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777fan
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UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:15 pm

I'm a big UA fan and FF but have come to loathe Ted in recent months. Routes that used to be served by conventional UA aircraft (ORD-LAS, ORD-PHX, LAX-LAS) have in essence, been taken over by UA's other personality, Ted.

While the strategy was admittedly to challenge LCC's on contested routes by appealing to non-UA customers, it appears that UA has gone overboard. Many of the routes that Ted flies are now served only by Ted, effectively taking away UA FFs the opportunity to upgrade to F class. While Ted projects a "fresh", "young" image, the service (again, my opinion) appears to be indistinguishable from conventional UA Y class service.

Finally, the fares don't appear to be any more of a bargain than the regular UA flights although admittedly, I've never booked a "Ted-only" flight and have flown it only when connecting to/from other UA flights.

Other than generating a bit more revenue by squeezing a few more Y class seats on their A320s, is Ted helping or hurting UA?
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ordpark
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:20 pm

TED is doing everything that it was designed to do.....all the markets that TED flies are basically leisure markets with very little demand for F class..
 
777fan
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:24 pm

Quoting Ordpark (Reply 1):
all the markets that TED flies are basically leisure markets with very little demand for F class..

I would think that ORD-PHX and ORD-LAS would have a strong demand for FC; lots of vacationers and those willing to splurge, respectively.

I guess I'm just bitter because Ted routes take away an opportunity to ride a 757! Seriously, though, are Ted's planes full because they're booking fares on them or because normal UA connections are "forced" onto Ted?
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FCYTravis
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:27 pm

This anecdote tells you all you need to know about TED:

UA went to all the trouble of reconfiguring a bunch of A320s into high-density configuration ostensibly to raise revenues.

Except that their density was so high, they managed to squeeze 156 seats into the aircraft. So what, you say? So, the FAA requires that there be one flight attendant per 50 seats or fraction thereof. Meaning, those extra 18 seats installed over a standard A320 cost United an entire extra flight attendant's salary.

That's how well-planned TED is.
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MSYtristar
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:29 pm

Quoting 777fan (Thread starter):
Routes that used to be served by conventional UA aircraft (ORD-LAS, ORD-PHX, LAX-LAS) have in essence, been taken over by UA's other personality, Ted.

Well you're in luck. One Ted route has been switched back to UA mainline: DEN-MSY. Two daily 737's, with a 3rd flight being added for about a month and a half. Honestly, I hope this is a permanent move.
 
Simpilicity
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:33 pm

Quoting FCYTravis (Reply 3):
Except that their density was so high, they managed to squeeze 156 seats into the aircraft. So what, you say? So, the FAA requires that there be one flight attendant per 50 seats or fraction thereof. Meaning, those extra 18 seats installed over a standard A320 cost United an entire extra flight attendant's salary.

That's how well-planned TED is.

Sounds like they should have 150 seats or does the 1 in 50 rule apply only to adult paxs?
 
777fan
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:34 pm

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 4):
DEN-MSY

This is probably due to the lack of convention and leisure travel to MSY post-Katrina. I'm guessing those Tedplanes will be part of the IAD-wherever routes.
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hawk44
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:50 pm

Quoting 777fan (Reply 2):
Seriously, though, are Ted's planes full because they're booking fares on them or because normal UA connections are "forced" onto Ted?

Not sure about the first part, but we have had the "forced" Ted connections here out of FLL. I had a woman a few weeks ago that was a star gold that was going KIN-FLL on US and then FLL-ORD on Ted and was not happy that she would not have the upgrade to F class like out of KIN but oh well.

Hawk44
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MaverickM11
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:09 pm

The idea behind Ted is the right idea....the execution is nothing short of retarded.
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StevenUhl777
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:22 pm

Quoting 777fan (Reply 2):
I would think that ORD-PHX and ORD-LAS would have a strong demand for FC; lots of vacationers and those willing to splurge, respectively.

But, in the minds the majority of the customers who fly on that segment, they DON'T want to splurge on First Class getting there and back. They would rather save that money, and SPLURGE in the casinos or on the golf courses or whatever.

It's all about knowing your customers are, and in the case of UA and the airlines, they have to know this right down to the individual market level.
And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
 
MaverickM11
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:27 pm

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 9):
in the minds the majority of the customers who fly on that segment, they DON'T want to splurge on First Class

No one (just about) buys a domestic first class seat....the value in having a first class is customer loyalty, whether it's ORD/SEA or ORD/PHX. With Ted, UA is essentially throwing that customer loyalty to its competitor, since the competing AA/HP/FL/etc product is the same as Ted or better...except with an upgrade available.
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MaverickM11
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:35 pm

Quoting 777fan (Thread starter):
Finally, the fares don't appear to be any more of a bargain than the regular UA flights although admittedly

Of course not...UA was matching fares with its competitors and now Ted is matching those same fares with its competitors. There is little change on the fare side--there can't be much as long as the competitive environment hasn't changed.

