Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Chicago Business: Smisek (UA) Is In Trouble  
User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Posted (5 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 26097 times:

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/artic...10/311029985/three-ceos-in-trouble

Upcoming cuts at United will be near a billion dollars. Not a good sign. Thoughts?


"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
161 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlineKarlB737 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3040 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (5 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 26023 times:

Here is the heart of the article:

Courtesy: Crain's Chicago Business

"United shares have trailed the broader market and key competitors since United and Continental merged three years ago. Since revenue growth became an issue in July, United stock has lost 2 percent while Delta Air Lines Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. rose 22 percent and 17.5 percent, respectively. With revenue unlikely to improve in the fourth quarter, Mr. Smisek is taking another whack at costs. On United's third-quarter conference call, CFO John Rainey indicated the airline plans cost cuts in the $1 billion range."

I suspect that they will probably cut some costs a little at a time and see what happens.


User currently onlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5815 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (5 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 25994 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Thread starter):
Upcoming cuts at United will be near a billion dollars. Not a good sign. Thoughts?

Old news was announced on the Q3 conference call.... and actually it's a great sign that they are getting a handle on costs at this point. UA has been on a bit of a spending spree the last few quarters fixing the integration issues.



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlineAirAfreak From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 665 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 25837 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

How many more cuts can UA possibly do? The article does not detail much information.

I think someone should give Gordon Bethune a call and offer a nice compensation package to bring him back as CEO. This is my personal opinion as a passenger because those days really were the "glory days" of Continental. I understand there are technical difficulties and no airline is perfect, however, Mr. Bethune really had something positive to offer employees and passengers pre & post-9/11.

Again, this is my personal opinion.



Do you lead an Intercontinental life?
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 16927 posts, RR: 48
Reply 4, posted (5 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 25806 times:

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 3):
How many more cuts can UA possibly do?

Maybe one or two of the zillion HQs UA has in the Chicago area?  I think UA could do lots of buyouts--DL did several waves of buyouts post merger and I don't think UA has done much of that.

[Edited 2013-11-11 20:09:30]


E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 4677 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (5 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 25699 times:

Quoting United1 (Reply 2):
Old news was announced on the Q3 conference call.... and actually it's a great sign that they are getting a handle on costs at this point

Exactly. This is neither "news", nor bad news ... unless you are a ramper.

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 3):
How many more cuts can UA possibly do?

United's costs have been RISING. They haven't been any real "cuts" until now.

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 3):
those days really were the "glory days" of Continental

100% agree that those were the glory days, but Gordon has been retired now for a decade so he's been out of game for a while and probably isn't interested in returning. While I have enormous respect for his turnaround of CO I'm not sure what he can do here, other than motivate employees. United has some systemic issues, and while the people at the top aren't helping, the issues run much deeper than just the choice of CEO.



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 16927 posts, RR: 48
Reply 6, posted (5 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 25668 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 5):
100% agree that those were the glory days, but Gordon has been retired now for a decade so he's been out of game for a while and probably isn't interested in returning. While I have enormous respect for his turnaround of CO I'm not sure what he can do here, other than motivate employees.

   Gordon (and Crandall and Kelleher etc etc) were great in their own ways in their own times, but times are different, and they may not have the answers, or interest, today.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineripcordd From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1126 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (5 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 25590 times:

This goes to the rumor I heard that UA may file for BK again.

User currently offlineJAAlbert From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1491 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (5 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 25522 times:

What sort of things will UA cut? UA isn't known for its in flight service - it hardly competes with the other international carriers with it's current offering. Park some planes and drive up yield perhaps?

User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 4677 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (5 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 25467 times:

Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 8):
What sort of things will UA cut?

Most (all?) of the cuts are coming from the new IAM contract, including outsourcing something like 40 (?) stations.

The on board product is safe, indeed you will note that UA is continuing to heavily invest in its hardware, despite being the only airline in the USA to have 100% flatbed J/F on its transcontinental fleet.



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently onlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5815 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (5 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 25193 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 9):
Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 8):
What sort of things will UA cut?

Most (all?) of the cuts are coming from the new IAM contract, including outsourcing something like 40 (?) stations.

The on board product is safe, indeed you will note that UA is continuing to heavily invest in its hardware, despite being the only airline in the USA to have 100% flatbed J/F on its transcontinental fleet.

I am sure some of the cuts will be will be on the labor side (I am sure there will be some of the smaller mainline stations...ie one of two flights a day... that are currently UA staffed will be farmed out.) Some of it will also be from being able to cut some of the contracted staff that UA had to keep on hand prior to a joint contract being reached. Also now that the pilots have an integrated contract UA is able to start cross fleeting which will help cut crew costs.


Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 4):
Maybe one or two of the zillion HQs UA has in the Chicago area?  I think UA could do lots of buyouts--DL did several waves of buyouts post merger and I don't think UA has done much of that.

There are about a 1000 people (now that the IAM has ratified their contract) that expressed an interest in an early out package...UA is supposed to start the separation process fairly soon.

It's not just labor though where UA will be looking at cost savings...in fact I would go so far as to say most of the billion or so that they intend on cutting won't be from labor.

Continuing to take delivery of new aircraft will also help (replacing a 757 with a 739ER saves UA 2.5 million a year.)
Now that they have done some of the preventative maintenance that was lacking on the UA fleet they are going to start increasing utilization of that fleet...that will lower costs and generate more revenue.
Adding in 6-12 seats on the Airbi and 738 fleets not only increases revenue but will also lower the CASM on those aircraft.
Bringing the EMB-175s onboard and retiring some of the 50 seat RJs again will cut costs.
Just shifting around the 744s again will add something like 40 million in revenue to the bottom line.

The biggest thing that needs to be kept in mind is that UA is doing this as a profitable airline trying to make itself more profitable. This isn't out of desperation or UA being in any trouble or danger of going away or BK again this is simply UA working on completing the merger process. Now that they heavy lifting is done this is more trimming fat and making sure things are being done as efficiently as possible....this isn't something that the average passenger will notice.

The details will be announced at the investors presentation...



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently onlineIADCA From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 1236 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (5 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 25146 times:

Quoting ripcordd (Reply 7):
This goes to the rumor I heard that UA may file for BK again.

I'd love to be the bankruptcy judge that receives a petition from a company that's made $750 million (even including special charges) in the last two quarters. Humbly, I suggest that you need a new rumor mill.


User currently onlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5815 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (5 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 25141 times:

Quoting ripcordd (Reply 7):
This goes to the rumor I heard that UA may file for BK again.

There is no need and no justification for them to...they have around 6.7 billion in liquidity and around 5 billion in assets that they can borrow against if they need more and are a profitable company. BK is really only good if you are short of cash (which clearly they are not) or if you need to restructure contracts/agreements ect that can't be re-negotiated voluntarily.



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlineKD5MDK From United States of America, joined Mar 2013, 240 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 24360 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 9):
The on board product is safe, indeed you will note that UA is continuing to heavily invest in its hardware, despite being the only airline in the USA to have 100% flatbed J/F on its transcontinental fleet.

Isn't this obviously essential since they will be losing that distinction very quickly?


User currently offlinebjorn14 From Norway, joined Feb 2010, 3269 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (5 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 24025 times:

Gordon Bethune is not out of the game entirely as he is on the Board at HA.


"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 4946 posts, RR: 28
Reply 15, posted (5 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 23937 times:

I still think the old UA is the problem. CO had it together IMO. Merging is not always a good thing, which is clear in this case. I never really thought UA and CO would be a good combination. UA has to change more than just its paint job. Cuts need to really start at the top, and I mean top brass.


I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineapodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4122 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 23852 times:

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 15):
I still think the old UA is the problem. CO had it together IMO. Merging is not always a good thing, which is clear in this case. I never really thought UA and CO would be a good combination. UA has to change more than just its paint job. Cuts need to really start at the top, and I mean top brass.

United needs to do two things. One streamline the management at the top which will save them a lot of money in the long run. Secondly, address the revenue problem. I don't think UA has a cost problem, I think they have a revenue problem. They still need to get some joint contracts done. They need to pull money losing 50 seaters out of service. And they need more mainline planes. These things will go a long way toward addressing the revenue problem. It won't happen overnight, but it needs to happen. As I have said before, much of this blame falls more on Glenn Tilton than it does Smisek as he inherited this mess from Tilton. But Smisek made the mistake of focusing solely on international operations post merger, when it is clear that Domestic revenue is killing United, and if US/AA happens, UA could have a major problem on this front.


User currently offlineaaexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 633 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (5 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 21587 times:

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 15):
I still think the old UA is the problem. CO had it together IMO. Merging is not always a good thing, which is clear in this case. I never really thought UA and CO would be a good combination. UA has to change more than just its paint job. Cuts need to really start at the top, and I mean top brass.

The merger was supposed to do two things and two things only...to reduce the number of competitors (thereby increasing pricing power) and to remove overlap and therefore capacity (thereby increasing pricing power due to lower supply). The merger DID do those two things. And I also believe CO and UA could and still CAN be a great company. But the reason they are not (IMO) I will explain below.

Quoting apodino (Reply 16):
United needs to do two things. One streamline the management at the top which will save them a lot of money in the long run. Secondly, address the revenue problem. I don't think UA has a cost problem, I think they have a revenue problem. They still need to get some joint contracts done. They need to pull money losing 50 seaters out of service. And they need more mainline planes. These things will go a long way toward addressing the revenue problem. It won't happen overnight, but it needs to happen. As I have said before, much of this blame falls more on Glenn Tilton than it does Smisek as he inherited this mess from Tilton. But Smisek made the mistake of focusing solely on international operations post merger, when it is clear that Domestic revenue is killing United, and if US/AA happens, UA could have a major problem on this front.

I agree that UA has a revenue problem. Big time. They also have a cost problem although to a much smaller degree. Much of the cost problem is due to the new contracts coming online. But let's leave that for another day so we can tackle the revenue problem...

The reason UA has a revenue problem is that they have gone to war with their frequent fliers.

On the MileagePlus front, they first called them overentitled. Then they cut back RDM bonuses by a bunch in a short period of time. They introduced first minimum flying requirements on UA metal, later on they introduced PQD replete with rules that discourage Star Alliance booking an flying. They killed upgrade rates with the silly TODs that communicate to 1ks that their business is less important than selling a $20 upgrade to a discount coach passenger at the kiosk or OLCI in some cases.

And then of course there are the operational issues. Let's assume that a frequent flier is not flexible enough to move business from UA due to the lower value of the elite proposition and MileagePlus program. Those folks have had to endure the tardiest of all the US legacy operations since March of 2012. Shares is great at monetizing all sorts of services and products at different points of sale, but it is very inefficient when it comes to servicing a passenger. When it takes an agent a minute longer to process a passenger record and that happens millions of times a day, then the inefficiencies are staggering. I am sure there is the occasional idiot-savant pmCO agent that can use Shares super fast, but for the average agent, Apollo would have been the better choice because it was faster and more flexible for agents to use and to get the passenger taken care of.

Because the airline has generally been a poorly run airline, many employees have also been markedly less "friendly" than they were as pmCO or pmUA employees, and the uattitude has chased away more passengers, still.

And then, let's talk about the actual quality of the product...their new J seat is nowhere near as nice as the new AA J seat. The catering quality is horrendous. They are cutting meal service all over the place and the domestic F seats on pmCO fleet are in my opinion the most uncomfortable of all the F seats among the legacies. PmUA seats are better, but still not on par with AA or DL. UA also flies more RJs between major metros and more small RJs on long routes than AA and DL. And all the E-135/145s and CR2s don't have a F cabin and flights run by Skywest are bottom of the barrel stuff in terms of cabin cleanliness and quality. It is 2013 and AA and DL have wifi in all their mainline cabins, but UA is just now working on it.

So when it is all said and done, UA told Silvers and Golds that they don't really care about them unless they are buying a full Y fare at any given time. Plats get only marginally more love and 1ks are tolerated for now. Next year, the folks who have traditionally put all their leisure flying on UA will lose status because of PQD. The product and service have been lackluster for over a year and a half, and when IRROPS happens, one can count on some of the worst resolution services in the industry.

There is a reason AA matched UA elites vigorously in April of 2012. There is a reason why AA, DL, and US are all recording record revenue nearly every quarter while UA keeps lagging. There is a reason why UA shows the lowest PRASM growth in the last 18 months DESPITE being the most aggressive carrier in terms of cutting ASMs. There is a reason AA and DL are investing heavily in the flying experience. They are actually increasing amenities and improving cabins. They are adding new, more comfortable and spacious J products.

From a purely econ101 POV, what is happening is that when high volume fliers started leaving, there was greater supply than demand. Which put more pressure on yields to fill the empty seats. The more cuts happened subsequently and the more ASMs were killed by flying more RJs, the more FFs an HVFs left putting yet more pressure on yields. As the announcement yesterday shows, the answer from the Smisek team is "more cuts".

The evidence is very clear....Smisek and his teams are accountants who think they can manage this airline by managing a balance sheet and income statement. What is becoming painfully clear is that reacting to the daily stock price fluctuations and analyst grilling is having UA circling the drain at this point. They need to break free from their current way of thinking and do the exact opposite of what they have been doing. Investing in the flying experience by getting wifi install done pronto...by improving catering across the board both in quality and segment length...by adding amenities to long hauls and tanscons...by not killing off the value of MileagePlus...

It has also been clear to me from the start that Smisek is incapable of thinking this way nor is he capable of admitting he has been wrong and stepping down. Even the employees are now beginning to register that cabins are emptier than they should be and they are beginning to understand the direction the company is headed. It is definitely time for some new leadership. Forget Gordo...Tom Horton will be available very soon and along with him, Virab Vahidi may also be available. Those two did a bang up job at AA while the carrier was in BK, and if they can do for UA what they did at AA, then UA can dominate this industry.


User currently offlineCentre From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 487 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (5 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 21384 times:

Bring back Glenn Tilton!


I have cut 4 times, and it's still short.
User currently offlineenilria From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 6835 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (5 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 21391 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 5):
United's costs have been RISING. They haven't been any real "cuts" until now.
Quoting apodino (Reply 16):
They need to pull money losing 50 seaters out of service. And they need more mainline planes.

Apodino is exactly right. UA is buying a lot more gas per seat than DL because of their glut of guzzling 50 seaters. That automatically lowers your profit margin. UA is basically at their all-time peak on 50 seaters and DL is down over 50% already with more to go. UA was EXTREMELY slow to that party and lags everybody else on fixing it. I think that was a major management mistake. They were too busy doing nothing and not adjusting their network/fleet. I also think UA puts zero focus on their domestic network other than shuffling about 10 RJs around from one set of backwoods markets to another. Aside from that they really do absolutely nothing domestically.


