panam330
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United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:30 am


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The last three years have been a very trying time period for the airline industry. Some airlines have made great strides in an attempt to return to profitability. I would like to take the time to recognize the most prominent airline in the world, United Airlines.
In the three years following the September 11, 2001 attacks, United has greatly improved their chances of survival. They have attempted to right-size their markets. One such example is their SFO-LAX route. Once at more than 40 times daily, it now stands at 18 daily flights. They've used United Express to their benefit, creating profitable feed to their valuable and extensive international flight network, as well as their domestic network. An example of this is the use of UAX from the IAD hub, which feeds UA's profitable trans-Atlantic flights. With the recent creation of Ted, UA has attempted to maximize yields, and make consumers happy with their product. Using Ted to mainly leisure markets benefits both consumers and shareholders alike- low fares, and high profits.
The introduction of a new trans-continental premium product, United's p.s., they aim to keep their current profit-producing customers, as well as attracting new ones. A new high-yield product that I feel will crush the competition (mainly American Airlines), will pay off in the end. Having a streamlined, consistent product will have a positive effect when compared to the competition.
A smart management team, and dedicated employees are the keys to success in delivering UA's new and improved product. If it weren't for you pilots, flight attendants, ground crew, upper management, as well as a plethora of others, UA would not be where it is today- on the road to profitability.
I feel that the choices made by employees and executives have helped steer UA in the right direction. With that said, I would once more like to congratulate you employees (and consumers!), for doing a bang-up job. Keep up the good work, and good luck to you all!

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CRPilot
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:37 am

I could not agree with you more PanAm330. They are definitely taking steps in the right direction. I particularly applaud them focusing on the profitable international market, and moving the domestic traffic to the UA Express and TED. They're also renegotiating their capacity agreements which also seems like a good move...in this case with AWAC. I hope it works out for them!
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Tbird
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:44 am

Third quarter loss of 274 million.
725 million more in connsessions needed.
Possibe scrapping of the union contracts.
"There will be a significant number of staff reductions," Chief Executive Glenn Tilton said at an industry event in Brussels.

Yeah they're headed in the right direction??? I'm glad your not a industry consultant for United or they would be Chap 7 by now......
 
CRPilot
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:55 am

Tbird Survival is the bottom line! And they are doing everything they can to stay a float. You should obviously know that it will take significant reductions in every aspect of the company...equipment, personnel, and service, as well as, a different type of plan which is what we are talking about here.

"I'm glad your not a industry consultant for United or they would be Chap 7 by now......"


No need to get nasty...this is just forum, no one is attempting to run UA, just sharing opinions!
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FriendlySkies
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:59 am

Tbird: And everyone else is just rollin' in the dough, right? I don't see CO or AA people getting raises, no, they're taking cuts too. UA HAS made MANY steps in the right direction, whether you guys want to accept it or not.
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:06 am

Yup - UA is headed in the right direction . . . CHAOS with the F/As, now that's moving in the right direction alrighty! Don't see CHAOS at CO - they've worked to keep their heads out of their posteriors.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
CRPilot
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:14 am

And what did you expect ANCFlyer?..There is bound to be some conflict with the work force. I know is not fair for a lot of hardworking folks at UA, but unfortunately it is a necessary step to get those concessions to ensure the survival of the company. And really.....come on...comparing CO to UA...why don't you compare the 777 with the Cessna 172 while you're at it?!?!?!

Clearly two very different scenarios!!!!
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NYCAAer
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:14 am

UAL may also default on its bankruptcy financing next month. They've been rejected for a government loan twice, and a judge last week ruled they must pay San Francisco $155 million in airport bonds. They also have yet to file a reorganization plan and were granted another 60-day extension to file, which also was done in court.

I'm not too worried about their p.s. service. AA tried using 757s in its 2-class configuration this past summer on the JFK-SFO route, and the negative response was so overwhelming, 767s were put back on the flights flown by the 757s.
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:20 am

CRPilot . . . and when the dust settles, and the new world of US based air carriers is fettered out, CO will still be there, as will AS, NW, AQ, HA and a few others, legacy and LCCs - but I don't think we'll see much of a UA left (and by then US will be written into the history books . . . . long ago). Just the threat of CHAOS - discussed in a different thread - really makes me wanna hop on a UA flight out of ANC . . . really.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Directi

Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:50 am

Steps in the right direction are nothing more than that: steps. They need to make leaps, the sharades they are pulling in Ch. 11 are a mockery to every other airline in the industry short of US.