Quoting 777fan (Thread starter):
While Ted projects a "fresh", "young" image, the service (again, my opinion) appears to be indistinguishable from conventional UA Y class service.

Bingo.

Quoting 777fan (Thread starter):
While the strategy was admittedly to challenge LCC's on contested routes by appealing to non-UA customers,

The only way to appeal to those non-UA customers is to get their attention by a low fare, and keep them on the plane with good service. Creating a separate brand does neither.

Quoting Ordpark (Reply 1):
TED is doing everything that it was designed to do.....

....and everything mainline was doing just fine to begin with.
I don't take responsibility at all
 
UALFAson
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Wed Jan 11, 2006 4:40 pm

Let me preface this by saying that while I'm with MaverickM11 in the "good idea, poor execution" camp, I think we need to take a step back and look at Ted from a non-aviation enthusiast's perspective.

Backstory: when I was in college in Texas and would fly around on passes, I couldn't believe the number of comments I'd get along the lines of "ooo, wish I could afford to fly United" or "look at Mr. Air Travel Snob flying United." In areas of the country where UA is not well known (and probably areas where it is), UA, probably more than any other airline, has a rep as being the expensive, hoity-toity airline for rich businessmen. And while to some extent that's the market UA wants, it can't afford to ignore the leisure market either. Ted is UA's attempt to attract those people who would shy away from booking on UA because they'd just assume UA would be the most expensive. (Despite my college experience buying rev tickets during the holidays when UA often had the cheapest, or comparable, fares.)

Don't forget either the enormous amounts of free press generated when Ted was launched. There was a huge guerilla marketing campaign in Denver saying "Ted is Coming" and "Get to Know Ted", etc. In the days before Ted was announced, supposedly the city was obsessed with figuring out who or what Ted was (radio stations were having call in contests, etc.) Whether Ted has been successful in actually capturing more of the DEN marketshare is debatable (let the statistics flaming begin!), but the nationwide free press can't be ignored.

The cities Ted serves have been specifically chosen due to high leisure and low business demand. And while the ability to upgrade to F is very important to biz travelers, I highly doubt many people are really going to stop flying UA b/c they can't upgrade to FLL on spring break. And while PHX seems like it would be a biz destination off the top of one's head, keep in mind it's a hub for the country's two largest LCCs (WN and the former HP).

Of course, not even everyone in the UA camp gets turned on by Ted. On the UA Intranet, an employee wrote in complaining about Ted and saying she supposedly talked to an AA gate agent who swore she heard about the time (yeah, that sounds credible) when the Saudi royal family was flying UA from ORD to LAS. But when they discovered there was no first class, they supposedly marched right over to AA and booked on them instead. The official response was simply "we are not aware of such an incident." My smartass reply would have been "you dumb sh*t. Do you really think the Saudi royal family flies commerical? On a U.S. airline??

Wow, sorry for the long post  embarrassed 
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ANCFlyer
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Wed Jan 11, 2006 4:53 pm

Speaking strictly for myself - I won't book a res on UA if the trip - or any part thereof - is on Ted. Why? Because I'm spoiled and won't fly Y. I'll buy the F seat. So Ted/UA definitely loses my business - leisure or otherwise - if I have any segment in Y. I'm sure I'm a minority in this vein, and UA could care less about losing one trip out of ANC every couple months.

Recently, bought tix to LAS in March for an A-Net gathering. Will go in F on AS even though I hate the schedule - and don't particularly like AS for what its become over the last decade . . . .but UA wanted to send me from DEN-LAS on Ted. . . . not to mention there was little no difference in the price of the ticket between AS and UA.

I'll surely miss UA on this trip, but I won't miss the lousy legroom, 6 abreast seats, pay as you go drinkies, narrow seats of Ted.

Sorry UA. If it's any consolation, I am flying UA ANC-DEN-DSM in 1/12  biggrin 
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n844aa
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Wed Jan 11, 2006 5:00 pm

Quoting UALFAson (Reply 12):
My smartass reply would have been "you dumb sh*t. Do you really think the Saudi royal family flies commerical? On a U.S. airline??

Good post overall, so I apologize in advance for nitpicking. However, the Saudi royal family is so enormous (somewhere between 7,000-13,000 princes, if I recall correctly) that it's quite conceivable that some of the lesser princes (who still receive $10,000/mo. stipends) are below the GV but above Y. Saudia (on which the Saudi royal family flies free) doesn't yet cover ORD-LAS, as far as I know  Wink
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mariner
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Wed Jan 11, 2006 5:15 pm

Quoting UALFAson (Reply 12):
let the statistics flaming begin!

Why would statistics start a flame war?

Quoting UALFAson (Reply 12):
the nationwide free press can't be ignored.

Indeed not. Ted was started in part to stop the erosion of market share to the LCC's.

When Ted began flying at Denver, Frontier, a targeted LCC, had about 17% market share.

