And that is rare, but it does happen.
I'm sure people will add real nightmares besides the switchover. Smisek apologized for the computer problems, but with all the loyal pax they lost I bet the board of directors beat the hell out of him.
At least the new Global First amenity kit is rather awesome
The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
loggat From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 660 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (9 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 19744 times:
That's what bean counters running airlines will do for you. Have you noticed how UA goes out of their way to tell you they are giving you a great customer experience, yet DL doesn't say it. Which one really has the better experience? The product should be speaking for itself.
There are 3 types of people in this world, those that can count, and those that can't.
par13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 5901 posts, RR: 8 Reply 4, posted (9 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 19671 times:
Quoting VC10er (Reply 1): I bet the board of directors beat the hell out of him.
To be snippy, this means what, they should have been more involved in the ground work as well as the initial go ahead.
Mergers are not done so frequently, everyone needs to step up, including the monitors of the monitors.
Directors, shareholders and some senior executives see mergers as just financial paperwork, combines both revenue streams the larger numbers give economies of scale, greater leverage, etc etc etc.
Not much attention to details is paid to the lower level managers and personnel who actually have to integrate the operations, rather than beating him up they should have ensured that additional resources were put in place to assist the lower level folks.
One thing missed is that companies have been downsizing staff for years, persons today are doing the job that 2 or 3 persons did years ago, now a massive merger activity is bought onboard and additional resouces are needed, the mantra
that one has to spend money to make money is true in mergers as well.
Software testing for something as extensive as a combined reservations network from the outside looking in seemed to have fallen down somewhere.
The BOD gettig beat up?? Not a chance!! What Will happen is they'll analyze the heck out of it and come up with some management solution to an opeational problem That Bag system has been running good around the clock for Yrars Everything fails eventually and computers rarely give any warning before they fail.
United_fan From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 7160 posts, RR: 8 Reply 6, posted (9 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 19506 times:
I flew them for the first time in 6 years in April.I was not impressed to say the least. I dont think I'll be coming back if it weren't for my $200 voucher for an earlier flight that was ,(surprise), delayed.
'Empathy was yesterday...Today, you're wasting my Mother-F'ing time' - Heat.
Nah, they will do as you said, I totally agree.
I just meant that the damage has already been done and the cause of the damage is evident, the cover up must commence.
By the time another such merger is done, new folks will be involved and they will be sure that the mistake made by those ahead will never be repeated, famous last words.
iad2cdg From United States of America, joined May 2007, 5 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (9 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 18123 times:
I was on a United flight from ORD to IAH last night that was delayed for over two hours in part due to the baggage issue. We were scheduled to depart at 8:28 and the departure was pushed back to 9:25 because the aircraft arrived late. We started boarding around 9:10. At about 9:40, the main door was closed. And then we sat. It was probably 30 minutes before an announcement was made, which consisted of the lead FA saying that he didn't know why we weren't leaving and they couldn't find a gate agent to talk to. The baggage issue was eventually explained and we left at 10:45 after sitting for over an hour (much of which was spent watching commercials for the Lincoln MKZ after the free DirectTV preview ran out shortly after they closed the main cabin door - I'm pretty sure I hate that car now).
The gate agents at ORD were pretty hostile, to the point of being borderline abusive towards the passengers. In fact, once on board, the lead FA made an announcement to say that many people had asked for comment cards to complain about the gate agents, but that they were no longer available and that we could go on-line to provide "feedback."
Once I got to IAH, and after waiting close to two hours for my checked bag to be found, I walked by a baggage handler on my way out of the terminal who told me after we made eye contact that "we told 'em that this merger wouldn't work for sh*t."
I've only lived in Houston for about a month at this point, but whenever I talk to people about traveling, they typically launch into a tirade about United, with many stating that they now look at other carriers when they need to fly, regardless of their status on United. It's too bad, given that many people seemed to really enjoy Continental. And having moved here from a Northwest city that became Delta, the contrast in merger execution is quite striking.
Let's stop praying for someone to save us and start saving ourselves. - KMFDM
rising From United States of America, joined May 2010, 237 posts, RR: 1 Reply 9, posted (9 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 17992 times:
No one believes that this merger process has been handled perfectly by United. Mistakes were made. I personally have been frustrated over the past few months with delays and cancellations to my own travel plans.
