ua767400
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Is Change Coming To United?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:32 pm

Are things getting better for customers at United? It was a rough summer last year, but has this summer, operationally speaking, been better compared to last year? Based on an article written on Airchive ( http://airchive.com/blog/2013/08/03/uachange/ ), it seems that there is a detectable tone change to being more customer centric that that writer picked up on in two of the four current welcome aboard videos. Could change be coming? If so, what kind of changes would we see?
 
SANflyr
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:45 pm

I really think things are improving for us United Customers. I just got back from a European trip and had 4 of the best flights I have had in years. I felt a very honest escalation in positive tone and energy from staff at the gate to staff on board.
It was very noticeable to me and my traveling partner (who is 1K ...and noticed the new energy right away). Granted we were in the First cabin (Domestically) and BusinessFirst cabin (Internationally), which BTW we paid for, vs. upgrades, so it was a pleasant surprise to feel we got the hard and soft product we paid for.
 
eaglepower83
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:49 pm

I really don't know.......anecdotally, one of my Twitter peeps had a pretty crappy trip from LA to New England.
SHARES lost the seats for him and his friend. The gate agents would not seat them together upon reassigning.
One of them has a severe nut allergy and wanted to sit next to the window and his friend to minimize exposure, to which UA staff was reportely "unsympathetic."
On top of that they departed late, missing their connection and getting home over 3hrs late.
 
MadameConcorde
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:54 pm

Quoting SANflyr (Reply 1):
Granted we were in the First cabin (Domestically) and BusinessFirst cabin (Internationally), which BTW we paid for, vs. upgrades, so it was a pleasant surprise to feel we got the hard and soft product we paid for.

This is not really objective. Travelling in F you will always get the best on board a flight.

You may not have had the same positive impression if you had travelled the same distance sitting in Economy Less center seats all the way in the back of the planes.

Go try that and tell us if there has been any real improvements.

    
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
SonomaFlyer
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:10 pm

In the summer of 2012, we had an aweful experience on our SFO-LHR roundtrip saga. It was more on the ops side and not customer service to be fair but my wife was done with UA at that point.

This summer, we did a trip which involved SFO-IAD-GVA-LHR-SFO. We blew out about 230k miles though I spent several hundred on Y+ given the long sectors. Our IAD to GVA flight was easily the best trip we've had on UA in the last 10 years. GVA to LHR was on Swiss which was great and the old 744 to SFO wasn't all that great in Y class but the staff was fabulous.

I think UA is finally getting things sorted on the ops side and the customer service folks are trying hard. I still think management is more at fault in how they tried to do the merger on the cheap and the lack of combined contracts/seniority lists is still preventing the full benefits to kick in for operations but things are better than last summer in my view.
 
UALFAson
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:18 pm

I think people are going to see what they want to see. People who have been burned by United in the past are going to be still looking for problem areas while others who want to give the airline more of a chance will probably be happy to see the improvements.

I flew BNA-EWR-PVG-PEK-IAD-BNA earlier this summer and BNA-IAH-EZE-IAH-BNA a couple of months before that, as a revenue both times in Y, and found the service and experience, particularly on the international segments, to be delightful. Newly refurbished planes with AVOD, decent (if not spectacular) food, friendly staff, etc. Even my non-frequent-flyer travel companion said he was pleasantly surprised with the experience based on what he had heard anecdotally about UA.

I think where the airline continues to struggle is with irregular ops. Having hubs in some of the most delay prone areas of the country (EWR, ORD, SFO) doesn't help, and when weather or ATC issues arise, things go to hell in a handbasket at warp speed. Planes are so full that pax aren't easily rebooked and staff (who have been cut to the bone in terms of #s) don't seem willing or able to deal with the resulting chaos.

I think things will continue to improve over the next couple of years and hopefully the feeling of improvement and success will beget more success and more improvements.
"We hope you've enjoyed flying with us as much as we've enjoyed taking you for a ride."
 
dz09
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:21 pm

UA is slowly resembling the old CO which is good. I see a much better onboard service especially on overseas flights. I had two recent great flights to and from Shanghai. Enjoyed the small talk and service with two great flight attendants, Teresa and Emily.

I think they're on the right track.
 
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TWA772LR
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:27 pm

From working with UA at IAH, I saw the attitude with sCO employees take a dive in 2011, reach the lowest in 2012, and start to rebound in 2013. I can even see it in the pilots and FA's from sUA and sCO that things must be getting better.

