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United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 10:34 am

Just a couple of myths that I am tired of seeing in this forum:

1) UA will cease flying.
If UAL (the parent of UA) files for Chapter 11 I will be at work the next day. UA planes will continue to fly. Service will remain the same.

2) UA will retire older planes in the fleet.
This is a forgone conclusion, however the next person who says UA needs to retire its 727's and 737-200's will get hit over the head w/ an albatross.

3) UA will get a new CEO.
I don't know where to begin on that fallacy.

4) UA's employees got UA into this mess.
UA's employees had nothing to do w/ this mess. The economy, poor management from the previous leaders, and 9-11 had everything to do w/ this predicament. This is an insult to EVERYONE at UA from the CS agents and the folks at the airport to the sales folks and middle management folks in WHQ an around the system. We have endured the senseless killing of colleagues and passengers in our care. The bickering of management and the Union leadership. The slurs and insults of some in the internet crowd. The useless leadership from a series of ineffectual leaders. We have pulled together and are leading the industry in many of the field the DOT keeps track of.

5) UA's financial woes have lead to poor maintenance.
Fortunately posts of this nature have been removed. THANK YOU

6) Good bye UA.
See #1 and this comment add NOTHING to a discussion of the How, what, when, UA will pull through this mess.

7) Boeing and Airbus are going to repossess planes.
UA owns MOST of its fleet. On the other hand that's what Chapter 11 prevents. Creditors from foreclosing on debt. UA's management will not allow a debt payment from taking away assets, they will file before that happens.

8) Who gets what when UA folds.
Again this is jumping the gun in the extreme. UA will not change a wit the day after it files for chapter 11. It is not even close to liquidating so any Ideas that the remaining carriers will cherry pick of UA is a bit premature. Who has jumped in to cherry pick US and they are much closer to chapter 7 than UA.

9) Let competition weed out the weak.
I am a person who belives in capitalism. I understand it. I cherish its virtues. I have studied it in school. This is not competition. This is predatory destruction. Despite what some who have EVERYTHING to gain and nothing to lose by UA's fileing Talk about a BIAS opinion. I can't see a company of 80 thousand people being brought down by a few men as free market economics. Before you mention Enron, that was a conspiracy in the board room, that was a giant fraud perpatrated by the officers and accountants. UA isn't a fraud.

There is a ton of useless nonsense in ALL of the UA threads in here. I for one am sick of it. There I have said it. I haven't flamed anybody, or used any harsh words.

A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 10:39 am

no wire hangers!
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 10:41 am

Of course you are sick of it. Your company is under siege from within and without. And the truth is that no one really knows whether UAL will make it or not. For your own sanity I'd suggest you take a rest from the speculation. I don't really think you will or can. Neither would I if it were my company in this distress, but the speculation will continue.

BTW. It doesn't really matter whose fault it is. Their will be plenty of blame to go around. I hope UAL employees can put the rancor behind in order to rescue what remains.
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 10:42 am

I've said it in this forum many times that I have ALWAYS been treated very well by UA and hope that things will turn around.

Having worked for an airline in financial trouble it's no fun with the vultures standing around waiting to pick your carcass clean.

Good Luck.....

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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 10:43 am

Well said UALPHLCS!!!

I hope that UAL will be able to pull itself out this mess and emerge strong.
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 10:43 am

Most everyone out here in Denver agree as well. UAL will survive come hell or highwater. This isn't just wishfull thinking. . .it's just understanding how businesses work under varying conditions. Of course the media will squeeze it for all the panic-stricken statements it can muster out of this whole ordeal. . .which is probably where most people are getting their notions of "Goodbye UAL" among other newsey sounding vices.

Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 10:45 am

My Christmas wish is to find a United Airlines Boeing 777 on eBay. I'll buy it and operate it on a Manchester (NH) - Manchester (UK) nonstop and name it 'Manchester United.' Sorry if anyone is an Arsenal or Nottingham Forest fan!

Chris in New Hampshire
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 10:48 am

Most of the "good bye UA hahaha" comes from idio....(sorry I promised I'd play nice) people in this forum.
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 11:12 am

As stated by MD88Captain UAL is under siege and the spotlight is on you guys. Trust me I know how it feels my company is also under siege and so far everybody has counted us out, and yes you do get sick of hearing it, but get used to it. Everybody has their opinions and their aloud to have their opinions.

