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soundtrack
Topic Author
Posts: 267
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2001 5:53 am

Attn UAL: Will You Survive?

Fri May 23, 2003 11:39 am

Greetings,

I would like to get the opinions of any UA employees or ANY others who would like to comment on this subject.

UA and the airline industry has taken so much hardship in the past 3 years... from the usual cycle of the economic downturn gone to its worst with the 911 event - to the fear of flying - terrorism - high oil prices- war fears - and unions.

But I believe they are just too important an airline to go into history. I fly UA often and am praying that an airline of such a nice history is able to recover with the grace of their employees and better future management decision-making.

I think UA has nearly been through a worst case scenario and will recover - so I am optimistic... and believe everyone in the airline despite the differences truly wants it to overcome and rise again.

WOULD ENJOY EVERYONE'S THOUGHTS...

D-
 
Ex_SQer
Posts: 1351
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 5:43 am

RE: Attn UAL: Will You Survive?

Fri May 23, 2003 11:43 am

Actually, the Wall St Journal published an article yesterday quoting UA's CFO as saying that UA may emerge from Chap 11 in the fall - several months earlier than planned - because their cost cutting measures have been implemented ahead of schedule. I'm taking this with a grain of salt, of course.
 
jrlander
Posts: 1026
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 1999 3:47 am

RE: Attn UAL: Will You Survive?

Fri May 23, 2003 11:46 am

Did you see were ACA is threatening to stop serving as a UAL Express carrier? The loss of that feed would seriously hurt UAL's attempt to reorganize. And, though they may be meeting their targets, they are still losing a lot of money. they are not out of the water yet.
 
UnitedFirst
Posts: 451
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2001 12:16 pm

RE: Attn UAL: Will You Survive?

Fri May 23, 2003 12:33 pm

Did you see were ACA is threatening to stop serving as a UAL Express carrier? The loss of that feed would seriously hurt UAL's attempt to reorganize.

I think that statement's a little bit strong, don't you?

Derek
 
swaluvfa
Posts: 258
Joined: Fri May 17, 2002 1:59 pm

RE: Attn UAL: Will You Survive?

Fri May 23, 2003 12:42 pm

United WILL make it! They will evolve as the great carrier that they are. I am sad that I left United after 9/11, but I will be back one day!  Smile
 
ual777contrail
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:33 am

RE: Attn UAL: Will You Survive?

Fri May 23, 2003 12:53 pm

I hope and pray that UAL will survive, I love my job and the people I work with.

JRLANDER,
maybe it wont hurt as much as you think, one word to fill the gap.... US AIRWAYS.

UAL 777 CONTRAIL
 
speedport
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2001 12:08 pm

RE: Attn UAL: Will You Survive?

Fri May 23, 2003 1:45 pm

UAL appears to be backing off the center piece of their restructuring, Starfish. Recent statements, and buzz, indicate that United is moving away from the idea of starting a totally new brand.

In fact, recent statements allude to a smaller United. You may remember the alternative to Starfish, called plan B, was to shrink United by closing one or more of it's hubs. Despite the recent announcement to add flights this summer, we quite possibly may see a smaller United in the future.

Forget SARS or Iraq or even terrorist threats, overcapacity is the problem plaguing this industry.

Everybody hoped United would solve this problem by simply going away. This "easy solution" appears less likely. AA just announced they are doing away with the extra legroom so highly touted only a little while ago. Why are they doing this? It isn't because there are more people wanting to fly AA than there are seats available, so they need to add more seats to pack 'em in. It is because AA plans to cut back on the number of planes they will fly and need to squeeze every available seat out of what's left.

United staying in the game means everyone else has to cut back. Funny thing is, no one wants to start first - for fear of losing market share.

Will United survive? Look, it is easy to put on the mantle of a religious zealot and say "We Will Survive" as if it were some kind of profession of faith.

A few months ago things looked bleak. We had the war, high fuel cost, low demand, high operational costs, SARS, dwindling cash reserves, you name it. Now the war is behind us, fuel cost are way down, demand appears to be picking up, operational costs are down, SARS appears under control, and we are able to tap-in to more cash.

The bet is that since we have been able to make it through all we've just been through, we should be able to go all the way. Simply put, United has the same chance of "making it" as AMR, DAL or NWA.

[Edited 2003-05-23 06:50:38]
 
soundtrack
Topic Author
Posts: 267
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2001 5:53 am

RE: Attn UAL: Will You Survive?

Sat May 24, 2003 7:18 am


Interesting info Speed - thank you
 
AAgent
Posts: 540
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2001 11:41 pm

RE: Attn UAL: Will You Survive?