My parents who even work for sCO have had their attitudes get better recently too.

I'll really find out how the inflight service is when I do my trip to SIN in next week.

People say UA is at the bottom, but from there you can only go up!
When wasn't America great?


The thoughts and opinions shared under this username are mine and are not influenced by my employer.
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:33 pm

I think it's still a mixed bag.

Operationally, I think UA has gotten a little bit better, but they're still at the bottom of the industry. Hub location is part of the problem, but UA still doesn't handle IRROPS well.

The in-flight product is all over the place and lacks any consistency. UA seems to be doing little to fix this problem and in some cases is making it worse. Tied to that is UA's branding, which seems almost non-existent.

UA's fleet strategy is way behind DL and may even fall behind US/AA. UA relies too much on regional providers and has little strategy to fix that. This has left UA with a higher CASM fleet that is not as competitive. While UA's international fleet is reasonably competitive, the domestic fleet is not.

UA seems to be hemorrhaging marketshare in almost every market it competes right now. It's hard to find anywhere where UA is growing and becoming stronger.
 
Sooner787
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:38 pm

Flew UA last week SEA-SFO-DFW and both flights were very pleasant.

As much UA as we book around here,it made me feel better

about recommending UA in the future .
 
N505fx
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:43 pm

Quoting dz09 (Reply 6):
UA is slowly resembling the old CO which is good.

I completely beg to differ. Elimination of 3 class planes - bad, Continental style catering - bad. Penny pinching/cheap approach to MileagePlus benefits - bad. Minimal domestic wide body flying - bad. Increased Express flying - bad. Honestly, I fail to the see the "good" Continental brought to the table - aside from a new fleet - but honestly, the front cabin on the sCO 737 is not more comfortable than the front cabin on the sUA A320 - and in the back, the sUA planes in some configurations had more comfortable seats. On UA in, in the front cabin, there is always someone serving, and water glasses never go empty, it seems on sCO, after the Continental inspired salad with rubber shrimp on top or beef chipotle wrapped is slung at you with some crackers in a bowl, the F/A's retreat to a union meeting in the galley aren't that interested in passengers wants/need in the cabin.
 
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airzim
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:56 pm

This GS is very happy with United. I've seen really exceptional service on my multi-weekly flights, all domestic. Was met in IAH this week by the Mercedes. Whisked to the lounge, upgrades and proactive management of my flights. All good stuff.

The fact is, many of the folks that are still gripping will never be satisfied or they're clinging to a rose coloured past that never existed. It's time to accept change and move on.

My wife had an encounter with a DL Diamond the other day and he was whinging about how lousy DL is. In another incident, an American CK was asking, "where's the exceptional service that is promised with CK status?" This happens at all carriers, and while it is conventional wisdom that the United merger has not been successful, I'm really not seeing it in my real travels.
 
L1011
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:57 pm

Booked a flight from EWR to MSY on a United 737, and now it's been changed to an ERJ-145. That's a long flight for a regional.

Bob Bradley
Fly Eastern's Golden Falcon DC-7B
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:02 pm

Quoting airzim (Reply 12):
This happens at all carriers, and while it is conventional wisdom that the United merger has not been successful, I'm really not seeing it in my real travels.

United's financials show the merger isn't very successful. The profit margins being generated today by UA aren't any better than those of UA and CO as stand alones 3-4 years ago. So far this year, UA is only marginally profitable when you combine 1st and 2nd quarter results.
 
atnight
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:05 pm

I think United is a reliable airline and gets you to your destination safe. However, the customer experience just sucks, unless you pay for business or first. How can they charge for IFE when traveling internationally (in destinations with a 737 from what I understand)? its IFE is a lousy system too and they dont offer you but pretzels and one drink... its pathetic. United is the worst of the top three and that doesnt mean its third..I used to be an elite with them but avoid them as much as possible now.

Good Customer Service is not their priority and that shows. I wish they could turn things around but with current management, impossible.
B707 B727 B733/5/7/8/9 B742/4 B752/3 B763/4 B772 A310 A318/319/320 A332 A343 MD80 DC9/10 CRJ200 ERJ145 ERJ-170 Be1900 Da
 
dz09
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:20 pm

Are things really that better with other US airlines? Have not flown with any other carriers for years now except with US air because of the star alliance. I'll take UA over US any day. Maybe I should give AA and Delta another try. I was not impressed the last time I flew with them.
 
