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UA Global First Question  
User currently offlineklwright69 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jan 2000, 2046 posts, RR: 3
Posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 7017 times:

I have question about UA's global first.

Right now it seems the "new UA" is interesting in terms of which routes have this product. I think it is a good call to retain an F product for some routes.

The sCO routes of EWR-BRU and EWR-ZUR are now served by sUA aircraft with an F class product, which makes abundant sense. UA wasted no time in implementing this.

LAX-NRT will lose global first once the 787 comes to the route. Paying customers will take an Asian carrier with F on that route most likely.

I am just quite surprised there has not been more reshuffling of aircraft.

I find it odd that UA has F on all sUA flights to LHR and no F on all sCO routes to LHR still. This is the same situation for NRT and HKG. Some flights from IAD-LHR (757 ones) obviously don't have F, but the others do.

It is interesting that DXB and Kuwait have F but TLV does not.

I am aware that few people actually pay for an international F product. Therefore I am a little shocked that so many international UA routes still have the F cabin.

I would like to hear any thoughts on what future routes will gain or lose the F cabin on UA international routes. The status quo seems like a mish mash.

Like is F really profitable from ORD and LAX to LHR, yet not feasible on the soon to be 3 flights from IAH-LHR? It just seems a little random.

I was expecting a lot more retooling of the UA network in relation to Global F. But I was wrong.

[Edited 2012-10-28 03:53:49]

[Edited 2012-10-28 03:56:04]

58 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4006 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 6987 times:
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EWR-BRU is going back to a two-class 764.


I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineklwright69 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jan 2000, 2046 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6903 times:

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 1):
EWR-BRU is going back to a two-class 764.

When?


User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4006 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6858 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

November 4. Initially the change was to last three weeks only, but it was made permanent a bit later.


I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31003 posts, RR: 86
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 6685 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting klwright69 (Thread starter):
Therefore I am a little shocked that so many international UA routes still have the F cabin.

pmUA had just invested a significant amount of money in overhauling the First Class product on the 747, 767 and 777 fleet so to then go and rip it out sounds a bit counter-productive.

Are all the 787s and A350s planned to be delivered with BusinessFirst?


User currently offlineneveragain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 6675 times:

Quoting klwright69 (Thread starter):
I would like to hear any thoughts on what future routes will gain or lose the F cabin on UA international routes. The status quo seems like a mish mash.

Count me in as wanting to know the rationale behind the changes that have been made thus far. Most of the switches have been only between EWR and IAD, no? Were these just trial balloons to see how the markets responded? Maybe the summer 2014 schedule will be more indicative of a "grand plan."


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25416 posts, RR: 49
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6588 times:

F class is going to become an obsolete offering for the new UA imo.

Also I have yet to see aircraft scheduling be driven on whether F class is avail or not, but instead ,based on things like total seat capacity, aircraft performance, crewing, and station issues instead.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineneveragain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6502 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 4):

pmUA had just invested a significant amount of money in overhauling the First Class product on the 747, 767 and 777 fleet so to then go and rip it out sounds a bit counter-productive.

All of this occurred pre-merger. AA has already announced it's eliminating F in many longhaul aircraft.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 6):

F class is going to become an obsolete offering for the new UA imo.

Agreed.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 6):
Also I have yet to see aircraft scheduling be driven on whether F class is avail or not, but instead ,based on things like total seat capacity, aircraft performance, crewing, and station issues instead.

That's probably what's driving it and is the best explanation for why otherwise premium-heavy routes like EWR-LHR haven't seen 3-class aircraft, but the fact that there has been some switching around on certain routes leads me to think that there may be some "testing of the waters" for market response.

But perhaps it really comes down to aircraft utilization.


User currently offlineboilerla From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 365 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6453 times:

Even though certain routes are premium heavy, they still don't make sense to have an F cabin on them in the current fleet. For example EWR-LHR has mostly 752s on it because UA wants to go for frequency. If pmUA had a TATL 752 configured with F they might use it on that route but as it is, they would have to use a 772--too much capacity for the route.

IAH-LHR on the other hand might be able to use it, but AFAIK there's no pmUA crew base there, so they'd have to reposition a 3 class 772 into Houston which may have killed any yields on the LHR leg.

I imagine they're still shuffling things around, and taking into account crew bases and such, it's going to be a while before they figure it out.


User currently offlineneveragain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6426 times:

Quoting boilerla (Reply 8):
If pmUA had a TATL 752 configured with F they might use it on that route but as it is, they would have to use a 772--too much capacity for the route.