Sat May 24, 2003 11:42 am

First, I'd like to offer all my best wishes for a speedy recovery to United Airlines...and to all airlines suffering through the current unprecedented industry downturn.

To Speedport I'd like to offer an alternative explanation of why American Airlines is adding seats on selected aircraft types on selected routes. It's not in anticipation of reduced flight schedules. It's a prudent decision based upon on the simple business principles of volume and yield. In leisure markets where yields are low, volume must be increased to realize a profit. Leisure markets are characterized by a preponderance of price sensitive vacationing travelers. The resulting lower yields on those routings create pressure to increase volume…and that means adding seating capacity. Although lower fares are great for the traveler, it does require that an airline carry more passengers to realize a profit.

Oh well, that's the airline economics lesson for today. Your homework assignment is...

Just kidding.

Again, my best wishes to all airlines and to all who love them.

Respectfully,
AAgent
War Eagle!
 
UALPHLCS
Posts: 3232
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2001 5:50 am

RE: Attn UAL: Will You Survive?

Sat May 24, 2003 12:33 pm

For those who think that ACA is thinking of dumping UA think again:

UAL has asked ALL of its express carriers to rebid, as well as a number of non-flying suppliers. ACA has racked up a abysmal On-time record, they have one of the older fleets amoung express carriers and thier track record for handling customers is to hand off the customer to UA Mainline and wash thier hands of responcibility.

When you say UA has feeder traffic they depend on from ACA you miss the larger point. While ACA also handles DL in a minor way IAD is thier "hub" They have a symbiotic relationship with UA that they had better understand how to protect. DL can not simply absorb ACA into its system if UAL where to dump it.

ACA may be putting on hold CRJ purchases because they don't know if UA will keep them. But They can not afford to lose the heart of thier operation. UAL's bankruptcy has ACA's contract bent over the same barrel as all of UA's labor contracts and other suppliers. ACA is just as vulnerable as everyone else in that situation.

AS for UA's survival:

The article concerning early exit from Chapter 11 protection is encouraging. Also encouraging is the idea of using the ATSB loan for possible Chpater 11 exit money. It that occurs UA will remain realtivly independent of institutions like the Alabama Pension fund that US has as an owner.

I've said it once I've said it a thosand times, I have NEVER lost faith in this company's leadership after Goodwin's departure to oblivion. I understood that we that turned onto a better coarse. But like most crisis's this one took time to stabilize and turn around.

My hope is that UAL will survive to the end of the year. If UA survives this long they can survive the summer. Survive the summer UA will survive to the end of the year. Survive this year, UA will survive 2004.
Every day UA survive buys another, and every week another, every month, another....
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
 
ual777contrail
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:33 am

RE: Attn UAL: Will You Survive?

Sun May 25, 2003 4:55 am

United also announced that at first they were going to spin off 30% of our domestic operation to STARFISH, now it was said today in USATODAY that it wont be anywhere close to 30% and it will stay a part of UNITED like shuttle I suppose.

good news for those cities who were facing the end as we know it with UNITED mainline. Nobody wants to have to face the decision of moving or going starfish a company that may not make it.


ual 777 contrail
 
J32driver
Posts: 385
Joined: Fri May 05, 2000 2:55 am

RE: Attn UAL: Will You Survive?

Sun May 25, 2003 10:42 am

UALPHLCS:

I just passed through IAD and saw something interesting at the ACA gates that goes along with UAL's current strife with them. ACA is plastering their name all over the concourse in a hope to build name recognition. Talked to a couple of pilot's out there and they think theres a chance they are doing this so they can go it alone if they have to. Kind of an interesting thought anyway.

The real question, is ACA pimping United by not agreeing to concessions, or is UAL pimping ACA by not paying them their current contract prices? Either way... ACA isn't making nice with the hand that feeds them. Just something else thats going to be a good show over the next couple of months.
 
AerMickey
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 12:55 pm

RE: Attn UAL: Will You Survive?

Sun May 25, 2003 11:54 pm

For United's sake, I hope they drop ACA. But on the other hand, for another express carrier(such as Chautaqua, who is big on United's bidding list at the moment) to take over and have to start from fresh would cause another knot in the system. They should just send the Air Whiskey folks out east to expand a wonderful company.

Mick
 
ual777contrail
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:33 am

RE: Attn UAL: Will You Survive?

