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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, 12:28 pm
  #31  
 
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He couldn't be more disconnected from reality. No reputable business should ever label/insult customers.

The new culture sucks. Loyalty is being *discouraged*
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Old May 19, 12, 12:29 pm
  #32  
 
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With less competition, the FF program model for the industry is less important.
This is the new reality we are dealing with now.
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Old May 19, 12, 12:29 pm
  #33  
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Originally Posted by chitownflyer View Post
And to add insult to injury, he touts all the great benefits of CO's SHARES system which is in many regards much less advanced than the system United used before the merger.
No, but the benefits of SHARES are features that here on FT are seen as its problems.

It was specifically designed to be hard to use, to provide the field employee with the least flexibility.

All of that is intentional, it allows the company to keep a tight rein on the value of the product, partially by limiting its functionality at the field level.
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Old May 19, 12, 12:31 pm
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by kenziid3
With less competition, the FF program model for the industry is less important.
This is the new reality we are dealing with now.
Um, no. This is the new reality on UNITED. Look at the DL and AA forum and ask what their upgrade rates are.

Im sick and tired of people calling UNITED management (COdbaUA to be more precise) decisions "the new normal" et al when its solely United thats hosing their elites in such a way

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Originally Posted by Superguy
Originally Posted by demkr View Post
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So what is exactly the point of having an elite program then? What's the incentive to fly 100K miles?
They have the best network and the 787 is coming soon!
I saw a commercial for Delta earlier this morning that took a vague jab at COdbaUA. I'm paraphrasing here but it was something like "We're one of the world's largest airlines... We decided that wasn't enough. Delta. Keep climbing."

But yes. We're getting satellite wifi next century too!

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; May 19, 12 at 12:41 pm
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Old May 19, 12, 12:35 pm
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by demkr View Post
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Um, no. This is the new reality on UNITED. Look at the DL and AA forum and ask what their upgrade rates are.

Im sick and tired of people calling UNITED management (COdbaUA to be more precise) decisions "the new normal" et al when its solely United thats hosing their elites in such a way
The bigger point is that while internally discussing such things as "over entitled elites" (you don't think he just invented that phrase in the spur of the moment, do you) externally Smisek is saying here come changes you we know you will like.

Born liars.....
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Old May 19, 12, 12:35 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by TWA Fan 1 View Post
...If a 1k is achieving his status on $300 round trip transcons and then expecting routine upgrades, dedicated CS (1K line), exemption for change fees and rules, the customer is providing no benefit to the program, quite the contrary, in fact.
The majority of Elite customers are business travelers - and the majority of business travelers are required by policy to book the lowest available airfare.

If UA is unhappy about Elite customers purchasing low fares, they have an existing avenue to change that - stop offering such low fares and/or increase the price or push the lowest fares out past 21 days when business travelers are unlikely to be booking...or push the lowest fares to a Delta-esque E Class scheme where companies would normally exempt their employees from purchasing due to the inflexible rules.

It makes no sense for executives to sit there and whine about a situation they created....and honestly, the number of 1Ks and Platinums who get their status flying (generally non-existent) $300 transcon fares or hyper-segment mileage runs is a tiny fraction of the overall population, not even something that would register on UA's radar.

If UA wants to restrict its best benefits for high-spending flyers, don't they already do that? The Global Services program gives high-spenders first crack at upgrades and other exclusive benefits.
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Old May 19, 12, 12:36 pm
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Originally Posted by desperationsearch
Originally Posted by demkr View Post
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Um, no. This is the new reality on UNITED. Look at the DL and AA forum and ask what their upgrade rates are.

Im sick and tired of people calling UNITED management (COdbaUA to be more precise) decisions "the new normal" et al when its solely United thats hosing their elites in such a way
The bigger point is that while internally discussing such things as "over entitled elites" (you don't think he just invented that phrase in the spur of the moment, do you) externally Smisek is saying here come changes you we know you will like.

Born liars.....
Exactly. Its deception.
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Old May 19, 12, 12:38 pm
  #38  
 
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Exactly!