Frontier now has about 20% market share at DEN. The Denver Post - national press? - puts it at 21%:

http://www.denverpost.com/editorials/ci_3375646

"Frontier has about 3,800 workers and 21 percent of the market."

cheers

mariner
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N587NK
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Wed Jan 11, 2006 6:20 pm

Quoting Simpilicity (Reply 5):
Sounds like they should have 150 seats or does the 1 in 50 rule apply only to adult paxs?

Its seats on the aircraft. Doesnt matter adults/children, etc. 156 seats requires 4 F/As. If there is 4 pax on board or 160(with lap children, etc) doesnt matter
 
BDL2DCA
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Thu Jan 12, 2006 12:13 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 13):

Speaking strictly for myself - I won't book a res on UA if the trip - or any part thereof - is on Ted. Why? Because I'm spoiled and won't fly Y. I'll buy the F seat. So Ted/UA definitely loses my business - leisure or otherwise - if I have any segment in Y. I'm sure I'm a minority in this vein, and UA could care less about losing one trip out of ANC every couple months.

As a UA Premier Exec, I can tell you that my company will only pay for first when there are no economy seats on any airline to be found. Therefore, I would much rather fly Ted with it's expanded Eco+ section and be guaranteed a seat in Eco+ than try to use an eUpgrade (which UA is notoriously stingy at handing out) and end up in a middle seat in the back with a 30.5" pitch.

I think the days of domestic first in the US are numbered, except for p.s. type transcon routes. The more B6, F9, and WN invade popular business travel routes with their all-economy, but better economy product, the less domestic business travelers are going to feel loyalty to the big six.

The question then becomes, is the flyer connecting at DEN, ORD, or IAD to an international flight in business or first. If so, then yes, Ted is a disadvantage. But for the average domestic passenger, business or leisure, being guaranteed an Eco+ seat is a heck of a lot better than being waitlisted for a crappy domestic first seat.

If you want a first class seat every time, you should build loyalty on CO, NW or DL - as they do the upgrades. I used to fly US predominantly for the same reason - but when they started selling first class upgrades for $25 at the gate and leaving their premium flyers in the eco cabin, I decided UA and Eco+ was a better way to go.
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IceTitan447
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Thu Jan 12, 2006 12:40 am

Quoting 777fan (Thread starter):
Finally, the fares don't appear to be any more of a bargain than the regular UA flights although admittedly, I've never booked a "Ted-only" flight and have flown it only when connecting to/from other UA flights.

I don't believe they are a deal anymore. They do compete with other carriers. So it's either fly F9 out of DIA or TED.

Quoting 777fan (Reply 2):
I guess I'm just bitter because Ted routes take away an opportunity to ride a 757! Seriously, though, are Ted's planes full because they're booking fares on them or because normal UA connections are "forced" onto Ted?

I agree with a 757, but sadly people are flying TED. Ted planes are full! They are doing what UAL wants them to do. Lastly, when folks paid for tkts on a 737 DEN-LAS or other low fare markets, they never paid for First. Folks with Premier status would pay the same $157.00 RT and upgrade. They take out first and you now get 2 people to pay $157.00 and your doing great.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 13):
won't book a res on UA if the trip - or any part thereof - is on Ted. Why? Because I'm spoiled and won't fly Y. I'll buy the F seat.

You are an exception to the rule. You are a rare breed of person Smile. Most on this forum CANT afford a first class ticket nor an upgrade tot he cabin. This board is hard on most carriers, we dissect everything about them. But TED is full, they are doing a great job, and I do like them. I would rather be riding a 777, but a Ted flight is far better than one of their old 37's, wouldn't you agree?
 
Manta
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Thu Jan 12, 2006 12:55 am

Honestly I'm glad someone brought this up. I've been flying the ORD - LAS run on UA for business many years (loved it on the DC-10) and also liked the 722, 752, and now A320. The thing that always got me was the fact that these planes were ALWAYS full and most of the time oversold. I couldn't believe it when UA announced that all ORD - LAS runs were going to be TED only and reduced to an A320. UA could have filled 777's for that run and cut back on the daily frequency. The DC-10's were always full and right before TED started taking the route, we got switched to a 763 from a 752 and even it was sold out.

Now don't get me wrong, I'll put up with the 320's going back and forth, but is there any talk at UA about switching this route back to mainline and a bigger plane, or am I destined to be on a 320??

On a side note, how come one of my TED flights the other week went out of the C gates at ORD? I thought they exclussivly used the B gates? Just last week I saw two TED planes parked at C gates. Odd...
 
nkops
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:13 am

Quoting N587NK (Reply 16):
156 seats requires 4 F/As

It would seem almost more economic for them just to remove a row of seats, and save on 1 f/a..... just my opinion though
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MaverickM11
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:13 am

Quoting IceTitan447 (Reply 18):
I agree with a 757, but sadly people are flying TED. Ted planes are full!