User currently offlinejayunited From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 779 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (5 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 21198 times:

Quoting apodino (Reply 16):
Secondly, address the revenue problem. I don't think UA has a cost problem, I think they have a revenue problem.

I think this is one of UA's biggest problems. If we look at how UA has been able to make money in the past couple of quarters what we see it is that it has mostly been based on consolidated traffic while our competitors have been growing. UA burned a lot of bridges in 2012 and it is no secret that both AA and especially DL took advantage of what was a horrible year for UA and as a result UA has lost many customers at the high end and low end. And even though operationally 2013 has been much better for UA the damage has been done and so far neither AA nor DL have made any crucial mistakes for UA to capitalize on as a way to try and win back some of the customers we lost in 2012. 2012 didn't only cost UA passengers is severely damaged the UA/CO brand. Protecting and rebuilding the brand is very important and so far UA/CO has done nothing in 2013 to rebuild the brand. Relaunching the Friendly Skies campaign is good but it does not speak or relate to UA's current brand. Despite UA's operational improvements in 2013 every time a public poll it taken by any major travel or news organization UA is still ranked second to last or dead last. But those polls are not indicative of the service UA has provided in 2013 but of 2012 and the problem UA is facing is most human being don't forget when they have experience horrible customer service, and will hold it against a company for a very long time. And so far in 2013 UA has not done anything spectacular to make UA stand out and have some of those customers we lost think perhaps I should give UA another try. UA has to repair its brand and grow its passenger unit then hopefully revenue will start to grow but so far those things have not happened.

Another major problem that UA has is it's senior top heavy workforce. I know DL did a buyout but i'm not sure how many senior people making top scale took that buyout at DL or what DL workforce ratio is when comparing the number of senior employees to junior employee. But here at UA not only are we extremely management heavy and although UA has said in the past they were going to cut management that still hasn't happened but we have an extremely senior workforce. Then number of people making top scale at UA far exceeds the number of people making what is called "C" scale. UA is a top heavy airline not only from a management standpoint but also from a non-management standpoint. The current buyout offer that was on the table was not good enough for UA to get most top scale employee interested enough to seriously consider it as a viable option for them. Another problem hampering UA's buyout offer is (and I don't want to turn this into a political issue) Obama Care. With the lowball buyout offer UA extended and with all the uncertainty surrounding Obama Care, most top scale employees were simply not interested unless they were at or past the retirement age of 65. But UA has tons of people making top scale who are no where near 65 years of age and there major concern is if they leave UA and take the buyout offer what are they supposed to do for insurance because clause in the buyout that talked about insurance left people with more questions than answers as to what are they suppose to do for health insurance? So for most people the buyout offer was dead before it even hit the water because UA failed to offer people enough money as an incentive to leave the company and because of Obama Care and all the changes to health care in the country that has people everywhere concerned about their health insurance.

So to put it bluntly UA waited to long to offer a buyout. They should have done a buyout years ago before before Obama Care became the nightmare that it is today because now it going to be extremely hard for UA to get top scale employees out the door to make room for junior employees and we all know that junior or "C" scale employes don't cost nearly as much as employees making top scale. So yes DL will continue to outperform UA on the employee cost issue because they were able to lower their employee cost thru a buyout while UA failed to see the numbers they were hoping for because UA waited to long.

I know there are other issues costing UA money but these two issues are extremely serious and UA has to address them.


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 16927 posts, RR: 48
Reply 21, posted (5 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 21165 times:

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 17):
Tom Horton will be available very soon

Oh good god no. The guy never had control of the carrier, zero strategy, and always seemed to shuffle from one gaffe to the next. All for an obscene paycheck. What. A. Deal.  
Quoting enilria (Reply 19):
UA is buying a lot more gas per seat than DL because of their glut of guzzling 50 seaters. That automatically lowers your profit margin. UA is basically at their all-time peak on 50 seaters and DL is down over 50% already with more to go. UA was EXTREMELY slow to that party and lags everybody else on fixing it

  



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently onlineRDH3E From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 1455 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (5 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 21158 times:

Quoting enilria (Reply 19):
Apodino is exactly right. UA is buying a lot more gas per seat than DL because of their glut of guzzling 50 seaters.

United actually pays less for fuel per ASM than DL does on a system basis:

http://web.mit.edu/airlinedata/www/2...uel/Fuel%20Expense%20per%20ASM.htm

You have to remember UA has a more efficient NB fleet and more international operations.

[Edited 2013-11-12 06:54:44]

User currently offlineaaexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 633 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (5 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 21001 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 21):
Oh good god no. The guy never had control of the carrier, zero strategy, and always seemed to shuffle from one gaffe to the next. All for an obscene paycheck. What. A. Deal.  

Zero strategy? No offense, but with a comment like that, you lose some credibility in my eyes. I am sure that if you spent more than 1 second thinking about this, that there is a distinct strategy that you can see that Horton implemented. And he did so in the face of massive resistance initially from labor.


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 16927 posts, RR: 48
Reply 24, posted (5 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 20779 times:

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 23):
Zero strategy? No offense, but with a comment like that, you lose some credibility in my eyes.

What's the Horton strategy then?



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinestlgph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9232 posts, RR: 26
Reply 25, posted (5 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 21275 times:

Step 1?

Separate the roles of chairman, chief executive officer, and president into three separate positions.



Eternal darkness we all should dread. It's hard to party when you're dead.
User currently offlinemcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1436 posts, RR: 17
Reply 26, posted (5 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 21250 times:

On the cost side. I have heard that at DL all operations below the wing is contract services. Is this correct? That is a major cost on the UA side and not sure if the new contract just signed allows for contracting below the wing at UA.

User currently offlineenilria From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 6835 posts, RR: 14
Reply 27, posted (5 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 21536 times:

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 22):
United actually pays less for fuel per ASM than DL does on a system basis:

The RJs aren't included in those numbers. In fact, the reason it looks like that is exactly the problem. UA has basically eliminated its domestic fleet in favor of RJs whereas DL is growing it substantially. UA's remaining mainline fleet is heavily weighted toward long-haul, fuel efficient aircraft. If you were able to compare including all the Cost+ contracts it would be firmly reversed.


User currently offlineMasseyBrown From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 5211 posts, RR: 7
Reply 28, posted (5 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 21352 times:

Based on the last conference call, I'd say UA has identified most of the problems posters have cited in this thread and is addressing them in a more credible manner than a year ago. This gives Smisek a window of opportunity to succeed. If he goes to the board with lousy results a year froim now, then I think he had better buff up his resume.


Consilivm: Cave ne nothi te vexant
User currently offlineaaexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 633 posts, RR: 4
Reply 29, posted (5 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 20941 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 24):
What's the Horton strategy then?

The strategy was to create a better product and service than the competition which would allow them to charge a premium for pax flying AA. This should result in better PRASM and yields. The tactics with which they have implemented this strategy are as follows:

1) Renew fleet quickly: Bring new airplanes online with modern interiors, modern seating and economy plus section (new J seats same as CX seat, retrofitting old aircraft with new J product)

2) Improve onboard product: have wifi on all mainline aircraft, improve catering options (walkup bar on new 77Ws, higher quality foods like Three Twins Ice Cream, organic foods), improve catering delivery (pre-order of meals)

3) Invest in airport experience improvements such as renovation of DFW terminals A and C

4) Resist the urge to devalue AAdvantage (at least on the surface) and keep Aadvantage members engaged via promos like ELTA3, status boost and buyback etc. (this is the area where AA has actually stealth devalued)

5) Offer different fare packages to simplify the priing structure and render value for business travelers at price points beyond the full Y fare. This refers to Choice Plus and Choice Essentil, which I have bought religiously from the beginning.

Do you want me to keep going or are you beginning to see how the simple strategy of improving product and service is driving greater PRASM and yield growth at AA than at UA?


User currently online1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6385 posts, RR: 2
Reply 30, posted (5 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 20846 times:

Perhaps UA should consider selling their Chelsea Food Services catering unit to Gate Gourmet. I would be surprised if Chelsea is actually making money. Gate Gourmet would probably love to have catering operations at IAH, CLE, and DEN.


The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
User currently onlineTonyBurr From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1012 posts, RR: 0
Reply 31, posted (5 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 20864 times:

And how many Elites has Jeff driven away to the other airlines? How much has that effected the bottom line? And he continues to develop policies which drive away the long time loyal customers. Maybe people will now see what a negative effect Jeff has on the long term life of the airline without Elites.

User currently offlineT5towbar From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 508 posts, RR: 1
Reply 32, posted (5 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 20655 times:

Quoting jayunited (Reply 20):
Another major problem that UA has is it's senior top heavy workforce. I know DL did a buyout but i'm not sure how many senior people making top scale took that buyout at DL or what DL workforce ratio is when comparing the number of senior employees to junior employee. But here at UA not only are we extremely management heavy and although UA has said in the past they were going to cut management that still hasn't happened but we have an extremely senior workforce. Then number of people making top scale at UA far exceeds the number of people making what is called "C" scale. UA is a top heavy airline not only from a management standpoint but also from a non-management standpoint. The current buyout offer that was on the table was not good enough for UA to get most top scale employee interested enough to seriously consider it as a viable option for them. Another problem hampering UA's buyout offer is (and I don't want to turn this into a political issue) Obama Care. With the lowball buyout offer UA extended and with all the uncertainty surrounding Obama Care, most top scale employees were simply not interested unless they were at or past the retirement age of 65. But UA has tons of people making top scale who are no where near 65 years of age and there major concern is if they leave UA and take the buyout offer what are they supposed to do for insurance because clause in the buyout that talked about insurance left people with more questions than answers as to what are they suppose to do for health insurance? So for most people the buyout offer was dead before it even hit the water because UA failed to offer people enough money as an incentive to leave the company and because of Obama Care and all the changes to health care in the country that has people everywhere concerned about their health insurance.

That's true. The buyouts (on the IAM side) was a convoluted formula that left a whole lot of uncertainty. Many people wanted to take them, but the reasons stated above, and the medical plans that are changing, it left people kind of worried. If they offered more money and some sort of bridged medical, more people would have taken them. Plus many of the members accepted the deal because sUA had retro payments coming to them since there were without a contract for a few years. That, and signing bonus payments for all added to the 177 million special charges.

We also have two more major contracts to deal with: MX and FA's. Both sides seem miles apart. IMHO, that won't be finished by years's end. That will increase spending as well.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 26):
On the cost side. I have heard that at DL all operations below the wing is contract services. Is this correct? That is a major cost on the UA side and not sure if the new contract just signed allows for contracting below the wing at UA

There will be some outsourcing, that's to be expected. Scope was given up. Quite a bit of it. But there will be some insourcing (at larger stations where there was split operations - sUA / vendor for sCO, etc.) as well. About 30 - 35 or so protected stations for the duration of the contract. But you have to remember that DL and AA also have their own outsourcing arms (DGS & Eagle) to get their costs down.

Bottom line is the 50 seaters are killing us. We need a plane like the C Series or something like that. The 319 is too big.



A comment from an Ex CON: Work Hard.....Fly Standby!
User currently offline777ord From United States of America, joined May 2010, 456 posts, RR: 0
Reply 33, posted (5 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 20585 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 5):
100% agree that those were the glory days, but Gordon has been retired now for a decade so he's been out of game for a while and probably isn't interested in returning. While I have enormous respect for his turnaround of CO I'm not sure what he can do here, other than motivate employees. United has some systemic issues, and while the people at the top aren't helping, the issues run much deeper than just the choice of CEO.
Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 6):
Gordon (and Crandall and Kelleher etc etc) were great in their own ways in their own times, but times are different, and they may not have the answers, or interest, today.

Bethune may have been a great business man when he was "CO", but he won't be coming back. The problem does fall on Smisek's lap, but there are tensions between "UA" and "CO"managers and a lot of managing directors who don't do a whole lot. and by that, I mean nothing. Cuts will sadly come, and I for one never agree with layoffs when you post big profits. If they take cuts, then top brass should too.

If you can get the ratified IAM contract... Make sure you read the Letters of Agreement in the back. 70% of the group voted it in... They never read the LOA's.... When you find the one I am referring to (outsourcing). You'll be shocked


User currently offlineMSPNWA From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1824 posts, RR: 2
Reply 34, posted (5 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 20379 times:

If I was a UA investor, Smisek would be in trouble if he DIDN'T attempt to cut costs. Costs are the big problem for UA right now. And much of that is visible on the surface with the struggles to integrate labor. Without full integration you're inefficient. Much of DL's higher profitability has come at the expense of its employees. UA/CO hasn't had as willing of a labor force. It's a race to the bottom. It's too bad it's all about the highest bottom line now.

User currently offlineAA777223 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1219 posts, RR: 7
Reply 35, posted (5 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 20320 times:

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 17):

I agree, completely. UA has declared war on their FFs and in this industry, that just is a really poor decision.

I am lowly Gold, and have been pretty much made to feel like that if I am not a 1K or GS, they would prefer I not fly them. The friendly skies, my eye...



Sic 'em bears
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 16927 posts, RR: 48
Reply 36, posted (5 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 20245 times:

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 29):
The strategy was to create a better product and service than the competition which would allow them to charge a premium for pax flying AA. This should result in better PRASM and yields. The tactics with which they have implemented this strategy are as follows:

Everything you listed was the standard bankruptcy playbook: paint the planes, order some new ones, turf the old ones that you can, make a big splash with route announcements from your hubs. That's nothing new. But merger aside, and outside of MIA/DFW, how is AA planning to stay relevant in LAX/CHI/NYC? How are they going to fix the Pacific? Horton's big plan was to increase departures by 20%, which was universally derided.

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 29):
Do you want me to keep going or are you beginning to see how the simple strategy of improving product and service is driving greater PRASM and yield growth at AA than at UA?

Of course AA's YOY comparisons look great; they were in the deepest bits of bankruptcy last year.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinecle757 From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1099 posts, RR: 0
Reply 37, posted (5 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 20077 times:

UA needs to offer an early out package to all employees with 10yrs or more..and not tie it to ratifiying a contract!


Cleveland the best location in the Nation
User currently offlineramprat74 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1488 posts, RR: 2
Reply 38, posted (5 months 5 days ago) and read 19134 times:

The latest from Smisek & Co. The 30,000 IAM members that ratified the latest TA that took affect November 1st. We got a IOU from the company regarding our retro, signing bonus, current pay raises. We will see them in 2014. The company tells us they are having computer problems. This is totally unacceptable for a Fortune 500 company. This is how Smisek runs this company, nothing but accountants and lawyers. Every sCO system that we have to use on the sUA side now is terrible and out dated. From Shares, Load Planning, Payroll, HR, etc.