My advice show them you can do it. We use the story of Apollo 13 as our role model, everybody thought Apollo 13 was done for but they overcame countless obstacles and they made it. As Flight director Gene Kranz said "I believe this will be our finest hour". That's how you have to think or you will fail.

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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 11:28 am

I couldn't agree with you more!!!
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 11:51 am

Ok I've dug out my car for 8 inches of snow I feel better.

I want all the barf bags Safty cards and stolen silverware back people!

I want all the stole nick-nacks back. You all have stole enough from UA now we need it all back.

I will be brings back on Sunday.

3 spoons
2 forks
1 knife (metal very rare now)
1 F/A corkscrew
3 plates of various sizes
1 757 safety card
1 747 safety card

Fess up people you know you've got them, and they cost money.
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 11:58 am

UA's employees had nothing to do w/ this mess.

What a crock, so, the pilots had nothing to do with fighting to get a 38% raise, the pilots had nothing to do with getting a 55% share of the company along with the mechanics etc (which has been proven in almost all circumstances to make managing a company virtually impossible.

once again blaming everyone else

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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 12:00 pm

United employees definitely are responsible for this mess. Remember the summer of 2000, when United had its customer-infuriating pilot slowdown? Think that endeared UAL to it's customers? Do you think if the many frequent fliers who switched and never came back were still UA customers it would be losing $7M per day?

And the end result was that a board controlled by the employees caved in and gave employees unsustainable pay increases that drove UAL into bankruptcy.

If it's management that's at fault & incompetent, well, the employees selected the management. When Jim Goodwin spoke the truth that UAL was facing bankruptcy a year ago, his bosses (the union reps on the board) had him thrown out on his a** and ignored the warning. No CEO can be hired by UAL unless the union board members agree, which means the CEO is hopelessly compromised from day 1. Hopefully the bankruptcy judge will realize this and send Tilton on his way.

Rick Dubinsky, the former head of United's pilot's union, famously said pilots didn't want to kill the golden goose, "We just want to choke it by the neck until it gives us every last egg." Well, the employees choked it a little too hard, didn't they? I think the goose expired Smile

Everyone believes in capitalism until it's their turn to compete, then it's why me? UAL wasn't sunk by "a few men", it took 80,000 shortsighted employees to do it.
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 12:01 pm

UALPHLCS, if I were you I wouldn't bring those back. I heard of a flight attendant getting fired for eating one piece of food which would otherwise have been thrown away. I'd say just put it in you past, forget about it, and to not do it again if you feel that strongly about it.
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 12:09 pm

I was JUST going to say that beat me to it.

UALPHLCS: Just let those go, it can do a lot more harm than good.

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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 12:24 pm


Nice post. I'm 1K on United and I will stick with UA through thick and thin. This past weekend I was flying on AA from DEN to CMH via ORD. My ORD-CMH flight was cancelled on AA and I spent the next 4 hours trying to get on an AA flight (not AA's fault since it was weather related). However, I was treated somewhat rudely by the AA gate agents (I'm sure they were getting yelled at by other passengers so I don't hold anything against AA). After having no luck getting on AA flights, I walked over to my home away from home (ORD terminal 1) and was treated like a king by the UA folks (they honored my AA ticket and gave me a prime seat on an incredibly busy travel day). The little things that UA and it's employees have done for me when I travel make all the difference in the world. I have flown the other majors quite a bit and I really don't think anything compares to UA. We all have different experiences (depends on the day), but consistenly UA has come through for me and I know that they will emerge stronger than ever. They have great employees, great planes, and great hubs.
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 12:33 pm

Excelent post UALPHLCS! I am sick of these nonsense in all of the UAL posts. I just dont read them anymore. The reason why is I just dont know where everyone seems to have their magic viewing balls! It seems everyone in most UA threads are fortune tellers as well as the next best thing to Airline CEO's who know just what is best! I do agree that the next coming months wont be pretty. However, I do look forward to what the future holds for UAL. And to those who blame this all on UA employees... get real!
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 12:50 pm

Please people about the stuff, I was kidding.

What happened in 2000 was terrible. I do blame the pilots for it. But it was also one of the most unnessasry things that UA management ever put up with.
I blame the pilots for what they did.

I blame UA management for letting it happen.

If UA had better leadership they would have done what AA did when there pilots called a sick out just months before. They went to court and got an injunction. MAnagement ran to court ONE DAY after the IAM 141M started a slow down. Why did Goodwin roll over for ALPA.

They caused the customers grief, CS was living a nightmare as was Reservations and Sales. The Piots did what they did only because THEY WERE ALLOWED TO.

