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azstar
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:44 pm

Quoting 175erj (Reply 34):
For those of us who interact with United on a daily basis it has become clear that the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. Quite frankly, I am not sure anyone knows what they are doing. It's almost as if they have given up and are hoping the ship will right itself. The decisions that are coming from management are just asinine. I think they have completely lost focus on what it takes to run a world class airline and think that if they keep telling themselves and customers through adverts that they are 'world leading' and 'flyer friendly' that someone may actually believe it.

I think this is the core of the problem at UA. There doesn't seem to be any quality management, of any sort. At the station I used to fly from the UA management and single supervisor were pretty much missing in action, according to all the employees there. Then, when they outsourced the station completely, UA management was removed and the only manager and supervisor present were the contracted ones. It's as if UA has just retreated entirely from the operation. I suspect that was the same for all the other stations, as well.

It's not as much a question of whether who does the job better, contract or employee, but how involved the Company is in making sure it runs efficiently and everyone is up to par. It's clear that DL and AA are doing a much better job at this.
 
jayunited
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:03 pm

Quoting deltal1011man (Reply 22):
while this is true, other airlines have RR also. (I believe HA(IAM) has the same exact program.)

Even then, Delta has a good chunk of Full timers out there, can't believe they cost is that large of a difference compared to UA.

Exactly I don't believe there is a huge compensation difference between a top scale DL employee and a top scale UA employee I think the difference is DL has more employees at the bottom or in the middle of the pay scale while UA is top heavy.

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 37):
I've said this in past threads and will say it again. The UA management team is in a no-win situation. If they make the hard changes they need to make to earn more profits, they will get criticized. If they don't make the changes and their financials keep lagging (even though they're still solid), they get criticized as well. Take the flight attendant union leaders for example. How about you settle your differences so that both you and the airline can move forward. This inefficiency of dual contracts is just shooting yourself in the foot. Some people need an attitude adjustment.

If you honestly believe that outsourcing is the only way for UA profits to rise to the level of DL and soon AA's profits then IMO you are just as crazy as the people running this place. Instead of dealing with the real root of UA's problems you seem to agree with the single minded approach that UA's management continues to take which is consolidation, cutting routes, expanding UAX, oh and lets no forget get rid of loyal UA employees in favor of out sourcing. While DL and the new AA are expanding and raking in the profits UA is still blaming front line employees both above and below the wing for its less than stellar performance when we are doing all we can to turn this airline around. Management is not in a no win situation they just refuse to respect and listen to what our customers are saying. UA is not in a race to the top we are in a race to the bottom and both sCO and sUA front line employees in a figurative manner are screaming when will this slide to the bottom stop. The talk on the employee shuttle bus between employees from both CO and UA is that is wasn't this bad at either carrier before this merger so why can't the combined UA fix the problem? And out sourcing will only accelerate UA's decline because an outsourced employee does not care about what happens to UA whereas I do and so does my coworkers. Instead of seeing front line employees as the problem or the enemy management needs to see us an an asset because like I said in my earlier post many employees are showing up to work every day trying to make UA, trying to make UA Flyer Friendly. Let's see an outsource employee do that. The folks at Willis Tower and you are only fooling yourselves if you think the only way to increase profits is by getting rid of UA employees.
 
LouieP2186
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:45 pm

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 48):
But as I stated earlier

Agree'd
 
azstar
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:53 pm

Quoting jayunited (Reply 51):
Instead of seeing front line employees as the problem or the enemy management needs to see us an an asset

It's a fact. The most profitable companies don't always have the lowest labor costs. Two examples are Fedex and Southwest Airlines.
 
tyler81190
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:45 pm

Quoting rising (Reply 16):
In reality the real person they are outsourcing to, is you. And most people want more of it, not less.

With boarding passes on your smart phone, self-checked bags, self-boarding- it will soon reach the point where we might be asking- why do they really need anyone at all for these tasks, let alone contractors. Yesterday's staffing model is for yesterday's airline. It looks more to me like they are preparing for the reality of today.

Let's be honest- most people rarely interact with anyone at the airline until the gate anymore. It will only be more so, as more customers manage their travel themselves.

There will always be humans there... In an IROP situation, people want to talk to a person, and not a machine. A person can tell you how far it is from gate to gate, if there is a shuttle, what time the security checkpoint at EWR terminal C is busy etc. A person can ask you if you would rather go to IAH and spend the night then go to XYZ the next day. A computer cannot do that.

Quoting deltal1011man (Reply 22):
and someone will always be at the gate. I don't buy this argument at all honestly.

Exactly... There will never be a day without someone there.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 23):
Here's the problem, though: for most HVCs, there are and probably always will be ticketing needs that have to be handled by a person. When an 'important' traveler shows up at the gate inquiring about getting on the flight that is already oversold by 5 because his original flight is delayed/cancelled/stuck in Des Moines, it takes some human touch to see that the oversold flight has 15 passengers coming in late from PHX who are going to misconnect and that, as a result, there's no problem putting him on that airplane.

