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UAsyd
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United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Fri May 17, 2002 8:10 am

Would it be a good idea for UA to go "2 cabin" only? Domestic or International? increased capacity may help improve yield / cut costs with current 'low fares'. Many F class passengers are only Business class 'Upgrades' anyway.

****************************
....In the meantime, president Rono Dutta is leading a senior management team that's studying possible changes in United's strategy to recommend to the board.

Dutta said the team is looking at every possible structural and tactical issue, from seating configuration to leg room to getting rid of first class or Economy Plus -- the first, more spacious six to 11 rows in economy class.


Associated Press
UAL Shareholders Vent at Management
By DAVE CARPENTER
AP Business Writer
Thursday May 16, 6:05 pm Eastern Time

 
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EA CO AS
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Fri May 17, 2002 8:14 am

Well, UA won't make money on the backpacks and flip-flops crowd. They need suits and ties with briefcases.

This means they need to maintain a premium product to keep business travelers, so having First Class and Business Class is a MUST for them. Without those cabins, they'd die a quick death.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
The Coachman
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Fri May 17, 2002 8:17 am

If they do, then there will be one company who will laughing all the way to the bank.

AA.

Why?

They will be one of the only airlines, probably the only one to offer 3 class international service. They will also have MRTC while UA will have NOTHING.

To be honest, to do this would be nothing short of suicidal. Any remaining corporate flyers would defect.

However, that said, the costs of running a true First class are pretty high, UA Business isn't bad at all, the problem with that is that running B747-400's with 2 class would mean a much higher proportion of economy flyers, on the aircraft, and in order to fill those seats, prices would drop and yields would DROP as well.

Lose/lose situation I believe. In the broader picture, it would mean that Star RTW F class fares would be restricted to SQ, LH, etc., there would be no UA possibilities, eg, think of the routes that would be lost (ORD-LHR, ORD-NRT, JFK-LHR etc.) for Star RTW F class ticket holders.

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The Coachman
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Fri May 17, 2002 8:18 am

I meant one of the only US airlines to offer 3 class (US would be the other one) international across the pond and across the Pac.

M88, 722, 732, 733, 734, 73G, 73H, 742, 743, 744, 752, 762, 763, 772, 773, 77W, 320, 332, 333, 345, 388, DH8, SF3 - want
 
ual777contrail
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Fri May 17, 2002 8:19 am

if UNITED wants to make money or a future they need to get rid of duta,he is a waste of air.

most dont know him,i have never met anyone who thinks he is worth the time.




ual 777 contrail
 
airworthy
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Fri May 17, 2002 9:18 am

Kay guys, they only mentionted it as something being studied. EVERYTHING is being studied. It doesn't mean Economy Plus will go necessarily.

Personally, I don't think it will go -- it has been a hit with elite flyers and generated brand loyalty.
 
UAL Bagsmasher
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Fri May 17, 2002 9:43 am

Aside from pissed off FF pax, there will be many a disgruntled non-rever who would get stuck in Roach Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
airplanetire
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Fri May 17, 2002 10:05 am

This is pure opinion, but I'd hate to see UA go two class. Two class in my mind just makes the airline seem almost "cheaper" or "sleazier." It seems more premium if the airline has 3 classes. Pure opinion as I said though.
 
transswede
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Fri May 17, 2002 10:11 am

If they can improve business class overall (flat beds like BA/SQ?), then dropping first class is probably not a bad move. It should save them some $$$, and they wouldn't be the first airline to drop first class.
 
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Fri May 17, 2002 10:12 am

UA has a pretty sophisticated inventory control/yield management system. Why aren't they exploiting that?

Perhaps they need to take a long backwards glance at HP's new pricing structure? Bringing down their walkup fares might generate a higher volume of travelers that would offsent the loss in revenue from the decreased walkup rates.

It's much better to have 10 customers paying $500.00 one way than to have three who pay $1000.00 one way. This would also help (at least until other airlines matched their fare structure) to have UA gain a disproportionate share of the business travel market.

For UA to make money, it's all about yield, yield, yield.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
TonyBurr
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Fri May 17, 2002 11:26 am

EA CO AS For United to make money (if u define it as yield) it is all about SERVICE, SERVICE, SEVICE!!! Those who have to fly will support the airlines who offer service. Maybe F is full of upgraded FF, but maybe that "possibility" also causes them to continue flying UA. A problem with UA "business plan" is that they look at the profit "today" not long term. SERVICE is the key word! U want yield, give service.
 
desertjets
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Fri May 17, 2002 11:35 am

This may not be along the same line as the discussion has gone so far, but what about a major upgrade for domestic first class. Only a handful of UA's markets are flown by 3-class aircraft, and except for JFK-SFO/LAX it is not an absolute that it is there. Why not create a superior domestic first class... hell even brand it business class and make it similiar to the international business class product.

