klwright69
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UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:51 am

I have question about UA's global first.

Right now it seems the "new UA" is interesting in terms of which routes have this product. I think it is a good call to retain an F product for some routes.

The sCO routes of EWR-BRU and EWR-ZUR are now served by sUA aircraft with an F class product, which makes abundant sense. UA wasted no time in implementing this.

LAX-NRT will lose global first once the 787 comes to the route. Paying customers will take an Asian carrier with F on that route most likely.

I am just quite surprised there has not been more reshuffling of aircraft.

I find it odd that UA has F on all sUA flights to LHR and no F on all sCO routes to LHR still. This is the same situation for NRT and HKG. Some flights from IAD-LHR (757 ones) obviously don't have F, but the others do.

It is interesting that DXB and Kuwait have F but TLV does not.

I am aware that few people actually pay for an international F product. Therefore I am a little shocked that so many international UA routes still have the F cabin.

I would like to hear any thoughts on what future routes will gain or lose the F cabin on UA international routes. The status quo seems like a mish mash.

Like is F really profitable from ORD and LAX to LHR, yet not feasible on the soon to be 3 flights from IAH-LHR? It just seems a little random.

I was expecting a lot more retooling of the UA network in relation to Global F. But I was wrong.

[Edited 2012-10-28 03:53:49]

[Edited 2012-10-28 03:56:04]
 
blueflyer
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:20 am

EWR-BRU is going back to a two-class 764.
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klwright69
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:17 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 1):
EWR-BRU is going back to a two-class 764.

When?
 
blueflyer
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:37 pm

November 4. Initially the change was to last three weeks only, but it was made permanent a bit later.
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Stitch
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:11 pm

Quoting klwright69 (Thread starter):
Therefore I am a little shocked that so many international UA routes still have the F cabin.

pmUA had just invested a significant amount of money in overhauling the First Class product on the 747, 767 and 777 fleet so to then go and rip it out sounds a bit counter-productive.

Are all the 787s and A350s planned to be delivered with BusinessFirst?
 
neveragain
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:16 pm

Quoting klwright69 (Thread starter):
I would like to hear any thoughts on what future routes will gain or lose the F cabin on UA international routes. The status quo seems like a mish mash.

Count me in as wanting to know the rationale behind the changes that have been made thus far. Most of the switches have been only between EWR and IAD, no? Were these just trial balloons to see how the markets responded? Maybe the summer 2014 schedule will be more indicative of a "grand plan."
 
LAXintl
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:04 pm

F class is going to become an obsolete offering for the new UA imo.

Also I have yet to see aircraft scheduling be driven on whether F class is avail or not, but instead ,based on things like total seat capacity, aircraft performance, crewing, and station issues instead.
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neveragain
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:47 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 4):

pmUA had just invested a significant amount of money in overhauling the First Class product on the 747, 767 and 777 fleet so to then go and rip it out sounds a bit counter-productive.

All of this occurred pre-merger. AA has already announced it's eliminating F in many longhaul aircraft.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 6):

F class is going to become an obsolete offering for the new UA imo.

Agreed.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 6):
Also I have yet to see aircraft scheduling be driven on whether F class is avail or not, but instead ,based on things like total seat capacity, aircraft performance, crewing, and station issues instead.

That's probably what's driving it and is the best explanation for why otherwise premium-heavy routes like EWR-LHR haven't seen 3-class aircraft, but the fact that there has been some switching around on certain routes leads me to think that there may be some "testing of the waters" for market response.

But perhaps it really comes down to aircraft utilization.
 
boilerla
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:04 pm

Even though certain routes are premium heavy, they still don't make sense to have an F cabin on them in the current fleet. For example EWR-LHR has mostly 752s on it because UA wants to go for frequency. If pmUA had a TATL 752 configured with F they might use it on that route but as it is, they would have to use a 772--too much capacity for the route.

IAH-LHR on the other hand might be able to use it, but AFAIK there's no pmUA crew base there, so they'd have to reposition a 3 class 772 into Houston which may have killed any yields on the LHR leg.

I imagine they're still shuffling things around, and taking into account crew bases and such, it's going to be a while before they figure it out.
 
neveragain
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:18 pm

Quoting boilerla (Reply 8):
If pmUA had a TATL 752 configured with F they might use it on that route but as it is, they would have to use a 772--too much capacity for the route.

