anair79
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What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:32 pm

https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/06/03/people-still-hate-flying-american-airlines-and-uni.aspx

What do you think UA shoul do to have a better service to match Delta?

IMHO, UA should do something unexpected: bring back the IFE monitor in all aircrafts or flat bed seats in domestic First or...
 
jetero
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:30 pm

I think they should fly their planes 5 mph faster.
 
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Bjm0517
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:46 pm

IFE Screens for sure, and improving Economy and Polaris and not just the ladder. Also I think a Corporate restructuring is needed, after their last few years their is defiantly been some mistake at the corporate side of things.
 
2175301
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:54 pm

Clearly the only option is to just close UA and sell the assets to Delta. That way there will be no issues with contracts and seniority all all the other issues with buying an operating company. Just buy the assets... Delta can then hire what crew and staff they are interested in...

Then at least some people will be happy... :)

Have a great day,
 
msycajun
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:55 pm

Seems to me like DL is doing better at offering point to point routes to cater to their business customers in key markets, especially with the focus cities and new hubs they are building up. Looking at what WN, G4, F9, and Ultimate/OneJet are doing shows that there is a lot of demand for bypassing hubs, yet both UA and AA seemed to be as entrenched as ever.
 
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Midwestindy
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:05 am

This is entirely subjective, and can be heavily influenced by whether you live in a UA hub city. My friends in Chicago act like UA is the second coming of christ, however I think UA falls behind in a few categories. For background I don't have FF status on UA, but I have FF status on AA and DL because I feel that AA and DL are better in these categories
-# of lounges
-Route Network
-IFE
-# of RJs
Status for 2019/2020: AAdvantage Platinum, Delta Gold, Southwest A-List
 
N766UA
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:15 am

They could quit sucking so hard
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:23 am

Two words, Route rationalization
 
kiowa
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:27 am

N766UA wrote:
They could quit sucking so hard



I actually do not think that Delta does suck that hard. Sometimes they do but so do all carriers:)
 
jayunited
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:39 am

msycajun wrote:
Seems to me like DL is doing better at offering point to point routes to cater to their business customers in key markets, especially with the focus cities and new hubs they are building up. Looking at what WN, G4, F9, and Ultimate/OneJet are doing shows that there is a lot of demand for bypassing hubs, yet both UA and AA seemed to be as entrenched as ever.


Even though this thread has just started I think you have a valid point. I recent years we have seen DL adding point to point flights, I know we like to call them focus cities here on A.netters but we are seeing DL change the way they expand. While DL still maintains their hubs they are offering their passengers in certain markets a way to bypass busy hubs and you are correct right now UA for sure and probably AA while still focused on growth their growth strategy is to funnel more passenger through hubs while DL is starting to follow the WN business model offer more point to point service. In many markets point to point does have its advantages but you have to have the right sized aircraft and DL does. I think that as both AA and UA are looking to acquire larger narrow bodies they are missing an opportunity to acquire 100 seaters that they could deploy on more point to point routes.

As far as public perception goes there are many day when none of these airlines are in the news and we manage to get all of our passengers from point A to point B with out screwing things up. However when UA or AA screws up it becomes headline news across the country whereas when DL screws up (for instance the dog situation that just occured) I didn't hear about it at all here in Chicago in fact I had no idea there was a incident involving DL and a dog until I signed into A.netters. United has had some high profile screw ups I will not deny that and the impression that UA is terrible has been burned into peoples minds because of those screw up and once the public has a negative impression of any company it is hard to change that perception. For UA to change the negative perception of people we will need to do some radical changes and we have to stop being in the news for all the wrong reasons. If we could go one year without being in the news it would be a miracle.
 
jetero
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:51 am

[quote="Midwestindy”]My friends in Chicago act like UA is the second coming of christ[/quote]

We must run in different circles ... I can’t remember meeting anyone in Chicago with a good thing to say about UA, especially the employees!

I haven’t looked at the stats in a long time but at one point didn’t AA have a higher O&D share than UA? AA’s international network of course pales in comparison.
 
anair79
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:54 am

For me, there is a communication problem for UA: they should stop to try everything to reduce cost: these news impacts the public perception of the company. To gain back customers, they should make a positive sensational news by introducing new service for passengers.
 
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Midwestindy
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:08 am

jetero wrote:
[quote="Midwestindy”]My friends in Chicago act like UA is the second coming of christ[/quote]

We must run in different circles ... I can’t remember meeting anyone in Chicago with a good thing to say about UA, especially the employees!