KBJCpilot
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:23 pm

I've been on 15+ UA flights in the past 90 days and I can see a difference. DEN, TPA. EWR, LAX, SFO, PDX, SNA, IAH, SJU, IAD are the ones I've flown through as well as spending time on OO to regional markets. I had an exceptional crew on my IAD-SFO leg on Wednesday evening and an earlier flight from DEN-SFO stands out as well.

What I am not too thrilled about are the seats in the 739's. I flew on 739's and A320 and 752's on my most recent trip and the 739 was the most uncomfortable of the three. I've had better seats on a CRJ2. I'm becoming somewhat preferential to the 75's and Airbus products and look for them on the routes I fly.

As for OO, I have enjoyed every flight in the recent past. One particular flight was challenging for my traveling party and the FA, who had been out of class for all of 6 weeks, was very professional and helpful to the extent that I wrote a personal letter to the VP of Customer Service at OO.

I'm pulling for UA to turn things around and if my recent experiences are any measuring stick then they are on their way.
Samsonite, I was way off!
 
777ord
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:57 pm

Quoting SANflyr (Reply 1):
I really think things are improving for us United Customers. I just got back from a European trip and had 4 of the best flights I have had in years. I felt a very honest escalation in positive tone and energy from staff at the gate to staff on board.
It was very noticeable to me and my traveling partner (who is 1K ...and noticed the new energy right away). Granted we were in the First cabin (Domestically) and BusinessFirst cabin (Internationally), which BTW we paid for, vs. upgrades, so it was a pleasant surprise to feel we got the hard and soft product we paid for.

First, thank you for being a part of a loyal United membership base.

Secondly, as someone who works both above and below wing management for a location in Southern California. I can say that we have come a LONG way from the bottom of the barrel experience we all experienced years past. Both sides of the aisle (pun intended) are getting over their issues and pride problems and realizing that they-not management- need to get over their issues and work together. The uniform integration was a major hurdle, and has really relieved a lot of tension.

Additionally, with the introduction of the IAM early out program, all those senior grumpy YOU NEED TO RETIRE agents, will, retire. That way we can bring in fresh young blood and really give other airlines a run for their money in CS. Where I am, we've hired about 10 new agents, and it is showing a positive impact!

I pride myself on the CS I perform. I go out of my way to help anyone and everyone. And do personal follow ups when I am able to. Many of which have my personal cell phone number. All our customers help me afford to provide for me and my family. And I am grateful for them. I share that mindset with my employee's and they all are making a difference!

Even bigger and better things are coming to United. I CANNOT share them, as they come from the very top. You will like them, and make you glad you stick with UNITED. Put it this way, I really am not enjoying the wait for them to become public.
 
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kordcj
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:16 pm

I've taken a number of trips in the past year on United, and this past trip DEN-SEA-DEN was actually the first time I stepped on a UA plane since fall of 2012. 6 of my last 8 trips have all been completely on Express. The difference in F/A attitude was HUGE! They smiled, chatted with passengers, and weren't surly at all. Even the pilots came on and chimed in with a friendly update or 2. It felt like I was back on the UA/CO that I used to know, and not the monster of an airline that was born just after the merger. My biggest surprise (this could have just been because I was dealing with Denverites who are generally friendly people) was that the gate agents were actually friendly. I've never experienced that on ANY United flight in the 23 years I've been flying them. There definitely has been a change.
The most obvious proof for intelligent life in the universe is that they haven't tried to contact us.
 
BC77008
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:26 pm

Coming into this summer, I'm pretty sure the powers that be at UA knew that they simply COULD NOT have a repeat of the Summer of 2012. I've noticed several improvements, including kiosks being installed at their customer service counters in ORD and IAH. They even rolled out a numbering system in ORD so you didn't have to stand in line for hours and hours and wait your turn to be helped by a representative during an IRROP situation. As a FA last year there were many times I would land at ORD after IRROP and see the line to customer service run all the way down the B or C Concourse. It was embarrassing. I felt so bad for those people having to wait it out and be real troupers. Even though UA has no control over the weather, they were right to try and fix this. Also they do have I believe the best smartphone app in the business. They recently tweaked it I believe in late May to allow customers to make changes to their travel itinerary right there from their smart phone instead of visiting a customer service rep. It basically shows the new flights UA has rebooked you on and if you don't like it you can make changes to it. So for that I give them huge props. They've also opened up many managerial positions within their hubs to deal with their zones and gate traffic to make getting those planes in and out as quick and smooth as possible.
MY favorite airline and hub is bigger and/or better than YOUR favorite airline and hub!
 