All through that nightmare it was UA employee's the F/A's, the CS agents, the Rampers the Reservations agents that pulled together and did what they could for passengers who without being able to do anything to the real culpits in WHQ and the cockpit spit in our faces. We whiped it off and rebooked them on another flight.

Don't tell me that UA employees did this. I certainly didn't do it. UAL777contrail did not do it. UAfa@jfk didn't, and niether did anyone lower than the executive suite at WHQ. WE had to clean the mess.
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 1:01 pm

I hope UAL comes out of this ok.

But...I also hope the UAL pilots who are in the COS C130 AFRES remember back in 1996 when you went up to a friend of mine and squadron mate who was at TWA and told him "why don't you guys just do the right thing and go out of business?". Fate can be cruel. I hope your experience with financial troubles doesn't last as long as TWA's.

Good luck.TC
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 1:25 pm

UAL is still loosing big bucks. CEO's are not making the painfull cuts..UAL will be no more by 2004...
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 1:27 pm


Tehcnically you didnt make sense in your post. How did UA honor your AA ticket? can you clarify that please? or am i missing something? did you buy it from UA but operated on AA?
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 1:48 pm


I had a regular AA ticket but I'm guessing that since there were weather related issues UA agreed to honor it. The UA agent was able to lookup my AA ticket (since it was an e ticket) and issue me a UA boarding pass (I actually received UA ff miles for the ORD-CMH leg). Maybe an agent can clarify how this works? UALPHLCS any insight?
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 1:52 pm

Very good post, UAPHLCS. I'm not convinced at this point that UA will make it, but ya'll have a fighting chance, even in bankruptcy. Even those of us who strongly support low-fare carriers, should *not* take any pleasure in the suffering of employees at network carriers like UA. (There might be pleasure in inflicting suffering on Jim Goodwin, say by hurling livestock over the ramparts, but that's a different story  Big grin )

In the end, my impression is that the unholy alliance of Jim Goodwin, seeking market share, and Steve Wolf, trying to sell failing US Airways, is the biggest contributor to UA's situation. Both of them should have been paying attention to their airlines, to their employees, to their markets. They thought DOJ would roll over. But in the face of ferocious consumer & Congressional opposition to UA-US, DOJ stood firm. Now you all are paying the price for their empire-building.

UA would still have had to drastically reduce costs to deal with the reality of low-fare carriers, and the horror of 9-11. But maybe UA would be in a less precarious situation, more like AA or DL, had there been competent leadership at the helm, and had the pilots thought about someone other than themselves.

Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 2:09 pm

Being from the Bay Area, I'm scared of the possibility of a United death.
Personally, I can't really see it happening. I'm an optimist, and believe that congress will not let one of the big three waste in the wind. (I also wouldn't have believed Pan Am would die either, but I did believe the SF Giants wouldn't move to Tampa).
One of the SF congresswoman (Ellen Tausher) just raised a huff about the refused loan guarantees. I can certainly see the Colorado, Illinois, and Virginia congress contingent rallying around United cause.
BTW, I feel real sorry for the CS agents, who have always did their best in the miserable summer of 2000. I'm sure 99% of UA pilots are equally dedicated, and just want the best for thier airline. They only followed along with the slowdown because of Union comittments.
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 3:04 pm

UA will stand but there will be concessions made on all sides and not by choice. There will be more Cities given to Express companies and I known that is going to tick alot of UA Employees off, and I am sorry about that. I know that when we at ACA took over at MBS a UA agent told a passenger that they were losing their job to a scab airline. I cannot express how that comment pissed alot of people off at ACA. Also when I worked in JAX we do have alot of UA commuters and former employees who came to work for us. I know that there are rumors that UA will take over some of the cities that they lost to OO,ZW, and DH. Tough Tango that is not going to happen and that is the truth. Also with UA declaring bankruptcy work would probably shift to the Express carriers and that is fine by us. I hope that we all take a long look at where we are at and hopefully things can turn around, just like CO on their 3rd Bankruptcy filing.
I Don't know where I am anymore
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 3:11 pm

what a pleasure to read youR thread, l know we'll get through THIS.


Airbus Lover
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 3:18 pm

I hope United will make it... They've treated me well when I had the chance to fly on them. As much as I might agree that most UA employees have caused all these mess, I still hope to see UA in the sky for a long time to come, they're a great airline that may perhaps be mismanaged in the past years.