Do I see a more automated future? Absolutely, but I think we are closer to the limit than most realize.

I think the industry has reached it's peak in technology, for a while at least.

Quoting CALMSP (Reply 24):
but you only will need one person at the gate when people board themselves with automated boarding gates.

Until the flight cancels...

Quoting deltal1011man (Reply 28):
So you can just hop the gate and run to the plane like at the subway? I will bet anything you want to bet someone will be working the gate. (not only just that but you also have things like upgrades and such that are done at the gate, IROPS etc. Its going to hard to rely on computer to do it all.

Also, if the subway system, tested by UA and DL at least, has been such a home run why do only less than 10(AFAIK) gates in the world for these two carriers have them? CO was testing them before the merger at IAH and AFAIK the program hasn't been expand much.

Security requirements will dictate that there will always be someone watching the jet bridge door. The self boarding gates do work, but Americans in general prefer to see a person. A machine has no compassion.

There are so many things that a computer just cannot do yet, or in the foreseeable future. IROPS re-booking is one, when a flight cancels, you are sometimes rebooked for 3 days later when there is a way with a triple connection to get you home the same day. Upgrades could technically be done automatically, but what happens when someone traveling with family doesn't want to be upgraded? How do they then tell the automated gate that they want to be back in their original seat?

One more reason they cannot completely get rid of people: computer outages. A computer can't handwrite a boarding pass. A computer can't call another airline and see if they have space to move a passenger. If the reservation system (of any airline) were to experience an outage, how will the computer communicate that to passengers?

Quoting cle757 (Reply 44):
UA has lost millions in cargo after outsourcing all CO jobs..thats a fact!

Yes, down another 15% in the first quarter I believe.

Quoting azstar (Reply 53):
It's a fact. The most profitable companies don't always have the lowest labor costs. Two examples are Fedex and Southwest Airlines.

AMEN!!
 
MaverickM11
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:22 pm

How much outsourcing does UA do compare to DL, including DGS?

Quoting WJ (Reply 49):
I used to believe, just as many here do, that direct employes that work customer service and ramp care more and are more dedicated than others. Used to. The fact is that this so called "dedication" does not necessarily lead to better performance, more cheerful employees or less lost bags. There are plenty of reasons for it

   We have had decades of in house employees at any number of airlines and I think it's safe to say there's little correlation between whether employees are in house or outsourced, high paid, or low paid. If you look at DL's customer service metrics over the years, they were terrible in the 2000s, and those were primarily in house employees, even though Personally I've never had an issue with any UA or AA staff, internal or outsourced, in the sky or on the ground, with the exception of the UA ORD gate agents who seem to go out of their way to make things difficult, and they're definitely not outsourced.
I don't take responsibility at all
 
commavia
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:28 pm

Quoting WJ (Reply 49):
DGS and Eagle should not be mistaken for direct employees of DL or AA, they are a lower rate, limited benefit employees.

True, although I tend to agree with others that the experience on gets flying on competitors' regional operators tends to be somewhat more consistent of an experience. I have made connections between regional and mainline at AA, Delta and United, but AA is the one of have the most experience with, and I can say that without question the experience between mainline and Eagle at AA is generally handled quite well, particularly in Envoy-operated markets. I think there is something to be said for direct ownership, not to mention the fact that many of the Envoy ground staff are relatively seasoned/experienced, and therefore are extremely proficient with SABRE and other customer-facing elements of the experience, which is obviously critical in certain situations (especially OSO).

I think others are right that outsourcing doesn't necessarily have to mean horrible service. Case in point: outsourcing to non-owned, and often non-airline, vendors at ground stations is pretty much standard operating procedure with many excellent, high-quality European and Asian airlines. However, I also agree that, at least in the U.S., outsourcing, at least to non-owned, non-airline vendors, tends to mean a general degradation in service, particularly compared to mainline. I think this is precisely why we've seen several notable cases in recent years - perhaps most prominently Delta in ATL, I believe - of mainline carriers actually bringing customer service in-house for regionals. At big stations with lots of complex connections, lots of flights, etc., it just makes sense in delivery high-quality passenger service.

Quoting tyler81190 (Reply 54):
There will always be humans there... In an IROP situation, people want to talk to a person, and not a machine. A person can tell you how far it is from gate to gate, if there is a shuttle, what time the security checkpoint at EWR terminal C is busy etc. A person can ask you if you would rather go to IAH and spend the night then go to XYZ the next day. A computer cannot do that.
Quoting tyler81190 (Reply 54):
Exactly... There will never be a day without someone there.

Agreed. Technology is great, and for me personally has pretty much transformed the flying experience - for the better - 99% of the time. Between online check-in, self-service kiosks and TSA PreCheck - all of which did not exist just a relatively few years ago - I can now breeze through the airport and never have to deal with anybody until my boarding pass is scanned at the top of the jetbridge if I don't want to. However, there those 1% situations - rare, in my case, admittedly - where something goes wrong or there's a unique circumstance that requires particular attention. And in those cases, a flat screen or courtesy phone just don't cut it.
 
gilesdavies
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:33 pm

I hope no one minds me high jacking the thread...