I haven’t looked at the stats in a long time but at one point didn’t AA have a higher O&D share than UA? AA’s international network of course pales in comparison.[/quote][/quote][/quote]


Haha, the major selling point for them is the Star Alliance partnership with Lufthansa, especially considering I know a few of them travel to and from Germany frequently (Can't blame them considering AA's partner is BA).

All my Chicago travel is on AA now (in fact I'm in the Admirals Club in ORD as I write this). I used to be in the middle, but AA has added more mainline and less 50 seaters to the destinations I need to get to from ORD. Plus IMO, AA has better hubs than UA, 1. DCA is more convenient than IAD, 2. JFK/LGA are usually more convenient than EWR, 3. UA's LAX hub struggles in service to cities east of the Mississippi and that takes up a sizable chunk of my travel.
Status for 2019/2020: AAdvantage Platinum, Delta Gold, Southwest A-List
 
jetero
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:26 am

Midwestindy wrote:
jetero wrote:
[quote="Midwestindy”]My friends in Chicago act like UA is the second coming of christ[/quote]

We must run in different circles ... I can’t remember meeting anyone in Chicago with a good thing to say about UA, especially the employees!

I haven’t looked at the stats in a long time but at one point didn’t AA have a higher O&D share than UA? AA’s international network of course pales in comparison.[/quote][/quote][/quote][/quote]

Haha, the major selling point for them is the Star Alliance partnership with Lufthansa, especially considering I know a few of them travel to and from Germany frequently (Can't blame them considering AA's partner is BA).

All my Chicago travel is on AA now (in fact I'm in the Admirals Club in ORD as I write this). I used to be in the middle, but AA has added more mainline and less 50 seaters to the destinations I need to get to from ORD. Plus IMO, AA has better hubs than UA, 1. DCA is more convenient than IAD, 2. JFK/LGA are usually more convenient than EWR, 3. UA's LAX hub struggles in service to cities east of the Mississippi and that takes up a sizable chunk of my travel.[/quote]


I’ve done top tier DL and UA for multiple years but haven’t been a big DL flier in 5+ years. I’m sure it’s changed but MileagePlus is (was?) just so much better than SkyMiles.

Moved to Houston, it’s a no brainer. I’d sure give AA a try if I lived in Chicago.

The above said most of my flights this year have been really really good with UA but I just started buying F tickets instead of bothering with the 50-person upgrade lists on A319s.
 
Planeflyer
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:26 am

Deliver bags faster!
 
Utah744
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:30 am

Close the gap with AA first.
You are never too old to learn something stupid
 
jetero
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:30 am

Planeflyer wrote:
Deliver bags faster!


I’ll second that.
 
tphuang
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:38 am

DL has numerous advantages that UA/AA don't have. Their hubs at ATL/MSP/DTW/SLC are some of the most profitable in the country. They dominate those hubs more than UA and AA dominate theirs (aside for CLT). And they do a great job of monetizing those core hubs. So that allows them to take changes in new hubs and focus cities. They are not making much money (and may even loose money in a couple of cases) on these new hubs/focus cities that they are building up, but their great hubs allow them to take these shots.
 
WWads
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:48 am

DL is just better than UA. It's not any one thing, although DL is definitely the more reliable airline, which matters a lot.

Here's a list of things that jump out, some important, some minor, some barely worth mentioning, but all areas where UA lags behind:

-Many more RJs, including 50-seaters on 1000+ mile routes. DL's longest CRJ route is around 500 miles. For me, this consideration alone rules out UA. I'm not willing to put up with a 50-seater on a long route. Period. UA's mainline fleet is the smallest of the three, and their over-reliance on RJs isn't healthy IMO.
-DL has better on-board service and amenities, including free drinks in Comfort+ and pillows in FC. DL's FC meal windows are also more generous.
-Leaving out the two Polaris lounges, SkyClubs beat the crap out of UA Clubs. They have better food, are newer, and unlike UA, DL didn't rip all the showers out a few years ago. It's insane to me that none of the UA Clubs at IAD have showers.
-DL has better hubs. Now this is a topic of much debate, since UA's hubs tend to be in larger cities than DL's, but ORD is always a disaster waiting to happen, SFO has low-ceiling GDPs pretty much every day, and EWR...well we need not go into details on that one.
-UA's FAs are just bad. The PMCO crews are Ok, but the LUA FAs tend to be terrible. DL's FAs aren't always amazing, but on average they are simply better.
-UA's business class product lags far behind DL. The Polaris seats are nothing to write home about, and won't be fully rolled out until God knows when. Meanwhile there are still dozens of aircraft with 2x4x2 seating in J. That's not acceptable, and it's quite obvious why UA puts them all at their fortress hubs (*cough* IAD *cough*).
-DL's elite program is more generous, and while DL invented FCM, I think they've found a good middle ground between increasing profit and keeping elites happy. Meanwhile UA brazenly hawks cash upgrades at the gate, a practice that should offend UA elites everywhere (especially 1Ks).
-UA customer service still lags far behind, despite some recent improvements. DL's phone CS has actually degraded somewhat, but DL's SC agents are amazing during IRROPS, and treat their elites well. UA still seems to think that the customer is the enemy.
-UA's Y seats are universally terrible. I can't remember the brands, but UA managed to pick the most miserable slimline seat possible, while DL's are actually quite nice, especially on the Airbuses. DL also tends to have more pitch in Y than UA.
-DL has free seatback IFE on nearly every aircraft except for the RJs, and the MDs/717s. UA's domestic fleet lacks on-demand IFE, and charges for DTV.