No, they would use a 763, which has a mere 7 more seats than the TATL 757.
 
VC10er
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:24 pm

I think we would all be surprised how many people pay for United Global First. A dear friend who is a supervisor for UA in Brazil told me about half or more of the cabin sells. Of the 8 F suites 4 to 5 have paid full price, the rest are upgraded with systemwide certificates or award seats. Rarely does a 777 come in with empty seats in F, but on the return there are empty F seats sometimes. The 764 with 2 class are always packed and the majority are paying pax.

He said sometimes he is just flabbergasted at how much $$$$ people pay for First.

He doesn't know if the total money F brings in covers the cost of the real estate it takes up on a 772.

Why didn't UA ever buy a 777-300?
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klwright69
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:29 pm

Maybe UA is just taking it real slow.
 
neveragain
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:36 pm

Quoting VC10er (Reply 10):
I think we would all be surprised how many people pay for United Global First. A dear friend who is a supervisor for UA in Brazil told me about half or more of the cabin sells. Of the 8 F suites 4 to 5 have paid full price, the rest are upgraded with systemwide certificates or award seats. Rarely does a 777 come in with empty seats in F, but on the return there are empty F seats sometimes. The 764 with 2 class are always packed and the majority are paying pax.

Possibly, but it's hard not to take these statements like "the front cabin is always full of paying passengers" with a grain of salt. How could you even know? Do you conduct a survey walking around the cabin asking what fare class each person booked? If you want to be completely disingenuous, the UA agent even has an incentive to tell you most people are paying. Sounds much better than, "Nope, you're the only sucker who pays full price." Still, even the statistics you quote are not very good. A 50% load factor doesn't make it sound to me that those seats are paying their way. Not trying to be rude, or single your post out, but just think about it.

But let's say there are routes out there that do generate strong paid F traffic (and I'm sure there are). I'd say for every 1 of them, there are probably 5 others for which demand is close to nonexistent (e.g., IAD or ORD to FCO). If that's the case, you can see why an airline wouldn't want to outfit an entire fleet with 3-cabin aircraft because the opportunity cost of not replacing those seats with more C or Y seats is too high, especially in economic times like these.

I do believe that F is dying on most airlines. AA and LH are pulling out seats. DL, KL, SK, and many others (even QR) don't even have the product.
 
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:56 pm

This statement:

Quoting klwright69 (Thread starter):

Right now it seems the "new UA" is interesting in terms of which routes have this product. I think it is a good call to retain an F product for some routes.

Seems to conflict with this one:

Quoting klwright69 (Thread starter):
I am aware that few people actually pay for an international F product. Therefore I am a little shocked that so many international UA routes still have the F cabin.
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klwright69
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:57 pm

Quoting neveragain (Reply 12):
I do believe that F is dying on most airlines. AA and LH are pulling out seats. DL, KL, SK, and many others (even QR) don't even have the product.

I agree. But EK and Singapore definitely have F all over the place. QR does not have F?

International F always seemed like a dinosaur. I never understood why sUA was so committed to it. But obviously it works someplaces for sUA otherwise it would have been dumped system wide.

CO was ahead of the curve with BF.

[Edited 2012-10-28 11:00:08]
 
tommy767
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:08 pm

It would be dumb to get rid of Global First. Plenty of markets need the F cabin.

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 14):
CO was ahead of the curve with BF.

Not really. Perhaps on a catering standard but that's about it. By 2008 CO was behind the curve with BF. They had no lie flat seats installed and claimed they didn't need to install them because their soft product was "so great"

Quoting boilerla (Reply 8):
For example EWR-LHR has mostly 752s on it because UA wants to go for frequency.

Still wondering if this will ever change. They have the frequency thing going but I noticed the 10:05pm flight is almost always empty. Perhaps too much frequency?
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neveragain
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:15 pm

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 14):
QR does not have F?

Nope, they do. I was wrong. Not on the 777 fleet that serves the U.S. though. My apologies.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 15):
Plenty of markets need the F cabin.

The market seems to disagree with you, as is evidenced by AA's decision to remove F seats and UA's decision to reconfigure domestic 763s with 2-class cabins.
 