Mon May 26, 2003 5:10 am

Aer Mickey,
I agree, I wish we would drop ACA. Send AWAC out east and tear it up. IMO, AWAC runs a better show and are in whole a better airline.
I don't see their east coast ops, I speak on behalf of their countless delays they had in our city.

ual 777 contrail
 
soundtrack
Topic Author
Posts: 267
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2001 5:53 am

RE: Attn UAL: Will You Survive?

Mon May 26, 2003 6:13 am


Good point J32...

As a 100k a year UA frequent flyer - I noticed going through IAD (Washington) the sort of 'self promotion' by ACA (Atlantic Coast Airl). For example, a Dornier Jet had complete ACA titles?!?

I remember a decade ago when ACA was forming and taking over for Air Wisconsin at IAD - it was a mess - I knew staff there and they told me stories which equal stories of the barnstorming days of safety and some mishaps or near mishaps. THEY WERE LUCKY TO GET THROUGH THIS!

I believe UA made ACA and am a bit irked at them trying to finally "pimp" UA. But also being in business... i know this is commonality - so perhaps i am being a bit harsch. Either way, it is a bit annoying and if I was a UA employee - I'd be a annoyed.

J32driver.... good comments.
UA777Contrail... who is AWAC? I also agree that Starfish is not particularly a good idea as it can also be confusing to travelers when you sectionalize UA into regular and low cost. Isn't doing this sort of seperating exactly what SW would not do!?
Why do you both (777contrail & AerMickey) think ACA should be dropped - isn't their importance still valuable to the regional-mid-atlantic routes?

Last, how does a feeder carrier generally work - does UA buy a guaranteed % of seats thus making it a "United Express" or are many of their pax from self promotion - or is that confidential? (I am very interested in how much is dependant on UA - i know it was very dependant in its beginnings)

THANKS ALL
 
UALPHLCS
Posts: 3232
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2001 5:50 am

RE: Attn UAL: Will You Survive?

Mon May 26, 2003 1:43 pm

Actually UA paid ACA per flight. In other words, UA had already bought every seat on ACA planes. So long as ACA flew the flight ACA got paid. This meant ACA counld have a mechanical in PHL and UA employees would have to reroute every passenger to other carriers and ACA would flight the flight 6 hours late and still get paid by UA.

Its these shenannigans that has ACA's ontime preformance at the bottom of the DOT rankings. And is why UA is beating them over the head in Bankruptcy court.

UA will have a new contract that makes more sense financially and makes ACA accountable for on-time and reliablitity, or ACA will be out the door.

As to who is bent over the barrel? My view says its ACA. UA can have other express carriers pick up those routes and pick up the peices, UA just started contracting w/ Mesa a few months ago, and picking up another carrier isn't all that hard.

On the other hand ACA has to peddle a crappy product to majors who have a surplus of seats already. DL isn't going to absorb more ACA routes into its system. In addition ACA has to realize that UA isn't putting up with this contract and no other carrier would sign a similar one with them at this time. The current contract is over and no one is going to repeat UA's mistake.

A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
 
ual777contrail
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:33 am

RE: Attn UAL: Will You Survive?

Wed May 28, 2003 4:48 am

soundtrack,
AWAC is AIR WISCONSIN AIRLINES CORPERATION. We call then AWAC a lot, and when I said UA should dump ACA that was ONLY based on MY opinion. I have worked them for the better half of a year and they are without a doubt the worst airline we deal with. We get a chance to work many diversions, medical emergencies,charters, and ferry flights from various airlines and they take the cake. In a coarse of 2 months earlier this year ACA was ontime 7 of those days, and that is the 15 minutes or less. Arrivals and departures are pretty bad, and when the crews come into our station and we need a quick turn? (meaning very tight connections) it is if you are speaking Greek to them, when you go up to the flight deck to ask why they wont let you board they have the United can deal with it attitude.

not one of my favorites, but I hope MESA doesn't operate like they USE to either. I like Great Lakes for a small feeder for smaller cities in COLORADO and WYOMING. But I guess United doesn't like they to much.


ual 777 contrail
 
DeltaMD11
Posts: 1680
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2002 4:56 am

RE: Attn UAL: Will You Survive?

Wed May 28, 2003 5:51 am

I think a lot of the problems that have become apparant at UA stem back to the airline being raped by it's management for the past 10 years. I have the same feeling about AA. An airline is only as strong as it's leaders. UA has been a paradox in the industry, and even though I have not been pleased with their overall performance the past few years, I think better days are ahead for them. They just have to keep setting goals, and meeting them. Look at how CO redeemed themselves in 1994. I have a feeling that this is going to be the same type scenario.

Bryan
Too often we ... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy

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