brilondon
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:18 am

UA is so bad that just to have a bad experience would be an improvement. Honestly, do you think that the, IMO, the second worst airline in the US is improving? They stink! I only fly them due to the fact that it is the only airline that flies into YXU that I can fly. It sucks.
Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
 
MSPNWA
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:54 am

I've flown UA a couple times lately (all domestic), and honestly the last trip was as pleasant as any domestic trip I've taken. Great planes. Friendly service. On schedule. The latest technology from boarding to in-flight. It was excellent. DL has rarely even come close, and I've flown DL far more over the years. Only WN can match the new UA. To me, UA is a step ahead of the other legacies and is positioned to be the leader for years to come.

Quoting BC77008 (Reply 23):
They even rolled out a numbering system in ORD so you didn't have to stand in line for hours and hours and wait your turn to be helped by a representative during an IRROP situation.

That's awesome. The last time I flew DL I had an IRROP situation in DTW because of an afternoon thunderstorm that cancelled my flight and many others. The automatic rebooking system gave me a ridiculous alternative (a circuitous routing the next day). So I stood in line for about two hours to see a representative, and mind you I was near the head of the line. I could sense my flight was going to cancel, and I rushed over to the desk the first minute I needed to. By the time I got my flight changed the line was so crazy long it would have taken many hours. Kudos to UA for trying out a numbering system. At least you have the freedom to wait comfortably.
 
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mats
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:06 am

I almost exclusively fly United, and I was getting sick of delays. I also had a really awful crew on my last flight. But last week I flew on US Airways transcon. I found myself dreaming of flying United. The seats in US Airways first class are really tight, the food makes United's seem light years better in comparison, and the US Airways Club actually isn't as nice as United Clubs. I think I've complained too much about United. They really do have a lot to offer.
 
usairways85
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:15 am

Welcome Aboard videos are worth nothing in measuring how well the company is doing in terms of customer service.

In fact I was on a UA flt delayed 3 hours due to a mechanical and crew problems and the Welcome Aboard video was about stressing the importance of the customer. 1/4 of the plane actually balked at it and felt it was putting salt in the wound.

UA is still hit or miss. I've had some great service recently but I've also had some poor service within the past 3 months.
 
FrequentFlyKid
Posts: 1097
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:25 am

Quoting N505FX (Reply 10):I completely beg to differ. Elimination of 3 class planes - bad, Continental style catering - bad. Penny pinching/cheap approach to MileagePlus benefits - bad. Minimal domestic wide body flying - bad. Increased Express flying - bad. Honestly, I fail to the see the "good" Continental brought to the table - aside from a new fleet - but honestly, the front cabin on the sCO 737 is not more comfortable than the front cabin on the sUA A320 - and in the back, the sUA planes in some configurations had more comfortable seats. On UA in, in the front cabin, there is always someone serving, and water glasses never go empty, it seems on sCO, after the Continental inspired salad with rubber shrimp on top or beef chipotle wrapped is slung at you with some crackers in a bowl, the F/A's retreat to a union meeting in the galley aren't that interested in passengers wants/need in the cabin.


Is this a serious post?

3 class planes haven't been eliminated. All airlines are devaluing their FF programs. Domestic widebody flying is a thing of the past on nearly every airline. Express flying is increasing at nearly every airline. What's your point? If your the guy who thinks there should be hourly 777 service between ORD and LAX then I feel like your opinions are extremely out of whack.



[Edited 2013-08-09 21:26:57]

[Edited 2013-08-09 21:30:34]
 
N505fx
Posts: 325
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2008 3:02 am

RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:12 am

Quoting FrequentFlyKid (Reply 24):
Is this a serious post?

It is a serious post comparing the way UAL used to run their airline, and make a profit (yes, they made money going in to the merger) versus how CO now runs the airline. The difference is palpable. Domestic wide body flying used to exist at UAL, and no...not every hour, that is completely childish to even suggest, but as an option on some routes that can demand the premium, yes. FF programs don't have to be devalued...just because one airline is doing it, doesn't mean they all to have to, MileagePlus didn't get to the where it is today by copying everything SkyPesos is doing and Express Flying is only increasing, only if management decides so, it certainly isn't the customer that is asking for it and wasn't the de facto mindset of UAL management prior to CO getting there.

