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dmstorm22
Posts: 623
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:49 pm

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:11 pm

ua900 wrote:
As a 1K, I sometimes wonder about why someone without status would choose UA. If I don't have status anywhere, why not fly Delta Comfort and get free booze if I'm already paying extra for E+? Even Basic Economy passengers get a sleep kit on Delta Region 2 equivalent flights. UA doesn't even provide that for E+, let alone Basic Economy.


This is such a perfect question. Every CXO at United should ask this and come up with answers.

I too am a 1k. I chose UA purely out of convenience (EWR was the easiest airport to get to from Hoboken, NJ - now moved to Manhattan and is still easy enough that I've stuck with UA). It was a choice out of convenience 100%. I flew enough to get to Platinum in my first year flying a lot, and haven't looked back.

But I do ask myself, what about UA would I recommend if you strip away status (to be fair, I think UA does a really good job with MP and treating FFs well).

Here's a few:
1.) MileagePlus as a program is excellent, with good partners offering a lot of options for redeeming miles (connect this to the UA Explorer Card if you want)
2.) They have great connectivity out of premier markets (it should mean something to have large ops in all the largest US metro areas)
3.) Honestly, that is it

I honestly think what UA needs to do a better job of is showcasing the few places they have a good standing on. They have a lot of new widebodies with the B78X and 77Ws; rotate them around a bit more; let all the hubs see these planes. Having zero B78X service out of EWR has been disappointing. Same with Polaris - the lounge at EWR is truly excellent, but basically a negligible number of non-FFs or rather 'common flyers' will get to experience it at all. Even if it is a one-day pass or something, get more people in there ONE TIME, and see if that can snag a few common travelers.

Anyway, I love the question of why would anyone pick UA if status was not an issue. There need to be more answers.
 
VC10er
Posts: 4283
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:25 am

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:59 pm

I think that a 1 time pass to every 1k and Platinum as well as 1 time pass to paid domestic F fliers to SEE Polaris- or at least offer a tour. Pictures are nice but it is so impressive, unexpected from UA they would or could increase their pool of international premium fliers.
EWR will get the 78J and already has a few 77Ws. Aside from EWR and SFO, I feel worse for ORD who seem to have neither and it will be some time before true Polaris 772s get to ORD, once an airport that saw many 747s.
I think every loyal United premier flier with status etc would indeed say good things about UA. Heck, they would not be 1k otherwise unless forced by their employers. I find MP remarkable although it was even more generous once upon a time. Recently I booked a business class trip to Rio RT for only 120,000!
I bought an F ticket on p.s. to SFO and got 17,000 miles for it (not counting the 2 miles per $ with my Explorer card) so one can really rack up the miles fast; that would probably make my one trip out west 39,000 miles!
The problem is the BACK of the bus! Those Economy fliers are the ones who feel none of what we do, yet are the most vocal.
I’m no CFO, but I have managed clients all my life. You invest in your customers and they will give you their loyalty in return.
If UA FAs came down the aisles with a basket of eyeshades and ear plugs, maybe the mini toothbrush too and offered them to all who want them (which would be everyone), a basket of hard candies and mints like Legacy UA did 25+ years ago and give everyone something like a small bag of crunchy stuff (which they were doing- are they still?), the return in of investment could be enormous.
One idea that could cost them nothing: big food companies could provide free mini packs of new products they wish to promote or test. Kraft or Frito Lay or Hershey etc could easily make minis to give to UA to hand out. In return UA could report on customer response to a new Milano cookie flavor or chips or healthy snacks so easily. What is flying out of the basket what isn’t. Simple as that.
In the eyes of folks in Economy, United is handing out something to go with that illy coffee or Diet Coke. Win-Win!
I bet an airline wastes a million a day on “stuff” that could be turned into customer satisfaction.
And give us back our combs in Polaris so I don’t have to deplane in Geneva with hair that looks like Divine!
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
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ua900
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:31 am

dmstorm22 wrote:
There need to be more answers.


If DL and AA are any guide, the answer might well be more reasonable upsell in the cabin, maybe that's what products like premium economy will be. Elites still get comped E+, but PE will be sold off more. They already do a good job with that on the ground through security lanes, UA club day passes and group 2 boarding.

VC10er wrote:
I think that a 1 time pass to every 1k and Platinum as well as 1 time pass to paid domestic F fliers to SEE Polaris- or at least offer a tour. Pictures are nice but it is so impressive, unexpected from UA they would or could increase their pool of international premium fliers.
EWR will get the 78J and already has a few 77Ws. Aside from EWR and SFO, I feel worse for ORD who seem to have neither and it will be some time before true Polaris 772s get to ORD, once an airport that saw many 747s.
I think every loyal United premier flier with status etc would indeed say good things about UA. Heck, they would not be 1k otherwise unless forced by their employers. I find MP remarkable although it was even more generous once upon a time. Recently I booked a business class trip to Rio RT for only 120,000!
I bought an F ticket on p.s. to SFO and got 17,000 miles for it (not counting the 2 miles per $ with my Explorer card) so one can really rack up the miles fast; that would probably make my one trip out west 39,000 miles!
The problem is the BACK of the bus! Those Economy fliers are the ones who feel none of what we do, yet are the most vocal.
I’m no CFO, but I have managed clients all my life. You invest in your customers and they will give you their loyalty in return.
If UA FAs came down the aisles with a basket of eyeshades and ear plugs, maybe the mini toothbrush too and offered them to all who want them (which would be everyone), a basket of hard candies and mints like Legacy UA did 25+ years ago and give everyone something like a small bag of crunchy stuff (which they were doing- are they still?), the return in of investment could be enormous.
One idea that could cost them nothing: big food companies could provide free mini packs of new products they wish to promote or test. Kraft or Frito Lay or Hershey etc could easily make minis to give to UA to hand out. In return UA could report on customer response to a new Milano cookie flavor or chips or healthy snacks so easily. What is flying out of the basket what isn’t. Simple as that.
In the eyes of folks in Economy, United is handing out something to go with that illy coffee or Diet Coke. Win-Win!
I bet an airline wastes a million a day on “stuff” that could be turned into customer satisfaction.
And give us back our combs in Polaris so I don’t have to deplane in Geneva with hair that looks like Divine!