Good luck...
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 3:37 pm

Received this E-mail today from United
"December 5, 2002


Dear Mr. Android(edited)

It is no secret that things have been tough at United. We
were disappointed to learn yesterday that the Airline
Transportation Stabilization Board (ATSB) could not approve
the proposal submitted by United for a $1.8 billion federal
loan guarantee.

Whatever course we now chart with the company, I want to be
emphatically clear that United will continue to fly and
deliver exceptional service to customers worldwide. And, as
a Mileage Plus(R) member, you can continue to accrue and redeem
miles with confidence.

Challenging times make a company stronger, leaner and more
focused. The employees of this airline stand ready and
committed to serve you today and in the future.

Thank you for your support and we'll keep you posted.


Chris Bowers
Senior Vice President
Marketing and sales"
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The Evil Pilots....

Fri Dec 06, 2002 4:02 pm

Well....this is the way it works. You go to buy a car and you try to get the best deal you can, right? Pilots were trying to do that same thing....always are, always will try to get the best deal you can and management trys to get the best deal they can. You meet somewhere in the middle and it's a done deal. The problem is, you base the deal on factors in place at the time, and as everyone has seen, times have a way of changing. The pilots recently agreed to an 18% give back. I think, in bankruptcy, the judge can impose a new contract so the pilots will probably take an even bigger hit.

Dubinsky's comment metioned earlier is pretty irresponsible....suffice to say you get the best deal you can and leave it at that. If someone had a crystal ball and could see what was just around the corner, I doubt the pilots would have pushed so hard for the raises they got.....deserved or not.

The people at this board seem like they want someone to be angry at, someone to blame....pilots are always the easy target here at the Anet shooting gallery. My advice, and opinion, is to blame the economy, in general, and blame the freaking terrorists for 9/11.

United's ALPA unit was trying to raise the bar a bit after seeing their company do well for several years....their timing just turned out to be really, really, bad.

I have no doubt that United will survive. I also think there will be downward pressure on labor compensation for airline employees, especially those evil pilots. This cycle in the airline biz will turn around someday and we'll all pick up the pieces and try to make the best of it. It's a crazy industry....

Best of luck to all the UAL employees.

Oh...and about that Southwest/United pilot productivity stuff that has been bantered about recently. This is how it works.....

Management makes the schedues which determine how many hours you work.....they write them, we fly don't blame the pilots for not flying enougn....they don't build the schedules. Southwest is a different operation than United and it's much easier to schedule pilots efficiently at Southwest. United is hub and spoke, which leads to a lot of pilots sitting around and not putting in the block hours that a Southwest guy's the nature of the hub and spoke system. If you are a fireman, you deserve to get paid while you are sleeping at night on call in the firehouse....pilots deserve to get paid while on duty during their non productive times as well.
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 5:56 pm

It's all about the bumper stickers and pins! Have quite a few of them at home, and a few here in San Diego!

F L Y 7 7 7 U A L
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RE: United Will Stand?

Fri Dec 06, 2002 6:27 pm

Employees in general have to make a decision whether they want to take a long term view, or squeeze the company for all they can get and risk it folding in the process. You very seldom can have both.

Size is no guarantee against failure. Flexibility is better. September 11'th was a terrible event, yes a disaster, but companies have to plan for disaster if they want to survive long term.

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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 6:51 pm

When Jim Goodwin spoke the truth that UAL was facing bankruptcy a year ago, his bosses (the union reps on the board) had him thrown out on his a** and ignored the warning.

The issue was not about Goodwin speaking the truth. At the time, nobody questioned the fact that UAL was going to run out of money at some time in the future. Anyone with some basic math skills could multiply out the airline's daily cash burn rate and figure out when the money was going to run out.

The issue was that Goodwin was stupid enough to say so OUT LOUD to the customers, the employees, and the world. Goodwin's infamous "perish" letter came out in the press about a month after 9/11. The world was still reeling. UAL did not need a pubic math lesson in cash burn rates - we needed a leader. Goodwin's public statement served only to drive down the stock price, scare away customers, and further alienate himself from his employees.

His lack of leadership got him ousted.

I'm sure 99% of UA pilots are equally dedicated, and just want the best for thier airline. They only followed along with the slowdown because of Union comittments.

I could talk until I'm blue in the face about the "summer of 2000", but I doubt anyone here would care to listen. Anyone who wants first-hand facts from a pilot's point of view is free to e-mail me - but everyone seems to have already made up their minds. I won't hold my breath for a lot of e-mails.