No, they would use a 763, which has a mere 7 more seats than the TATL 757.


User currently offlineVC10er From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 2899 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6413 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I think we would all be surprised how many people pay for United Global First. A dear friend who is a supervisor for UA in Brazil told me about half or more of the cabin sells. Of the 8 F suites 4 to 5 have paid full price, the rest are upgraded with systemwide certificates or award seats. Rarely does a 777 come in with empty seats in F, but on the return there are empty F seats sometimes. The 764 with 2 class are always packed and the majority are paying pax.

He said sometimes he is just flabbergasted at how much $$$$ people pay for First.

He doesn't know if the total money F brings in covers the cost of the real estate it takes up on a 772.

Why didn't UA ever buy a 777-300?



The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
User currently offlineklwright69 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jan 2000, 2046 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6394 times:

Maybe UA is just taking it real slow.

User currently offlineneveragain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6378 times:

Quoting VC10er (Reply 10):
I think we would all be surprised how many people pay for United Global First. A dear friend who is a supervisor for UA in Brazil told me about half or more of the cabin sells. Of the 8 F suites 4 to 5 have paid full price, the rest are upgraded with systemwide certificates or award seats. Rarely does a 777 come in with empty seats in F, but on the return there are empty F seats sometimes. The 764 with 2 class are always packed and the majority are paying pax.

Possibly, but it's hard not to take these statements like "the front cabin is always full of paying passengers" with a grain of salt. How could you even know? Do you conduct a survey walking around the cabin asking what fare class each person booked? If you want to be completely disingenuous, the UA agent even has an incentive to tell you most people are paying. Sounds much better than, "Nope, you're the only sucker who pays full price." Still, even the statistics you quote are not very good. A 50% load factor doesn't make it sound to me that those seats are paying their way. Not trying to be rude, or single your post out, but just think about it.

But let's say there are routes out there that do generate strong paid F traffic (and I'm sure there are). I'd say for every 1 of them, there are probably 5 others for which demand is close to nonexistent (e.g., IAD or ORD to FCO). If that's the case, you can see why an airline wouldn't want to outfit an entire fleet with 3-cabin aircraft because the opportunity cost of not replacing those seats with more C or Y seats is too high, especially in economic times like these.

I do believe that F is dying on most airlines. AA and LH are pulling out seats. DL, KL, SK, and many others (even QR) don't even have the product.


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10432 posts, RR: 14
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6322 times:

This statement:

Quoting klwright69 (Thread starter):

Right now it seems the "new UA" is interesting in terms of which routes have this product. I think it is a good call to retain an F product for some routes.

Seems to conflict with this one:

Quoting klwright69 (Thread starter):
I am aware that few people actually pay for an international F product. Therefore I am a little shocked that so many international UA routes still have the F cabin.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineklwright69 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jan 2000, 2046 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6321 times:

Quoting neveragain (Reply 12):
I do believe that F is dying on most airlines. AA and LH are pulling out seats. DL, KL, SK, and many others (even QR) don't even have the product.

I agree. But EK and Singapore definitely have F all over the place. QR does not have F?

International F always seemed like a dinosaur. I never understood why sUA was so committed to it. But obviously it works someplaces for sUA otherwise it would have been dumped system wide.

CO was ahead of the curve with BF.

[Edited 2012-10-28 11:00:08]

User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6295 times:

It would be dumb to get rid of Global First. Plenty of markets need the F cabin.

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 14):
CO was ahead of the curve with BF.

Not really. Perhaps on a catering standard but that's about it. By 2008 CO was behind the curve with BF. They had no lie flat seats installed and claimed they didn't need to install them because their soft product was "so great"

Quoting boilerla (Reply 8):
For example EWR-LHR has mostly 752s on it because UA wants to go for frequency.

Still wondering if this will ever change. They have the frequency thing going but I noticed the 10:05pm flight is almost always empty. Perhaps too much frequency?



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineneveragain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6279 times:

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 14):
QR does not have F?

Nope, they do. I was wrong. Not on the 777 fleet that serves the U.S. though. My apologies.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 15):
Plenty of markets need the F cabin.

The market seems to disagree with you, as is evidenced by AA's decision to remove F seats and UA's decision to reconfigure domestic 763s with 2-class cabins.