We already get the GPUs as one time pass to see Polaris on the ground in person, no? I actually liked Polaris a lot more flying the 77W and the first converted 763 (out of HAM of all places), but the tiny cutbacks and slow cabin rollouts have chipped away on that pristine new start. You should get the select card, 3 miles per dollar, and watch the miles rack up even faster. My EWR routes tend to be 767s to Europe (a ton of -400 flights with the famous two bathrooms in the back near the rope to economy). They don't even bother stocking the lavs with cowshed half the time. I haven't worked for any company that refuses UA bookings, but met plenty of people who will go out of their way to book something else. What really defines my loyalty to UA is excellent irrops handling for elites, along with a fair amount of consistency over the years. It's not so much stellar service, but rather the many great micro moments. It does feel like half of them happened on 747s though :-), so I don't think the next generation of elite customers would have that.

Your idea of the mini products is spot on. Win win for both sides and a really nice touch for the customer. It's like when LH Group flights pass out the little chocolate / snack bars on really short flights. The FAs always give me tons of chocolate for my daughters and they always get inundated with cheap toys and coloring books. LH Group also has some nice Jet Friends amenity kits in business, and if you fly first with the little ones they get the whole collection in a single trip. To this day they nag me about flying LH, OS and LX. They very much appreciate the beds and the sundaes on UA too, but they always remember the cheap little tchotchkes from LH Group. Much like some of us remember cheap plastic combs, bloody mary and minosa carts, or even wine flights :-)
2020: AMS | ATL | BRU | DAL | DEN | DFW | EWR | FRA | GUA | IAH | LAX | LIM | MCO | MUC | ORD | PTY | SAL | SCL | SFO | TPA | TXL
 
VC10er
Posts: 4283
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:25 am

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:39 am

ua900 wrote:
dmstorm22 wrote:
There need to be more answers.


If DL and AA are any guide, the answer might well be more reasonable upsell in the cabin, maybe that's what products like premium economy will be. Elites still get comped E+, but PE will be sold off more. They already do a good job with that on the ground through security lanes, UA club day passes and group 2 boarding.

VC10er wrote:
I think that a 1 time pass to every 1k and Platinum as well as 1 time pass to paid domestic F fliers to SEE Polaris- or at least offer a tour. Pictures are nice but it is so impressive, unexpected from UA they would or could increase their pool of international premium fliers.
EWR will get the 78J and already has a few 77Ws. Aside from EWR and SFO, I feel worse for ORD who seem to have neither and it will be some time before true Polaris 772s get to ORD, once an airport that saw many 747s.
I think every loyal United premier flier with status etc would indeed say good things about UA. Heck, they would not be 1k otherwise unless forced by their employers. I find MP remarkable although it was even more generous once upon a time. Recently I booked a business class trip to Rio RT for only 120,000!
I bought an F ticket on p.s. to SFO and got 17,000 miles for it (not counting the 2 miles per $ with my Explorer card) so one can really rack up the miles fast; that would probably make my one trip out west 39,000 miles!
The problem is the BACK of the bus! Those Economy fliers are the ones who feel none of what we do, yet are the most vocal.
I’m no CFO, but I have managed clients all my life. You invest in your customers and they will give you their loyalty in return.
If UA FAs came down the aisles with a basket of eyeshades and ear plugs, maybe the mini toothbrush too and offered them to all who want them (which would be everyone), a basket of hard candies and mints like Legacy UA did 25+ years ago and give everyone something like a small bag of crunchy stuff (which they were doing- are they still?), the return in of investment could be enormous.
One idea that could cost them nothing: big food companies could provide free mini packs of new products they wish to promote or test. Kraft or Frito Lay or Hershey etc could easily make minis to give to UA to hand out. In return UA could report on customer response to a new Milano cookie flavor or chips or healthy snacks so easily. What is flying out of the basket what isn’t. Simple as that.
In the eyes of folks in Economy, United is handing out something to go with that illy coffee or Diet Coke. Win-Win!
I bet an airline wastes a million a day on “stuff” that could be turned into customer satisfaction.
And give us back our combs in Polaris so I don’t have to deplane in Geneva with hair that looks like Divine!


We already get the GPUs as one time pass to see Polaris on the ground in person, no? I actually liked Polaris a lot more flying the 77W and the first converted 763 (out of HAM of all places), but the tiny cutbacks and slow cabin rollouts have chipped away on that pristine new start. You should get the select card, 3 miles per dollar, and watch the miles rack up even faster. My EWR routes tend to be 767s to Europe (a ton of -400 flights with the famous two bathrooms in the back near the rope to economy). They don't even bother stocking the lavs with cowshed half the time. I haven't worked for any company that refuses UA bookings, but met plenty of people who will go out of their way to book something else. What really defines my loyalty to UA is excellent irrops handling for elites, along with a fair amount of consistency over the years. It's not so much stellar service, but rather the many great micro moments. It does feel like half of them happened on 747s though :-), so I don't think the next generation of elite customers would have that.

Your idea of the mini products is spot on. Win win for both sides and a really nice touch for the customer. It's like when LH Group flights pass out the little chocolate / snack bars on really short flights. The FAs always give me tons of chocolate for my daughters and they always get inundated with cheap toys and coloring books. LH Group also has some nice Jet Friends amenity kits in business, and if you fly first with the little ones they get the whole collection in a single trip. To this day they nag me about flying LH, OS and LX. They very much appreciate the beds and the sundaes on UA too, but they always remember the cheap little tchotchkes from LH Group. Much like some of us remember cheap plastic combs, bloody mary and minosa carts, or even wine flights :-)


Hey ua900,

I just wrote a long (long!) note to Oscar Munoz detailing every item (by numbers bullet points) every tiny thing they have removed. I said that those of us who are 1k and/or GS are folks that have done way more than just paid UA a lot of very profitable fares but we have shown our loyalty by excusing the past screw-ups all with the hope United will finally one day realize it’s full potential.

I sent it via email to Oscar’s public email address in the morning. About 3pm the same day I got a phone call from a woman claiming to work for Oscar personally and she was so appreciative of the note and she asked me to walk her through each thing were I felt nicked and dimed on a $7000 ticket.