In the UK and much of Europe most airlines use Ground Handling Agent companies at airports to manage everything from passenger check-in, ticket sales, boarding, baggage handling and catering. Even airlines with the biggest of bases, for example Ryanair have in-excess of 70 737-800 aircraft based at STN, and use Swissport as their agent.

These companies are paid by the airlines to represent their customers at these airports. Is this what United are sort of considering at these stations?

Do these businesses already exist in US airports? I'd imagine this is what most foreign airlines flying to US cities would be using and recruiting their own staff, just to meet one or two daily flights.
 
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RyanairGuru
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:08 pm

Quoting gilesdavies (Reply 57):
Is this what United are sort of considering at these stations?

Yes

Quoting gilesdavies (Reply 57):
Do these businesses already exist in US airports?

Yes, including some familiar names such as Servisair and Swissport
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
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LAXintl
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:42 pm

Top customer focused airlines of the world - from SQ to EK to CX to LX make use of 3rd party vendors - even at their home hubs at times.

There is zero correlation that inhouse staff somehow means good service and outsourced means bad.

Matter of fact since the late 1980s I have been involved with various ground handling companies and many provide highest levels of service.
Contracted stations can very easily have better ontime performance, lower lost/damage claims, higher customer survey scores than inhouse ones. I've seen how many such contracted stations have been awarded the station of the month, or station of the year by their respective contracting airlines and run circles around inhouse stations.

Ground handlers by their nature have a very strong incentive to provide good service as otherwise they will lose the business. The success of the ground handler and its economic viability is very much tied to pleasing its airline client.

The secret behind successful partnership with ground handling vendor is to provide them the appropriate tools, training and ultimately QA oversight.

As successfully demonstrated the world over, there is no reason why US airlines cannot contract such airport functions (including even hubs) to 3rd party vendors.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
azstar
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:58 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 59):
The secret behind successful partnership with ground handling vendor is to provide them the appropriate tools, training and ultimately QA oversight.

That's true. But UA comes up way short here. They do NOT provide the appropriate tools, training, and oversight as evident by the substandard customer service and operations at UA contracted stations vs other airlines contracted stations. If you've flown to/through any UA non-hub stations, or been involved in an irregular operation (one of the many overbooked/delayed/cancelled flights) it is apparent.
 
slvrblt
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:28 pm

Well. Don't just keep this thread focused on ground staff - beware, pilots - your jobs are not far from being outsourced either -- to a computer.

Clearly, there is already technology out there that could, and can, fly planes from the ground; think about those military drones. Do you think its really going to stop there? NOT. And it may be coming sooner than later.........in the wake of the disappearance of MH370, there have been some very interesting discussions on the internet; and in the news media,practical application has come to light on just what technology is out there, and what it is capable of. Seriously, airlines won't need crews to fly big planes at all.

So, let's see, in this thread we've gotten rid of counter agents, gate agents, and pilots. Flight attendants? Puhlease. Just serve yourself on board, put a credit card in the machine, and select what you want for dinner.

I exaggerate of course................but not too far beyond the realm of probability. If we're not careful, and don't stand up for ourselves the outsourcing craze will engulf everything - airlines will exist in name only, and consist of just the CEO and the Board members. But unions must change and be responsible too, in the light of the above. Yes, protect us, your rank and file, but this isn't the old ways anymore. There has to be a spirit of togetherness with the company, not a constant adversarial relationship. Make no mistake, it's a business, a partnership, not anything else. Don't think we/you can't be replaced if push really comes to shove.

Mr Spock..............energize............................
..everything works out in the end.
 
olympic472
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:39 pm

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 13):

However, I expect that more outsourcing at UA won't equate to higher long-term profits. Yes, some expenses will decrease, but I predict that the revenue will be reduced, too.

Profit is only realized when revenues exceed costs. In other words, there are two sides to the profit coin and the blind pursuit of cost reductions is often a false economy.

I guess hard work at corporate level to increase revenue and easier work to cut expenses.

An outsourced position is all about the money and not service. Companies may have a measures in place to evaluate but these will be used mainly to drive the $ side at contract negotiation. There is no going the extra mile by an outsourced employee. Whereas an employee has a vested interest in the company.

When security was under the airlines it was outsourced to the lowest bidder. Then 9-11 happened.
After all the investigations that revealed the minimum wage norm, contracts awarded to the ridiculously low value winning bidder, and screening that were inadequate, the TSA was formed to take over security from the airlines.
Let's avoid any discussions here about TSA here and just look at why this was done. Why outsourcing here will eventually result in a similar situation as security was pre 9-11.
Civil Aviation has a "Need for Speed"!
 
FlyHossD
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:10 pm

Quoting olympic472 (Reply 62):
I guess hard work at corporate level to increase revenue and easier work to cut expenses.

