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How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 3:24 am

I've read numerous articles this week about United's financial status, potential bankruptcy filing, etc. Consequently, an average of about 4 out of 5 articles I've read repeatedly mentioned UAL employee morale being low. Quite a few articles even used the word "unmotivated" to describe employee attitude. Frankly, the report rather surprised me the first time I read about it. And then reporters kept writing about it over and over again.

I know that there numerous UA employees here so my question to you is: Is this really the case?

Can we hear some testimonials here? What's it like at your workplace? Do you really feel the sense of low employee morale when you go to work? Notice any changes in overall employee attitude lately? When you encounter a passenger who just missed his flight, do you feel "unmotivated" to put him on the next flight without penalty?

Just curious.
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 3:42 am

What United employees need is true leadership with a vision that is easy to believe in.

Here's the type of speech the new CEO should give immediately to give employees the choice of stock cuts or bankruptcy... to persuade them that it's either sacrifice or bankruptcy...


I know you are tired of hearing this, but we can’t afford to pay industry leading rates when our performance is not industry leading. Operationally, I champion your efforts. Our operational performance has been nothing but stellar lately, and it saddens me the media does not point out we are not an operational basket-case like most airlines who file bankruptcy have been.

Our markets are simply underperforming. Getting better fares in our key cities is simply too much out of our control. Focusing on attracting more revenues through loyalty programs and enhanced products will only yield marginal returns in today’s world. You can see it in our premium first class cabins. We are only selling a very small minority of those seats. And our yields may be up, but not nearly as much as our costs.

But as our industry colleague American realized, we realize now that going after the ultra-high fare paying passengers at all costs is not necessarily the most prudent thing. We must look at what makes us the most efficient company we can be in our markets, so our performance can return to the top of the pack, and so we can afford to pay those of you who help us attain that performance. If streamlining our company means losing some of those passengers, then so be it. We would rather run an airline that could run a consistent, dependable product. We want to make it easy for you to do so.

To win in our markets, to lead in our cities, means to offer simplified fares now. Unfortunately, we cannot afford to do that with our current cost structure.

The last thing we want to do is cave in to media pressure. Negative winds in the media have been prevailing over us lately, and I realize that puts a burden on you, even just to do your job. Your company’s future is uncertain to you. It is uncertain to our customers. This lack of confidence is certainly something we want to stop.

But how do we get others to be confident in United again? How do we get ourselves to be confident in each other? The start of a new era of leadership is just the beginning. And as your new CEO, I am going to be as honest with you as I possibly can. We are in a partnership together, and your leadership is a two way street. We look to you to enact our company values, impress our customers, and keep morale up.

The bottom line is that if we keep maintaining the status quo, things will only get worse quickly. Bankruptcy may be inevitable. Make no mistake, United will not perish, but a United under bankruptcy will emerge a drastically different airline. One without so many opportunities, without world-class compensation. Bankruptcy isn’t the worst thing –in fact it is helping our ally US Airways—and you need to understand it isn’t the end of the world, but the negative expectations of it can certainly be avoided.

The bottom line, as tired as you are of hearing this, is that we need to reduce the cost of our compensation and benefits. That is the first step to get us back on the road of financial stability. Wage reductions will not be stagnant, like ESOP contracts. Instead, bonuses and increases will be readily incentivized to match gains in performance.

And our sacrifices will not come without a platform. We will be tweaking our business model just as much as we will be tweaking our cost structure. We will simplify our product line, simplify our fares, and make our airline a true symbol for easy flying. We are doing everything we can and investing the most we prudently can in technology to reduce wait times in airports, avoid delays, and proactively resolve potential problems.

I’d like to liken our situation now to using credit to invest in the stock market. The stock market is risky right now, just like the airline industry. There is no sure way to make money. Sure, there are better ways to make money than we are doing right now (which is why we are going to change the way we do business), but there is no pin-point way to make consistent profits. And I mean that in the sense of not just being profitable, but being able to rely on an X % profit range in times of both economic growth and slump.