User currently offlinembm3 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 818 posts, RR: 1
Reply 39, posted (5 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 18822 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting ripcordd (Reply 7):
This goes to the rumor I heard that UA may file for BK again.

I've heard this as well. This would allow them to "more effectively" manage their costs at all levels.

Quoting United1 (Reply 10):
The biggest thing that needs to be kept in mind is that UA is doing this as a profitable airline trying to make itself more profitable.

Their goal may be profits, but forgetting about their customers while doing so is a huge miscalculation.

Quoting apodino (Reply 16):
The evidence is very clear....Smisek and his teams are accountants who think they can manage this airline by managing a balance sheet and income statement. What is becoming painfully clear is that reacting to the daily stock price fluctuations and analyst grilling is having UA circling the drain at this point. They need to break free from their current way of thinking and do the exact opposite of what they have been doing.

Nailed it. Spot on. Well said. Great comment.



Let Me Tell You, Landing A 772ER Is Harder Than It Looks!
User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 2781 posts, RR: 3
Reply 40, posted (5 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 18640 times:

Quoting ripcordd (Reply 7):
This goes to the rumor I heard that UA may file for BK again.

Rumor where? From whom? Based on what financials?


User currently offlineripcordd From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1126 posts, RR: 1
Reply 41, posted (5 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 18488 times:

Just because you have cash in the bank dosnt mean you cant file for BK look AA and what they did.

User currently offlineaaexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 633 posts, RR: 4
Reply 42, posted (5 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 18382 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 36):
Everything you listed was the standard bankruptcy playbook: paint the planes, order some new ones, turf the old ones that you can, make a big splash with route announcements from your hubs. That's nothing new. But merger aside, and outside of MIA/DFW, how is AA planning to stay relevant in LAX/CHI/NYC? How are they going to fix the Pacific? Horton's big plan was to increase departures by 20%, which was universally derided.

1) What other airline has ordered 400+ firm orders for planes in BK to replace nearly their entire fleet in just a few years?
2) Note that you mentioned AA painting the planes, I didn't (because I agree that this is standard BK playbook).
3) What other airline (whether DL or UA) massively upgraded their catering operation and quality?
4) What other airline introduced industry leading J product during BK (as opposed to after...I know DL and UA announced both after BK and merger)

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 36):
Of course AA's YOY comparisons look great; they were in the deepest bits of bankruptcy last year.

You crack me up. UA's YOY comps are far SOFTER than AA's due to the system switchover and the resulting loss of fliers in 2Q and 3Q12.

Given that you refuse to give due credit to AA management for any kind of strategy, let's just agree to disagree.


User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 43, posted (5 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 18355 times:

For those who say Gordo needs to come back need a reality check. The man is in his early 70s, practically retired, and flourished in the go-go '90s -- mainly on getting new aircraft via debt financing plans and outsourcing to 50 seat regional jets. United needs smart executives that are forward thinking and will actively sail the company through the rest of the decade.

I also disagree with those that say it was Glenn's fault that UA is in such a mess, and Smisek inherited it. That couldn't be further from the truth. UA under Tilton was getting it's act together towards the end. They retired nearly 100 older 737 and replace them with 70 seat regional jets and made better use of the A320 (pulling back Ted.) It was CO that had the limited scope contract with the ERJs (Expressjet) that is now sufficating UA into maximizing profit. I think CO at one point had nearly 300 RJs in their network.

Quoting ramprat74 (Reply 38):
This is how Smisek runs this company, nothing but accountants and lawyers. Every sCO system that we have to use on the sUA side now is terrible and out dated. From Shares, Load Planning, Payroll, HR, etc.

Well put. CO's technology was ancient and it's a giant backhand at the new UA. Pax don't like when sCO pilots hold planes up at the gate for "paperwork", "not loading enough fuel", or "weight balancing miscalculation issues." Or more recently back in July, not ordering enough water and ice for a fully loaded 753 on a 100 degree day on EWR-LAX. It what I remember most about flying CO out of EWR as a kid -- just a giant nusiance. Now I understand why -- lack of investment in technology.



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlinebrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4055 posts, RR: 1
Reply 44, posted (5 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 18376 times:

Quoting AA777223 (Reply 35):
I agree, completely. UA has declared war on their FFs and in this industry, that just is a really poor decision.

I am lowly Gold, and have been pretty much made to feel like that if I am not a 1K or GS, they would prefer I not fly them. The friendly skies, my eye...

UA just stinks when it comes to customer service and the way they treat their FFs. I routinely travel 20,000 miles a month and try to avoid UA where possible. They really need to work on their front-line service and increase their ability to retain the high yield customer.



Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 4946 posts, RR: 28
Reply 45, posted (5 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 18082 times:

I just hope they can get it together! The airline has huge potential, and I am hoping the bankruptcy rumours on here are false. The employees have been through enough already!


I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineairtechy From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 462 posts, RR: 0
Reply 46, posted (5 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 17905 times:

For the life of me, I don't understand how they adopted that horrendous business class layout.

Jim


User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 2781 posts, RR: 3
Reply 47, posted (5 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 17790 times:

Quoting ripcordd (Reply 41):
Just because you have cash in the bank dosnt mean you cant file for BK look AA and what they did.

You're kidding, right? You think that's the only factor that comes into play when doing something as disruptive to your business plan as filing for Chapter 11?

Again, what rumors, based on what financial information, from whom?


User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7257 posts, RR: 52
Reply 48, posted (5 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 17501 times:

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 34):
Much of DL's higher profitability has come at the expense of its employees.

Employees at DL seem to be doing just fine. Labor relations are very good there. Many aren't unionized anymore but the majority ruled against unionization. Was it corporate corruption that screwed the employees or something? Don't think so

Very anecdotal but I've found that DL employees are generally more happy than the UA ones I've seen. Getting more productivity out of employees and lost of unions doesn't automatically mean they're getting screwed over



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlinethebatman From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 834 posts, RR: 9
Reply 49, posted (5 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 16879 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 15):

I still think the old UA is the problem. CO had it together IMO. Merging is not always a good thing, which is clear in this case. I never really thought UA and CO would be a good combination. UA has to change more than just its paint job. Cuts need to really start at the top, and I mean top brass.

To say that this is a "merger" is kind of a joke. More like "you will do it CO's way and like it". Our maintenance programs have just taken a time warp to 20 years ago. Going back to paper log books? Really? UA got rid of that 15 years ago. Don't even get me started on this debacle they call SCEPTRE. As far as the top brass go, how many of them are from UA? Not many. The vast majority are from CO.

Quoting ramprat74 (Reply 38):
The latest from Smisek & Co. The 30,000 IAM members that ratified the latest TA that took affect November 1st. We got a IOU from the company regarding our retro, signing bonus, current pay raises. We will see them in 2014. The company tells us they are having computer problems. This is totally unacceptable for a Fortune 500 company. This is how Smisek runs this company, nothing but accountants and lawyers. Every sCO system that we have to use on the sUA side now is terrible and out dated. From Shares, Load Planning, Payroll, HR, etc.

Exactly my point. Archaic is the word I would use to describe the CO systems we are forced to use. This airline has amazing potential, but you need to get all of your employees on board and happy. Get your contracts in place, merge the seniority lists (fairly) and let's get to work. Don't reject the Teamsters' last offer because you "can't afford it". Really? Let's look at the pilot's contract and take a look at what you can't afford. Give the pilots whatever it takes to make them happy (ok UA pilots - tell me how much your contract sucks, because I'm sure that's coming) and then try to hand out the left over scraps to the other work groups. Not a good idea. If your people aren't happy, you're not going to run an efficient operation. I don't care how much you try to micro-manage and streamline it...



A319,A320,B727,B732/3/5/7/8/9,B742/4,B752/3,B762/3,B772,CRJ2/7,DC9/MD80,DC10,E170
User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 50, posted (5 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 16642 times:

Quoting thebatman (Reply 49):
Our maintenance programs have just taken a time warp to 20 years ago. Going back to paper log books? Really? UA got rid of that 15 years ago. Don't even get me started on this debacle they call SCEPTRE.

Whoa, paper log books? That's horrifying.

Not trying to be ignorant, but what's SCEPTRE?



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineIAHWorldflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 169 posts, RR: 0
Reply 51, posted (5 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 16659 times:

aaexecplat says things I agree with here. As does Apodino.
Smisek spent 2011 and early 2012 trying to merge the two carriers with ( let's be honest) lackluster results. Integration issues took up the focus of all the executives. Then they pushed to increase frequency and revenue from international flying because the accountant in him thought this was the holy grail of untapped opportunities. Meanwhile, a disgruntled customer facing workforce took out their frustrations on paying customers. Customer service is MUCH improved over last year, but still has a ways to go before it stands out over other domestic carriers. And while Smisek had his team focused on integration issues, AA and DL were making noticable quality improvements and taking away market share, especially in the domestic arena. Now we notice a revenue problem, and the share price isn't great like DL or AA. Well, the market bakes in future expectations into share price, and investors see better times ahead for AA and DL, yet are still wondering when all the "benefits" of the merger that Smisek promised will come to fruition. It's really time for Smisek to take a nice retirement check and walk out the door, so the leadership has some fresh blood. UA can be a great airline, but the penny-pinching ways of current management are holding it back.


User currently offlineAADC10 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2015 posts, RR: 0
Reply 52, posted (5 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 16375 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 4):
I think UA could do lots of buyouts--DL did several waves of buyouts post merger and I don't think UA has done much of that.
Quoting cle757 (Reply 37):
UA needs to offer an early out package to all employees with 10yrs or more..and not tie it to ratifiying a contract!

UA has offered early out but it was so stingy that unsurprisingly, few took them up on it. I am sure that UA is looking to conserve short term cash but obviously early out will have a long term savings, replacing the highest paid labor with entry level labor. The issue is not having an early out program, the issue is having one that will is worth accepting.

Quoting enilria (Reply 19):
Apodino is exactly right. UA is buying a lot more gas per seat than DL because of their glut of guzzling 50 seaters. That automatically lowers your profit margin. UA is basically at their all-time peak on 50 seaters and DL is down over 50% already with more to go.

UA of course does not own any 50 seaters. They are all owned by UAX contract carriers. The rates that UA pays UAX is set by contract, so operating 50 seaters does not directly impact profitability. When those contracts come up for renewal if fuel prices are high enough, the higher rates may cause UA to reconsider the number of RJ flights.


User currently offlinejayunited From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 779 posts, RR: 1
Reply 53, posted (5 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 15734 times:

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 52):
UA has offered early out but it was so stingy that unsurprisingly, few took them up on it. I am sure that UA is looking to conserve short term cash but obviously early out will have a long term savings, replacing the highest paid labor with entry level labor. The issue is not having an early out program, the issue is having one that will is worth accepting.

Exactly UA is trying to have it both ways they want top scale employees to leave so they can save money on employee cost but they were not willing to offer employees enough money to even consider leaving. I understand pitching pennies and sometimes it is necessary. However, if UA is really serious about cutting their employee cost then they need to spend some cash now in order to save some cash in the future. Many of the contract UA has in place with many employee groups has a pay scale that is drawn out over at least a 10 year period. Which means that if UA can get enough top scale employees to take a buyout then UA could potentially cut their employee cost over a period of 10 years. But in order for UA to get that 10 year reprieve they need a serious buy out package that really gets the attention of employees who have over 10 years with the company.

And for those of you who say UA could file NK again I say filing BK is not the answer because it still does not deal with the problem. Filing BK only means that people who are at the bottom of the seniority will be laid off and those are the people needs to keep. We've been down this road before junior workers were laid off while top scale employees kept their jobs. When was the last time sUA hired any FA's, pilots, mechanics, and even though there has been some hiring done in the ramp, customer service, and reservations departments the number of top scale employees still out ranks the number of people making "C" scale.

UA has to lower their employee cost but not thru BK they need to do this thru a buyout, spend the money now and take the financial hit and spend the next 10 years saving money on employee cost because most new hires will not reach top scale for at least 10 years.


User currently offlinenycdave From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 546 posts, RR: 1
Reply 54, posted (5 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15301 times:

Ah, yes. Because their post-merger problem is they haven't been cheap *enough* with customers...

User currently onlineRDH3E From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 1455 posts, RR: 2
Reply 55, posted (5 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15050 times:

Quoting jayunited (Reply 53):
Which means that if UA can get enough top scale employees to take a buyout then UA could potentially cut their employee cost over a period of 10 years. But in order for UA to get that 10 year reprieve they need a serious buy out package that really gets the attention of employees who have over 10 years with the company.

But what if paying a buy out package that will "get the attention of employees" will cost more than the savings? I think that is what the stingy first and second wave of buyouts indicates.


User currently offlineairzim From Zimbabwe, joined Jun 2001, 1187 posts, RR: 1
Reply 56, posted (5 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 14628 times:

Quoting thebatman (Reply 49):
Going back to paper log books? Really? UA got rid of that 15 years ago. Don't even get me started on this debacle they call SCEPTRE.

Better let Delta (the blue eyed boy of US aviation at the moment), since they also use SCEPTRE.

There are pluses and minues with paper logs vs electronic log book, which I won't debate here. But it won't matter in a couple of months anyway.


User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 57, posted (5 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 14459 times:

Quoting airzim (Reply 56):

What advantage is there to paper logs? Smudging ink?



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineairzim From Zimbabwe, joined Jun 2001, 1187 posts, RR: 1
Reply 58, posted (5 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 14266 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 57):
What advantage is there to paper logs? Smudging ink?

ELBs are transited via ACARS and have a more rigid, and perhaps limited, set of information that can be communicated to maintenance staff and systems. Paper logs allow of more fluid exchange of information, but also prone to mistakes since more human intervention is involved. Airplanes fly just fine with either system (and the FAA needs to certify the processes) but like most things in life, have pluses and minuses with either method. Most importantly changing habits of flight crews that are use to one way or the other.

But as I said, it won't matter in a few months anyway.


User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 59, posted (5 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 14170 times:

Quoting airzim (Reply 58):
Paper logs allow of more fluid exchange of information, but also prone to mistakes since more human intervention is involved.

Well, duh. That's why the personal computer blew up in the early 1980s    People got sick of reading chicken scratch.