That's because they replaced mainline routes that were always full to begin with!
I don't take responsibility at all
 
UALPHLCS
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:24 am

Quoting 777fan (Reply 2):
I would think that ORD-PHX and ORD-LAS would have a strong demand for FC; lots of vacationers and those willing to splurge, respectively.

I guess I'm just bitter because Ted routes take away an opportunity to ride a 757! Seriously, though, are Ted's planes full because they're booking fares on them or because normal SA)">UA connections are "forced" onto Ted?

This is a common misconception from the public that bear little semblence in the real world. First off, Vacationers very rarly splurge on F class. If a vacationer splurges it is on hotel and destination ammenities NOT on travel. They use (like you mentioned) thier miles to upgrade to F. This means the airline is losing money on it's F product. So why not alloncate the planes with F to routes where they can be more effectivly used.

Secondly, it was mentioned to me years ago that Mangement feels they are short of 757s. There are more routes were 757s could be effectivly used than SA)">UA has planes to run them. Ted also frees up under utilized 757s for work on more profitable routes. A back door way that Ted helps Mainline become more profitable.

Lastly, every indication is that Ted is very profitable. I can tell you that every Ted flight I have ever flown was full, my wife and I have Never been able to sit together or in most cases get more than a middle seat flying SA. These flights are almost always very heavy.
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
 
MaverickM11
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:32 am

Quoting UALPHLCS (Reply 22):
every indication is that Ted is very profitable

I bet all the routes that were previously flown by mainline were profitable to begin with.
I don't take responsibility at all
 
hiflyer
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:44 am

First off IMHO TED wasn't just a knee jerk reaction by the ex Shuttle folks that they had to have another project despite the rumors...grin.

Yes 156 seats means 4 flt att's...against the SWA norm of 3 which is why they have never bought bigger 737's even thru the ATA deals. Ever count the seats on B6 by the way? http://www.jetblue.com/travelinfo/ourfleet/a320.asp

The $400m fleet refurb at UAL coming up in a few weeks is supposed to include a major IFE...anyone wanna bet TV is not coming to TED? TV and channel 9...oh boy oh boy  Smile  Smile Can see the threads now..'do you watch tv or listen to channel 9 on ted'....'how can i do both on ted?" and of course "what will happen with the nw dc9's"...ooops wrong thread...  Smile

Would UA eventually put F back on TED and absorb the fleet like DL ? DL was trying it with the 757, far larger and heavier bird than the 320, so I would suspect the financials may not be as similar between Song and TED as some would want to believe.
 
Tango-Bravo
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Thu Jan 12, 2006 6:24 am

Quoting 777fan (Thread starter):
Other than generating a bit more revenue by squeezing a few more Y class seats on their A320s, is Ted helping or hurting UA?

If anything, it seems to me that Ted is helping United in a bigger way by (re-?)introducing a "radical" (for U.S. legacy airlines) concept that might be paraphrased something like: "pay a coach fare, occupy a coach seat." If, on the routes operated by Ted, there were, on average, even 2-3 pax per flight willing to pay first class fares to occupy first class seats, Ted probably would have configured their A320s with a F cabin from the beginning.

In the interest of longterm viability, it is imperative for the U.S. legacies to rein in their FF programs which they have allowed to become unwieldy, high-maintenance, high cost FFF (FFFreeloader) programs that promise (at least implicitly) something-for-nothing to all and even more to their "preferred" customers who simply happen to travel more often on cheap coach fares than those belonging to the "non-preferred" caste. By offering coach-only seating, Ted has, whether unwittingly or by design, subtly begun to re-educate FFFs created by UA that there will be no more free lunch (not to be confused with complimentary meals!), at least where the costly "you can have your cake (cheap coach fare) and eat it too (first class seat)" boondoggle is concerned. Hence, the absence of F cabins in Ted's A320s is one small, albeit significant, step in the right direction for UA, whether intended or otherwise.
 
AA7573E
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Thu Jan 12, 2006 6:42 am

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 10):
No one (just about) buys a domestic first class seat.

That's far from true, especially since first class tickets are not that expensive these days, relative to walk up last minute coach fares. We buy them all the time in our firm, and thousands of other people do on a daily basis across the country.

Quoting UALFAson (Reply 12):
I highly doubt many people are really going to stop flying UA b/c they can't upgrade to FLL

Don't be so sure. I know of many companies that have abandoned corporate contracts with United over the lack of first class offerings to many destinations served by Ted, and many more that are debating it.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 23):
I bet all the routes that were previously flown by mainline were profitable to begin with.

Doubtful, seeing as how a very high percentage of the routes flown by most legacy carriers are still not profitable today.
See you up front!
 