In the three years following the September 11, 2001 attacks, United has greatly improved their chances of survival.

So have NW, CO, AA, and DL.... and they havn't had to cower in bankruptcy protection  Innocent

If an airline has to spend this much time in reorganization, chop the cancer off and concentrate on what is profitable. The "steps" you have mentioned are clearly not enough, as Reply 2 illustrates.
 
CRPilot
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:02 am

ANCFlyer,

There is no doubt that our beloved industry here in the U.S. is drastically changing, and while I agree with you on the survival of carriers like CO; there is still a few miles to go for UA. No one has said that it will be easy, and I've mentioned in other forums, they won't be around in the same capacity they are today...but if they play their cards right, there will be a leaner, cleaner UA a few years from now. Too early to call it one way or the other, but like the topic of the forum reads "United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction".
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An-225
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:04 am

Good one. They're heading in the right direction, and that's why people will lose pensions and I may be out of a job come January 7th.

Money does not bring you happiness. But it's better to cry in your own private limo than on a cold bus stop.
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:10 am

CRPilot: Agreed it's a great topic for discussion. Also agreed, too early to call. That said, read reply #3, and #7. The numbers are hard to refute.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
ord
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:20 am

NYCAAer - There is a huge difference between AA using a two-class 757 and UA using a three-class 757 in the transcon market. AA didn't have, among other things, lie-flat first class seats and extra room in economy (AA's 757 have been converted back to less room throughout coach). I'm sure the negative response by AA flyers was not to the aircraft but to the lack of three-class service transcon flyers are accustomed to. If 757s are so bad on longer flights explain why Continental is having such success with them in transatlantic markets and why they have been widely used in recent years to Hawaii. I have no idea whether or not UA's p.s. will succeed, but to make a comparison to AA using two-class 757s is ridiculous.
 
UAFAN17
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 8:47 am

DfwRevolution- AA, CO, NW and DL werent plagued by the ESOP fiasco or the various bad mangament decisons ( I in no way am saying that the other airlines had it easy but UA had bad luck) read this article if u havent already http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/specials/united/chi-unitedfront,1,7545121.htmlstory .

AN-225- UA needs to get rid of the pension plan to get out of Bankruptcy, and a lot of other carriers will do the same to reduce costs (monkey see monkey do).

Just my opinion
-Simon
 
UALramperORD
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 8:50 am

An-225, By all means do not feel bad. Word on the ramp here in ORD says that we to may be out of a job come the 7th of January. BTW, they busted me down to part time a while back, how are things on the ramp in DEN?
"Roger, cleared to push spot 3"
 
An-225
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:02 am

Ramp in DEN is one big clusterfuck as always.  Smile And you know, I am part-time with just a bit over a year seniority... Chances are, I'll join the ranks of real airline employees (who have been furloughed at least once). Keep your head up high, hopefully we'll all prevail through this mess.

Alex.
Money does not bring you happiness. But it's better to cry in your own private limo than on a cold bus stop.
 
UALramperORD
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:11 am

I have 4 and a half years on the ramp in ORD and am still part time, down from full time 3 years ago. I also have been furloughed 2 times(the first time a week after 9/11, then last fall). As long as I get re-called its all good  Smile. Also you have'nt seen a clusterfuck until you have seen ramp ops in Chicago. We are down to a lead and one on all narrow bodies and normally a lead and two (or three if you are lucky) on wide bodies. Anyway good luck and drop me a line if you ever blow into ORD.

Ryan
"Roger, cleared to push spot 3"
 
avek00
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:12 am

United doesn't even know what the "right direction" IS - so how can it be stepping there:

"With the recent creation of Ted, UA has attempted to maximize yields, and make consumers happy with their product."

Actually, United is doing the exact opposite - offering a low-frills product DILUTES passenger yields, not strengthens them. Offering half an airline does NOT entice customers to pay more money for the same flight than they did a year ago.

"The introduction of a new trans-continental premium product, United's p.s., they aim to keep their current profit-producing customers, as well as attracting new ones. A new high-yield product that I feel will crush the competition (mainly American Airlines), will pay off in the end."

American is ALREADY badly crushing United on the premium transcontinental routes - that's what motivated United to come up with p.s. in the first place. That said, I believe (and early anecdotal evidence about p.s. supports this) that p.s. is a brilliant product concept that will ultimately fail on account of poor revenue management and marketing strategies.