What we are doing right now is using lines of credit to subsidize the way we are currently doing business. We are using money we don’t have to invest in a rusty business model, which is growing increasingly unfavorable in the stock market. It’s like buying a risky stock on margin. It’s simply not good business.

Indeed, our stock performance is downright deplorable. But we can all help fix that. If we drastically turn around our costs, evolve to a streamlined “lean and mean” airline geared towards true air travel convenience, the media and investors will take note. Our nest eggs and stock will not be ruined. In short, we can prove them all wrong.

The truth is our stock is very relevant. It reflects public and investor confidence in us. But I realize, and truly believe in “the service chain”. I know that in order to be a successful company, our employees must come first. If we are happy and motivated, the service we give to our customers is naturally productive, efficient, and pleasant. Our customers will be pleased, bringing repeat business. And that repeat business will attract investment.

We can reverse the fate of this company, and we can start the reversal today. Bankruptcy is an option, but it is avoidable. You have the power. I urge you to consider the contract revisions we have proposed. We feel they are fair in light of our company’s condition, our industry’s condition, what our competitors and allies are offering, and the bonus and incentives that will be made available to you based on keeping performance up, and ultimately, boosting profitability, and boosting confidence in the way we do business, from you, your family, our customers, and our investors.
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 3:58 am

It seems like just about every United employee I know couldn't care less about the company. If it weren't for the fact that they would loose their job, they wouldn't care if the company went under tomorrow.
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 4:05 am

I am not an employee of United, however, my heart does go out to them. Its been almost a year since they had to deal with the fact two of their airplanes and about 15-20 employees were used to target our country. They pulled together, grieved together, and promised to excel together, broken hearts and all. (i admire that greatly). But now, they are facing a bankruptcy, which may not be the end, but is in no way a fun place to be as an employee. I wish you all well no matter what happens, and i truly hope a management team is put into place that devises a plan, a feasible one full of reality-based objectives, one that will help turn united back onto the road to profitability. united and its employees are a great airline/workforce. unfortunately, nobody who has ended up in management the past few years was able to figure out how to work that to their advantage.
Why would God make us all so different, if He wanted us to be the same?
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 4:51 am

As a United employee for almost seven years now, I've never loved my company, its employees, or our loyal customers more than I do now.

Right now I am very concerned for the future of our most junior employees, who may soon be learning of a long-lasting furlough. For the rest of us -- from the most senior to the soon-to-be most junior (around my seniority, perhaps) -- I only hope we can realize and accept that our working lives are about to undergo major changes, be they voluntary... or court-ordered.

I want my airline to grow and prosper, and I want to play a part in its recovery. Morale is certainly low, but I and the vast majority of my coworkers continue to give our jobs our ALL. I hope you continue to have good experiences when you fly United and whenever you come into contact with our representatives. I certainly intend to do my part to make sure that happens.

United has always been held together by its hard-working, decent, and professional workers -- from our senior management in Chicago to our part-time ground staff in stations across the world. While it will be a turbulent, low-flying ride for some time, I still believe we will get through these hard times together to emerge a better and stronger force.

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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean

Thu Aug 15, 2002 5:22 am

All I have to say is that my blood boils at the incredible and blatant LACK of leadership at UA. It's INCREDIBLE and absolutely mind-boggling. I mean, it's truly as if NOBODY is running UA. It's similar to what happens when a teacher needs to run an errand and temporarily leaves a classroom full of wild 3rd graders. Unsupervised, those kids just do whatever they want.

That being said, I must really need glasses because everyone *I* encounter seem to basically be doing their job the same as back in 1999. Some with bright smiles. Some with no smiles but efficient. And, of course, some rude (which might have more to do with their personality than anything.) All of my FA crews are still the same. The pilots are still as jolly as ever. The attitude and motivation of the CSRs still vary from person to person and station to station. The passengers all behave exactly the same as a few years ago (a little less-demanding than they used to be...sympathy, maybe? low expectations?). So I really don't think it's realistic to characterize the entire gigantic employee pool as low moraled. Of course many are. Yet they do a good job of not actually letting it show to the pax.