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calpsafltskeds
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:47 pm

Sure, there may be a draw for GF class vs. BF, but just look at how much real estate GF takes on the 763ER. There are a total of 32 premium seats on the 3 class bid (6F/26BF) vs. 30BF on the new 2 class bird. However, there are 33 more Y seats on the 2 class aircraft.

If half of the F seats are full revenue, then do those 3 tickets pay for over 30 Y seats?
With a $4000 difference in fare between GF and BF, each Y seat would only need to yield $121 if the 3 GF pax fly BF.

Also, do the 4 fewer BF seats on the 3 class vs. 2 class reject BF revenue for those who will not pay for Global F?

With today's fuel costs, can UA or anyone run aircraft with low seating density like the 763ER 3 class aircraft?

Note that the sUA 772 IPTE aircraft are more dense with the sUA 3 class aircraft having only 1 fewer total seat than sCO's 772.
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klwright69
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:49 pm

Quoting mayor (Reply 13):
This statement:

Quoting klwright69 (Thread starter):

Right now it seems the "new UA" is interesting in terms of which routes have this product. I think it is a good call to retain an F product for some routes.

Seems to conflict with this one:

Quoting klwright69 (Thread starter):
I am aware that few people actually pay for an international F product. Therefore I am a little shocked that so many international UA routes still have the F cabin.

Thanks for responding to my comments. It makes sense to me that SOME ROUTES need F on UA, and therefore have it. I am shocked that MANY ROUTES still have F on UA, when I thought the trend was away from it.

But I really don't know. That is why I started the threat.
 
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:02 pm

Quoting neveragain (Reply 12):
it's hard not to take these statements like "the front cabin is always full of paying passengers" with a grain of salt. How could you even know?

You can just take a look at the manifest, anyone flying in R class is an upgrade.
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FriendlySkies
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:06 pm

Personally, I think a lot of the expected reshuffling WILL occur once joint CBA's have been ratified and there is no need for sUA or sCO crew bases, just a signal crew base.

I think eventually the markets UA has identified as F-worthy will be consolidated...I am sure there are plenty of sUA routes that don't warrant F, just as there are some sCO routes that could probably sell it.

Honestly, I would kind of like to see it go away eventually. I used to be a staunch supporter, but the more I think about it...business class was created as an upgraded economy class with better service and somewhat nicer seats to separate full-fare business travelers from tourists. What it has ballooned into is arguably a product that is miles and miles ahead of what F service used to be. It was such a brilliant concept that it has practically come full-circle into negating the need for a dedicated F service, and you're seeing premium economy classes appear again. Go figure.
 
neveragain
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:34 pm

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 19):
You can just take a look at the manifest, anyone flying in R class is an upgrade.

So one asks the FA for the manifest? Or hangs around in the galley and try to find it? And, even if one does this, does that person fly F on the majority of UA's longhaul routes enough to be a reliable source to make the statement "F is almost always full of paid passengers?"

I want your job if so.
 
tommy767
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:45 pm

Quoting neveragain (Reply 16):

The market seems to disagree with you, as is evidenced by AA's decision to remove F seats and UA's decision to reconfigure domestic 763s with 2-class cabins.

Oh really? Then why are they still in the process of reconfiguring sUA 777s IPTE with Global First? If it wasn't a seller, they wouldn't still be doing the mods in a 3-class setting.
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neveragain
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:55 pm

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 22):
Oh really? Then why are they still in the process of reconfiguring sUA 777s IPTE with Global First? If it wasn't a seller, they wouldn't still be doing the mods in a 3-class setting.

Tommy, the point is they're not adding capacity. And 3 will be removed.

It's not going to happen overnight, but I don't see a promising future for F. I don't even understand the value proposition. You get a bigger seat? Better food and wine? Get to choose when you want to eat? Get to feel better than everyone else? And this is worth thousands of dollars more? Certainly not out of my own pocket. And we know you won't shell out $8 for seatback TV, so I'd like to think you'd agree.
 