I can tell you that I (and most of my fellow pilots) did NOT one thing differently that summer.

I never engaged in a work slowdown.
I never called in sick when I wasn't.
I never wrote up an airplane that wasn't broken.
In fact, I never did any of the things that "those greedy pilots" get blamed for here on this forum. Neither did most of my co-workers.

I did see a few pilots take individual job action on their own - but the majority of the people I flew with took no action against UAL.

What I think is funny is that the press vilified the union and the entire pilot group and everyone believed them. One of the most important things I learned in life is that just because USA Today prints it (with a little color pie chart, even) doesn't mean its the truth.
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 7:08 pm

Yo Mr. UALPHLCS, (#1) United has always had top notch aircraft maint. anyone who says otherwise is "talking out their ass" (#2) With the republicans in control of the government, I would not be surprised if this time next year United was history. I think the up coming war with Iraq COULD put and end to United (price of fuel). I'm hoping they can come out of this stronger, but when your out of cash... your out of cash. Have a nice X-mas ...Yeah right.
Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 10:05 pm

All of this cheerleading and such for UAL still does not change the hard facts. Their financials are in terrible shape, they have no viable business plan to stem massive losses, their employees are still in denial, the unions are not willing to grant cuts the ATSB wants.

Right or wrong, point fingers or whine about the above, they have some serious problems. I think their ultimate survival is in doubt.
Alpha 1
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 10:25 pm

1. I don't think anyone here knows exactly what's going to happen. To say for certain that United will survive, or that it will be gone by 2004 or whatever is pointless speculation. Odds are that UA will survive, but it will be a much different airline when it emerges from Chapter 11: it needs to be smaller, leaner, and the Unions can forget about "snap-back" wages to their current levels in the future. That's just a pipe-dream that would lead UA right back to where it is today.

2. Both management AND the Unions are to blame-and the unions DO MEAN the employees. Management is to blame for giving the pilots such a ludicrous contract a few years back. Employees are to blame for constantly threatening and demanding for more and more $$$ when it was obvious UA didn't have those $$$. The incessant demands of unions are crippling airlines these days, and, in the forthcoming bankruptcy, the scope of the relationship between UA and their unions will need to be changed dramatically.

This is going to be a process that takes well over a year, this forthcoming bankruptcy filing and reorganization. If UA is to survive, tough, painful decisions will have to be made between the bankruptcy judge, UA, and the unions representing the workers. Jobs will be lost; stations will probably close; wages will be permanantly scaled back; more creative ways of finding "incentive pay" will have to be looked at; the tone of the relationship between management and employees will have to change drastically and permanently, or else UA will find itself back in this situation within a decade.

There is no choice for UA now-change permanantly, or possibly perish.
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Fri Dec 06, 2002 10:37 pm

Intelligent and accurate thoughts. My opinion is that your suggestions are too little to late. This type of thinking needed to be embraced long ago.

I can not see any banks or lenders providing the necessary financing to get them through this upcoming bankruptcy with the industry like it is today.

No one has mentioned the underfunded pensions yet either.
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RE: United Will Stand

Fri Dec 06, 2002 11:26 pm

I'm sure many who have dedicate their lives to United are rather upset about the latest news. I don't work for United, nor have I ever worked for United, or even flown United. That doesn't mean I don't have opinions and theories on UA, just as I have opinions and theories on IBM, Yahoo, my own employer (whom I can't name), etc. Personally, I try to discuss these issues with as much respect and professionalism as possible, keenly aware that my opinion may imply that someone on here is going to be personally affected in a negative way. I also feel most people on here try to do the same. Unfortunately, I've seen too many instances where someone (not necessarily myself) who has made a statement of opinion, with some factual basis to back it up, or a simple theory, which does NOT need some factual backing, as it is just a theory, is shot down with a comment like "XXX would never do that, YYY is too important to them." Most of what goes on here is discussion of opinion, often controversial opinions.