An outsourced position is all about the money and not service. Companies may have a measures in place to evaluate but these will be used mainly to drive the $ side at contract negotiation. There is no going the extra mile by an outsourced employee. Whereas an employee has a vested interest in the company.

When security was under the airlines it was outsourced to the lowest bidder. Then 9-11 happened.
After all the investigations that revealed the minimum wage norm, contracts awarded to the ridiculously low value winning bidder, and screening that were inadequate, the TSA was formed to take over security from the airlines.
Let's avoid any discussions here about TSA here and just look at why this was done. Why outsourcing here will eventually result in a similar situation as security was pre 9-11.

Nice post.

I agree that once the outsourcing starts, then there will be more bids to further reduce costs, and so on - much like your analogy of pre-9/11 security and as is currently being seen with the CPA agreements between the regionals and the major carriers.

Have we already forgotten that some regional airline flying is already being reduced to the lack of pilots? And so it goes...
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
MaverickM11
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:24 pm

Quoting olympic472 (Reply 62):
After all the investigations that revealed the minimum wage norm, contracts awarded to the ridiculously low value winning bidder, and screening that were inadequate, the TSA was formed to take over security from the airlines.

You're going to argue that TSA is an *improvement* over outsourced security?? I guarantee the cost-benefit of the TSA is producing worse results and cost probably thousands of times more than what we had pre 9-11.
I don't take responsibility at all
 
OB1504
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:43 am

Quoting 175erj (Reply 15):
When Continental outsourced, they had an actual Continental manager in each station.

I thought this was standard when airlines outsource their station agents. UA doesn't have any of their own personnel at these stations?

Quoting rising (Reply 16):
With boarding passes on your smart phone, self-checked bags, self-boarding- it will soon reach the point where we might be asking- why do they really need anyone at all for these tasks, let alone contractors. Yesterday's staffing model is for yesterday's airline. It looks more to me like they are preparing for the reality of today.

What happens when the technology doesn't work? For maybe 15 to 20% of passengers every day, it doesn't.

Quoting 175erj (Reply 38):
Are you kidding? Contract employees could care less. In most cases, they don't get flight benefits and are paid minimum wage... I don't know what station you travel in and out of where these agents are just so 'top notch' but I can assure you its definitely not the norm. Contract agents have nothing to work for and are usually at a disadvantage when it comes to resources.

It really depends on the provider, the airline, and the station. For example, the contact NK staff I've encountered at DEN, IAG, and PBG have been on par or better than the organic staff at FLL. I definitely agree that outsourced staff are at a resource disadvantage.

MIA is a unique outlier where contract agents, by local ordinance, start at a higher hourly wage than mainline agents.

Quoting gilesdavies (Reply 57):
These companies are paid by the airlines to represent their customers at these airports. Is this what United are sort of considering at these stations?

Do these businesses already exist in US airports? I'd imagine this is what most foreign airlines flying to US cities would be using and recruiting their own staff, just to meet one or two daily flights.

Yep, this is exactly what UA is considering doing. Over half of the airlines at MIA are handled by Swissport.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 58):
Yes, including some familiar names such as Servisair and Swissport

Now one and the same.

Quoting olympic472 (Reply 62):
When security was under the airlines it was outsourced to the lowest bidder. Then 9-11 happened.
After all the investigations that revealed the minimum wage norm, contracts awarded to the ridiculously low value winning bidder, and screening that were inadequate, the TSA was formed to take over security from the airlines.
Let's avoid any discussions here about TSA here and just look at why this was done. Why outsourcing here will eventually result in a similar situation as security was pre 9-11.

If anything, TSA is an example that insourcing doesn't solve anything. This is the absolute worst argument to use against outsourcing.
 
harim
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:30 am

Quoting cle757 (Reply 7):
Smisek is vey anti-employee,

Pilots have it as normal......for now.

In upcoming cycles, cost reductions w.r.t pilots will be higher in radar ----- whether one is a fan or not, the airline business is more and more of a commodity service when viewed by institutional investors.
 
CALMSP
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:38 am

Quoting OB1504 (Reply 65):

none. When a station is outsourced, there is no UA oversight or no UA responsibility at that station.
 
OB1504
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:55 am

Quoting CALMSP (Reply 67):
none. When a station is outsourced, there is no UA oversight or no UA responsibility at that station.

   Wow, even NK had their own supervisors and managers. Considering how they spend the absolute least amount of money possible on customer experience, if NK does it, I'm shocked that UA won't.
 
tommy767
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:29 am

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 39):
No. Smisek didn't change and from what I gather, he wasn't well thought of at CO as CO's CEO. Have you forgotten that he was CEO at CO for just weeks before pulling the trigger on the UA/CO merger? Have you forgotten that the prior CO CEO - Kellner - walked away from earlier UA/CO merger talks?

Weeks? Smisek was CEO at CO for 5 months before the merger was even announced...