User currently offlineCALPSAFltSkeds From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 2640 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6225 times:

Sure, there may be a draw for GF class vs. BF, but just look at how much real estate GF takes on the 763ER. There are a total of 32 premium seats on the 3 class bid (6F/26BF) vs. 30BF on the new 2 class bird. However, there are 33 more Y seats on the 2 class aircraft.

If half of the F seats are full revenue, then do those 3 tickets pay for over 30 Y seats?
With a $4000 difference in fare between GF and BF, each Y seat would only need to yield $121 if the 3 GF pax fly BF.

Also, do the 4 fewer BF seats on the 3 class vs. 2 class reject BF revenue for those who will not pay for Global F?

With today's fuel costs, can UA or anyone run aircraft with low seating density like the 763ER 3 class aircraft?

Note that the sUA 772 IPTE aircraft are more dense with the sUA 3 class aircraft having only 1 fewer total seat than sCO's 772.


User currently offlineklwright69 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jan 2000, 2046 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6216 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 13):
This statement:

Quoting klwright69 (Thread starter):

Right now it seems the "new UA" is interesting in terms of which routes have this product. I think it is a good call to retain an F product for some routes.

Seems to conflict with this one:

Quoting klwright69 (Thread starter):
I am aware that few people actually pay for an international F product. Therefore I am a little shocked that so many international UA routes still have the F cabin.

Thanks for responding to my comments. It makes sense to me that SOME ROUTES need F on UA, and therefore have it. I am shocked that MANY ROUTES still have F on UA, when I thought the trend was away from it.

But I really don't know. That is why I started the threat.


User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5586 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6188 times:

Quoting neveragain (Reply 12):
it's hard not to take these statements like "the front cabin is always full of paying passengers" with a grain of salt. How could you even know?

You can just take a look at the manifest, anyone flying in R class is an upgrade.



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineFriendlySkies From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 4106 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6175 times:

Personally, I think a lot of the expected reshuffling WILL occur once joint CBA's have been ratified and there is no need for sUA or sCO crew bases, just a signal crew base.

I think eventually the markets UA has identified as F-worthy will be consolidated...I am sure there are plenty of sUA routes that don't warrant F, just as there are some sCO routes that could probably sell it.

Honestly, I would kind of like to see it go away eventually. I used to be a staunch supporter, but the more I think about it...business class was created as an upgraded economy class with better service and somewhat nicer seats to separate full-fare business travelers from tourists. What it has ballooned into is arguably a product that is miles and miles ahead of what F service used to be. It was such a brilliant concept that it has practically come full-circle into negating the need for a dedicated F service, and you're seeing premium economy classes appear again. Go figure.


User currently offlineneveragain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6046 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 19):
You can just take a look at the manifest, anyone flying in R class is an upgrade.

So one asks the FA for the manifest? Or hangs around in the galley and try to find it? And, even if one does this, does that person fly F on the majority of UA's longhaul routes enough to be a reliable source to make the statement "F is almost always full of paid passengers?"

I want your job if so.


User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5974 times:

Quoting neveragain (Reply 16):

The market seems to disagree with you, as is evidenced by AA's decision to remove F seats and UA's decision to reconfigure domestic 763s with 2-class cabins.

Oh really? Then why are they still in the process of reconfiguring sUA 777s IPTE with Global First? If it wasn't a seller, they wouldn't still be doing the mods in a 3-class setting.



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineneveragain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5906 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 22):
Oh really? Then why are they still in the process of reconfiguring sUA 777s IPTE with Global First? If it wasn't a seller, they wouldn't still be doing the mods in a 3-class setting.

Tommy, the point is they're not adding capacity. And 3 will be removed.

It's not going to happen overnight, but I don't see a promising future for F. I don't even understand the value proposition. You get a bigger seat? Better food and wine? Get to choose when you want to eat? Get to feel better than everyone else? And this is worth thousands of dollars more? Certainly not out of my own pocket. And we know you won't shell out $8 for seatback TV, so I'd like to think you'd agree.


User currently offlinecosyr From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 394 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5719 times:

I'm going to predict the future...Eventually the F class will go away just as it did with CO, NW, and DL. I think they will lose F and go directly to sCO BF seats, probably around the time that they retire the 744. The 787 is coming with J only, and while they say that later ships will include F, I bet they back track on that decision. If they keep the A350 orders, that will be a great opportunity to begin retiring the 77A's and get rid of all remnants of Global F. AA is all but removing it, I just don't think it sells in the US anymore.