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:22 pm

I'm going to predict the future...Eventually the F class will go away just as it did with CO, NW, and DL. I think they will lose F and go directly to sCO BF seats, probably around the time that they retire the 744. The 787 is coming with J only, and while they say that later ships will include F, I bet they back track on that decision. If they keep the A350 orders, that will be a great opportunity to begin retiring the 77A's and get rid of all remnants of Global F. AA is all but removing it, I just don't think it sells in the US anymore.
 
tommy767
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:24 pm

Again, the IPTE mods are currently ONGOING. If UA didn't want Global First, they they wouldn't have taken the time to rebrand and improve the product. Why would they continue the 3-class mods if they are planning on taking it away after a few years? Makes absolutely no sense.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 23):
And we know you won't shell out $8 for seatback TV, so I'd like to think you'd agree.

I won't shell out $8 for DTV because it's a rip off when compared to most of the other a/c in the UA fleet where IFE is complimentary. Would you shell out money for something that is a POS?

Quoting neveragain (Reply 23):

Tommy, the point is they're not adding capacity. And 3 will be removed.

3 removed because UA needs more domestic capacity on the 777s.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 23):
I don't even understand the value proposition. You get a bigger seat? Better food and wine? Get to choose when you want to eat? Get to feel better than everyone else? And this is worth thousands of dollars more? Certainly not out of my own pocket.

Well good for you. You clearly don't understand that there are *many* people who can afford the product and willing to pay for it.
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neveragain
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:35 pm

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 25):
Well good for you. You clearly don't understand that there are *many* people who can afford the product and willing to pay for it.

Based on what, Tommy? Your intuition?
 
tommy767
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:46 pm

"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
neveragain
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:53 pm

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 27):
Do yourself a favor and look up the seating maps on UA.com. F usually goes out full.

Tommy, check every single route operated by a 3-class aircraft over the next year and then we can talk.

But it doesn't matter, because we can come back here 10 years from now and we can see how many F seats are left in the UA fleet. We already know for the AA fleet it will be smaller than it is today.
 
RyanairGuru
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:00 pm

Quoting neveragain (Reply 21):
So one asks the FA for the manifest?

That wasn't what I was getting at. I was just suggesting that a station manager or whoever VC10er was referring to would have access to that information.
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neveragain
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:08 pm

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 29):
That wasn't what I was getting at. I was just suggesting that a station manager or whoever VC10er was referring to would have access to that information.

Of course they do--I was asking how he would know the information, but I see the confusion--apologies.
 
LAXintl
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:52 pm

Don't be deceived by looking at bodies in F cabin seats. In reality only 30-35% of F class seats are paid for in the industry. Rest are occupied by upgrades, non-revs etc.

For UA specifically, only a few weeks back at the Chicago employee exchange Smisek was asked about the future of 3-class configs. His answer was that F class works in only very few markets, while a 2-class product offers much wider flexibility for the airline. So make your own judgement about the future of F @ UA.

And lastly about the comment that IPTE mods continued, well yes they had to continue. Seats have been purchased and waiting in warehouses to be installed. The several million per airframe had already been spent, so there was not much choice but to go through with it.
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calpsafltskeds
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RE: UA Global First Question

Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:05 pm

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 27):
ORD-AMS:
http://www.united.com/web/en-US/apps...l/flightstatus/results.aspx?NFT=SM

Boom.

The other flights show no upgrades, but the ORD-AMS flight shows 6 upgrades for 6 seats. This flight was operating with the new 2 class aircraft for a while. Maybe the total load was light enough for the 3 class aircraft (with 28 fewer seats) and there is some GF demand. Maybe the 2 class aircraft could be used on a heavier route.
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RyanairGuru
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RE: UA Global First Question

Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:27 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 31):
F class works in only very few markets, while a 2-class product offers much wider flexibility for the airline. So make your own judgement about the future of F @ UA.

I look forward to the inevitable tirade about how CO is ruining UA's legacy etc etc  

FlyerTalk would probably be a place best avoided if/when UA announce a draw down in markets served by GF!
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neveragain
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RE: UA Global First Question

Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:34 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 31):
And lastly about the comment that IPTE mods continued, well yes they had to continue. Seats have been purchased and waiting in warehouses to be installed. The several million per airframe had already been spent, so there was not much choice but to go through with it.

Thank you for that explanation. I had a feeling that was the case, but I had no evidence to back up such a claim.

Quoting CALPSAFltSkeds (Reply 32):
The other flights show no upgrades, but the ORD-AMS flight shows 6 upgrades for 6 seats. This flight was operating with the new 2 class aircraft for a while. Maybe the total load was light enough for the 3 class aircraft (with 28 fewer seats) and there is some GF demand. Maybe the 2 class aircraft could be used on a heavier route.