The positive testimonials you wanna hear about my particular group, Flight Attendants, are too numerous to list because they honestly happen on about 1 out of 7 of my flights all the time. --Contrary to what the media reports, all of my flights have been FULL throughout the summer so you can be sure someone on each of those flights need some kind of extra care. And with a crew composed of anywhere between 3 and 17 FAs (depending on the aircraft) you can rest assured at least one FA will immediately go out of his/her way for that passenger:

-Like the Romanian non-English speaking woman on my flight 551 from ORD to DFW yesterday. After travelling all day dealing with weather delays from Frankfurt-ORD-DFW, she still needed to catch an AA Eagle flight to Lubbock, TX. Rather than running off of the plane to our shortened 9hr. layover after the flight (the flight was 4 hrs late due to storms in Chicago yesterday) , my tired crew and I actually accompanied her to the AA terminal at DFW to ensure she could get the assistance she needed from the AA staff. We coulda asked another UA employee or airport information agent to do it. But why? Especially since we were leaving our terminal and going in that direction. She seemed grateful.

-How about the woman on my flight from LGA to ORD last weekend who casually mentioned how she just got back from Long Island visiting her young daughter. The woman's eyes started welling up. The girl apparently was just diagnosed recently, so the mother, who until now, was calm and just "another passenger", broke out into tears as she began telling us. The woman was devasted and didn't know how whe was going to afford travelling back and forth between Chicago and NY every other week for the little girl's treatments. My fellow purser, Anna (FA of 17 years) , immediately upgraded her to first class for the remainder of the flight. While up there, Anna made arrangements to offer the woman some of her NRSA buddy passes so she could visit her daughter.

-And just today, after my ORD-LGA final leg, this frail Hasidic Jewish woman with 3 young kids and a car seat in tow, discovered that her gate-checked stroller came up from the cargo hold severely damaged. Instead of me making a mad dash home after my 54-hour duty time, I helped her with her kids and car seat and accompanied her to UA's baggage claim office to ensure she would get the proper compensation. The baggage claim personnel was extremely competent, helpful, and not rude (if not overly bubbly).

Low morale? Again, yeah it does exist, but a lot of us are so used to doing our jobs the way we've always been doing it, that at least, for me, it doesn't get in the way with how I represent myself to our customers. The above testimonies really are no big deal because a lot of us ALWAYS go out of our way them.

Afterall, it's surely NOT our passengers that have almost criminally mismanaged our company. Most of my fellow FAs understand this.

Another important point is that with our FAs, many of them are former FAs of extinct airlines such as Pan Am, Eastern, Braniff, Piedmont, the original Midway, and TWA. If you'd talk to them they'd all tell you how they've "been through all of this before." So if they seem unconcerned, it's not that they "don't care" if UA goes under. It's more or less that they either a) sincerely feel that UA will pull through, regardless. Or b) that even if UA does go bankrupt, it won't be until years from now until the company actually liquidates. The former PA FA's all say, "it took years for us to finally liquidate at Pan Am."

I guess they assume that they would be retired by the time UA folds.
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RE: UALfa@jfk

Thu Aug 15, 2002 6:42 am

UALfa@jfk, you sound like an amazing person and an exceptional flight attendant. Even though I will never meet you, I wish you all the best in your career, and the best to all at UAL. Such stories of people who actually have pride in what they do seems so rare lately-I applaud you for being someone who cares.
thank you for making my day
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 6:46 am

We (SWA) have had a lot of newly-hired mechanics from United. The impression from the ones I've talked with is that the workforce is very bitter towards management, but many are reluctant to leave and give up their pay/seniority just to start at the bottom of the ladder with another airline. The majority of the ones I talked with had five years or less with United.
Patrick Bateman is my hero.
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 7:20 am

Curious...I thought that United was an employee owned airline???
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 8:03 am

UAL needs strong leadership right now, no doubt about it.

But who and from where?.
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 8:03 am

When I flew United in July, there were two unaccompanied demon spawn kids next to me, twin girls, 12 or 13. Kicking the seats, dumping cds and crap everywhere, loud, obnoxious. In the seat ahead and across the aisle was another UM, kid about 10 or 11 years old, all alone. He was priceless. Quiet, polite. Hit the lav once, but otherwise sat still and behaved. In an ailse seat. On a six hour flight.

