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

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

Old May 19, 12, 3:42 pm
  #151  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Waiting to fill the empty seats is exactly what got UA in the pickle in 2007-09. Now, the smarter move is to cut capacity. With full Y selling at 9-10x the price of deep discounts, UA can well afford to lose 9 deep discounters, if it frees up just 1 seat for somebody paying close to their freight.

The new UG system does just that. Rewards the Y/B (and M for 1K) ticket buyers so long as they've got some elite status over those who've made low-spend status.

UA is moving toward a spend-based system, make no mistake about it.
I agree that United is looking at catering to the last minuted business traveler. But, (1) the high use of RJs; (2) the cut in perks and (3) the inability to operate during IRROPS (the main reason I have flown them for so many years) has angered the exact people who would usually book such a fare. At least according to FT and my own experience, many of those people are booking AA and DL domestically and others internationally.

From my perspective (as a 1K who spends between $30-40K per year with them) it seems to me that they are driving away the exact people they want to have fly their airline. Perhaps I'm really not the person they want (at least that is the message I'm getting), but I don't think you can fill 100% of every plane with full Y fares (unless its a dash-8).
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Old May 19, 12, 3:43 pm
  #152  
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I just listened to a bit of this. I also like the part after the section on "over-entitled elites" where he called having gate agents deal with upgrades a "defect."

In the Q&A period, he expressed his hope that longer term they could rely on passengers to all bring their own screens on board so that UA wouldn't have to invest in seat display screens.

Last edited by RichardInSF; May 19, 12 at 3:56 pm
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Old May 19, 12, 3:47 pm
  #153  
 
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See slide#17

Read the slides from the dog and pony show:

Bullet point "retain and grow high value flyers for the airline" end quote.

Huh? Did he read his own lecture? Or is there another definition of "high value flyer" we don't know about?
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Old May 19, 12, 3:48 pm
  #154  
 
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post

UA is moving toward a spend-based system, make no mistake about it.
I'd personally be fine if it were a spend-based system, but one in which it took into account my annual spend and provided me benefits commensurate with that spend on every flight.

The way it's currently set up is spend-based - but, unfortunately, spend per flight. Good for the times when I fly Y/B/M, not so good for the other times when I get to plan a little in advance.
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Old May 19, 12, 3:51 pm
  #155  
 
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
I just listened to a bit of this. I also like the part after the section on "over-entitled elites" where he called having gate agents deal with upgrades a "defect."
Yeah, I liked that too. They want them freed-up to perform "real customer service" which in their mind doesn't include helping with problems. Really, they stay in their towers and say this so much they must start to believe it.
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Old May 19, 12, 3:53 pm
  #156  
 
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Things keep getting worse and worse at UA. I'm so glad I made the decision to leave. Say what you will about WN, but it gets me where I'm going, they have friendly staff (that really DOES go a long way), and runs like an extremely well oiled machine (which it is).
PLUS, if I fly my 100,000 miles, my partner flies with me for a year...on any flight. You can't beat that with a stick in the eye. :-)

I'll get the popcorn. This will be interesting watching the NewUA crash and burn. So sad. And I MISS MY OLD UA!!!
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Old May 19, 12, 3:54 pm
  #157  
 
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Originally Posted by scottish_colin View Post
I'd personally be fine if it were a spend-based system, but one in which it took into account my annual spend and provided me benefits commensurate with that spend on every flight.

The way it's currently set up is spend-based - but, unfortunately, spend per flight. Good for the times when I fly Y/B/M, not so good for the other times when I get to plan a little in advance.
I have SQ PPS status which is based on ONE thing. $ amount spent per year in C and F. For SQ this program works well but any UA program would have to at least track YBM or there will be a revolt
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Old May 19, 12, 3:55 pm
  #158  
 
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Originally Posted by sxf24 View Post
The policy and its execution are quite different. You can have a great, customer-friendly policy, but if you execute poorly, it doesn't matter.
Or you can be like COdbaUA and have a customer unfriendly policy PLUS execute it poorly...
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Old May 19, 12, 3:57 pm
  #159  
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Originally Posted by mmack View Post
Read the slides from the dog and pony show:

Bullet point "retain and grow high value flyers for the airline" end quote.

Huh? Did he read his own lecture? Or is there another definition of "high value flyer" we don't know about?
High value means rube that gets COnned into giving CO profitable cash.

