FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - United CFO Rainey Implies Certain Elites were "Over Entitled".
Old May 21, 2012, 1:59 pm
UA Insider
Company Representative, United Airlines
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Chicago, Houston, or somewhere in between
Posts: 2,177
Hi Everyone, we see there’s a lot of interest in our recent presentation at Bank of America. To clarify, the message that we’re investing in our Premier program and ensuring greater access to elite benefits at higher elite tiers is not a new one. An example of this is when our Premier tiers get access to Economy Plus seating. This change has materialized into a meaningfully better experience for our Gold members and above. In fact, in markets that have the highest proportion of Premier flyers, a higher percentage of Premier Platinum and Premier Gold members are getting access to Economy Plus (comparing February 2012 to April 2012, and comparing April 2011 to April 2012), while the percentage of Premier Silver members sitting in Economy Plus hasn’t decreased meaningfully. Some of those Premier Silver members may be choosing to purchase Economy Plus seating, but, in general, Economy Plus seating remains available at time of check-in.

While John was not referring to upgrades, we know they remain a hot topic, especially with respect to selling upgrades. As discussed in other threads, our continued goal is to simply sell our First Class seats as close to their intended retail price as possible. The Y/B/M instant upgrade fares that we offer our Premier members, for example, are only a modest discount from our retail First Class fares, and the buy-ups we offer based on these fares are simply an extension of this. In the coming year, we will be adding more transparency to the upgrade process, and will also be making important improvements to the upgrade system itself. Please be assured, whether your concern is that we reward loyalty solely or that we also offer a higher level of benefits to those loyal members who also spend more, we are listening.

Thanks as always for allowing us the clarify these points.

Shannon Kelly
Director, Customer Insights
United Airlines
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