All things considered, DL is just a better airline. They're not infallible and they're not perfect (SkyTeam sucks vs Star Alliance), but there's a reason why DL is more profitable than UA, and has a better reputation among the public. On an average day, DL just works. On the average day, UA often struggles to meet that basic standard.
Last edited by WWads on Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
 
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Midwestindy
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:52 am

jetero wrote:
I’ve done top tier DL and UA for multiple years but haven’t been a big DL flier in 5+ years. I’m sure it’s changed but MileagePlus is (was?) just so much better than SkyMiles.
Moved to Houston, it’s a no brainer. I’d sure give AA a try if I lived in Chicago.

The above said most of my flights this year have been really really good with UA but I just started buying F tickets instead of bothering with the 50-person upgrade lists on A319s.


I don't know the details but I believe MileagePlus is widely referred to as equal or better than SkyMiles. If I was based in SFO, DEN, IAH, e.t.c I might consider UA, but I'm based in IND and rarely do I have trouble getting upgraded, which is an important factor for a lot of FFs. For the most part so AA's and DL's nonstop options (DCA, LGA, LAX, ORD, e.t.c) make the most sense for me, plus DL's/AA's hubs at ATL, DTW, CLT, e.t.c are very efficient. I don't think UA's hubs at EWR, ORD, and SFO can say the same, which helps contribute to the negative stigma surrounding UA.

jayunited wrote:
Even though this thread has just started I think you have a valid point. I recent years we have seen DL adding point to point flights, I know we like to call them focus cities here on A.netters but we are seeing DL change the way they expand. While DL still maintains their hubs they are offering their passengers in certain markets a way to bypass busy hubs and you are correct right now UA for sure and probably AA while still focused on growth their growth strategy is to funnel more passenger through hubs while DL is starting to follow the WN business model offer more point to point service. In many markets point to point does have its advantages but you have to have the right sized aircraft and DL does. I think that as both AA and UA are looking to acquire larger narrow bodies they are missing an opportunity to acquire 100 seaters that they could deploy on more point to point routes.


UA doesn't have the point-of-sale strength in enough outstations to make p2p flying work, BOS and CLE have both been shrunk and other carriers have filled a lot of that void.
Last edited by Midwestindy on Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Status for 2019/2020: AAdvantage Platinum, Delta Gold, Southwest A-List
 
WWads
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:55 am

Midwestindy wrote:
jetero wrote:
Midwestindy wrote:


UA doesn't have the point-of-sale strength in enough outstations to make p2p flying work, BOS and CLE have both been shrunk and other carriers have filled a lot of that void.[/quote]

UA is reliant on its fortress hubs to make money. Period. All things being equal, the average person isn't going to choose UA first. They're more likely to pick WN or DL. That's a major problem that UA has to overcome at some point.
 
iyerhari
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:05 am

Another question that could be asked is “What should DL do to close the gap with AA” - they have solid dominant hubs and keen to build themselves at BOS and SEA as their next hubs...
 
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Super80Fan
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:05 am

Delta is certainly better than United, and is shows in their finances and customer satisfaction surveys.

Here is one thing they can do to try and catch up:

GET RID OF SCOTT KIRBY!!!
RIP McDonnell Douglas
RIP US Airways
 
LAXdude1023
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:08 am

Why is this a thread? The author from the link owns stock in DL and is actively trying to manipulate it by writing articles like that.
"I dance and laugh among the rotten"
 
ilovelamp
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:15 am

iyerhari wrote:
Another question that could be asked is “What should DL do to close the gap with AA” - they have solid dominant hubs and keen to build themselves at BOS and SEA as their next hubs...


