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United's Complete Lack Of Branding Strategy!  
User currently offlineseatback From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 778 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 12857 times:

With the release of United's new uniforms, which aren't bad in my opinion, I'm shocked that UA has shown no vision for a new brand platform/strategy that reflects the 'new' United. Instead, we have a 23 year old former Continental brand (that was nice for them) but shows a complete lack of creativity and vision.

Perhaps their strategy was to get the back of house in order then address the public side later.

Are there plans to address this soon or in the future?

144 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineaerowrench From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 52 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 12883 times:

Ahem, why did people complain when AA changed their brand which was much older than United/Continental's?

User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10601 posts, RR: 14
Reply 2, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 12833 times:

Quoting aerowrench (Reply 1):
Ahem, why did people complain when AA changed their brand which was much older than United/Continental's?

Well, for one thing, AA changed it before anyone was sure if there was going to be a merger. In addition to that, the "new" brand at AA is atrocious and we really don't know if it will carry on thru the merger, do we? We keep hearing vague whispers that it still may change.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20785 posts, RR: 62
Reply 3, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 12716 times:

Quoting seatback (Thread starter):
I'm shocked that UA has shown no vision for a new brand platform/strategy that reflects the 'new' United.

Why are you shocked? There's still 2 years to go from your original prediction of 5 years to rebrand (see reply #2 in the thread below):

Smisek:No Change To New United Livery (by Rising Jul 22 2010 in Civil Aviation)



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17786 posts, RR: 46
Reply 4, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 12626 times:

The brand is more consistent than it has been in at least a decade. Boring? Sure. Does anyone that matters care? No.


E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineAirport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 12494 times:

This is just my personal opinion:

The quantity of age is no way to tell a great brand. It doesn't matter whether a brand is 5 years or 50 years old, the more relevant question is: Does the company's image yield a fresh, positive emotional reaction? Not just for the consumers, but for the employees and everybody who contributes to the overall function of the organization?

When I look at UA, I sense zero passion. I sense zero heart. I sense zero vision, zero ambition to truly change the airline industry and become all that they are capable of. If the brand does not instill or inspire that ambition, then why should the employees buy into it? What really is the "idealized" UA employee? Without that heart, that vigor, or zeal or whatever you want to call it, UA will never be perceived as fresh, energetic, or exciting.

The two airline brands I look to that best exemplify passion and heart is AS and WN. And it absolutely shows in the employees. One is not the result of another, but the two feed off of each other immensely because a great brand instills great confidence.

Instead UA has chosen to focus on efficiency, consistency, style and there's nothing wrong with that per se. But there's a lot of airlines out there that are catering a brand that focuses on literally exactly the same things that the UA brand focuses on. So for the UA brand to be effective, they have to be unique and top of the class at communicating it. And frankly I feel they aren't, which is resulting in a stale, cliche, and forgettable brand. As long as this is the case it will be a major shackle to UA, because it gives the employees little reason to have confidence and emotionally buy what the airline is selling.

It kills me seeing it because UA has the potential to be so much more - a truly dramatic game changer, almost unstoppable force in the industry.

[Edited 2013-05-22 21:05:23]

User currently offlinefreakyrat From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 884 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 11743 times:
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AA lifted a version of the old United Mainliner Logo and reversed the colors.

User currently offlinemax550 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 1165 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 11641 times:

Their current strategy is an improvement over this.



It seems they do have a branding strategy now. Whether you like it or not is another issue.

Personally I'm not a huge fan of the new brand but it's not even close to being UA's biggest problem right now.

[Edited 2013-05-23 14:20:35]

User currently offlineghifty From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 891 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 11542 times:

Quoting Airport (Reply 5):
This is just my personal opinion:

  

Quoting Airport (Reply 5):
The two airline brands I look to that best exemplify passion and heart is AS and WN. And it absolutely shows in the employees. One is not the result of another, but the two feed off of each other immensely because a great brand instills great confidence.

I'd add Delta to this list.



Fly Delta Jets
User currently offlineramprat74 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1541 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 11377 times:

When walking through the ORD lobby. All I can think about is Walmart's Great Value brand. Just boring and generic.




User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17786 posts, RR: 46
Reply 10, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 11341 times:

Quoting max550 (Reply 7):
Personally I'm not a huge fan of the new brand but it's not even close to being UA's biggest problem right now.

  

Quoting max550 (Reply 7):
Their current strategy is an improvement over this.

And that was a good day--three planes in the same scheme nose to tail 



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineseatback From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 778 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 11244 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 3):
Why are you shocked? There's still 2 years to go from your original prediction of 5 years to rebrand

I can't believe I said 5 years. That's an eternity in this business.


User currently offlineLDVAviation From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 1101 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 11130 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 4):
The brand is more consistent than it has been in at least a decade. Boring? Sure. Does anyone that matters care? No.

That is the crux of the matter. I dare say no one here has been queried by AA's or UA's executive offices on the subject. For the record, I know AA has been making those calls.


User currently offlineEASTERN747 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 554 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 10849 times:

Consumer Report today reports VX #1........Spirit last......UA/AA/DL down at bottom.....what does that say?

User currently offlinekaitakfan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1588 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 10554 times:

Holy crap RampRat... you just nailed it right on the head... The new United does have the generic Wal Mart feel to it...ZERO creativity, ZERO passion for the product. Just simply... here is our airline, we fly planes with seats to different cities. After growing up in the United family, it really is painful to now relate United to Wal Mart.

User currently offlinestaralliance85 From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 201 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 10493 times:

I think the Former Continental livery for the New United is great!! It has only been 14 months since United-Continental officially merged as one carrier. They are doing a much better job than DL!!


brad Fitzpatrick
User currently offlinejayunited From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 1023 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 10406 times:

I've been thinking about the Brand as well and I've been wondering when United would take up the branding issues. Our website is old and outdated, the livery represents Continental's past and not United's future and our cabins which represents branding as well are not in sync and we probably won't see a single harmonious cabin on the widebody fleet for quite some time because in my opinion the combine United does not want to spend the money to come up with an all new business class cabin that provides all passengers direct access to the isle. So from a branding standpoint I believe that it will be years perhaps 5-8 years before the public actually gets to a a truly combined United that represents ONLY the new United and not Continental and the old United.

Employees are also a representation of branding as well and on one hand United does have employees who care about this company those employees have heart, passions, compassion and know how to serve customers, but on the other hand we have a lot of employees who are jaded, old bitter and they simply do not care about United or the customer. United needs to find a way to convince those employees to move on so the the new United can go forward because we are hiring a lot of new people off the street however there are a lot of employees from both Continental and United who can't let go of the past and as long as they hold on to the past the new United can not move forward.


User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5297 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 10384 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 2):
In addition to that, the "new" brand at AA is atrocious and we really don't know if it will carry on thru the merger, do we?

I happen to like the new brand for AA. I remember as a kid, some of my father's friends, who were road warriors, didn't like the livery and brand that has been replaced this year, much prefering the old lightning bolt livery. It just shows that many people often don't like change, even if what is being changed really needs to be.

That said, I still don't understand why the CO people decided to stick the United name on the CO brand. It's confusing, and the tulip U was better known than the CO globe, especially in the Pacific Rim, where UA was a major player before the merger. It just shows that Jeff Smisek's ego is bigger than his understanding of brand identity. But then, he's a lawyer by education, so he probably really doesn't understand the whole concept of marketing.


User currently offlinetravelin man From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3553 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 10290 times:

Quoting kaitakfan (Reply 14):
Holy crap RampRat... you just nailed it right on the head... The new United does have the generic Wal Mart feel to it...ZERO creativity, ZERO passion for the product. Just simply... here is our airline, we fly planes with seats to different cities. After growing up in the United family, it really is painful to now relate United to Wal Mart.

How is this different from how United has ever been? I've been a frequent flyer with UA for 20 years. But I've never thought to myself "oh boy, I get to fly on United".

I've actually had really good experiences with them on my last three flights (LAX-LHR, CDG-EWR, EWR-LAX). And I do think some issues are overblown on this and other sites.

But the UA branding has NEVER been a strong point, IMO. They will get you from point A to point B, and hopefully without too much hassle. It's pretty much the standard expectations of the US airline industry, unfortunately.

Beyond Southwest and (maybe) JetBlue, which airline actually has a good brand strategy?

I like Delta's "Up" commercials, but see them pretty infrequently. That's the only one that comes to mind.


User currently offlineF9animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5116 posts, RR: 28
Reply 19, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 10238 times:

Yes, ramprat74 nailed the head of the nail hard! LOL! It is indeed a boring product. I also agree with others, the livery is just plain. I actually thought CO's name on the fuselage was better looking. I think most of this falls on the leadership of the company.


I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineHOmSaR From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1202 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 10238 times:

Quoting seatback (Reply 11):
I can't believe I said 5 years. That's an eternity in this business.

No it's not.

It takes airlines 2-3 years just to complete a merger.

Airlines are ordering planes today for delivery in 2018-2020.

Unless you're Delta in the late 1990s/early 2000s, you don't rebrand every 5 years.

Five years is nothing.



I was raised by a cup of coffee.
User currently offlinestaralliance85 From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 201 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 9717 times:

Quoting ckfred (Reply 17):
That said, I still don't understand why the CO people decided to stick the United name on the CO brand. It's confusing, and the tulip U was better known than the CO globe, especially in the Pacific Rim, where UA was a major player before the merger. It just shows that Jeff Smisek's ego is bigger than his understanding of brand identity. But then, he's a lawyer by education, so he probably really doesn't understand the whole concept of marketing.

CO under Bethune to Smisek made a huge comeback. CO became a great airline with by having the newest fleet and having great customer service. Their product was way more superior to UA, DL, AA, NW and US. They were the only US airline to be in competition with foreign airlines that have a good product. I agree with Jeff Smisek that taking the Continental philosophy to United will prosper in the long run. I admit it is a very difficult task to get the pre-merger UA people to get use to it but it will take time. For example, I think it should be a priority to rip out the UA pre-merger style Global First and the Herringbone BusinessFirst seats. They should put the pre-merger Continental BusinessFirst seats on all the long haul flights. If the UA people refuse to get use to the CO philosophy then they should hire new very willing people that will deliver great customer service.



brad Fitzpatrick
User currently offlineSulley From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 537 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 9521 times:

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 21):
For example, I think it should be a priority to rip out the UA pre-merger style Global First and the Herringbone BusinessFirst seats.

Why?!

I'm from the CO side of the house and I am a strong supporter of keeping Global First on premium routes that demand a first class product.



In thrust we trust!
User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5906 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 9309 times:

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 21):
CO under Bethune to Smisek made a huge comeback. CO became a great airline with by having the newest fleet and having great customer service. Their product was way more superior to UA, DL, AA, NW and US

I agree 100%, especially 95-01 CO was a truly fantastic airline. That said...

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 21):
I agree with Jeff Smisek that taking the Continental philosophy to United will prosper in the long run.

I don't. It died. The Bethune culture was dying pre-merger under Smisek (by 08 CO was not what it once was) who was focussed only on nickel and diming, and had no interest in Gordon's legacy.

He kept it on as marketing bs, but it was becoming increasingly irrelevant. With the merger it died completely.

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 21):
think it should be a priority to rip out the UA pre-merger style Global Firs

I do find myself wondering if you're just trolling  

If you're not then it's time to move on. Continental is dead. I've been a OnePass member practically since I was born, I grew up on Continental Airlines flights, I probably had more diapers changed at EWR than at home. Believe me, I honestly feel that CO is part of my past even though I've nothing to do with them other than being a very frequent flyer during my formative years. At first I was upset by this merger, it felt like part of my childhood was dying, the same way that people get emotional when the forest they used to play gets turned into a housing development or whatever it is.

But we've got a new company now. If we keep trying to ram everything Continental down the United folks' throats then all that we achieve is more and more antipathy towards the great company we knew and loved. Read the posts of some people here and (especially) on FlyerTalk and you will see that a number of people blame Continental for every single fault at the new carrier. By continually reinforcing the "Continental was great" and "everything we did was better" message, all that we do is add fuel to that fire. That's why I'm pi**ed of Smisek, because of his incompetence (for the record, at both UA and CO) people seem to conflate the generally dire condition of executive leadership at United with Continental.

In the end I resolved that the best thing to do was for everyone (from both sides) to get behind the new airline. Why? Because this bitterness is not going to go away otherwise, and instead we will continue to see Continental's legacy trashed and dragged through the dirt. I don't want to see that. Rather I want to see the legacy of two great airlines create an even better one. That is the best homage that we can pay Gordon, I'm sure that it's what he would have wanted.



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineKGRB From United States of America, joined Sep 2010, 721 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 9154 times:

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 15):
It has only been 14 months since United-Continental officially merged as one carrier. They are doing a much better job than DL!!

Do you care to expound on that statement? DL/NW have been fully integrated for over two years now. Perhaps you were thinking of WN/FL? (Which has been a disaster, IMO.)

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 13):
Consumer Report today reports VX #1........Spirit last......UA/AA/DL down at bottom.....what does that say?

When VX actually makes a profit, we'll talk.



Δ D E L T A: Keep Climbing
User currently offlineVC10er From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 2972 posts, RR: 13
Reply 25, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 9507 times:
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Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 21):

Not Continental's hard product! The BF "chair" was behind all others, (the most uncomfortable in the sky and the angled disaster for ULH was worse!) yet they had the stones to stick the word First on the end of Business? Yes, service used to be great! And it did have the best food. But CO always fell short in the seat dept.

You all know what I think of UA branding (which is different than brand):
United hired one of the best, if not the best, design agency in the world: Pentagram. Then canned Pentagram upon merger, went back to CO's Lippencott who only creates very low-risk, unremarkable design. They really are a brand strategy consultancy with an art department. Sad.

And the advertising is even so much more sad.

And I like United a lot!



The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
User currently offlinebrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4389 posts, RR: 2
Reply 26, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 9310 times:

Quoting kaitakfan (Reply 14):
Holy crap RampRat... you just nailed it right on the head... The new United does have the generic Wal Mart feel to it...ZERO creativity, ZERO passion for the product. Just simply... here is our airline, we fly planes with seats to different cities. After growing up in the United family, it really is painful to now relate United to Wal Mart.

This is what we are getting with all the consolidation in the industry, the individual companies realize that they have basically created an oligopoly and don't really need to have that eye catching brand, just put it out there and if you need to go to a certain city, the airline that serves that city is what you get stuck on and very little choice or alternative. Why should airlines spend any more money on branding that they have to. Lack of competition creates complacency and staleness of product which we see with UA. Yes, Walmart is a good comparison as in the retail industry there are few true rivals to Walmart so they are just blah in the branding and so goes UA.



Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlineairportugal310 From Tokelau, joined Apr 2004, 3685 posts, RR: 2
Reply 27, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 9450 times:

Quoting KGRB (Reply 24):
When VX actually makes a profit, we'll talk.

I'm having a really hard time understanding your logic...

Are you suggesting that since an airline doesn't consistently make money, that they aren't allowed to be good at what they do?