Furthermore, as others have stated, United is now two years and counting in bankruptcy, and doesn't have any of the necessary elements lined up to emerge, such as:

1. BK emergence financing;
2. An equity plan sponsor; or
3. A Plan of Reorganization.

While I think that United has at least a 1-in-3 chance of emerging from bankruptcy somewhat intact, it is foolhardy to assert that the company is moving in the right direction - the ONLY right direction is OUT of Chapter 11, and United ain't even close to doing that.
Live life to the fullest.
 
UALramperORD
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:16 am

LOL, another arm-chair ceo.
"Roger, cleared to push spot 3"
 
avek00
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:24 am

"LOL, another arm-chair ceo."

There's little "arm-chair" about my post - nothing United is currently doing is without some degree of precedent in this business, and little coming from the company these days indicates that the airline is set to rewrite conventional wisdom in a manner favorable to United.
Live life to the fullest.
 
CRPilot
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:37 am

Well Avek00, how about if you "enlighten" us with some positive feedback on what UA should do instead!!!!!!!
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avek00
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:53 am

Four things that come off of the top of my head:

1. Restructure employee compensation to a modified pay-for-performance model that assures a minimum base pay but also allows for signficant additional compensation in return for increased productivity and achievement of company goals;

2. Remove some United Business seats from the 744 and 777 fleets and reconfigure the cabin to a 60-64" pitch and ~165-170 degrees of recline (essentially mimicking the flat-but-not-level products) with the existing seats until a new International C product can be brought online;

3. Take IAD down to a focus city with flights to the hubs + transcons and LHR - the other longhaul/international desintations ex-IAD destinations should be flown ex-ORD, allowing UA to leverage the strengths of its largest hub;

4. Rework the Mileage Plus program to encourage and incentivize passengers who spend the most money instead of those who simply fly more miles.


I have just outlined four practical ideas that not only seek to cut costs but also put the company in a position to BOOST REVENUES, the thing that United has failed at doing for the last five years.

[Edited 2004-11-22 01:54:19]
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FriendlySkies
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Directi

Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:55 am

What a fun discussion! I'll be the first to admit UA has quite a few problems, due to inept management, corrupt unions, disgruntled employees, as well as factors they cannot control (fuel prices, market demand, etc.). The simple fact that THEY ARE STILL HERE is testament enough to the POSITIVE actions that UA has made in the past few months. Not one person knows what will happen to UA, so why don't we all sit back, grab some popcorn, and watch what happens instead of fighting over the future of the airline!
 
avek00
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:57 am

"The simple fact that THEY ARE STILL HERE is testament enough to the POSITIVE actions that UA has made in the past few months."

Actually, its a greater testament to the assertion that big airlines tend to die a slow painful death unlike their smaller counterparts.
Live life to the fullest.
 
UALFAson
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:02 am

I think the point of this forum is to recognize that UA is at least attempting to make changes to its business plan as a result of current events, whether created by internal or external factors. A lot of other airlines are in bad financial shape and they aren't making half the changes UA is at least attempting, whether they wind up proving successful or not.

While there are some on this forum who just want UA to up and die, there are others who are actually willing to work to try and save the carrier. What if Gordon Bethune had decided CO wasn't worth saving a few years ago?

Ted's goal isn't to maxime yield, but to more closely allign revenues with costs in markets where even UA's best FF have said they are NOT willing to pay premium fares (the idea that 3 people at $5 each is better than 1 person paying $10). I doubt p.s. is trying to overtake AA in the transcon market (just compare frequencies), but is at least trying to gain a larger share of the super-high-fare paying premium business market.

And allow me to b*tch one more time about the inherent unfairness in the ATSB's decision to reject UA's loan guarantee. Yes, UA was having financial problems before 9/11, but the airline did lose 2 of its airplanes, a dozen employees and hundreds of passengers in the attacks. Excuse me, but UA doesn't qualify for being adversely affected by Sept. 11?!? You can't artificially support some airlines by giving them loan guarantees then tell UA (and others) you have to live or die by the free market. That's called a double standard, boys and girls.

*Sigh* I'm getting off my soap box now. Thanks for listening.
"We hope you've enjoyed flying with us as much as we've enjoyed taking you for a ride."
 