More specifically related to issues raised at the beginning of this thread, most of these issues are opinions. No one, especially me, knows what UA's future would hold. I, as well as most everyone else here, have theories on what will, as well as what should, happen. That said, of UALPHLCS's list, in my opinion, only #5 has any merit. The remainder are generalizations of simple discussions of opinion. I will, when I have time and feel I can add insight, continue to discuss these and other matters, in a professional and respectful manner. If you disagree with my opinions I encourage you to reply to the thread in the same manner. If you have a reason to believe I am factually wrong then please enlighten me. If you feel my theory has a problem which I am not aware of, please feel free to discuss it; however please save me, and everyone else, from the baseless opinion bashing.
SkyTeam: The alliance for third rate airlines finally getting their act together!
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RE: United Will Stand

Sat Dec 07, 2002 12:21 am

I just hope UAL has the right management team for the times. The fate of airlines that have gone into Chapter 11 and either went completely out of business or re-emerged as a viable entity has in all cases been determined by the management team and their ability to motivate the employees to be extraordinarily productive in all aspects of their job. This is done by treating employees as intelligent, dedicated, trustworthy and above all don't micromanage them and let them use their own initiative to care for the only source of revenue the airline has, their passengers.

Eastern at one time the largest airline went failed because relations between management and employees were shot, first with Bormann and then of course with the unmentionable pirate. Pan Am's management was likewise singularly uninspired and uninspiring. Continental is the text book case where management forged a strong relationship with the employees and turned a truly sick beast into a respected company. TWA in the last 2-3 years of its life actually had inspired and inspiring management but they were just a bit too far gone into the hole. The lesson --even great managment sometimes cannot dig out of a deep hole.

So, does UAL have the management team to lead and inspire? Taking big bonuses for signing on on day one may have not been the best example to be set by Tilton. Stating a bigger bonus to be paid only if and when the job is doen would have been more inspired and inspiring to the troops!
The Original Coronado: First CV jet flights RG CV 990 July 1965; DL CV 880 July 1965; Spantax CV990 Feb 1973
Topic Author
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RE: United Will Stand

Sat Dec 07, 2002 12:50 am

My list was a list of Myths.

Opinions and Jumping the gnsenarios that had no basis in fact other than it used the names of current airlines. Some threads and posts in this forum could be described as science fiction...well at least fiction.

Any post where the authors imaginationget the better of them is what I am griping about.

As far as what pilots did or didn't do I know what I saw. I was there. I saw pilots delaying flights becasue the windsheild wipers where not whiping in synch w/ on another, forcing the mechanics to go out in the poaring rain to fix it. I saw more CREW delays in that on summer than I have seen the last 2 years COMBINED summers included. Don't go back and do any revisionist history w/ me I was there I saw it w/ my own eyes. And I saw management just put up w/ it and NOT try to stop it.

As far as UA's finacials are concered what radical new model is CO and DL and AA and NW using that UA isn't? So far as I can see the difference between UA and the others is While AA and the rest are cash rich they are asset poor, UA is cash poor but asset rich. LH's chief has said that in recent weeks dispelling ANOTHER myth that UA will be kicked out of Star Alliance.

Again UA's employees have done nothing to make this mess. I can't help it that I want a decent wage for what I do. Maybe Management should have gotten a little creative and offered profit-sharing and/or stock options in the original contracts w/ its employees. I have a right to earn a living doing what I do. I understand its not a great living but I hold on to hopefully seek a position in management in this company. So I don't live beyond my means, and I wouldn't exspct UA to pay for it if I did live beyond my means.

Some of you like to say that UA likes to blame everyone but themselves. I take resoncibility for what I do. I take my customers 1 at a time and I do a good job. It's not me driving them away. Most people in this world have never met me so I can't be keeping them away. I don't threaten people with violence so its not me scaring people away. I don't set prices, I don't negoitate contracts, I don't sit on the ATSB board. I don't make policy I just have to enforce it as best as I can. SO if it isn't me....and I can't blame anyone's just fate?
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
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RE: United Will Stand

Sat Dec 07, 2002 12:54 am

I like United. They have been a served me well the last few years across the Pacific--and have become one of my carriers of choice for international travel. Through all this mess, I have never heard one flight crew.

In support of their plight, I have decided to fly them to Singapore next month regardless of their filing (should it happen). Although a roundtrip biz ticket to Singapore will not make or break nonetheless will help.

To all at United: hang in there.
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RE: United Will Stand

Sat Dec 07, 2002 1:26 am

You are confusing myths with opinions. My personal favorite on your list is #3. There is absolutely nothing wrong with speculating either way about the future of the executive board. Often times boards change dramatically as a part of a business reorganization. On the other hand, it could very well remain intact, especially considering there has been some shake up in the past 18 months. Anyone arguing this is expressing an opinion. If someone states as a point of fact that something is going to happen to an executive, they either know something we don't (unlikely), or are looking for undeserved attention. That said, I can, if I choose, speculate on the future management at UA. I could also, if I choose, speculate on their fleet, the effects on other airlines, the chain of events that got them into this position, the actions their creditors will take, and their overall future.