RICARIZA
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Thu Jan 12, 2006 7:48 am

Quoting Ordpark (Reply 1):
TED is doing everything that it was designed to do.....all the markets that TED flies are basically leisure markets with very little demand for F class

Yes, but the economy plus is very good (only $30 extra) and it is worth it.
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Tango-Bravo
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Thu Jan 12, 2006 8:08 am

Quoting AA7573E (Reply 26):
Don't be so sure. I know of many companies that have abandoned corporate contracts with United over the lack of first class offerings to many destinations served by Ted,

...to say nothing of the airline roulette game that domestic travel with UA has become. As in "will my 'United' flight be operated by Mesa... or Shuttle America... or Skywest... or perhaps Ted... or maybe even United mainline?" Which makes "will my 'United' flight have a first class cabin?" a crap shoot as well.
 
Skymonster
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Thu Jan 12, 2006 8:08 am

I kinda like TED for cheap and chearful short trips, although I admit that as I have FF status E+ at no charge makes it somewhat more tollerable. The one problem is that coming off of a business class long haul from the UK, changing in ORD LAX SFO or even IAD and heading somewhere like LAS or PHX (yes, on a business trip - remember LAS is big for conferences) then TED comes as a bit of a culture shock!

Andy
There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots
 
UALPHLCS
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:17 am

Quoting AA7573E (Reply 26):
Don't be so sure. I know of many companies that have abandoned corporate contracts with United over the lack of first class offerings to many destinations served by Ted, and many more that are debating it.

This seems to me to be very anecdotal. Can you tell us what companies? AS mentioned by others above the days of the corporation paying for F for their employees is long gone. Global Services seems to keep those who are the decision makers for their company happy with the UA product they experience. Is it REALLY a lot of companies that have abandoned UA because they can't fly their people F to LAS, MCO, ONT, and PHX? Or is it just you (as from what we can assume based on your handle) a loyal AA flyer?

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 28):
to say nothing of the airline roulette game that domestic travel with UA has become. As in "will my 'United' flight be operated by Mesa... or Shuttle America... or Skywest... or perhaps Ted... or maybe even United mainline?" Which makes "will my 'United' flight have a first class cabin?" a crap shoot as well.

On the other hand UA with the help of it's express partners is the ONLY mainline carrier making its Express product more like its Mainline product. I don't know of any other carrier that is as aggressive in getting F class on its express flights. Additionally, AA is NOT adding MRTC to Eagle, is it? UA is adding Econ + very aggressively. It takes time but soon it won't matter for the FF if they are on mainline or express the Upgrade or Econ + will be available to them, and in the leisure market Econ + has been and still is available to them.

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 25):
Hence, the absence of F cabins in Ted's A320s is one small, albeit significant, step in the right direction for UA, whether intended or otherwise.

I understand were you are coming from with this statement but I don't think this is nessasarily true. First, I don't think ANYTHING is going to re-educate the public like you think it is. FF is like the third rail in politics, it is now an entitlement that CAN NOT be fooled with as far as the customer is concerned. Additionally UA has announced they are expanding the Premier status, I forget what it will be called but they are adding a SUB-Premier level (3P) making less-frequent flyers think they are entitled to benefits and upgrades. They are expanding the potential upgrade pool even while they keep the amount of F class seat available at the same level. 1Ks and Global service members will probably not notice any change, but Premiers and these 3Ps are almost NEVER going to get upgraded.

What is important to remember about Ted is that WN really isn't it's chief rival, F9 is. It is a Cheaper alternative to Mainline UA that allows FF members to collect miles that still get them to Europe, Hawaii and Asia. Ted has that ability, F9 doesn't. The thinking is that all things being equal, the vacationer with his family will have his next trip to and more exotic destination in mind when choosing Ted, over F9. Based on how successful Ted has been so far, this probably has been correct.
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
 
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mariner
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Fri Jan 13, 2006 2:22 am

Quoting UALPHLCS (Reply 30):
Based on how successful Ted has been so far, this probably has been correct.

But - United's market share at DEN has gone down and Frontier's has gone up.

In some instances, Ted has lost market share on purely Ted routes.

cheers

marienr
aeternum nauta
 
IceTitan447
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:52 am

Quoting Mariner (Reply 31):
But - United's market share at DEN has gone down and Frontier's has gone up.

In some instances, Ted has lost market share on purely Ted routes.

How much has it decreased? do you have numbers? Just curious. I think TED has done well, more seats per plane, and lost market share? Wow, how much?
 
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mariner
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Fri Jan 13, 2006 4:09 am

Quoting IceTitan447 (Reply 32):
How much has it decreased? do you have numbers?

See reply #15 above.

cheers

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
alphascan
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Fri Jan 13, 2006 4:22 am

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 25):
...it is imperative for the U.S. legacies to rein in their FF programs which they have allowed to become unwieldy, high-maintenance, high cost FFF (FFFreeloader) programs that promise (at least implicitly) something-for-nothing to all and even more to their "preferred" customers who simply happen to travel more often on cheap coach fares than those belonging to the "non-preferred" caste.