What gap does Delta need to close with AA? Inquiring minds want to know.
 
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SumChristianus
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:20 am

Midwestindy wrote:
jetero wrote:
I’ve done top tier DL and UA for multiple years but haven’t been a big DL flier in 5+ years. I’m sure it’s changed but MileagePlus is (was?) just so much better than SkyMiles.
Moved to Houston, it’s a no brainer. I’d sure give AA a try if I lived in Chicago.

The above said most of my flights this year have been really really good with UA but I just started buying F tickets instead of bothering with the 50-person upgrade lists on A319s.


I don't know the details but I believe MileagePlus is widely referred to as equal or better than SkyMiles. If I was based in SFO, DEN, IAH, e.t.c I might consider UA, but I'm based in IND and rarely do I have trouble getting upgraded, which is an important factor for a lot of FFs. For the most part so AA's and DL's nonstop options (DCA, LGA, LAX, ORD, e.t.c) make the most sense for me, plus DL's/AA's hubs at ATL, DTW, CLT, e.t.c are very efficient. I don't think UA's hubs at EWR, ORD, and SFO can say the same, which helps contribute to the negative stigma surrounding UA.

jayunited wrote:
Even though this thread has just started I think you have a valid point. I recent years we have seen DL adding point to point flights, I know we like to call them focus cities here on A.netters but we are seeing DL change the way they expand. While DL still maintains their hubs they are offering their passengers in certain markets a way to bypass busy hubs and you are correct right now UA for sure and probably AA while still focused on growth their growth strategy is to funnel more passenger through hubs while DL is starting to follow the WN business model offer more point to point service. In many markets point to point does have its advantages but you have to have the right sized aircraft and DL does. I think that as both AA and UA are looking to acquire larger narrow bodies they are missing an opportunity to acquire 100 seaters that they could deploy on more point to point routes.


UA doesn't have the point-of-sale strength in enough outstations to make p2p flying work, BOS and CLE have both been shrunk and other carriers have filled a lot of that void.

It's hub hinterlands and the s-curve strategy. DL builds point-of-sale strength in outstations so it can generate good connecting flows through its hubs-not to just to another hub-but also to its other points of strengths/anywhere.
UA onboard O/D seems strongly focused on its flights to UA's other hubs.
Where the largest markets on a UA flight XXX-ORD might be ORD, DEN, SFO, IAH, IAD, EWR, a similiar XXX-DTW DL flight will show BOS, RDU, MCO, TPA, CVG, GRR, etc., in addition to the large (NYC, LA, CHI, markets)

DL also serves more secondary airports around major cities, MDW, HPN, SWF, HOU, DAL, offering its elites blanket coverage of large metros, enabling them to get nearer their destination.

Also DL's large Florida presence, while at first (low yields) appearing a liability gives DL the volume needed to sustain mainline (e.g. lower cost capacity) at larger frequency (higher potential yields if you offer better options) and with a better (>50 seat) product for markets that are aided by Florida flow.

I may not be right, but I think having a major leisure (volume) market presence is a big structural DL advantage. Offering FF buisness travelers lots of vacation options gives them a little edge on loyalty. Also Florida is counterseasonal, making Q1 better financially for DL than for UA.
UA DL LH NW AA --- Next IND-ATL-DEN: WN 73G/738
"Born in Wonder, Brought to Wisdom"
 
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rosecityspotter
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:20 am

N766UA wrote:
They could quit sucking so hard




I don't believe that this is possible
 
airliner371
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:22 am

I'll point out that United has acknowledged its domestic stance and is looking to grow over the next few years to bridge some of the domestic gap. They've said DEN, ORD and IAH are going to be the main beneficiaries, but we've seen modest expansion at IAD, and SFO is growing. EWR and LAX are at a kind of stand still at the moment.

I continue to believe that IAD can work as a major connecting hub, competing with CLT and ATL. It's not southern, but they have IAH and ORD as options too. IAD can be particularly efficient in connecting the Northeast, mid-atlantic, midwest, and southeast, not to mention they can feed off of some significant demand in DC, and the silver line, while not perfect, is a one-seat ride. They just have to make the commitment. The question is, do they want to? The resounding answer for years has been no, but then you hear Oscar and Scott talking about "connectivity" and I can only imagine what some investment into IAD would achieve.
 
jetero
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:24 am

WWads wrote:
Midwestindy wrote:
jetero wrote:


UA doesn't have the point-of-sale strength in enough outstations to make p2p flying work, BOS and CLE have both been shrunk and other carriers have filled a lot of that void.