But no one today is talking about US Airways' computer disaster several years ago. Several years from now the same will apply to United. As United has said publicly, the main reason for United's issues today was the mistake of adopting the Continental Airlines best practice of having preventative service lines, where you produce time in the schedule where aircraft will go on a preplanned basis and complete work, to the United fleet and paying for it by bringing down spare aircraft. The goal was actually to raise United's completion factor the very high, admirable number Continental always had. But they couldn't make it work, yet. So they are bringing spares back up to the 15 frames they traditionally had kept on the United side until they can adopt the practice fleet wide. As Scott Kirby famously said, running a bad operation costs money, and one can bet they will address the issue.
No doubt, many of United's issues today are self-made, but the thing to think about with this data linked at the start of the thread, is that it's not apples to apples. Different airlines operate different airplanes at different hub airports with different weather. Also not all flights are considered. The data is only at "reportable airports."
Like clockwork, every few months we see a media story about the great on-time performance of Hawaiian Airlines, and company with 43 frames and 22 destinations. With the great Hawaiian weather and small fleet, the real news story would be if they were not number 1.
And just a comment on the "elite flyers leaving in droves"- an opinion based on speculation, with no data to back up the claim- it's getting tired. Someone heard someone, or someone read a comment somewhere and now all of a sudden "everyone" is leaving. And, even if it were true, if someone is driven away from your brand by one or a few bad experiences , that says more about them, than the airline.
If it doesn't make sense, it's because it's not true.
Not blaming the customer. People have every right to be upset. I know I was last week when my flight was canceled. But one cancellation does not ruin a decade of mostly great trips.
It's like if you get fired from a job. It would be a traumatic experience filled with anger. But on your death bed, you would probably think of that as a minor setback on an otherwise successful life. The same with this. They merged. They dropped the ball on some things. You don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
If it doesn't make sense, it's because it's not true.
kgaiflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 3650 posts, RR: 1 Reply 12, posted (9 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 17710 times:
Quoting VC10er (Reply 1): I have 3 friends at United who have said that as bad as it was for passengers, it was worse for United (both CO and UA) people who had to use the new system. Especially those on the front lines. Every day after work they went home crying.
I still have employees giving me their business cards and asking me to report to the company about the good they're doing. So I suspect everyone's pulling out of the morass.
bestwestern From Ireland, joined Sep 2000, 6439 posts, RR: 58 Reply 13, posted (9 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 17538 times:
Rising, your comments in post 9 are all about blaming others. Blaming the weather, blaming different hubs, blaming reportable airports, blaming fickle passengers, blaming the fact that UA is big, etc ad nausium. Again, perhaps the Blame is on United, rather than everything else.
Quoting rising (Reply 11): But one cancellation does not ruin a decade of mostly great trips.
That one cancellation may be the tipping point in an already tarnished experience of delays, hostile staff and other cancellations.
Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 12): I still have employees giving me their business cards and asking me to report to the company about the good they're doing.
That to me sounds like nobody internally notices the hard work that some are doing, so the staff have to plead with passengers to say thanks.
Quoting rising (Reply 9): and company with 43 frames and 22 destinations.
A smaller airline is more affected if an aircraft goes tech, as a higher % proportion of their fleet is AOG. With united, they have more services to cover AOGs with.
traindoc From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 309 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (9 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 17355 times:
The new UA is certainly not the old CO that I flew and enjoyed. But little by little the new UA is getting its act together. My last trip was SAT-IAH-DCA-ORD-OMA-IAH-SAT over 6 days. Six flights in all involving" old" CO mainline, "old" UA mainline and UA express. Only one late flight, the last leg, (and only 15 minutes) waiting for late connecting pax.
If I go to DL, I start all over as a minnow in a big pond, even though I have 800,000 Sky miles. If I go to AA, I get the management hating crews and most likely a US/AA merger. (If US has yet to integrate their pilot groups, can we expect labor peace at the new AA?)
So I stick with UA as a 1K. (At least a bigger minnow.) Better the devil I know, than the devil I don't.
mayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 9197 posts, RR: 14 Reply 15, posted (9 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 17166 times:
Quoting bestwestern (Reply 13): Quoting rising (Reply 9):
and company with 43 frames and 22 destinations.
A smaller airline is more affected if an aircraft goes tech, as a higher % proportion of their fleet is AOG. With united, they have more services to cover AOGs with.