I know some CO people don't think of him as "real CO" but he had been with CO since 1995 and worked under Gordo -- so yeah, pretty CO to me.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
olympic472
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:36 am

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 64):
You're going to argue that TSA is an *improvement* over outsourced security?? I guarantee the cost-benefit of the TSA is producing worse results and cost probably thousands of times more than what we had pre 9-11.
Quoting OB1504 (Reply 65):
If anything, TSA is an example that insourcing doesn't solve anything. This is the absolute worst argument to use against outsourcing.

Please read my last two sentences, and I quote here below.

Quoting olympic472 (Reply 62):
Let's avoid any discussions here about TSA here and just look at why this was done. Why outsourcing here will eventually result in a similar situation as security was pre 9-11.

TSA may also be considered "outsourced" because the airlines does not pay nor manage them. The airlines have washed their hands off this aspect of their business.
My point is to use pre 9-11 security as the example of what happens when outsourcing.
Civil Aviation has a "Need for Speed"!
 
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seahawk
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:12 am

I am surprised that this is not standard in the US. Own ground staff outside your major hubs is just a waste of resources. A hired ground handler can provide a better service overall (if you pick a good service provider) as they often have more resources available in times of need. If a flight cancels out they can quickly add personal usually not working the flight to care for the customers, they often have a local ready reserve they can call up as well.

The resulting service level entirely depends on the airline ordering those services. If they refuse to pay the contractor for the extra effort in such cases, he won´t make any extra effort, if he is paid and encouraged to go the extra mile, he will go the extra mile. (unless you hired the cheapest and most crappy service provider you can find)

Swissport or Aviapartner are usually not any worse than mainline services.

Or even if you have smaller local partners, it is not a problem. DUS Airport Groundhandling for example caters for many big airlines: http://www.groundhandling-dus.de/en/references/

It is hard to image that the service is not up to standard of the customers.
 
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RyanairGuru
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:17 am

Quoting seahawk (Reply 71):
resulting service level entirely depends on the airline ordering those services

I think that you're absolutely right, and it is up to the airline to pay for sufficient quality and then enforce standards with the contractor.

Outsourced handling is pretty much universal outside of North America at non-hub airports, and the service is not notably deficient. In my experience that also goes for foreign carriers at US airports.

Simply saying that outsourced handling is worse than inhouse handling is intellectually lazy. As the saying goes, pay peanuts, get monkeys. And in that comment I'm referring to the handling agent and the service they supply to your customers, rather than the employees per se. I doubt a Swissport employee gets paid more for working a BA flight than a UA one (totally hypothetical example) and the difference is that BA are prepared for more resources to be available to serve their customers and more strictly crack down on a lack of compliance.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
F9Animal
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:58 am

I have worked for a few airlines, and worked for a few subcontractors.

Working for UA, I took pride in my uniform. I took pride in working my tail off to keep customers coming back. I would sweat in 110 degree heat on the ramp, but went the extra mile for my airline. I took the time to read the bag tags, and sort the bags. I worked hard at the counter to get passengers checked in. I valued my travel benefits, and was proud to work for UA.

Working for Signature Flight Support..... I came to work to get a paycheck. I could care less about the paint job on the plane. I didn't give the effort to get planes out on time, because I didn't want to injure myself, as I didn't have benefits. I was making a few cents above minimum wage, and I didn't care if I lost my job actually. I didn't feel proud, nor did I ever feel appreciated.
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
CALMSP
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:07 pm

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 73):

When you are describing your UA position, you make it sound like you were just doing your job. Nothing special.
 
olympic472
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:44 pm

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 73):
I have worked for a few airlines, and worked for a few subcontractors.

Working for UA, I took pride in my uniform. I took pride in working my tail off to keep customers coming back. I would sweat in 110 degree heat on the ramp, but went the extra mile for my airline. I took the time to read the bag tags, and sort the bags. I worked hard at the counter to get passengers checked in. I valued my travel benefits, and was proud to work for UA.

Working for Signature Flight Support..... I came to work to get a paycheck. I could care less about the paint job on the plane. I didn't give the effort to get planes out on time, because I didn't want to injure myself, as I didn't have benefits. I was making a few cents above minimum wage, and I didn't care if I lost my job actually. I didn't feel proud, nor did I ever feel appreciated.

Best post from the service provider point of view. It may not apply to everyone but it illustrates what is said in many posts here.
Civil Aviation has a "Need for Speed"!
 
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Jamake1
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:27 pm

I am wondering if any UA IAM employees on A. Net can provide some insight as to why the ability to outsource so many out-stations was even negotiated into your current contract. I am also curious to know if this subject came up during the ratification process or at contract roadshows. From my vantage point, it seems that this clause has given United management carte blanche to eliminate so many jobs.
Come fly the sun.
 
