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New UA CEO-What Must He Do?

Wed Oct 31, 2001 10:32 am

UA has suffered tremendous bad feelings for a year or more now. MANY, MANY frequent flyers have left do to horrible service. Now there is a new CEO. What steps or areas must he address quickly to change the flight from UA? Some areas I think:

1. Employee morale - It is very bad and it is passed on to the passengers.
2. Address the terrible service to the customer
3. Work very hard to get the frequent flyers back.
4. Stop some of the cut backs which would cause FF's to leave (ex: no meals, no late night flights, etc).
5. Actually listen to the front line employees lie res agents, Flight attendents, etc.
6. Get out and see and listen to his people!!!

UA has been very poorly run from their ivory palace. Goodwin's last letter to the employees talking about UA possibly folding was the last straw. HOWEVER, the ONLY thing which will keep Goodwins predicition from coming true (and it could) is the flying public, especially the frequent flyer. He has a loooong, hard road to travel. Can it be done?

RE: New UA CEO-What Must He Do?

Wed Oct 31, 2001 10:36 am

He must.....

-Do a helluva job
-Rejuvenate the company
-Get pax demand back
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RE: New UA CEO-What Must He Do?

Wed Oct 31, 2001 10:36 am

In addition to your excellent suggestions: One of the first things Creighton should do is dump Avolar. The employees and shareholders need to know that he is there to run United Airlines and make it profitable again. That means getting rid of a new subsidiary that DOES NOT make a policy of hiring furloughed UA employees.

And the US taxpayers did not give UA a bailout so that it could buy toys for the rich. They bailed out UA because it's a major part of our airline infrastructure. Avolar should be canned NOW.

Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
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RE: New UA CEO-What Must He Do?

Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:26 pm

How about getting rid of the unions? has many forums. It has spell check and search functions. Use them before posting!
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RE: New UA CEO-What Must He Do?

Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:29 pm

This guy has about 1 week to get to work busting the unions open like a motherf**king watermelon or his head will be on a platter.

It is unconscionable that the pilots are getting as much as they are when UA is months away from going bust.

If this guy can't do what's needed, find someone who will.
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RE: New UA CEO-What Must He Do?

Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:31 pm

Since when does a Happy Timmy and Susie Flight attendant make for bucks in the 'ol bank account?

UA has the routes, the aircraft, and (God knows) the geographical reach to make a successful airline. Cut salaries across the board is a good start.
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RE: New UA CEO-What Must He Do?

Wed Oct 31, 2001 2:20 pm

Actually "busting the unions" is not advisable. Their employee members own the largest share of the company. The company and the unions will be looking at all aspects of the operation.
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RE: New UA CEO-What Must He Do?

Wed Oct 31, 2001 3:32 pm

John Creighton made an interesting remark in one of the news aritcles I have read on this issue. In it he mentioned the employees, passengers and shareholders in that order. Usually it's shareholders first with employees last.

An airline cannot really do anything to make people fly. The security issue will soon be in the hands of the government. Many frequent flyers have seen their travel budgets cut by this recession and they won't return until the economy does. The rest have more confidence in the ability of terrorists to strike than they do in the government to prevent them from striking.

In the long term I think Creighton will try to restore faith and trust with employees. Next he will hopefully get rid of the "us versus them" attitude which permeated Goodwin's approach to the unions (like it or not the vast majority of UAL's employees are in a union.)

In the short term he has to get out of this Avolar rat hole. He has to bring some sense back to the pilots union which thinks that everyone else should take a pay cut so that they can have a pay increase. He also has to dump all of Goodwin's technology projects. An airline cannot run itself while the CEO is busy playing around with pet projects which have nothing to do with the core objective. Goodwin learned that the hard way and paid the price for his meandering.

Hopefully we will all see improvement in the second quarter of next year. If Creighton makes the right moves, which he is capable of doing, then returning flyers will see United employees working with each other for the good of the traveling public instead employees on death watch, like they are now.
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RE: New UA CEO-What Must He Do?

Wed Oct 31, 2001 3:54 pm

How can you get rid of the "us vs. them" attitude when the unions (which comprise a good chunk of the BoD) will fight tooth and nail to avoid the concessions which UAL needs to survive?

Its a monumental task and Creighton (an ex-CEO of a toilet-paper manufacturer) may not be up to it.