25 tommy767 : Again, the IPTE mods are currently ONGOING. If UA didn't want Global First, they they wouldn't have taken the time to rebrand and improve the product.
26 neveragain : Based on what, Tommy? Your intuition?
27 Post contains links tommy767 : Well I'll take my gut over a.net rumors any day. Do yourself a favor and look up the seating maps on UA.com. F usually goes out full. Tonight: EWR-ZR
28 neveragain : Tommy, check every single route operated by a 3-class aircraft over the next year and then we can talk. But it doesn't matter, because we can come ba
29 RyanairGuru : That wasn't what I was getting at. I was just suggesting that a station manager or whoever VC10er was referring to would have access to that informat
30 neveragain : Of course they do--I was asking how he would know the information, but I see the confusion--apologies.
31 LAXintl : Don't be deceived by looking at bodies in F cabin seats. In reality only 30-35% of F class seats are paid for in the industry. Rest are occupied by up
32 CALPSAFltSkeds : The other flights show no upgrades, but the ORD-AMS flight shows 6 upgrades for 6 seats. This flight was operating with the new 2 class aircraft for
33 Post contains images RyanairGuru : I look forward to the inevitable tirade about how CO is ruining UA's legacy etc etc FlyerTalk would probably be a place best avoided if/when UA annou
34 neveragain : Thank you for that explanation. I had a feeling that was the case, but I had no evidence to back up such a claim. It's also worth clarifying that awa
35 neveragain : Ain't that the truth? That airline was despised by its frequent flyers long before the merger, just as it is today. For some reason, these people kee
36 jamake1 : No. Many of the 3-class 777's have not yet been reconfigured with the IPTE lie-flats. They are continuing to go in for cabin modifications and are re
37 VC10er : Please explain why you selected the word "disingenuous" in regard to my friend who is a United supervisor at a major Brazilian airport, and what he t
38 VC10er : Dear never again, I made a mistake. You did not suggest I lurk around the front galley to try and read a manifest. Apologies. I will admit I do someti
40 neveragain : I don't have any reason to think that your friend (or any airline employee) would be lying. Many people claim airline club agents as their "friends,"
41 neveragain : My post was admittedly poorly worded. What I was trying to say is that the IPTE decision was made long before the merger was announced. And LAXintl h
42 VC10er : Thank you very much for clarifying! appreciated! I only have one "dear friend" at United and he is Brazilian and only works there. I am trying to pro
43 tommy767 : It's all relative. How do you explain the 11:00pm EWR-LHR 757 flight always being 30-40% full and practically empty in BF?
44 blueflyer : I think UA is still trying to figure out what aircraft is best suited on the route overall. Each new season sees a lot of aircraft moving around the s
45 RyanairGuru : It is too late for business travellers on both ends of the route. If work finishes at 5pm you don't want to hang around for 6 hours when there are mu
46 brilondon : I be willing to bet my left nut that it has to do with the return flight, competition and the demand for a flight at that time of day.
47 neveragain : Explain what, Tommy? What are you trying to say? That some people pay for F seats? No one is arguing with you on that point. (Although you convenient
48 neveragain : VC10ER, understood. I have a close friend who works for one of the U.S.'s Big Three, and I absolutely avoid sharing any information I've received fro
49 Post contains images RyanairGuru : Unfortunately I'm not sure that the New United is too interested in consistency. I never liked the blue checkered seats, but every CO aircraft looked
50 neveragain : Touche--of course you're right! It's still difficult for me to understand the different uniforms, nonetheless the seat patterns. At least they've pai
51 Antoniemey : They're going to look like PMCO interiors. It takes time to design a new uniform and due to various factors (not the least of which is the cost invol
52 jamake1 : The inconsistencies that you've mentioned will significantly diminish after the first of the year. I've spent the past two weeks fitting customer fac
53 RyanairGuru : That's good to know, thanks for sharing. And with the interiors, does it look like all future deliveries will be sCO-style? If so, then at least it l
54 commavia : I agree, although I think the point many are making is that the list of "routes that make sense" for a true international F product is getting shorte
55 CONTACREW : The 737 Max 9s that are to replace the sUA domestic 757s will come with the sCO style interiors, so more then likely the sUA A350s will come with the
56 ual777uk : I agree with this point and given that the likes of LHR, FRA and NRT see significant daily flights by UA F, should be a must for these kind of routes
57 strfyr51 : With the new pilot contract and seniority merging you'll see a LOT more changes to equipment types presently flying any given route. There's been a p
58 klwright69 : I would not be surprised if UA retains F to Australia. Such a long flight and popular destination that well heeled travelers will likely pay for it.
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