I sell airplanes and airplane accessories
User currently offlineKGRB From United States of America, joined Sep 2010, 721 posts, RR: 1
Reply 28, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 9405 times:

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 27):
Are you suggesting that since an airline doesn't consistently make money, that they aren't allowed to be good at what they do?

I'm suggesting that an airline's goal, as with any other business, is to make a profit. DL, AS, B6, WN, US and many other carriers are doing that quite well right now. VX, on the other hand, has lost money every single quarter they've been around. Does that sound like a viable business strategy to you?



Δ D E L T A: Keep Climbing
User currently offlinebrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4389 posts, RR: 2
Reply 29, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 9376 times:

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 27):
Are you suggesting that since an airline doesn't consistently make money, that they aren't allowed to be good at what they do?

I get what was being said. Yes, if an airline does not make money on a consistent basis then they have to look at their entire operation and fix it or they will end up like Skybus, Royal, PanAm, Canjet, etc.



Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlineTWA772LR From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 2344 posts, RR: 1
Reply 30, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 9366 times:

Quoting jayunited (Reply 16):
single harmonious cabin on the widebody fleet

The widebody cabins are being worked on. The sUA 763s are being configured to sC) 764 standards and the same for the 777s. The only one that is the oddball is the 747 and its days are numbered so it won't make since to refurbish those.

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 21):
pre-merger UA people to get use to it but it will take time.

sUA employees can be viewed like a girl who just got out of a bad relationship that has trust issues as a result; which is totally understandable given the circumstances. And the sCO employees are upset because after they saw CO comeback from near-CH7 BK, and become the leading airline of the world, and they feel their history has been erased to a seemingly inferior airline. The old UA management screwed them over their employees and just treated them like crap. The old UA just didn't have great leadership, especially when they needed it most post 9/11 and in BK.

[Edited 2013-05-23 20:35:17]


Go coogs! \n//
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10601 posts, RR: 14
Reply 31, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 9138 times:

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 13):
Consumer Report today reports VX #1........Spirit last......UA/AA/DL down at bottom.....what does that say?

It says that you can pour all the money you want into your airline, for shiny new planes, "cool" interiors, etc., but if you don't have a viable plan to make money, eventually, those shiny new planes are going to get parked and Virgin American will just become another PA, TW, EA, etc., thrown up on the heap of failed airlines.

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 30):
leading airline of the world

I think there may be a few airlines, specifically overseas, that might dispute that assertion.

Quoting HOmSaR (Reply 20):
Unless you're Delta in the late 1990s/early 2000s, you don't rebrand every 5 years.

Just for the heck of it, check UA's liveries from about the mid 70s until now and tell me how many different ones you find. I think you may find more than DL's.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineseahawk From Germany, joined May 2005, 1238 posts, RR: 0
Reply 32, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 8993 times:

Liveries are overrated in this forum. If they want to improve the brand, they need to improve the product. that means get a homogeneous cabin product for the long haul fleet, get the 2 airlines merged into one by setting one standard service level, improve the website. A flashy new livery does nothing to improve the customer experience.

User currently offlineairportugal310 From Tokelau, joined Apr 2004, 3685 posts, RR: 2
Reply 33, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 8945 times:

Quoting KGRB (Reply 28):
Quoting brilondon (Reply 29):

You are both correct that losing money is obviously not a great business strategy. I oughta know...that's what a do for a living.

However the original comment I quoted to was to a comment regarding CR's award to VX as being #1 at something. For that they don't have to be making money to be great at what they are doing at present. Could it come back to bite them? Sure. But what's the alternative? Suck more with your product because your business plan sucks?

I just don't understand the constant hate on VX here...that's all.



I sell airplanes and airplane accessories
User currently offlineF9animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5116 posts, RR: 28
Reply 34, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 8905 times:

Remember UA's "Rising" branding? I really thought UA was on the right track. Empowering employees to do the right thing, and take care of the customer. The product was great, and service seemed to be headed in the right direction. I was employed with UA during this time, and the campaign was like a breath of fresh air. We had tools to use when ops becamea problem. I remember the $25.00 gift vouchers we had on hand to give out when a passenger was wronged. The new chef, and wine selections. I mean, that program is something that UA should consider modeling after.


I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineHSVflier From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 118 posts, RR: 0
Reply 35, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 8895 times:

Having flown Globalfirst on United in the last few weeks and Delta in Coach.....have to say the United experience was very bland and Delta just seemed a much fresher experience. I honestly believe United should get rid of First class and improve their Business product, to cramped in business compared to Delta. the service in Bizelite is far superior in my expereince to the United business model. GlobalFirst on United on both my flights was mainly united employees on vacation. I think United can still offer a great product but from my observation they seem lost for lack of a better word.


Flown DL, UA, CO, WN, LH, TZ, WO, AA, US, LO, HA, PX, NW, KE, AB, QR, LX, EE, 5Y
User currently offlineVC10er From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 2972 posts, RR: 13
Reply 36, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week ago) and read 8563 times:
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"But we've got a new company now. If we keep trying to ram everything Continental down the United folks' throats then all that we achieve is more and more antipathy towards the great company we knew and loved. Read the posts of some people here and (especially) on FlyerTalk and you will see that a number of people blame Continental for every single fault at the new carrier. By continually reinforcing the "Continental was great" and "everything we did was better" message, all that we do is add fuel to that fire. That's why I'm pi**ed of Smisek, because of his incompetence (for the record, at both UA and CO) people seem to conflate the generally dire condition of executive leadership at United with Continental. "

I AGREE 100% with the above. The United brand is solely driven by its holistic product. The branding is the visual expression. Every CEO has their role then moves on. If Tilton's job was to make United ready to be sold, Smisek's job was to manage the huge integration...a virtually no-win thankless job and we can start 10 threads about why we don't like him or what we think he did wrong. But the USA lost United and Continental. Now it's an impressive and huge operation with the worlds best network and hubs. Now United needs a healer and a visionary. It also needs us to come to terms with the loss of the 2 airlines we loved and cheer for the success of the new entity. We all have opinions: some say rip out Global First, I say keep it. Current BF isn't good enough to be the sole premium product. Especially on flights over 8 hours.

But let's be positive and hope United looks around and realizes being the biggest and most profitable isn't sustainable without a brand to be proud of. If they do have a great turn around, then they can paint new peacock feathers on their fleet!



The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
User currently offlinejayunited From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 1023 posts, RR: 2
Reply 37, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 8507 times:

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 21):
I think it should be a priority to rip out the UA pre-merger style Global First and the Herringbone BusinessFirst seats. They should put the pre-merger Continental BusinessFirst seats on all the long haul flights. If the UA people refuse to get use to the CO philosophy then they should hire new very willing people that will deliver great customer service.

The Global First seat is still on sUA planes not because sUA employees as trying to hold on to the past the reason those seats are still on sUA planes is because prior to the merger all UA international aircraft were 3 class cabin and our customers were use to that. Had Jeff came in and did what you are suggesting and ripped first class off all sUA planes he would have pissed off a lot of people and he would have cost United a lot of corporate contracts. People in general do not like drastic changes that include customers and employees however now since the merger pmUA customers now understand that depending on what hub they leave from on a international flight they might be on a plane that has Global First and they might not. If you ease people into change you will find that they won't complain as much. Now is there a need for Global First not really but is pmCO Businessfirst seat the best product in the international market as you suggest ABSOLUTELY NOT. Both sCO and sUA employees need to recognize that neither product is superior when you measure it against what other international airlines have in their business class cabin. The new United needs an ALL NEW business class cabin.

So let go of the past because while you are quick to say sUA people need to get use to the sCO philosophy what you fail to realize is that you need to accept the new United philosophy because both pmCO and pmUA are DEAD and this kind of mentality is whats wrong with the new United and as long as people like you hold on to the past this airline cannot move forward. It's time to let it go!!!


User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3176 posts, RR: 8
Reply 38, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 8425 times:

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 33):
You are both correct that losing money is obviously not a great business strategy. I oughta know...that's what a do for a living.

You lose money for a living?   



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlineEricR From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1904 posts, RR: 1
Reply 39, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 8411 times:

Quoting max550 (Reply 7):
It seems they do have a branding strategy now. Whether you like it or not is another issue.

  

UA chose a branding strategy after the merger. Perhaps it is just an iterim brand, perahps it is intended to be permanent, but they certainly chose a branding strategy.

Quoting jayunited (Reply 16):
our cabins which represents branding as well are not in sync and we probably won't see a single harmonious cabin on the widebody fleet for quite some time because in my opinion the combine United does not want to spend the money to come up with an all new business class cabin that provides all passengers direct access to the isle

Will any large airline, with various sized aircraft and new planes entering the fleet on a periodic basis, ever have a single harmonious cabin? I think not, so this is not really a UA issue, but a fact of life for larger carriers.


User currently offlinecopter808 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1124 posts, RR: 1
Reply 40, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 8233 times:

Quoting ckfred (Reply 17):
That said, I still don't understand why the CO people decided to stick the United name on the CO brand. It's confusing, and the tulip U was better known than the CO globe, especially in the Pacific Rim, where UA was a major player before the merger. It just shows that Jeff Smisek's ego is bigger than his understanding of brand identity. But then, he's a lawyer by education, so he probably really doesn't understand the whole concept of marketing.

I disagree. Although Jeff certainly falls short in some areas, the livery was brilliant. As an employee (or frequent customer of either airline) how would you feel if the company was renamed "Global Airlines" (a complete renaming) with a new livery? The way it was done keeps the United folks happy because the name has not changed. It keeps the Continental folks happy because the only visible change is the name on the airplanes! The merging of managerment shows that the combination of the companies is a true "merger", not one being acquired by the other! It may not be working as hoped, but the idea was brilliant!! Let's give it some time.

I realize that there are still many unhappy people out there, but many of them would be unhappy regardless of what was done. United is in a state of change and employees either need to support it or move on.

As far as rebranding and a new paint job, that can come later.


User currently offlineT5towbar From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 576 posts, RR: 1
Reply 41, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8155 times:

Quoting travelin man (Reply 18):
But the UA branding has NEVER been a strong point, IMO. They will get you from point A to point B, and hopefully without too much hassle. It's pretty much the standard expectations of the US airline industry, unfortunately.

Beyond Southwest and (maybe) JetBlue, which airline actually has a good brand strategy?

I like Delta's "Up" commercials, but see them pretty infrequently. That's the only one that comes to mind.

DL's commercials (TV and Radio) are everywhere in the NYC area. Especially the local based ones (not sure what they have in other areas of the country - do they have a different set for regions like ATL or DTW?) in the NYC area. Especially the new ones about Terminal 4 at JFK.

I think that they are tasteful and done very well.

You are now seeing more AA commercials on TV as well.

Nothing for UA since the 2012 Olympics.........



A comment from an Ex CON: Work Hard.....Fly Standby!
User currently offlineFWAERJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 3812 posts, RR: 2
Reply 42, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8089 times:

Quoting T5towbar (Reply 41):
(not sure what they have in other areas of the country - do they have a different set for regions like ATL or DTW?)

In ATL, DL has a special set of "Atlanta's Hometown Airline" ads, which was trademarked by DL so WN couldn't use it after the FL merger.



"Did he really need the triple bypass? Or was it the miles?"
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17786 posts, RR: 46
Reply 43, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8016 times:

Quoting EricR (Reply 39):
I think not, so this is not really a UA issue, but a fact of life for larger carriers.

   DL has several different new J seats, none of them merger related. UA is pretty much the only US carrier where you can count on a flat bed (one of two versions, three if you include F) across the entire long haul fleet.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinebobnwa From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 6517 posts, RR: 9
Reply 44, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7782 times:

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 15):
I think the Former Continental livery for the New United is great!! It has only been 14 months since United-Continental officially merged as one carrier. They are doing a much better job than DL!!

Much better job in what areas? I must be missing it.


User currently offlineusflyer msp From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2162 posts, RR: 0
Reply 45, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7728 times:

I wish United would drop the GlobalFirst and BusinessFirst names for F and C. Talk about unwieldly and confusing! Whoever made that decision should be publically flogged....

User currently offlinepjcin303 From United States of America, joined May 2012, 6 posts, RR: 0
Reply 46, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 7572 times:

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 45):

Simple: To keep that 20+ year old Continental Trademark so nobody else creates a "BusinessFirst" cabin.


User currently offlineAADC10 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2102 posts, RR: 0
Reply 47, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 7522 times:

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 13):
Consumer Report today reports VX #1........Spirit last......UA/AA/DL down at bottom.....what does that say?

I do not think branding has much to do with it. Most would agree that DL has the best branding and they are rated slightly ahead of UA but within the margin of error. VX and B6 are near the top because they offer the best value for the average traveler, somebody that does not fly more than four trips per year. Ask a road warrior top level elite and their rankings would be different.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 26):
This is what we are getting with all the consolidation in the industry, the individual companies realize that they have basically created an oligopoly and don't really need to have that eye catching brand, just put it out there and if you need to go to a certain city, the airline that serves that city is what you get stuck on and very little choice or alternative. Why should airlines spend any more money on branding that they have to.

I think the situation is actually quite the opposite. Branding is a relatively small cost of the operation and if they though it would work, it would be a way of differentiating themselves from the other big airlines. The lousy product overrides branding by a wide margin. Branding might work if radical changes were made and it was used to make customers aware of it but for the most part branding influences passengers that airlines do not care about, low yield, infrequent flyers, a.k.a. kettles. Reduced competition means a race to the bottom in all aspects for kettles.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 32):

Liveries are overrated in this forum. If they want to improve the brand, they need to improve the product. that means get a homogeneous cabin product for the long haul fleet, get the 2 airlines merged into one by setting one standard service level, improve the website. A flashy new livery does nothing to improve the customer experience.

I would agree with that. If UA had the splashy colors of VX everywhere, the stylish counters and uniforms, but the same lousy hard product and service, it may generate excitement for a few months but once they try it and find it to be the same, nobody will care.


User currently offlinestaralliance85 From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 201 posts, RR: 0
Reply 48, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7437 times:

Quoting bobnwa (Reply 44):
Much better job in what areas? I must be missing it.

Strategically, UA is way more superior than DL.


1. Star Alliance is a much broader and comprehensive network than Skyteam

- Star Alliance is very strong in every single continent. But I admit they will be just ok in South America after TAm leaves.

- Skyteam is just ok in Europe but lacks everywhere else.

-They are so undesirable that Not even JL wanted to join them in 2010.

2. Post merger UA puts DL's hubs to shame

- UA hubs are six of the largest US cities.

-UA hubs are very reliable and very easy to make connections

- ATL is the only really strong DL hub.

-UA has strong West coast hubs such as SFO and LAX. DL lacks a West coast hub and SEA is more of a focus city Not a hub.

- EWR is a true hub, unlike DL's sporadic strategy at JFk and LGA.



3. UA's FFR and loyal strategy is amazing:

- UA MileagePlus has been rated the Best Loyalty Program

_-DL's FF program has the hardest redemptions


4. UA's Stock price is worth more than DL's


5. UA has more flat beds than DL.


The List goes on!!



brad Fitzpatrick
User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6844 posts, RR: 9
Reply 49, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7388 times:

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 21):
If the UA people refuse to get use to the CO philosophy then they should hire new very willing people that will deliver great customer service.