FriendlySkies
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Directi

Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:05 am

UALFAson: Don't forget, the ATSB thought USAir and ATA were worthy of loans. I won't go any further with that, it speaks for itself.  Big grin
 
jacobin777
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:32 am

"I'm not too worried about their p.s. service. AA tried using 757s in its 2-class configuration this past summer on the JFK-SFO route, and the negative response was so overwhelming, 767s were put back on the flights flown by the 757s."

really? I flew that route this summer, I had no problems with it...in fact, I think 97% of the passengers were oblivious to what kind of aircraft it was...unless passengers are flying on a 747 or a prop-based aircraft, I don't think they have ANY idea what they are flying on.....
"Up the Irons!"
 
avek00
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:06 am

"Yes, UA was having financial problems before 9/11, but the airline did lose 2 of its airplanes, a dozen employees and hundreds of passengers in the attacks. Excuse me, but UA doesn't qualify for being adversely affected by Sept. 11?!? You can't artificially support some airlines by giving them loan guarantees then tell UA (and others) you have to live or die by the free market. That's called a double standard, boys and girls"

The airline had major problems BEFORE 9/11, submitted business plans with unrealistic cost/revenue projections, and tried to use smoke-and-mirrors substitutes for nuts-and-bolts restructuring - and you really question why United was denied?
Live life to the fullest.
 
Cactus739
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:33 am

UALFAson

Just a couple of things. Not to make light of your posts, dishonor the memory of those that died, or make light of the current situation that United is in. But, United did not lose "hundreds of passengers in the attacks". They lost 109 passengers and crew. American Airlines lost 156. American also lost 2 planes. May they all RIP...

Also, the ATSB did not deny UA their loan because they were having problems before 9/11. The ATSB's official reason for denying UA was:

"A majority of the Board determined that a guaranteed loan to United is not a necessary part of maintaining a safe, efficient, and viable commercial aviation system in the United States, a requirement of the Act. The Board notes the positive steps the company has taken since entering bankruptcy in 2002 to lower its costs, strengthen its competitive position, and improve its governance structure. Moreover, the Board believes that airline credit markets have been improving since late 2001 and 2002, the period during which the Board granted most of its approvals for loan guarantees, increasing the likelihood of United succeeding without a loan guarantee. Given these circumstances, a majority of the Board believes that the likelihood of United succeeding without a loan guarantee is sufficiently high so as to make a loan guarantee unnecessary. "

Source: http://www.treas.gov/press/releases/js1733.htm

Just something to keep in mind.

What I'm curious about is how long United can stay in bankruptcy? Its fast coming up on two years and they seem to keep changing what they want to be when they grow up. I want them to survive, not because I fly them, but because that's a lot of people to be out of work...and having been laid off before, I know its not pretty and don't want anyone else to have to go through it if its avoidable.

On a side note... how long were Braniff, Eastern, Pan Am, and Midway in bankruptcy before they shut down?
You can't fix stupid.... - Ron White
 
UA772IAD
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:23 pm

My remarks to the replies:
1) Tbird- As stated, UA is not the only one with losses, and that other comment was totally uncessary.

2) ANCFlyer: You can't compare UA to CO, (again, stated): they are on two different levels- just look at their hubs and routing. Also your other comparisons- AQ & HA: totally in their own league, they only exist b/c no other carrier has inter-island service. Also when will "the dust settle"? because it seems odd that you think LCCs will be around for a long time.

3)DFWRevolution: Is DL having problems now (I thought they were, but I could be wrong!  Big grin ), and I believe AA isn't that far off either

4) AVEK00:
"offering a low-frills product DILUTES passenger yields, not strengthens them. Offering half an airline does NOT entice customers to pay more money for the same flight than they did a year ago." So why are LCC's doing so well?

"American is ALREADY badly crushing United on the premium transcontinental routes": which routes exactly? Perhaps JFK-LAX, but does AA have transcon (or big freq) b/t SEA/SFO/SMF/OAK/LAX/SAN/PHX and-or MIA/IAD/JFK/EWR/BOS? I don't think so.

"Remove some United Business seats from the 744 and 777 fleets and reconfigure the cabin to a 60-64" pitch and ~165-170 degrees of recline (essentially mimicking the flat-but-not-level products) with the existing seats until a new International C product can be brought online;" - That would accomplish NOTHING. I've fly UA C class regularly and they C class seats are nearly lie flat, and very comfortable. Most customers like them a lot, which is why narrowbody F class has more "primitive" versions of the Int'l C seats.

"Take IAD down to a focus city with flights to the hubs + transcons and LHR - the other longhaul/international desintations ex-IAD destinations should be flown ex-ORD, allowing UA to leverage the strengths of its largest hub; "

Yeah, thats a GOOD plan. Take IAD which is their US-Europe stronghold city and put more flights to the already overcrowded, hated ORD. IAD does well for UA international, which is why it has so many intl airlines. The DC Metro area provides lots of business for Europe flights, and going thru ORD is backtracking.