In the last hour, the FA who had been watching over the first few rows in coach presented him with a big dish of ice cream. Not sure where it came from, up in First Class I'm thinking. Not sure if it was standard proceedure, either, but I know the hellions next to me didnt get any. It lookeddamn good. I smiled. Here was this woman who'd been up & down the aisle 15,000 or so times, dealing with headaches, requests, pillows blah blah blah. Yet it was probably the single most unnoticable person in the airplane..that she remembered.

That's why I have little sympathy for the twits who run these companies. You've got the quality people, you morons. People any other company that didn't service customers in a speeding tube 7 miles up all day would kill to have. Now make it work. And if you can't, butch the hell up and make way for someone who can.
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 8:13 am

Always nice to hear of f/a's going out og thier way for customers. I flew on DL to ATL last friday (I was transferd there by a super nice ticket agent at United because I would have missed my connection in IAD) and at the end of the flight they didn't even say thank you for flying Delta. Unfortunately the media never prints stories like yours-just how horrible flying and security is nowadays. I've flown on 5 trips since Sep,and have never spent more than 5 minutes in security.
i noticed a marked diferance between my DL flght down to GSO and my return on UA . Heck,Delta didn't even give you the whole can of pop-what did it cost them ? 40 cents ? Any usually on UA ,when I sit in the back I'm not charged for my Jack Daneils becuase I'm the last one served. I just hope UA can get some solid long-term leadership at the top and turn it around,but I'll still contribute my coach fares! Keep up the good work.
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 9:15 am

There is nothing wrong with the Flight Attendants at United. They should not be forced to make concenssions since they are the only group without industry-leading pay, in a career where industry-leading pay doesn't really mean that much more anyhow. The only fault they have is a leadership which went "sour grapes" with the 10-year contract is signed. Individually, most F/As are wonderful professionals (Flyua especially!  Smile )

However, United's situation is not just the result of mismanagement. And it's not just because of the Summer from Hell, either. It is a two way street. Here is something I wrote a while back on that:


No one party can be blamed for United's position. Some of its most catalyzing mistakes have been the result of jilted relationships between management and labor that has cause both sides to engage in subversive, back stabbing behavior.



Corporate greed was at the root of this transaction. Management thought it could prolong the gravy train of profits while giving increased wages by dominating the skies through a purely monopolistic action. It, however, did not justify its intent to labor, which viewed it as the company spending money it could have given to employees in increased wages, rather than a vehicle to fund future increased wages. Management also poorly estimated opposition and competitive reaction to the merger, as well as bet the farm (by paying a ridiculous amount of money) by immediately starting on integration work before it even knew it would have a chance to be approved. $50 million worth of breakup fees were not the only thing lost, but months of management focus, research funds, marketing initiatives, etc. Everything was put on hold for the merger, which it should not have been.


The ALPA and IAM representatives should have resisted being paid off for their secrecy. Rather, they should have tried to shoot the merger dead in the water before labor's opinion was considered.



There could have been other ways for the United ALPA to redirect management's number one priority back to their contract, rather than showing up to work normally and then intentionally sabotaging operations. A strike would have been less devastating. Customers would have been inconvenienced less, with the airline rebooking them on other carriers instead of trying to run an operation that couldn't possibly run with any signs of reliability. The actions defied the pilot's code: the safety of their passengers in the sense that they would be stuck with amazing levels of frustration when pilots would willingly inconvenience them after seemingly able to fly the airplane. Customers should simply not be a tool in any negotiations. Customers should never been seen as potential hostages. There were other ways to impact operations without derailing passenger's journeys to such a catastrophic, unpredictable, and inconsiderate extent. The pilots brought the flying public to their knees with perfectly conscious minds, generating irreparable public relations damage.


Again, a shut-down of the airline allowing customers to be rebooked on guaranteed flights by other airlines, instead of messy delays system-wide and a public relations nightmare would have been better. Management should have seen the extent to which pilots could have refused to work overtime. It also could have held off all activities on the US Airways merger and dealt squarely with the problem at hand: negotiations.