Fact of the matter is that the so called "CO philosophy" isn't making the new United any money right now.



"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20244 posts, RR: 59
Reply 50, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 7363 times:

Quoting Airport (Reply 5):
The quantity of age is no way to tell a great brand.

No, but the brand is, and UA's brand is pretty bland. I think the best description I ever heard was "cheerfully inoffensive."

OK, being inoffensive isn't exactly a bad thing, but if your brand is not distinctive, then people will not notice your brand. And sometimes being offensive is actually good. Example: Remember around 1996-99 the Old Navy commercials with the annoying old lady with the big glasses talking about cargo pants for $19.99? Well a friend of mine did an internship at GAP corp. in their marketing department. I complained to her that I was sick of the old lady talking about cargo pants for $19.99 at Old Navy and her response was: "So you know that Old Navy has cargo pants for $19.99, huh? Good. I'll tell the boys in charge of that campaign that it's working very well." I could have killed her... but she was right.  

I will use Coca-Cola as an example of excellent use of branding. You have seen Coca-Cola billboards. Most of them don't have sexy women in bikinis taking a massive swig. Rather, they simply show you the Coca-Cola corporate symbol. This symbol is, up there with Disney and McDonald's, one of the most widely-recognized symbols in the world. No matter where you are in the world (and I've been some pretty desolate places), when you see a Coca-Cola sign in any language (Arabic, Thai, Japanese) you instantly recognize it and you know that if you walk into that store and say: "Coca-Cola" you will get a Coke. And if you're thirsty, it's highly likely to will do just that. This is because Coca-Cola has driven their brand squarely into the brain of pretty much every human over age 4 on the planet. That is a TRULY impressive achievement. And they accomplished it by having a DISTINCTIVE BRAND.

Similarly, a distinctive brand and livery for an airline can have a similar effect. Every time a WN plane goes over, even my non-plane geek friends recognize it. They recognize it a lot easier than they recognize DL, UA, or even AA. And every time that happens, the brand "Southwest" flashes through their brains. The next time they need to fly somewhere, the likelihood that the brand "Southwest" might flash through their brain is increased. This is one reason why WN can compete even though they aren't on Orbitz et. al.

The UA brand is so nondescript, I often can't tell that it's a UA aircraft until it's very close and I am an (amateur) expert on airplanes. Not only that, but from a distance it's difficult to tell from LH. White on the top, dark lettering, blue tail with yellow, grey on the underside. The only difference is UA's golden cheatline, which is usually too thin to make out unless the aircraft is very close (at the gate). The UA uniform is so nondescript, I would literally need to walk up to a UA employee and stare at their chest to figure out what airline it is (not only awkward, but would probably get me on the "no-fly" list!).

They do need a re-brand and it needs to be something more distinctive than it is now.


User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6694 posts, RR: 24
Reply 51, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 7366 times:

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 48):
Strategically, UA is way more superior than DL.

But DL is generating vastly better profits than UA! And will for the forseeable future. UA has barely realized any merger synergies still....the clock keeps ticking.

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 48):
UA hubs are six of the largest US cities.

True, but in many of them UA faces a lot of competition and has relatively weak market share.

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 48):
-UA has strong West coast hubs such as SFO and LAX.

UA is fading away in LAX. DL will soon pass them.

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 48):
5. UA has more flat beds than DL.

True, but DL's flatbeds are better. UA packs people in 8 across in C on the 777.

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 48):
3. UA's FFR and loyal strategy is amazing:

Except that UA has publicly admitted they are losing corporate traffic and high value frequent flyers over the past year.


User currently offlinestlgph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9500 posts, RR: 26
Reply 52, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 7235 times:

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 15):
They are doing a much better job than DL!!

United/Continental is leagues behind Delta/Northwest.

Quoting KGRB (Reply 24):

The report has nothing to do with bottom line, the report has to do with the branding. Right now, Virgin America is tops.

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 48):
Strategically, UA is way more superior than DL.

Not so much.
- Delta has is years ahead thanks to a smooth merger with Northwest. Delta is able to think solidly and plan out the next 5-10 years. United is having problem planning out the next 5-10 months.
- Delta leads on business travel. The top companies in the U.S. for travel usually have 1-2 carriers on their list. Delta is almost always one of those carriers on the list, far leading the other top U.S. airlines.
- The JFK/LGA operations Delta has set up are tres tres tres important to have and they got them. DL will continue to improve and expand as they can at these airports.
- Delta's stock market cap surpasses United's. DL is on track to become S&P 500 investment grade.
- Delta's cash position is strong and enables the carrier to make needed internal and external investments. The Trainer Refinery is working well and you can expect DL to be making more 'non traditional' investments in the future. UAL is not in that position.
- Delta is poised to have its most profitable year ever.
- DL's net adjusted debt is moving to around $7B, UAL's "may reach" $10B by 2014.
- Atlanta is not the airline's only "strong hub." Atlanta is strong and the airport's "other" carrier ... Southwest/AirTran, reducing service. UAL remains locked at O'Hare by American and O'Hare's present size limitations. Denver has Southwest and a turning around Frontier in its backyard. Washington Dulles is still hampered by its distance from D.C. and soon a strong US Airways/American brand sitting at national.
- Internally, DL employees have great support and admiration for their ceo and president. The board chairman is also separate. At UAL, there's still a lot of tension among the labor force which has trickled down into performance ... and Smisek is chairman/president/ceo and isn't kept in check.
- Virgin Atlantic is admired for its branding and service - Delta will be able to take a lot of lessons from Virgin after the deal closes. Delta in return will bring a lot of management and operational expertise to the table with Virgin and the two will form strong international partners. Delta does not believe cross-border M&A will be happening soon, but Delta is prepared to make substantial investments in airline or non airline partners across the border as it sees fit.



if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
User currently offlineFWAERJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 3812 posts, RR: 2
Reply 53, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 7139 times:

Quoting stlgph (Reply 52):
- DL's net adjusted debt is moving to around $7B, UAL's "may reach" $10B by 2014.

Which is less than half the $15 billion (or so) debt that DL had at the close of the DL/NW merger. Impressive numbers for a debt-laden industry.

Quoting stlgph (Reply 52):
Delta leads on business travel. The top companies in the U.S. for travel usually have 1-2 carriers on their list. Delta is almost always one of those carriers on the list, far leading the other top U.S. airlines.

Even midsize and small companies, ours included, tend to use one or two airlines. Guess what primary airline is usually used by our small company for business travel? None other than DL (with UA used as a backup).

Quoting stlgph (Reply 52):
- Atlanta is not the airline's only "strong hub."

  

DTW is the #2 hub for DL and (I think) the largest single-airline hub in the Midwest (ORD has had a UA/AA hub fight for over 30 years now). JFK/LGA are critical to DL because NYC is the largest single air travel market in the world. DL is the dominant player in the thriving MSP area. And it's not just hubs where DL is strong: DL has been beefing up their presences at their LAX and SEA focus cities, often (but not always) with help from AS.



"Did he really need the triple bypass? Or was it the miles?"
User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6844 posts, RR: 9
Reply 54, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 7042 times:

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 53):
DTW is the #2 hub for DL and (I think) the largest single-airline hub in the Midwest (ORD has had a UA/AA hub fight for over 30 years now). JFK/LGA are critical to DL because NYC is the largest single air travel market in the world. DL is the dominant player in the thriving MSP area. And it's not just hubs where DL is strong: DL has been beefing up their presences at their LAX and SEA focus cities, often (but not always) with help from AS.

It's been said on these forums that apparently MSP is a goldmine for DL.



"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
User currently offlineVC10er From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 2972 posts, RR: 13
Reply 55, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6900 times:
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Quoting DocLightning (Reply 50):

There is a big difference between a brand and branding. A brand is as a brand does...branding is just the visual expression. A fabulous brand can have bad branding.

I think what this thread is about United's branding and what it signals. It is bland and unexciting, old and standard blue..it kind of matches the United brand. Which is why they ought to focus on relevant differentiation than bolder branding.



The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10601 posts, RR: 14
Reply 56, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 6744 times:

Quoting VC10er (Reply 55):

I think what this thread is about United's branding and what it signals. It is bland and unexciting, old and standard blue..it kind of matches the United brand. Which is why they ought to focus on relevant differentiation than bolder branding.

To me, UAs new branding, including the liveries, is no more exciting than when we (DL) temporarily threw some bumper stickers that said DELTA on the Western aircraft during that merger and on PanAm's aircraft during that acquisition and those really didn't look like any more than what they were.........bumper stickers.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineBestWestern From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2000, 7264 posts, RR: 57
Reply 57, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6701 times:

Quoting stlgph (Reply 52):
- Internally, DL employees have great support and admiration for their ceo and president. The board chairman is also separate.

From a foreigner perspective, the DL merger worked. When was the last time there was any real NW vs DL bitching? It never really happened. We still constantly get the sUA sCO life here. Will this ever go away?

One Problem... I look at a UA aircraft and I think CO.... I look at a DL aircraft, and I think DL. Every aircraft was repainted - and the company used this to demonstrate a new company perspective.

At DL, major strategic development happened, witnessed by the major changes in New York and LAX and a revamp of onboard hard product. What has happened at UA?

I really feel DL has changed for the better, whilst UA has stayed static.



The world is really getting smaller these days
User currently offlineseatback From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 778 posts, RR: 0
Reply 58, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 6605 times:

Quoting stlgph (Reply 52):
Delta has is years ahead thanks to a smooth merger with Northwest.
Quoting BestWestern (Reply 57):
From a foreigner perspective, the DL merger worked. When was the last time there was any real NW vs DL bitching? It never really happened. We still constantly get the sUA sCO life here. Will this ever go away?

This is Delta's single most important achievement. In fact, Doug Parker publically stated that he hopes to avoid missteps by following Delta's integration example.

Quoting stlgph (Reply 52):
Delta's cash position is strong and enables the carrier to make needed internal and external investments. The Trainer Refinery is working well and you can expect DL to be making more 'non traditional' investments in the future. UAL is not in that position.

Although buying a refinery isn't branding, it does show that the management at Delta is creative and thinking outside of the box.


User currently offlineCapt.Fantastic From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 750 posts, RR: 0
Reply 59, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 6463 times:

The branding is stale and I concur with others who have stated that it really smacks of "no effort". United undertook a huge merger: the biggest transformation in their history and how do they embrace it? With a dead company's logo! IMHO this shouts-out to their costumers: "ehh.. we don't care."
For those who feel that the old-image really doesn't matter, think again. Look at United's Facebook page and read the comments. It seems employees, frequent fliers, industry gurus, and even UA/CO retirees are either in the Continental camp or the United camp and have a bone to pick with the other side. If a fresh NEW image and identity spawned from the merger, I believe the loyalist camps of the former entities wouldn't be so polarized. That's an ugly environment to work in.

[Edited 2013-05-25 03:04:40]

User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17786 posts, RR: 46
Reply 60, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 6135 times:

Quoting VC10er (Reply 25):
The BF "chair" was behind all others, (the most uncomfortable in the sky and the angled disaster for ULH was worse!) yet they had the stones to stick the word First on the end of Business?

They still managed to win best business class in 2009 for a legacy US carrier 
Quoting EricR (Reply 39):
UA chose a branding strategy after the merger. Perhaps it is just an iterim brand, perahps it is intended to be permanent, but they certainly chose a branding strategy.

   Frankly I couldn't care less whether they went with the globe, the tulip, or the middle finger, but UA now has a consistent nose-to-tail, curb-to-gate, brand for the first time since at least the battleship grey era.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 51):

UA is fading away in LAX. DL will soon pass them.

No, not by a long shot.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 51):
True, but DL's flatbeds are better. UA packs people in 8 across in C on the 777.

UA's flat beds were ahead of their time when they were unveiled, but UA was all style and zero substance or follow through, so by the time even a large chunk of the fleet was refitted, the seats were now behind the curve.

Quoting seatback (Reply 58):
In fact, Doug Parker publically stated that he hopes to avoid missteps by following Delta's integration example.

I can't blame him, but at the same time, DL/NW didn't have to do a res cutover, which is probably 2/3rds of the headaches of the UA merger.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineMasseyBrown From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 5562 posts, RR: 7
Reply 61, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6069 times:

Quoting Airport (Reply 5):
When I look at UA, I sense zero passion. I sense zero heart. I sense zero vision, zero ambition to truly change the airline industry and become all that they are capable of.

Putting the HQs in Chicago was a *huge* mistake; too many of the wrong (self-satisfied, inward-looking, have-all-the-answers) people are still on the payroll. The best UA has ever achieved was a high grade of mediocrity - never any sense of style or panache.

Just my opinion, of course ...   



I love long German words like 'Freundschaftsbezeigungen'.
User currently offlineEricR From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1904 posts, RR: 1
Reply 62, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5963 times:

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 48):

Strategically, UA is way more superior than DL.
Star Alliance is a much broader and comprehensive network than Skyteam
- Star Alliance is very strong in every single continent. But I admit they will be just ok in South America after TAm leaves.
- Skyteam is just ok in Europe but lacks everywhere else.

I am not sure how belonging to one alliance or another makes UA superior to DL or vice versa. However, in Europe, I think Skyteam actually has an edge and is a solid #1 in China. Granted, Star has its strengths as well.

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 48):

2. Post merger UA puts DL's hubs to shame

I still do not understand this argument at all. ORD, LAX, DEN are all highly competitive hubs where UA does not have much pricing power because none of these hubs are fortress hubs. These hubs will be a drag on UA's bottom line. Furthermore, while EWR is a fortress hub, it still competes for passengers that also view LGA and JFK as viable alternatives to EWR.

Compare this to DL where most of their hubs, albeit not located in sexy locations, are fortress hubs with significant pricing power (ATL, MSP, DTW, SLC).

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 48):

-UA has strong West coast hubs such as SFO and LAX. DL lacks a West coast hub and SEA is more of a focus city Not a hub.

Why do they need a west coast hub? They have SLC that handles a good chunk of intra-west flights and SEA functions as their TPAC gateway. DL has grabbed a 13.5% share of the LAX market which addresses the needs of the number 1 market in the west, but there is no need to establish a full blown hub there. As an FYI... DL handles roughly the same number of passengers in SLC as UA does in LAX. The key difference is that DL has a 73% share of the SLC market and thus much better pricing power versus UA's which battles WN, AA,DL and to a lesser extent, AS and VX for share at LAX.

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 48):

4. UA's Stock price is worth more than DL's

Okayyyyyyy.....the price of a stock in no way translates directly to how much a company is valued or worth. Share price times the number of shares outstanding determines the valuation. Therefore, while DL's stock price is less than UA's stock price, DL is valued at $5 billion more than UA. DL has more shares outstanding.


User currently offlineusflyer msp From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2162 posts, RR: 0
Reply 63, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5924 times:

Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 61):
Putting the HQs in Chicago was a *huge* mistake; too many of the wrong (self-satisfied, inward-looking, have-all-the-answers) people are still on the payroll. The best UA has ever achieved was a high grade of mediocrity - never any sense of style or panache.