As for going 2-class on the international product. It seems that the new business class products, like BizFirst, BizElite and the like are not too far, or in fact better, than the older first class products before the first class suite thing became popular. So it begs the question why not pull those suites and create a larger superior business class section. More high yield seats with service and amenities business travelers want.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
geotrash
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Fri May 17, 2002 12:08 pm

If Y plus goes away, here is one flyer who will defect to Frontier permanently. Why pay 20 - 100% more for roughly the same product? As a business traveler who often books a few days in advance, I can tell you that Y plus is the only reason I fly United.

The characteristics of the flying business traveler have fundamentally changed in the last 5 years. We use laptop computers now as opposed to pen and paper, and with the old cramped Y class there isn't enough room to work if the 110 lb. bleach blonde in front of you decides to recline. Y plus lets me keep working anyway. Long live Y plus!! Short live United if they get rid of it  Big grin

Incidentally, based on conversations with co-workers on the east coast, they fly AirTran ($25 upgrades) and JetBlue whenever they can, because there is just enough extra room to allow them to get work done. Are you listening US Airways?

-Dave
 
BA
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Fri May 17, 2002 12:12 pm

Actually, getting rid of First Class is really not that bad of an idea.

Just take a look at Northwest/KLM. Both only have Economy and Business class, and it has been very successful. I mean c'mon, is there really a need for THREE classes? I think 2 is plenty.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
geotrash
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Fri May 17, 2002 12:17 pm

I agree with BA on his point about 2 classes. Who needs 3?
 
FlyBoeing
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Fri May 17, 2002 1:51 pm

Philosophically, I like the idea of only two classes - coach, for everyone who just needs a ride from point A to point B, and "business" class - for those who need room to sleep and work on the ride. "First" class always seemed to be very undemocratic, even if the person up there paid for it through hard work. People who fly "first" are essentially getting the privilege of being better than everything else, not anything actually better.

That is, business and first both transcend the psychological barrier of lots of legroom, superior entertainment, and good food. So why have two?
 
ILUV767
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Fri May 17, 2002 2:43 pm

The thing with First class on international flights is that it does generate money. If a 14 seater cabin on the 747 is fulled with atleast 3 full fare passengers, and the rest are upgrades things arnt that bad. Let me explain. In order to get upgraded from Biz class to First class, a passenger needs to be traveling on a full fare unrestricted business class ticket. That alone generates some revenue but, in order to upgrade, the passenger needs to have either cash or miles. If they have miles, that is a sign that they fly United often enough to be able to upgrade. See how it works? Upgrades go to those who are loyal to the airline. If they are loyal, that means that they are flying the airline more and more, which in terms generates revenue for the company.

That being said, that is why there are upgrades. Actually, if you look at it, there really isnt that much of a difference between First class and Business Class. The biggest difference is the seats.

On United domestic flights, all midcons are 2 cabin flights, even if flown on a 3 class plane. You may have a 3 class 777 to ORD from LAX and First along with business class recieve identical service. The transcons have some subtle differences such as sundaes but other than that First and Business on domestic flights are the same.

Domestic First on a two class plane is designed to somewhat replicate that of International Business class on a 3 class plane.

I L U V 7 6 7
 
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keesje
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Fri May 17, 2002 5:56 pm

There are many carriers who fly 2 class on specific routes ; SQ, CX, BA, AF while they offer First on most flights. So maybe that will be a result. UA has a large enough fleet to operate sub types n an economical way.

Also replacing the existing First and Business with a single, better, rebranded business class (sleeper seats, bar, better meals & entertainment) would IMO be acceptable for almost all F-class passengers ..
"Executive Business" "Business First" "Ritz Class" who knows ..

Economy plus is a very large section of economy, perhaps to big ??

"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
airworthy
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Sat May 18, 2002 9:30 am

The problem with UA's international First Class is that United strictly forbids *double upgrades*.

As a result, United fills the seats up with employees (like myself  Smile ) instead of rewwarding elite flyers. (This is the only reason why UA employees can somtimes get INTL first, even though there's a minimal surcharge).

I personally think the policy of *NO DBL UPGRD* stinks. If the seats are going to go out empty, you might as well let the elite flyers cash in even more miles for that upgrade. That way, MP mile inventory is reduced and elite customers are satisfied. I don't think it would dilute the yield of F THAT much. If it did, I think the extra loyalty generated by the elites would compensate.

In regard to a new pricing/class structure within the majors, it is coming.

Here's one of my ideas:

Instead of giving full-fare coach pax Economy Plus, step it up and guarantee them First Class. This is what CO and NW do. Since Business are less and less willing to pay the price for domestic F-class, reward those who pay absolute full-fare Coach with a free upgrade. This locks out the cheapie Coach ticket upgrades, even if the members are ultra-elite. You don't want to upgrade an elite member from an ultra-cheap fare, no matter how much he has flown. I don't think that would cause the folks who couldn't get upgrades to defect.
 