TB:

With all due respect, the first post of yours I can remember reading on a.net was much this same old tired bit. Except that your argument seems to have moved from calling for a suicidal "dismantling of all FFPs "to "reining them in". Go work in any airline's pricing department and you will learn that the programs are "reined in" or "loosened up" on a day by day, flight by flight basis. The Marxist slant to your argument is new too. If you haven't noticed, even the Russian and Chinese carriers have FFPs. I'm not sure Mr. Donohue would feel any comfort in your designating his "airline within an airline" as a step toward social equality. Perhaps if you looked in P'yongyang you could find an airline with a similar philosophy.

Over the years, overwhelming evidence has been provided to you that your position on FFPs is just plain wrong. The costs associated with operating FFPs is pennies on the dollar compared to the revenue they generate. It was Aeroplan's financial strength that saved AC as an operating entity. Please move on. Although I admire your persistence, you are not convincing anyone. Evidence trumps opinion.


UALPHLCS:

The bottom line on Ted is that it has NOT accomplished the objectives Sean Donohue laid out for it upon it's inception. In spite of more flights and seats this year, Ted is losing market share at DEN from last year. The objective stated was for Ted to stop or stem the tide of LCC incursion into UA market share. Just isn't happening at DEN.

http://flydenver.com/biz/stats/travel.asp
"To he who only has a hammer in his toolbelt, every problem looks like a nail."
 
irelayer
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Fri Jan 13, 2006 4:32 am

Quoting UALFAson (Reply 12):
when the Saudi royal family was flying UA from ORD to LAS. But when they discovered there was no first class, they supposedly marched right over to AA and booked on them instead. The official response was simply "we are not aware of such an incident." My smartass reply would have been "you dumb sh*t. Do you really think the Saudi royal family flies commerical? On a U.S. airline??

Just a minor point here that you might have overlooked when making this point:

"The Saudi royal family" is massive. The House of Saud (the ruling house of Saudi Arabia) numbers upwards of 25,000 people. It is quite possible that some of them fly commercial in the US.

When we think "royal family" we tend to think of Kings and Queens, Princes and Princesses, etc...but these families are usually so massive that you might even know European "royalty" without realizing it.

I agree with you that this story seems unlikely, though. It is probably a very exagerrated account of some minor incident.

As far as Ted goes, I think it is a terrible idea (and the execution has proven to be a disaster). You can't "grow" the corporate culture that makes LCC's successful in a petri dish or a laboratory, nor can you compete with LCCs on the basis of costs alone. Successfull LCCs tend to have a synergistic vigor that is hard to quanitfy and therefore hard to emulate. And lets face it, Ted is just a jazzed up version of the United Economy product. There is nothing particularly innovative or revolutionary about it and thus nothing that sets it apart from just being ordinary. The fact that Ted exists only as a marketing concept and not as a completely seperate entity proves to me that United does not take this concept seriously nor does it expect it to succeed in the long run. Instead, it is a half-assed "me too" attempt to throw their hat into the ring. Slick marketing, cute planes, and all-economy seating do not an LCC make. Ted service should complement and not exclude normal UA service in most markets, IMO. That would be the smartest move.

-IR
 
irelayer
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Fri Jan 13, 2006 4:37 am

Quoting AA7573E (Reply 26):
Don't be so sure. I know of many companies that have abandoned corporate contracts with United over the lack of first class offerings to many destinations served by Ted, and many more that are debating it.

Which companies? Can you provide the names/links/any sort of reference?

-IR
 
FCYTravis
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Fri Jan 13, 2006 4:42 am

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 25):
In the interest of longterm viability, it is imperative for the U.S. legacies to rein in their FF programs which they have allowed to become unwieldy, high-maintenance, high cost FFF (FFFreeloader) programs that promise (at least implicitly) something-for-nothing to all and even more to their "preferred" customers who simply happen to travel more often on cheap coach fares than those belonging to the "non-preferred" caste.

"OMG NON-PREFERRED CASTE!!!!" Wow, are you clueless. FFPs are often the only profitable part of an airline.

It is in an airline's best interest to attract and retain frequent, high-value customers. It is in an airline's best interest to incentivize these customers by giving them perks that customers who do not fly as often would not get.

By doing so, you create a "loyalty" to the carrier, ensuring that the customer has an incentive to fly your airline even when it would not necessarily be the "best" option based on schedules, routings, etc.

I'm a US Airways/HP Gold Elite member based on my travels with the airline. I do not live in a US/HP hub city, so virtually every route I take requires at least one connection, sometimes two. However, because I appreciate the carrier's frequent-flyer and upgrade program, I choose to put my business and leisure travel on them, even if it means flying nutball routings like OAK-LAX-PHL-ELM-PHL-LAS-OAK.

Furthermore, sales of frequent-flyer miles via credit cards and other programs bring hard cash into the airline for essentially nothing.

FFPs are valued by airlines precisely because high-traffic, regular customers are valuable to the airline's bottom line. Air travel is not Communism. Even Southwest offers a very valuable perk to its most frequent customers - the Companion Pass.