But, it's also much easier for a smaller airline to maintain a better on-time record, which makes the media reports an apples to oranges comparison and not very valid.
Quoting iad2cdg (Reply 8): I've only lived in Houston for about a month at this point, but whenever I talk to people about traveling, they typically launch into a tirade about United, with many stating that they now look at other carriers when they need to fly, regardless of their status on United. It's too bad, given that many people seemed to really enjoy Continental.
IIRC, I thought that much of the current UA management was ex-CO, moved from Houston to Chicago?
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
PITingres From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 959 posts, RR: 12 Reply 16, posted (9 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 16986 times:
Quoting rising (Reply 9): But no one today is talking about US Airways' computer disaster several years ago. Several years from now the same will apply to United.
I don't talk about the US computer meltdown, but I don't fly US if I can help it, either. Any UA manager who thinks that it will all just go away naturally needs to be fired. I sure hope that UA is moving in the right direction, but it's not going to happen by managers (or staff) believing their own PR about how everything is just fine.
SSTeve From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 434 posts, RR: 0 Reply 17, posted (9 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 16958 times:
Quoting traindoc (Reply 14): Only one late flight, the last leg, (and only 15 minutes) waiting for late connecting pax.
They don't seem to know how to do this at Dulles. I was in row 3 of a mysteriously delayed 739, and I got to the A gates to find my flight had just left. So I then, of course, got to watch everyone else in my plane arrive in a sweat to be told the same thing for a few other flights in the same bank. It was infuriating. And that said-- do they teach gate agents to at least say, "I'm sorry?" Because there was none of that... there was more a feeling that screwing people over in this way was routine. Really? Eye rolls for the people who got on the mobile lounge when their flight said "boarding?" Yeah, it's *so* ridiculous for them to be a bit exasperated to find that you were merrily closing out flights for the last bank of the day.
So I got in a day late, and then found they'd lost one bag, while the other had made the connection the night before. I mention this all not because I want sympathy, or because I think this is an atypically horrible experience, but because I tend to wonder whether other operational things are suffering, still, perhaps because the IT stuff has been so screwy, some employees/contractors seem disinclined to do anything more than the minimum required of them? On the way back, I listened to two gate agents argue over whether it was worth it to add a 50th passenger to a flight. I felt like taking the side of the guy arguing for the passenger! Maybe United ought to as well.
Beardown91737 From United States of America, joined Jun 2011, 214 posts, RR: 0 Reply 18, posted (9 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 16272 times:
Quoting par13del (Reply 4): Software testing for something as extensive as a combined reservations network from the outside looking in seemed to have fallen down somewhere.
This is why someone should get beat up. It may be Smisek being beat up, or it may be Smisek identifying the "yes men" who said they were ready for the cutover and beating them up.
After seeing the bad IT integration at US it should have been a priority to make this go well. Whether long term fliers stay or go, the immediate impact is the cost on the day of the failures. That is why UA would have done better with making the integration smooth than rushing a date for the cutover so that they could start saving on the integrated operations.
Quoting iad2cdg (Reply 8): I've only lived in Houston for about a month at this point, but whenever I talk to people about traveling, they typically launch into a tirade about United, with many stating that they now look at other carriers when they need to fly
As much as people say this, United has the bulk of the non-stops out of IAH. Customers may look elsewhere for routes that already were going to require them to connect, (IAH-DFW-GRR on AA vs. IAH-ORD-GRR on UA for example), but likely are not going to be so mad as to condemn themselves to making a stop on the way for every trip that isn't to one of the other carrier's hubs.
From a distance, you would get the sense that Houston has a pre-disposal toward anger at the name United and towards losing the HQ that had been taken from Los Angeles 30 years ago on CO's first trip from first to worst.
Not that I agree this is a first to worst journey. After Lorenzo took over, CO really wasn't flying where I was going, so my only CO experience after 1980 was after the merger and the main thing I noticed was the FAs walking through the terminals ranting about the merger.
Alnicocunife From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 110 posts, RR: 0 Reply 19, posted (9 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 15858 times:
Continental (Now UAL) From First To Worst? Just wait until AA and USAir merge. United will look like you are in a private jet with 100+ of your best friends! And nobody will remember a few bad UA experiences.
calpilot From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 995 posts, RR: 15 Reply 20, posted (9 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 15808 times:
Quoting VC10er (Reply 1): I'm sure people will add real nightmares besides the switchover. Smisek apologized for the computer problems, but with all the loyal pax they lost I bet the board of directors beat the hell out of him.