"The airline had major problems BEFORE 9/11, submitted business plans with unrealistic cost/revenue projections, and tried to use smoke-and-mirrors substitutes for nuts-and-bolts restructuring - and you really question why United was denied?"
-Oh please. Yes they did have issues from 99-9/11 but before that in its 75 years of history they have been among the best. So yes, that is a good question for their denial.
 
Lufthansa
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:32 pm

You know,

I am really surprised that this turned into a UAL bashing section.

Shutting down UAL's IAD hub is going to cost UAL all of their government business. Washington PAX are not going to connect in JFK or ORD, so these people will simiply switch to British Airways, Lufthansa and SAS.

Also international flying is where the profit is, so it hardly makes sense to reduce it and focus on the over saturated domestic market. IAD should definately stay.

UAL should further lift its game in the International Market. If it were known for having "super service" you would probably get more of the inbound traffic. Already most foriegners know UAL provides more in economy than AA and DL etc. If you come from a wine drinking country, the thought of having to PAY for wine on an intercontinental flight just SCREAMS out cheap. Most of us know we'll get normal service on UA. Lets see UA lift its game a bit compared to BA. If it charged just an extra $25 each way, it could provide a lot of extra goodies to each pax. It does, afterall, work for SIA.
(SYD-LHR has well over 15 one-stop carriers to choose from. SIA still manages to charge slightly more than average (maybe $100-200) and people pay. Given the shorter distances I think UA could get $50 for economy pax)
 
UA772IAD
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:37 pm

Lufthansa:
Exactly! I couldn't agree more- thank you to few of you who believe, and didn't treat this as bash UA!
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:48 pm

UA772IAD - I think perhaps leaving IAD is a good call . . . although the idea of taking a bus on steriods out to the terminal is bizzare, that will soon be corrected. IAD is a good choice for UA on the other coast.

However, comparing CO to UA, two different leagues, you may have a point.

My counterpoint however: I don't see CO in BK Court, sending B744s to Victorville, or where ever, paying Gordon Bethune how many millions of dollars (and then letting him walk out the door) when they can't pay the 'rent' at SFO, having their F/A's threaten CHAOS, charging for - or worse - not serving meals except on Asian or European flights where they MUST compete or die (please see airlinemeals.net), being outgunned by LCCs on specific routes in which UA once held a strong presence, treating VVFFs like second class citizens. Oh, and I can't forget that infamously fabulous UA cabin service. On a recent trip from ORD to HNL I couldn't find them for an hour or so! I understand crew rest, but the entire crew shouldn't abandon the cabin. Eat lunch, fine - you're on duty, eat in shifts . . . but, ohhh, noooo, gotta sit in the galley and piss and moan (can I say that Mr Site Administrator) about this and that and this and that. I appreciate your situation, really I do, but I have enough to handle on my own, I don't wanna sit in 1C and listen to yours for 4,5,6,7,8 hours! Besides being unprofessional, it's annoying!

Once held 1K status with UA . . . operative word is ONCE . . . that ended (after 2 years) when I couldn't get upgraded. Why? Well perhaps it's the limited number of F seats on domestic flights (please see seatguru.com). United was once my carrier of choice, damn they were, WERE, good. I truly enjoyed the twenty ANC-SFO-HNL (r/t) trips I made on UA. (I really miss UA33, SEA-HNL - sure cut down flying time to HNL). The Red Carpet clubs (not necessarily the ones at SFO - but the one in SEA is a lifesaver at 0530) were always a nice place to relax. It got to the point during a period in 1994-1995 I was commuting between ANC and WAS - usually ANC-SEA-IAD, and would often get the same SEA based cabin crew. I never had to ask for anything - like a person's favorite restaurant or night spot, the F cabin crew already knew what I wanted.

I went to CO and US when I found that I could get an upgrade without asking . . . CO simply e-mailed me a few days before the trip. US, well, I had to call them, but it never failed.

I like UA, I hope they succeed, don't get me wrong. But I suspect to see them shrunk to a meer fraction of their former grandeur and I suspect, soon, that US will go away altogether. Unfortunate - there a quarter million miles with US gonna go bye bye.

Glad I'm retired now - I don't have to travel like I once did. Were that the case, I believe I'd have to find other work . . . .

