I'll accept your statement that Siegle makes $600,000/year. I'll also accept that he's probably not the person to lead the turnaround at US. The first trip thru bankruptcy still left US with the highest costs of the legacy carriers. That alone should be enough to replace all of the senior management. But the board doesn't have the guts to do that. If Siegle left, who would replace him? Who would want to? Right now US is a failing carrier. Without major incentives, you are not going to attract the quality of leadership needed to save the company. You think Gordon Bethune would come in at Dave's current pay? He's known for being the "turnaround guy" at CO
, deserved or not. He wouldn't want to be known as "the guy who rode US into the ground"... Do you want someone from outside the industry? Another Glenn Tilton, maybe?
I hope further pay cuts are not necessary. But as Dave said, he wants to get costs reduced by 40%. So where else can those savings be found? Sounds to me like there are still productivity gains to be made. How many US employees are there per aircraft, and how does in compare to the LCC's? How do you change the work rules to allow the headcount to be lowered, and pay not changed?
First thing I'd do? Furlough 80% of the res staff. Yes, the web presence needs to be enhanced, but what I would do is reinstate a small commission to travel agents. Say $5 or $10 per booking. No bookings, no pay. Outsource res as much as possible. There will be certain things that an in-house res staff would still be needed for. But when it comes to making a simple sale, outsource it.
I wanted to see US become the Alaska Air of the east coast. If you look at the history of how Alaska did it, it wasn't pretty. It took courage and leadership to fight back against WN
. But they showed that by having a superior product, they could justify a slightly higer price. By getting all costs down, they were able to thrive against WN
, and Shuttle by UA
Sad to say, but I don't see that the leadership has the courage to do it. They've wasted numerous chances over the years, and lost the faith and support of the rank and file. How can that be recovered in time to save US? I'm not sure it can...