Guest

RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Sat May 18, 2002 12:44 pm

It is also what AA does, but only for their ultra-elites.

Exec Plat's on Y and B fares get a free upgrade, space available, to the next class of service. This policy encourages Exec Plat's, like my partner, to buy the higher fare for the free upgrade.

There is many things United could do to get its ultra-elites to generate more revenue. Unfortunately, they've already set a bad precedent with segment qualification for their 1K's. I can already see the fireworks over at Flyertalk.com when UA follows AA's lead and allows qualification for 1K based only on points or miles.
 
airworthy
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Sat May 18, 2002 12:48 pm

Ladevale,

Yes, I know about the EXPs.

This will probably shock you, but I will be a Platinum with AA come June 4... when my challenge will have been completed.

Why? It's a better program w/the challenges in mind... Of course, I'm probably diluting their yield hehe.
 
ILOVEA340
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Sat May 18, 2002 4:11 pm

rumors say that swiss is currently reevaluating having an F cabin. It would not suprise me if F went but somehow I doubt it.
 
JC5280
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Sun May 19, 2002 7:57 am

That posting was the biggest crock of crap I have ever heard. Where did you get this bogus info? And what kind of rumor-spreader puts that kind of false header in the subject line?
 
ual777contrail
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Sun May 19, 2002 9:21 am

JC5280,
This was posted by comments made my rona dutta.

i think he has the most stupid idea in this.i think airworthy is wrong when he thinks they should not double upgrade into diffrent classes.i being a UNITED employee as well and a CSR(public contact)have resold tickets at diffrent prices with a restructured fare to allow a pax to upgrade in to first.selling him a business class tkt and now him being allowed to go into first.
as an employee, yes it is nice to get first.but when you look at flights out of ORD,SFO,IAD,LAX,and DEN you dont always get the change to see first.unlike some beliefs here on this web site we employee's are not always having all night parties in first like some think.we are usualy the ones filling those middle seats in the rear.

look at NORTHWEST,i have friends who have a range of years with this great airline,between 15-30 years with NWA.they dont see first,havent for years.with only two classes of service they will never see first class.

now off the employee trip on first class,i feel we have a business man and women following because we have three classes of service.and remind you rona dutta also said"economy plus" well if you eliminate those two,you have a boring and unprofitable flight. some may say i dont know i am saying but without these classes of service and the comitment from these road warriors all you have is an american flight where every one gets MRTC.UNITED doesnt need to be like american,we need to keep the extra cabin and the economy plus.

the good thing about all this is that we pilots,mechanics,and customer service reps are shareholders.we will have a vote in this,and it will never go through.this is how i feel about this,i am not dogging AMERICAN they are good airline,with great ideas.i just think UAL keeping the 3 cabin and e+ works for UAL.



ual 777 contrails




 
geotrash
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Sun May 19, 2002 12:01 pm

Anyone have hard internal data on the Return On Investment and customer loyalty that Economy Plus has brought into United's coffers? Have any passenger surveys been conducted about passengers' views on Economy Plus, and whether that data can provide solid answers. The way I see it, it boils down to a very few questions:

-Does Y Plus significantly influence business, frequent leisure, or full-fare travelers when choosing which airline to fly?

-Would these travelers have flown United anyway, or elected to book tickets on rival carriers?

-How much revenue was earned solely because Y Plus exists that would not have been earned if it didn't

-Does Y Plus have a detrimental effect on passengers not privileged enough to fly Y Plus, to the point that it offsets any gains?

-Does Y Plus significantly add to the value of the United brand, above other airlines, so that the airline's overall image improves?

It is possible to conduct very precise research, to the point that these questions are answered effectively. Combining passenger survey results, and weighing it against other financial metrics would result in a remarkably accurate picture. Anything else besides said data, including personal preferences (like mine posted above) is worthless in this discussion. I have to think that this research has been and is being done by all airlines as we speak. I put the challenge out to anyone to find hard evidence, not limited to a single carrier or travel agency, and post it back on a.net in the future. Inquiring minds want to know.

-Geo
 
ual777contrail
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Sun May 19, 2002 12:05 pm

geotrash,
those are very good questons,i will try and find some of that info out.if there is anyone out there who can answer geotrashes questons lets hear em.



ual 777 contrail
 
CRJ 900
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RE: United May Get Rid Of F Class And Y Plus

Sun May 19, 2002 1:02 pm

AC AND CP ditched so called First class years ago. They just have Business Class. Prior to the merger of the two airlines CP's business class was FAR superior to UA's Domestic first. How do I know, cause I travelled in UA First on a 767 and it was pathetic.You only need F internationally if at all. J is fine for Domestic as for Y plus- why bother?

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