Originally Posted by kenziid3 View Post
With less competition, the FF program model for the industry is less important.
This is the new reality we are dealing with now.
That's exactly my feeling, too. We're seeing the slow dismantling of FF programs, and it's just getting started.
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Old May 19, 12, 12:38 pm
  #39  
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If UA is unhappy about Elite customers purchasing low fares, they have an existing avenue to change that - stop offering such low fares and/or increase the price or push the lowest fares out past 21 days when business travelers are unlikely to be booking...or push the lowest fares to a Delta-esque E Class scheme where companies would normally exempt their employees from purchasing due to the inflexible rules.
UA publishes the fares and people buy them. If they're not happy with people buying $300 transcons, they should stop offering them.
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Old May 19, 12, 12:41 pm
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Originally Posted by schneider4
Originally Posted by kenziid3 View Post
With less competition, the FF program model for the industry is less important.
This is the new reality we are dealing with now.
That's exactly my feeling, too. We're seeing the slow dismantling of FF programs, and it's just getting started.
I'd agree if other airlines were doing this. They're not. Sure there's occasional cutbacks of things like checked bag benefits but DL, AA, and US do much better on upgrades for the top tier than UA does

Delta made money last quarter. Somehow they can offer more seats in F, a more generous upgrade policy, more IFE, better on-time rates and make more money than the penny pinchers at UA. Shocking

Last edited by iluv2fly; May 19, 12 at 5:04 pm Reason: merge/edit
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Old May 19, 12, 12:41 pm
  #41  
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Originally Posted by entropy View Post
UA publishes the fares and people buy them. If they're not happy with people buying $300 transcons, they should stop offering them.
They're not unhappy about people buying $300 fares, but they are evidently not happy about people enough $300 fares to achieve 1K status and then demand costly perks in return.
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Old May 19, 12, 12:43 pm
  #42  
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Originally Posted by desperationsearch View Post
The bigger point is that while internally discussing such things as "over entitled elites" (you don't think he just invented that phrase in the spur of the moment, do you)...
I think that's the key. It was clearly an internal term and sadly illustrative of the direction these bean counters are taking the airline. Even if one thought it, no one with any customer service intelligence would ever publicly say anything like that.

Last edited by iluv2fly; May 19, 12 at 5:05 pm Reason: OMNI
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Old May 19, 12, 12:43 pm
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by TWA Fan 1 View Post
I know many of your are incensed, and perhaps legitimately so.

Then again, I believe this was an honest statement of the business model at CO, namely that high-end frequent flyers are not worth the company's energy if they are buying a lot of cheap seats and require a costly and unwieldy infrastructure to manage them.

Why would UaCo be excited about a 1K who achieves his status on the least expensive fares and then expects constant perks such as free upgrades, a dedicated CS line, and semi-official exemptions from fees and rules?

UaCo would just as soon fill those same seats with equally cheap kettles who expect nothing in return and might even occasionally spend some hard cash (even if only ToD's) to sit in FC. If a kettle needs to change a ticket, or do SDC, he or she is paying for it at full dollar value. If they want to sit in E+, they're paying for it, etc.

I'm not saying the CO approach is right, but that's their business model.
I don't support the separation on how status is earned, but even if they would, reality is, that everybody is treated badly right now. I did spent over $140,000 on full fare tickets last year and get the same crap treatment. No elite matters to UA any longer. Maybe with the exception of Tom Stuker.
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Old May 19, 12, 12:45 pm
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by TWA Fan 1 View Post
No prompter, sure. But I think what's most instructive in that excerpt, and perhaps the crux of the entire issue, is the following phrase (I removed the pauses for ease of comprehension):

"...we have realigned the benefits...the participants are actually providing to the airline, and, and this is a good change going forward..."

It's not about what benefits the program provides to the customer, it's about what benefits the customer provides to the program.

That's the key right there.

If a 1k is achieving his status on $300 round trip transcons and then expecting routine upgrades, dedicated CS (1K line), exemption for change fees and rules, the customer is providing no benefit to the program, quite the contrary, in fact.
I agree with the sentiments that you have made in this thread -- ultimately, there is a difference between loyalty and profitability.

"Loyalty" does not always equals "profitable" -- the myriad of posts on FT prove that there are multiple ways to get elite status for very little outlay, does that mean that such a customer is ultimately profitable ?

It does not really matter what line of business your in, most companies need a mix of customers (profitable and loyal-but-not-necessarily-profitable)
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Old May 19, 12, 12:46 pm
  #45  
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Cool

Originally Posted by demkr View Post
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Delta made money last quarter. Somehow they can offer more seats in F, a more generous upgrade policy, more IFE, better on-time rates and make more money than the penny pinchers at UA. Shocking
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