T5towbar
Posts: 491
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:06 am

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:42 pm

Just wanted to ask.
As far as airlines in Europe goes; I know that they have stronger unions over there than here in the US. Isn't the pay (for an employee) is making a better wage? And are most of the contractors in Europe unionized as well? Here, most of the smaller contractors pay peanuts, and you have a revolving door workforce. And the contracts revolve as well, and you may be working for a contractor for a year and about to get a raise and you lose the contract. Another company comes in and you find yourself working for another outfit doing the same job, but your pay is reduced. That's not good..... All of that institutional knowledge goes out the window.
For most of the people I knew who worked for a contractor, the idea was to work there until you got hired at an actual airline. Once you got lucky enough to be hired, you started from the bottom (your pay was low, of course) but at least you had a clear path and better benefits. And hopefully top out in 10 years.

There's the other disadvantage that AA and DL has their own handling units and at least keep the money "in-house" so to speak. You would think that it would be an advantage, but you see with the situation in DTW, even your own outsourcing company can get canned by your parent company.

IIRC: Eagle and DGS at least have flying benefits. Albeit on their own metal, of course. That will attract some, until you find out how crappy the pay is, and the hope for some is to get hired by the parent company. Now with near 100% load factors, even regular employees have trouble flying.
A comment from an Ex CON: Work Hard.....Fly Standby!
 
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ramprat74
Posts: 1366
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RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:04 pm

Quoting Jamake1 (Reply 76):
I am wondering if any UA IAM employees on A. Net can provide some insight as to why the ability to outsource so many out-stations was even negotiated into your current contract. I am also curious to know if this subject came up during the ratification process or at contract roadshows. From my vantage point, it seems that this clause has given United management carte blanche to eliminate so many jobs.

The 1st TA was voted down. It took 7 months to get a 2nd TA up for vote. All the company did was move around the shells, higher base pay and now a signing bonus, but removed other things. A majority of my co-workers didn't read past the first page of the CBA. All they cared about was the retro pay and signing bonus. This was the worst CBA in airline history. It gave the company the right to outsource 50 line stations. They are at 21 now, 29 to go.

I read every word of the TA. It was full of words like "may", no firm dates for a lot of stuff. It gave all the power to the company. The IAM leadership was slapping themselves on the back telling everyone how this is a leading industry contract. What a joke! I was 2,700 miles from home on vacation. I made sure to find the local union hall and cast my NO vote. The final outcome was 70% yes and 30% no. I have loss all faith in my union leadership and union members.
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 18286
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:12 pm

Quoting ramprat74 (Reply 78):
All the company did was move around the shells, higher base pay and now a signing bonus, but removed other things. A majority of my co-workers didn't read past the first page of the CBA.

Can't really fault the company here...they're just looking for their own interests while the IAM is out to lunch.
I don't take responsibility at all
 
FlyHossD
Posts: 2111
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:45 pm

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:26 pm

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 69):
Weeks? Smisek was CEO at CO for 5 months before the merger was even announced...

I know some CO people don't think of him as "real CO" but he had been with CO since 1995 and worked under Gordo -- so yeah, pretty CO to me.

5 months? I was thinking 4 and I still believe that's correct (Larry Kellner stepped down as CEO at the end of December 2009). So that's the first 17 weeks of 2010 until the merger announcement.

Of course, the merger talks began roughly two weeks before the merger announcement, so that's 15 weeks for Smisek as the CO CEO prior to publicly pursuing the merger with UA.

So yes, I'd call that weeks. Your perspective may be somewhat different, but I'll stick with my assessment.

Also, I do agree that Smisek was/is old CO. That's what's so amazing - it seems he didn't learn anything about leading people from Bethune, et al.

And speaking of Kellner, what made him walk away from a merger with UA?

[Edited 2014-03-31 08:30:11]
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 18286
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:34 pm

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 80):
And speaking of Kellner, what made him walk away from a merger with UA?

An enormous paycheck at a private equity firm?
I don't take responsibility at all
 
toxtethogrady
Posts: 1861
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2000 12:33 pm

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:37 pm

The hell with this. There are about a half dozen unserved markets out of Houston - points in Texas and Mexico that Continental used to serve. They should be contracting those as well.
 
BCEaglesCO757
Posts: 192
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:16 pm

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:37 pm

Quoting ramprat74 (Reply 78):

Bingo !!!!!!!!!!

All everyone at IAH cared about was the $$$$ The company comes around with pizza/ice cream day
and people fell for a slice of pizza or ice fresm cone.

Meanwhile no one ever thinks of having some type of language written in the
contract to have X smount of employees working certain planes, or staffing work rules.

No one cares about work rules. Meanwhile you know why your bags are missing or late at IAH ?
They'e short staffed out the a#$

TWO/THREE man 737-800' s. Even seen people trying to turn a SFO-IAH-DEN on a negative
turn ( less than an hour ) with TWO people on a 757. No help. People assigned to two flights
at the same time with no help or extra people. At IAH on the ramp people are doing the job of
2-3 people and UA is more than happy to run their current ground staff into the ground.



Don't think the UA employees don't care, but you can only beat a horse so long then he he's going to
lay diwn.

