Who are the “plenty of people” saying UA needs a new livery, avgeeks or airline employees? I highly doubt the general flying public cares about what external livery looks like.. they spend their time in the passenger cabin.
Just as you say the general public sees the inside the plane, they also see the outside of the plane. True, the majority of the general public doesn't say "Geez, they need a new livery!" The general public doesn't know what the word livery means. That doesn't mean that they don't get a subconscious impression of the airline and brand by the livery. Some people may not be able to put their finger on what exactly makes them think it, but things like outdated fonts and colors make them think, "something about that plane looks old." It's why fashion trends change, and why HGTV is one of the most popular TV channels. People can walk into a perfectly maintained kitchen and say it looks old and dated.
And they get similar impressions from the inside of planes, so yes, they should continue to invest in retrofits, but you must always be investing a little bit in all parts of the airline. Interiors, Exteriors, Brand, employee pay and satisfaction, new aircraft expenditures, lost money on new routes to develop into future profitable ones, etc. Both old UA (new planes) and old CO (branding) neglected parts of this mixture, and now they're playing catch up.
I guess the point that I’m making, that VC10 originally brought up was that the 73Gs, 738s, 739s, 752 and 753 fleets received partial refurbs getting new seats (or seat covers in the 752s case) and new carpets but the lighting, both cabin and illuminated signage, sidewalls and overhead bins are in pitiful shape. Beyond that, the newer 738, 739 frames have sky interior with updated cabins making the fleet type as a whole have a very inconsistent product. In my opinion I think UA made a mistake in not investing to standardize the 737 and 757 fleets with a consistent, updated cabin. The overall point is why do a half assed refurb? Update some things but leave others in a sorry state?
I flew on DL’s 753s HNL-SEA-HNL a few years ago and was blown away by the interior. It was depressing stepping aboard one of UA’s 753s a short time there after, seeing how dated and dreary it was inside.
I have seen cabin pictures of other DL fleet types and the interiors blow the doors off the majority of UA’s fleet.
And its not like it UA hasn’t refurbed cabins to completion... I was just on a new Polaris 77E from NRT-ORD in December. Though seated in Polaris I asked an FA if I could tour the cabin. I walked through PE, and Y and it appeared that the plane had a floor to ceiling refurb.
Hi VC10er here!
The “half assed” interiors beat a “zero assed” job. But it is upsetting when you really are rooting for them and then you experience within a 2/3 city multi stop, for Biz, and experience 2 or 3 or 4 different UA aircraft- all within the space of 1 week of travel. Depending on the mix of aircraft it can serve as a perfect example of UA today in its disturbingly inconsistent state of change: Polaris out on a 77W, then hop across Europe for meetings aboard a *A parter, then fly home on a tatty old 752 for 7 hours over water, then to Miami on a 738, then back home on a new (but used) A319 with a sterling interior. 10 days later you’ve got to go to LA. You could maybe get the 78X out, but home on a 752 that is in SHAMEFUL condition, or worse a HD 772.
Ok, I cut UA some slack: they simply cannot do it all to 100% perfection in a blink of an eye, they are obviously spending like crazy on refurbishments, lounges, airports new and used aircraft (being totally screwed up by no MAX deliveries) etc. So, I will gladly give them them an additional year (end of 2022?) then the half assed aircraft are either gone, or they went back in to finish the job on aircraft such as the half baked 753s, etc.
Granted: while there was so much stagnation after the merger, a seriously managed merging, a new CEO that requires a heart transplant after 2 months on the job, etc. Combined that gave Delta a huge running start, and an opportunity to take away many big spending business fliers from both UA & CO. But the days of excuses will run out. United cannot be flying about 100 738’s with the old interiors a First Class seats from Tower Airlines.
I recently looked into flying to Rio in early October and the Polaris prices were around $9000 to $11,000 on an old 3 class 772. Rio! $11,000 in the ITPE seat to GRU! Or, on the EWR/IAH/GIG on a 738 to an old 763? I have not yet flown LATAM, but JFK on a 77W to GRU, then an A320 45 minutes over to GIG for just $6000 RT? (I don’t know, I’ll guess LATAM 77W is decent?)
I am GS and I like the privileges, but I’ll lose it if I don’t fly UA metal.
But if Munoz/Kirby actually think it’s ok “long term” to fly millions of folks around in such dated and often tatty looking aircraft inside - they will NOT see their vision come true.
When I went to TLV and back on the 77W, brand new EWR Polaris Lounge- AN HOLISTICALLY AMAZING EXPERIENCE and really encouraging! United must deliver that level of “holistic and consistent Brand experience” everywhere, international or domestic. Not just patches of macro to micro execution. They not allow birds with 5+ years lof life in them. Sure, fry the big fish first, but don’t stop at 75%.
I think 3 years is fair timing to do it all “full assed”