747-600X
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The Very Friendly Skies - United

Tue May 27, 2003 3:14 am

Aah! That was pleasent. Just got back from a trip to Florida (Tampa). Flying down, we arrived at the airport (ORD) and checked ourselves in using the electronic thingamajigs only to discover that there were no seats left open on the plane. When we got to the gate, we were given first-row Economy Plus tickets, complete with bulkhead. I'm 6'2" and couldn't reach the bulkhead with my feet! Coming back up, we asked if we could have Exit Row seats and without a second's thought, the gate agent smiled and handed us Economy Plus tickets for the exit row on a 757. Again, my feet didn't even reach to the seat in front of me. I was very impressed with the service. United also seems to have taken to a new attitude-driven sort of advertising of late. I got a chuckle out of the signs reading,
Nostalgic for vintage aircraft? Check with our competitors. United has one of the youngest fleets in the industry.

I don't know if I got the wording quite right, but the first part is verbatim. Anyway, they don't seem to be doing too badly from the passenger point of view.
 
N777UA
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RE: The Very Friendly Skies - United

Tue May 27, 2003 3:33 am

Yep, United's fleet is definitely one of its strongpoints. By the way, another "we have new planes" advertisement goes: "United has one of the youngest fleets in the industry...which means your plane won't look, feel, & smell like a 70's basement."

Not to worry...United is getting better by the day.
 
Rick767
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RE: The Very Friendly Skies - United

Tue May 27, 2003 3:41 am

I must say my only experience of United was a 777 Business Class trip LAX-LHR on a 777 and I was very impressed with the comfort and quality of service throughout. The ground staff and cabin crew couldn't have been nicer.

The fact I got a free upgrade without asking on a half-full flight may have affected my opinion of course  Big grin
I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
 
UAL Bagsmasher
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RE: The Very Friendly Skies - United

Tue May 27, 2003 5:03 am

I guess I am the minority. I really don't care for UA's "new" fleet. I miss the old 727's and DC-10's. I guess that's why I paid for a positive space fare ticket on NW to get on a few DC-9's over break last week Big grin I could have ridden S/A on UA for quite a bit cheaper, but the planes were too boring for me.
 
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United_fan
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RE: The Very Friendly Skies - United

Tue May 27, 2003 5:13 am

Always good to hear positive things about any airline especially UA. Looking forward to flying them in July to LAS and to LAX & SEA in October or November. I'de really like to get on a 747 ORD-LAX before they stop flying them domestically . Not sure if they are hgoing to stop,but you never know.
Champagne For My Real Friends,and Real Pain For My Sham Friends
 
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RE: The Very Friendly Skies - United

Tue May 27, 2003 4:43 pm

N777UA - "Yep, United's fleet is definitely one of its strongpoints. By the way, another "we have new planes" advertisement goes: "United has one of the youngest fleets in the industry...which means your plane won't look, feel, & smell like a 70's basement."

Not to worry...United is getting better by the day."

Yeah, can't get any better than those vintage 737's, ex-Shuttle aircraft with E-minus, minus seating.

And, what about all the United planes still flying around with the 80's interiors. As for the Decor 5, it could just as well have been fashioned in the 70's, insomuch as both the color and lack of weaving in the fabric hearkens back to 70's textiles. (You want to get a sense of what contemporary interior design looks like, check out AA's new plane interiors, complete with woven fabrics on the seats and a very subdued color scheme.)

As for the basement smell, I guess no one has been to LAX lately. United liked the 70's look of Terminal 7 so much that all the 70's architectural elements survived the most recent renovation. (Again, you want to get a sense of of what contemporary airport design looks like, check out AA's LAX Terminal 4, complete with a multi-perspectival sculpture.)

As for the napkins with the United promotional sayings, the UA marketing guys epitomize 70's thinking so much that they even failed to grasp what was so unique about the utterances that they sought to copy, specifically JetBlue's promotional sayings. For example, compare JetBlue's slogan "A TV with every Purchase" to United's not so clever, and much longer slogan - "...feel & smell like a 70's basement." JetBlue's slogan needs no context. Did JetBlue have to tell their customer - "Our planes have a TV at ever seat"? No they didn't. The utterance created its own context, much like JetBlue. United's slogan on the other hand lacks the authority of universality. Hence, it must be preceded with a contextual statement. That diminishes its efficacy. The brilliance of the JetBlue marketing guys is that they have developed JetBlue's image, by and large, out of universal utterances like a "TV with every purchase." Leave it to United's marketing people, however, to give you the 70's version of the JetBlue slogan.