Stop apologizing for Continentals acceleration of the race to the bottom, its sad to watch happen.
 
flyua
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:50 am

777ord:

I am not privy to your inside knowledge of good (great?) changes coming to United, but your post certainly has gotten my attention. I can't wait for positive change to come our way! Last summer's operational performance, our less-than-class-leading BusinessFirst product, and our subtle but noticeable downgrading of domestic premium cabin catering had gotten me worried for our future, but I am trying to stay positive and hopeful.

Bring on the good developments!
 
spacecadet
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:54 am

Quoting dz09 (Reply 15):
Are things really that better with other US airlines? Have not flown with any other carriers for years now except with US air because of the star alliance. I'll take UA over US any day. Maybe I should give AA and Delta another try. I was not impressed the last time I flew with them.

Without getting into too many specifics and threadjacking, I can at least say I have none of the same complaints I'm seeing here about Delta. The other domestic I fly most often is JetBlue, who have always been good. The only nitpick I have about Delta at this point is that their IFE situation is a little inconsistent. But they make it pretty clear on their web site what you're getting (though there's always the possibility of an equipment sub). The planes with no IFE do have wifi, though.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
VC10er
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:18 pm

I am almost a 3 million mile flier on United and GS. I fly United almost exclusively and the reason is, that for 20 years United has always been great to me. It all started with a complaint I made (by phone) to a United CS agent. 24 hours later I got a huge Harry & David fruit tower, with a big white ribbon with the Tulip in silver, attached was a hand written apology. I figured, with a classy move like that, someone at United made United worth a few more chances. At the time I was an AA or CO flier. My job includes a ridiculous amount of travel for international travel. Tomorrow I am off to London, São Paulo and Rio. I fly full fare business. My ticket to LHR is $7k due to last minute booking.

I am here to say, with quantitative (albeit one person) observations...YES many things have improved. Period. If it keeps going up, I would bet United will be named a "come back" airline. Some things aren't so good. Ironically, the NEW United has taken on the best of CO and the worst of CO too. I think the CO bed seat is not the most comfortable seat. I would have preferred the sUA business seat- but add storage! The sUA seat itself is longer and more comfortable.

I realize I get special treatment - but I could easily switch to AA or DL if I wanted. But United does reward loyalty.

Is NEW: Swiss International Airlines (Switzerland)">LX better??? YES! But I'm not Swiss unfortunately (from an air pax perspective) and no I can't afford a $38,000 hand bag in Switzerland like Oprah  

Go United! Keep it up, and surprise us all, from nose to tail, with great innovation!
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
VC10er
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:59 pm

Allow me to revise my comments a bit! United failed to send me my "check in early" early email. So, I had to call UA. The agent was very nice, but it did make a mess (long story) which forced me to back to my TRULY horrible corp travel agency and fix something. I FEEL like if it wasn't for SHARES, it would have been fixable with old UA GS desk!

Angry! I spoke too soon!
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
dz09
Posts: 433
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:46 pm

What's this beef about CO bed seats and them being inferior to UA's. Would you rather fly a CO 2x2x2 arrangement on a 777 or an UA 2x4x2 with some seats facing the wrong way. Would you rather fly a 2x1x1 arrangement on a 767 or a 2x2x2 on a UA plane? But seriously, CO was good but not that great. UA was plain horrible. The combination is turning out to be a decent airline. We simply need to give the new UA a chance and stop bickering about the little things. I can honestly say that I am now happy with UA. Their ticket pricing on the other hand is still out of whack.
 
avek00
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RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:09 pm

CHANGE is absolutely coming to United, and it will be good. As I mentioned in another thread, Smisek and his team had to first focus on developing a set of "fundamentals" for the merged United that ensured the airline would have the physical means to remain viable and become competitive, both near-term and long-term. That was a tough job when 20+ years of bad leadership spawned all sorts of demons. But the work to exorcise those demons is mostly done, so now the airline can focus on things like improvements to customer service, and it is doing so with increasing sophistication and gusto.
Live life to the fullest.
 
N505fx
Posts: 325
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2008 3:02 am

RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:42 pm

Quoting dz09 (Reply 30):
some seats facing the wrong way.

Have you flown facing backwards? I actually prefer it for 2 reasons - 1) in cruise the nose of the plane is slightly nose high, keeping your head a few degrees above your feet, just more comfortable to sleep that way 2) the United beds are longer and have more foot space.
 