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlinenomorerjs From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 419 posts, RR: 0
Reply 60, posted (5 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 14126 times:

Now that the AA/US merger is a go, will UA be proactive at ORD and add flights / new destinations? Parker said he will add at ORD.

User currently offlinejayunited From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 779 posts, RR: 1
Reply 61, posted (5 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 13260 times:

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 55):
But what if paying a buy out package that will "get the attention of employees" will cost more than the savings? I think that is what the stingy first and second wave of buyouts indicates.

There is no way the cost of a "real" buyout would cost more than what it would save the company over a 10 year period.

First of all most employee groups have a 10 year progression scale that is extremely back end loaded meaning the bulk of the pay raises come towards end of the 10 years instead of the beginning or the middle. Starting pay for most positions here at UA is extremely low and most ground staff when they are hired start off as part timers which means they have very little benefits. So if they savings are there but UA has to get enough top scale employees to take a buyout so the saving can be realized through hiring new people.


User currently offlineholzmann From United States of America, joined Jan 2011, 177 posts, RR: 0
Reply 62, posted (5 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 13159 times:

LOL. Great. They are dead last in WiFi rollout IMO and offer arguably the worst in-flight experience of the majors. They consistently have the unfriendliest crew I have experienced. And the shoddiest AC interiors with of course little commonality in AC. I DREAD flying Continental AC; you don't even get Channel 9! Finally, the loyalty divisions are still apparent. Ride a Continental AC and they proudly announce themselves as such.

Idiots.

Fire management. Invest in what the customer experiences. I think this is the heart of DAL's strategy and it works.


User currently offline777ord From United States of America, joined May 2010, 456 posts, RR: 0
Reply 63, posted (5 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 12766 times:

Quoting catiii (Reply 47):
You're kidding, right? You think that's the only factor that comes into play when doing something as disruptive to your business plan as filing for Chapter 11?

Again, what rumors, based on what financial information, from whom?

If UA files again, I'd strongly consider much bigger problems than layoffs. I don't see it happening.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 48):
Employees at DL seem to be doing just fine. Labor relations are very good there. Many aren't unionized anymore but the majority ruled against unionization. Was it corporate corruption that screwed the employees or something? Don't think so

Very anecdotal but I've found that DL employees are generally more happy than the UA ones I've seen. Getting more productivity out of employees and lost of unions doesn't automatically mean they're getting screwed over

Delta has DGS which only pays those employee's their hourly rate. Nothing more. UA has their hourly rate, their benefits, and those are at maxed out rates. Is UA or any company, wanting to pay one person $24/h when they can have some guy do it for 11? Now, times that by 13,000 approximately at the top scale. That's $312,000 vs $143,000. The writing is on the walls. The only saving grace the current UA employee's have is to take the proposed cut the UNION said they can when it comes to preventing outsourcing. Again, no on read the contract.  .

First they take the plastic cutlery in NOC, but how about the 2 unoccupied floors of Willis? Get rid of them. Get rid of old OPC, sell that land. It's worth more than the "bunker" in IAH "CO" has. Retire the old people. They're bringing this merger down. I'm here supporting its completion (for get it done sakes!) and all you hear are the old topped out agents whinning. Take your $60k, free travel and some medical and go enjoy it.


User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4250 posts, RR: 6
Reply 64, posted (5 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 12540 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 9):
UA is continuing to heavily invest in its hardware, despite being the only airline in the USA to have 100% flatbed J/F on its transcontinental fleet.

No they don't. UA flies 737s and A320s transcon and they don't have flatbeds up front.


User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16689 posts, RR: 51
Reply 65, posted (5 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 12425 times:

Quoting N62NA (Reply 64):
No they don't. UA flies 737s and A320s transcon and they don't have flatbeds up front.

I think in this context Trans-Continental means literally between Continents (North America-Europe, Asia, Australia etc..).



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently online1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6385 posts, RR: 2
Reply 66, posted (5 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 12008 times:

Quoting holzmann (Reply 62):
LOL. Great. They are dead last in WiFi rollout IMO and offer arguably the worst in-flight experience of the majors. They consistently have the unfriendliest crew I have experienced. And the shoddiest AC interiors with of course little commonality in AC. I DREAD flying Continental AC; you don't even get Channel 9! Finally, the loyalty divisions are still apparent. Ride a Continental AC and they proudly announce themselves as such.

Idiots.

Fire management. Invest in what the customer experiences. I think this is the heart of DAL's strategy and it works.

Agreed. Removing IFE and forcing everyone to use their own devices (and charging for it) is a stupid idea. DL is playing it safe by offering passengers the choice of either a PTV or streaming video over Wi-Fi, and it is pretty clear what most DL passengers prefer.



The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7257 posts, RR: 52
Reply 67, posted (5 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 11847 times:

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 66):
DL is playing it safe by offering passengers the choice of either a PTV or streaming video over Wi-Fi

It's not like the "safe" option is free of risk. IFE is expensive and adds a lot to fuel costs. Time will tell what decisions are better and one way isn't always going to be best for other airlines

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 66):
and it is pretty clear what most DL passengers prefer.

Do you honestly think that IFE vs wifi is the make or break factor? I'm sure it is for some people, but it's not as simple as more/better IFE = more passengers or else every airline would install it. More baseless assumptions



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlineSHAQ From Panama, joined Jun 2007, 363 posts, RR: 0
Reply 68, posted (5 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 11862 times:

Quoting N62NA (Reply 64):

If you want flat beds, you take United P.S.
If you can't pay that, you can take domestic first class on 737.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 65):

Between continents it is intercontinental.
Inside the continents it is transcontinental.



Studying hard, for flying right!
User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4250 posts, RR: 6
Reply 69, posted (5 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 11831 times:

Quoting STT757 (Reply 65):
I think in this context Trans-Continental means literally between Continents (North America-Europe, Asia, Australia etc..).

Oh, OK. So what he meant was Inter-Continental.  


User currently online1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6385 posts, RR: 2
Reply 70, posted (5 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 11763 times:

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 67):
It's not like the "safe" option is free of risk. IFE is expensive and adds a lot to fuel costs. Time will tell what decisions are better and one way isn't always going to be best for other airlines

I expect that DL will eventually put IFE at the forefront of their advertisements, thus winning over passengers from UA. After all, IFE is what made B6 successful, and DL can do a similar strategy when their competitors remove IFE, and in the end, DL will be the winner in the in-flight product war. But God forbid that US Airways' management orders the removal of IFE from all AA domestic aircraft (they better not remove the IFE systems from the new 738s/A319s/A321s!).

[Edited 2013-11-12 17:49:56]


The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 71, posted (5 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 11661 times:

Quoting mcdu (Reply 26):
On the cost side. I have heard that at DL all operations below the wing is contract services. Is this correct?

That's false.

Quoting airzim (Reply 56):
Better let Delta (the blue eyed boy of US aviation at the moment), since they also use SCEPTRE.

Delta is transitionin to SAP

Quoting STT757 (Reply 65):
I think in this context Trans-Continental means literally between Continents (North America-Europe, Asia, Australia etc..).

Then the correct term would be inter-continental. He confused me too.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlineSESGDL From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3452 posts, RR: 10
Reply 72, posted (5 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 11490 times:

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 67):
Do you honestly think that IFE vs wifi is the make or break factor? I'm sure it is for some people, but it's not as simple as more/better IFE = more passengers or else every airline would install it. More baseless assumptions

This logic is highly flawed. If old planes = profits, then every airline would do it too right? DL is making bank, should every airline be flying DC-9s and MD-80s all over the place?

DL has clearly done a lot of strategic planning and research, and has determined that outfitting its capable aircraft with IFE and Wi-Fi is a revenue-driving strategy. Whether or not it involves cost optimization relevant to weight and other related expenses is unknown, but DL management (whom I and many others consider the best in the US airline industry) has decided it's the right way to go, and I trust their judgment...   United's? Not so much...

Jeremy


User currently onlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5815 posts, RR: 9
Reply 73, posted (5 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 11265 times:

Quoting mbm3 (Reply 39):
Quoting United1 (Reply 10):
The biggest thing that needs to be kept in mind is that UA is doing this as a profitable airline trying to make itself more profitable.

Their goal may be profits, but forgetting about their customers while doing so is a huge miscalculation

UA is not neglecting their customers at all...there are a lot of customer facing changes that they have made over the last few years that have been huge steps in the right direction. I will say that PMUA was better at differentiating between elites (ie 1Ks were treated better then lower tiers) whereas, especially if you fly out of PMCO hubs, an elite is simply an elite.

Quoting airzim (Reply 56):
But it won't matter in a couple of months anyway.

I thought they were switching over to iPads...doesn't that make paper log books go away?

Quoting jayunited (Reply 53):
Exactly UA is trying to have it both ways they want top scale employees to leave so they can save money on employee cost but they were not willing to offer employees enough money to even consider leaving

There are some limitations on what you can do regarding buyouts prior to merging the employee groups together.

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 52):
Quoting enilria (Reply 19):
Apodino is exactly right. UA is buying a lot more gas per seat than DL because of their glut of guzzling 50 seaters. That automatically lowers your profit margin. UA is basically at their all-time peak on 50 seaters and DL is down over 50% already with more to go.

UA of course does not own any 50 seaters. They are all owned by UAX contract carriers. The rates that UA pays UAX is set by contract, so operating 50 seaters does not directly impact profitability. When those contracts come up for renewal if fuel prices are high enough, the higher rates may cause UA to reconsider the number of RJ flights.

UA owns a lot of 50 seat RJs most of the EMB-145s are owned by UA and leased to ExpressJet. That's something that left over from CO and up until the agreement with the pilots they were kind of hamstrung on getting rid of them and replacing them with larger RJs (again something left over from COs scope agreements.) UA is going to be parking some of them over the next few years and morphing the UAX fleet over to something more akin to what DL Connection looks like. They have 70 EMB-175s coming online in 2014/2015 so they certainly are not wasting any time bringing them online.

They lost a year IMHO with this merger and spent a bit of time/money figuring out what went wrong but things seem to be back on track. The financials are improving and the operation is certainly light years better then 2012.

2010: end of the year the merger was initiated
2011: doing some window dressing and planning for integration
2012: doing the back end integration and figuring out what went wrong
2013: fixing the issues caused during 2012 and getting back on track
2014: move forward and start realizing some of the savings/revenue from the merger

I know there are people on here who love to yell that they sky is falling but I don't see anything at UA that isn't either a work in progress with some really cool goals/outcomes or that isn't relatively easy to fix.



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlinenutsaboutplanes From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 486 posts, RR: 8
Reply 74, posted (5 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 11145 times:

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 70):
God forbid that US Airways' management orders the removal of IFE from all AA domestic aircraft (they better not remove the IFE systems from the new 738s/A319s/A321s!).

I don't think you have to worry about that. We are all very excited about the updated AA brand and the positive changes that we will see in the current US system. If we can capitalize on the updated AA product and leverage the strong ops team from US Airways, AA will be in an excellent position in two years with its sights set on challenging Delta on every operational and service metric.



American Airlines, US Airways, Alaska Airlines, Northwest Airlines, America West Airlines, USAFR
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 16927 posts, RR: 48
Reply 75, posted (5 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 10650 times:

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 42):
1) What other airline has ordered 400+ firm orders for planes in BK to replace nearly their entire fleet in just a few years?

Ordering a bunch of planes and improving the product is the easy part. How many times has Stephen Wolf alone done that? Horton on the other hand never really got a handle on the structural issues at AA, or much of anything really, since labor went around him direct to US, when it wasn't "sick" or grounding planes, and Wall Street largely dismissed his standalone plan as unworkable. Now that the merger is approved it's all moot, but I don't think anyone is looking to hire Horton any time soon based on his AA performance.

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 42):
You crack me up. UA's YOY comps are far SOFTER than AA's due to the system switchover and the resulting loss of fliers in 2Q and 3Q12.

UA is nothing to aspire to. AA's OCT12 was a disaster, with an on time performance hovering around 50%.

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 70):
I expect that DL will eventually put IFE at the forefront of their advertisements, thus winning over passengers from UA.

I don't think IFE wins any customers whatsoever. I think business passengers like DL because every flight has F in key markets, whereas UA is ERJ, 738, 739, slingshot, ERJ, CR7, 753, regardless of IFE.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinejustloveplanes From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1002 posts, RR: 1
Reply 76, posted (5 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 10451 times:

Just my two cents, UA is losing more in premium revenue through brand degrading cost cuts that it is gaining in direct savings. Those who say they need to reverse their philosophy are correct. Perhaps they need to invest less in new airplanes and more in the soft product. I think better soft product and miles will get them more revenue than new aircraft and cost savings.

User currently offlineMasseyBrown From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 5211 posts, RR: 7
Reply 77, posted (5 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 9961 times:

Quoting United1 (Reply 73):
UA owns a lot of 50 seat RJs most of the EMB-145s are owned by UA and leased to ExpressJet.

That what I thought, too; but, checking the last SEC 10-K, it said only 16 E-145's are owned.

The rest of the CRJ2's and E145/135's are leased. I wonder if UA did a sale/lease back and kept quiet about it or if that last go-around with Embraer for the 175's was more complicated than it appeared to be. Hmm ... Further research required.



Consilivm: Cave ne nothi te vexant
User currently offlinestrfyr51 From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 786 posts, RR: 0
Reply 78, posted (5 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 9826 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting airzim (Reply 58):


the ELB acars log is SO far superior to paper logs it isn't even a comparison.
With the ELB you find the Maint Reporting Code and input it in ACARS OR? Enter "9" and type it in freehand.
The Advantage is?? The gripe gets to Maintenance immediately and we can evaluate it,, order parts if necessary
Or set up the Deferral.. And ?! Even change the routing of the airplane. Or take the airplane out of Service. should that be necessary.
ALL before the airplane Lands and parks at the gate. There's NO ambiguity unless the Captain is playing games as to What's REALLY wrong with the airplane.
Here's an Example :, Airbus A319/A320: "crew reports" "2FD2, Capt lost Map, A/P1 and Terrain Avoidance Mode of GPWS.
Simple as that? That's right!! . I am (Maint. Controller going to Order and have a Replacement FMGC standing By, MEL 2283Y, Ready to Go and Have already Called Dispatch to SEE if we CAN even DEFER the #1 FMGC
We've saved what could be up to 30 minutes + , And probably A Delay for the outbound Passengers..
Since I GUESS you haven't Tried it you Don't Know it. And ??
We (System Aircraft Maint. Control) Or Tech ops Maint Control. as you wish, can converse with the UAL crews all during the flight and tell THEM what fault's THEY might have and the previous History OF the fault and what we might DO about it by sending them references to their QRH . (Quick Reference Handbook OR even their Flight Manual.
Of course if Information is too much for you?? You might not like it.
We can relate aircraft faults we see them compiled by Airman (for the Airbus) or on the 777 relate to the crews the fault Monitored CMC faults as the 777 can write it's OWN faults independent of the crews
You don't like the ELB?? You don't KNOW the ELB and that's why. I guarantee YOU WILL Like it. We've Spent 25 + Years at UAL developing that Program and it's Impeccable.
(We still don't know if it can be programmed into Scepter since that Program seems to only BE good for tracking Parts, though I could be wrong (JMHO.)


