justloveplanes
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UA/CO FF Merge

Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:22 am

Does anyone at UA/CO have any insight into why it's going to take another year to merge FF benefits? I would have thought that was the first thing to happen. Right now, you can't take UA points to get upgrades on CO. Can't do it. A bit frustrating, espeically for a 1K living in Houston.
 
UAL747
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RE: UA/CO FF Merge

Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:30 am

You also cannot use any United credit (vouchers and such) on CO flights. I dunno, I've actually got quite a bit of CO miles even though my status is on UA, I emptied most of my account recently for some non-avation stuff. I'd like to get those shifted over, as well as have the websites finally merged too. I have no idea as to why it's taking this long however.

UAL
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
tommy767
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RE: UA/CO FF Merge

Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:35 am

I'll just copy what I wrote in a thread in polls and prefs a few minutes ago:

"Also one thing that really pissed me off about CO (and UA as well) is the fact that they haven't integrated their FF programs yet. I booked an award ticket over new years using my UA miles and found out that none of my CO miles are eligible for UA award travel AND I could not travel on any CO operated flights even with the merger in place."

IMHO, this is really stupid. How long post merger announcement did it take for DL/NW to get their act together between the mileage programs?
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
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kgaiflyer
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RE: UA/CO FF Merge

Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:12 am

Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 2):
I'll just copy what I wrote in a thread in polls and prefs a few minutes ago:

"Also one thing that really pissed me off about CO (and UA as well) is the fact that they haven't integrated their FF programs yet. I booked an award ticket over new years using my UA miles and found out that none of my CO miles are eligible for UA award travel AND I could not travel on any CO operated flights even with the merger in place."

IMHO, this is really stupid. How long post merger announcement did it take for DL/NW to get their act together between the mileage programs?

Oh, it's much worse than that.

Yesterday, after two segments of my trip were delayed because of the lousy weather, I applied for a refund on my CO (005) ticket where two segments of four were CO/UA codeshares. After about an hour on the phone, the CO and UA customer service people agreed that I needed receipts from *both* airlines in order to apply for a refund even though it was obviously on a Continental ticket. Additionally, when I had gone to the CO web site in order to check in, they linked me over to United to get my boarding passes even with a 005 ticket.

This business is getting very complicated.   
 
ikramerica
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RE: UA/CO FF Merge

Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:19 am

Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 2):
I booked an award ticket over new years using my UA miles and found out that none of my CO miles are eligible for UA award travel AND I could not travel on any CO operated flights even with the merger in place

But they are Star partners. Why can't you book using Star partner awards? I don't get it.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
usflyer msp
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RE: UA/CO FF Merge

Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:24 am

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 3):
Oh, it's much worse than that.

Yesterday, after two segments of my trip were delayed because of the lousy weather, I applied for a refund on my CO (005) ticket where two segments of four were CO/UA codeshares. After about an hour on the phone, the CO and UA customer service people agreed that I needed receipts from *both* airlines in order to apply for a refund even though it was obviously on a Continental ticket. Additionally, when I had gone to the CO web site in order to check in, they linked me over to United to get my boarding passes even with a 005 ticket.

This business is getting very complicated.

That is completely normal for any codeshare or interline routing. UA has to relinquish control of their segments to CO before they can be refunded. It doesn't matter what stock your ticket is issued on, you always check-in with the operating carrier (in your case UA).

I think this thread is a little whiney. UA and CO have been merged for all of three months, things are not going to hapeen overnight. There are union contracts, IT incompatibilities, and philosophical differences that must be overcome before UA and CO can function as one carrier and have a merged FF program. They will get there but you have to give them way more than three months...something like 18-24 months is a more realistic timetable.
 
United1
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RE: UA/CO FF Merge

Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:31 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 4):
booked an award ticket over new years using my UA miles and found out that none of my CO miles are eligible for UA award travel AND I could not travel on any CO operated flights even with the merger in place

But they are Star partners. Why can't you book using Star partner awards? I don't get it.

If he booked a "standard" award (it uses a higher number of miles but has no blackout dates or capacity restrictions) then all travel must be on UA or UAX.....