You make some excellent observations on the recent (past 18 months) labor problems in your last post, which I do respect, especially since I have no reason to doubt you do work for United and saw this occur. However, I do feel that I should be able to propose a contradictory opinion on the conclusions you've drawn without being accused of perpetuating a myth.

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ont 737
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RE: United Will Stand

Sat Dec 07, 2002 2:48 am

WTF is with these work rules?

"United is the only airline in the world that is still contractually required to include a licensed mechanic in the crews that push airplanes away from gates at major hubs. Using lower-paid ramp workers, as all other airlines do, would eliminate 20 percent of the mechanic workforce, he estimated."

-Maintaining obsolete jobs is not the best way to cut your CASM. Wasn't this an issue with the late Eastern as well? Didn't management counter this with having the planes use the thrust reversers to back out instead. Great idea  Big thumbs up

"Also, because of a combination of reduced flying and contractual rules, United now is paying about 300 pilots to stay home, at 60 percent of their normal pay. And he said some United flight attendants can work only one trip a month and maintain full health care and other rights."

And you have to love the managerment too...

"Darryl Jenkins, head of George Washington University’s Aviation Institute, said the blame falls on United’s financial executives, who, he said, aggressively pushed United to acquire US Airways for $60 a share “when it was worth $20.” “That is the same group that made the presentation to the ATSB. The finance guys have single-handedly trashed this airline.”

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RE: United Will Stand

Sat Dec 07, 2002 3:04 am

So far as I can see the difference between UA and the others is While AA and the rest are cash rich they are asset poor, UA is cash poor but asset rich.

Obviously the capital markets disagree. If UA had so many valuable assets, then the capital markets would be more willing to give UAL a loan without government backing.

UAL's assets aren't worth that much in this market. Most of the planes are worth little as there are way too many planes in the desert already. UA's South American routes aren't worth much and neither are the European routes. The only exception would be LHR and the Pacific which has some value.

I'm not just picking on UA, the assets of all the airlines (AA,DL,NW,CO,etc) aren't worth that much either.

In economic downturns like this, cash is king.
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RE: United Will Stand

Sat Dec 07, 2002 3:05 am

United is not going anywhere soon. That is a fact. They could file Chapter 11 tomorrow and still be flying 4-5 years down the road. This is, of course, much to the dismay of those who would like to see United perish. Four words: Too bad for you Big grin

Chapter 11, while not a good thing, certainly isn't a bad thing either. It allows a company to restructure itself financially. United can come out of this a leaner, meaner airline with lowered cost structures and as a totally new, revamped airline that the rest of the airline industry will have to learn to respond to. That's if the management team can do it right. And I hope they will.

I may not work for United directly, but I work alongside many fine United colleagues every day at SFO, and they are some of the best people to work with. I wear my "United Will Stand" pin proudly.

Head in the clouds... yet feet planted firmly on the ground.
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RE: United Will Stand

Sat Dec 07, 2002 3:08 am

In defense of my original thread:

I understand that people are allowed to have opinions. This Website is in the free world. However some opinions that have been expressed, and continue to be speculated upon are pretty close to nonsense.

It would be like having a post dedicated to NASA's future work in warp technology. (Just demonstrating the absurd by being absurd)

The Idea that a Chapter 11 filing would mean that UA would have to look for a new Board of directors and CEO, is idiotic. It doesn't make any sense. Now if one where to speculate on the positions that the ALPA and IAM directors would be in if UA filed for chapter 11 and basically wiping out the ESOP positions, THAT is a legitimate speculation, a REAL and probable cause for concern.

Not to reiterate what I said in the original post but some comments made are just silly and do not advance the discussion. Some people just gleefully saying good bye to UA. Whats the point of that filler.

While I think its fine to speculate on what fleet cuts UA intends to make I feel if your going to comment at least be up to date. One post from this week said UA should sell their 727's...hello UA did that... to PamAM, who is operating them on Caribbean routes. FYI it has been reported that UA sold its 18 767-200's to the USAF for convertion to tankers. This kind of stuff IS important, and if there is any further confirmation on this it would be nice. (In another post)

Then there are the posts that simply fall under ignorance of the way Chapter 11 works. Repossesion, liquidation, Mileage Plus miles liquidation, and numerous others.

My bottom line and the point of this thread is that there is a ton of WAG's floating around disguised as fact or well thought out opinion. This is a shout in the dark for people to get a grip and start researching your opinions and posts and to discount the stupidity out there.