No benefits, health or travel, and poor pay ? If UA works their contract workers the they way they do their
current in house staff then I don't see them giving a rats $$#@

At IAH they're driving a slave train with their current ground staff. Just my opinion on
what it looks like at IAH.

[Edited 2014-03-31 08:43:44]

[Edited 2014-03-31 08:45:02]

[Edited 2014-03-31 08:48:14]
 
toxtethogrady
Posts: 1861
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2000 12:33 pm

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:41 pm

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 4):
but if you're wondering why UA lags behind in profit, there's one reason.

Fuel. Delta insourced that piece of the equation. UA is still held hostage by the speculators.
 
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Jamake1
Posts: 1010
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 2:30 pm

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:44 pm

I am curious to know if Smisek's leadership style had anything to do with Zane Rowe (CO's CFO) leaving UA for Apple.
Come fly the sun.
 
toxtethogrady
Posts: 1861
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2000 12:33 pm

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:48 pm

Quoting Jamake1 (Reply 85):
I am curious to know if Smisek's leadership style had anything to do with Zane Rowe (CO's CFO) leaving UA for Apple.

He's been like this since his Continental days. Losing one C-suiter to the tech industry doesn't appear to have made a difference. For whatever reason (over-reliance on RJ's, most likely) they have made it impossible to turn a profit domestically.
 
codc10
Posts: 2933
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2000 7:18 am

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:52 pm

Quoting toxtethogrady (Reply 84):
Fuel. Delta insourced that piece of the equation. UA is still held hostage by the speculators.

Trainer is perhaps the most wildly overblown and misunderstood asset in the Delta enterprise.
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 18286
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:54 pm

Quoting toxtethogrady (Reply 84):
Fuel. Delta insourced that piece of the equation. UA is still held hostage by the speculators.

The verdict is still out on that one. Way out. They're not even meeting their own targets.

Quoting codc10 (Reply 87):
Trainer is perhaps the most wildly overblown and misunderstood asset in the Delta enterprise.

  
I don't take responsibility at all
 
Rdh3e
Posts: 3634
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:09 pm

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:09 pm

Quoting Jamake1 (Reply 76):
I am wondering if any UA IAM employees on A. Net can provide some insight as to why the ability to outsource so many out-stations was even negotiated into your current contract.
Quoting ramprat74 (Reply 78):
The 1st TA was voted down. It took 7 months to get a 2nd TA up for vote. All the company did was move around the shells, higher base pay and now a signing bonus, but removed other things. A majority of my co-workers didn't read past the first page of the CBA. All they cared about was the retro pay and signing bonus. This was the worst CBA in airline history. It gave the company the right to outsource 50 line stations. They are at 21 now, 29 to go.

This is the nature of Unions. UA protected airports in the contract that had well more than 51% of the vote. Therefore everyone at those stations was incentivized to vote in favor of the TA because they stood to gain. This is a simplification due to bumping rights etc, but that is essentially what happened. Those 51% who stood to gain sold the rest down the river.

Quoting toxtethogrady (Reply 84):
Fuel. Delta insourced that piece of the equation. UA is still held hostage by the speculators.

Except trainer loses money. DL has made money on their hedge book recently, just like WN did in '07. But that is temporary, not a long term deal.

[Edited 2014-03-31 09:09:54]
 
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Jamake1
Posts: 1010
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 2:30 pm

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:20 pm

Quoting toxtethogrady (Reply 86):
He's been like this since his Continental days. Losing one C-suiter to the tech industry doesn't appear to have made a difference. For whatever reason (over-reliance on RJ's, most likely) they have made it impossible to turn a profit domestically.

My theory is that s-UA's most lucrative customers flocked to other carriers following the SHARES meltdown and following policy changes to MP that left elite customers feeling alienated. The current UA management team has done nothing to lure them back.

Rather than addressing this core problem, the C Suite at Willis Tower is on an ambitious cost cutting mission. Charging for alcohol on all international flights; eliminating meal choices in international Y-class markets; inconsistent and fragmented IFE products; and reducing flight attendant staffing does nothing to create a flyer friendly airline that people want to fly. United's international product is not competitive (especially with sub-par IFE in the 3-class 767 and 747 fleet). The value proposition is better at other carriers.
Come fly the sun.
 
tommy767
Posts: 4658
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 12:18 pm

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:27 pm

Quoting Jamake1 (Reply 90):
Rather than addressing this core problem, the C Suite at Willis Tower is on an ambitious cost cutting mission. Charging for alcohol on all international flights; eliminating meal choices in international Y-class markets; inconsistent and fragmented IFE products; and reducing flight attendant staffing does nothing to create a flyer friendly airline that people want to fly. United's international product is not competitive (especially with sub-par IFE in the 3-class 767 and 747 fleet). The value proposition is better at other carriers.

And good for them. They can be an easy airline to avoid.