United, try this one on for size... "We were JetBlue, just back in the 70's."
 
747-600X
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RE: The Very Friendly Skies - United

Tue May 27, 2003 10:27 pm

That was interesting...

UAL Bagsmasher, you're not in the minority. I didn't say I liked UAL's fleet. While I could do without the DC-10s, I also liked the 27s. I was just impressed with the advertising, it made me chuckle,

Which by the way, Ladevale, JetBlue advertising has yet to do. I would hardly call "A TV with every purchase" original, creative, or interesting. And it doesn't create its own context. I wasn't sure what they meant until you explained it. I get the feeling that that line of wording is almost always used with a picture or a commercial, because, contradictory to what you said, out of context it makes no sense (besides which, it's false advertising). Also, I'm not sure what "vintage" 737s you're referring to in UAL's fleet. JetBlue has all A320s. Wow. That doesn't make mid-generation 37s "vintage". As UAL Bagsmasher pointed out, go fly on Northwest if you want vintage. (Or, better yet, go to Africa.) On the other hand, I have yet to find any airline which can do something about the basement smell. The 757 I came back on had the burnt-air smell so common on jets.
 
nwa747-400
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RE: The Very Friendly Skies - United

Wed May 28, 2003 1:13 am

Intersting that I have flown on several UA aircraft in much worse shape then some of their competitiors "vintage" aircraft, not to mention that one of their main competitors flying "vintage" aircraft isn't bankrupt...

New aircraft break down too, my parents just flew UA and sat on the hot, unairconditioned "new" A320 at the gate for over 2hours while they fixed the engine problem United knew they had before they started boarding...
 
727LOVER
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RE: The Very Friendly Skies - United

Wed May 28, 2003 1:25 am

You visited Tampa and didn't contact me???????????  Sad
Love Trumps Hate
 
kaitakfan
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RE: The Very Friendly Skies - United

Wed May 28, 2003 2:51 am

Actually I have been to LAX alot recently. I guess you have not. Terminal 7 and 8 are looking pretty good since their renovations. But you obviously didnt notice. Better you stay down in terminal 4 anyways.

I think UA would like to wash their hands of their 737 fleet. Their pride is in the 777's, 747-400s, 757's, 767-300's and the airbus'. I actually cant stand flying on a UA 737. I think they are pretty gross. It would be a blessing to UA to drop those planes and have the A320/319 take over.
 
747-600X
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RE: The Very Friendly Skies - United

Wed May 28, 2003 3:33 am

How did this post get into being about the condition of airplanes?! My comment was on their attitude - they take one, that's nice. I like an airline that's willing to make some almost-snide comments. I recall also having described good service and handy care from gate agents. I was on a Northwest DC-9-30 a couple years back, in the very last row, and my ability to hear, think, or talk to the person next to me were all hampered by the incredible noise pounding in from literaly three feet to the left of my left ear. That's one thing. The fact that the NW people have never been particularly kind is another. When a jet breaks and has to spend 4 hours at the gate (NW DC-10 - like all DC-10s IMHO), they should let you wander a little. They were not very nice about that, didn't even serve us beverages, which I thought would've been nice. UAL, on the other hand, has earned my respect for service. A few years back my grandmother came to visit. When she flew back, my mom and I were at the gate saying goodbye and somehow got to talking to the gate agent about how she had almost never flown and wasn't sure about it. The gate agent thought for a second, hit a few keys on her computer, and sent my mom and I onto the airplane to escort my grandmother up to the first class section. There was no reason for the gate agent to do that. (This also, by the way, may serve to promote unticketed people getting into the gates (and airplanes!!!) as referenced in the Matt D post on that topic.)
Anyway, the point of my post was that UAL was doing a good job and taking the right attitude, not anything about their fleet. Since we're on the topic, I tend to agree that some of their 737s are looking pretty crumby. The A319 I took down to Tampa was pleasent, though I certainly preferred the 757.
 
luv2fly
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RE: The Very Friendly Skies - United

Wed May 28, 2003 3:37 am

It is good to hear positives about UA and there staff. I do not understand when it became about the conditions of the aircraft?
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
ual777contrail
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RE: The Very Friendly Skies - United

Wed May 28, 2003 4:28 am

UNITED FAN,
Good news, United in July will begin a ton of domestic 747 service.

SFO-ORD 2
ORD-SFO 2
ORD-LAX 1
LAX-ORD 1
DEN-ORD 1
ORD-DEN 1
LAX-IAD 1
IAD-LAX 1

They all start around the first of July so take your pick.


ual 777 contrail