It looks like they plabn on operating Millage Plus and OnePass as separate programs until the end of 2011....it could (and may be if they get a SOC faster than they expect) happen sooner.

http://www.united.com/page/genericpage/1,,53607,00.html
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
Josh32121
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RE: UA/CO FF Merge

Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:41 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 4):
I think this thread is a little whiney. UA and CO have been merged for all of three months, things are not going to hapeen overnight. There are union contracts, IT incompatibilities, and philosophical differences that must be overcome before UA and CO can function as one carrier and have a merged FF program. They will get there but you have to give them way more than three months...something like 18-24 months is a more realistic timetable.

I do agree that integration takes a good bit of time; however, the CO/UA merger just seems strange so far. There have been hardly any press releases or announcements. The websites of the airlines barely make any mention of the business combination (CO's site has a tiny text link buried in the middle of the page). There have been no official announcements about when to expect integration of various aspect of the operations. No messages reminding passengers to continue to check in with their originally-ticketed carriers. It's almost as if they're trying to keep it a loosely-guarded secret. What gives? Are they hoping no one will notice?
 
United1
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RE: UA/CO FF Merge

Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:47 am

Quoting Josh32121 (Reply 7):
Are they hoping no one will notice?

When UA/CO was first announced they said that there would be three "dates" to keep in mind.

1. Technical Merger (October 1st)
2. Customer Day One (Sometime this Spring)
3. Single Operating Certificate (Late 2011/Early 2012)

....they are hoping that no one will notice much in the way of change until Customer Day One when customer facing products and services truly start to merge together. Until that point think of it as an incredibly comprehensive code-share with certain joint FF perks.
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
tommy767
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RE: UA/CO FF Merge

Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:56 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 4):

True.

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 3):
This business is getting very complicated.

The business ain't so complicated -- the UA/CO initial merger policies are confusing and vague. They need to spell this out better or my money is on UA loosing a ton of high roller elites in who will favor traveling on Delta and American.

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 5):


I think this thread is a little whiney. UA and CO have been merged for all of three months, things are not going to hapeen overnight. There are union contracts, IT incompatibilities, and philosophical differences that must be overcome before UA and CO can function as one carrier and have a merged FF program.

No. DL set the standard for modern large scale industry mergers and they did it with a gangbusters mentality. UA/CO have a lot to live up to and thus far they seem disorganized.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
codc10
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RE: UA/CO FF Merge

Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:21 am

Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 9):

No. DL set the standard for modern large scale industry mergers and they did it with a gangbusters mentality. UA/CO have a lot to live up to and thus far they seem disorganized.

Some dates to keep in mind:

DL/NW Initial Merger Announcement: April 14, 2008
DL/NW Legal Merger completed: October 29, 2008
DL/NW customer-facing alignment begins: February 2009
DL/NW SOC: December 31, 2009
First Day of New SkyMiles Program Year: March 1, 2010

Now, the UA/CO merger

UA/CO Initial Merger Announcement: May 2, 2010
UA/CO Legal Merger completed: October 1, 2010
UA/CO "Customer Day 1": Tentatively March 2011
UA/CO SOC: Tentatively Late Fall/Winter 2011
First Day of Integrated FF Program Year: February 1, 2012

Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 2):

IMHO, this is really stupid. How long post merger announcement did it take for DL/NW to get their act together between the mileage programs?

If all goes according to plan, the elapsed time of the entire UA/CO process should actually be faster than DL/NW! At the very least, it looks an awful lot like deja vu...  
 
usflyer msp
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RE: UA/CO FF Merge

Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:23 am

Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 9):
No. DL set the standard for modern large scale industry mergers and they did it with a gangbusters mentality. UA/CO have a lot to live up to and thus far they seem disorganized.

By your own gangbusters mentality:

NW/DL merger close - 29 Oct 2008
WorldPerks/Skymiles merge date: 1 Oct 2009

Way more than 3 months...