I called Delta to book some upcoming flights yesterday. The rep on the phone at the close of the call says, "Thank you for your continued loyalty to Delta, Tommy." The truth is I haven't been elite with them for over 3 years and haven't flown them in over 2. I guess they are keen on winning people like me back. Whereas at UA I'm usually screaming over the phone for computer glitches on a ticket at a CO call center down in Houston who want to bombard me with extra fees.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
CALMSP
Posts: 3466
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 3:18 am

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:14 pm

Quoting toxtethogrady (Reply 82):

what stations? a number of them already are contracted.

Quoting BCEaglesCO757 (Reply 83):

short staffing or b/c the dominoes game in the break room isn't finished yet??!!
 
BCEaglesCO757
Posts: 192
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:16 pm

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:00 am

Quoting CALMSP (Reply 92):

Both. Mostly short staffing though. You know how it works. You worked
the ramp yourself once upon a time ago, no ? Don't let that office cloud reality.

As Bethune said,on the 40th floor it never rains. On the ramp planes go on maintenance,crews time out,
weather at your origin and destination deteriorates, flights come in hella late and shorten the turn ona 13k
Inbound LAX with 14k going up on PTY. Surely you must be a load planner or have your DX License and see the
the many things it takes to run the operation.

I for one don't care for dominoes,nor do I know how to play.
Either way the company is going to do whatever they want. Contract or not. I do this
because aviation is my passion,but I can always fall back on IT and my degree.

As others have said and I've said before, the way Smisek is running the company
is a complete departure from Bethune and even Larry. Larry saw the books and said
thanks.....but, no thanks. Why was that ? Myself and others on the sCO side are just as surprised at how
Smisek is running the company as sUA people. Pre-Merger talk and how things are actually going now
bring to mind the old "bait and switch" .
 
tommy767
Posts: 4658
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 12:18 pm

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:21 am

[quote=BCEaglesCO757,reply=93]Myself and others on the sCO side are just as surprised at how
Smisek is running the company as sUA people. Pre-Merger talk and how things are actually going now
bring to mind the old "bait and switch" .
[/quote

I don't know what you are talking about. You should be overjoyed. He's running it like CO.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
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seahawk
Posts: 9867
Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 1:29 am

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:20 am

Quoting T5towbar (Reply 77):
As far as airlines in Europe goes; I know that they have stronger unions over there than here in the US. Isn't the pay (for an employee) is making a better wage? And are most of the contractors in Europe unionized as well? Here, most of the smaller contractors pay peanuts, and you have a revolving door workforce. And the contracts revolve as well, and you may be working for a contractor for a year and about to get a raise and you lose the contract. Another company comes in and you find yourself working for another outfit doing the same job, but your pay is reduced. That's not good..... All of that institutional knowledge goes out the window.

In Germany many service providers belong to the airport. LH for example is using Fraport Groundhandling at FRA, Düsseldorf Groundhandling at DUS and aeroground (100% daughter of the airport) in MUC.

Then you have the ones not connected to the airport like Swissport.

Due to this structure you rarely have to work for a different contractor. (But my days on the ramp are 20 years in the past)
 
PMUA787
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:35 pm

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:02 pm

UA is quickly becoming that Gordon Bethune quote "You can make a pizza so cheap, nobody will eat it, You can make an airline so cheap nobody will fly it" Maybe Jeff needs to reread or read for the first time, From Worst to First.
 
Rdh3e
Posts: 3634
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:09 pm

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:19 pm

Quoting PMUA787 (Reply 109):
UA is quickly becoming that Gordon Bethune quote "You can make a pizza so cheap, nobody will eat it, You can make an airline so cheap nobody will fly it" Maybe Jeff needs to reread or read for the first time, From Worst to First.

Well, NK has shown us that isn't true.... But it's a decent enough anecdote.
 
BCEaglesCO757
Posts: 192
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:16 pm

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:54 pm

Quoting PMUA787 (Reply 109):

Amen ! I'm continually amazed that Smisek actually worked under Gordon. It's like he learned nothing.

To my knowledge he's not one to get out in the operation and see his employees or the operation itself.
The CEO exchange seems to be very much his comfort zone.
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 18286
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: RUMOR: UA Looking At Bids For Outsourcing

Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:57 pm

Quoting PMUA787 (Reply 109):
UA is quickly becoming that Gordon Bethune quote "You can make a pizza so cheap, nobody will eat it, You can make an airline so cheap nobody will fly it"

Plenty (most? all? this is a universal trend) of airlines have shown that not to be the case. It should be retuned to say that "you can make a pizza so cheap, that everyone will eat it, and then complain ad nauseam that the pizza box is an ugly color pattern". That would pretty much sum up 90% of the UA threads.

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 111):
Well, NK has shown us that isn't true.... But it's a decent enough anecdote.

At this point it's proven incorrect more often than not. The things for which passengers are willing to pay a premium are the exception, not the rule. Ground handling and IFE are not some of those things, even if there was a correlation between in/outsourced handling and service.
I don't take responsibility at all

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