UA is not what it once was, and will never be again. I'[m sorry to say.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
JoFMO
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:49 pm

@Lufthansa: I would also agree with you on most of your arguments. But your last argument is difficult. SIA created its brand since a lot of years. And they never reduced it's service due to short term financial problems. Therefore many travellers here in Europe know the name of Singapore Airlines or Emirates and for their exceptional service.
But UA is different from SIA. They are a good airline, but at least I wouldn't consider it with an exceptional service compared to it's competitors over the Atlantic. And building an better image under their current problems is very difficult.
 
FriendlySkies
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:34 pm

A majority of the Board determined that a guaranteed loan to United is not a necessary part of maintaining a safe, efficient, and viable commercial aviation system in the United States, a requirement of the Act.

What a load of BS. So US, TZ, HP, and HA are all "a necessary part of maintaining a safe, efficient, and viable commercial aviation system in the United States" while UA isn't? What a load of crap. Man our government can be complete idiots sometimes...
 
Lufthansa
Posts: 2303
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:37 pm

JoFMO

Your right! It is going to be difficult.
However, I can't see any other way UA can survive. It has a very good Asia-Pacific Network, and a reasonalbly good European network.

Given that, its pretty obvious that long haul tavel is one of UA's core competencies. Therefore, this warrents focus. Right now, UA concentrates on shuttling Americans around the globe. While that is still going to be a big part of their business, thanks to the strenth of their loyalty program, I feel UA needs to try and get more of those PAX who originate at the other end. BA is very good at this. SIA is EXTREMELY good at this.

For $25 USD, on each flight sector, I could give you,
-hot towels
-a glass or two (from a large bottle not individual) of french champagne OR a free flow of Australian champange (we're gonna beat those froggies yet in the wine industry!) served in real glasses
- eye shades, toothbrush, socks
- some chocolates etc
- icecream during the movies
- printed menus
- some money left to promote it all

Thats not much really when you think about it, but those little things would surely be enough to really raise the opinion of passengers. Although if you add it up, say 50 widebody aircraft each an average of 200 econ pax per day, that adds up to a real lot of cash, i am certain that it would pay off eventually. Especially as the others cut back even further... think about it. AA says you need to purchase your drinks, UA here is a glass of champas in a real glass.

It would be pretty hard to convince anybody to increase costs in the current state, but if UA is going to focus on Intercontinental, it has to give people some reason to fly UA. Cheaper is not always better.
 
FriendlySkies
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Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 3:57 pm

RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:41 pm

I think UA has been attempting to "brighten up" it's product without raising fares. So what you guys are suggesting would be a great next step for UA to take.
 
burnsie28
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Directi

Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:41 pm

Steps in the right direction huh:

With the recent creation of Ted, UA has attempted to maximize yields, and make consumers happy with their product. Using Ted to mainly leisure markets benefits both consumers and shareholders alike- low fares, and high profits.

Well TED is not really doing much, most of the traffic is connecting traffic anyway, so its not like people are going to flyted.com and booking

The introduction of a new trans-continental premium product, United's p.s., they aim to keep their current profit-producing customers, as well as attracting new ones. A new high-yield product that I feel will crush the competition (mainly American Airlines), will pay off in the end. Having a streamlined, consistent product will have a positive effect when compared to the competition.

Hmm trying to sell service when people are price driven, good luck, another reason why it will fail, along side the future competition, Primaris.

A smart management team, and dedicated employees are the keys to success in delivering UA's new and improved product. If it weren't for you pilots, flight attendants, ground crew, upper management, as well as a plethora of others, UA would not be where it is today- on the road to profitability.

WRONG- dont blame it on the employee's its purely management's fault, United like US has had awful management the last several years, putting them where they are now.

In the three years following the September 11, 2001 attacks, United has greatly improved their chances of surviva

nada, they have been one of the worst, after US. They still lose a enourmous amount of money in bankruptcy, where they dont pay nearly 3/4 those that are not in bankruptcy in fees, taxes, etc. Look at NW and CO, they are having no problems, hell NW didnt even take the government loan.

I feel that the choices made by employees and executives have helped steer UA in the right direction. With that said, I would once more like to congratulate you employees (and consumers!), for doing a bang-up job. Keep up the good work, and good luck to you all!

You contradict yourself there.

