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United CFO Rainey Implies Certain Elites were "Over Entitled".

United CFO Rainey Implies Certain Elites were "Over Entitled".

Old Mar 21, 2013, 1:56 am
  #1606  
 
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Originally Posted by username
I remember in the 90s, CO was such a turn-around story. Bethune basically stuck to the simple principles of having reliable and clean planes and keeping their business passengers happy. It seemed to work and CO was successful.

What went wrong with the merger? Did they just lose the common sense? Or, the UA crowd is simply too hard to please? Or, the common sense sort of went away with Bethune?
I just recently read the book "From Worst to First: Behind the Scenes of Continental's Remarkable Comeback" by Gordon Bethune. It was written in the late 90's so it's a bit outdated now.

As a UA flyer who wanted to learn a bit more about the CO culture and history, it was an interesting read. In reality, a lot of the attitude and principles which turned CO around are still repeated over and over and over again in the pre-flight videos: foster a good work environment, empower employees to make decision, equip them with the right tools to do their job, and finally of course, to run a clean, safe, reliable operation, etc.

So what has changed? Saying it over and over again isn't really the same as actually doing, now is it?
Slurve30 is offline  
Old Mar 21, 2013, 6:10 pm
  #1607  
 
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changed priorities and internal business model and culture...
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Old Mar 21, 2013, 6:39 pm
  #1608  
 
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Originally Posted by username
I remember in the 90s, CO was such a turn-around story. Bethune basically stuck to the simple principles of having reliable and clean planes and keeping their business passengers happy. It seemed to work and CO was successful.

What went wrong with the merger? Did they just lose the common sense? Or, the UA crowd is simply too hard to please? Or, the common sense sort of went away with Bethune?
I was CO plat for several years, then United 1K for several more years. Thus, I count myself as part of the "UA crowd". No, we are not too hard to please. We were just treated really well as UA elites, and the experience with CO has been far, far less (although it's been better lately). I can sum it up by saying that whenever I needed anything from UA or had a problem, I felt confident that they would have my back. I was treated as a valued business partner. Many PMCO employees do not have that orientation toward elites AT ALL.
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Old Mar 21, 2013, 6:53 pm
  #1609  
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Originally Posted by JNelson113
I can sum it up by saying that whenever I needed anything from UA or had a problem, I felt confident that they would have my back. I was treated as a valued business partner.
^ ^ Very well said.
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Old Mar 21, 2013, 7:47 pm
  #1610  
 
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Originally Posted by Slurve30
I just recently read the book "From Worst to First: Behind the Scenes of Continental's Remarkable Comeback" by Gordon Bethune. It was written in the late 90's so it's a bit outdated now.

As a UA flyer who wanted to learn a bit more about the CO culture and history, it was an interesting read. In reality, a lot of the attitude and principles which turned CO around are still repeated over and over and over again in the pre-flight videos: foster a good work environment, empower employees to make decision, equip them with the right tools to do their job, and finally of course, to run a clean, safe, reliable operation, etc.

So what has changed? Saying it over and over again isn't really the same as actually doing, now is it?
There has got to be someone working on a new book: "From First to Worst: The Remarkable Story of How Continental Destroyed Itself then Destroyed United Airlines."

I don't understand what you wrote, though.

Employees are not empowered to do anything. Empowerment doesn't exist. "There's nothing I can do" is the most frequently used term in this company. It shows up in thread after thread after thread. It may have existed in the 90's. It is long gone under $mi$ek.
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Old Mar 21, 2013, 8:09 pm
  #1611  
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Originally Posted by halls120
Originally Posted by JNelson113
I can sum it up by saying that whenever I needed anything from UA or had a problem, I felt confident that they would have my back. I was treated as a valued business partner.
^ ^ Very well said.
^ ^ And another very well said from me as well
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Old Mar 21, 2013, 9:52 pm
  #1612  
 
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The same airline giving elite privs to CC holders for $95 a year with no spend minimum.
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Old Mar 21, 2013, 10:22 pm
  #1613  
 
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Jeff and Co have made a lot of gaffes. What was Jeff's comment about UA and US merging? Why would they want to marry the ugly girl? Who gets the last laugh now?
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Old Mar 21, 2013, 11:04 pm
  #1614  
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Originally Posted by y2k1jetta
The same airline giving elite privs to CC holders for $95 a year with no spend minimum.
I believe it was UA who began unbundling elite benefits and selling them to kettles for peanuts...long before the merger.
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Old Mar 22, 2013, 1:55 am
  #1615  
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen
I believe it was UA who began unbundling elite benefits and selling them to kettles for peanuts...long before the merger.
+1. PMUA even had an iPhone/web "line jumping" game that gave away free Elite Access.
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Old Mar 22, 2013, 3:36 am
  #1616  
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen
I believe it was UA who began unbundling elite benefits and selling them to kettles for peanuts...long before the merger.
But UA did realize this was a loser & quickly got rid of some of these things
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Old Mar 22, 2013, 6:31 am
  #1617  
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen
I believe it was UA who began unbundling elite benefits and selling them to kettles for peanuts...long before the merger.
Here's the difference. As a 1K on the former UA, if they were doing this, I didn't realize it. They made sure to take care of elites first THEN sold off things. That is different from the current situation in which things are sold and a few scraps are thrown to elites (although admittedly this has improved).

For example, under UA 1Ks always had their own boarding class. Now everyone and his dog is "Group One", including people who just paid $19 for the privilege.
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Old Mar 22, 2013, 6:56 am
  #1618  
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Originally Posted by unavaca
+1. PMUA even had an iPhone/web "line jumping" game that gave away free Elite Access.
IIRC that was a one-off promotion (a creative one...I remember when those existed) and really isn't comparable to the current ongoing CF
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Old Mar 22, 2013, 9:09 am
  #1619  
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Originally Posted by JNelson113
Here's the difference. As a 1K on the former UA, if they were doing this, I didn't realize it. They made sure to take care of elites first THEN sold off things. That is different from the current situation in which things are sold and a few scraps are thrown to elites (although admittedly this has improved).

For example, under UA 1Ks always had their own boarding class. Now everyone and his dog is "Group One", including people who just paid $19 for the privilege.
I agree this is the core of our current problem - giving Elites the table scraps instead of the Kettles is the number one thing they could fix and turn our service experience around 180 degrees...however this is not going to happen.

The new UA sees Kettle revenue supplementing Elite revenue that will exist regardless. The attitude of "don't like it? where are you going to go??" is now deeply rooted in a management culture that sees individual customers as disposable and easily replaced. This runs contrary to every business tenet that holds a customer is expensive to acquire, cheap to retain and very expensive to lose.

If two customers buy the same fare on a flight (one a 1K, the other a Kettle), and UA can gain an extra $100 from the Kettle by upselling priority check-in, priority security and a E+ seat, they are not going to let that gravy train go - especially if they believe the 1K who ended up wasting an extra 20 minutes in line because of the Kettles, lost their overhead space because of the boarding scrum and now has that formerly empty middle E+ seat filled, is still going to buy another ticket the following week.

Now to be honest, I don't mind selling certain table scraps to Kettles - E+ seats, priority access, priority boarding (which should be in G3, not G1 or 2), but upselling segment fee upgrades to F ahead of elite customers is a crime I just cannot forgive.
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Old Mar 22, 2013, 10:05 am
  #1620  
 
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Originally Posted by unavaca
+1. PMUA even had an iPhone/web "line jumping" game that gave away free Elite Access.
That was a promo and it worked really well for them.
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