It's also worth clarifying that award tickets do not show up on the upgrade list (that I know for sure). What I don't know is if tickets purchased under a contract that allows for F upgrades on a full-fare J ticket would show up. I believe at one point VC10ER stated his company had such a contract.

And, BTW, Tommy, check out fares in F on next Monday's (Nov 5) ORD-LHR flights. UA has seats at $6,076; BA's are at $10,123. Incidentally, no seats in J for any airline. Yet another way the F seats get filled on the cheap that your "gut" may not have thought fully about. (I know I chided you for taking a one-day sample of flights, but I thought I'd try to speak your language.)
 
neveragain
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RE: UA Global First Question

Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:39 am

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 33):
I look forward to the inevitable tirade about how CO is ruining UA's legacy etc etc  

FlyerTalk would probably be a place best avoided if/when UA announce a draw down in markets served by GF!

Ain't that the truth? That airline was despised by its frequent flyers long before the merger, just as it is today. For some reason, these people keep on flying them. I remember the uproar when UA dumped "elite compensation." UA FFers were conditioned to want a bad experience, complain about it, and get free stuff. For some reason, these people have very short memories.

The debacle over HKG MileagePlus tickets in F for 4 miles probably takes the cake, though. For people to waste their time, and invest so much energy, in something that was an obvious error and expect to get what they want after throwing a hissy fit, well, very difficult for me to understand. But hey, I've wasted way too much time here this weekend.

I'm not the biggest fan of many changes made to date with the merger, but the FT UA FFers must be the single largest source of income for psychiatrists in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.

[Edited 2012-10-28 17:42:46]
 
Jamake1
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RE: UA Global First Question

Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:39 am

Quoting neveragain (Reply 7):
All of this occurred pre-merger. AA has already announced it's eliminating F in many longhaul aircraft.

No. Many of the 3-class 777's have not yet been reconfigured with the IPTE lie-flats. They are continuing to go in for cabin modifications and are returning to service in the 3-class IPTE configuration. That suggests to me that the 3-class product is here to stay, at least in the mid-term.

Quoting boilerla (Reply 8):

IAH-LHR on the other hand might be able to use it, but AFAIK there's no pmUA crew base there, so they'd have to reposition a 3 class 772 into Houston which may have killed any yields on the LHR leg.

Fleet re-deployment has resulted in the opening of pm-UA crew bases in pm-CO hubs at IAH and CLE. The pm-UA crew base at JFK is covering the EWR flying on pm-UA metal. Pm-CO just opened crew domiciles at pm-UA hubs in SFO, LAX, ORD, and DEN. Approximately 400 pm-UA F/A's have recently reported to IAH and approximately 275 pm-CO F/A's reported to SFO effective October 1.

The 2-class pm-UA 767's that were used in North America are currently undergoing cabin modifications in a 2-class Business First layout for international flying (and is a beautifully redone configuration). The aircraft are being deployed on some existing pm-UA routes such as ORD-AMS and to establish new routes such as SFO-CDG, which will commence in April 2013. Pm-UA discontinued the SFO-CDG route after the events of Sept. 11th. The company now believes that the SFO-CDG market will be profitable in a 2-cabin A/C configuration vs. the 3-class A/C configuration that was operated on the route previously.
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VC10er
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RE: UA Global First Question

Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:07 am

Quoting neveragain (Reply 12):

Please explain why you selected the word "disingenuous" in regard to my friend who is a United supervisor at a major Brazilian airport, and what he told me when I asked him about paying pax in F and J? Also, are you suggesting that "I" walk around doing a survey or peaking at a manifest? I never said anything close to "the front cabin is always full of paying passengers". Nor would I - I have no clue if UA pulls in a real profit with the GF cabin.

I said "dear friend" because I know my friend for 10 years, I have gone on double dates with him in Brazil and have had brunch at his home. I trust him and he was telling me the truth. The facts as he knows them. He has no incentive to inflate things to me for the good of United. He has also told me many other things about United. Good and bad.

Please tell me you didn't mean to suggest someone was being disingenuous. I would be very insulted.