I am sorry but I had LOL when I read this. pmUA's branding was much classier and stylish than anything pmCO was putting out. No comparison. The problem is that pmCO management is running the show and continuing to their tradition of cheap, mediocre branding...


User currently offlineBC77008 From United States of America, joined Sep 2011, 312 posts, RR: 0
Reply 64, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5924 times:

Seeing as how UA is spending $$$ now rebranding even minute details such as galley containers and coffee pots it will be quite a few years before a new logo/rebranding is done. I personally love their look and globe logo and its apparently here to stay!


"He waited his whole damn life to take that flight. And as the plane crashed down he thought 'Well isn't this nice...'"
User currently offlineinfinit From Singapore, joined Jul 2008, 598 posts, RR: 1
Reply 65, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5902 times:

I don't think any of the US airlines have strong brands. The North American aviation market is the largest and very different from the Asian and European ones. Flying domestically in the US, I've seen how people have their airline preferences like anywhere else but I noticed that none of them go very far to brand themselves which I thought was strange since branding and marketing in any industry enables a company to build a competitive advantage and hence command a premium. Singapore Air has litterally become a Marketing textbook example in this regard.

But then I realised this is where the US aviation market is different. Price and network seem to be the main factors when it comes to air travel and I don't have the numbers but it seems like domestic travel is the key source of revenue for US carriers as opposed to international. Domestic flights other than a few routes like NYC-LAX proabbly aren't long enough for too much differentiation.

Outside the US though, and probably as a result of the market being more domestic-centric, the US carriers don't seem to leave much of an impression.

In Asia and Europe, I have met some people who would say they will never fly a particular US carrier because of bad experiences they've had but I've never come across someone who has a strong favourable impression of any one of them. There doesn't seem to be a face to UA (or DL or AA for the matter).


User currently offlineMasseyBrown From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 5562 posts, RR: 7
Reply 66, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5900 times:

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 63):
pmUA's branding was much classier and stylish than anything pmCO was putting out.

Did I mention CO? I was thinking AA, TW, PA, and foreign competition, which always ran rings around UA in terms of image, style, and public relations. Survival is UA's chief claim to fame.



I love long German words like 'Freundschaftsbezeigungen'.
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17786 posts, RR: 46
Reply 67, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5840 times:

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 63):
I am sorry but I had LOL when I read this. pmUA's branding was much classier and stylish than anything pmCO was putting out

Who case about UA's branding when their operation and customer service numbers were down the tubes? I just don't understand the disconnect--a decade of being consistently the worst legacy carrier but what wonderful branding! On half their planes, but only on the cowling!  
Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 61):
Putting the HQs in Chicago was a *huge* mistake

   It's the reason US+HP left DC, why DL or NW could probably have run a solid merged carrier from either MSP or ATL, and US+AA will have to rationalize the DFW workforce--the talent had long left the building.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinejayunited From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 1023 posts, RR: 2
Reply 68, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5755 times:

Quoting Capt.Fantastic (Reply 59):
For those who feel that the old-image really doesn't matter, think again. Look at United's Facebook page and read the comments. It seems employees, frequent fliers, industry gurus, and even UA/CO retirees are either in the Continental camp or the United camp and have a bone to pick with the other side. If a fresh NEW image and identity spawned from the merger, I believe the loyalist camps of the former entities wouldn't be so polarized. That's an ugly environment to work in.

I agree with every thing that you are saying here.

Quoting BC77008 (Reply 64):
Seeing as how UA is spending $$$ now rebranding even minute details such as galley containers and coffee pots it will be quite a few years before a new logo/rebranding is done. I personally love their look and globe logo and its apparently here to stay!

I don't think people want to see the globe go away, when sUA aircraft first started being painted many sUA employees hated the globe on the tail because we were use to seeing the tulip on the tail and I'm sure sCO employees felt the same way seeing their name erased off the planes completely. However now days most sUA employees like the globe it has grown on us and the tulip sort of looks out of place now. Here at ORD we see globes everywhere and then you have the lonely 3 class 767 still painted in United blue with the tulip it looks strange and you hear employees ask when are they going to repaint this plane it looks out of place. So we all know the globe is here to stay. But what United needs to do is keep the globe but come up with a all new image or livery like Delta did. But you are correct with all the money that United has spent I don't think we will see a all new fresh livery for quite some time.


User currently offlineCALTECH From Poland, joined May 2007, 2305 posts, RR: 26
Reply 69, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5775 times:

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 63):
I am sorry but I had LOL when I read this. pmUA's branding was much classier and stylish than anything pmCO was putting out. No comparison. The problem is that pmCO management is running the show and continuing to their tradition of cheap, mediocre branding...

Absolutely no comparision. That brand put out by ex-UAL was so superior to the ex-CON. Glad that the experts here aren't running the show. Oh, and now, United Airlines is the only US carrier to offer all international flights with lay flat seats out of the New York City area . Something must be wrong over at Delta Airlines, they are way behind United Airlines in this key offering even though they merged with Northwest way before Continental/United did. Delta Airlines really needs to get their act together according to the experts here.  
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UNITED We Stand
User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6844 posts, RR: 9
Reply 70, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5719 times:

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 69):

There is still something classy about the faded battleship livery pic -- it's got personality, at the very least. There is nothing striking or moving about the 1991 CO livery. It's just a bland mess.



"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
User currently offlinecopter808 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1124 posts, RR: 1
Reply 71, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5600 times:

Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 61):
Putting the HQs in Chicago was a *huge* mistake; too many of the wrong (self-satisfied, inward-looking, have-all-the-answers) people are still on the payroll.

Wow, I sure agree on that remark!!! I couldn't figure out why they kept the HQ in one of the most aviation unfriendly cities in the US. I suspect it might have beed due to some ot the tax agreements with the city. However, it does not mean it can never be moved to a more friendly community.


User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6844 posts, RR: 9
Reply 72, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5555 times:

Quoting copter808 (Reply 71):

Methinks Obama, Emmanuel and Company had something to do with it.

IMHO, the merger would have been shot down had UA kept it's HQ in IAH.



"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
User currently offlinecopter808 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1124 posts, RR: 1
Reply 73, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5519 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 72):
Methinks Obama, Emmanuel and Company had something to do with it.

IMHO, the merger would have been shot down had UA kept it's HQ in IAH.

Bingo!!!! Methinks you hit it right on the head with that one!!!


User currently offlineCALTECH From Poland, joined May 2007, 2305 posts, RR: 26
Reply 74, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5387 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 70):
There is still something classy about the faded battleship livery pic -- it's got personality, at the very least. There is nothing striking or moving about the 1991 CO livery. It's just a bland mess.

No comparision. That is so wrong again, but then again, someone who is misinformed would think there was something classy about that awful battleship livery. It was horrible, nothing special, gray blandness. Horrible branding and no personality. The liveries preceding that low class gray mess were much better.

Quoting copter808 (Reply 71):
Wow, I sure agree on that remark!!! I couldn't figure out why they kept the HQ in one of the most aviation unfriendly cities in the US. I suspect it might have beed due to some ot the tax agreements with the city. However, it does not mean it can never be moved to a more friendly community.

Have lived in both Chicago and Houston. Much prefer Houston and Texas over Chicago and Illinois.



UNITED We Stand
User currently offlinecopter808 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1124 posts, RR: 1
Reply 75, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5366 times:

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 74):

Have lived in both Chicago and Houston. Much prefer Houston and Texas over Chicago and Illinois.

I have lived in both Choicago and Illinois as well, and a few years in TX, but not Houstom. I most certainly agree!!!

However, I'm not sold on the fact that HQ might not move at a later date.


User currently offlineFWAERJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 3812 posts, RR: 2
Reply 76, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5335 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 72):
Methinks Obama, Emmanuel and Company had something to do with it.

IMHO, the merger would have been shot down had UA kept it's HQ in IAH.

Keeping UA "Chicago's hometown airline" had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with Glenn Tilton saying that the airline had to be called United and it had to be based in Chicago, much to the chagrin of the Houstonians. This has been stated many times on many sources. Likewise, it was Jeff Smisek that insisted on using a modified version of the CO branding, again to the chagrin of the tulip fans.

Aside from Tilton's two demands and Smisek's one, everything else was on the bargaining table during negotiations.

[Edited 2013-05-25 15:33:53]


"Did he really need the triple bypass? Or was it the miles?"
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17786 posts, RR: 46
Reply 77, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5319 times:

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 74):
someone who is misinformed would think there was something classy about that awful battleship livery.

What are you talking about?! It was a perfect livery! ...perfect for a carrier that in 1998 was 7 out of 10 in terms of on time, the most mishandled bags, 7 times more denied boardings than CO, 2 times as many as AA, etc etc.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 76):
Glenn Tilton saying that the airline had to be called United and it had to be based in Chicago.

No one buys that. The man had been trying to offload the airline for years and would have sold it to a food truck in Kenosha.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently onlineFlaps From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 1294 posts, RR: 4
Reply 78, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5315 times:

United has a few issues that are a LOT bigger than branding (bad though it is). Things like reliability and customer service.

User currently offlinefxramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7323 posts, RR: 85
Reply 79, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5308 times:
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Quoting Flaps (Reply 78):
United has a few issues that are a LOT bigger than branding (bad though it is). Things like reliability and customer service.

  

I flew 600k miles on UA last year and will do about 775k this year and my biggest issue was consistent product. I went to SFO about a dozen times and flew about 10 different configured planes. Every flight was filled wtih Global Services like myself that wanted a consisted product.

I could care less what crew or pilots wear. It's comical that was made an issue on this thread. The biggest gripe with people like myself that pay tens of thousands a year for a crapy UA flag carrier is United is a crapy US flagged carrier.

Over the years on this site the same people whine about the same problems with AA UA NW DL and refuse to understand that it's always going to suck.


User currently offlineFWAERJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 3812 posts, RR: 2
Reply 80, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5289 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 77):
No one buys that. The man had been trying to offload the airline for years and would have sold it to a food truck in Kenosha.

Personally, had UA merged with US instead of CO (and they were this close to doing that), I still think that Tilton would have made the same demands of the United name and Chicago headquarters, even if Doug Parker and US were the partners and not Jeff Smisek and CO.

I know that Houston and Texas have a far better business climate than Chicago and Illinois in general, but incentives also play a role here. Had UA moved to Houston, UA would have had to pay back hundreds of millions in incentives to the State of Illinois and City of Chicago from the time they moved their headquarters to downtown. Even with the better business climate of Texas, such a move might actually have been cost-ineffective by the time it was all added up.



"Did he really need the triple bypass? Or was it the miles?"
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17786 posts, RR: 46
Reply 81, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5240 times:

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 80):
Personally, had UA merged with US instead of CO (and they were this close to doing that), I still think that Tilton would have made the same demands of the United name and Chicago headquarters, even if Doug Parker and US were the partners and not Jeff Smisek and CO.

I just don't think the demand was ever more than a PR stunt--it was much harder to spin "we're moving to Chicago to cozy up to the Obama administration."



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently onlineAVENSAB727 From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 962 posts, RR: 1
Reply 82, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5238 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 72):

At least IAH is the largest hub. When it comes to capacity and seats.



Always look on the bright side of Life!
User currently offlineAADC10 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2102 posts, RR: 0
Reply 83, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5208 times:

Quoting copter808 (Reply 71):
Wow, I sure agree on that remark!!! I couldn't figure out why they kept the HQ in one of the most aviation unfriendly cities in the US. I suspect it might have beed due to some ot the tax agreements with the city. However, it does not mean it can never be moved to a more friendly community.
Quoting tommy767 (Reply 72):
Methinks Obama, Emmanuel and Company had something to do with it.
Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 76):
Keeping UA "Chicago's hometown airline" had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with Glenn Tilton saying that the airline had to be called United and it had to be based in Chicago, much to the chagrin of the Houstonians.

What makes Chicago so aviation unfriendly? Is that why Boeing moved there?

The reason for moving to Chicago is that it is a battleground city. UA/sCO controls a fortress hub at IAH but they are hub-to-hub with AA at ORD plus there is WN down the road at MDW. Keeping WHQ in Chicago, in fact moving it from suburban Elk Grove Village, gives UA a little extra influence in Chicago City Hall and allows it to market itself as the hometown airline, something not insignificant in the largest USA city between the coasts. This is not to mention that UA has been headquartered in the Chicago area since the 1930s while CO was a relatively recent arrival in Houston, after being in Los Angeles, Denver, and other places.

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 74):
Have lived in both Chicago and Houston. Much prefer Houston and Texas over Chicago and Illinois.

No offense, and I am a native Texan, but Houston makes Chicago look like Paris. Chicago is much more diverse, with many distinct neighborhoods, better museums, cultural events, and parks, historic and modern architecture, more varied landscapes, and actual public transportation. Houston has some things but the fact that the water wall near the Galleria is a big attraction says a lot.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20244 posts, RR: 59
Reply 84, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5171 times:

Quoting VC10er (Reply 55):
There is a big difference between a brand and branding. A brand is as a brand does...branding is just the visual expression. A fabulous brand can have bad branding.

I'm talking about branding and whether you think UA is fabulous or horrible, the branding sucks.

Quoting VC10er (Reply 55):
Which is why they ought to focus on relevant differentiation than bolder branding.

"Relevant differentiation," would you like to give an example? Given that it's an airline, there's only so "different" it can get.


User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13704 posts, RR: 61
Reply 85, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5158 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting AVENSAB727 (Reply 82):
At least IAH is the largest hub. When it comes to capacity and seats.

And overall departures as well.



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlinecopter808 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1124 posts, RR: 1
Reply 86, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5165 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 77):
No one buys that. The man had been trying to offload the airline for years and would have sold it to a food truck in Kenosha.

Damn, I wish I had known that. I have a good friend who lives in Kenosha and has a bread truck and route--and he worked for CO prior to the merger!

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 83):
What makes Chicago so aviation unfriendly? Is that why Boeing moved there?

I wonder why Boeing moved the HQ here too! Under the former mayor, Chicago had no love for aviation. Look at the closing of Meigs. He couldn't do it by going through the normal processes, so he tears up the runway in the middle of the night! He claims that it was a security issue, but he closed it and now Chicago has LESS security. He also lost a good staging area if there ever was a disaster in downtown Chicago. There has been several attempts to locate heliports in the city, including a downtown heliport. Daley was against them all.

Having lived in and near Chicago nearly my entire life, I can tell you it is an aviation UNfriendly city!!!! It may change in the future, but that's the way it was at the time of the merger.


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17786 posts, RR: 46
Reply 87, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5133 times:

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 83):
What makes Chicago so aviation unfriendly? Is that why Boeing moved there?

Cuz Chicago threw a bunch of money at Boeing too?

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 83):
Keeping WHQ in Chicago, in fact moving it from suburban Elk Grove Village, gives UA a little extra influence in Chicago City Hall

How's that working out so far, what with UA and AA suing the city over ORD expansion plans?

Quoting copter808 (Reply 86):
Damn, I wish I had known that. I have a good friend who lives in Kenosha and has a bread truck and route--and he worked for CO prior to the merger!

Y'all coulda owned an airline!