Facing the increased costs of a rich pilot contract and prolonged merger approval and integration process, it sought yet another way to increase future revenues. However, it did not focus on streamlining and efficiency generating moves at its main business, United Airlines, in the aftermath of a devastating pilot contract situation and pending mechanic pay increases. It was doing the irrational thing of investing money in future pursuits that needed to be used for current issues. It's as simple as that. As if the US Airways merger was not enough of a distracted, the company also invested in dot-coms.


ALPA agreed to the transaction only because it would enable some of its membership to be staffed. Meanwhile, it did not take the jobs of the other groups into consideration, leaving the AFA and IAM out.
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 9:17 am

I hear Carl Icahn may be looking at it...

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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 10:20 am

I hear Carl Icahn may be looking at it...

And JAG?  Wink/being sarcastic
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 10:45 am

UNITED is like a 747 full of people and nobody is flying it.

we at UNITED where i work do care about our jobs,the moral is high or is stable.we come to work and if working the gate,try like hell to get an on-time.

our leadership(local level)sucks and it always has,we dont perform for management we perform for asked if we go the extra mile for a pax or do we just let it go? i would say yes,we still act the same leadership at the top and at local levels but we will make it.most of us come back everyday because we do care for the company.

i know that the divisions between the diffrent job groups is still bad.i know that most anybody you talk to are still pissed at the pilots for there wonderful summer from hell.they still wont accept or addmit that they did it on purpose so there greedy little hands could cash bigger checks at the bank.

we still serve the pax with a smile and some of these people on say UNITED has the rudest employees? i dont know where they work,you have got to realize we get stressed the same way you guys do and if were having a bad day due to the high volume of people we see daily of somebody brings up the fact the company is in bad shape,give US a break,we still care and enjoy your business as much as you enjoy our airline.

so for those non-UNITED employees out there,we do care and we want your business.if we cancell or are delayed? i hope we dont let you down.we do care and we do care about our loyal passengers.

thankful to work for UNITED.

ual 777 contrail
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 10:49 am

I' ve flown countless times as a non-revenue (and even a few as revenue) pax and have never had a bad flight on UA.

Whether it's been the all too numerous transcons or the short hops between LAX and PHX I have always been treated very well.

I hope that UA finds a way to get themselves out of this financial mess and can continue to fly.

Thanks to all the people who've treated me so well.....

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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 2:10 pm

Hello all,

UA at Miami is doing pretty well actually. At Miami Cargo, we are doing very well. A recent customer survey gave us top marks in the Miami cargo market for service and dependability. The people on the ramp loading "my" freight have been going out of their way to squeeze a few extra shipments into the pits of our airplanes. The people on the lines, such as myself with 16 years seniority (wow how did I reach 40 so soon??) have the most to loose.

UA744Flagship, as for the flight attendants not giving anything back to the company, let me explain why I do not agree with your statement. The flight attendants are not getting industry leading pay, that is true. But if one group gives up, all must give up. I do believe that the fact that our flight attendants do not make industry leading pay should be taken into account however. Before you guys start calling me a scab, I would like to let you all know that I am a shop steward for, and a loyal member of the IAM. With that in mind, I believe that both the IAM and the AFA need to realize that it is in the best interests of their respective memberships to negotiate give-backs with the company rather than having a bankruptcy court tell them what give backs they must sacrifice. It seems that the CWA (representing customer service folks at USairways) might learn that the hard way.

With all of that said, I'm doing my job as always. I still check our freight for "hidden" dangerous goods shipments. I expect that the agents who report to me treat our customers right face to face and maximize the space in our cargo pits when they build up the freight. I personally wish that the company would get the new CEO in place. And I know that some huge cuts lie ahead, and there's a chance I won't make it through them. But that is something out of my control and I will not allow fear to get the better of me.
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 2:57 pm

When TWA was on the ropes in '96 a friend had some UAL pilots in his AFRES unit at COS tell him to his face that TWA should " the right thing and go out of business". I wonder what they would say now.