I agree that 4 / 5 First Class seats into Brazil for $10,000 or more is surprising, I even said he was surprised to see the amount paid for GF sometimes. But if it's a CEO or SVP's of a big company, it is very possible.

He also said the BF cabin on the EWR flight on the 764 was often sold out and often he can't get a GS customer on that flight in BF if it's a last minute thing. Yes, a certain number of those BF seats are award seats or upgrades from Y. I know for a fact that when the time comes for me to go to Sao Paulo or Rio for business, my PA calls asap to get a $6,400 seat on EWR and often fails due to that flight being full. So if I can't get on I fly to IAD to get the United 777 and try to upgrade to GS if there is a seat. An F seat IMHO is fabulous.
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VC10er
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RE: UA Global First Question

Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:24 am

Dear never again,

I made a mistake. You did not suggest I lurk around the front galley to try and read a manifest. Apologies.

I will admit I do sometimes look at the seat chart that FA's hang up to see how many people in First are Global Services, 1K, Star Gold etc. It also has their food choice written on it. Yes, it's a bit nuts.
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captainstefan
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RE: UA Global First Question

Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:08 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 31):
non-revs etc.

  
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neveragain
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RE: UA Global First Question

Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:39 am

Quoting VC10er (Reply 38):
I made a mistake. You did not suggest I lurk around the front galley to try and read a manifest. Apologies.

I don't have any reason to think that your friend (or any airline employee) would be lying. Many people claim airline club agents as their "friends," few are probably as close to such employees as you are. In the former case, the truth can often be stretched. (From what people have posted on here before, I'm sure at every Delta SkyClub there's an agent claiming that that City has the highest proportion of Medallions in the Delta system!)

Anyway, I just think that if the bigger question being discussed is whether of not GlobalFirst has a future at UA, the fact that one route very often has paid F customers does not an argument make. But perhaps you weren't trying to make that argument. I apologize if I offended, as it was not my intention.

Quoting VC10er (Reply 38):
I will admit I do sometimes look at the seat chart that FA's hang up to see how many people in First are Global Services, 1K, Star Gold etc. It also has their food choice written on it. Yes, it's a bit nuts.

I've certainly done the same when the list is conspicuous, as I'm sure many have. There probably is a minority on here that actively seek it out.

[Edited 2012-10-29 04:41:23]

[Edited 2012-10-29 05:07:56]
 
neveragain
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RE: UA Global First Question

Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:49 am

Quoting jamake1 (Reply 36):
No. Many of the 3-class 777's have not yet been reconfigured with the IPTE lie-flats. They are continuing to go in for cabin modifications and are returning to service in the 3-class IPTE configuration. That suggests to me that the 3-class product is here to stay, at least in the mid-term.

My post was admittedly poorly worded. What I was trying to say is that the IPTE decision was made long before the merger was announced. And LAXintl has explained one probable scenario under which UA could have had little choice but to finish the conversions.

Besides, no one on here is saying that F seats are going to disappear overnight like people in the movie The Langoliers. I think you can divide the groups into people who say either (1) it will stay around as more or less the same share of premium capacity on UA as it is today (although this already has fallen from 100% pre-merger to probably 67% post-merger); (2) the share will continue to decrease; or (3) it will (eventually) be eliminated entirely.

I'd probably say that there's no indication that (1) is the case, unless the A350s are delivered with F. (2) will probably be the case as the 747s and older 767s are retired. And there's a pretty good chance of (3) as I think it's much easier and cost-effective to align the service offerings of J with F, skimp somewhat on the food, drink, and staffing (perhaps compensate somewhat by using a VX approach that AA seems to be adopting as well), and take up less real estate on the aircraft. (And for God's sake, no middle seats in J!)
 
VC10er
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RE: UA Global First Question

Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:11 pm

Quoting neveragain (Reply 40):

Thank you very much for clarifying! appreciated!

I only have one "dear friend" at United and he is Brazilian and only works there. I am trying to protect my source by not saying more about him. But he has been with UA for a very long time and is pretty senior. He said he recalls filling United 747's in Brazil. He does have to go to Chicago often and has many, many great stories. But my sources are limited when it comes to real inside information: Brazil. I have no idea about any other destination, I could only assume.

(I don't know if United should keep First.) I hope they do for selfish purposes! I do not think the sCO lie-flat seats are good enough to be the MOST premium seat on UA. If it was the new LX seat, then yes! The last CO recliner was the worst "chair" on a 2 cabin airline. Shocking to me they called it "Business First"
If UA went to a 2 class airline, DL and AA will be WAY ahead. IMHHHO: United should strive to be the best and have a great Global First on the routes that make sense. My friend doesn't know anything about HQ's plans in that regard. But I "assume" that if UA is competing as a behemoth global carrier, they should have the ability to compete on certain routes. My opinion. I base it on the fact that my clients and my company sometimes (not often) pay for F, due to contract agreements for Executive Director and up. If UA dumped F, many senior people I know would quickly dump UA and move to a premium International airline. If that is enough for UA to keep it or not, I haven't a clue.


However he did say that his friends at TAM have said they too are flabbergasted about the folks who pay over $10,000 for F on TAM. But given they only have one row of 4 seats, and the new super rich in Brazil, I can see 2 to 3 seats selling in F to NYC, MIA, LHR or FRA. But that is puely MY GUESS. My friend said "some" of those who pay that money are famous Brazilian celebs, or famous Brazilian politicians to IAD sometimes. I did ask "how would Brazilian people feel if a politicians were flying to Washington DC for $10,000 of taxpayer money?" he made a remark about the things they get away with.

As for the piece of paper showing other pax status', I only look if it's out for all to see and if I'm waiting for the lav or something. I would never hunt for it- I would assume you could get into serious trouble if you were caught riffling through FA paperwork!
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tommy767
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RE: UA Global First Question

Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:50 pm

Quoting neveragain (Reply 34):

It's also worth clarifying that award tickets do not show up on the upgrade list (that I know for sure).

It's all relative. How do you explain the 11:00pm EWR-LHR 757 flight always being 30-40% full and practically empty in BF?
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blueflyer
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RE: UA Global First Question

Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:13 pm

I think UA is still trying to figure out what aircraft is best suited on the route overall. Each new season sees a lot of aircraft moving around the system, throw in economies slowing down in many parts of the world and I think we can expect the UA network to change frequently still over the next year or so.

Quoting boilerla (Reply 8):
AH-LHR on the other hand might be able to use it, but AFAIK there's no pmUA crew base there, so they'd have to reposition a 3 class 772 into Houston which may have killed any yields on the LHR leg.

You don't need a base to do that. If they had wanted to, they would have scheduled a 777 on a W routing a la IAD-LHR-IAH-LHR-IAD, with the crew going into a hotel at IAH.

UA is doing that with a 777 for BRU, at least until November 4, going IAD-BRU-EWR-BRU-IAD.

Quoting mayor (Reply 13):
Seems to conflict with this one:

F is also used as an incentive for large corporate contracts for companies booking in C. Usually large corporations have more than one "preferred" airline and the upgrade to F can be used as an incentive to choose one over the other. It usually is on a space-available basis at the time of booking.

Technically, these upgrades to F may appear as if it is not generating F revenue, but they generate C revenue that could be going to another carrier...
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RyanairGuru
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RE: UA Global First Question

Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:20 pm

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 43):
How do you explain the 11:00pm EWR-LHR 757 flight always being 30-40% full and practically empty in BF?

It is too late for business travellers on both ends of the route. If work finishes at 5pm you don't want to hang around for 6 hours when there are multiple options at about 8pm. Also it gets into London too late to do an entire days work.

I'd say this is quite clearly to with the flight time, not some conspiracy by GS and 1K members to avoid the 757!

Incidentally, BA and other airlines routinely find their last NYC-LON flight to be the lowest yielding.
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brilondon
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RE: UA Global First Question

Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:28 pm

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 45):
It is too late for business travellers on both ends of the route. If work finishes at 5pm you don't want to hang around for 6 hours when there are multiple options at about 8pm. Also it gets into London too late to do an entire days work.

I'd say this is quite clearly to with the flight time, not some conspiracy by GS and 1K members to avoid the 757!

Incidentally, BA and other airlines routinely find their last NYC-LON flight to be the lowest yielding.

I be willing to bet my left nut that it has to do with the return flight, competition and the demand for a flight at that time of day.
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neveragain
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RE: UA Global First Question

Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:09 pm

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 43):
It's all relative. How do you explain the 11:00pm EWR-LHR 757 flight always being 30-40% full and practically empty in BF?

Explain what, Tommy? What are you trying to say? That some people pay for F seats? No one is arguing with you on that point. (Although you conveniently ignore that at least someone else is telling you that your gut shouldn't over-interpret seat maps.) All I'm saying (and I think many agree) is that I think F has a limited future with UA.
 
neveragain
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RE: UA Global First Question

Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:30 pm

Quoting VC10er (Reply 42):
I only have one "dear friend" at United and he is Brazilian and only works there. I am trying to protect my source by not saying more about him.

VC10ER, understood. I have a close friend who works for one of the U.S.'s Big Three, and I absolutely avoid sharing any information I've received from him. And there are several things I don't comment on without compromising client confidentiality, etc.

Quoting VC10er (Reply 42):
I hope they do for selfish purposes!

I certainly would if I were you, believe me.


Quoting VC10er (Reply 42):
I do not think the sCO lie-flat seats are good enough to be the MOST premium seat on UA.

And we agree again. I'm just bothered that there are so many configurations flying around, so one never knows what one is going to get.

Quoting VC10er (Reply 42):
My friend doesn't know anything about HQ's plans in that regard.

They may very well have no such plans, except for consistency (that was the hallmark of CO's business plan for so long).

Quoting VC10er (Reply 42):
However he did say that his friends at TAM have said they too are flabbergasted about the folks who pay over $10,000 for F on TAM.

Having lived in Latin America, I'm not surprised. They do it because they can. I remember flying in J on AF from CDG to MEX, and the passenger behind me missed the meal service. When he awoke--over Iceland--he demanded the full 5-course trolley service, and when refused, asked to speak to the captain. Of course the captain had much better things to do, so he got the purser. There was a bunch of shouting, but the most memorable line was, "If I had flown Aeromexico, we'd be there by now!"

Quoting VC10er (Reply 42):
I would never hunt for it- I would assume you could get into serious trouble if you were caught riffling through FA paperwork!

Many FAs are always looking for an excuse to be Catholic schoolmarms. The best FAs I have gotten on UA are NYC-based.
 
RyanairGuru
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RE: UA Global First Question

Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:43 am

Quoting neveragain (Reply 48):
They may very well have no such plans, except for consistency (that was the hallmark of CO's business plan for so long).

Unfortunately I'm not sure that the New United is too interested in consistency.

I never liked the blue checkered seats, but every CO aircraft looked identical, with a common, uniform branding. DL have gone down a similar route with their blue leather, they have recovered all the PMNW seats so that the entire fleet looks the same.

In comparison UA has not shown any interest in blurring the distinction between the sUA and sCO fleets. Even the most occasional traveller can probably tell that they are on what are (in effect) different carriers when connecting from an A320 to a 737. The crew wear different uniforms and the seats covers aren't even similar. I've said this before, and I'll say it again: UA should have introduced new uniforms on 3/3. It would have helped to psychologically reinforce the Flying Together bs, rather than having this mutual loathing between the two sides. So long as one can proudly strut around in their CO or UA uniform there is no sense of cohesion or "flying together" between the two groups.

This missed opportunity, coupled with no indication about what the cabins will look like going forward, suggests (to me at least) the SMI/J and his band of merrie men aren't interested in consistency. It will be interesting to see what the sUA 787s and 350s have on board, but we probably won't find out for several years yet.

I've seen a couple of FAs who have a NW bag tag on their case, but other than that (from a passenger perspective at least) it is as though NW never even existed. Somehow I doubt we could say the same about UA, even in 3 years time.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 48):
When he awoke--over Iceland--he demanded the full 5-course trolley service, and when refused, asked to speak to the captain.

This reminds me of once when my mother flew SQ J from SIN-BNE. The man next to her fell asleep before they'd even left SIN, and remained comotose until they were 90 minutes out of BNE. He then demanded ALL of his food (yes, dinner and breakfast!) at the same time. The FAs graciously served him. When she told my step-sister this (she's an FA with BA) she burst out laughing and said that on BA the FAs would have already eaten his food for him...

Quoting neveragain (Reply 48):
"If I had flown Aeromexico, we'd be there by now!"

please no!

Some of the idiots you encounter when travelling   
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