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineFWAERJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 3812 posts, RR: 2
Reply 88, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5128 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 81):
I just don't think the demand was ever more than a PR stunt--it was much harder to spin "we're moving to Chicago to cozy up to the Obama administration."

Name one example where a company kept their headquarters in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois and publicly stated that the POTUS's demands were a reason for not moving to another state. I don't think you will be able to find one.

(And no, Chicago's failed 2016 Olympics bid doesn't count, even though I now feel that that Rio deserved what it got.)



"Did he really need the triple bypass? Or was it the miles?"
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17786 posts, RR: 46
Reply 89, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5089 times:

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 88):
Name one example where a company kept their headquarters in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois and publicly stated that the POTUS's demands were a reason for not moving to another state. I don't think you will be able to find one.

That's my point--there's no way/reason to publicly say that



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineaerokiwi From New Zealand, joined Jul 2000, 2743 posts, RR: 4
Reply 90, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5061 times:

What hysterical hyperbole the original post is. UA does have a branding strategy - you just don't agree with it. Fine. But that's a long way from having NO strateggy at all.

The old UA branding was a mess, not just in application but in design as well, but don't let that stop the nostalgia (best left in the past, I believe the quote goes) from flooding in. At the very least, the current strategy is consistent. Perhaps it's not exciting but it's as bland as DL's livery, another example of consistency.

Seriously, people need to get a grip. What should be more of a concern is the extraordinarily average product offering (both hard and soft) UA serves up. Actually, that goes for all American legacies. They've caught up to the European legacies, but remain well behind their Asian and Middle Eastern counterparts.


User currently offlinecosyr From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 420 posts, RR: 0
Reply 91, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5016 times:

Why would they want to come out with a new fresh brand that would be associated with the merger struggles they are going through right now. Make some changes, then freshen up the look to tell the world that there is something new and pleasant worth coming back and trying again. When the labor is merged, the on board product is stable and operations are smooth and seamless, then liven up the look.

The other way around just leaves a sour taste in everyone's mouth. Like every time Chrysler rebrands. I hate all their commercials that say come and give us a try again, we're all new, when all they did to change was put a new logo on the front of the car and rename it 200 instead of Sebring. (At least redo the bodywork a little bit!) Anyway, people try the brand again, realize its as bad as ever and it just cements in their mind how bad a brand is, and leaves them with the impression that those running the company don't know what they are doing. Each time you do that, there are many of those "I'll give them one more try," that switch to "never again!"


User currently offlineDeltaRules From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3814 posts, RR: 9
Reply 92, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5022 times:

Responding to the OP's points, when I'm at an airport and see the "Continental" tail, I still have to remind myself that that is a "United" airplane. I've joked with others that the airline's livery makes it seem like it's bipolar, not sure who it wants to be. At DAB, there's still a glass CO ticket counter sign mounted at their former ticket counter...I get a laugh at the fact that, if UA returned, all they'd have to do would be apply some sort of "United" label to it.

It makes sense from the "everybody gets to keep something" aspect, but it also seemed so lazy. (There was even a preliminary design where the United titles were in the CO font, wasn't there?)



Let's Kick the Tires & Light the Fires!!
User currently offlinecosyr From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 420 posts, RR: 0
Reply 93, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4995 times:

Quoting DeltaRules (Reply 92):
It makes sense from the "everybody gets to keep something" aspect, but it also seemed so lazy.

I think it's more about the cost. This way they only had to repaint 1/2 of the fleet (sUA) rather than 3/4 (sUA gray and sCO) or 100%.


User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5906 posts, RR: 5
Reply 94, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4956 times:

Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 61):
Putting the HQs in Chicago was a *huge* mistake; too many of the wrong (self-satisfied, inward-looking, have-all-the-answers) people are still on the payroll. The best UA has ever achieved was a high grade of mediocrity - never any sense of style or panache
Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 63):
I had LOL when I read this. pmUA's branding was much classier and stylish than anything pmCO was putting out. No comparison. The problem is that pmCO management is running the show and continuing to their tradition of cheap, mediocre branding

And there, ladies and gentlemen, we have 3 years of threads on the United merger condensed into two succinct points...



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5906 posts, RR: 5
Reply 95, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4940 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 67):
I just don't understand the disconnect--a decade of being consistently the worst legacy carrier but what wonderful branding

Clearly you missed the memo, on Anet we've all got to respect how great United never was 
Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 67):
On half their planes, but only on the cowling!

  

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 77):
The man had been trying to offload the airline for years and would have sold it to a food truck in Kenosha.

Riiiiggggghhhhhtttt!!! So it was you I've been quoiting for all these years! Every now and then I drag up a quote that I read on here several years ago, but I was never sure who said it. It's "Tilton was so desperate to sell United that he would have done so to an alpacca farm in Kalamazoo." I'm now pretty sure it was you.

Your royalty checks are in the mail.

Quoting aerokiwi (Reply 90):
What hysterical hyperbole the original post is. UA does have a branding strategy - you just don't agree with it. Fine. But that's a long way from having NO strateggy at all.

It took 90 posts to get some common sense *sigh*



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineMasseyBrown From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 5562 posts, RR: 7
Reply 96, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4862 times:

My point about Chicago has nothing to do with the city or politics - it has to do with the quality of the UA management staff. The people left behind after the bankruptcy were accountants and plodding time-servers, specialists in personal and corporate survival. Since the merger UA's constant excuse has been, "Give us a little more time and everything will work out."

Time's up and still all we see is mediocrity at best.



I love long German words like 'Freundschaftsbezeigungen'.
User currently offlineusflyer msp From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2162 posts, RR: 0
Reply 97, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4795 times:

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 74):
No comparision. That is so wrong again, but then again, someone who is misinformed would think there was something classy about that awful battleship livery. It was horrible, nothing special, gray blandness. Horrible branding and no personality. The liveries preceding that low class gray mess were much better.

It was far from a mess. It was distinctive and businesslike, which were the two things UA was trying to achieve during that era. I (and alot of other people) really liked it!

Branding is more than just a livery. Look at pmUA's ads with their classical music and animation compared to pmCO's "we have awesome chesseburgers" schtick. PMUA's was far superior and appropriate for a global, premium airline...


User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3176 posts, RR: 8
Reply 98, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4774 times:

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 69):
Delta Airlines really needs to get their act together

Get YOUR act together...it's Delta Air Lines....3 words, not 2.

FYI, Delta's act is very together whether you think so or not.

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 83):
Houston has some things but the fact that the water wall near the Galleria is a big attraction says a lot.

Yeah, my cousins were very proud of that when they took me to see it.



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17786 posts, RR: 46
Reply 99, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4687 times:

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 97):
Branding is more than just a livery. Look at pmUA's ads with their classical music and animation compared to pmCO's "we have awesome chesseburgers" schtick. PMUA's was far superior and appropriate for a global, premium airline...

You're righit--it is more than a livery. But let's consider UA's 2008 animation commercials. A reading from the 2008 DOT Air Travel Consumer Report: UA % on time? 69.8% UA's % cancelled? 0.7%, double CO. Mishandled bags? 30% higher than CO. Denied boardings? 27% higher than CO. Complaint rate? 60% higher than CO. And on and on and on. NW was actually killin' it in terms of operation at that time, but again, UA is at the bottom of the barrel of every category, but what a wonderful brand! Never mind that the brand never made it to the planes or airports in any consistent way either. I'd take the cheeseburger over a terrible operation/customer service any day.

Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 96):
Time's up and still all we see is mediocrity at best.

  I don't know that the financial incentives could ever make up for the disastrous management team they've wound up with in Chicago..

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 95):
"Tilton was so desperate to sell United that he would have done so to an alpacca farm in Kalamazoo." I'm now pretty sure it was you.

It may have been 
Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 95):
Clearly you missed the memo, on Anet we've all got to respect how great United never was

I can't wait 'til we see the same script different cast with AA+US.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineaerokiwi From New Zealand, joined Jul 2000, 2743 posts, RR: 4
Reply 100, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4666 times:

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 97):
PMUA's was far superior and appropriate for a global, premium airline...

Premium? Really? You consider UA to be a premium airline? In what sense? Compared to? Because this should prove your criticism that the cheeseburger "shtick" is poorly aligned to their brand.


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10601 posts, RR: 14
Reply 101, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4591 times:

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 83):

No offense, and I am a native Texan, but Houston makes Chicago look like Paris. Chicago is much more diverse, with many distinct neighborhoods, better museums, cultural events, and parks, historic and modern architecture, more varied landscapes, and actual public transportation.

And, of course one of the highest, if not the highest, murder rate in the nation.......

Quoting cosyr (Reply 91):
The other way around just leaves a sour taste in everyone's mouth. Like every time Chrysler rebrands. I hate all their commercials that say come and give us a try again, we're all new, when all they did to change was put a new logo on the front of the car and rename it 200 instead of Sebring. (At least redo the bodywork a little bit!) Anyway, people try the brand again, realize its as bad as ever and it just cements in their mind how bad a brand is, and leaves them with the impression that those running the company don't know what they are doing. Each time you do that, there are many of those "I'll give them one more try," that switch to "never again!"

I like how Chrysler, in those same adds, touts their cars as being "imported from Detroit" when in fact their either built, across the border in Canada or in Mexico. Now, true, the same can be said of the other makes, in part, but at least they don't try to deny it in their commercials, as Chrysler does. You know....it's kinda like UA claiming that EWR is IN NYC.......  duck   stirthepot 

[Edited 2013-05-25 23:23:53]


"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 6101 posts, RR: 9
Reply 102, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4396 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 101):
know....it's kinda like UA claiming that EWR is IN NYC.....

UA has never claimed that EWR is in NYC they do however, quite accurately, claim that EWR is the largest hub in the NYC area. It's all marketing spin....just like DL claiming that T4B at JFK is the best thing since sliced bread.

I love the thread drift on this topic  

UA very much has a branding strategy and is executing upon that fairly well as of late at least. Safe, clean, reliable transportation from point A to B....simple basic and to the point. That's what COs brand stood for prior to the merger and that is the direction UA has for the moment chosen for it's brand to represent.



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlineAntoniemey From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1601 posts, RR: 4
Reply 103, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4362 times:

Quoting ckfred (Reply 17):
That said, I still don't understand why the CO people decided to stick the United name on the CO brand. It's confusing, and the tulip U was better known than the CO globe, especially in the Pacific Rim, where UA was a major player before the merger. It just shows that Jeff Smisek's ego is bigger than his understanding of brand identity. But then, he's a lawyer by education, so he probably really doesn't understand the whole concept of marketing.

You apparently don't understand the concept of trying to get buy-in from two work forces that were historically VERY, VERY hostile to each other.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 98):

FYI, Delta's act is very together whether you think so or not.

He was being sarcastic.



Make something Idiot-proof, and the Universe will make a more inept idiot.
User currently offlineJBo From Sweden, joined Jan 2005, 2373 posts, RR: 0
Reply 104, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4326 times:

I just wanted to chime in some thoughts on the current United branding and thoughts on branding in general:

I've never cared much for the new United branding simply because they put zero creative effort into the change; they simply took the Continental brand and married it to the United name.

However, the brand has grown on me because from a cost point-of-view and a long-term strategy point of view, it makes a lot of sense.

Prior to the merger, United still had two liveries floating around with plenty of battleship grey aircraft still in the fleet while CO already had a consistent branding. In merger scenarios, establishing a unified brand image is one of the most important steps from a marketing standpoint. Adopting the CO brand with the UA name was the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to get the entire fleet and company under a single brand image. It may not be pretty, but it's getting the job done.

Smisek's comments early on about how the brand wasn't going to change was, most likely, PR talk to a certain degree. I don't think anybody ever states that a branding change is going to be "temporary" because you may end up getting negative speculation in the press. Revealing the brand and sticking to it was most likely some necessary PR talk to keep the merger strong both in the eyes of the public and in the eyes of the employees.

Just because they say they aren't changing it doesn't mean they aren't planning a strategy in the background. Chances are, United is doing what they can now to get a consistent brand image in place post-merger before they invest the resources into coming up with a properly creative brand. I would find it hard to believe that we won't see Untied come up with a revised branding image within a few years. If five years pass, and the CO globe is still flying about with any changes on the horizon, I'll eat my words.

That brings me to branding in general; I think part of the issue is that a lot of ad agencies and branding agencies have shifted their creative mindset. Instead of creating a branding image that is meant to stand the test of time, most agencies are instead focusing on creating brands that are "trendy" or "hip" based on whatever styles are currently popular. Instead of creating a brand that will still look fresh and modern in 30 years, they're creating brands that are going to appear outdated and stale in just five. No doubt, this is probably in part to ensure these agencies stay in business (let's face it, that's how a lot of things work today ... make something that will only last so long so people will have to spend money to replace it).

I'd love to see an airline roll out a branding scheme that ends up being so striking that it'll still look good in 30 years, but I'm not holding my breath.



I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.
User currently offlineClipper136 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 319 posts, RR: 0
Reply 105, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4317 times:

What exactly was the topic of this thread again??!?!      

User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6694 posts, RR: 24
Reply 106, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4149 times:

Quoting United1 (Reply 102):
Safe, clean, reliable transportation from point A to B

How is that a brand? I would argue every airline offers that. So if that's UA's brand, they're never going to stand out much. Not to mention that UA's on-time performance still lags the industry.

Quoting United1 (Reply 102):
That's what COs brand stood for prior to the merger and that is the direction UA has for the moment chosen for it's brand to represent.

And that worked for CO who only had two real hubs (EWR and IAH), so they didn't have to compete much on brand or product. AA/DL couldn't get their act together in the 90's/00's in NYC, so CO didn't have to work that hard in EWR. And in IAH, CO had the place to themselves except for WN (which had a limited market).

However, the merged carrier will now have to compete far more than old CO did. So far, they aren't competing very well. The only thing helping UA is that industry wide consolidation has driven enough capacity out of the market to keep fares moving up enough to offset much of UA's poor management.


User currently offlineCALTECH From Poland, joined May 2007, 2305 posts, RR: 26
Reply 107, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4138 times:

Quoting copter808 (Reply 75):
I have lived in both Choicago and Illinois as well, and a few years in TX, but not Houstom. I most certainly agree!!!

However, I'm not sold on the fact that HQ might not move at a later date.

I like all of Texas, Illinois is okay, Chicago you can keep. Very intolerant people up there, with the murder rate, closing of Meigs Field,....

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 77):
What are you talking about?! It was a perfect livery! ...perfect for a carrier that in 1998 was 7 out of 10 in terms of on time, the most mishandled bags, 7 times more denied boardings than CO, 2 times as many as AA, etc etc.

I stand corrected. Buwahahaha !!!

Quoting Flaps (Reply 78):
United has a few issues that are a LOT bigger than branding (bad though it is). Things like reliability and customer service.

They are being addressed, just going to take time. Things just do not get done instantly no matter how some have a immediate answer for all of United's woes.

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 83):
No offense, and I am a native Texan, but Houston makes Chicago look like Paris. Chicago is much more diverse, with many distinct neighborhoods, better museums, cultural events, and parks, historic and modern architecture, more varied landscapes, and actual public transportation. Houston has some things but the fact that the water wall near the Galleria is a big attraction says a lot.