I hope UAL recovers soon and Jim Goodwin goes to jail and shares a cell with Bubba the homosexual rapist. Hope you have as good a time as your former employees are having, Jimbo...TC
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean

Thu Aug 15, 2002 9:54 pm

Hate to admit this, but I'm personally not adverse to FA concessions. I have 1998 seniority, which mean that I'm still making peanuts being on "B-scale." It has been necessary for me to hold a higher-paying (and potentially permanent) free lance corporate job to support myself anyway. (However, a lot of my fellow FAs are not all so lucky to have something else to fall back on, so again, I can only speak for myself). I know for a fact that there are other rank and filers who feel the same. Unclear if AFA leadership is listening.

But from everything I've read, from Wall Street analysts to company statistics, any salary concessions from FAs wouldn't fiscally help UA all that much. It would only help save the company a few days of cash burn. IIRC, FAs only make up about 4.5% of Uniteds' costs.

Any concessions AFA would agree to would essentially serve as symbolic. Alas, if a "symbolic" concession agreement is what it would take to appease everyone, and to subsequently help us out in the long run, then I'm all for it.

Relatedly, I wish our FAs woulda never agreed to a 10 year contract back in '96. Strange though how I can't find any senior FAs who admit to voting for it.
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Fri Aug 16, 2002 1:13 am


Your attitude is very encouraging.

I have a question for you about your leadership, though... why are Linda Farrow and buddies still hell bent on getting something, namely "damages fees", for Avolar, when Avolar was shut down? What would the compensation be used for? To help the F/As on the street? I hardly think so. To fatten the pockets of the AFA? Probably, right?

I think the AFA should drop that stance, as mgmt dropped Avolar. As if United could afford to pay even more fees now...

Again, maybe it would have high symbolic meaning to the AFA if UA paid it for its Avolar mistake. Then -in turn- the AFA could grant symbolic concessions...
no wire hangers!
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean

Fri Aug 16, 2002 1:26 am


This is news to me. I certainly hope Linda and company aren't seriously pursuing this, as we all have bigger fish to fry right now.

I need to withhold any judgment since this is the very first time I've heard of it. Maybe other UA FAs in this forum have?
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Fri Aug 16, 2002 2:09 am



"But the flight attendants have told United management since Dec. 2001 that several outstanding issues must be addressed before discussions about United's finances move forward. These "Rules of Engagement" include a resolution of contract violations regarding United’s abandoned start-up airline, Avolar..."

My bad, I was under the assumption that the AFA was seeking a monetary "resolution" from something I heard. This press release does not specifically state that, but just raises the problematic issue.

Could you possibly find out whether what the AFA wants is some sort of pecuniary compensation, or an extra protection clause in the contract?
no wire hangers!
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Fri Aug 16, 2002 6:32 am

for all you UNITED F/A'S out there, sit back and watch this next round of employee participation with give backs and you WILL lose for the second time.with the esop you guys didnt get squat,finding a flight attendant who voted for the 10 year contract is as hard as finding someone who voted for clinton.

you keep using the same story about the pilots telling TWA bad things.
our pilots stand to lose the most,let it happen and for the love of pudding stop whinning about it.your better off with AA anyways.

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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Fri Aug 16, 2002 6:40 pm

In my opinion "The Worst Airline" (TWA) always lived up to its billing. I for one, couldnt have cared less if the airline had just gone out of business. I probably flew on them about 14 times since '94, mainly out of ATL either to DFW, ORD, or the West Coast. The gate areas they owned, were just a joke and a half. You were always somewhere that made you think you were either in the 60s or the early 80s. I have never seen cheaper faux wood paneling than I did at the gate in ATL. Sea-Tac looked like it dated back to the age of Constellations! F/As were consistenly rude, and the service was very mediocre at best. I dont think that I was ever served a fresh bag of pretzels, they were stale every time! St. Louis was a joke and a half to connect in, the terminal was always disgusting and smelled of barf. I think that there might have been only one time when I actually got out of STL without a delay. Dont even get me started on connecting between the terminals using the Dulles-wannabe-people mover. Lambert Airport needs to be destroyed and rebuilt, it is so crummy, LGA is a classic, STL is just a hole. You just always got the sense that no one cared with TW. This summer I actually did some stuff in STL and had to live there for 8 weeks and did 4 trips on AA all to DFW. AA has improved things...marginally. The employees at STL are the exact same and most still have the same "I dont care" attitude. Yeah, I had one positive experience out of STL this summer, when I left my wallet on the plane, and the agent escorted me back to my seat to get it. Good stuff, but still I cant get the taste of stale TWA pretzels and mean FAs out of my mouth!
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Fri Aug 16, 2002 11:41 pm