Unlike UA/CO, DL/NW had the advantage that both carriers used the same CRS (Worldspan) at the core of their IT systems so it required little reprogramming. Even then several functionalities were lost at the time of the FF merger. UA/CO is more complex and the management team is allowing more time in order to make sure things run smoothly.
 
hnl-jack
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Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2001 10:34 pm

RE: UA/CO FF Merge

Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:23 am

Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 9):
No. DL set the standard for modern large scale industry mergers and they did it with a gangbusters mentality. UA/CO have a lot to live up to and thus far they seem disorganized.

I agree that completing a merger of this magnitude is probably far more complex than most of us can imagine. However, that being said, I am personally disappointed in the communications with their most frequent customers for both airlines. Having just flown CO HNL/HOU and being a 1K on UA I was surprised that there was no acknowledgement of either the merger or my status with UA. I can understand not merging the FF programs up until now, However,I would have thought they would have at least merged some portion or the dqta base so that they could at least recognize frequent customers.
That would seem that it should be a high priority.

I hadn't flown CO in quite some time and was very disappointed since there have been so many comments on here about the CO superiority of product and service to UA's, I was frankly taken back as the service on the ground or in the air didn't live up to what I've come to expect from UA the last couple of years.

Given the comments here and my just completed experience, perhaps the highly touted (on A Net) CO management team isn't everything it was touted to be.
 
usflyer msp
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RE: UA/CO FF Merge

Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:32 am

Quoting hnl-jack (Reply 12):
Having just flown CO HNL/HOU and being a 1K on UA I was surprised that there was no acknowledgement of either the merger or my status with UA. I can understand not merging the FF programs up until now, However,I would have thought they would have at least merged some portion or the dqta base so that they could at least recognize frequent customers.
That would seem that it should be a high priority.

What were your expectations? CO does not do free upgrades on its widebody flights to HI. You should have gotten "Elite Access" i.e. free bags and priority boarding and seating. Your boarding pass should have said "Star Gold/ UA 1K" If you did not get these things then your FF number was entered incorrectly and you should have said something as the databases have been linked for several months. Beyond that, I am not sure what you expected.

I do agree with you on the overrated nature of CO's product.
 
tommy767
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RE: UA/CO FF Merge

Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:37 am

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 13):
If you did not get these things then your FF number was entered incorrectly and you should have said something as the databases have been linked for several months. Beyond that, I am not sure what you expected.

I feel that this isn't CO's strong suit, maybe? I tried calling CO a few years back to get my FF number because I couldn't remember it and they had no record of me being in the system (despite one pass miles never expiring   )

CO is overrated. I also have had better experiences with United over the last few years, most of those experiences being better than my trips with CO.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
codc10
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Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2000 7:18 am

RE: UA/CO FF Merge

Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:12 am

Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 14):

CO is overrated. I also have had better experiences with United over the last few years, most of those experiences being better than my trips with CO.

I tend to agree with this too. CO domestic has been a monumental disappointment lately. However, where CO still wins handily is international, where I believe the BusinessFirst service compares favorably to UA's International First Class.

The merger has great potential, but CO's inertia is negative right now.
 
hnl-jack
Posts: 257
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RE: UA/CO FF Merge

Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:09 am

In this particular case I flew Business First on their B-764 and I did get access to the lounge, only had carry-on luggage and my boarding pass did indicate my status in Star and UA. What was disappointing was the lack of recognition by CO staff of that status. When on UA or Star international carriers, you're generally recognized, sometimes almost to the point of embarrassment. In the case of CO, particularly on the ground there seemed to be a real indifference to not just me, but in general to all the customers. That is what I did not expect, in fact it somewhat reminded me of some of my experiences on UA three to four years ago. So much has been said about the superiority of CO on here prior to and since the merger, I was expecting something better.
 
tommy767
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Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 12:18 pm

RE: UA/CO FF Merge

Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:52 pm

Quoting CODC10 (Reply 15):

The merger has great potential, but CO's inertia is negative right now.

Absolutely and your totally right. Something is negative or rather off putting about CO right now. Sidebar: I keep seeing CO billboards and ads throughout the NYC area and I always think to myself, why are they still advertising themselves as CO when CLEARLY they will be UA in less than a year? It's almost like they are scared to give up their brand name.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA

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