One can keep Chicago, give me Texas and Houston anyday.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 87):
Cuz Chicago threw a bunch of money at Boeing too?

Ding ding ding !!!

Quoting aerokiwi (Reply 90):
What should be more of a concern is the extraordinarily average product offering (both hard and soft) UA serves up. Actually, that goes for all American legacies. They've caught up to the European legacies, but remain well behind their Asian and Middle Eastern counterparts.

It takes a while to get everything going, plus the costs of redoing fleets and getting the STCs for the changes. Things are decided upon cost and what United gets for doing that change, and whether in a year or two, will there be another better change to be implemented. 700 airplanes, our subfleets are bigger than some European Airlines.

Quoting cosyr (Reply 93):
I think it's more about the cost. This way they only had to repaint 1/2 of the fleet (sUA) rather than 3/4 (sUA gray and sCO) or 100%.

That had the merger moving forward with a quick repaint that is fine, no matter what some anetters say. Fiscally responsible for sure, even though many, but not the majority, would have liked to see a whole new brand or a tired old tulip brand for the merger, especially when it is not their money being used for the merger.

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 97):
It was far from a mess. It was distinctive and businesslike, which were the two things UA was trying to achieve during that era. I (and alot of other people) really liked it!

It was a mess. We saw it first hand. Many Techs were incredulous that ex-United treated their elites with these dirty and shabby birds. Some elites must have liked the abuse because they received so many freebies and upgrades I guess. After seeing the ex-United birds, I would rather be on a ex-Con aircraft anyday. Clean and fresh. Businesslike.

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 97):
Branding is more than just a livery. Look at pmUA's ads with their classical music and animation compared to pmCO's "we have awesome chesseburgers" schtick. PMUA's was far superior and appropriate for a global, premium airline...

And yet Continental was doing good and flying to more international destinations than United, Continental was expanding while United was shrinking. Lot of good that branding did for United since 1995. I'll take Continental's progress since 1995 anyday.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 98):
Get YOUR act together...it's Delta Air Lines....3 words, not 2.

That horrible Delta branding, I still think of it as only 2 words. Must be a failure of Delta's branding.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 98):
FYI, Delta's act is very together whether you think so or not.

Why are they not offering all lay flat seats for international destinations out of the NYC area then ? If United is so bad, and Delta did their merger way before United did, why is Delta so far behind in the lay flat seat arms race ? It can only be that they do not have their act together.

Quoting mayor (Reply 101):
And, of course one of the highest, if not the highest, murder rate in the nation.......

Yes, Chicago winters are harsh also. Nice to visit Chicago, not a place I would choose to move too.

Quoting United1 (Reply 102):
Safe, clean, reliable transportation from point A to B....simple basic and to the point. That's what COs brand stood for prior to the merger and that is the direction UA has for the moment chosen for it's brand to represent.

Do that and then deal with the rest of it. United will get there.

Quoting Antoniemey (Reply 103):
You apparently don't understand the concept of trying to get buy-in from two work forces that were historically VERY, VERY hostile to each other.

And in some deplorable cases, still are. I'll defend my ex-Con days, but I really do like some of the ex-United folks we work with now. Some others, you can keep, along with some ex-Cons..

Quoting Antoniemey (Reply 103):
He was being sarcastic.

Thank you for getting it. Some folks are wound too tight.

Quoting Clipper136 (Reply 105):
What exactly was the topic of this thread again??!?!

United is bad and everything they do is bad, no matter how fiscally responsible they are trying to be ? Takes a lot to change all the different fleets too. 700 mainline airplanes cost a lot of money to modify along with 85,000 employees.

Quoting seatback (Thread starter):
Instead, we have a 23 year old former Continental brand (that was nice for them) but shows a complete lack of creativity and vision.

Perhaps their strategy was to get the back of house in order then address the public side later.

Lack of creativity and vision ? They showed creativity, vision and a financial responsibility that saved United money. I for one am glad the merger kept the United name and the Continental livery without any outside input. And according to 99+% of the passengers, those choices are fine.



UNITED We Stand
User currently offlineKingAir200 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1629 posts, RR: 2
Reply 108, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4089 times:

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 107):
After seeing the ex-United birds, I would rather be on a ex-Con aircraft anyday. Clean and fresh. Businesslike.

I think they're both a little dated, personally. The dark blue gray bulkhead laminates and light blue sidewalls on CO and weird tan/yellow design on UA both could use a change. But that's just me.



Hey Swifty
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6694 posts, RR: 24
Reply 109, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4097 times:

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 107):
If United is so bad, and Delta did their merger way before United did, why is Delta so far behind in the lay flat seat arms race ?

Because DL is installing a 2013 product. UA is busy installing a product from 2008. Even UA's new flagship plane (the 787) has a business product that is no better than what DL has been putting in the 767. Now I understand why UA is doing this, but it's not going to win them any awards or attract any new customers.

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 107):
And according to 99+% of the passengers, those choices are fine.

That must be why customers are leaving UA and UA is continually shrinking it's ASMs. If everyone was so in love with UA right now, they wouldn't be shrinking so much.

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 107):
They showed creativity, vision and a financial responsibility that saved United money.

Except that UA has a higher cost structure than DL...so despite saving all that money, UA doesn't have much to show for it.


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17786 posts, RR: 46
Reply 110, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4039 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 106):
How is that a brand? I would argue every airline offers that. So if that's UA's brand, they're never going to stand out much. Not to mention that UA's on-time performance still lags the industry.

No, every airline did NOT offer that. I think that was a major part of their success. Much like WN, CO promised the basics, which few carriers were delivering at the time, and then overdelivered. UA on the other hand was promising all kinds of nonsense (flying fish will carry you across the ocean in luxury! What byooteeful ads!) , and then failing to deliver on anything. What a great brand . An excellent operation will speak louder than any brand campaign; ain't that right VX?



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6694 posts, RR: 24
Reply 111, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4002 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 110):
No, every airline did NOT offer that.

But we're talking about UA's current branding....not 1996 or 2006.

If UA's only marketing is safe, clean and reliable, then they will struggle. Because if that's all you have to offer, you better have the lowest costs....and UA doesn't. In fact, depending on the outcome of AA/US, UA will be the highest cost operator in the industry.


User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3176 posts, RR: 8
Reply 112, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3935 times:

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 107):
Quoting Antoniemey (Reply 103):
He was being sarcastic.

Thank you for getting it. Some folks are wound too tight.

OK OK OK OK.....Sorry, I didn't read the next line.
Mea culpa!   



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 6101 posts, RR: 9
Reply 113, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3925 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 111):
Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 110):
No, every airline did NOT offer that.

But we're talking about UA's current branding....not 1996 or 2006

......but we are also talking about a company that is recreating itself. Right now UA is advertising that it offers safe, clean, reliable air transportation worldwide just the basics....their branding and advertising support that. SMI/J said a long time ago that they were not going to advertise the product until they were consistently offering it... You are starting to see them emphasize how many flat beds seats they offer.... why because all but two of the long haul fleet have them installed. They advertise their network strength...why because they fly to more cities than anyone else. These are all things they can and are delivering on. There are not going to advertise WiFi, powerports, streaming video or the new United Clubs very much and make them an integrated part of the brand that they are putting out there because they are still very much in the process of rolling those things out.



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6694 posts, RR: 24
Reply 114, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3823 times:

Quoting United1 (Reply 113):
You are starting to see them emphasize how many flat beds seats they offer....

The only problem is that the flatbed product is behind UA's competitors from day 1, so in another year or so when DL finishes rolling out it's flatbed's UA's advantage there will be gone.

Quoting United1 (Reply 113):
They advertise their network strength...why because they fly to more cities than anyone else.

The problem with this claim is that while UA's network is broad, it's also very shallow...meaning less frequencies and capacity comparative to many others. Outside of UA's hubs, they are dominant in virtually no secondary markets.

Look at places like BDL, RDU, JAX, PDX, AUS, etc. UA isn't the #1 carrier in any of these markets...and in many cases they aren't #2 or #3. Take a market like BDL which serves a population of 2 million people. UA has virtually no mainline left in this market...just a bunch of RJ's to ORD, IAD, CLE and EWR. If you're a business person in BDL, UA doesn't have much to offer.


User currently offlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 6101 posts, RR: 9
Reply 115, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3759 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 114):
The only problem is that the flatbed product is behind UA's competitors from day 1

How is it behind what UAs competitors offer at all? UA is already offering it on virtually every overseas flight..AA is only beginning to roll it out on the 773 fleet and hasn't even started installing it on the 772s....AAs 763s will not have the same product.

DL has 3 (and is about to have a 4th) different types of lie flat seats on their fleet....they offer an extremely inconstant product worldwide and to make it even worse have a significant number of aircraft that still feature barco-loungers . One of their seat styles is the old VS style herringbone seat that is being phased out by other carriers, you have another (763/764) that while it does have direct aisle access can only be described as....cozy. The third type is a bare bones version of same seat that AA is installing...while it is a great seat and certainly the next generation of J class it is not exactly a world class product. The 4th type of flat bed seat that DL is going to install on the 75E fleet is the same "diamond" seat from B/E that UA uses....

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 114):
Outside of UA's hubs, they are dominant in virtually no secondary markets.

I guess if you want to call 5400+ daily flights to 370+ cities worldwide shallow you are entitled to your opinion but I am not certain the facts support it. I'm not sure that they need to be dominate in secondary markets...UA has the largest hub in the top three metro areas in the US and IAH, SFO, IAD and even DEN and CLE are certainly not small markets either. UA also has a sizable presence in LAS, MCO, SAN and even SEA and BOS have a fair amount of UA service.



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10601 posts, RR: 14
Reply 116, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3717 times:

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 107):

That horrible Delta branding, I still think of it as only 2 words. Must be a failure of Delta's branding.

That's the way it's trademarked, Bubba......better get used to it. Been that way since the 1940s.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6694 posts, RR: 24
Reply 117, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3688 times:

Quoting United1 (Reply 115):
I guess if you want to call 5400+ daily flights to 370+ cities worldwide shallow you are entitled to your opinion

You're missing the point. UA's network is very broad as I said, but it's not very deep. That means that UA serves a lot of cities, but has less capacity, less frequencies and fewer markets from any given market than it's competitors. Outside of UA's major hubs, UA's network doesn't offer anything beyond it's competitors. UA can't live on customers from those six or seven hub markets alone...not to mention that UA's position in DEN/IAD/ORD isn't all that strong anyway despite being the "dominant" hub carrier. UA needs all those outstation markets too and UA isn't offering a lot to them. As years go by, unless UA changes course, they'll continue to see business traffic move away. There's a reason why UA is currently America's fastest shrinking airline.

Quoting United1 (Reply 115):
One of their seat styles is the old VS style herringbone seat that is being phased out by other carriers, you have another (763/764) that while it does have direct aisle access can only be described as....cozy. The third type is a bare bones version of same seat that AA is installing...while it is a great seat and certainly the next generation of J class it is not exactly a world class product.

But I would argue all three of these are superior to what UA offers. Even worse, they are superior to what UA will have in the 787's.


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10601 posts, RR: 14
Reply 118, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3684 times:

Quoting Antoniemey (Reply 103):

You apparently don't understand the concept of trying to get buy-in from two work forces that were historically VERY, VERY hostile to each other.

And, from what I understand, still are, in many cases.



It would have been like, in the old days, trying to merge the two workforces of DL & EA or DL & AA. I'm sure there's other examples out there of built in animosity.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 6101 posts, RR: 9
Reply 119, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3661 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 117):
You're missing the point

I'm not missing the point at all...I am disagreeing with it....for all of the reasons I stated above.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 117):
There's a reason why UA is currently America's fastest shrinking airline.

I'm not sure if the stats back that up but even if they do I am not certain that is at all for the reason you think it is. Trimming capacity at this stage of a merger is very common DL did it, UA is doing it and AA will do it. It's one of the ways that you cut costs and rightsize capacity during a merger.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 117):
But I would argue all three of these are superior to what UA offers. Even worse, they are superior to what UA will have in the 787's.

Why are they superior...because they have direct aisle access? I think you overvalue that quite a bit but if its so important then simply book the aisle seat. Why wouldn't UA install the diamond seat on the 788's? It's their current flagship J class product.



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10601 posts, RR: 14
Reply 120, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3630 times:

Quoting United1 (Reply 115):


DL has 3 (and is about to have a 4th) different types of lie flat seats on their fleet....they offer an extremely inconstant product worldwide and to make it even worse have a significant number of aircraft that still feature barco-loungers .

Do you really think people stay away from DL and book on UA because the perception is that DL's seating in J is inconsistent? Where in the world does it say that ALL the seat configurations have to be the same, on all the different types of a/c? Doesn't it work better to put what fits for a particular a/c rather than the same thing on all of them?



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineCALTECH From Poland, joined May 2007, 2305 posts, RR: 26
Reply 121, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3648 times:

Quoting KingAir200 (Reply 108):
I think they're both a little dated, personally. The dark blue gray bulkhead laminates and light blue sidewalls on CO and weird tan/yellow design on UA both could use a change. But that's just me.

Dated ? They are brand new off the roll when we install them.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 109):
Because DL is installing a 2013 product. UA is busy installing a product from 2008. Even UA's new flagship plane (the 787) has a business product that is no better than what DL has been putting in the 767. Now I understand why UA is doing this, but it's not going to win them any awards or attract any new customers.

Where is Delta' 787s again ?

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 109):
That must be why customers are leaving UA and UA is continually shrinking it's ASMs. If everyone was so in love with UA right now, they wouldn't be shrinking so much.

0.6%. you're right our ASMs went down.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 109):
Except that UA has a higher cost structure than DL...so despite saving all that money, UA doesn't have much to show for it.

United has a newer fleet and less gas guzzling aircraft. Sorry, that is quite a big piece of what a Airline is about.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 110):
No, every airline did NOT offer that. I think that was a major part of their success. Much like WN, CO promised the basics, which few carriers were delivering at the time, and then overdelivered. UA on the other hand was promising all kinds of nonsense (flying fish will carry you across the ocean in luxury! What byooteeful ads!) , and then failing to deliver on anything. What a great brand . An excellent operation will speak louder than any brand campaign; ain't that right VX?

Right.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 111):
If UA's only marketing is safe, clean and reliable, then they will struggle. Because if that's all you have to offer, you better have the lowest costs....and UA doesn't. In fact, depending on the outcome of AA/US, UA will be the highest cost operator in the industry.

So it's a bad thing that United spends more on it's fleet, employees and customers ? Think that should be the case and not scrimp on the fleet, employees and customers like United's competitors must be doing.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 112):
OK OK OK OK.....Sorry, I didn't read the next line.
Mea culpa!

It's okay. I was being sarcastic and more to come.

Quoting United1 (Reply 113):
......but we are also talking about a company that is recreating itself.

Trying to. Takes a lot more than some internet users just saying it should be so.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 114):
If you're a business person in BDL, UA doesn't have much to offer.

One city ? But if you are a business person in the NYC area, Washington D.C., Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles or a international business person, United offers just about the most. Lots of business going on in those cities.