Yeah... They gave him a beating; a $14 Million one. "Ugh"!
AirCalSNA From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 270 posts, RR: 0 Reply 21, posted (9 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 15678 times:
Having sworn off UA years ago, despite my home airport being SFO, and in light of the ongoing customer-service problems post-merger, I am coming to the conclusion that UA employees are borderline sabotaging their employer. Get your acts together people!
kgaiflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 3650 posts, RR: 1 Reply 24, posted (9 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 14843 times:
Quoting SSTeve (Reply 17): They don't seem to know how to do this at Dulles. I was in row 3 of a mysteriously delayed 739, and I got to the A gates to find my flight had just left. So I then, of course, got to watch everyone else in my plane arrive in a sweat to be told the same thing for a few other flights in the same bank. It was infuriating. And that said-- do they teach gate agents to at least say, "I'm sorry?" Because there was none of that... there was more a feeling that screwing people over in this way was routine.
Over at the ground-level A gates, most of the gate agents speak multiple languages -- except clear English. Always speak to them slowly since they actually may not understand what you are saying. The Customer Service people in ground-level A are slow and exasperating -- and ( at least those that actually understand English ) seem proud of it.
25 ABQopsHP: If believe the IAD agents are outsourced to Air Wisconsin. So if its a Vendor then they are less likely to go above and beyond. Just my 2 cents. JD
26 questions: This is consistent with the customer service philosophy that the customer is the enemy. Until management and labor work *together* to change this phi
27 kgaiflyer: And yet, the Air Wisconsin people operating ELP are so nice. They remember and greet me by name even though I'm only there every other month.
28 mm320cap: Seeing as how you have sworn off United, how would you have a clue? You are wrong, by the way. TERRIBLE management decisions have derailed the operat
29 flightopsguy: Bingo. The front line employees are holding the ship together as best they can. We've been flying UAL since the 1960's and this is even worse than th
30 SSTeve: IAD A gates were indeed Air Wisconsin-- it was bad enough that I looked at their badges. However, it's not like they're all forthright jerks-- they s
31 SSTeve: I tend to think that perhaps because the employees/contractors have been fighting a running battle with software or other operational changes all sum
32 C767P: Good luck finding any United agent willing to go above and beyond. Good luck finding one that isn’t rude and mean to you!
33 blueflyer: It is my experience that some of these rotten F/As are high-seniority employees and choose the same route regularly, a route I used to ply frequently
34 dstc47: My recent experiences have led me to wonder. Flight cancelled, rebooked for next day but not informed, mostly very disinterested agents, some downrigh
35 FlyASAGuy2005: Just of note, I would have though the likes of JFK and EWR would have the worst on-time rates but it was actually Dulles.
36 BC77008: You were already delayed so a cup of coffee should be ok. I mean c'mon it's your captain! Dulles airport is notorious in our system for fuckery and s
37 BC77008: Double post Double post[Edited 2012-08-12 07:37:47]
38 RyanairGuru: Having watched this merger closely from a difference, I was interested to catch my first post-merger United (albeit ExpressJet) flight yesterday. I've
39 iowaman: I think it's a bit drastic to say it's from first to worst, but tracking consumer complaints seems to be a good way to track customer satisfaction. So
40 N353SK: The A Terminal Continental Express flights are handled by DGS. Every other Continental (and Express) flight out of BCDE is handled by a Continental e
41 ual777: IAD A gates are handled by Air Wisconsin while A gates in IAH are handled by DGS. BTW, Continental doesn't exist anymore. IAD's A gates are FAR worse
42 kgaiflyer: Repeated post. Repeated post. Repeated post.[Edited 2012-08-12 12:38:07]
43 kgaiflyer: I'm talking about IAD. You're talking about IAH. See the problem?
44 LOWS: Are they running jets out of A now? I thought that was just the props (former 9L Q400s/ Continental Connection)
45 kgaiflyer: UAX RJs have always run out of *ground-level" A . Mainline sCO jets fly out of *jetbridge" A . We're talking about two different locations.