I said basically that “Oscar would know even better than I, that ‘United cannot cut its way to success’ especially when the teeny-weeny cuts impacts their highly coveted premium, super loyal fliers who basically live up front in a United tube. WE SEE AND KNOW EVERYTHING- AND WE KNOW EVERY UNITED DETAIL” - (Delta or AA would love to get us- so when you stop printing rubber treads on the 40 cent pair of socks- we see it and while someone may think ‘nobody will care or even notice- wrong!’ That while they may have saved 9 cents a pair the negative impact to our brand perception of the United and Polaris sub-brand is disproportionately huge...it is penny wise and pound foolish”

This lady was really lovely and extremely and sincerely (I think) engaged in our conversation, she spent a lot of time with me. She said she and Oscar were bent on getting into every point I made and they will investigate each one. She offered me miles but I declined them- I said, I didn’t write to score some miles, I wrote because I want you to fix it. That this petty downgrading in Polaris is unacceptable and will only feed into the narrative of UA being far behind all the other airlines, when they aren’t and don’t have to be. Their reputation is theirs to control.

Clearly when United wants to, they have the resources and style to create something great- EWR Polaris Lounge is one example. But we all fear it won’t last.

Also, I think only GS get to see Polaris Lounge once. But I’m not sure about that. The invite to go before the Lounge opened was the one shot we had to experience it without holding a Polaris international ticket. They are being very, very strict about this.

Good luck. And one day if I get the chance I’ll check out the AMEX Centurion Lounge, I have that metal platinum card, but there is never a Lounge where ever I am. I know Miami has one but it’s far from the UA Gates. I’m going to Miami this weekend, perhaps I’ll try and go early to MIA and check it out?

As for your kids: I will NEVER forget the Pilot’s wings and Lego kits I got on PanAm when I was a kid. I’m almost certain they would have had me for life if they were still here! I’m sure your kids won’t forget LH when they are all grown up!

Cheers!
R
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 8791
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:14 pm

VC10er wrote:
WE SEE AND KNOW EVERYTHING- AND WE KNOW EVERY UNITED DETAIL”



I'll argue against that. IMHO, it's a conceit perpetuated by a few dozen (hundred?) people on a.net and FlyerTalk. Even among those hundreds there are Diamonds who can't use a lounge locator guide, or who can't use a baggage allowance matrix, or outline the basic elements for earning miles on partner carriers (or have the sense and courtesy to check their line of thinking before they answer somebody's question incorrectly). They know a very small fraction of what they think they know.

There's also the Freudian narcissism of small differences: Does it really matter what mainstream brand of coffee United uses, brewed as it is with tank water and left to sit for hours? Many differences (while they can be observed or quantified) are really immaterial. Lots of people really show an insufferable resistance to change. Think of all the threads about liveries in this forum - not just the ongoing argument about the CO-origin globe... it's just paint. If you can recognize carrier XX from carrier YY, it has done its job.
 
VC10er
Posts: 4283
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:25 am

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:28 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
VC10er wrote:
WE SEE AND KNOW EVERYTHING- AND WE KNOW EVERY UNITED DETAIL”



I'll argue against that. IMHO, it's a conceit perpetuated by a few dozen (hundred?) people on a.net and FlyerTalk. Even among those hundreds there are Diamonds who can't use a lounge locator guide, or who can't use a baggage allowance matrix, or outline the basic elements for earning miles on partner carriers (or have the sense and courtesy to check their line of thinking before they answer somebody's question incorrectly). They know a very small fraction of what they think they know.

There's also the Freudian narcissism of small differences: Does it really matter what mainstream brand of coffee United uses, brewed as it is with tank water and left to sit for hours? Many differences (while they can be observed or quantified) are really immaterial. Lots of people really show an insufferable resistance to change. Think of all the threads about liveries in this forum - not just the ongoing argument about the CO-origin globe... it's just paint. If you can recognize carrier XX from carrier YY, it has done its job.


Ok: I notice every frickin detail because 1: I have almost 3 million miles in a United seat, and 2: I am a designer by education and trade and in the branding business for over 30 years. I’m not a snob or conceited or narcissistic, but I’m damn good at my job. Frankly at most other things in life: I suck. Nor am I someone out seeking attention. But I am aware VERY AWARE of “details”- United or otherwise. It’s how I’m programmed. Please don’t try and shrink me via a post.

Also, I think that I am right that “many” folks who have spent a lot of time and money on an airline do and will notice change- both good and bad. It’s why someone selects one airline over another and Freud never covered branding (as far as I know) and how it can influence thinking and human behavior. Although there are plenty of excellent professionals who do study psychographics which helps informing us creatives to create brand preference. Liveries are just one expression.

Branding, the visual and verbal expression of brand behavior must consider the macro to micro is critical for building brand differentiation, relevance and esteem.

The fact that so many here are SO PASSIONATE about it is only proof that people thoroughly enjoy the debate.
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
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ua900
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Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:14 am

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:19 am

VC10er wrote:
Hey ua900,

I just wrote a long (long!) note to Oscar Munoz detailing every item (by numbers bullet points) every tiny thing they have removed. I said that those of us who are 1k and/or GS are folks that have done way more than just paid UA a lot of very profitable fares but we have shown our loyalty by excusing the past screw-ups all with the hope United will finally one day realize it’s full potential.

I sent it via email to Oscar’s public email address in the morning. About 3pm the same day I got a phone call from a woman claiming to work for Oscar personally and she was so appreciative of the note and she asked me to walk her through each thing were I felt nicked and dimed on a $7000 ticket.

I said basically that “Oscar would know even better than I, that ‘United cannot cut its way to success’ especially when the teeny-weeny cuts impacts their highly coveted premium, super loyal fliers who basically live up front in a United tube. WE SEE AND KNOW EVERYTHING- AND WE KNOW EVERY UNITED DETAIL” - (Delta or AA would love to get us- so when you stop printing rubber treads on the 40 cent pair of socks- we see it and while someone may think ‘nobody will care or even notice- wrong!’ That while they may have saved 9 cents a pair the negative impact to our brand perception of the United and Polaris sub-brand is disproportionately huge...it is penny wise and pound foolish”

This lady was really lovely and extremely and sincerely (I think) engaged in our conversation, she spent a lot of time with me. She said she and Oscar were bent on getting into every point I made and they will investigate each one. She offered me miles but I declined them- I said, I didn’t write to score some miles, I wrote because I want you to fix it. That this petty downgrading in Polaris is unacceptable and will only feed into the narrative of UA being far behind all the other airlines, when they aren’t and don’t have to be. Their reputation is theirs to control.