Quoting United1 (Reply 115):
DL has 3 (and is about to have a 4th) different types of lie flat seats on their fleet....they offer an extremely inconstant product worldwide

While United is buying new aircraft, Delta is still buying and flying something called a MD-90. That is so last century. Then they still fly these things


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © DJ Reed - OPShots Photo Team



They do not even build those dinosaurs anymore. Sheesh, what a lack of branding and vision. Maybe that's why they are known as Doesn't Ever Leave The Airport.

Quoting United1 (Reply 115):
I guess if you want to call 5400+ daily flights to 370+ cities worldwide shallow you are entitled to your opinion but I am not certain the facts support it.

Look at Delta for example, merged long before United merged, and Delta can not match United's offering of lay flat seats on all international flights out of the NYC area. What a lack of leadership. Losing the lay flat seat arms race.

And those uniforms, what a disaster. The red. Are those 'remove before flight' straps on those Delta uniforms ? Or 'danger' warning straps ? All that red, like the 'capa de brega' used for bulls, is it to piss drunk passengers off ? Or is it a new way to get passengers to deplane and evacuate quickly ? Ever since this livery, which they never should have gotten rid of,

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Robert M. Campbell


Delta has done many liveries which show a lack of direction and leadership from Delta.
And this new livery, what is that thing on the tail ? Honoring Northwest ? Then why does it point northeast on the right side ?

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Photo © AJ Heiser - PHX Spotters



And from half a mile away, the Delta on the fuselage disappears. One would not be able to tell what airplane just landed as you step off the bus with this livery. This is a disaster. Hope they did not go to an outside agency for this horrid branding. Would have been better to buy some newer airplanes with that money.



UNITED We Stand
User currently offlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 6101 posts, RR: 9
Reply 122, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3608 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 120):
Do you really think people stay away from DL and book on UA because the perception is that DL's seating in J is inconsistent?

No not at all and nor was that the point I was trying to make. I do however believe that consistency is something UA is really trying to inject into its image and that influences what products UA chooses to advertise and incorporate into its brand. I don't for one second think that UA having the current generation of lie flats seats vs the next generation (ex: CX or AA) hurts UA in the slightest. I mean look at DL...they have the old generation of lie flats (the herringbone) installed on their newest aircraft (the 77L) and AFAIK they have no intention of stripping them out at this point. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong on that as you are certainly more up to date on DL than I am.



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6694 posts, RR: 24
Reply 123, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3599 times:

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 121):
0.6%. you're right our ASMs went down.


Try down 4.3% year to date and down 4.5% at mainline only. Not to mention all the shrinking that UA was doing pre-merger.

Plus, DL's merger created efficiencies by dumping low volume hubs (CVG/MEM) and moving that traffic to larger aircraft in larger hubs. UA hasn't seen any of those gains.

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 121):
So it's a bad thing that United spends more on it's fleet, employees and customers ?

It is a problem if you don't get a return on all that extra investment. UA is spending more, but getting less in return....that's a problem.

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 121):
But if you are a business person in the NYC area, Washington D.C., Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles or a international business person, United offers just about the most. Lots of business going on in those cities.

Not enough to fill all 5,400 flights a day, so you're going to need a lot of customers from secondary markets. Not to mention that in the past two years, UA has lost marketshare in Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles.

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 121):
While United is buying new aircraft, Delta is still buying and flying something called a MD-90.

Those old planes are more comfortable and cost efficient than most of UA's mainline fleet. Plus, those old birds allow DL to rapidly retire inefficient RJ's...something UA can't do. UA is still busy shrinking their mainline fleet forcing more customers onto high cost RJ's.


User currently offlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 6101 posts, RR: 9
Reply 124, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3582 times:

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 121):
Quoting KingAir200 (Reply 108):
I think they're both a little dated, personally. The dark blue gray bulkhead laminates and light blue sidewalls on CO and weird tan/yellow design on UA both could use a change. But that's just me.

Dated ? They are brand new off the roll when we install them.

I think they both need a bit of an update....it's interesting to see that the new A320 seats are of a completely different color. Wonder if that's the future...what's funny as well on that aircraft is they used the CO carpeting with the UA grey bars on the bulkhead design.



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10601 posts, RR: 14
Reply 125, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3583 times:

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 121):

Delta has done many liveries which show a lack of direction and leadership from Delta.

I can go back to when I started with DL in '71 at ORD and come up with just as many, if not more, UA liveries from that time until now. The only difference is that UA's were spread out more over that time period.....DL's two changes, "Ron Allen" and "Wavy Gravy" were only a few years apart and the entire fleet never did get completely changed over in one livery or the other. And, trust me, most of us working there during that time period did think the whole livery thing was kind of stupid, especially when, all of a sudden, Leo thought he needed a new livery as his legacy (I guess).

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 121):
And this new livery, what is that thing on the tail ? Honoring Northwest ? Then why does it point northeast on the right side ?

That's called a "Widget" for the obviously uninformed. New livery was before the merger, despite what the conspiracy theorists say. So, which direction it's pointing has no bearing whatsoever......it has nothing to do with NW, although, it does, inadvertantly, honor the Red Tails.

On the other hand UA managed to take two decent liveries, take parts of both and come up with something worse. That must take extraordinary skill. I certainly hope you didn't pay an outside agency for that kind of work, or worse, someone working in Willis Tower in Chicago. Maybe a demotion to cleaning aircraft is in store for that person.

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 121):

While United is buying new aircraft, Delta is still buying and flying something called a MD-90. That is so last century.
Quoting CALTECH (Reply 121):


They do not even build those dinosaurs anymore. Sheesh, what a lack of branding and vision. Maybe that's why they are known as Doesn't Ever Leave The Airport.

The Douglas a/c will still be flying with DL or someone else, LONG after UA's A-320s, etc. are sitting in the desert. They've already proven that.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2794 posts, RR: 2
Reply 126, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3536 times:

Right now the branding isn't very inspiring, but they're still busy bringing two airlines together into one seamless and consistent operation. Getting that right will do more for the United brand than any new livery, slogans, or television commercials. Fix the airline, then roll out a refreshed brand to highlight all the work you've done.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 117):
UA's network is very broad as I said, but it's not very deep. That means that UA serves a lot of cities, but has less capacity, less frequencies and fewer markets from any given market than it's competitors.

That really depends on where you look. Look at the west coast and try to say with a straight face that UA's network isn't superior to DL or AA in those secondary markets.

It's easy to cherry pick markets that look bad for UA, DL, or AA.



It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 6101 posts, RR: 9
Reply 127, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3558 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 125):
On the other hand UA managed to take two decent liveries, take parts of both and come up with something worse. That must take extraordinary skill. I certainly hope you didn't pay an outside agency for that kind of work, or worse, someone working in Willis Tower in Chicago. Maybe a demotion to cleaning aircraft is in store for that person.

Supposedly it was SMI/J and TIL/G themselves....if it makes you feel any better I don't think they paid for it, UA wasn't in the Sears (don't call it Willis) Tower at that point and one of them no longer works for UA.

Quoting mayor (Reply 125):
The Douglas a/c will still be flying with DL or someone else, LONG after UA's A-320s, etc. are sitting in the desert. They've already proven that.

Douglas aircraft are built like tanks.....DL has picked an interesting fleet strategy flying and acquiring older aircraft and flying them into the ground. UA is going the opposite direction believing that shiny and new is better....both strategies work.



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlineFriendlySkies From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 4120 posts, RR: 5
Reply 128, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3561 times:

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 121):
Dated ? They are brand new off the roll when we install them.

Sure, physically new, but they look like they are from 1995, when dark, sterile everything were all the rage.

PMUAs yellow walls are worse, but at least the side walls are white...


User currently offlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 6101 posts, RR: 9
Reply 129, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3545 times:

Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 128):
PMUAs yellow walls are worse, but at least the side walls are white...

I do kind of like the wall paper in the UA lavs however.....its was/is unique  



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlineOA412 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 5351 posts, RR: 25
Reply 130, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3533 times:

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 121):
One city ? But if you are a business person in the NYC area, Washington D.C., Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles or a international business person, United offers just about the most. Lots of business going on in those cities.

You're right, but you can't run an airline that depends only on business travelers from those cities. They need the smaller cities that feed into these hubs to fill the aircraft flying from these larger cities. As FlyPNS1 correctly points out, UA is actually quite small in many secondary markets.

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 121):
They do not even build those dinosaurs anymore. Sheesh, what a lack of branding and vision. Maybe that's why they are known as Doesn't Ever Leave The Airport.

From March 2012 - March 2013 (the last month for which stats are available), DL's on-time arrival rate was almost 10 percentage points higher than UA's.

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 121):
And those uniforms, what a disaster. The red. Are those 'remove before flight' straps on those Delta uniforms ? Or 'danger' warning straps ? All that red, like the 'capa de brega' used for bulls, is it to piss drunk passengers off ? Or is it a new way to get passengers to deplane and evacuate quickly ? Ever since this livery, which they never should have gotten rid of,

What? Those uniforms are probably the best legacy uniform in the US and far nicer than the new uniforms that UA just announced. Then again, WN's uniforms tend to be nicer than the ones UA just announced...

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 121):
Delta has done many liveries which show a lack of direction and leadership from Delta.

They had the two different liveries through the late 90's and 2000's, at a time when DL was sort of all over the place. The "widget" livery before the introduction of the "Ron Allen" colors in 1997 had been around for several decades. The current livery is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 121):
And this new livery, what is that thing on the tail ? Honoring Northwest ? Then why does it point northeast on the right side ?

Huh? The new livery has nothing to do with NW. It was introduced before the merger.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 123):
Not enough to fill all 5,400 flights a day, so you're going to need a lot of customers from secondary markets. Not to mention that in the past two years, UA has lost marketshare in Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles.

  

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 123):
Those old planes are more comfortable and cost efficient than most of UA's mainline fleet. Plus, those old birds allow DL to rapidly retire inefficient RJ's...something UA can't do. UA is still busy shrinking their mainline fleet forcing more customers onto high cost RJ's.

   Take DEN-SLC, a route I fly several times a year. F9 is all 319/320, WN (of course) is all 737, DL has upgauged a couple of the flights this summer to the 320. The others are all CR9 and one CR7. UA on the other hand is the only one of the 4 still flying all RJ between the cities this summer, 2 of those flights on high-cost CRJ's and even flying one on the Q400.



Hughes Airwest - Top Banana In The West
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6694 posts, RR: 24
Reply 131, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3525 times:

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 126):
It's easy to cherry pick markets that look bad for UA, DL, or AA.

But I'm not cherry picking. Take the top 100 markets in the U.S. and look at how the carriers stack up in each. Outside of it's hubs, UA is almost never #1 and often not even #2...despite being such a large carrier. It's hard to drive a revenue premium when you are #3 or 4 in most markets...unless you are truly offering something unique that other carriers don't.

Quoting United1 (Reply 127):
UA is going the opposite direction believing that shiny and new is better....both strategies work.

We don't know that for sure. If fuel prices were to really skyrocket, DL's strategy might backfire as their older fleet is less fuel efficient. However, if fuel prices don't skyrocket, DL's strategy likely pays off as DL can expand to a much larger mainline fleet while UA cannot because UA cannot afford the CapEx.


User currently offlineKingAir200 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1629 posts, RR: 2
Reply 132, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3516 times:

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 121):

Dated as in need of a design update, not physically old.



Hey Swifty
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10601 posts, RR: 14
Reply 133, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3486 times:

Quoting United1 (Reply 127):
Sears (don't call it Willis) Tower

I normally wouldn't, but there are so many uninformed on here.  



I still call "Energy Solutions Arena" (what an absurd name for a place to play basketball) in SLC, The Delta Center and probably always will.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 6101 posts, RR: 9
Reply 134, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3455 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 131):
Quoting United1 (Reply 127):
UA is going the opposite direction believing that shiny and new is better....both strategies work.

We don't know that for sure. If fuel prices were to really skyrocket, DL's strategy might backfire as their older fleet is less fuel efficient. However, if fuel prices don't skyrocket, DL's strategy likely pays off as DL can expand to a much larger mainline fleet while UA cannot because UA cannot afford the CapEx.

Actually both strategies should work in either scenario. DL can acquire used aircraft cheaply (although they are running out of options to do that...) and can park them if fuel hits the roof without any major impact as they are mostly already depreciated or use them for expansion as needed. MTC and fuel costs are of course higher for DL but they do save on CAPEX.

UA can acquire new aircraft and either use them to grow or retire older aircraft. If fuel hits the roof the newer aircraft provide something of a buffer and UA does have the ability to park older aircraft or defer deliveries if they need to. While they do pay more upfront for CAPEX they save on MTC and fuel. As for UA not being able to afford CAPEX aircraft are generally very easy to finance and for the most part the growth aircraft UA is rumored to be looking at are smaller C-Series or EMBs-190/195s...

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 131):
Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 126):
It's easy to cherry pick markets that look bad for UA, DL, or AA.

But I'm not cherry picking. Take the top 100 markets in the U.S. and look at how the carriers stack up in each. Outside of it's hubs, UA is almost never #1 and often not even #2...despite being such a large carrier. It's hard to drive a revenue premium when you are #3 or 4 in most markets...unless you are truly offering something unique that other carriers don't.

I don't necessarily disagree with you that UA is not number 1 or 2 is a lot of markets outside of its hubs but I do disagree with that its necessary for UA to be. Look at where UAs hubs are...something like 20-25% of the US has direct access to a UA hub.



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 6101 posts, RR: 9
Reply 135, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3405 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 133):
Quoting United1 (Reply 127):
Sears (don't call it Willis) Tower

I normally wouldn't, but there are so many uninformed on here.
[quote=mayor,reply=133]I still call "Energy Solutions Arena" (what an absurd name for a place to play basketball) in SLC, The Delta Center and probably always will.

...that's the spirit. Comiskey Park will always be Comiskey Park....never US Cellular Field. Although the United Center name certainly stuck....I can't think of anyone who calls it Chicago Stadium. See UAs branding does work...... 



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10601 posts, RR: 14
Reply 136, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3200 times:

Quoting United1 (Reply 135):
.I can't think of anyone who calls it Chicago Stadium.

Well, it never was......the "United Center" was built in '94.......the old building was Chicago Stadium.......I went to see the Monkees in concert, there, in '67.



And, now back to the original topic before the mods get mad at me, again. (smile, guys).



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineFreshSide3 From United States of America, joined Nov 2012, 294 posts, RR: 0
Reply 137, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3162 times:
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Quoting mayor (Reply 31):
It says that you can pour all the money you want into your airline, for shiny new planes, "cool" interiors, etc., but if you don't have a viable plan to make money, eventually, those shiny new planes are going to get parked and Virgin American will just become another PA, TW, EA, etc., thrown up on the heap of failed airlines.