User currently offlinestrfyr51 From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 786 posts, RR: 0
Reply 79, posted (5 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 9795 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting holzmann (Reply 62):
DREAD flying Continental AC; you don't even get Channel 9! Finally, the loyalty divisions are still apparent. Ride a Continental AC and they proudly announce themselves as such.


The CAL airplanes aen't even Wired fo Channel 9 (at least Not Yet)
I've been on their airplanes and Delta's AND Americans And I haven't seen a DAMN thing inferior NOR "superior" to the CAL airplanes. And?? I've got 44 YEARS os aircraft maintenance Experience, And?? I LOOK!!
Delta's cabins look pretty fresh but that's because many of them are spank brand NEW.
United's will look pretty good long into the future because they've been taking care of them pretty Dilligently
Unlike the Previous UAL managment. (Give Credit where it's due) They take care of the Fleet ineriors like I take care of My CAR's interiors (Not My Wife's car though, she just won't listen..) Now of they could iron out the WIfi system software updated together, (too damn many too frequently) or not fly over missle test ranges we might get that together as well. You can't believe all the gripes we get for flying over white Sands test Range. All the passengers see is that the Wifi quit. They don't know it was Jammed. We also Need to be able to see whether the host company's situation is ok as well Panasonc is NOT the wifi provider for other than the hardware. I don't know Who it is to be factual. and frankly? I don't waste my money on it so I wouldn't know.


User currently offlineDL_Mech From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 1907 posts, RR: 9
Reply 80, posted (5 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 9613 times:

Quoting thebatman (Reply 49):
Don't even get me started on this debacle they call SCEPTRE
Quoting airzim (Reply 56):
Better let Delta (the blue eyed boy of US aviation at the moment), since they also use SCEPTRE.

Delta inherited SCEPTRE from NW, it was created at North Central Airlines.

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 71):
Delta is transitionin to SAP
SAP is used for logistics/parts provisioning. SCEPTRE is used for MTC tracking/Log Book entry/A/C history. DL was transitioning to SAP before the merger and it was decided to keep both systems.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 78):
the ELB acars log is SO far superior to paper logs it isn't even a comparison.

Sounds interesting, but DL loves paper. I hope to see it someday, but I'm not holding my breath.

[Edited 2013-11-13 05:25:07]


It's not going to the Moon.....It's just going to California
User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 81, posted (5 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 9558 times:

Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 80):
Sounds interesting, but DL loves paper. I hope to see it someday, but I'm not holding my breath.

Something is in the works for TechOps come next year. IDK if the pads are meant to repalce logbooks but something is going paperless.

Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 80):
SAP is used for logistics/parts provisioning. SCEPTRE is used for MTC tracking/Log Book entry/A/C history. DL was transitioning to SAP before the merger and it was decided to keep both systems.

Thanks, that would make sense. I was given the info by someone in the stores department. They wouldn't have known about the other side necessarily.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlinecalmsp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3843 posts, RR: 8
Reply 82, posted (5 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 9418 times:

Quoting ramprat74 (Reply 38):

can you name something specific that is so terrible about the 4 you listed? I can name a few things that are better about each of those.

Quoting thebatman (Reply 49):

by "on board and happy", do you mean doing everything the way UA did it? Or are you not implying everything went the way of CO?



okay, I'm waiting for the rich to spread the wealth around to me. Please mail your checks to my house.
User currently offlineaaexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 633 posts, RR: 4
Reply 83, posted (5 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 9395 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 75):
Ordering a bunch of planes and improving the product is the easy part. How many times has Stephen Wolf alone done that? Horton on the other hand never really got a handle on the structural issues at AA, or much of anything really, since labor went around him direct to US, when it wasn't "sick" or grounding planes, and Wall Street largely dismissed his standalone plan as unworkable. Now that the merger is approved it's all moot, but I don't think anyone is looking to hire Horton any time soon based on his AA performance.

So Wolf has ordered 400+ firm orders and another few hundreds of options to replace an entire fleet multiple times? Which airlines did he do that for and how many orders did he place?

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 75):
UA is nothing to aspire to. AA's OCT12 was a disaster, with an on time performance hovering around 50%.

So let me get this straight...you say AA's comps YOY comps are soft. When I then counter that their comps are miles better than UA, you claim that is a weak comparison because UA was in merger central. If I now tell you that total yield and PRASM at AA have climbed (during 2013) above the yield and PRASM at UA (not in percentage terms...actual numbers), what's going to be your next excuse?

I am guessing correctly that you'll claim that since AA doesn't match DL's yield numbers, Horton is incompetent and rudderless?

Look. I am no fan of this merger. And I am actually going to do most of my flying on UA next year where I am 1k. So whatever happens at AA in this merger will have little impact on me (except my Lifetime Plat status being devalued for a very short period of time until I get to 3MM which I will be 30k short of). But I think it is a mistake to write off Tom Horton as a hack when there is ample evidence that he is one of the FEW execs in this industry who "get" it. But I suspect that won't deter you a bit.


User currently onlineRDH3E From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 1455 posts, RR: 2
Reply 84, posted (5 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 9192 times:

Quoting jayunited (Reply 61):
First of all most employee groups have a 10 year progression scale that is extremely back end loaded meaning the bulk of the pay raises come towards end of the 10 years instead of the beginning or the middle. Starting pay for most positions here at UA is extremely low and most ground staff when they are hired start off as part timers which means they have very little benefits. So if they savings are there but UA has to get enough top scale employees to take a buyout so the saving can be realized through hiring new people.

Your math doesn't add up. You cannot replace a FT employee with a PT employee. If you consider equivalent schedules here is what you'd get:

Entry Hrly Entry Earn Max Earn Savings Discount Save
1 $10.18 $21,170.95 $49,920.00 $28,749.05 $26,135.50
2 $11.20 $23,288.05 $49,920.00 $26,631.95 $22,009.88
3 $12.32 $25,616.85 $49,920.00 $24,303.15 $18,259.31
4 $13.55 $28,178.54 $49,920.00 $21,741.46 $14,849.71
5 $14.90 $30,996.39 $49,920.00 $18,923.61 $11,750.07
6 $16.39 $34,096.03 $49,920.00 $15,823.97 $8,932.22
7 $18.03 $37,505.63 $49,920.00 $12,414.37 $6,370.53
8 $19.83 $41,256.20 $49,920.00 $8,663.80 $4,041.73
9 $21.82 $45,381.82 $49,920.00 $4,538.18 $1,924.63
10 $24.00 $49,920.00 $49,920.00 $- $-

$114,273.58

[sorry about the table formatting]

So about 114k of savings from hourly wages after discounting the cash savings by the stated UA hurdle rate of 10% as the break even point. So to actually save any money in UA's eyes the buyout would have to cost a decent amount less than that. Now I don't have the pay scale nor the ramp up of it so these are assumptions based on this thread. I just started with 24/hr max and discounted it by 10% each year to get an entry level wage of $10.18. I also assumed 52 paid weeks at 40 hrs/week for 10 years. I understand there are also savings on the fringes here like decreased 401k costs, lower vacation allocation for new hires etc, but since wages are the primary driver...

This 114k also does not include the ongoing costs of the early out person, ie medical, travel, possible job placement expense etc..

So honestly looking at it that way I don't think getting 60k and travel/medical [as mentioned by another poster] is unfair.

[Edited 2013-11-13 07:22:02]

[Edited 2013-11-13 07:37:26]

User currently offlinehohd From United States of America, joined May 2008, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 85, posted (5 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9091 times:

My suggestion on UA could do. Downsize the HQ at Chicago and bring back some of the jobs to Houston. It is obviously cheaper to operate from Houston than Chicago, less taxes and red tape. Operate like Exxon Mobil does, they have a token HQ in Dallas area, but all the major operations are in Houston. And start matching all major carriers on pricing from the hubs too. In Houston, in my company most travel on Southwest now; United is a distant second choice, except for International.

User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5245 posts, RR: 8
Reply 86, posted (5 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9029 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Thread starter):
Upcoming cuts at United will be near a billion dollars. Not a good sign. Thoughts?

Am I right that this means they are looking to cut 2.5 to 3% of their expenses?

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently onlineRDH3E From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 1455 posts, RR: 2
Reply 87, posted (5 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9013 times:

Quoting hohd (Reply 85):
My suggestion on UA could do. Downsize the HQ at Chicago and bring back some of the jobs to Houston. It is obviously cheaper to operate from Houston than Chicago, less taxes and red tape.

The company is receiving huge tax breaks from being in Chicago. Moving people back to Houston would require cutting salaries (hard to retain staff that way) and lots of moving expense. There are not that many people here in Chicago that are from Houston, we still have over 1,000 management people in downtown Houston, put another way over 1/4 non-airport management positions are still in Houston.


User currently offlineAADC10 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2015 posts, RR: 0
Reply 88, posted (5 months 4 days ago) and read 8943 times:

Quoting hohd (Reply 85):
Downsize the HQ at Chicago and bring back some of the jobs to Houston. It is obviously cheaper to operate from Houston than Chicago, less taxes and red tape.

It would cost UA to move to Houston because they received a tax and office lease deal to stay in Chicago and become the largest tenant in Big Willie, which they would have to refund if they moved. The taxes have a greater impact on the employees than on the company anyway and only a handful of executives actually moved. The location of WHQ is largely symbolic and the symbolism of being the hometown airline at ORD with its dual hub is far more important than the fortress hub at IAH which UA already has locked up.

The only areas where UA can significantly cut costs is labor and aircraft. Most of the financial moves were done during Ch. 11 and things like moving the WHQ or selling Chelsea Kitchens is not going to make much of a dent in costs.

There are really only two options: They can slow delivery of new aircraft and accelerate retirement of older aircraft to boost yield and allow for furloughs. This has the disadvantage of cutting the lowest paid employees. The other approach is to offer a far more generous early out package so the highest paid retire and can be replaced by new, low paid employees, possibly in combination with the first option. A third approach could be to expand rapidly and go on a hiring binge to bring in new lower paid employees but that does not make much sense since that would kill yield.

[Edited 2013-11-13 09:08:33]

User currently offlineapodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4122 posts, RR: 6
Reply 89, posted (5 months 4 days ago) and read 8906 times:

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 83):
So Wolf has ordered 400+ firm orders and another few hundreds of options to replace an entire fleet multiple times? Which airlines did he do that for and how many orders did he place?

You know how US was an all Boeing carrier until the late 90's, and is now almost an all airbus carrier? That was Stephen Wolf who did that. Remember when UA retired their entire 727 fleet with A319s and A320s? Again, that was Stephen Wolf who initiated that. The 777's replacing the DC-10's? I believe Wolf was responsible for that too.


User currently offlinemcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1436 posts, RR: 17
Reply 90, posted (5 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 8723 times:

Quoting TonyBurr (Reply 31):
And how many Elites has Jeff driven away to the other airlines? How much has that effected the bottom line? And he continues to develop policies which drive away the long time loyal customers. Maybe people will now see what a negative effect Jeff has on the long term life of the airline without Elites.

Jeff Smisek has not driven anyone away. Policies created from integration and the need to get to a common platform in Reservations, common flight operations , inflight, ramp, maintenance tech and policies have created more work. That is what happens in a merger. AA and US will face similar issues going forward. UA is much better operationally and resolving the other issues.

What policies specifically are driving away long term customers and how do they differ from what DL or AA are offering? I have been led to believe the DL policies are very similar to the UA policies.

Quoting TonyBurr (Reply 31):
Quoting hohd (Reply 85):
My suggestion on UA could do. Downsize the HQ at Chicago and bring back some of the jobs to Houston. It is obviously cheaper to operate from Houston than Chicago, less taxes and red tape.

What data do you have to prove it is cheaper to operate from Houston versus Chicago? UA was granted generous lease and tax benefits to place the HQ in Chicago. Provide some factual data to prove what you are saying is needed.


User currently offlinecalmsp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3843 posts, RR: 8
Reply 91, posted (5 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 8655 times:

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 87):

not really. More than 75% are in Chicago.



okay, I'm waiting for the rich to spread the wealth around to me. Please mail your checks to my house.
User currently onlineRDH3E From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 1455 posts, RR: 2
Reply 92, posted (5 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 8625 times:

Quoting calmsp (Reply 91):
not really. More than 75% are in Chicago.

Yes really. Not more than 75% are in Chicago. Also not I said Non-Airport Managment, ie not includad Salaried folks in a non-management roll, as I don't believe the number of admins should skew the numbers.


User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 93, posted (5 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 8638 times:

Quoting mcdu (Reply 90):
Jeff Smisek has not driven anyone away.

Are you for real? You need to jump on flyertalk and see the masses that Smisek has already driven away to AA and DL



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlinecalmsp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3843 posts, RR: 8
Reply 94, posted (5 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 8592 times:

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 92):

you are wrong. who do you think is left in Houston? Teh only people that are in HQS/HQJ are tech ops, one small HR group, a few scheduling people, fuel, pass travel, and thats about it.



okay, I'm waiting for the rich to spread the wealth around to me. Please mail your checks to my house.
User currently offlineEaglePower83 From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 200 posts, RR: 0
Reply 95, posted (5 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 8538 times:

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 17):
The evidence is very clear....Smisek and his teams are accountants who think they can manage this airline by managing a balance sheet and income statement. What is becoming painfully clear is that reacting to the daily stock price fluctuations and analyst grilling is having UA circling the drain at this point. They need to break free from their current way of thinking and do the exact opposite of what they have been doing. Investing in the flying experience by getting wifi install done pronto...by improving catering across the board both in quality and segment length...by adding amenities to long hauls and tanscons...by not killing off the value of MileagePlus...

I agree 100% with aaexecplat's post. BRA fricken VO.
To put it simply, it's miserable to fly United today.
In the past, I used to know many people who really enjoyed flying UA, and sometimes you'd hear a couple complaints here and there.
Today........many of my friends actively avoid UA at all costs, and only a few have some positive things to say on some rare flights that arrive on time or hassle free.