"Make no mistake, United will not perish, but a United under bankruptcy will emerge a drastically different airline. One without so many opportunities, without world-class compensation."

The hundreds of thousands of people out of work in the tech sector and elsewhere will laugh in your face when you start talking about 'world-class compensation.' The nice thing about unions is that you can extract blood when times are good (1999-2000, when everyone was flying and dot-com mania ruled) and then sit pretty when the whole dynamic changes (9/11 and the faltering economy). While you're all protected by the safety net of negotiated pay scales, the rest of the world worries whether they'll even HAVE a job...never mind one with 'world-class compensation.'

Sure, airlines have layoffs too. But unions provide a safety net that 'real' workers in other industries can't benefit from. Be happy for your 'world-class' pay, but don't expect anyone to crack out the violin when your carrier goes bankrupt. It's your 'world class compensation' that causes a frigging heart attack after being quoted over $2,000 to fly from one side of the country to the other.

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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Sun Aug 18, 2002 1:00 pm

To give you an idea how bad morale is, I saw an intersting screensaver the other day at work on a maintenance computer. It read, "Management Sucks and UAL Blows." Stuff to that effect can be seen everywhere you look.
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Sun Aug 18, 2002 1:15 pm

Hey,UAL Bagsmasher-I take it you're back to work. If UAL blows so bad why are they still there ? Sounds like a few people I work with-they hate the place yet they won't leave ? Is there a barbed wire fence around the place ? I think not.
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Sun Aug 18, 2002 8:25 pm

Although not a UAL Employee, I frequently fly United out of Asia/Pacific for US/S.America, In my believes, United and all its staffs have been top, despite this difficult period in its history, I hope United and all its staff, managment can put down the conflict, help each other out, together go through the rough time, I am so surprise that someone think UAL Staff morale is low, and I have never experienced that!! Long Live United and fly the friendly skies!

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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Mon Aug 19, 2002 1:51 am


How much do you make? Whatever it is I'm sure it's too much.
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Mon Aug 19, 2002 3:17 am

As I layover here in Denver between United flights, I can say that every United employee I've encountered today has been tops! Many passengers are saying supportive comments which have been very gratefully acknowledged by the ground and flight crew.

I hope their private attitude is as good as their public attitude! has many forums. It has spell check and search functions. Use them before posting!
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RE: United_Fan

Mon Aug 19, 2002 6:51 am

I was recalled from layoff. I am no longer working though. I am on a leave of absence going back to school to get my A&P. I will then try and get a job with whomever is hiring. If UA is in a position to be hiring when I get out of school, great. If not, I will go elsewhere.

FYI, I didn't say it was MY computer with that screensaver. I don't know who put it there. I personally feel UA is far from perfect. However, it's still a good job and jobs are very hard to find these days. I would prefer to remain with UAL when I am done with school.
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RE: How "Low" Is Morale At UA... I Mean Really?

Mon Aug 19, 2002 8:56 am

UALBagsmasher,I didn't mean that to imply that you did,but people that do things like that just burn me.Nothing against you,though. I hear it all the time where I work,too. I must say that whem I flew UA last week everyone was super nice,I was even put on a DL flight because I would have missed my conn in IAD due to weather or something. I realise that she didn't have to do that,she could have just said that this isn't my problem and I'de have to spend the nite in IAD.
It just felt weird flying DL,felt like I was cheating on a girlfriend.I've flown UA exclusively for over 2 years.At least I got to fly on 2 727's! Beats the hell out of a J41!
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