I like UA, mainly because my uncle works for them, i would love for him to still have a job, but there is nothing he can do about it, he doesnt make the decisions that those in Chicago are making.
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:49 pm

Lufthansa: Very good post. Core Competencies . . . don't see that much on this site! Not sure most folks will be able to read and understand that phrase!Bully for you. For $25. extra I'm flyin' your airline!  Smile In all seriousness, I don't think UAs problems are international . . . they are definitely domestic. Having said that, I hate to change scripts in the middle of a movie! If I leave ANC, or for that matter DEN or IAD or where ever, on UA, I'd prefer to end my travel on the same carrier. Though that is possible on UA, I can't stomach the domestic portion of the trip. Have your tried UAs Red-Eye from ANC to SEA. It's a school bus with wings these days, that is all. (And that is true with just about all the USA flag carriers at the moment). Call me spoiled, call me a primadonna, call me whatever (I assure you, you will not be the first, second or last), if I'm in F or even in J, I expect a certain level of service. UA doesn't measure up these days, unfortunately. In all fairness to the UA, neither does AS, DL or NW.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
StevenUhl777
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:52 pm

I hope United Airlines is moving in the right direction right now...but I don't think we'll know that for sure for several more months or maybe even years. I grew up in a UA family, my grandfather painted planes in SFO and my Dad retired from UA a year and a half ago after spending nearly 36 years working hard to ensure planes leaving PDX were as safe as possible.

As I've mentioned before, the pension issue is going to be the biggest hurdle to overcome. The morale of employees is heading south quickly, and add on to that a request for more concessions. It will get to the point where you can't take something from nothing. It will get to the point where those employees simply give up and realize it's not worth saving anymore. In UA's case, may that day never come, though sadly I think it might be.

It's easy to bash Tilton in an online forum, but let's also realize that none of us come remotely close to knowing how to manage a business as large as UA in this business at this time, especially in Ch. 11. I'd love to see some of you try, but I'm glad that none of you ever will ever get that chance. Of course there's management issues at UA, before and after 9/11. Is there anyone lining up to be CEO of UAL? There wasn't in Sept. 2002, when Tilton came on board, that's for sure. None of us know, perhaps there's a group interested in buying UAL once the exclusivity period expires.

Downgrade IAD? Do you not know anything about UA? I don't think so, judging by that comment. Haven't you heard anything about the traffic congestion problems in ORD? Even UA management knows that IAD is an asset and won't make any changes. Especially with US and I-Air on the ropes. Ok, sure...the C/D terminal isn't the best...I've flown through there many times, as recently as July 3rd on my way to FRA.

I'm sorry to hear that there will be additional job cuts. Fuel costs haven't come down and that has meant that UA's previous estimates have missed target, and additional savings have to be achieved. Rather than sell key assets, the sad conclusion is that more staff will have to go.

I want to remain optimistic about United's future, and am, however I don't like the state of the industry right now and things are looking grim in many ways for UA and others.

[Edited 2004-11-22 05:59:51]
And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
 
burnsie28
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Directi

Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:54 pm

Ancflyer-

There are airlines like WN, B6, F9 which dont allow that kind of service anymore, because people are price driven, and for the low prices today Legacies cant offer better service for the same price, unfortunate.
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:02 pm

Burnsie28: when I travel on an LCC, I expect less - way less. There's a saying, "you get what you pay for". When I'm aboard WN - flew them twice, I expect standard issue 3-3 seats in a 73, with no coordinated boarding process (well, I suppose it's coordinated, of sorts), and nothing to eat, yadda, yadda. When I hop aboard a UA aircraft, regardless of the ticket price, and I'm holding several hundred thousand miles in the bank (earned in less than 2 years) I expect a bit more! It's that simple.

As my friend above says, I can't compare CO to UA - you can't compare any LCC to UA. Nor will I - apples to oranges or grapefruit or kiwi or whatever.  Big thumbs up

Credit where due however - WN flight crew generally try to make your day . . . funny most often. Kinda George Carlin's routine back in the 80s - "The Safety Lecture". I laugh every time someone starts that tape. "In the event of an unscheduled water landing . . . . . . "
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
UA772IAD
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:03 pm

@ANCFlyer
I'm a bit confused... you DO think UA should step back its IAD operations?
If you do (and to the others who would agree):
Consider what Lufthansa said (I was also thinking the same thing, being a N. Virginia resident), UA does especially well out here because of government/gov related business. In fact, the federal government is the biggest employer in our area. UA provides the government, AND other big businesses (Dulles corridor for IT technology, the silicone valley of the east, if you will: AOL, Amazon.com, Symantec, Oracle, Mitre, etc.), and lobbiests to the "Important" cities in Europe: LHR, CDG, FRA, MUC, ZRH, AMS. Not to mention South America (GRU, EZE and others with stops). If you can't get there on UA at IAD, chances are you can on Star Alliance, like LH, Varig, or even NRT with NH. As you can see, IAD is really important not to just UA but also to Washingtonians. Without them, we would have to fly to ATL for any major flights, or to DFW, JFK, EWR for CO, AA.