That's the thing. It's mostly a crap-shoot to fly UA now. And the staff is so militant (though I don't blame them).
It's an airline run by a bunch of accountants and lawyers who manage with Excel sheets and don't give a dam about the passenger experience.
There is no excuse. NONE.

For a rebooking during an MX cancellation to go from taking FIVE minutes in 2010 for a party of 5................to 2013, and taking over 20min. for ONE person.
Yeah, most of the staff have brushed off how crappy their new policies and systems are.........but they've still told me in interactions that they used to have more authority and ability in their old systems.
There's no excuse for a veteran gate agent to have to call Houston to ask permission if she can rebook me on a later flight.
Sheer Stupidity, and that's today's UAL.


User currently offlineaaexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 633 posts, RR: 4
Reply 96, posted (5 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 8436 times:

Quoting apodino (Reply 89):
You know how US was an all Boeing carrier until the late 90's, and is now almost an all airbus carrier? That was Stephen Wolf who did that. Remember when UA retired their entire 727 fleet with A319s and A320s? Again, that was Stephen Wolf who initiated that. The 777's replacing the DC-10's? I believe Wolf was responsible for that too.

Thanks for catching me up on this. But the question remains...anyone who orders new planes is automatically a rudderless hack?


User currently onlineRDH3E From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 1455 posts, RR: 2
Reply 97, posted (5 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 8383 times:

Quoting calmsp (Reply 94):
you are wrong. who do you think is left in Houston? Teh only people that are in HQS/HQJ are tech ops, one small HR group, a few scheduling people, fuel, pass travel, and thats about it.

Go look at the figures on the intranet, come back and apologize to me. I'm looking at them right now.


User currently offlineCOSPN From Northern Mariana Islands, joined Oct 2001, 1602 posts, RR: 0
Reply 98, posted (5 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 8401 times:

Very simple to save a billion Move HQ from Chicago to a cheaper location, Houston or Other Location (Indiana SBN, IND or Illinois Downstate someplace, cheaper ( if you want to stay nearby, then cap management pay at 100,000 (Except CEO plus 4 or 5 Top Guys)

User currently onlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5815 posts, RR: 9
Reply 99, posted (5 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 8364 times:

Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 77):
Quoting United1 (Reply 73):
UA owns a lot of 50 seat RJs most of the EMB-145s are owned by UA and leased to ExpressJet.

That what I thought, too; but, checking the last SEC 10-K, it said only 16 E-145's are owned.

The rest of the CRJ2's and E145/135's are leased. I wonder if UA did a sale/lease back and kept quiet about it or if that last go-around with Embraer for the 175's was more complicated than it appeared to be. Hmm ... Further research required.

That would be interesting if they got out from underneath those aircraft....hmmmmm will have to look into that.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 93):
Quoting mcdu (Reply 90):
Jeff Smisek has not driven anyone away.

Are you for real? You need to jump on flyertalk and see the masses that Smisek has already driven away to AA and DL

Tommy....go look on the AA and DL board on Flyertalk and see how many people have been driven from those two carriers to UA. Flyertalk is probably the worst source of information in the history of mankind simply because those boards were set up to do one thing....let people bitch.



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlinebjorn14 From Norway, joined Feb 2010, 3269 posts, RR: 2
Reply 100, posted (5 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 8336 times:

Didn't Bethune say they werent rules just guidelines and that he trusted CSA/PSAs to do the right thing for the pax. How far have we fallen.


"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 101, posted (5 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 8227 times:

Quoting United1 (Reply 99):

Tommy....go look on the AA and DL board on Flyertalk and see how many people have been driven from those two carriers to UA. Flyertalk is probably the worst source of information in the history of mankind simply because those boards were set up to do one thing....let people bitch.

How so? More trip reports, more threads about passenger experiences, it's quoted by news sources like the WSJ. What makes them "the worst source of information?"



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently onlineRDH3E From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 1455 posts, RR: 2
Reply 102, posted (5 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 8212 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 101):
How so? More trip reports, more threads about passenger experiences, it's quoted by news sources like the WSJ. What makes them "the worst source of information?"

I believe the phrase is "the squeeky wheel gets the grease". So people complain as much as possible in order to try to convince the airlines that things that are (in the grand scheme) extremely meaning, are the worst thing in the world!

For example, when UA switched to Fresh Brew from Starbucks, people pretended like the sky was falling and they were going to switch airlines.


User currently onlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5815 posts, RR: 9
Reply 103, posted (5 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 8231 times:

Quoting COSPN (Reply 98):
Very simple to save a billion Move HQ from Chicago to a cheaper location, Houston or Other Location (Indiana SBN, IND or Illinois Downstate someplace, cheaper ( if you want to stay nearby, then cap management pay at 100,000 (Except CEO plus 4 or 5 Top Guys)

I think people on here are really overestimate just how expensive the space in the Sears Tower actually is. Chicago is not that expensive, yes it is more then Houston, but not by an insane amount and the quality of life is wonderful.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 101):
How so? More trip reports, more threads about passenger experiences, it's quoted by news sources like the WSJ. What makes them "the worst source of information?"

...it full of people who complain about everything and are seeking compensation for any perceived slight. It's become the "do we cheat them and how" of the airline world. Not a big fan of that website as you can probably tell...there are nice people on that board and I've even spoken to a few but for the most part its biased one sided arguments.



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 104, posted (5 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 8180 times:

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 102):
For example, when UA switched to Fresh Brew from Starbucks, people pretended like the sky was falling and they were going to switch airlines.

Well you can easily pick out the people who overembellish. You just ignore those threads. The UA meals threads is very comprehensive. It shows how domestic catering from both the UA and CO days has really taken a turn for the worst -- like microwavable burrito or 4 piece chicken salad for dinner on a 4 hour flight. It's embarrassing, and it's not really documented well around this neck of the woods.

Quoting United1 (Reply 103):
...it full of people who complain about everything and are seeking compensation for any perceived slight.

Agree to disagree. I do believe users have a better sense of humor as well on FT.



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineaaexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 633 posts, RR: 4
Reply 105, posted (5 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 8153 times:

Quoting United1 (Reply 99):
Tommy....go look on the AA and DL board on Flyertalk and see how many people have been driven from those two carriers to UA. Flyertalk is probably the worst source of information in the history of mankind simply because those boards were set up to do one thing....let people bitch.

Not arguing with your dislike of FT or your description of the members as "do we cheat and how". Agree completely.

But to deny the very clear exodus of HVFs and FFs which is more than visible in the quarterly numbers UA has been putting out for well over a year, is to put one's head in the sand. Go look at the yield and PRASM growth trend on AA and the other carriers since 2q12 and you will see what I mean.


User currently onlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5815 posts, RR: 9
Reply 106, posted (5 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 8082 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 104):

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 102):
For example, when UA switched to Fresh Brew from Starbucks, people pretended like the sky was falling and they were going to switch airlines.

Well you can easily pick out the people who overembellish. You just ignore those threads. The UA meals threads is very comprehensive. It shows how domestic catering from both the UA and CO days has really taken a turn for the worst -- like microwavable burrito or 4 piece chicken salad for dinner on a 4 hour flight. It's embarrassing, and it's not really documented well around this neck of the woods.

I don't disagree that UA needs to overhaul domestic midcon firsts meal service...although the burrito is not bad and I have had the soup/chicken salad combo many times. UA international got most of the attention this year and the soft product took some nice steps forward this year.

But flyertlak is also famous for threads like "What's the Stupidest, Least Substantive UA-Related Thing You Can Complain About?"

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 105):
But to deny the very clear exodus of HVFs and FFs which is more than visible in the quarterly numbers UA has been putting out for well over a year, is to put one's head in the sand. Go look at the yield and PRASM growth trend on AA and the other carriers since 2q12 and you will see what I mean.

PRASM and Yield growth at another carrier do not necessarily imply that UA is loosing elites....neither the airline industry or the economy in general exist in a bubble. In other words just because a butterfly flaps it's wings in Tibet does not mean that its raining in Cleveland...



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlineaaexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 633 posts, RR: 4
Reply 107, posted (5 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 8057 times:

Quoting United1 (Reply 106):
PRASM and Yield growth at another carrier do not necessarily imply that UA is loosing elites....neither the airline industry or the economy in general exist in a bubble. In other words just because a butterfly flaps it's wings in Tibet does not mean that its raining in Cleveland...

If this cinderella story makes you sleep better at night, more power to you. But until Smisek and his team "get" this, UA will underperform with its financials....guaranteed. And if/when the next recession hits, UA will be uniquely poorly positioned to weather the storm that is coming its way.


User currently onlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5815 posts, RR: 9
Reply 108, posted (5 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 8036 times:

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 107):
Quoting United1 (Reply 106):
PRASM and Yield growth at another carrier do not necessarily imply that UA is loosing elites....neither the airline industry or the economy in general exist in a bubble. In other words just because a butterfly flaps it's wings in Tibet does not mean that its raining in Cleveland...

If this cinderella story makes you sleep better at night, more power to you. But until Smisek and his team "get" this, UA will underperform with its financials....guaranteed. And if/when the next recession hits, UA will be uniquely poorly positioned to weather the storm that is coming its way

So I'll ask you a question when UA was leading the pack a few years ago, prior to the merger, in terms of PRASM and yield did you think that UA was stealing elites from other airlines?

Please note that I am not arguing with you that it's possible that UA is loosing elites what I'm saying is that based upon the data we have access to it is impossible validate your statement. There are quite a few possible reasons why UAs PRASM growth has been lackluster, UA itself has come out and said that they were under pricing their product that could be another reason, just be careful in assuming that the pace of UAs PRASM and Yield growth is tied to UA loosing elites.



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 109, posted (5 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 8021 times:

Quoting United1 (Reply 106):
I don't disagree that UA needs to overhaul domestic midcon firsts meal service...although the burrito is not bad and I have had the soup/chicken salad combo many times.

It might not be bad if you are used to eating complete garbage. There is no way you make that thing look good.

Considering UA is serving that 7/11 burrito on ORD-SFO, alongside AA which serves a proper meals make it a giant slap in the face to elites and paid F passengers. And the worst part about the domestic meal options is they are extremely repetitive. They have not changed up the menus in what it seems like years. The only difference are the transcons and PS which are swtiched up more often (but still not frequent enough.)

The thing is, you know peoeple are complaining about this and you know CO managment is too stubborn to listen.

Quoting United1 (Reply 106):
But flyertlak is also famous for threads like "What's the Stupidest, Least Substantive UA-Related Thing You Can Complain About?"

Yeah and that's ACTUALLY funny to read! I wish we had more comical threads like that around here! Again, we lack sense of humor on these boards.

[Edited 2013-11-13 14:03:27]


"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlinecalmsp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3843 posts, RR: 8
Reply 110, posted (5 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 8034 times:

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 97):

yeah right. You can take a look at the entire finance organization, and roughly 55 management employees out of the entire company are in Houston. that is not even 20 % of the divsiion.



okay, I'm waiting for the rich to spread the wealth around to me. Please mail your checks to my house.
User currently onlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5815 posts, RR: 9
Reply 111, posted (5 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 7978 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 109):
Quoting United1 (Reply 106):
I don't disagree that UA needs to overhaul domestic midcon firsts meal service...although the burrito is not bad and I have had the soup/chicken salad combo many times.

It might not be bad if you are used to eating complete garbage. There is no way you make that thing look good.

Have you ever tried it...or are you simply basing your statement off what it looks like? It's a plain burrito...



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 112, posted (5 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 7867 times:

Quoting United1 (Reply 111):

Again, a burrito served on a midcon is a sheer embarassment. UA should provide a proper meal.

[Edited 2013-11-13 14:54:36]


"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently onlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5815 posts, RR: 9
Reply 113, posted (5 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 7808 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 112):
Quoting United1 (Reply 111):

Again, a burrito served on a midcon is a sheer embarassment. UA should provide a proper meal.

So no you haven't tried it then.......

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 104):
Well you can easily pick out the people who overembellish.

......hmmmmm maybe.

[Edited 2013-11-13 15:14:16]


Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 114, posted (5 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 7718 times:

Quoting United1 (Reply 113):
So no you haven't tried it then.......

I gotta be honest, I'm not really looking to try it since it looks like it would make me sick and a poor offering compared to the competition.

Ever see what's inside of that thing:

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a3...G/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D720/ry%3D480/

Awful...



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently onlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5815 posts, RR: 9
Reply 115, posted (5 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 7704 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 114):
Quoting United1 (Reply 113):
So no you haven't tried it then.......

I gotta be honest, I'm not really looking to try it since it looks like it would make me sick and a poor offering compared to the competition.

Ever see what's inside of that thing:

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a3...G/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D720/ry%3D480/

Awful...

What exactly do you think should be in a burrito?



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlineFlyHossD From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 745 posts, RR: 2
Reply 116, posted (5 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 7675 times:

Quoting United1 (Reply 73):
I know there are people on here who love to yell that they sky is falling but I don't see anything at UA that isn't either a work in progress with some really cool goals/outcomes or that isn't relatively easy to fix.

Yes, it's still "a work in progress." More than 3 1/2 years past the merger announcement and there is still much work to be done.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 78):
the ELB acars log is SO far superior to paper logs it isn't even a comparison.
With the ELB you find the Maint Reporting Code and input it in ACARS OR? Enter "9" and type it in freehand.
The Advantage is?? The gripe gets to Maintenance immediately and we can evaluate it,, order parts if necessary
Or set up the Deferral.. And ?! Even change the routing of the airplane. Or take the airplane out of Service. should that be necessary.
ALL before the airplane Lands and parks at the gate.

The sCO aircraft - the ones with the paper logbooks - also have the ability to report maintenance issues inflight. As I recall, the policy is to do just that and has been for a few years. So the advantage you're speaking of is moot.

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 17):
The evidence is very clear....Smisek and his teams are accountants who think they can manage this airline by managing a balance sheet and income statement. What is becoming painfully clear is that reacting to the daily stock price fluctuations and analyst grilling is having UA circling the drain at this point. They need to break free from their current way of thinking and do the exact opposite of what they have been doing.

That's what is so curious - Smisek worked with Bethune, but can't understand how Bethune made CO successful by running a good airline.

Quoting EaglePower83 (Reply 95):
It's an airline run by a bunch of accountants and lawyers who manage with Excel sheets and don't give a dam about the passenger experience.

  



My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
User currently offlineaaexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 633 posts, RR: 4
Reply 117, posted (5 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 7576 times:

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 116):
That's what is so curious - Smisek worked with Bethune, but can't understand how Bethune made CO successful by running a good airline.