And are we against Avolar because it doesn't make financial sense or because the pilot union doesn't want hundreds of potential new-hire pilots to be outside its manipulating grasp?
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RE: New UA CEO-What Must He Do?

Wed Oct 31, 2001 4:40 pm


The key to having a successful corporate culture at an airline is exactly what you described.

First you make the employees happy. They will be more accepting of management's decisions, and will treat the customer better. The customer comes back because of good service. Growth results as profits accumulate from an increasing cadre of loyal customers. Investors see this growth, and invest in the airline more.

Very good post you made.
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RE: New UA CEO-What Must He Do?

Wed Oct 31, 2001 5:11 pm

Reduce the number of daily flights to the same destenation. With load factors of 15-35% as they were on 09/11 im not suprised the airline is going under.
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RE: New UA CEO-What Must He Do?

Wed Oct 31, 2001 5:54 pm

First thing first, Im glad that United has a new CEO. Things will change, and they will change for teh good of the company.

First, I belive that the new CEO must restore employee morale, and relations with managment. Simply put, happy employee's reflects to the customers, which see the happy employees. Then, those now happier customers tell all of their happy little friends to fly United, because they are a happy group of people. Gosh, I used happy a lot. I've been studying for a math test for the last 4 hours. Sorry.

Next, sell off Avolar. While in theory, Biz Jets is a good idea, it has been abused. Employees have been given the boot, and Badwin bought biz jets. That will not only make the employees happy, but it will make the stock holders happy too, if Avolar is dropped.

I would bring back the United Connection Softwere. I know that hundreds of business/high yeild passengers used United Connection as their bible...and Goodwin took it away. Thanks Jimmy!  Insane

Next, meals or snack boxes should be brought back onto the planes. Going almost 4 hours with out a meal is cruel. Now I know that the airlines dont have to feed you, but never the less, it is a nice gesture to the passengers. Somone once said that "you can make a pizza so bad that no-one will eat it." That is exactly the case with United, and no meals under 1635 miles. Bring back the food, becuase United has excellent inflight service and meals. Just stay away from the rubbery pasta. That is the only bad meal which I had on United.  Big grin

Bring back redeyes. Well, atleast some, depending on the city, and the route's yeilds.

Now, you cant just drop Easy Info from the airports, as the money has already been spent. I would just keep it to the hub cities, inwhich most are already done. Actually, I think that Easy Info is a good idea, but not needed.

Aside from some of these changes, I think that we need to see many more United commercials on T.V., hear adds on the radio, see Billboards for United, and advertisements in newspapers along with magazines. The new CEO needs to make a commercial with just him talking, saying that United is making changes towards recovery, and how they are not going to die. He needs to tell the flying public a little bit about what they've done to make people want to fly United again. Also, they can use the changes of September 11th to their least for some advertsing. Now they can say that all of their planes are equiped with re-enforced cockpit doors. I know that will make people want to fly United. I have already had a few people tell me that.

I L U V 7 6 7

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RE: New UA CEO-What Must He Do?

Wed Oct 31, 2001 6:16 pm

Some of you may remember my own thread titled "let UA...die as well" (I was called asshole, moron, idiot etc. for that one). What UA did now is one of the most important things to do, it should have been done much earlier (sept, 11th notwithstanding). It is a clear and outstanding signal to the employees, the customers and the capital markets. Nevertheless he has to act quickly (that has been said by other people on this thread)
As for how to approach the unions: I don't know how powerful US unions are, I can tell you they are extremely powerful over here in Germany (and were even more powerful 10 years ago). That didn't stop the ÖTV (union for -among others - Lufthansa) from negotiating a very hard deal for their members (cutbacks in wages, prolongation of working time) with the then newly appointed LH CEO Jürgen Weber (still in office, thank God!!!) to rescue a German flag carrier that was practically dead or at least in deep coma hanging on the lifelines of the German government. Now look what happened to the company in the following years.
Don't underestimate the brains of unionists, especially since their UA members are obviously member of another rather powerful group: the shareholders.
Furthermore UA is a core (founding) member of the best-working Airline Alliance, the Star Alliance. In the last few years the Alliance did help their members organisationally and financially (anyone remembers Air Canada, Thai Airways?).
To all UA employees: Consider this situation as a chance to fundamentally re-organize your company, because if you don't, the next crisis will be your last one.
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