N505fx
Posts: 325
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2008 3:02 am

RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:46 pm

Quoting avek00 (Reply 31):
CHANGE is absolutely coming to United, and it will be good.

I truly hope so, but just don't have a lot of faith in Jeff and team. All I hear out of Jeff these days are costs are too high and assets need to work harder to make more return...I hope I am misunderstanding him
 
dz09
Posts: 433
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:20 am

RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:49 pm

Quoting N505FX (Reply 32):
2) the United beds are longer and have more foot space.

yes but 8 abreast seating in business?? give me a break.
 
jayunited
Posts: 2140
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:03 am

RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:05 pm

Quoting BC77008 (Reply 19):
Coming into this summer, I'm pretty sure the powers that be at UA knew that they simply COULD NOT have a repeat of the Summer of 2012. I've noticed several improvements, including kiosks being installed at their customer service counters in ORD and IAH. They even rolled out a numbering system in ORD so you didn't have to stand in line for hours and hours and wait your turn to be helped by a representative during an IRROP situation. As a FA last year there were many times I would land at ORD after IRROP and see the line to customer service run all the way down the B or C Concourse. It was embarrassing. I felt so bad for those people having to wait it out and be real troupers. Even though UA has no control over the weather, they were right to try and fix this. Also they do have I believe the best smartphone app in the business. They recently tweaked it I believe in late May to allow customers to make changes to their travel itinerary right there from their smart phone instead of visiting a customer service rep. It basically shows the new flights UA has rebooked you on and if you don't like it you can make changes to it. So for that I give them huge props. They've also opened up many managerial positions within their hubs to deal with their zones and gate traffic to make getting those planes in and out as quick and smooth as possible.

  

There are a lot of people who say United is the worst we don't care about our customer we don't handle IRROP very well and last summer that was the truth but not this summer. United has placed more customer service agents behind the customer service counter to serve customers who have been impacted by IRROP or simply customers who have missed their connection. United has more reservation agents working behind the scenes and some of them are now able to work from home. During IRROP United now has rolled out a system that will automatically rebook passengers on the first available flight. Passengers who want to change their flight during IRROP have several choices they can now use the United app or they can go to kiosks and rebook themselves if no inventory shows up on either the United app or at the kiosk instead of having the customer stand in line United gives the customer more options they can either enter their phone number or an email address and they will receive a ticket with a number and be entered into a virtual queue the system will send them either a text or email letting them know in approximately 10 minutes a customer service agent will be available and instead of standing in line for a hour or more waiting the customer can get something to eat or go take a seat and relax their feet until their number comes up. Customers have been taking notice and do appreciate that United is taking steps to alleviate having people stand in long lines waiting during IRROP.

United still has a ways to go but service has gotten better employees attitudes have improved greatly over last year and employees from both sides are now working together to make this airline better. So yes change is coming to United and it will all be for the better.

For those of you who complain about the lack of harmony in United onboard product especially the international product, this past week United had several dozen GS and 1K customers come to the headquarters to test out several different seating arrangements from 3 different manufactures the story is on skynet. For those of you who are not UA employees here is a copy and paste version as a link to the story would not work for non UA employees.

Comfy? Premium customers rate seating options
Posted August 9, 2013

“These seats are a little too firm,” said one tester. “But the recline is just perfect,” responded another. “I could sleep here.”

Rather than Goldilocks trying out the bears’ beds, those quotes are from some of our loyal travelers who were testing seating concepts that United may consider for future aircraft. We welcomed dozens of Global Services and 1K members to an invitation-only event on Aug. 7 and encouraged them to make themselves comfortable in three seating configurations from different manufacturers.

“The best way to find out what our premium customers like is to ask them,” said Product Development and Brand Management Managing Director Maria Walter. “They gave us a lot of feedback about what’s important.”

“We asked them to test everything,” said Onboard Product Development Senior Manager Danny Cuellar, “from the storage areas to the power outlets to the armrests and more.” The customers were pleased to know their perspectives mattered: “I felt like so much more than ‘just a customer’ when United invited me to come to headquarters and give my opinion and help be part of the process of selecting a new seat,” said one attendee.

And that may be the best win of all. “We asked our guests to keep the specifics of the session confidential,” Maria noted, “but we hope they tweet, blog and tell their friends that United listens to our high-value customers.”