UA is reliant on its fortress hubs to make money. Period. All things being equal, the average person isn't going to choose UA first. They're more likely to pick WN or DL. That's a major problem that UA has to overcome at some point.[/quote]

UA doesn’t have fortress hubs.
 
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SumChristianus
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:32 am

LAXdude1023 wrote:
Why is this a thread? The author from the link owns stock in DL and is actively trying to manipulate it by writing articles like that.

Agree, UA's working on two out of the three points that needed to be fixed.
1. Munoz- Fixing UA's relationship with its employees
2. Kirby- Fixing UA's network (barely started still, a lot still has to be done)
3. ? - Fixing UA's relationship with its customers (Bring in Nielmann for this one....!!!) (although I am biased, I believe UA slightly edges AA out on that one, but of course bias, and very limited experience (one roundtrip)

I havn't been on DL (or it could have still been on NW at the time) since 2010, but I don't think UA (when you are on a 70+ seat plane) is THAT far below. The major changes I believe, need to be on the network side, from which greater revenue and a better structure can provide UA management room to improve customer experience. Again, UA's getting better, but its a work in progress.

I like Kirby, I just wish he had the freedom to replace those 50 seat jets with E175s.....
Wait he does, buy 80 CS100, 40 CS300, 50 more E175s (scope freed by CS100), and 50 A321s! Now you've got the Friendly Sky's!!!!

I hope we see a new narrowbody order soon, because Kirby is actually growing 50 seat RJs. But its about all he can do without a CS100/E190/195.
UA DL LH NW AA --- Next IND-ATL-DEN: WN 73G/738
"Born in Wonder, Brought to Wisdom"
 
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FlightLevel360
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:35 am

1. Seatback IFE on all mainline aircraft.
2. 1 inch extra seat pitch in Economy and Economy Plus.
To me, it will always be:
- Bombardier CSeries
- Airbus A321neoLR and A321neoXLR
- EMBRACER ERJ-170, ERJ-175, ERJ-190, and ERJ-195
- MITSUBUSHI MRJ

Anti narrowbody-long range-twinjet gang. Long live the A380 and 747!
 
727200
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:59 am

Get rid of co and all their employee's. Since they have infected UA, its been all down hill under their direction. Reality is Kirby is at least an airline guy who understands the day to day operation. Unfortunately, the co group knows only how to run small planes to serve 'Duck Dynasty' passengers. Until UA goes back to serving the business customer, who pays the bills, and stops chasing the leisure market, the nightmare wont end.
 
Sean-SAN-
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:15 am

During the UA/CO merger there was a huge loss of talent especially on the UA side. Smisek and his underlinings got rid of anyone they considered a threat. After he left, it's continued to be a revolving door, with lower and lower morale and their lack of competency is easily shown by their inability to handle PR or big projects like Polaris.

Contrast that with Delta, which decided from a corporate standpoint to throw money at the merger -- they solved the problem with labor, reinvested in their product, and retained top talent.

This is not something you can fix overnight, in the medium term United is pretty screwed and it doesn't look like Munoz is the right man to fix things.
 
Jshank83
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:24 am

Just my opinion is UA needs to quit running so many 135/45s. I hate those planes and they run a ton to my home airport (STL). Some routes it is all they run even with 4 and 5 frequencies a day. They also have time periods of no mainlines (I don't mind that as much but I know some do). It is a shame because the cities I travel to the most are UA hubs (ORD, SFO, DEN, DC, NYC) and DL's I rarely travel to but I just enjoy DL more, so I fly them more often than UA.

I know Trans states being in STL plays into how many 135s we get but they also run non TSA 135s here. DL has none (that I am aware of).

Also as others mentioned their baggage is always really slow.
 
iyerhari
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:29 am

ilovelamp wrote:
iyerhari wrote:
Another question that could be asked is “What should DL do to close the gap with AA” - they have solid dominant hubs and keen to build themselves at BOS and SEA as their next hubs...


What gap does Delta need to close with AA? Inquiring minds want to know.

I am just basing it off of operating revenue for 2017. AA is higher than DL and boasts of being the world’s largest carrier in the world. DL is not very off but still behind AA.
 