One problem at UA is another kind of "fluff" where money is being wasted on. There's been a lot of customer service "retraining" classses lately, which is a bit of a joke. It's one thing to send people that really need work with their skills, but they are sending EVERYONE. And, by all accounts, it really isn't anything remedial, but rather, more of a "feel good" thing about managment pretending to be doing something constructive to improve service

Quoting F9animal (Reply 34):
Remember UA's "Rising" branding? I really thought UA was on the right track. Empowering employees to do the right thing, and take care of the customer. The product was great, and service seemed to be headed in the right direction. I was employed with UA during this time, and the campaign was like a breath of fresh air. We had tools to use when ops becamea problem. I remember the $25.00 gift vouchers we had on hand to give out when a passenger was wronged. The new chef, and wine selections. I mean, that program is something that UA should consider modeling after.

Yes, it was a great time when Greenwald was running UA. Could have used a better choice of name, though, but the program did work well. Nowadays, especially with that trashy SHARES system, and less empowerment, the service isn't as good. UA agents are barely trained for ticketing these days. Many agents only know how to work gates, or do check-in, but almost nothing with ticketing.

It's ludicrous that, in irregular ops, you have to call the help desk for an authorization to reissue certain complicated transactions. In the APOLLO/FASTAIR days, agents were trained properly, had full empowerment to do what was neccessary, and just go through it quickly, and then move on to the next customer. THIS is where the training money should have been spent-----not in "feel good fluff".

Quoting United1 (Reply 135):
...that's the spirit. Comiskey Park will always be Comiskey Park....never US Cellular Field. Although the United Center name certainly stuck....I can't think of anyone who calls it Chicago Stadium. See UAs branding does work......

United Center stuck, which is an anomoly for corporate names of facilities.......as for the tower, it will always be "Sears" to me.....as for "Willis".......that's either (1)Bruce.....or (2)Gary Coleman's brother....


User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5906 posts, RR: 5
Reply 138, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3147 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 111):
If UA's only marketing is safe, clean and reliable, then they will struggle. Because if that's all you have to offer

For as much as I don't like him, this is one area that SMI/J has bought into the Bethune legacy. Anyone who has read From Worst to First will know that Gordon Bethune was obsessive about building the Continental brand around these elements. Basically he considered that RELIABILITY was #1, and if you got that right then everything else would fall into place. Why? Because your passengers would stay with your airline.

As mentioned several times, CO under-promised and over-delivered. The WN marketing strategy, if you like. As mentioned, this was so that passengers wouldn't be disappointed when they didn't receive everything promised by a glossy commercial (looking at PMUA). If you customers arrived at their destination, having received more than they expected, on-time (and with their bags to boot), then they will look favorably on your airline and come back next time. If they are disappointed by the experience, were late, and their bags ended up in GFK, then they're less likely to come back next time. That is pretty damn self-evident. This distinction was why CO and UA had such different branding strategies pre-merger.

You can all bitch about how "mediocre", "boring", "uncreative", "dated", "your choice of adjective", the CO branding was pre-merger as much as you like. But it did work. Whether it was better than the UA approach (pretty pictures and poor service) is debatable. As much as some might hate it, I think it's a smart move to adopt the CO approach, especially during the merger integration process when there is still a lot of discrepancy throughout the system.

A "brand" is much more than nice commercials. CO built their brand on reliability. UA didn't. At the end of the day passengers choose to fly because they want to get somewhere else, preferably when they planned to. When you get down into the nitty gritty, ontime flights and bags that end up in the right place do more to build loyalty than cartoon fish and classical music.



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineFreshSide3 From United States of America, joined Nov 2012, 294 posts, RR: 0
Reply 139, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3131 times:
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Quoting OA412 (Reply 130):
Quoting CALTECH (Reply 121):One city ? But if you are a business person in the NYC area, Washington D.C., Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles or a international business person, United offers just about the most. Lots of business going on in those cities.

You're right, but you can't run an airline that depends only on business travelers from those cities. They need the smaller cities that feed into these hubs to fill the aircraft flying from these larger cities. As FlyPNS1 correctly points out, UA is actually quite small in many secondary markets.
Quoting OA412 (Reply 130):
Take DEN-SLC, a route I fly several times a year. F9 is all 319/320, WN (of course) is all 737, DL has upgauged a couple of the flights this summer to the 320. The others are all CR9 and one CR7. UA on the other hand is the only one of the 4 still flying all RJ between the cities this summer, 2 of those flights on high-cost CRJ's and even flying one on the Q400.

Seattle, despite being a reasonably big market, doesn't exactly have the optimum mix of flights,. We are a few short, but can survive, providing there is enough feed into the hubs. Which is why the LAX schedule on UA is ludicrous. No flights before 11am, and all four flights are RJs. One is often a coach-only configuration.

Alaska is usually full. Southwest does not have agreements with UA. And SFO has flow problems. Upsizing SEA-LAX would make sense, just as in the case of the DEN-SLC scenerio mentioned above...


User currently offlineCALTECH From Poland, joined May 2007, 2305 posts, RR: 26
Reply 140, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3072 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 123):
Try down 4.3% year to date and down 4.5% at mainline only. Not to mention all the shrinking that UA was doing pre-merger.

Plus, DL's merger created efficiencies by dumping low volume hubs (CVG/MEM) and moving that traffic to larger aircraft in larger hubs. UA hasn't seen any of those gains.

Woo boy, stop the airline. It's over. Must be on the board. Lets see what happens when the 787s come into the fleet. Horrible marketing strategy to go big in low volume hubs, then cut service and jobs in those areas. Just poor decision making.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 123):
It is a problem if you don't get a return on all that extra investment. UA is spending more, but getting less in return....that's a problem.

It is called investing in the future, we'll see how the maintenance costs start to rise of those old airplanes Delta keeps flying. Flying old technology airplanes, what a shame for Delta.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 123):
Not enough to fill all 5,400 flights a day, so you're going to need a lot of customers from secondary markets. Not to mention that in the past two years, UA has lost marketshare in Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles.

Marketshare in Chicago, Denve and Los Angeles has nothing to do with other airlines increasing flights, does it.  
Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 123):
Not enough to fill all 5,400 flights a day, so you're going to need a lot of customers from secondary markets. Not to mention that in the past two years, UA has lost marketshare in Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles.
http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/inde...elta_to_open_up_more_seats_to.html

So that's how you become number one in a secondary market, just add one flight. :-l

United must not do any hub and spoke flying has to be the reason why United is not #1 in these secondary markets.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 123):
Those old planes are more comfortable and cost efficient than most of UA's mainline fleet.

No they are not. They are noisy and bad for the enviroment. And Delta's seats are bad too. Plus Delta doesn't have E+. Sorry, that is a false post #123.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 123):
Plus, those old birds allow DL to rapidly retire inefficient RJ's...

Nice new RJ versus a old tired gas guzzling jetliner. That's a great vision for a passenger.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 123):
UA is still busy shrinking their mainline fleet forcing more customers onto high cost RJ's.

Shiny new United Express RJ or old tired Delta jetliner. I'll take the RJ.

Quoting United1 (Reply 124):
I think they both need a bit of an update....

I know, sarcasm intended.

Quoting mayor (Reply 125):
I can go back to when I started with DL in '71 at ORD and come up with just as many, if not more, UA liveries from that time until now. The only difference is that UA's were spread out more over that time period.....DL's two changes, "Ron Allen" and "Wavy Gravy" were only a few years apart and the entire fleet never did get completely changed over in one livery or the other. And, trust me, most of us working there during that time period did think the whole livery thing was kind of stupid, especially when, all of a sudden, Leo thought he needed a new livery as his legacy (I guess).

And they have all sucked since.

Quoting mayor (Reply 125):
That's called a "Widget" for the obviously uninformed.

Really ? Let me rid you of your misinformation.
The Widget was http://www.deltamuseum.org/M_Educati...eltaHistory_Delta-Brand_Widget.htm

Like I remember it. Not this cropped, red tilted thing, on the tail. And the rest of the livery is just bland. Very boring and hard to tell if it's indeed Delta on the fuselage. Delta must be too embarrassed about flying those worn out old jet airplanes.

Quoting mayor (Reply 125):
On the other hand UA managed to take two decent liveries, take parts of both and come up with something worse. That must take extraordinary skill. I certainly hope you didn't pay an outside agency for that kind of work, or worse, someone working in Willis Tower in Chicago. Maybe a demotion to cleaning aircraft is in store for that person.

Still better than the LAV service the Delta livery decision makers should get. What a horrid livery, and to think Delta paid money for that.

Quoting mayor (Reply 125):
The Douglas a/c will still be flying with DL or someone else, LONG after UA's A-320s, etc. are sitting in the desert. They've already proven that.

Old technology, gas guzzlers and uncomfortable 5 across seating. Apalling really, that old aircraft like that are allowed to carry passengers across the sky with new aircraft available, but if Delta can not afford new airplanes, soon they will be left behind,.......

Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 128):
Sure, physically new, but they look like they are from 1995, when dark, sterile everything were all the rage.

PMUAs yellow walls are worse, but at least the side walls are white...

Sarcasm intended.

Quoting OA412 (Reply 130):
What? Those uniforms are probably the best legacy uniform in the US and far nicer than the new uniforms that UA just announced. Then again, WN's uniforms tend to be nicer than the ones UA just announced...

To a bull in a arena maybe.

Quoting OA412 (Reply 130):
They had the two different liveries through the late 90's and 2000's, at a time when DL was sort of all over the place. The "widget" livery before the introduction of the "Ron Allen" colors in 1997 had been around for several decades. The current livery is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Too bad. Another horrid livery from Delta. Doesn't say much for Delta's branding. Can't read the name on the plane from a distance, probably to keep secret the fact that Delta is flying old airplanes.

Quoting OA412 (Reply 130):
Huh? The new livery has nothing to do with NW. It was introduced before the merger.

Really ?

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 131):
But I'm not cherry picking. Take the top 100 markets in the U.S. and look at how the carriers stack up in each. Outside of it's hubs, UA is almost never #1 and often not even #2...despite being such a large carrier. It's hard to drive a revenue premium when you are #3 or 4 in most markets...unless you are truly offering something unique that other carriers don't.

Wonder if United is number 1 or 2 in these markets below. Does it matter if you are #2 or 3 in a secondary market where adding 1 flight a day or week would make you number 1 ? Please.

"Top USA Routes for Domestic Flights

Here are the most popular routes within the United States...


Los Angeles to San Francisco (LAX - SFO)
San Francisco to Los Angeles (SFO - LAX)
Honolulu to Los Angeles (HNL - LAX)
New York to Los Angeles (JFK - LAX)
New York to San Francisco (JFK - SFO)


Los Angeles to New York (LAX - JFK)
Las Vegas to Los Angeles (LAS - LAX)
Chicago to Los Angeles (ORD - LAX)
San Francisco to New York (SFO - JFK)
San Francisco to Seattle (SFO - SEA)"
http://flights.expedia.com/

Quoting KingAir200 (Reply 132):
Dated as in need of a design update, not physically old.

I know.

Quoting mayor (Reply 133):
I normally wouldn't, but there are so many uninformed on here

You should really read up on the widget to stay informed.

Quoting United1 (Reply 134):
I don't necessarily disagree with you that UA is not number 1 or 2 is a lot of markets outside of its hubs but I do disagree with that its necessary for UA to be. Look at where UAs hubs are...something like 20-25% of the US has direct access to a UA hub.

Adding a flight a day or week to become number one in a secondary market might be a good marketing technique, but only if it makes sense financially.


Quoting mayor (Reply 116):
That's the way it's trademarked, Bubba......better get used to it. Been that way since the 1940s.

You better call Delta's hotline then Bluto, especially since all their aircraft have only Delta painted on their fuselages. No Delta Air Lines. Maybe those in charge of painting Delta airplanes should be demoted LAV servicing too.



UNITED We Stand
User currently offlineN809FR From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 182 posts, RR: 2
Reply 141, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3047 times:

My impression of United is that of an airline that has yet to decide which course to truly take. I flew UA pre-merger and received nothing but excellent service, on-time flights, and a very enticing product. It wasn't until I began to fly Delta exclusively that I began to expect more, having had 30+ flights with no delays, friendly flight attendants, and a generally consistent product.

This past March I flew UA DEN-LAX-SFO-KIX (don't ask, only way to get ANA on the return), having PMCO crews and aircraft for the first two flights with mediocre service and inconsistent product between the 739 and 753. The day before departure UA switched the seating configuration from a 3-3-3 to a 2-5-2, which wouldn't have been a problem had I not been flying with my mother and had good seats to start with as we were suddenly booked in separate rows. In the end we purchased E+ seats so we could sit together, at a cost of $139 or so per seat. Not more than three hours later we were back on a 3-3-3 configuration and yet again separated. UA offered zero sympathy for our situation, and suggested we try at the airport to get seated together again. We ended up deciding to sit separate so my mother could have 21H so she could freely get up due to clotting issues. Then the real fun began, after arriving in SFO already tired and not looking forward to a 12 hour flight across the Pacific we turned back to the gate due to a problem with a generator in engine 2, a delay which was originally supposed to be 45 minutes turned into 4 hours and 59 minutes according to UA anyways. Truly the only thing that made UA come out of this looking positive at all was the phenomenal PMUA crew, who were gracious and very apologetic about the delay. If UA has anything going for it, it is the PMUA crew, who went above and beyond to pacify all problems and made an otherwise unpleasant experience somewhat bearable.

Would I fly UA again? No, but that has more to do with the experiences I've had with DL, though across the Pacific I'll be booking NH regardless of a price difference. My mother is a UA 1K and has said she would not fly UA if they paid her. Clearly someone has done something wrong, and that idiot is currently making far more money than I could ever dream of.


User currently offlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 6101 posts, RR: 9
Reply 142, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days ago) and read 2840 times:

Quoting FreshSide3 (Reply 137):
One problem at UA is another kind of "fluff" where money is being wasted on. There's been a lot of customer service "retraining" classses lately, which is a bit of a joke. It's one thing to send people that really need work with their skills, but they are sending EVERYONE.

Well....sometimes customer service training isn't about retraining those who are doing things badly. Most of the time customer service training is about getting everyone on the same page so they offer a consistent level of service to everyone.



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlineEaglePower83 From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 275 posts, RR: 0
Reply 143, posted (1 year 6 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2446 times:

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 15):
I think the Former Continental livery for the New United is great!! It has only been 14 months since United-Continental officially merged as one carrier. They are doing a much better job than DL!!

Ahh sweet delusion. Have you flown Delta?
You still get cookies n pretzels in coach, as well as blankets. The staff are attentive and helpful.
It's a clean, drama-free experience that is contemporary with today.
United is now staid, unpredictable, bland and sometimes dysfunctional.

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 107):
I like all of Texas, Illinois is okay, Chicago you can keep. Very intolerant people up there, with the murder rate, closing of Meigs Field,....

Intollerant?   WHY YOU LITTLE!!!! ..........

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 107):
Lack of creativity and vision ? They showed creativity, vision and a financial responsibility that saved United money. I for one am glad the merger kept the United name and the Continental livery without any outside input. And according to 99+% of the passengers, those choices are fine.

87% of statistics are made up on the spot.


User currently offlineSA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 26
Reply 144, posted (1 year 6 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2300 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

This thread has run its course with some members resorting to continuous name calling, flamebait and disrespecting other users. The thread will thus be locked down for further contributions. Any posts added after the thread lock will be removed for housekeeping purposes only.

Regards,

SA7700



When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
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