There is absolutely *nothing* "caste" about frequent-flying. *Anyone* can become a frequent flyer, even a 22-year-old middle-class college student like me. One is not "born" into frequent-flying, nor does one have to be "rich." Just get a job that requires travelling around the country, and you can rack up 50, 60, 80, 100,000 butt-in-seat air miles a year quite easily.

[Edited 2006-01-12 20:47:20]
USAir A321 service now departing for SFO with fuel stops in CAK, COS and RNO. Enjoy your flight.
 
ScottB
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Fri Jan 13, 2006 4:43 am

Quoting Mariner (Reply 31):
But - United's market share at DEN has gone down and Frontier's has gone up.

It's difficult to attribute market share at DEN solely to the relative performance of Ted and Frontier, though. While Frontier increased its market share by roughly 25% (17 pts to 21 pts), they also increased system capacity, almost exclusively focused on DEN, by 36%, from 1.816 billion ASM's (4Q03) to 2.462 billion ASM's (4Q05). Frontier also saw RASM decline from 8.26 cents to 7.96 cents over the same periods (both yield and load factor fell slightly) and added a significant number of new destinations from DEN - from 41 to 54 cities. United, systemwide, saw passenger RASM improve from 3Q03 to 3Q05 (4th quarter 2005 results aren't yet available) -- but they increased capacity only incrementally between 2003 and 2005. Systemwide UAL numbers, of course, aren't indicative of the DEN market, which could be better or worse for the airline.

More destinations, more capacity, and lower yields clearly should mean greater market share at DEN. What is entirely unclear is how much of an effect Ted has or has not had.
 
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mariner
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Fri Jan 13, 2006 5:01 am

Quoting ScottB (Reply 38):
It's difficult to attribute market share at DEN solely to the relative performance of Ted and Frontier, though.

Um - did I do that? I thought I said:

Quoting Mariner (Reply 31):
But - United's market share at DEN has gone down and Frontier's has gone up.

Which is true. To which I added:

Quoting Mariner (Reply 31):
In some instances, Ted has lost market share on purely Ted routes.

Note: "In some instances". Note also these figures, not provided by me:
Ted Loses DEN Market Share; F9 Up (by Alphascan Jun 2 2005 in Civil Aviation)#ID2147571

Yes, there are all sort of reasons for a decline in market share. However, it was a stated objective for Ted to "stop the erosion" of market share, especially at DEN.

On some purely Ted routes this has not happened. Moreover, Frontier has added very little capacity on those purely Ted routes. In at least one instance, DEN/ONT, Frontier stopped service.

cheers

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
AA7573E
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Fri Jan 13, 2006 5:10 am

Quoting UALPHLCS (Reply 30):
AS mentioned by others above the days of the corporation paying for F for their employees is long gone.

No it is not. You have no idea of what you speak. Plenty of companies buy first class tickets for the senior employees.

Quoting UALPHLCS (Reply 30):
Can you tell us what companies?

Certainly. Take a look at the Fortune 500 list.

Quoting IRelayer (Reply 36):
Which companies? Can you provide the names/links/any sort of reference?

Don't be an idiot. Of course I can not provide you a link to anything. My exposure to the corporate world give me all the insight I will.
See you up front!
 
irelayer
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Fri Jan 13, 2006 5:19 am

Quoting AA7573E (Reply 40):
Don't be an idiot. Of course I can not provide you a link to anything. My exposure to the corporate world give me all the insight I will.

Thanks for your wonderfully diplomatic (and well-written) response.

Don't make blanket statements on this board without being able to back them up. It makes YOU look like an idiot.

Hey, I know of 10 airlines that seriously want to order 787s.

-IR
 
FA4UA
Posts: 777
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Fri Jan 13, 2006 5:26 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 13):
Because I'm spoiled and won't fly Y. I'll buy the F seat.

(sighting your example of DEN-LAS) You won't fly Y on an hour long flight.... give me a break.

Quoting Manta (Reply 19):
Now don't get me wrong, I'll put up with the 320's going back and forth, but is there any talk at UA about switching this route back to mainline and a bigger plane, or am I destined to be on a 320??

In most TED markets served, TED added frequencies which means more options. United has said that there are now more ASM's in most TED markets then prior to the switch from mainline (excluding MSY, MIA). No plans of changing out TED anywhere from what I've heard internally. TED is doing very well.

Quoting Hiflyer (Reply 24):
The $400m fleet refurb at UAL coming up in a few weeks is supposed to include a major IFE...anyone wanna bet TV is not coming to TED?

Why install TV's at every seat if: 1) it's not in the top 5 reasons someone picks an airline; 2) ridiculously expensive and may not be value added enough to generate additional revenue to make up the cost; 3) adding a WiFi box onboard is pennies on the dollar cheaper; 4) adding the cheaper WiFi service onboard also makes our target market business traveler much happier with connectivity which they crave which drives our Intention To Repurchase levels!