The above paragraphs were copied and pasted directly from skynet and can be confirmed by any UA employee on this thread. So as you can see change is coming and United is listening to it customers. I know A.netters has become a bashing site for all things UA and I'll be honest we deserve it because UA really did screw up this entire merger process and it is natural for people to be angry. UA can not change what happened in 2011 and 2012, the past 2 years have been terrible but most of the employees of United Airlines are now trying to make it right and make this airline better than what it was.
 
N505fx
Posts: 325
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2008 3:02 am

RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:40 pm

Quoting dz09 (Reply 34):
yes but 8 abreast seating in business?? give me a break.

You can always book the 2 side, and then it is just like any other business class. Plus, I find most people who comment aout how horrible it is, haven't flown on it.
 
futureorthopod
Posts: 183
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:08 am

RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:58 pm

I have elite status on United now (only gold though) but I have not been impressed with the changes yet. The domestic dinner options in first on UA are terrible. That combined with the stuffy "old school" appeal of service and decor are really starting to make me reconsider finding a younger, "more hip" (lol) airline to become my primary airline.
 
masseybrown
Posts: 5346
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2002 2:40 pm

RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:10 pm

Quoting dz09 (Reply 6):
I see a much better onboard service especially on overseas flights.

This is good to hear, esp. since they are the big guy at my local airport (IAD). My last TATL experience on UA was pre-bankruptcy and it was unacceptably bad. I'm not quite ready to risk it again, but the time is coming closer.

The trouble is I used to fly business class, but the European airlines' version of premium economy is such a comfort vs. price bargain (especially compared to UA's economy plus), that it's going to be hard to go back to business class fares.
 
dz09
Posts: 433
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:20 am

RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:16 pm

Quoting N505FX (Reply 36):
You can always book the 2 side, and then it is just like any other business class. Plus, I find most people who comment aout how horrible it is, haven't flown on it.

with 2x4x2 arrangement, even the side seats are smaller. Tried them and did not like them, Who else in the industry has 2x4x2 abreast in business? the bottom line, CO did at least bring better planes and better seating arrangements into this lousy "marriage".
 
dz09
Posts: 433
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:20 am

RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:28 pm

Quoting jayunited (Reply 35):
this past week United had several dozen GS and 1K customers come to the headquarters to test out several different seating arrangements from 3 different manufactures the story is on skynet.

my invitation must have gotten lost in the mail.
 
United1
Posts: 3829
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:21 am

RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:35 pm

Quoting dz09 (Reply 39):
Who else in the industry has 2x4x2 abreast in business? the

BA, EK, EY...I could go on. You will find if you actually take a minute to look at how flat bed seats are put together quite a few airlines squeeze 7 or 8 J class seats across onto an aircraft.

Quoting dz09 (Reply 39):
with 2x4x2 arrangement, even the side seats are smaller. Tried them and did not like them,

They are smaller by an inch or two then what you find on the exCO 777s but are larger then what you fill find on the 2 class 767s or ex CO 752s.
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
dz09
Posts: 433
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:20 am

RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:41 pm

Quoting United1 (Reply 41):
BA, EK, EY...I could go on. You will find if you actually take a minute to look at how flat bed seats are put together quite a few airlines squeeze 7 or 8 J class seats across onto an aircraft.

I am talking about 8 not 7 abreast on a 777.
 
ThePinnacleKid
Posts: 530
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 9:47 am

RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:49 pm

Quoting dz09 (Reply 39):
with 2x4x2 arrangement, even the side seats are smaller. Tried them and did not like them, Who else in the industry has 2x4x2 abreast in business? the bottom line, CO did at least bring better planes and better seating arrangements into this lousy "marriage".

They're making changes... Jeff thinks you'll like them... (rolls eyes)... I totally agree with your assessment and feel that United is busy making changes and doing it as half-a** as possible. They're not becoming better like DL or the new AA are going for... no, they try to find the cheapest way to do anything. I have to say, I continue to notice changes.. I have yet to see one I like.....
"Sonny, did we land? or were we shot down?"
 
United1
Posts: 3829
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:21 am

RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:53 pm

Quoting dz09 (Reply 42):
Quoting United1 (Reply 41):
BA, EK, EY...I could go on. You will find if you actually take a minute to look at how flat bed seats are put together quite a few airlines squeeze 7 or 8 J class seats across onto an aircraft.

I am talking about 8 not 7 abreast on a 777.