Clearly when United wants to, they have the resources and style to create something great- EWR Polaris Lounge is one example. But we all fear it won’t last.

Also, I think only GS get to see Polaris Lounge once. But I’m not sure about that. The invite to go before the Lounge opened was the one shot we had to experience it without holding a Polaris international ticket. They are being very, very strict about this.

Good luck. And one day if I get the chance I’ll check out the AMEX Centurion Lounge, I have that metal platinum card, but there is never a Lounge where ever I am. I know Miami has one but it’s far from the UA Gates. I’m going to Miami this weekend, perhaps I’ll try and go early to MIA and check it out?

As for your kids: I will NEVER forget the Pilot’s wings and Lego kits I got on PanAm when I was a kid. I’m almost certain they would have had me for life if they were still here! I’m sure your kids won’t forget LH when they are all grown up!

Cheers!
R


VC10er,

Glad UA is listening. I always get canned statements from UA 1K desk, but let's see. I tend to fly the same routes over and over again for about two months, so that may not be enough time for them to make changes. I'll revisit some next summer season and positive changes could be there by then. Oscar does strike me as proactive once he is fully informed of things, you, I and others probably do over time. UA can close that gap. Did you check out Centurion at MIA? If so, did you find it comparable to UA Polaris at EWR?

@ kids wings - I got the plastic ones from UA for my kids, but gave them the six diamond wings instead to make sure that the memory sticks :-) And I still have my old metal wings from back when I was kid, along with a deck of cards. I make a point of playing cards with the older one while flying. F/As come by all the time to reminisce and share their stories as a result. Sometimes the UA F/As look at the Jet Friends stuff and are like "let's say something to United, we should carry that too". So sometimes it's more than one voice driving the point. To me, United will always be the carrier of choice, just because I have enough memories to practically be like a company retiree/employee.

MIflyer12 wrote:
VC10er wrote:
WE SEE AND KNOW EVERYTHING- AND WE KNOW EVERY UNITED DETAIL”

I'll argue against that. IMHO, it's a conceit perpetuated by a few dozen (hundred?) people on a.net and FlyerTalk. Even among those hundreds there are Diamonds who can't use a lounge locator guide, or who can't use a baggage allowance matrix, or outline the basic elements for earning miles on partner carriers (or have the sense and courtesy to check their line of thinking before they answer somebody's question incorrectly). They know a very small fraction of what they think they know.

There's also the Freudian narcissism of small differences: Does it really matter what mainstream brand of coffee United uses, brewed as it is with tank water and left to sit for hours? Many differences (while they can be observed or quantified) are really immaterial. Lots of people really show an insufferable resistance to change. Think of all the threads about liveries in this forum - not just the ongoing argument about the CO-origin globe... it's just paint. If you can recognize carrier XX from carrier YY, it has done its job.


F/As that have seen me more than once sometimes joke that I fly more than them. While that's undoubtedly not the case, some of us do notice tiny changes, often because we find them pleasant and appreciate them. So then there's a lot of disappointment if UA back paddles. Don't worry about Starbucks vs. Fresh Poo vs. Illy, you're absolutely right. I don;t like over roasted coffee for example, so I carry my own tea and coffee. F/As almost always get annoyed because they have to go back to the galley for hot water, but that's fairly easy when you don't like the company default. Good coffee would still be a benefit, but maybe offering a basket of premium instant coffee is too tough for UA to figure out.

As for liveries and bringing together companies, one could have chosen to accentuate the commonalities. Both companies had logos designed by Saul Bass, you had lots of impressive historic people there like Walter Varney or Robert Six. A sense of history and a sense of style is a good thing. You brush over Lorenzo or Smisek, even Tilton, and instead focus on a strong vision and a brand that will make people want to fly. Boring battleship grey or the current blue tones aren't it. I would look more towards the Friendship or the Blue Tulip livery, even without the tulip, just look at the different shades of blue that imitate the different tones you can see in the sky or the classic Red, White and Blue befitting any American carrier. Sometimes I get the impression that people care more about easy display on an app or a mobile site than about telling the powerful and wonderful story that can be told about both United and Continental. Look at the retro planes, awesome design work for both of them.

VC10er wrote:
Ok: I notice every frickin detail because 1: I have almost 3 million miles in a United seat, and 2: I am a designer by education and trade and in the branding business for over 30 years. I’m not a snob or conceited or narcissistic, but I’m damn good at my job. Frankly at most other things in life: I suck. Nor am I someone out seeking attention. But I am aware VERY AWARE of “details”- United or otherwise. It’s how I’m programmed. Please don’t try and shrink me via a post.

Also, I think that I am right that “many” folks who have spent a lot of time and money on an airline do and will notice change- both good and bad. It’s why someone selects one airline over another and Freud never covered branding (as far as I know) and how it can influence thinking and human behavior. Although there are plenty of excellent professionals who do study psychographics which helps informing us creatives to create brand preference. Liveries are just one expression.

Branding, the visual and verbal expression of brand behavior must consider the macro to micro is critical for building brand differentiation, relevance and esteem.

The fact that so many here are SO PASSIONATE about it is only proof that people thoroughly enjoy the debate.


That's exactly right, we care because many of us consider themselves part of United's extended family. For those of us who have flown them for more than decade as paying customers, we have stuck with UA through 9/11 and many other downs, and have thoroughly enjoyed the ups, like the "United Rising" campaign. Many of us think automatically of UA whenever Rhapsody in Blue is played. Branding can be very powerful in creating positive memories and help drive present and future spend for years to come.
2020: AMS | ATL | BRU | DAL | DEN | DFW | EWR | FRA | GUA | IAH | LAX | LIM | MCO | MUC | ORD | PTY | SAL | SCL | SFO | TPA | TXL
 
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Pellegrine
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:11 am

A hub in the southwest. At least a small one. No, Houston isn't Southwest United States.
We fly JETS, we don't fly donkeys. Citizenship/Residence::: Washington DC, US; Vaud, CH; Providenciales, TCI (hence my avi)
 
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spinotter
Posts: 819
Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 1:37 am

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:07 am

Pellegrine wrote:
A hub in the southwest. At least a small one. No, Houston isn't Southwest United States.