AirCalSNA
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:01 am

IMO, WN is far superior to any of the big 3 primarily because they don't charge fees to cancel or change your reservation. Another important consideration for me is that calls are not directed to off-shore call centers, which seems to be what UA always does and is another point against them (AA seems not to do this). And I also appreciate professionalism from the other staff I interact with, another area in which UA has been a major disappointment (many examples, won't go into them now); AA staff have a crisp and professional way of answering questions and solving problems. Not sure about DL as I haven't flown them in about 20 years. Once onboard I think the experience from one airline to another is pretty much the same, and it is thus not something I really consider in choosing a particular flight.
Last edited by AirCalSNA on Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
N292UX
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:37 am

Maybe they could buy more narrowbody mainline jets instead of flying the E170/5 on routes like ORD-LGA/BOS/DCA and IAH-LGA/DCA/DFW/PHL.
 
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centrair
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:05 am

I'm going to take this from a more global perspective. DL has a higher rating because of its global service which they have brought into the domestic market. To win globally, DL seems to be positioning itself to meet global standards and competing with global airlines.

Last year, StarTrax had UA on the verge of being a 2 star airline while AA is a mid 3 star while DL is near the top of 3 stars. UA and AA still seem to have a fairly US focused mentality. In a recent survey from ABROAD, a Japanese travel company, UA was given pretty poor marks due to broken IFE, crews who couldn't communicate or didn't respond to customers and inflight meal issues (appearance, choices and flavor).

For UA to improve services, I think they need to 1) reorganize their corporate structure, 2) rebrand away from "fly the friendly skies" as it is kind of old and not applicable, 3) think globally and treat all services like a global product, and finally 4) don't say one thing and do another and finally.

UA is currently a mess and if they can rebrand and reogranize their goals, they will be in a good position to grow and raise standards.
My name is Centrair but HND is closer. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
DarthLobster
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:00 am

Eradicate all vestiges of CO and return to actually being UA. Oh, and the Tulip. Bring that back. This dead horse needs a few more whallops...
 
tpaewr
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:11 am

DarthLobster wrote:
Eradicate all vestiges of CO and return to actually being UA. Oh, and the Tulip. Bring that back. This dead horse needs a few more whallops...



That is 100% truth! The Tulip is the answer to EVERYTHING. That 70s logo is literally the meaning of the universe! ;)
 
jayunited
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:58 pm

Midwestindy wrote:
jayunited wrote:
Even though this thread has just started I think you have a valid point. I recent years we have seen DL adding point to point flights, I know we like to call them focus cities here on A.netters but we are seeing DL change the way they expand. While DL still maintains their hubs they are offering their passengers in certain markets a way to bypass busy hubs and you are correct right now UA for sure and probably AA while still focused on growth their growth strategy is to funnel more passenger through hubs while DL is starting to follow the WN business model offer more point to point service. In many markets point to point does have its advantages but you have to have the right sized aircraft and DL does. I think that as both AA and UA are looking to acquire larger narrow bodies they are missing an opportunity to acquire 100 seaters that they could deploy on more point to point routes.


UA doesn't have the point-of-sale strength in enough outstations to make p2p flying work, BOS and CLE have both been shrunk and other carriers have filled a lot of that void.


You are correct UA does not have pain of sale strength, but in my opinion neither did DL 5-7 years ago. I have no problem acknowledging UA is probably a good 7 years if not more behind DL in terms of performance across the board. But what DL has shown is there is still room to grow in the domestic market and DL has found those markets and with the right sized aircraft they have built a small point to point system within their hub-spoke system. The U.S. domestic market is still growing what UA has to do is start somewhere just like DL did several years ago. However right now UA is still focused on growing their hubs, DL was focused on this 5-6 years ago which just shows how far behind UA really is and how much time was waisted during the early years of the merger with CO. I think in time we will see UA begin to focus on more point to point service but you're right we are not there ye and we most certainly don't have enough of the right size aircraft to expand in point to point service. Just to put things into perspective UA late last year but more so this year has just finally started to return mainline service to our hubs from major line stations. How long ago was when DL made this same move and pulled RJ's for many markets and replaced them with 717's or A319's. This is how far behind UA is and as a UA employee it sucks to acknowledge this but it is true we have a long way to go and we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Not to long ago both Kirby and Munoz acknowledge that fact that of the legacy carriers UA offer the least number of flights to leisure destinations and somewhere in this thread someone pointed out Florida and the paltry service UA offers to this state and other leisure destinations around America the only exception is Hawaii of the legacy carriers UA offer the most flights to Hawaii. However Kirby and Munoz acknowledge there is money to be made in the leisure market however there was no time table given for when UA would begin a serious push to gain more marketshare in more leisure destinations. I think both Munoz and Kirby want to get UA there but they are fighting an up hill battle and then when you throw in the bean counters who keep trying to cut cost but their cost cutting is having a direct impact on the customer experience you start to get a clearer picture of what they are up against.