Not surprising at all. Most bean counters are not good business people. Good business people drive revenue and sales through accountable investments (be it marketing or investments in product or service delivery). Bean counters see these investments as sunk costs rather than the investments they are, so the temptation is to axe them.

In a successful business, you usually have business people pushing to invest to drive investment and a fiscally responsible CFO who balances the spend thirst of sales and marketing with the cash flow needs of the company. If the CFO controls the spending, the balanced dance does not happen and that is what you are seeing at UA.

The CFO of our company is a terrific CFO, but if she was in charge of marketing instead of me, we would shrink our revenue which would impact the long term viability of the firm.


User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 118, posted (5 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7513 times:

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 117):
Not surprising at all. Most bean counters are not good business people.

Very true. And unforuntely in this economic climate many CFOs are getting to become CEOs because they are good at cutting costs and looking at the bottom line. Smisek unlike say Crandall (one of my personal favs) lacks vision. In many ways, he also lacks common sense -- based on how this mess of a merger has unfolded over the last 3.5 years.

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 116):

In many ways Bethune had some bean counter blood in him as well -- like shutting the DEN hub.



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 16927 posts, RR: 48
Reply 119, posted (5 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7496 times:

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 83):
So let me get this straight...you say AA's comps YOY comps are soft. When I then counter that their comps are miles better than UA, you claim that is a weak comparison because UA was in merger central. If I now tell you that total yield and PRASM at AA have climbed (during 2013) above the yield and PRASM at UA (not in percentage terms...actual numbers), what's going to be your next excuse?

That's not even close to what I said. AA's comps are great because fall 2012 was terrible; they *should* be great. It has nothing to do with UA.

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 83):
But I think it is a mistake to write off Tom Horton as a hack when there is ample evidence that he is one of the FEW execs in this industry who "get" it. But I suspect that won't deter you a bit.

I'm still not clear what he "gets". I'll grant you the big fleet order, but beyond that, there was no strategy, no control, no labor progress, and fumbled reaction to the mx issues and pilot sickout.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 109):
Considering UA is serving that 7/11 burrito on ORD-SFO,

It's nicer than what sUA was serving mid flight in F tpac so I'm not sure why anyone's is complaining 
Quoting United1 (Reply 113):
So no you haven't tried it then.......

Are you surprised ?



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 120, posted (5 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7474 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 119):
It's nicer than what sUA was serving mid flight in F tpac so I'm not sure why anyone's is complaining 

Because it's a pathetic offering? What are people supposed to shut up and be happy no matter what?



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineFlyHossD From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 745 posts, RR: 2
Reply 121, posted (5 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7439 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 118):
In many ways Bethune had some bean counter blood in him as well -- like shutting the DEN hub.

As I recall, it was Bob Ferguson - Bethune's immediate predecessor - who pulled CO out of DEN.

Bethune hired some great senior management including Larry Kellner. Kellner was a fine CFO, IMHO, but was a failure as a CEO. Smisek may be an incredible attorney, but he doesn't seem to be able to hold a candle to DL CEO Anderson (another attorney).

[Edited 2013-11-13 17:24:09]


My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
User currently offlinecommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11116 posts, RR: 62
Reply 122, posted (5 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7448 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 119):
That's not even close to what I said. AA's comps are great because fall 2012 was terrible; they *should* be great. It has nothing to do with UA.

Respectfully, I think that's ridiculous.

Even if you take the impact of last fall's pilot slowdown out of the YOY comps, AA still posted the best October YOY PRASM numbers of all the network airlines - and still comfortably outperformed United, even if we give United the benefit of the doubt on their nebulous allowance for the "government shutdown, Superstorm Sandy's impact in October 2012 and the depreciation of the yen" - each of which would presumably have impact certain of their competitors, all of which, again, posted better YOY PRASM numbers, to as much if not more of an extent.

To suggest that this has "nothing to do with UA" to me requires a willing suspension of disbelief. I think what United's continued underperformance of its peer group indicates is that it has yet to fully recover - at least financially - from the disastrous mismanagement of the merger integration and its impact on the company's operations and most valuable customers. In addition, it also underscores just how successful Delta, and especially AA, have been at taking advantage of this failure, and how unsuccessful United has been at combating this.

And bringing this back to the original point of this thread - I agree that this has got to be getting increasingly hard for Jeff Smisek, who increasingly looks like the Baghdad Bob of the airline industry, to explain away. Each period of underperformance there's another excuse, but when one of your bankrupt competitors is substantially outperforming you and another post-bankruptcy competitor is, too, and when that bankrupt competitor is on the verge of merging to become a larger, even stronger, competitor, this clearly takes on far greater urgency.

Methinks Smisek has some explaining to do with the United Board, and if he doesn't, then that Board should be fired.


User currently offlineaaexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 633 posts, RR: 4
Reply 123, posted (5 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7426 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 119):
That's not even close to what I said. AA's comps are great because fall 2012 was terrible; they *should* be great. It has nothing to do with UA.

If you think AA only outperformed UA in PRASM growth YOY in 3Q13, take a look at the prior two quarters...same exact story. This isn't just about one quarter where AA had soft comps because of a work slow down by the pilots in the fall of 2012. AA outperformed UA in 2q13 when UA had ultra weak comps due to the disaster of a systems integration. And if you look at AA's numbers for YOY PRASM growth, you will notice that while they can't quite mtch DL, they are darn close. I am sitting on a plane right now typin with two thumbs, but tomorrow I will poat all the yield and PRASM numbers so we can all look at them. That'll either ptove me right or it will prove you right.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 119):
I'm still not clear what he "gets". I'll grant you the big fleet order, but beyond that, there was no strategy, no control, no labor progress, and fumbled reaction to the mx issues and pilot sickout.

This really isn't hard. What he gets is that they have ro spend money to make money. Smisek thinks that not spending money is how you make money. Really a very myopic view of business.


User currently offlineTW870 From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 124, posted (5 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7391 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting United1 (Reply 115):
What exactly do you think should be in a burrito?

What is the soup that goes with the burrito? It looks like broccoli cheddar or something - which would be completely strange with a burrito. Is it some sort of tortilla soup? The bread roll with the burrito is also bizarre. Not to dwell on details, but that kind of lack of attention to detail really devalues HVCs.

I'm a former UA FA and I have to say it would have been a rough, rough day if I had to pawn off that plate on a 1K Million (I left in 2003….)


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 16927 posts, RR: 48
Reply 125, posted (5 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 7227 times:

Quoting commavia (Reply 122):
Respectfully, I think that's ridiculous.
Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 123):
If you think AA only outperformed UA in PRASM growth YOY in 3Q13, take a look at the prior two quarters...same exact story.

I think you've lost track of what this was originally about, ie Tom Horton being a viable replacement for Smisek. You will get no argument from me that UA is a slow moving trainwreck that moves from self induced crisis to self induced crisis. You *might* even convince me that Tom Horton is a better CEO than Smisek, but even so, that is not a ringing endorsement.

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 123):
This really isn't hard. What he gets is that they have ro spend money to make money. Smisek thinks that not spending money is how you make money. Really a very myopic view of business.

I think the verdict is far from clear as to AMR's run rate success, merger and bankruptcy aside. As I have mentioned I still see major structural issues at AA that would have to be resolved. Sure they may be outperforming UA but who isn't?



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineaaexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 633 posts, RR: 4
Reply 126, posted (5 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 7105 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 125):
I think the verdict is far from clear as to AMR's run rate success, merger and bankruptcy aside. As I have mentioned I still see major structural issues at AA that would have to be resolved. Sure they may be outperforming UA but who isn't?

OK. So let's forget UA. What is your oosition on the recently released DL and AA October PRASM growth numbers? DL reported 2% PRASM growth and AA reported 6.6%. Your thoughts?


User currently offlinesilentbob From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1962 posts, RR: 1
Reply 127, posted (5 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 7094 times:

Quoting jayunited (Reply 61):
There is no way the cost of a "real" buyout would cost more than what it would save the company over a 10 year period.

But the up front cost would look bad on the quarterly report, you can't have that.

Quoting 777ord (Reply 63):
Is UA or any company, wanting to pay one person $24/h when they can have some guy do it for 11?

And that is exactly the mindset that has resulted in an economic recovery that has essentially stalled for a significant number of people in this country.


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 16927 posts, RR: 48
Reply 128, posted (5 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 7078 times:

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 126):
What is your oosition on the recently released DL and AA October PRASM growth numbers? DL reported 2% PRASM growth and AA reported 6.6%. Your thoughts?

DL is at the top of their game, and industry, posting double digit margins in Q3 and forecasting another one in Q4--when AA gets close to that type of consistent performance, we can compare the two more easily, rather than a few months' comparison.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineaaexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 633 posts, RR: 4
Reply 129, posted (5 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 6889 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 128):
DL is at the top of their game, and industry, posting double digit margins in Q3 and forecasting another one in Q4--when AA gets close to that type of consistent performance, we can compare the two more easily, rather than a few months' comparison.

So now you are saying that we can't compare AA and DL because there is not enough data to make a comparison viable? I love data. I use it to determine where I stand on certain issues and often, when folks disagree with me, they don't know the data behind my position.

Did you know that for 2012, MIT's airline data project has AA with a higher overall PRASM than DL? Here is the chart:

http://web.mit.edu/airlinedata/www/2...lable%20Seat%20Mile%20(PRASM).html

Now I can already hear skeptics say that surely, yield would be higher on DL, right? No...wrong again:

http://web.mit.edu/airlinedata/www/2...ue/System%20Passenger%20Yield.html

But surely if we stage adjust the PRASM, DL must be ahead....wrong again

http://web.mit.edu/airlinedata/www/2...valent%20Seat%20Mile%20(PRESM).htm

The bottom line is that AA is tops in driving revenue in this industry. Where DL is killing AA and UA and why DL's margins are so much better than their peers is because they have MUCH lower CASM than UA and DL. Only US has lower CASM. They also have more productive employees than the other legacies.

I recommend you spend 30 minutes looking through all the data sets from MIT to really get an understanding of the landscape in terms of revenue, costs, and productivity.

http://web.mit.edu/airlinedata/www/Revenue&Related.html

I stand by what I have said...Horton did a great job getting revenue back to where it needed to be. CASM will be cut dramatically once they operate the new fleet in its entirety. They still have too many gas guzzlers on sale/lease back.

P.S. I know I could look through the 2013 earnings reports and post that here, too, but trust me when I tell you that the revenue picture has not materially changed.


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 16927 posts, RR: 48
Reply 130, posted (5 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 6772 times:

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 129):
So now you are saying that we can't compare AA and DL because there is not enough data to make a comparison viable?

Again, not at all what I said. DL is running a much better airline than AA right now--there's no question. AA may have higher unit revenues, but you know who else did? Pre merger UA. It also had zero vision, poisonous labor relations, rock bottom customer service scores, and meager financial performance. But the RASM was great! You want to call Glenn Tilton and have him take over just because of that one metric? Because it sounds like it's your only criteria for a good leader.

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 129):
I stand by what I have said...Horton did a great job getting revenue back to where it needed to be.

By all means then hire him at your company. I highly doubt anyone in the airline industry will be beating a path to his door.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineLDVAviation From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 975 posts, RR: 5
Reply 131, posted (5 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 6754 times:

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 129):
Did you know that for 2012, MIT's airline data project has AA with a higher overall PRASM than DL? Here is the chart:

For some reason that I have never been able to figure out when I have posted links to the MIT Airline Project in the past, the links to specific datasets do not work.

However, I've seen the numbers you cite. Very interesting.


User currently offlineaaexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 633 posts, RR: 4
Reply 132, posted (5 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6325 times:

Quoting LDVAviation (Reply 131):

For some reason that I have never been able to figure out when I have posted links to the MIT Airline Project in the past, the links to specific datasets do not work.

However, I've seen the numbers you cite. Very interesting.

Ugh...I don't think I can edit the post anymore, but I did not know that the links didn't work....I do know what I did wrong though. The page URLs end with .htm and I changed it to .html. If you use the links I provided and lop off the "l" at the end of the URL, all the direct links seem to work.


User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 133, posted (5 months 3 days ago) and read 6137 times:

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 121):
Bethune hired some great senior management including Larry Kellner. Kellner was a fine CFO, IMHO, but was a failure as a CEO. Smisek may be an incredible attorney, but he doesn't seem to be able to hold a candle to DL CEO Anderson (another attorney).

I really couldn't stand Kellner as a CEO either. He just kind of sat back and did nothing while making silent cuts, then handed the airline over to Lorenzo (Smisek) to cut even further.

You have to figure -- it was probably Kellner and Smisek as a tag team that forced Bethune out in 2005. They are what I'd like to call "Houcrew Scum".

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 125):
I think you've lost track of what this was originally about, ie Tom Horton being a viable replacement for Smisek.

I think Horton is doing a really good job. I think your argument has very little validity, just bias as usual.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 130):
Pre merger UA. It also had zero vision, poisonous labor relations, rock bottom customer service scores, and meager financial performance.

Zero vision as in the airline that installed world class F and J seats when CO couldn't get it's act together to start the process until 2009?



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineflydeltajets From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1787 posts, RR: 2
Reply 134, posted (5 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5977 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting mcdu (Reply 26):
On the cost side. I have heard that at DL all operations below the wing is contract services. Is this correct? That is a major cost on the UA side and not sure if the new contract just signed allows for contracting below the wing at UA.

Not true, UA likely has more contracted employees than DL, even at hubs there is a lot of contracted work (i.e. Skywest and Air Wisconsin handing UAX work)

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 30):
Perhaps UA should consider selling their Chelsea Food Services catering unit to Gate Gourmet. I would be surprised if Chelsea is actually making money. Gate Gourmet would probably love to have catering operations at IAH, CLE, and DEN.

Chelsea is a excellent service in EWR in addition to the cities that you mentioned, they also handle contracts as well.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 90):
I have been led to believe the DL policies are very similar to the UA policies.


DL and UA have the exact same FF earning policies.



The only valid opinions are those based in facts
User currently offlinejustloveplanes From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1002 posts, RR: 1
Reply 135, posted (5 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5914 times:

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 126):
DL reported 2% PRASM growth and AA reported 6.6%. Your thoughts?

Former UA/CAL elites.....

AA is the more logical choice for FF switches. Chicago perfect horizontal switch Dallas/Houston, closer, and New York. Latin America Switch probably better for American Vice Delta.