EY and BA are 8 across on their 777s, EK is 8 abreast on their A380s....
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
United1
Posts: 3829
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:21 am

RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:57 pm

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 43):
They're not becoming better like DL or the new AA are going for... no, they try to find the cheapest way to do anything. I

Belive me when I say that AA and DL are just as focused on cost control as UA is. That being said all of them are investing a significant amount of money in their fleets right now....both on new aircraft and on retrofitting the old.
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
rcair1
Posts: 1147
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:39 pm

RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:01 pm

From my perspective, recent flights on United have just been "there." The route I fly most often is DEN-SEA and so I have lots of choices. Frontier, Alaska, United - flight schedules are pretty much identical. I've lost status on all 3 - so I have no reason to pick one or the other based on FF (you really can't do status if you fly domestically unless you fly weekly - and I don't).

In the last year, I've flown all 3 airlines - and they are much of a muchness. The only distinctions are:
- pricing model - United E+ is pretty expensive. Not sure it is worth it at this point.
- purchase interface - I greatly prefer Frontier to United - but since I have to book through Egencia (corporate Expedia), I don't see it. Note - I do often choose Frontier for non-work flight JUST because of the purchase experience.
- Channel 9 - and that is now a problem see below.

My travel profile - out on Sunday - back Friday. I can fly for a week on a SMALL carryon (not a roll-aboard - much smaller) - so no baggage and a sleeve type 'briefcase' for my laptop. I fly coach - typically upgrade to premium economy product.

My most recent trips DEN-SEA have both been on 320's and I'm not happy with them. Well - not happy is probably not the word - more "removed incentive" to purchase UA.
- They have IFE you must pay for - no map.
-- I'm not going to pay multiple $'s for crap TV on a 2+hr flight. No chance - so no revenue there.
-- I've tried to 'observe' and I've seen nobody using it.
From a revenue standpoint - this is a negative for UA.
- They pay to carry the system - weight = lost $
- They are not making money from me at least = 0 ROI
- They have de-incentivized a customer - no map, no reason to book United.

Next - They DO NOT have channel 9.
- This is a big deal. I have no reason to choose UA over others.

As far as service,
- I do like the current UA boarding process. I don't seem to wait in line as much.
- MX/Weather delays - roughly equal handling, equal frequency on the 3. Now - I'm not connecting - so a delay is just a simple delay to me - no cascade. I am smart enough to build some time into my schedule so a delay like I had last trip on return (3hr delay - traffic control into DEN due to high winds reducing # runways) is not a critical issue.

I used to choose United because:
- Moving map
- Channel 9
- E+

Now -
- no map
- no Channel 9
- E+ is expensive compared to competition.

So - I have no incentive to travel United over Frontier or Alaska.

It is currently purely price an schedule. DEN-SEA schedules are similar - so it is price.
-Bob
rcair1
 
dz09
Posts: 433
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:20 am

RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:05 pm

Quoting United1 (Reply 44):
EY and BA are 8 across on their 777s

are you sure about that?
 
United1
Posts: 3829
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:21 am

RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:06 pm

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 46):
My most recent trips DEN-SEA have both been on 320's and I'm not happy with them. Well - not happy is probably not the word - more "removed incentive" to purchase UA.
- They have IFE you must pay for - no map.
-- I'm not going to pay multiple $'s for crap TV on a 2+hr flight. No chance - so no revenue there.
-- I've tried to 'observe' and I've seen nobody using it.
From a revenue standpoint - this is a negative for UA.
- They pay to carry the system - weight = lost $
- They are not making money from me at least = 0 ROI
- They have de-incentivized a customer - no map, no reason to book United

Are you sure you were on a UA A320A319? With the exception being one aircraft that has only WiFi at this point all of them have overhead video, not in-seat, and it's free.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 46):
Next - They DO NOT have channel 9.
- This is a big deal. I have no reason to choose UA over others.

Except for the one A320 that has only WiFi all of the Airbii have Chanel 9....now whether it was turned on or not is another story.
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
United1
Posts: 3829
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:21 am

RE: Is Change Coming To United?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:13 pm

Quoting dz09 (Reply 47):
Quoting United1 (Reply 44):
EY and BA are 8 across on their 777s

are you sure about that?

Yup....take a look at how the seats are put together.

BA, EK, EY and UA all fit their seats in using the same principle. You are wide at the shoulders and narrow at the feet....as long as you alternate feet/shoulders you can squeeze in extra seats across without sacrificing comfort.
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!

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