Ted market test= What percentage of revenue in a city pair is F? If less then a confidential number, then switch market to TED.

When it's backpackers and screaming babies... not to many people are buying F class tickets. Additionally if you're a FF on UA, you'll likely choose mainline through one of our closer hubs to your final destination and then TED on that last leg with Economy plus.

It is noteworthy that our Premeres and 1K's were part of the design team for this product offering. This is something very important to remember. It is also important to remember that it's impossible to please everyone all the time.

If there was money to be made with F class, we'd be the first airline in line to offer that product (note PS service from LAX/SFO- JFK), otherwise we're just doing what every good business does and offer the right product in the right demand environment.

FA4UA


Opinions represented in this post are mine alone and do not represent UAL corporation, United Airlines or any of its affiliates.
The debate continues... Starwood or Hyatt... which is better
 
IceTitan447
Posts: 450
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Fri Jan 13, 2006 5:28 am

Quoting Mariner (Reply 33):
Quoting IceTitan447 (Reply 32):
How much has it decreased? do you have numbers?

See reply #15 above.

Would you say a great deal of the loss from other carriers in DIA could be the rapid growth in the Mexican market for F9?
 
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mariner
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Fri Jan 13, 2006 5:44 am

Quoting IceTitan447 (Reply 43):
Would you say a great deal of the loss from other carriers in DIA could be the rapid growth in the Mexican market for F9?

I've no idea. All I can say is that since Frontier started Mexico service, United has discovered the Mexican resorts from DEN, most of it with Ted. Prior to that, United did not serve the Mexican resorts from DEN.

So I would assume - and this is only an assumption - that Frontier's Mexican service is partially balanced out by the increase in United/Ted's Mexican service.

cheers

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
ScottB
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Fri Jan 13, 2006 5:47 am

Quoting Mariner (Reply 39):
Yes, there are all sort of reasons for a decline in market share. However, it was a stated objective for Ted to "stop the erosion" of market share, especially at DEN.

Agreed. My point is that it's hard to say (as an outsider) if UniTed's market share erosion is less or more than it would have been if Ted had not been launched. It certainly did not "stop the erosion" of market share. Honestly, I don't think Ted is a terribly effective competitive product -- but I think that Frontier's gains in overall market share at DEN are more due to somewhat lower fares and dramatically increased capacity than to an ineffective competitor in Ted.
 
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mariner
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Fri Jan 13, 2006 6:00 am

Quoting ScottB (Reply 45):
My point is that it's hard to say (as an outsider) if UniTed's market share erosion is less or more than it would have been if Ted had not been launched.

Agreed. It is what it is, the figures are the figures.

However, since Ted, for at least part of the time, was charging fares with which Frontier they could not compete, one wonders what the revenue erosion - solely on Ted routes - might have been.

One wonders. One will never know.

cheers

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
IceTitan447
Posts: 450
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Fri Jan 13, 2006 6:08 am

Quoting Mariner (Reply 44):
So I would assume - and this is only an assumption - that Frontier's Mexican service is partially balanced out by the increase in United/Ted's Mexican service.

How much more does F9 serve Mexico than TED.



Quoting ScottB (Reply 45):
I don't think Ted is a terribly effective competitive product -- but I think that Frontier's gains in overall market share at DEN are more due to somewhat lower fares and dramatically increased capacity than to an ineffective competitor in Ted.

If Ted had never been launched UAL could have lost more Market share. I don't know why you think the way you do, but Ted is a pretty good competitor with F9. An A319(F9) for an A320(UA) Service in my opinion is comparable, with F9's IFE being the only difference.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 45):
ineffective competitor in Ted.

don't see your logic.
 
Manta
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 3:06 am

RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Fri Jan 13, 2006 6:21 am

Quoting FA4UA (Reply 42):
Additionally if you're a FF on UA, you'll likely choose mainline through one of our closer hubs to your final destination and then TED on that last leg with Economy plus.

Actually, I've seen quite a few other people besides myself do just that. We'll take the morning 777 flight from ORD to DEN and then hop the 1 hour TED flight to LAS. It has gotten more popular with business travelers now as I usually walk with a bunch of people from the arrival gate to the LAS departure gate.
 
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mariner
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RE: UA's TED: Great Idea Or A Pain In The...

Fri Jan 13, 2006 6:23 am

Quoting IceTitan447 (Reply 47):
How much more does F9 serve Mexico than TED.

That would have to include seasonal adjustments, and I don't know what United is up to.

ZIH (Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo) does not appear on the present Ted route map, but I think last year DEN/ZIH was flown by Ted.

I also think there is a DEN /ZIH flight this year, but I have no idea if it is mainline or Ted. I'm sure it is in the United timetables, but it is of minimal interest to me - it is, we are told, all the same airline.

cheers

mariner
aeternum nauta

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