No, but neither is SLC. Are you saying that only AA possesses this valuable real estate? For me LAX does not count, although it is obviously in the southwest geographically, because all three majors are strong there.
 
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Pellegrine
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Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:30 am

spinotter wrote:
Pellegrine wrote:
A hub in the southwest. At least a small one. No, Houston isn't Southwest United States.


No, but neither is SLC. Are you saying that only AA possesses this valuable real estate? For me LAX does not count, although it is obviously in the southwest geographically, because all three majors are strong there.


Simply selfish reasons. I switched from *A (for the most part) to OW after AA bought US. I do a lot of Washington DC-SE US flying (Georgia, Florida).
We fly JETS, we don't fly donkeys. Citizenship/Residence::: Washington DC, US; Vaud, CH; Providenciales, TCI (hence my avi)
 
77H
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:27 pm

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:42 pm

Jamake1 wrote:
jayunited wrote:

I think the HD 772s will remain on EWR-DUB/BCN/MAD routes during the busy summer travel season for the next few years. Right now UA has at least 3-4 77Es out of service in either HKG or XMN for schedule maintenance or Polaris installation. That combined with the fact that UA is filling up those HD 772s, when adjusted for crew rest there is nothing in our fleet that can accommodate 356 passengers except for the 77W. I know when UA came up with the idea of the HD 772s they were not supposed to be used on TATL routes just hub to hub, Hawaii and at the time GUM-NRT routes, but times have changed and with so few wide bodies available do to the increase Polaris installation schedule the HD 772 were the only option. I hope once Polaris installation is complete UA will do something with these HD 772s because the 2-4-4 business class set up can not remain and those aircraft really do need more that just WiFi PDE entertainment they need seat back PTV's especially if they are going to continue to deploy these HD 772s on certain TATL routes during the busy summer season. But I think until the entire international wide body fleet has been Polarized those HD 772s will continue to make an appearance on these routes because the demand is there and we don't have enough aircraft to run daily double 1x 763 and 1x 757 on these routes to accommodate the demand.


Summer flying to these European cities is highly sought after by UA crews, but with the HD 777 (77G, 77M) deployed on these routes, flight attendants are dropping and trading out of these trips left and right because nobody wants to work that airplane. It's a miserable experience across the board. I believe EWR-LIS has been seeing this aircraft too. Ugh.


I’m certainly in the minority here but I don’t find the 772HD to be bad at all. My home airport is HNL which sees upwards of 9 daily 772HD flights daily. While not as comfortable as the previous 344 seat 2-5-2 config I haven’t had a bad experience yet. My only qualms are the flight attendant call button placement and the fact that the seats in the rear don’t run flush against the sidewalls. Still beats those garbage 739ERs UA insists on flying to HNL.

77H
 
sshank
Posts: 297
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2004 2:58 am

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:01 pm

VC10er wrote:
The primary complaint I hear from my friends in SF (and I have a large group of friends in SF) is that the new slimline seats are very uncomfortable, especially if they need to fly from SFO on a 737 or 757-300 for many hours. All of them buy up to E+ but still the same slimline. Does Delta and AA have a much better economy seat than UA?
They don’t complain about surly FAs or no meals and all of them use their iPads etc for IFE or work. They complain about their backs and butts!


12 year 1K here. Of all the changes, this to me is the most aggravating. The UA slimlines have extremely short seat pan (seat depth), which is what they had to do to give the perception of leg room. This makes for very uncomfortable travel on anything more than two hours. Thankfully most of my travel in international and upfront; but when its domestic its a painful experience. I try to do my best to avoid UA slimlines where I can.
 
Freshside3
Posts: 1591
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:11 am

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:12 pm

1. Make sure the entertainment system works.....and the wi-fi, too.
2. Fight back, and not retreat. Example: SEA...….DL has gotten bigger there, and UA has scaled back.
3. Stop doing "bonehead" routes. Was there ever a market for SFO-HGH? (To cite an example). There were a lot of other routes that deserved service, before this turkey.
4. Boldly do some non-hub international flights. DL has been successful with PIT-CDG. UA needs to do similar types of flights.
5. Replace RJs with regular planes, in the major business markets(i.e. ORD to the top East Coast markets).
6. Be consistent with drink service on international flights......some people got free alcohol in coach, and others don't...what is the policy??
7. Aisles on Polaris are too narrow......neither passengers nor crew like being cramped.
8. A southern hub, east of IAH......BNA, or MSY, perhaps?
 
winginit
Posts: 3064
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:23 pm

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:23 pm

Freshside3 wrote:
1. Make sure the entertainment system works.....and the wi-fi, too.


Agreed.


Freshside3 wrote:
2. Fight back, and not retreat. Example: SEA...….DL has gotten bigger there, and UA has scaled back.


That sounds like a great way to lose money. SEA is already becoming a bloodbath as DL and AS duke it out - why on earth would UA throw their hat in the ring when there are more profitable uses for their capital?

Freshside3 wrote:
3. Stop doing "bonehead" routes. Was there ever a market for SFO-HGH? (To cite an example). There were a lot of other routes that deserved service, before this turkey.


What? SFOHGH is highly subsidized by the HGH airport to the point where profitability is likely guaranteed. Sounds like a great use for capital.


Freshside3 wrote:
4. Boldly do some non-hub international flights. DL has been successful with PIT-CDG. UA needs to do similar types of flights.


Like what? Again, sounds like a way to lose money


Freshside3 wrote:
5. Replace RJs with regular planes, in the major business markets(i.e. ORD to the top East Coast markets).


Now we're talking. Love DL's decision to sacrifice the shuttle brand on the West Coast in favor of, for example, all mainline between LAX and SFO/SEA


Freshside3 wrote:
6. Be consistent with drink service on international flights......some people got free alcohol in coach, and others don't...what is the policy??


Agreed.

Freshside3 wrote:
7. Aisles on Polaris are too narrow......neither passengers nor crew like being cramped.


I don't think that's unique to UA or Polaris. DL's new A359 config has a horribly narrow aisle - I'd argue it's the new standard in the trade off for a wider J product - you can't have it both ways

Freshside3 wrote:
8. A southern hub, east of IAH......BNA, or MSY, perhaps?


What could BNA or MSY do that IAH can't?
 
gwrudolph
Posts: 442
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:46 pm

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:09 pm

77H wrote:
Jamake1 wrote:
jayunited wrote:

I think the HD 772s will remain on EWR-DUB/BCN/MAD routes during the busy summer travel season for the next few years. Right now UA has at least 3-4 77Es out of service in either HKG or XMN for schedule maintenance or Polaris installation. That combined with the fact that UA is filling up those HD 772s, when adjusted for crew rest there is nothing in our fleet that can accommodate 356 passengers except for the 77W. I know when UA came up with the idea of the HD 772s they were not supposed to be used on TATL routes just hub to hub, Hawaii and at the time GUM-NRT routes, but times have changed and with so few wide bodies available do to the increase Polaris installation schedule the HD 772 were the only option. I hope once Polaris installation is complete UA will do something with these HD 772s because the 2-4-4 business class set up can not remain and those aircraft really do need more that just WiFi PDE entertainment they need seat back PTV's especially if they are going to continue to deploy these HD 772s on certain TATL routes during the busy summer season. But I think until the entire international wide body fleet has been Polarized those HD 772s will continue to make an appearance on these routes because the demand is there and we don't have enough aircraft to run daily double 1x 763 and 1x 757 on these routes to accommodate the demand.


Summer flying to these European cities is highly sought after by UA crews, but with the HD 777 (77G, 77M) deployed on these routes, flight attendants are dropping and trading out of these trips left and right because nobody wants to work that airplane. It's a miserable experience across the board. I believe EWR-LIS has been seeing this aircraft too. Ugh.


I’m certainly in the minority here but I don’t find the 772HD to be bad at all. My home airport is HNL which sees upwards of 9 daily 772HD flights daily. While not as comfortable as the previous 344 seat 2-5-2 config I haven’t had a bad experience yet. My only qualms are the flight attendant call button placement and the fact that the seats in the rear don’t run flush against the sidewalls. Still beats those garbage 739ERs UA insists on flying to HNL.

77H


I don't think they are bad either. Besides, isn't it the same seat that is on the rest of the fleet (and most of the fleets of every other airline). The FA call button is the only bad thing. Nothing like people accidentally hitting it and hearing it all night long
 
jagraham
Posts: 1153
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:10 pm

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:20 pm

WWads wrote:
kavok wrote:
One of DLs strengths is that, more so than UA/AA, they cater much better to the US midsize markets. UA/AA seem to put all their eggs in the NYC/LA/Chicago markets (plus a few hubs), and that’s it. DL does a better job recognizing there is money to be made outside the largest five or six US metros.

Further, DL network better aligns with the basic concept that people don’t want to connect in congested markets. Not to offend anyone in NYC, LAX, ORD, but pax not heading to those destinations don’t want to connect there. Connecting pax realize how busy the air traffic at these locations are, and thus they would much rather connect in a less congested location. DL does better in serving that need.


In this case, it wasn't any foresight or genius on DL's part. With how the US airline industry fell, DL ended up with most of its hubs in secondary cities. This forced it to better cater to outstations and smaller markets to make up for a lack of presence in markets like ORD and SFO. DL has grown a lot in NYC and LAX, but that's a more recent development. Being forced in this direction seems to have been beneficial to DL overall. Of the three, I think DL is best positioned to weather another downturn, while AA might be the most vulnerable.


90% of origins or destinations are from / to the top 10 metro areas. Of which AA has hubs in 7 and focus cities in 2. Houston is the only top ten metro area where AA does not have a significant presence. A downturn will not change this percentage significantly; from a seat-mile standpoint and RASM standpoint, AA will suffer proportionately. Not more, not less.

If AA has a problem, it will be with all those new jets it brought. Which it has to pay for whether they are parked, half full, or otherwise.
 
VC10er
Posts: 4283
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:25 am

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:15 am

I actually don’t mind the backwards/forwards J seat at all, except for the lack of storage and the center 4 seats (I wouldn’t want to be cramped in the middle 2) - that said, it is a remarkably comfortable bed and I’ve slept like the dead in it many times. I always bring a small drawstring bag with me filled with essentials (meds, phone, wallet) to keep by my side to overcome the lack of storage. I also have to admit I think they are attractive from an industrial design standpoint. I like the separator wall with the TVs and footrests.
Now, my one thing that I really think could leapfrog Delta for attracting high value PREMIUM travelers: simple, off the self bed seats on a sub-fleet of 737 MAXs in First Class that are dedicated to 4/5+ hour flights. Like EWR/San Diego/San José/ Mexican destinations and Hawaii, SFO to East Coast.
SO THAT: on United if you are going to fly someplace FAR, potentially overnight (not just major hub to hub/p.s.) United is ‘the’ Premium Business airline. Give out the mini Saks amenity pouch, enhanced food/snacks. Well designed power and storage.
If not beds, perhaps the new international Premium Economy Purple seat for First Class with the footrest etc.
United should become the airline all premium business travelers want to fly, because flying from Miami to SF for business on a 737-800 stinks even in F! And UA has forever had that mindset: focused on Premium and reward loyalty.
“Follow the money”
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
nmdrdh787
Posts: 185
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:39 am

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:33 am

Fix the culture. It is still toxic.
 
VC10er
Posts: 4283
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:25 am

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:29 am

nmdrdh787 wrote:
Fix the culture. It is still toxic.


Agreed! But, they can do both. One can help the other.
Don’t you think?
Fix internal relationships PLUS create a product/experience everyone can be proud of.
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
grbauc
Posts: 1469
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:05 pm

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:37 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.



Amen, Ive been preaching this for awhile now. AA UA are to stuck in there ways. AA needs a Focus City In Nothern CA or PNW asap. International is in the crapper and Domestic is the place so picking up some market share were connections are not always best and were WN has BUILD UP A HUGE business with Yes no junk fares but business fares. Learn are be doomed to the past. I think DP has done the unbelievable but its time for some new vision at AA.
 
User avatar
Jamake1
Posts: 1010
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 2:30 pm

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:59 am

VC10er wrote:
And UA has forever had that mindset: focused on Premium and reward loyalty.
“Follow the money”


That mindset did not survive the merger.
Come fly the sun.
 
jetero
Posts: 4673
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:45 am

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:41 am

grbauc wrote:
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.



Amen, Ive been preaching this for awhile now. AA UA are to stuck in there ways. AA needs a Focus City In Nothern CA or PNW asap. International is in the crapper and Domestic is the place so picking up some market share were connections are not always best and were WN has BUILD UP A HUGE business with Yes no junk fares but business fares. Learn are be doomed to the past. I think DP has done the unbelievable but its time for some new vision at AA.


UA can’t offer point to point service because it has the lowest market share at the vast majority of its large spokes. DL doesn’t. AA doesn’t. Any point to point by UA these days would fail miserably.

That’s not to say there’s not a lot of “natural” (to use the term) large enough spokes out there where UA should have a commanding market share and should have the flexibility to launch point to point. Haven’t looked at the numbers but SAT, MSY, ABQ, ELP, DSM, MKE, PDX, IND, CMH, SDF, and others come to mind. That said, unlike DL, from many of these cities, UA already serves the top markets nonstop, but with only 1 or 2 flights a day. It’s an issue of scale.
 
IPFreely
Posts: 2630
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:52 am

Closing the gap with DL is simple:

1. Stop flying to SIN.
2. Stop flying to HKG.
3. Drop partnership with ANA, find 3rd rate partner airline in Asia and turn over the majority of flying to them via connections instead of non-stop.
5. Drop partnership with LH, find European partner airline that goes on strike every month and force all Europe-bound passengers to connect via their hub.
7. Reduce flights in EWR, IAD, IAH, and DEN. Make up the difference by adding all flights to ORD.
8. Stop flying mainline to small and medium cities, find the lowest-cost and most unreliable regional carriers possible, and turn these routes over to them.
9. Reduce investment in IT infrastructure to zero.
10. Create ad campaigns touting 50 cancel free days (put in fine print mainline only, some flights completed on later days, certain flights excluded, and 50 days not in a row).

That should do it.
 
77H
Posts: 1571
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:27 pm

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:52 am

jetero wrote:
grbauc wrote:
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.



Amen, Ive been preaching this for awhile now. AA UA are to stuck in there ways. AA needs a Focus City In Nothern CA or PNW asap. International is in the crapper and Domestic is the place so picking up some market share were connections are not always best and were WN has BUILD UP A HUGE business with Yes no junk fares but business fares. Learn are be doomed to the past. I think DP has done the unbelievable but its time for some new vision at AA.


UA can’t offer point to point service because it has the lowest market share at the vast majority of its large spokes. DL doesn’t. AA doesn’t. Any point to point by UA these days would fail miserably.

That’s not to say there’s not a lot of “natural” (to use the term) large enough spokes out there where UA should have a commanding market share and should have the flexibility to launch point to point. Haven’t looked at the numbers but SAT, MSY, ABQ, ELP, DSM, MKE, PDX, IND, CMH, SDF, and others come to mind. That said, unlike DL, from many of these cities, UA already serves the top markets nonstop, but with only 1 or 2 flights a day. It’s an issue of scale.


If UA wanted to get into the point to point business the CS100 seems like the right aircraft for the job. Most of the cities you mention should be able to fill a ~100 seat aircraft. If UA were to order 75-100 economy of scale would lessen the financial impact of bringing on a new fleet type. It would also give them scope relief to add more 70/76 seaters. Additionally, with fuel going up it’s probably a better bet than adding old-gen 319/20 aircraft long term.
I see very few down sides to adding the CS100 for UA.

77H
 
jagraham
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Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:10 pm

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:26 am

Another thing to remember about the side effects of where UA is in their turnaround is that a significant factor in profitability is control of capex. When DL started the refurb craze some years back, it was a big deal when they got to $1 billion in refurb capex. Now they are north of $3 billion, I think? But their profitability drives their ability to spend that much.

A.net seems to like the Polaris seats in the planes that have them, and the Polaris lounges where they exist. So as they roll out, the high rollers should be more interested in flying UA. That investment will pay for itself quickly.

A tougher question is what to do for the back of the plane. Squish everybody, nickel and dime all amenities, and UA will not be able to price over Frontier and Spirit in the back. There has to be a happier medium. I hope UA finds it.
 
LAXLHR
Posts: 459
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:07 am

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:01 am

jayunited wrote:
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.


DL has no choice but to go after the point to point business (the scraps). They have one mega fortress hub and thats it. SLC, MSP, DTW and JFK can hardly compare to AA or UA's 2nd and 3rd largest hubs. I'm not saying DL's seconds are anything to sniff at, since they do an amazing job out of the aforementioned hubs. NOW even though I greatly dislike DL ;-)...they do a very good job with these p2p routes and I'm sure its very welcomed by those local communities. Generic names like DELTA, Norwegian do well outside of their wheelhouses for obvious reasons. The AA and UA names are too entrenched to work just anywhere. It does give DL a great advantage. Oh DL still sucks though! :-D

With that said. UA truly needs to get its act together and with penny pinching Kirby in control, not any time soon. UA flyers, don't forget your gun oil!!
BA IB ET JM EA GK PA VS AA SN HP CO WN NW DL UA AC US LH LX OS JL QF QR WY MH CX U2 EK 9W UK TP VY VN LO OK OZ UL SQ LA KL

707 727 L10 732-NG 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 772 773 787 DC8 DC9 DC10 M80 M11 100 AB3 310 318 319 320 321 330s 340s 350 380
 
VC10er
Posts: 4283
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:25 am

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:26 am

What happened with the whole “stroopwaffle” thing? I read they are gone.
Did they do some comparative research between cost of zillions of “stroopwaffes” and no bump in passenger satisfaction?
I really don’t know what I’m talking about other than those things take time to stick, and the good will they might generate takes time to build and then removing them, well it’s really tough to take things away from people.
When I used to fly Delta a very long, long time ago, I recall they had those bags of food in a giant case in front of the airplane door, and you just grabbed one on boarding- I loved the “bagel ball” they served. It was like a jelly munchkin, except a bagel injected with cream cheese! Lol. But I appreciated them as I got on a 767 from LGA to ATL.
United does indeed need to do something better behind the First Class curtain.
It makes me feel bad because I like United and they have always, always been good to me, but reading their Instagram page is like a forum for hate speech.
“You must give to get back” is the universal code for life and the ball is in their court to start, they do it upfront, question is how do they do it for folks who simply cannot fly up-front?
Perhaps I’m an “entitled” 1k???
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
SESGDL
Posts: 2912
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 6:25 am

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:46 pm

LAXLHR wrote:
jayunited wrote:
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.


DL has no choice but to go after the point to point business (the scraps). They have one mega fortress hub and thats it. SLC, MSP, DTW and JFK can hardly compare to AA or UA's 2nd and 3rd largest hubs. I'm not saying DL's seconds are anything to sniff at, since they do an amazing job out of the aforementioned hubs. NOW even though I greatly dislike DL ;-)...they do a very good job with these p2p routes and I'm sure its very welcomed by those local communities. Generic names like DELTA, Norwegian do well outside of their wheelhouses for obvious reasons. The AA and UA names are too entrenched to work just anywhere. It does give DL a great advantage. Oh DL still sucks though! :-D

With that said. UA truly needs to get its act together and with penny pinching Kirby in control, not any time soon. UA flyers, don't forget your gun oil!!


DL generates as much revenue (and likely higher profits) at DTW and MSP as AA at ORD and PHL. This misnomer that money can’t be made out of medium-large cities is entirely false. DL owns the MSP market and can price as they wish, while airlines in Chicago must compete with two other carriers. Much of DL’s success has been dependent on their massive market share at ATL, DTW and MSP. UA does not have this, and thus, they don’t generate the profits that DL does. That’s where profits are coming from, not LAX, JFK, BOS or SEA as so many seem to think. These markets are bloodbaths.

Jeremy
 
nmdrdh787
Posts: 185
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:39 am

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:07 pm

VC10er wrote:
nmdrdh787 wrote:
Fix the culture. It is still toxic.


Agreed! But, they can do both. One can help the other.
Don’t you think?
Fix internal relationships PLUS create a product/experience everyone can be proud of.


Exactly. No offense to anyone that works at UA on this forum that is a great person. My point about the toxicity is only directed to certain individuals.
 
User avatar
tlecam
Posts: 1500
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:38 pm

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:28 pm

SESGDL wrote:
LAXLHR 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.

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.


DL has no choice but to go after the point to point business (the scraps). They have one mega fortress hub and thats it. SLC, MSP, DTW and JFK can hardly compare to AA or UA's 2nd and 3rd largest hubs. I'm not saying DL's seconds are anything to sniff at, since they do an amazing job out of the aforementioned hubs. NOW even though I greatly dislike DL ;-)...they do a very good job with these p2p routes and I'm sure its very welcomed by those local communities. Generic names like DELTA, Norwegian do well outside of their wheelhouses for obvious reasons. The AA and UA names are too entrenched to work just anywhere. It does give DL a great advantage. Oh DL still sucks though! :-D

With that said. UA truly needs to get its act together and with penny pinching Kirby in control, not any time soon. UA flyers, don't forget your gun oil!!


DL generates as much revenue (and likely higher profits) at DTW and MSP as AA at ORD and PHL. This misnomer that money can’t be made out of medium-large cities is entirely false. DL owns the MSP market and can price as they wish, while airlines in Chicago must compete with two other carriers. Much of DL’s success has been dependent on their massive market share at ATL, DTW and MSP. UA does not have this, and thus, they don’t generate the profits that DL does. That’s where profits are coming from, not LAX, JFK, BOS or SEA as so many seem to think. These markets are bloodbaths.

Jeremy


I agree to a certain extent, but I do think that it all plays a role in the network. The customers serviced through LAX, JFK, BOS or SEA are not completely independent of the economics of the flying that goes through the hubs.

Delta makes huge profits out of the scale of the fortress hubs. AA and UA doesn't have the fortress hubs, but does have more hubs in major business markets. While those hubs may not be as profitable as teh fortress hubs, they are probably more profitable than the point to point flying that DL does (on average).

Delta's P2P strategy is aimed at growth in my opinion. Delta has different options for growth than AA or UA because of the nature of its hubs.

Back to UA!

There was an interesting article in the WSJ (beyond a paywall) about the app that FA's are using to offer more personalized service. basically, it's putting the data it has about its customers to work. I do think that this type of thinking is one of the things that can help UA move the needle.
BOS-LGA-JFK | A:319/20/21, 332/3, 346 || B:717, 735, 737, 738, 739, 752, 753, 762, 763, 764, 787, 772, 744 || MD80, MD90
 
United1
Posts: 4210
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:21 am

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:34 pm

VC10er wrote:
What happened with the whole “stroopwaffle” thing? I read they are gone.
Did they do some comparative research between cost of zillions of “stroopwaffes” and no bump in passenger satisfaction?


They started serving maple wafers to change things up a bit; stroopwaffles will come back at some point.

https://www.bizjournals.com/chicago/new ... snack.html
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
KICT
Posts: 815
Joined: Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:54 pm

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:36 pm

Buy JetBlue.
People are saying. Believe me.
 
SESGDL
Posts: 2912
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 6:25 am

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:52 pm

KICT wrote:
Buy JetBlue.


Not sure how having two hubs in NYC is going to work or get approved.

Jeremy
 
N505fx
Posts: 339
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2008 3:02 am

Re: What should UA do to close the gap with DL?

Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:10 pm

The dullards in Willis Tower don't understand the power of quality revenue generation and what it takes - their focus, since Continental's multiple bankruptcies and United's bankruptcy has been cost containment...which is a downward spiral for their quality revenue generation...until you flush the floaters from that toilet of a corporate HQ and the board, I highly doubt UA will be at DL levels.

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