We are entitled to our opinions. But there are people in this world who are of the opinion that the Holocaust did not happen. While that is an extreme example, shouting down ignorance is just as important as expressing ones own opinion.
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
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RE: United Will Stand

Sat Dec 07, 2002 3:21 am

Great post UALPHLCS!

Unfortunately, I have to disagree with you on one thing though. It really was UA employees that caused this mess. I am sure it was not you as a CSR, and I know it was not me, but it was people on our payroll. To be more specific, it was our financial folks in headquarters and the execs that allowed them to do the damage. It is also some of the unions (ALPA) that pulled a tissy to get raises. The IAM members like yourself deserved a raise, but overall, we all let ourselves get way to much out of payroll without watching what it would do to our costs.

My only gripe with the unions is that they do not care what happens to the company. They just need to fight for their members because that is what their members pay them to do. If the members don't pay, there is no union. However, if it the union raises the company's cost of operating beyond profitable levels, then we lose money...lots of it and fast. I think the unions are now realizing (way too late) that their demands on the United payroll are part of the cause of this financial situation.

Sure, I blame our past senior management for making bad decisions (US Air, Avolar) but those were just part of the problem. My point is that it is not one groups fault for our financial position, it was the fact that everyone was picking the pockets of United and did not realize what the end result would be. Many call that greed or self-interest, and that is what happens when you have an employee owned company such as this. If you owned your own business would you pay yourself based on what your costs were? Or would you keep giving yourself raises until you had to close down your store to afford to stay in business?

All in all, you are absolutely right. We are going to make it out of this. But it is going to take a restructuring that will level the playing field. No more attitudes that "my department is more important". We will all take pay cuts, and we will all face the reality of having a very different airline that follows a business plan that is matched to todays customer. If we can get our labor groups to agree to the needed changes and stop thinking about themselves, we can do it. There is so much potential for us to kick a** here. This may truly be our finest hour...or it could be our last. It is really up to us to decide that.
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RE: United Will Stand

Sat Dec 07, 2002 3:29 am

I do agree with you on the factually lacking posts of others, I've misunderstood some things in some posts I've made (not just related to UA), and I appreciate a polite correction, but I do see your point on this becoming a problem because too many people do not research facts that have already been proven inaccurate.
On the otherhand, why is it nonsense to believe the management at UA will change? No, chapter 11 does not dictate changing management, but be realistic, it is almost always predicated by and followed with a management shakeup.
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RE: United Will Stand

Sat Dec 07, 2002 3:37 am

If you mean that UA's current management team will leave once the airline is back on track, that is a possibility I don't discount. The stress just those of us who are not in the loop but are effected but the loop is draining enough. Tilton and company could very well resign after they have completed the job, out of exhustion, or the desire for another challege.

But there have ben posts that the CEO will have to change during Bankruptcy proccedings, I can't see thses ideas as anything but ridiculous. Tilton is brand new. His team is brand new they where dropped in to this crisis to manage it. Why on earth would they have to be changed?
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
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RE: United Will Stand

Sat Dec 07, 2002 6:20 am

From today's Wall Street Journal, here are the main carrier seat mileage costs.

United - 11 cents
USAir - 10.95 cents (Any wonder that USAir and United are first through the bankruptcy door?)
American - 10.38 cents
Delta - 9.5 cents
Northwest - 9.24 cents
Continental - 8.9 cents

United has been losing around $200M per month ($7M per day). If you estimate that United flies about 12 Billion seat miles per month, lowering it's costs to the following carriers levels it would have saved over the last 12 months

American - $900M
Delta - $2.1B
Continental - $3B

If United had Continental's costs it likely would have been profitable, but the union led board did nothing the last year. When Jim Goodwin spoke the truth, the union didn't want a leader, it wanted a lapdog. You can't lead by hiding the truth.


"I never engaged in a work slowdown.
...Neither did most of my co-workers.

I did see a few pilots take individual job action on their own - but the majority of the people I flew with took no action against UAL."

Was the summer of discontent imaginary? No. It doesn't matter that you didn't participate, when your union and "a few pilots" started the destruction of the company you owned, did you try to remove the union or it's leadership? No? Then take some responsibility for allowing your customers to suffer and the results that are only now taking fruition.

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RE: United Will Stand

Sat Dec 07, 2002 6:30 am

To echo what Greg said, I also really like United and want them to survive and eventually prosper. Best of luck to you guys.

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