[Edited 2013-11-14 11:50:59]

User currently online1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6385 posts, RR: 2
Reply 136, posted (5 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5928 times:

Quoting flydeltajets (Reply 134):
Chelsea is a excellent service in EWR in addition to the cities that you mentioned, they also handle contracts as well.

Yet UA isn't expanding their operations to the PMUA hubs; UA renewed their contracts with Gate Gourmet last years at most of them. Even in DEN (which Chelsea has operations even before the merger), UA is using LSG Sky Chefs.



The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
User currently offlineflydeltajets From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1787 posts, RR: 2
Reply 137, posted (5 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 5581 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 136):
Yet UA isn't expanding their operations to the PMUA hubs; UA renewed their contracts with Gate Gourmet last years at most of them. Even in DEN (which Chelsea has operations even before the merger), UA is using LSG Sky Chefs.

Chelsea expanded to cater all UA at IAH as well as Air China and many other carriers there, Chelsea provides catering to 19 other airlines other than UA. To open a kitchen from scratch is a very large expense and is likely the reason they haven't expanded to the sUA hubs. As for DEN the current contract has not expired.



The only valid opinions are those based in facts
User currently offlineCALTECH From Poland, joined May 2007, 2004 posts, RR: 27
Reply 138, posted (5 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 5368 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 133):
You have to figure -- it was probably Kellner and Smisek as a tag team that forced Bethune out in 2005. They are what I'd like to call "Houcrew Scum".
Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 137):
Quoting tommy767 (Reply 133):I think Horton is doing a really good job. I think your argument has very little validity, just bias as usual. I honestly don't care what you think since you never have a clue what you're talking about and make the same nonsensical comments over and over and over like this:

  

He is so misinformed. Doesn't even know the true historical facts,

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortu...chive/2004/10/18/8188058/index.htm

"It's the result of a standoff between Bethune and Continental's former controlling shareholder, David Bonderman. Having battled off and on for years, the two men finally reached an odd armistice: Bethune agreed to leave Continental if Bonderman would leave the board. Bethune thinks he took one for the team, as will be explained, believing that Bonderman's departure would help ensure Continental's future."

United is so in trouble, should just close the airline down now. Not worth the effort of running and only making half a billion dollars in a quarter. Oh, and the union mediation team rejected the lastest United offer for Technicians. United now has asked for the NMB to get involved in the contract talks.



UNITED We Stand
User currently offlineT5towbar From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 508 posts, RR: 1
Reply 139, posted (5 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4850 times:

Quoting flydeltajets (Reply 134):
Quoting mcdu (Reply 26):
On the cost side. I have heard that at DL all operations below the wing is contract services. Is this correct? That is a major cost on the UA side and not sure if the new contract just signed allows for contracting below the wing at UA.

Not true, UA likely has more contracted employees than DL, even at hubs there is a lot of contracted work (i.e. Skywest and Air Wisconsin handing UAX work)

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 30):
Perhaps UA should consider selling their Chelsea Food Services catering unit to Gate Gourmet. I would be surprised if Chelsea is actually making money. Gate Gourmet would probably love to have catering operations at IAH, CLE, and DEN.

And with the new contract, that will continue, except ATW will regain the work that Air Whiskey does at IAD. Note: today is the first day for the 6 outsourced stations that AE will fully be doing the work. It's just that AE and DGS does quite a bit of our work (which we will be getting a bit of it back from DGS - cause there were split operations). We still keep all work at the other hubs though. (for a while................)

I'm surprised about the DEN Chelsea operation. I thought they would be taking over for Gate since there is a large kitchen there. But I guess other work keeps them busy. Also Chelsea does a lot of other work for other airlines as well. And I thought that they would be sold to Gate when the merger was announced, but who knows.

Doesn't DGS do a lot of the DL COnnex work as well? If you own your own outsourcing company, there are automatic cost savings as well. We don't have one. DL and AA has. You can still keep it "in house" so to speak, and have a automatic "C" scale.



A comment from an Ex CON: Work Hard.....Fly Standby!
User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3105 posts, RR: 8
Reply 140, posted (5 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4391 times:

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 129):
Where DL is killing AA and UA and why DL's margins are so much better than their peers is because they have MUCH lower CASM than UA and DL.

DL has a MUCH lower CASM than UA and WHO??



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlineSlider From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6658 posts, RR: 35
Reply 141, posted (5 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4352 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 133):
I really couldn't stand Kellner as a CEO either. He just kind of sat back and did nothing while making silent cuts, then handed the airline over to Lorenzo (Smisek) to cut even further.

You have to figure -- it was probably Kellner and Smisek as a tag team that forced Bethune out in 2005. They are what I'd like to call "Houcrew Scum".

Listen, this is revisionist history. I know people like to idolize Gordon--some reasons legit others not so much--but the cold, hard truth is that it was Gordon who didn't make the hard decisions late in his tenure. Larry was the one who had to make the uncomfortable decisions of concessions (any CO employee will remember the "two paths" spiel). Besides, Larry was a finance guy--that was his wheelhouse. It's only natural that he'd have been more dialed into those specific metrics.

In Larry's defense, A) It's a damn near impossible thing to follow Gordon, no matter WHO it would have been, B) He came a LONG way in terms of his people skills and he warmed up a lot, and C) He had integrity. The man was trustworthy and honest and I respect that.

Larry bailed for the obvious reasons--that he didn't want any part of merger madness and legitimately wanted more time with family. Can't blame the guy there. Go back to a finance role strictly, fewer hours, more money, less stress, more family time. Who wouldn't sign up for that?

So sorry Tommy, but your narrative is totally off base here.


User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 142, posted (5 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4231 times:

Quoting Slider (Reply 142):

In Larry's defense, A) It's a damn near impossible thing to follow Gordon, no matter WHO it would have been, B) He came a LONG way in terms of his people skills and he warmed up a lot, and C) He had integrity. The man was trustworthy and honest and I respect that.

I mean, I still fail to see what Kellner actually did at CO. I feel he failed to listen to his customers and didn't make any major moves to really expand the airline.

Wasn't there an event in 2009 where Kellner asked his customers at a event what they wanted most and they said wi-fi, but Larry gave them the crappy DTV system instead?



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineSlider From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6658 posts, RR: 35
Reply 143, posted (5 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4179 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 143):
I feel he failed to listen to his customers

Other than the example of DTV/WiFi you cite, can you name something specific?

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 143):
didn't make any major moves to really expand the airline.

ASMs went up. Number of destinations increased generally speaking, but if you define success by expansion, there's little I'm going to say to convince you otherwise.


Sometimes a steady hand on the tiller is a good thing. The industry was gearing up for next consolidation when he had the helm.


User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 144, posted (5 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4136 times:

Quoting Slider (Reply 144):
Sometimes a steady hand on the tiller is a good thing. The industry was gearing up for next consolidation when he had the helm.

He was a sitting duck. Off the top of my head:
--No new widebody order to cover for 787 delays. Just 757 on TATL missions which ended up being a mixed strategy.
--High dependance and zero control over 50-seat RJ scope contract.
--Major cuts at CLE (forgot about that one, eh?)
--Changes to elite program (became much harder to get comp upgrades starting in 2005-2006 era)

Overall theme I'd say in his tenure was losing and kind of edge CO had with the customer. He was just reluctant to any kind of major change -- just cuts here and there. At one point he even removed sundaes from some domestic flights until elites noticed and spoke up and it was reversed.

Yeah and of course his biggest f-up not merging with UA in 2008 after coming SO CLOSE! DL is probably still laughing over that one.



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offline777ord From United States of America, joined May 2010, 456 posts, RR: 0
Reply 145, posted (5 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3878 times:

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 116):
That's what is so curious - Smisek worked with Bethune, but can't understand how Bethune made CO successful by running a good airline.

Technically, CO was only profitable 2 out of 8 years vs. UA's one... (as of 2012)

Unions... Or, in CO's case. Lack thereof. Treated the employee's with respect and listened to them. Wonder where the concept on UA's badge that the FIRST name be bigger and slightly more bold? Bethune hates calling employee's by last name only. When I started with CO, Bethune had just recently left and even now, I hear the story how he'd remember your name and call you by it. He'd come in, sit down and shoot the stuff with you at your desk. Buy everyone lunch on his own card-not a company card. And, would very frequently visit the airports and talk to the customers.

Smisek goes to the airport to film footage. Wonder why the inflight welcome video about how you can't run an airline from a skyscraper went away?? Well... Ya kinda do...

At the end of the day. I don't care if a puppet runs UA. As long as I can show up and earn my check, and continue to do what I love. Do I really need much more?


User currently offlineOB1504 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 3235 posts, RR: 9
Reply 146, posted (5 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3498 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 9):
Most (all?) of the cuts are coming from the new IAM contract, including outsourcing something like 40 (?) stations.

Is that above-wing as well? Any word on which stations would be affected?


User currently offlineklwright69 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jan 2000, 1977 posts, RR: 3
Reply 147, posted (5 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3354 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting justloveplanes (Reply 135):
Former UA/CAL elites.....

AA is the more logical choice for FF switches. Chicago perfect horizontal switch Dallas/Houston, closer, and New York. Latin America Switch probably better for American Vice Delta.

Yes, except changing planes all the time at another hub would get really old after awhile.


User currently offlineflydeltajets From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1787 posts, RR: 2
Reply 148, posted (5 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3347 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting T5towbar (Reply 139):
Doesn't DGS do a lot of the DL COnnex work as well? If you own your own outsourcing company, there are automatic cost savings as well. We don't have one. DL and AA has. You can still keep it "in house" so to speak, and have a automatic "C" scale.

DGS mostly does Other Airline work and smaller DL city ground handling. There is also Delta Air Eliete that also does other airline work and some pure DCI work.



The only valid opinions are those based in facts
User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 149, posted (5 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3284 times:

Quoting 777ord (Reply 145):
Smisek goes to the airport to film footage. Wonder why the inflight welcome video about how you can't run an airline from a skyscraper went away?? Well... Ya kinda do...

I think Smisek comes off as a major phony and a bean counter -- probably not a bad guy in actual real life (people say he's nice when they encounter him on a plane.) However he has put himself in front of the airline as the poster child and now when things go wrong with UA people subconsciously cite him as the main blame factor.

Kellner, again just seemed just too laid back and checked out to really make any kind of impact as a CEO. Bethune I definitely have respect for. The guy was a huge drunk and just loved aviation in general. With that, what's not to love in the end? Even though he created a rah-rah culture at CO that some employees at UA have trouble distancing themselves from today. He was very no nonsense but respected all employees and the roles they preserved -- just like how Crandall was at AA.

Tilton -- Very smart and shrewd but completely out of touch with customer facing employees. The thing is by the end I feel that UA employees got very comfortable with hating him that it actually worked out with making the airline profitable in the end.

I think it's funny that two high profile individuals get in front of the camera together, finally. Smisek and NJ Governor Chris Christie at EWR: http://www.dailyherald.com/storyimag...901.jpg&maxw=248&maxh=160&updated=



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineT5towbar From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 508 posts, RR: 1
Reply 150, posted (5 months 1 day ago) and read 3056 times:

Quoting flydeltajets (Reply 148):
DGS mostly does Other Airline work and smaller DL city ground handling. There is also Delta Air Eliete that also does other airline work and some pure DCI work.

I thought Regional Elite was folded into DGS when Comair was going away?
Anyway, we will be getting back some of the work that DGS was doing on the sCO side (like MCO).

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 149):
Quoting tommy767 (Reply 149):
I think Smisek comes off as a major phony and a bean counter -- probably not a bad guy in actual real life (people say he's nice when they encounter him on a plane.) However he has put himself in front of the airline as the poster child and now when things go wrong with UA people subconsciously cite him as the main blame factor.

Kellner, again just seemed just too laid back and checked out to really make any kind of impact as a CEO. Bethune I definitely have respect for. The guy was a huge drunk and just loved aviation in general. With that, what's not to love in the end? Even though he created a rah-rah culture at CO that some employees at UA have trouble distancing themselves from today. He was very no nonsense but respected all employees and the roles they preserved -- just like how Crandall was at AA.

Most of us on the sCO side respected Gordon. There was no doubt in that, IMHO especially the people that survived thru Lorenzo. Plus most of the hiring started when he took over. So a lot of us worked in the time where CO was coming back from the mess.

Larry was a numbers guy, plain and simple. IMHO, he wanted no part of this merger.

I still don't know how Jeff was chosen as the CEO. Wasn't there better choices available? He's a lawyer, not an airline guy. (no disrespect to the lawyers.....) We know that Tilton was not going to be the CEO, but who would have been the better choice?



A comment from an Ex CON: Work Hard.....Fly Standby!
User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 151, posted (5 months 19 hours ago) and read 2813 times:

Quoting flydeltajets (Reply 148):
DGS mostly does Other Airline work and smaller DL city ground handling. There is also Delta Air Eliete that also does other airline work and some pure DCI work.

You're talking about Regional Elite and Delta folded them into DGS in 2012. As of current, DGS is DL's only wholly owned pure ground handling company. Pinnacle (now Endeavor Air) has its own ACS employees but i'm betting they'll all be farmed out eventually.

DL was pretty *cough* when it came to their regional partners. They formed Regional Airline Services (RAS) to consolodate all ACS functions for their wholly owned airlines. The name eventually changed to Regional Elite Airline Services (RES).

Mesaba and Compass was eventually sold off (Compass sale actually funded by a loadn provided by Delta to Trans States) and they continued to cripple Comair as they got more and more expensive, becoming less and less attractive for RFPs. Meanwhile, Pinnacle explodes by way of gaining brand new -900 flying through Atlanta. Which was an upside down operation from a financial standpoint out the gate. They couldn't afford it. Comair is shut down. Pinnacle is now in BK. Delta comes to the rescue with DIP financing and Pnnacle emerges from BK as a wholly owned.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 152, posted (5 months 15 hours ago) and read 2659 times:

Quoting T5towbar (Reply 150):
I still don't know how Jeff was chosen as the CEO. Wasn't there better choices available?

They should have picked the sUA CIO that left UA after they went with SHARES. He went to Apple  



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 16927 posts, RR: 48
Reply 153, posted (5 months 15 hours ago) and read 2618 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 149):
Tilton -- Very smart and shrewd

So smart and shrewd the ATSB turned UA down. Twice.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 152):
They should have picked the sUA CIO that left UA after they went with SHARES. He went to Apple  

sCO CFO



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 154, posted (5 months 15 hours ago) and read 2571 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 153):
sCO CFO

NO.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 153):
So smart and shrewd the ATSB turned UA down. Twice.

Not as bad as the CO RJ scope clause that is still lingering and they are doing NOTHING about.



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller