toxtethogrady
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Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:43 pm

"delusional hubris"

http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/n...sues-threaten-united-campaign.html

"...You also run into that attitude whenever you speak to United's C-suite executives. Tell them about the airline's operational problems and they blame the exigencies of a difficult merger. Talk about the decidedly unfriendly attitude of some of United's customer-facing personnel and you are told that they are being retrained. Detail United's failure to satisfy its most loyal, most profitable fliers and you are told that too many elite United MileagePlus customers were "over-entitled." United chief executive Jeff Smisek boasts about saving a few dollars by serving split cashews rather than whole nuts. And I was dismissed by a top United executive as I was explaining the airline's weaknesses from the business traveler's point of view with a curt, "I can't listen to any more of this. It's depressing..."

Somebody better get rid of Smisek quick. And see if Bethune is still available to run the airline.
 
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airzim
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:52 pm

The author has no credibility with anyone who matters in aviation.

If he decides to discuss facts versus innuendo and FT whining, then maybe someone will listen. Until then, he's just a disgruntled frequent flier who mad who can't accept the fact that the aviation business is changing, and it's happening at all carriers one way or the other.
 
peanuts
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:28 pm

Didn't we do this last week already?

Listen, reviving a slogan that worked for its time is just not very clever. Times have changed and considering how fast negative news travels nowadays this slogan will haunt UA like a giant turd they will just keep stepping in.

Perception and reality are far apart here.
 
phxa340
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:12 pm

Really ? I'm a diehard DL fan but have flown UA 4 times in the last month and their service was impeccable. Agents and attendants were great and flights were on time. The reconfigured PS bird I flew on looked brand new as well. I personally think Smisek is doing a great job.
 
UALFAson
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:32 pm

Joe Brancatelli is pi$$ed off about something?!? And complaining about United?!? Shut the front door! That hasn't happened since...I don't know...5 minutes ago?

Seriously, this guy is a joke and I can't even stand to read his columns anymore. He's the definition of a self-entitled bitter old man. If I were the United executive, I would say whatever it took to "dismiss" him as well just to get him out of my office or off my phone.
"We hope you've enjoyed flying with us as much as we've enjoyed taking you for a ride."
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:43 pm

I don't know who these people are flying. They're confusing airlines for North Korean gulags. I can barely remember my last terrible airline experience, and it was years ago and it was SU. People need to realign their expectations--the cost, safety, and convenience is lightyears ahead of what it was even a decade or two ago, but UGH HALF CASHEWS???? EVERYTHING IS RUINED. KILL EVERYONE  .

Quoting toxtethogrady (Thread starter):
you are told that too many elite United MileagePlus customers were "over-entitled."

It was a mistake to explicitly *say* that but every airline has told its fliers EXACTLY that by their actions, including the beloved never-can-do-wrong WN recently.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
codc10
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:31 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 5):
It was a mistake to explicitly *say* that

Especially considering the fact that all indications are that Rainey was referring to the 25K tier, which, prior to the merger, probably did accrue benefits that were not, taken as a whole, in line with their value to the carrier.

As for Brancatelli, this is par for the course. I don't dislike him, but in the travel blogosphere (an increasingly crowded space) his act is less relevant now than it was 10-15 years ago.
 
nutsaboutplanes
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:37 pm

I am not a UAL fan but this article is garbage. UA continues to make progress and while they are a few steps behind Delta in my opinion, you can not deny the progress that the company is making.
American Airlines, US Airways, Alaska Airlines, Northwest Airlines, America West Airlines, USAFR
 
Sooner787
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:41 pm

We book UA more than any other airline in out travel office
and we're getting great feedback from our clients about UA's
improved serivce. I flew UA back in Aug , connected thru SFO
and both flights were great and the cabin crew was especially
friendly.

The months following the merger were a mess but it seems
like UA has turned the corner.
 
washingtonflyer
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:37 pm

Wonder how many UA VFFs left for AA when AA offered to match Ex-Plat status to United's 1Ks earlier this year.
 
rscaife1682
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:29 pm

Quoting washingtonflyer (Reply 12):
Wonder how many UA VFFs left for AA when AA offered to match Ex-Plat status to United's 1Ks earlier this year.

This guy right here   also had Delta somewhat match my 1K as they only put me on Platinum. I have been flying Delta alot this year and find them much better than United. Better looking cabins, well dressed FA's, Wifi on every flight I have been on, 60% of flight have free live TV and no bull**** upgrade whereas since the merger as a 1K at UAL my upgrades were almost never happening,

I will say that my friend who did not make the jump says that UAL is way better but still has a long way to go.
 
toxtethogrady
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:15 pm

Quoting washingtonflyer (Reply 12):
Wonder how many UA VFFs left for AA

United told its Beaumont-Port Arthur customers to take a bus. They chose to take American instead.
 
caetravlr
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:04 pm

I will say, of the two times that I have flown UA this year, there were serious delays on both trips. Nothing unusual, and not unexpected. What actually IMPRESSED me was how easily and quickly they were able to rebook my fiance and I on different flights that were better than sitting at the airport waiting on our originally scheduled flights to depart. Maybe I had something akin to status because of my Chase Mileageplus card, I don't know? But I was very impressed at how helpful they were.

I will also say, last time I flew DL, I was very impressed with them, but it's been over a year. I think both airlines are improving.
A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
 
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airzim
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:11 pm

Quoting toxtethogrady (Reply 14):
United told its Beaumont-Port Arthur customers to take a bus. They chose to take American instead.

I would love to know how many VVF lived in Beaumont? Well I bet at least one will raise his hand!

If Beaumont was an hours drive from Dallas, I'm sure American would put you on a bus too.

Rebuttals like this make me laugh given their self serving rant.
 
traindoc
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:46 pm

As a 1K and Million Miler, let me offer my experience. Last year, UA's service certainly suffered due to merger glitches. My wife and I certainly experienced that. This year between the two of us we have already flown close to 175,000 miles, flying with crews and planes from both sides of the merger. Indeed service is improving, especially on the former UA side.

The only unpleasant flight this year was in J from ORD to FRA last month. The service was OK, but the FAs were just not that friendly. Was that bad service? No. Was it good service? No, as well. So just one flight out of dozens that was not what it should be. So I concur with the others who recognize that UA is making progress.

Indeed, even if the United C suite did diss Joe, that does not mean that the whole airline is bad. If you have a chip on your shoulder and negative expectations, you may well get what you expect.
 
MSPNWA
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:59 pm

In my opinion, UA's biggest problem is its customers. They expect more than a current-day airline can profitably deliver.
 
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AVENSAB727
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:07 pm

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 23):

Yeah, there are always those, I have a feeling that people are asking for too much out of UA.
Always look on the bright side of Life!
 
Max Q
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:30 am

Quoting peanuts (Reply 2):
Didn't we do this last week already?

Listen, reviving a slogan that worked for its time is just not very clever. Times have changed and considering how fast negative news travels nowadays this slogan will haunt UA like a giant turd they will just keep stepping in.

Perception and reality are far apart here.

Well said.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
jman40
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:32 am

Quoting airzim (Reply 13):
If Beaumont was an hours drive from Dallas, I'm sure American would put you on a bus too.

Rebuttals like this make me laugh given their self serving rant.

I'm not demonizing UA for making the business decision to cut BPT nor praising AA, but:

BPT-IAH by car: 103 miles
SPS-DFW by car: 120 miles

Not much difference. AA runs SPS-DFW 4x daily. Again, AA chooses to stay in SPS, UA decided to leave BPT. Both airlines make that choice based largely on profit and efficiency. But please don't state that choosing to fly (and saying so on an aviation board) a competitor rather than drive or bus to a hub is "a self serving rant" when similar situations exist on different routes served by different airlines.

Fly SPS-DFW and then points beyond if I have the choice and money is reasonable? Yes, please. Fly BPT-DFW and onward? Of course. Drive in Houston traffic because UA made the choice to cut service? No, thanks. Self serving? Sure. In that I'd rather fly than drive. But not a rant. UA made a choice. Customers make choices.

JMan
 
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AA777223
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:31 pm

I read this in both the Houston and Dallas business journals yesterday, and was surprised. This editorial is obviously slanted, and doesn't really represent any sort of journalistic integrity. Using it as a top story further lowers my opinion of these publications.
A318/19/20/21, A300, A332/3, A343/6, A388, L1011, DC-9, DC-10, MD-11, MD-80, B722, B732/3/4/5/7/8/9, B743/4/4M, B752/3, B762/3/4, B772/E/W, B788/9, F-100, CRJ-200/700/900, ERJ-135/145/175, DH-8, ATR-72, DO-328, BAE-146
 
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CALTECH
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:45 pm

Looking at Joe Brancatelli's picture, thought his profile as tommy767 showed him as a much younger person.
UNITED Would Be Nice
 
AWACSooner
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:07 pm

Quoting jman40 (Reply 18):

I'm not demonizing UA for making the business decision to cut BPT nor praising AA, but:

BPT-IAH by car: 103 miles
SPS-DFW by car: 120 miles

Which one has a lot of military traffic that rakes in govt contracts and which one doesn't? There's the reason why AA still flies that route.
 
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airzim
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:20 pm

Quoting jman40 (Reply 18):
I'm not demonizing UA for making the business decision to cut BPT nor praising AA, but:

BPT-IAH by car: 103 miles
SPS-DFW by car: 120 miles

Not much difference. AA runs SPS-DFW 4x daily. Again, AA chooses to stay in SPS, UA decided to leave BPT. Both airlines make that choice based largely on profit and efficiency. But please don't state that choosing to fly (and saying so on an aviation board) a competitor rather than drive or bus to a hub is "a self serving rant" when similar situations exist on different routes served by different airlines.

Fly SPS-DFW and then points beyond if I have the choice and money is reasonable? Yes, please. Fly BPT-DFW and onward? Of course. Drive in Houston traffic because UA made the choice to cut service? No, thanks. Self serving? Sure. In that I'd rather fly than drive. But not a rant. UA made a choice. Customers make choices.

There's no parallel, except distance apart from a major hub. Totally different traffic dynamics.

The self serving part was whining that the sky is falling because United made a business decision to discontinue a route and the poster takes personally. So the discontinuing one route somehow points to a larger endemic issue with United. Which any logical person knows is baloney.
 
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exFWAOONW
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:21 pm

You may say "it's ONLY 120 miles", but it may take 4 hours start to stop when you factor urban traffic around airports. Is your loyalty worth 6 hours of your life every trip? (4hr drive each way minus 1hr flight each way)
Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
 
JAAlbert
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:26 pm

Just to add anectodal information to the discussion (which likely is not relevant to assessing the airline as a whole) I flew SFO to BOS at the height of the merger issues. The computers (allegedly) had actually issued several of us passengers tickets for the same seat on a flight that was virtually sold out - of those left standing was a first class passenger who told me he had actually paid for his ticket (not an upgrade). About ten to fifteen of us were left standing in the aisles for close to an hour while the gate agents tried to figure what to do. The situation was a nightmare, but I have to say the gate agents and flight attendants could not have been more apologetic and kind. They were as upset as the rest of us.

We all finally managed to get seats - the first class guy - ended up in the back row of the plane (yikes!). I don't know about the others, but UAL gave me a nice discount coupon for future travel and the flight attendants plied me with free drinks and box lunches during the flight.

That merger was a mess - but the employees impressed me with their empathy and attitudes.
 
washingtonflyer
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:28 pm

Gotta remember, VFFs often love small airports for a lot of reasons:

1) quicker check-in and processing.
2) reduced or free parking
3) extra segment and miles credit - 1 extra segment and 500 extra miles
4) advanced jump on upgrades and seat assignments - often done by checkin time (T-24)

This won't make much sense to the airline employees, but its part of the "game" for frequent fliers.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:37 pm

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 15):
In my opinion, UA's biggest problem is its customers. They expect more than a current-day airline can profitably deliver.

I disagree. There are key areas where UA is quite a ways behind the competition, especially DL. Here are a couple:

1) Airport facilities. The experiences for passengers, especially the many who must take regional flights, at IAD, ORD, IAH and EWR is quite poor. The only DL hubs whose facilities are even arguably as bad as these are JFK (which has improved) and SLC.

2) Overuse of 50 seat aircraft. Here's what my city sees to each legacy carriers' largest hub:

UA (IAH): All 50 seaters, with the occasional exception of a lone 70 seater
AA (DFW): All mainline
DL (ATL): Nearly all mainline, occasional single CR7 or CR9 frequencies
US (CLT): Mix of mainline, E75 and CR9. Majority mainline in most schedules.

There are gobs of other cities like this. In contrast to DL, AFAIK UA has articulated no plan to reduce its reliance on 50-seaters.

3) IT infrastructure. Someone mentioned that they were impressed with their interaction with staff during IROPS. On DL, it is rarely necessary to interact with staff during IROPS. The app or a kiosk presents alternate options, you click on what you want and away you go. It's phenomenal.

There are good people working for UA; we had a m/x diversion and bus trip yesterday that was handled extremely well by all of the folks with whom I interacted. At the same time, to pretend that UA is right there with the other legacies is foolish, IMO.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
toxtethogrady
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:41 pm

Quoting traindoc (Reply 14):
If Beaumont was an hours drive from Dallas, I'm sure American would put you on a bus too.

Waco's less than an hour from DFW, and they fly jets in there.

Bottom line is that Smisek is so focused on splitting the cashews that he's forgotten why Robert Crandall went to a hub and spoke operation at American back in the '80s. And this morning brings word that all the airline stocks are down because United has lowered their guidance on revenues. Something is wrong, and management is looking at the wrong end of the horse for the solution.
 
jman40
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:43 pm

Quoting airzim (Reply 22):
The self serving part was whining that the sky is falling because United made a business decision to discontinue a route and the poster takes personally. So the discontinuing one route somehow points to a larger endemic issue with United. Which any logical person knows is baloney.

Okay.

My main problem is you insulting people. Nobody whined, nobody said the sky is falling. The person person said UA bailed on the route, and thus changed airlines. You said the statement is laughable and the poster is ranting. You made the decision to lash out, which is a very annoying attribute of far too many people on this board and the internet as a whole. I called you on it, and the insults continue.

Jman
 
toxtethogrady
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:52 pm

"In my opinion, UA's biggest problem is its customers. They expect more than a current-day airline can profitably deliver."

If Costco conducted their business with an attitude like that, they'd be out of business so fast it would make your head spin.

The failure of 'profitably' is a result of United (and every other carrier) being unable to control the price of fuel. Profitability is easier to achieve when fuel reflects supply-and-demand (around $1.50 a gallon). Delta has at least bought itself a refinery; it would be interesting to see how that experiment is going. United has its largest operation in a town filled with oil company executives; their inability to strike a quid-pro-quo deal with any of them probably explains why they're saddled with a cost structure that casues them to struggle with profitability.
 
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AVENSAB727
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:53 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 26):

Well, things have gotten a better at IAH with the rebuilt Terminal B South. But the others do need work.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 26):

UA does need to go a bit more mainline, I think there are a bit too many 50 seaters.
Always look on the bright side of Life!
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:59 pm

Quoting AVENSAB727 (Reply 30):
Well, things have gotten a better at IAH with the rebuilt Terminal B South. But the others do need work.

I agree with that, but if you contrast that with the improvements that DL has made at nearly all of its hubs with issues (massive JFK consolidation, LGA connection of terminals, various ATL improvements, CVG consolidation), it's not really analogous.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
toxtethogrady
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:05 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 26):
There are gobs of other cities like this. In contrast to DL, AFAIK UA has articulated no plan to reduce its reliance on 50-seaters.

They made an investment decision many years ago to ramp up the 50-seaters to move into new markets that weren't ready for the 737's. At the time they owned the airplanes and had all the pilots on staff.

Then Smisek encouraged them to spin the 50-seaters off into a contract airline as a means of saving on labor costs, then started using the 50-seaters even on routes that were more heavily traveled than the jet could accommodate, e.g. Houston to Charlotte, Newark to Toronto. There were two strategies at work - cut labor costs by using lower-paid flight crews and boost revenues by starving certain markets of available seats. For some reason, it doesn't seem to be working; every time I've had the chance to check the metrics, United has the highest cost per available seat mile of all the carriers flying domestically in the United States, and the revenues earned by the regionals don't appear to be covering the contract costs. Smisek knows how to shave costs by splitting the nuts; he has absolutely no clue how to market his airline to the customers.
 
Rdh3e
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:26 pm

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 20):
Looking at Joe Brancatelli's picture, thought his profile as tommy767 showed him as a much younger person.

Virtual High-Five to you.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 26):
There are gobs of other cities like this. In contrast to DL, AFAIK UA has articulated no plan to reduce its reliance on 50-seaters.

They are loading up on 76-seat aircraft, and it has been said publicly they would like to retire the 50s as quickly as possible. However, there will still be about 300 or so due to the cap on the number of 70+ seat aircraft in the pilot contract.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 26):
The app or a kiosk presents alternate options, you click on what you want and away you go. It's phenomenal.

UA has auto-rebook and all that too, but customers have to be re-trained to use it. PMUA had that as well, but it went away with the SHARES cutover because CO was so far behind the times in this regard. However, it has been back in action since last year I believe.
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:28 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 32):
I agree with that, but if you contrast that with the improvements that DL has made at nearly all of its hubs with issues (massive JFK consolidation, LGA connection of terminals, various ATL improvements, CVG consolidation), it's not really analogous.

UA doesn't need to rearrange its hubs and find new ones--its main (only?) strength is its unparalleled network.

Quoting toxtethogrady (Reply 33):
Then Smisek encouraged them to spin the 50-seaters off into a contract airline as a means of saving on labor costs,

It's a little more complicated than that. UA just replaced its 737s with CR7s with zero narrowbodies on order. CO had a much tighter scope, but a significant number of 737s continuing to come on property. At the same time the economics of the industry meant owning your regional provider wasn't cost effective (see Eagle today), particularly as fuel was spiking and the economy was tanking. Post merger, there are still lots of narrowbodies on order, and with a combined pilot contract they can finally realign the RJ fleet, which they are doing. Neither entity separately had that option before, between UA's empty order book and CO's tight scope.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
washingtonflyer
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:29 pm

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 34):
They are loading up on 76-seat aircraft, and it has been said publicly they would like to retire the 50s as quickly as possible. However, there will still be about 300 or so due to the cap on the number of 70+ seat aircraft in the pilot contract.

I was amazed at the number of Q400s I saw at EWR yesterday. Didnt see a CRJ200 in sight. Q400s, Q300s (of which Commutair flies about 5 or 6 for UA), and some E-170/175s.

So many turboprops, that it reminded me of the times when I used to fly through RDU back in the early 1990s - just much bigger turboprops.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:32 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 35):
UA doesn't need to rearrange its hubs and find new ones--its main (only?) strength is its unparalleled network.

I was referring to facilities, an area where UA is far behind the curve.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:37 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 37):
I was referring to facilities, an area where UA is far behind the curve.

Other than the sUA lounges, and all the lounges are being refreshed, I'm not sure what it needs to fix? IAH/EWR/ORD/DEN all have relatively new/competitive facilities. There really is no JFK T3 in the UA network.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:40 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 38):
I'm not sure what it needs to fix? IAH/EWR/ORD/DEN all have relatively new/competitive facilities.

IAH Terminal B needs fixing (frankly, the south complex isn't much better than the banjos). The A trailers, which are allegedly temporary but have been there for years, need to go too.

ORD Terminal 2 is awful.

The split operation at EWR is sub-optimal.

IAD is disgusting.

Should I go on?
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:49 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 39):
IAH Terminal B needs fixing (frankly, the south complex isn't much better than the banjos). The A trailers, which are allegedly temporary but have been there for years, need to go too.

ORD Terminal 2 is awful.

The split operation at EWR is sub-optimal.

IAD is disgusting.

I wouldn't say any of them are much different from most of ATL, SLC, MSP, and certainly better than LGA. The new concourse extension at JFK wouldn't look out of place at IAD, and the busing operation between DL JFK terminals is not much different from EWR either. UA is behind the curve on a lot of things. Facilities isn't one of them.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
washingtonflyer
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:56 pm

How about the bus situation at EWR or SFO?
 
Rdh3e
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:09 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 39):
ORD Terminal 2 is awful.

You mean t-2 where they share the facility with like 10 other airlines? Where they just put in a brand new club (which is awesome by the way)?
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:11 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 35):
UA doesn't need to rearrange its hubs and find new ones--its main (only?) strength is its unparalleled network.

It may be "unparalleled", but it's still quite weak when it relies so heavily on RJ's. Even decent sized metros with 1-4 million people see very little mainline from UA. Places like BNA, BDL, STL, MCI have almost no mainline service. I don't expect UA to fly mainline to smaller markets like PNS (though DL and WN/FL do), but relying so heavily on RJ's in relatively large markets is a fundamental weakness.

And despite UA's recent orders for 76 seaters, it's not nearly enough. UA will be way behind DL for the forseeable future. UA's domestic fleet strategy is a major weakness.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 40):
The new concourse extension at JFK wouldn't look out of place at IAD, and the busing operation between DL JFK terminals is not much different from EWR either. UA is behind the curve on a lot of things. Facilities isn't one of them.

Sorry, but the IAD gates at A1-A6 are a total dump...some of the worst facilities in the country. And the C/D Concourse at IAD is pretty bad too. And UA has no plans to improve them. The RJ gates on the F concourse at ORD are pretty bad as well. UA has plenty of facility problems.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 35):
Post merger, there are still lots of narrowbodies on order, and with a combined pilot contract they can finally realign the RJ fleet, which they are doing.

But most of that narrowbody order book is fleet replacement, not growth. UA's mainline fleet shows little signs of growing and up-gauging regional routes. The combined UA has too much debt and can't afford the CAPEX to grow the mainline fleet the way DL is doing. Even US/AA could have a better fleet than UA should they manage to merge.
 
peanuts
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:28 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 39):
Should I go on?

Arriving at SFO a month ago from RDM was kind of a major let down. Poor signage, rude employee, stairs down, bus, rude employee, long bus ride, lots of turns and maneuvering, rude employee greeting the bus, emergency stairs up. Ugh.

And to be fair, the JFK DL bus people (including the person checking boarding pass before entering bus area) are a strange bunch. Where do they find these people? It's a terrible experience, consistently. That "New York" attitude is wearing thin a bit to many people, just my perception of it.

[Edited 2013-09-27 09:35:24]
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:30 pm

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 43):
UA's domestic fleet strategy is a major weakness.

I agree

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 43):
Sorry, but the IAD gates at A1-A6 are a total dump...some of the worst facilities in the country. And the C/D Concourse at IAD is pretty bad too. And UA has no plans to improve them. The RJ gates on the F concourse at ORD are pretty bad as well. UA has plenty of facility problems

Of course it has plenty of facility problems; all carriers do. Other than D and one corner of A, DFW is a mess There is pretty much no nice part of LAX other than the brand new TBIT. MIA is only recently not a pit of despair. Most of ATL looks just as bad as C/D in IAD. LGA compares unfavorably to BOM. There are parts of BOS and MSP that time has simply forgotten. Most of SEA and SLC would fit right in as another concourse at ORD. Every airline has facility problems, and fixing them is a monumental investment in time and money.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 43):
But most of that narrowbody order book is fleet replacement, not growth.

True, but considering UA's orderbook had nothing but cobwebs before, it's better than nothing.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:33 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 45):
LGA compares unfavorably to BOM.

For AA and UA, that's fair. For US and DL, it's not.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:52 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 46):
For AA and UA, that's fair. For US and DL, it's not.

Idunno...that new BOM domestic terminal is actually pretty nice , and the US terminal has been showing its age for years, never mind the original DL/NW terminal at the eastern end.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
toxtethogrady
Topic Author
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:27 pm

Quoting peanuts (Reply 44):
UA's domestic fleet strategy is a major weakness

I would agree. The surest symptom of it is the exorbitant cost structure for the domestic network, though I have my suspicions they are cheating by ascribing certain international costs to their domestic activities while claiming domestic is much less profitable than international. I guess if your strategy is to expand your international operations and leave domestic as a second-class operation, you have to make the international profit-and-loss justify the investment.
 
toxtethogrady
Topic Author
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Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2000 12:33 pm

RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:18 pm

Quoting peanuts (Reply 44):
Sorry, but the IAD gates at A1-A6 are a total dump...some of the worst facilities in the country.

At the time they were built, back in 1998, they were state-of-the-art (the Airport staff actually went to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh to gather the best ideas from those two hubs), but there were no passenger boarding bridges that could meet the sill height of a CRJ. Also, Concourse A was not permanent, so it had to be built so it could be disassembled when a higher and better use came along. It does have a people-mover connection to the Main Terminal and Concourse C, but it's been open for 14 years already, and styles have changed.
 
psa188
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RE: Joe Brancatelli Lights Into United Management

Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:21 pm

Joe Brancatelli is not the only one to slam UA on the "friendly skies" issue.
David J. Danto wrote a scathing piece on his blog about UA/CO and puts the blame on the carrier's problems squarely on ex-CO management. The article's here, it's worth a read and it backs up what Joe Brancatelli says.

http://danto.info/Fly_the_friendly_lies-JSM.htm