On a side note I personally hope UA will deploy lie flat seating on their 737-10's and use these aircraft on coast to coast routes and in economy return economy plus to 36 inches seat pitch and economy to 32 inches. I know the bean counters heads will explode because they only understand more seats equals more money but UA has an opportunity with the 737-10's to do something different I hope they won't waist it. I also hope UA will upgrade the onboard passenger experience offer free hot meals in economy plus on all coast to coast flights, put the pillows and blankets back in first class. Small changes like these can go a long way.
 
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Jamake1
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:04 pm

WWads wrote:
DL is just better than UA. It's not any one thing, although DL is definitely the more reliable airline, which matters a lot.

Here's a list of things that jump out, some important, some minor, some barely worth mentioning, but all areas where UA lags behind:

-Many more RJs, including 50-seaters on 1000+ mile routes. DL's longest CRJ route is around 500 miles. For me, this consideration alone rules out UA. I'm not willing to put up with a 50-seater on a long route. Period. UA's mainline fleet is the smallest of the three, and their over-reliance on RJs isn't healthy IMO.
-DL has better on-board service and amenities, including free drinks in Comfort+ and pillows in FC. DL's FC meal windows are also more generous.
-Leaving out the two Polaris lounges, SkyClubs beat the crap out of UA Clubs. They have better food, are newer, and unlike UA, DL didn't rip all the showers out a few years ago. It's insane to me that none of the UA Clubs at IAD have showers.
-DL has better hubs. Now this is a topic of much debate, since UA's hubs tend to be in larger cities than DL's, but ORD is always a disaster waiting to happen, SFO has low-ceiling GDPs pretty much every day, and EWR...well we need not go into details on that one.
-UA's FAs are just bad. The PMCO crews are Ok, but the LUA FAs tend to be terrible. DL's FAs aren't always amazing, but on average they are simply better.
-UA's business class product lags far behind DL. The Polaris seats are nothing to write home about, and won't be fully rolled out until God knows when. Meanwhile there are still dozens of aircraft with 2x4x2 seating in J. That's not acceptable, and it's quite obvious why UA puts them all at their fortress hubs (*cough* IAD *cough*).
-DL's elite program is more generous, and while DL invented FCM, I think they've found a good middle ground between increasing profit and keeping elites happy. Meanwhile UA brazenly hawks cash upgrades at the gate, a practice that should offend UA elites everywhere (especially 1Ks).
-UA customer service still lags far behind, despite some recent improvements. DL's phone CS has actually degraded somewhat, but DL's SC agents are amazing during IRROPS, and treat their elites well. UA still seems to think that the customer is the enemy.
-UA's Y seats are universally terrible. I can't remember the brands, but UA managed to pick the most miserable slimline seat possible, while DL's are actually quite nice, especially on the Airbuses. DL also tends to have more pitch in Y than UA.
-DL has free seatback IFE on nearly every aircraft except for the RJs, and the MDs/717s. UA's domestic fleet lacks on-demand IFE, and charges for DTV.

All things considered, DL is just a better airline. They're not infallible and they're not perfect (SkyTeam sucks vs Star Alliance), but there's a reason why DL is more profitable than UA, and has a better reputation among the public. On an average day, DL just works. On the average day, UA often struggles to meet that basic standard.


This is an honest assessment and well-thought-out post. As a company employee, it is PAINFUL to read because the truth pierces deeply. The first thing that UA Management must do is to acknowledge the truth and come out of denial. For nearly eight years I've listened to the conference calls with industry analysts (or read call transcripts) only to hear the UA Management team continually make excuses for the company's lagging performance...or hear reassurances to analysts that they are on the verge of unlocking United's full potential. The reality is, is that United continues to sputter relative to its network peers. Delta knows how to execute. United does not. As an employee, the current state of affairs is difficult NOT to internalize. All I can do is to speak MY truth and call the best from within myself each time I go to work. I appreciate your honest assessment...
Come fly the sun.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:17 pm

So much denial... Skip the Levine article and look to the JD Power survey out just last week, with ratings in the seven categories (plus overall).

http://www.jdpower.com/ratings/study/No ... rrier/1269

UA didn't do well in any category. Delta's best ranking - and the only category where it beat Alaska - was in Service Experience. JD Power's definition: 'This score is based on how passengers rate the variety of in-flight entertainment available, variety of food and beverage, availability of in-flight services and quality of in-flight services provided.' You can't win that with a smile: UA is going to need to assess entertainment/AVOD investments and spend some money on food.
 