Your point about CO makes sense. I see what you mean, I have heard their service is pretty nice. I guess I'm just a bit biased, having flown UA my entire life (wow, 17 years), it being my hometown airline, having a cool fleet with nice pilots, channel 9, and usually having a good experience. Nothing against CO. I just prefer UA. I do however have issues with WN (well, only sometimes), Indy, and JBlue (never flown them): basically the LCCs !
 
JoFMO
Posts: 1840
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2004 1:55 am

RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:08 pm

I would prefer on the first hand to equip their whole long haul planes with PTV. Ice cream and champagne are nice, but not essential. I heard that DL even charges you for beer and other alcohol, how is UA's policy?
 
UA772IAD
Posts: 1269
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:14 pm

I forgot to restate what I originally said concering IAD traffic to ORD. ORD is the 2nd busiest airport in the world (1st for either passengers/year or a/c movements- I can't remember which one). At ORD you have the two biggest carriers with hubs there: AA and UA. You also have lots of other airlines, both from the US and International going essentially to every point on the globe: Asia, S. America, Latin America, Africa, Europe, eventually to AUS/NZ. It's a bit like JFK except big airlines have HUBS there. ORD is near or in Chicago, so it has little or no room to grow. If UA took its IAD flights to ORD then E. Coast Passengers would have to travel AT LEAST two hours WEST before going East to Europe. With the delays at ORD, it would be difficult to get those planes in the air on time. At IAD, they are the 17th busiest in the world, with room to grow, and no hub competition. IAD is a central point on the eastern seaboard where passengers from the farthest points north and south on the coast would have to travel no more than 2 hours to get there (unless they can go VIA JFK). It is an essential, and a convienence to UA to have IAD, especially for INTL operations
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:19 pm

US772IAD: Absolutely NOT, UA should, if anything expand their IAD operations. ORD is a goatrope. I don't like IAD simple because I must board that oversized bus to get to a plane . . . running a few minutes late at IAD, you're screwed!!!! Nope, stay at IAD, expand even. I'm with ya all the way. The US Gov't $$$ at IAD (and at DCA) make or break the day for UA.

Man you've got a point with Channel 9! WhoHoo I like that feature. There was this time I was at ORD . . . gee I feel for those ORD guys/gals. I was going to SDF, poor bastards at ORD were overwhelmed (there's a news flash), and get to SDF and in a very, very southern drawl, "Good evenin' United XXX, what runway would y'all like t'night". Whew! Luv that Channel 9.

Believe me, I like UA . . . I always have . . . as many thousands of $$ I spent onboard, I expect better . . .
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
UA772IAD
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:31 pm

JoFMO
UA charges $5 for spirits (cocktails), wine and beer in United Economy. All other beverages are complimentry, and all beverages are complimentry in UA first and business. I think most US carriers charge for alcohol.

ANC:
Yeah, those buses do suck, but their life is limited, they've got the whole tarmac torn up between the main terminal and A/B, plus MWAA (Metro. Wash. Airports Auth. has decorated the main terminal with ads displaying the new PEOPLE MOVING SYSTEM, AND PASSENGER TRANSPORT CENTER, i.e. trains- so we're all looking foward to that coming! Also the 20 year old "temporary" midfield terminal is a bit shabby
 
Cactus739
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:41 pm

FriendlySkies

Read the entire quote. Don't just focus on the words you want to use to illustrate your anger. You actually pasted the right words, just when you read it you skpped over a few.

The ATSB did not say that United was not "a necessary part of maintaining a safe, efficient, and viable commercial aviation system in the United States" as you read it. They said that a LOAN GAURANTEE TO UNITED was not a necessary part..etc etc. They felt United could get the financing on their own. They recognized the successes United had made during reorg and felt they could get capital wthout government backing.
You can't fix stupid.... - Ron White
 
SLUAviator
Posts: 292
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RE: United Airlines: Stepping In The Right Direction

Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:01 pm

Lots of people here have made excellent points and counter points. Some people had good ideas and lots of ideas that are not so good. Sadly, I don't think anyone here is in any position to steer UA in a new direction. Perhaps Glenn and his top managers could find a few good ideas here from people within the company and people who are not if they read this thread and those like it. Until such time that one of us is elevated to a position where we can run United, we should all just hope for the best.
What do I know? I just fly 'em.......

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