I am hoping for C7 now.
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Old May 19, 12, 3:57 pm
  #160  
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Thread is now reopened, with some edits and deletions.

Don't:

Bring in politics.
Go off-topic.
Call out FlyerTalkers.
Be rude.
Troll.

iluv2fly
Moderator, UA

Last edited by iluv2fly; May 19, 12 at 5:27 pm
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Old May 19, 12, 5:43 pm
  #161  
ffI
 
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Use the system

I am now using UA for my high $ intl C flights and US for my domestics. I will get to PP with 2 trips to EU and 2 trips to Australia in the next 2 months. If I stick with them I will get 6 SWUs and this can help with my next year travel.
US is great for domestic upgrades (like DL) and I give my flying low cost miles there.

Each program has a right to use whatever they want to reward and WE have a choice how we will reward the airlines. My personal spend goes to US and DL and my employer paid tickets go to UA.

I do not see a problem with that as IAD is the main hub near where I live and intl flights from WAS will go from IAD mainly.
Even when I was loyal to US, I was still flying UA anyway for intl trips.
A 10 PM departure to MUC from WAS means I can work and leave. A 2 PM to PHL and then 6 PM to FRA means I do not work for that extra day.
I just wish UA would publish GS requirements and eliminate miles for 1k and GS - but use a known spend tier - That will make it easy to shoot for.

I can't wait for AA to buy US or vice versa and sensibly expand their intl options from IAD instead of wasting time at a few fortresses that they do not own anyway. At least DL owns ATL and MSP and is trying with LGA.
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Old May 19, 12, 5:45 pm
  #162  
 
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CFO's comments are justified

His comments are favorable to investors and would be a positive to maximize the profits and spend less on wx hotel vouchers or other time consuming and labor intensive tasks, which translate to the bottom line. As an investor, thisnis great and the fact they are reducing debt and increasing free cash flow.

Yet, as a 1k passenger, the comments are totally unacceptable and there should be some damage control done, otherwise we stay as investors (for a while anyway) and fly AA.

I think UA did go above and beyond in irrops situations, which we as elite members appreciated, yet hurt them financially.

Thus, I think they are reigning costs in.

The best solution, for this management team, since they clearly feel this way is base status in total spend. This way, when they have to spend more to accommodate a high elite, the revenue is there to support it.

High level elite happy and bean counters and investors happy.
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Old May 19, 12, 5:51 pm
  #163  
 
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Originally Posted by 808oman View Post
His comments are favorable to investors and would be a positive to maximize the profits and spend less on wx hotel vouchers or other time consuming and labor intensive tasks, which translate to the bottom line. As an investor, thisnis great and the fact they are reducing debt and increasing free cash flow.

Yet, as a 1k passenger, the comments are totally unacceptable and there should be some damage control done, otherwise we stay as investors (for a while anyway) and fly AA.

I think UA did go above and beyond in irrops situations, which we as elite members appreciated, yet hurt them financially.

Thus, I think they are reigning costs in.

The best solution, for this management team, since they clearly feel this way is base status in total spend. This way, when they have to spend more to accommodate a high elite, the revenue is there to support it.

High level elite happy and bean counters and investors happy.

Let's please not turn this into an examination of business decisions. Almost every person complaining would have just adjusted to the new reality if Continental leveled with us. They said (and continue to say) outright lies about improvements, upgrades, support, etc. while they clearly never intend to provide anything but worse service. They should not be trusted, not by the investors nor by the customers.
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Old May 19, 12, 5:53 pm
  #164  
 
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Truthfulness

Yes, I agree that they need to be truthful and level with us, both on the pax side and investors.
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Old May 19, 12, 5:53 pm
  #165  
 
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Are they just trying to kill UA because of their overentitled customers and outspoken staff? It seems to be the MO - drive away the staff and customers. These deadbeats have to be the reason UA never made money.

I think a sUA FA said it best to me the other day during the Smisek intro video, "Did you know that airline executives get their suits made in Hong Kong with extra big pockets? They need the big pockets to carry home all their loot." Turns out that this FA left CO back in the Lorenzo days and has been working for UA ever since. So, she's qualified to make this comment as she has seen a lot.

The arrogance of this management team is beyond me. I am not a big supporter of unions, but I think it is inherently unfair when you have one work group making 20 - 30% more than another who had their wage structure imposed by a BK judge and both are doing the exact same job.

Boy, this is getting uglier by the day....
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