DualQual
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:17 pm

727200 wrote:
Get rid of co and all their employee's. Since they have infected UA, its been all down hill under their direction. Reality is Kirby is at least an airline guy who understands the day to day operation. Unfortunately, the co group knows only how to run small planes to serve 'Duck Dynasty' passengers. Until UA goes back to serving the business customer, who pays the bills, and stops chasing the leisure market, the nightmare wont end.


You are the northern side of a southern bound equine.
There's no known cure for stupid
 
jetero
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:19 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
So much denial... Skip the Levine article and look to the JD Power survey out just last week, with ratings in the seven categories (plus overall).

http://www.jdpower.com/ratings/study/No ... rrier/1269

UA didn't do well in any category. Delta's best ranking - and the only category where it beat Alaska - was in Service Experience. JD Power's definition: 'This score is based on how passengers rate the variety of in-flight entertainment available, variety of food and beverage, availability of in-flight services and quality of in-flight services provided.' You can't win that with a smile: UA is going to need to assess entertainment/AVOD investments and spend some money on food.


JD Power, Skytrax, and plenty of others are well known to be pay-to-play. I’m not saying this invalidates the rankings but this context is important.
 
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chepos
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:33 pm

Flew UA on a revenue ticket this past March, all flights on time, crew were OK. All in all they met my expectations. Not sure what this constant anti UA sentiment is all about.
Fly the Flag!!!!
 
727200
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:48 pm

DualQual wrote:
727200 wrote:
Get rid of co and all their employee's. Since they have infected UA, its been all down hill under their direction. Reality is Kirby is at least an airline guy who understands the day to day operation. Unfortunately, the co group knows only how to run small planes to serve 'Duck Dynasty' passengers. Until UA goes back to serving the business customer, who pays the bills, and stops chasing the leisure market, the nightmare wont end.


You are the northern side of a southern bound equine.



Typical response from individuals of your persuasion.
The reality is when you can't argue facts, you resort to name calling. How childish and immature on your part.

Facts are the co side has destroyed the UA franchise. From abandoning markets, driving away high yield customers, a 'D' grade management group or lack of, a 8 year merger that still is not complete, Oscar who might be a nice guy but has no idea what it takes to be a CEO let alone competing in the aviation industry, the list goes on and on.

After you have done some research and grown up, come back and we can discuss like adults.
 
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Alphazone
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:56 pm

N292UX wrote:
Maybe they could buy more narrowbody mainline jets instead of flying the E170/5 on routes like ORD-LGA/BOS/DCA and IAH-LGA/DCA/DFW/PHL.


Those aircraft are more comfortable than 757, 737, A320 series. Can you clarify what you mean?

If I have to add two cents, I'd point out on-time ratio.
Spirit of the Northwest People
 
IAHWorldflyer
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:03 pm

As a person who flys UA regularly, but also flies DL and a whole range of foreign carriers, I think the main problem that UA has today is a lack of consistency in service interactions with customers. The flight crews' attitudes have improved a lot under Munoz, but I still get some with attitude. It's also terrible that a huge airline will schedule crews who do not speak Spanish on flights from IAH to Mexico. Can you imagine NH or JL having only Japanese speakers aboard a flight to the US?
Then there's the offshore customer service call centers that all but the highest elites get to put up with. And then at many of the medium to small out stations, UA has sub-contracted the gate agent positions out, and my encounters with many of these people lead me to believe that I know more about the UA network than they do.
When I've flown DL, all my interactions with employees have been pleasant and professional. There's obviously some type of internal training going on at DL that makes the customer feel valued. This is an area that UA management needs to spend more time on.
I don't really have a problem with the hard product on the planes. UA has brought back handing out snacks, which is a step in the right direction. The E+ seating areas are large and you can almost always get a seat in that zone.The Direct TV on the sCO planes I never see anyone use, so I don't think IFE domestically is a make or break proposition. UA's route network is extremely good across the Atlantic and Pacific, and they work well with some Star partners.
In the end, UA needs to focus resources on people, and get the training and professionalism up a notch.
 
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Jamake1
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:04 pm

chepos wrote:
Not sure what this constant anti UA sentiment is all about.


Delta earned $676 million in 1Q2018. United earned $147 million in 1Q2018. The sentiment is about UA's lagging performance across multiple metrics. The gap between DL's performance and UA's performance isn't narrowing.
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