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

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

Old May 21, 2012, 3:28 pm
  #736  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Omaha
Posts: 1,674
As a former 2P, I would say that 2P's were over-entitled.
Economy Plus was nice, but I never paid for it, so they were losing money with me. That's not the best way to run a business for profit.
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Old May 21, 2012, 3:29 pm
  #737  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Originally Posted by edgewood49
They will never reply to this !!!! Hello "other carriers '
Shannon has ignored every request for help from me both in public and private since 3/3.

I have some reservations about the useless negativity that I've fallen into with some of my posts. I got swept up in the overall emotion of all this.

With this message to Shannon, that I put a lot of thought into writing, I'm making one last genuine and heartfelt attempt to have a meaningful and honest dialog around these observations that are so upsetting and disappointing to us.

I realize the odds of a reply are so close to zero that it's hard to distinguish them from zero itself, but at least I gave it my best effort.

My next effort will be focused on taking my money elsewhere. That's really the only language they understand.

I'm pretty sure I know how this will end up.

Originally Posted by demkr
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_1_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9B206 Safari/7534.48.3)

My comment made the WSJ! Woot!!
Link?

Last edited by iluv2fly; May 21, 2012 at 7:42 pm Reason: merge
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Old May 21, 2012, 3:32 pm
  #738  
 
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_1_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9B206 Safari/7534.48.3)

http://blogs.wsj.com/middleseat/2012/05/21/united-angers-frequent-fliers-by-calling-some-over-entitled/
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Old May 21, 2012, 3:34 pm
  #739  
 
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Originally Posted by demkr
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_1_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9B206 Safari/7534.48.3)

http://blogs.wsj.com/middleseat/2012...over-entitled/
Awesome article!

Saw your quote.

And this one: "One small-business owner turned in $132,000 worth of tickets for refunds—and posted on FlyerTalk that he received a call from a United sales manager acknowledging problems with the computer switchover."

We know who that is. ;-)
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Old May 21, 2012, 3:34 pm
  #740  
 
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Originally Posted by mitchmu
Link?
Previously posted - Middle Seat blog on the WSJ. They picked up on a few things from this thread
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Old May 21, 2012, 3:34 pm
  #741  
 
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Originally Posted by mitchmu
Shannon,

I appreciate your involvement in our dialog but I find it bizarre that you choose to engage with us by focusing on evidence that access to E+ has become easier for some classes of Premier flyers. Your first paragraph focuses on an issue that I have never seen expressed as a concern here. Maybe it has, but certainly not with nearly the breadth or degree of concern as has been expressed with regard to upgrades. You are discussing a topic that is neither relevant to this thread nor a pressing issue for anyone here, as far as I can tell.

Furthermore, your posting doesn't even address the main point of this thread, which is that certain elites are perceived by Mr. Rainey as being over-entitled.

Given that Mr. Rainey's comment is the topic of this thread and given that you've shown us your presence here, I think that as a starting point, it would be most helpful if you could explain to us who, exactly, is over-entitled. Are the GS flyers over-entitled? Are the 1K flyers over entitled? Is it one of the lower tiers that are over-entitled? Or, is it some other sub-group? Clearly, in his view, someone was over-entitled and that over-entitlement has been rectified by program changes, since he used the past tense to describe the over-entitlement.

Secondarily, there are a wide range of issues in regards to upgrades that we have continually been asking for help with. These include the issue of selling "deep discount" access to F cabin to everyone on the airplane including non-status or GM flyers while elite flyers sit in the queue and wait for their instruments to clear.

Since you were able to provide us with astounding summary data on E+ access for each tier of elite flyer, I'm certain that you must have access to similarly astounding statistics that describe the upgrade rate for each tier, on foreign and domestic flights, using CPU vs RPU vs GPU vs Miles vs buy-op offers vs TOD offers. If you could use the same degree of precision to share with us those upgrade statistics stratified by flight type by tier and by instrument type or upgrade method and show it for pre and post 3/3 periods, I'm sure that we'd get much more value from your post than we got from your description of access to E+. For example, how has the upgrade rate for 1K flyers changed since 3/3 in your view?

And, furthermore, it would be most appropriate at this juncture if you would respond directly and clearly to the reports of TOD offers that are not explained by the difference between purchased fare class and M or YB fare. This is the issue that most are concerned about, and yet you seem to have talked about every issue except this issue.

Is it your position that these TOD offers don't exist in the form that they're being described here? Is it your position that everyone who is posting evidence to the contrary is either mistaken or lying? Is it your position that each and every upgrade offer given to anyone on the airplane is indeed the difference between the fare class they purchased and the M fare for a 1K/GS or YB fare for all others?

If you would engage with us in a robust discussion around these questions, perhaps we can finally put some of this frustration and negativity to rest
.

Mitch
+1 - bolding mine. Though in the end - all i want are the rules of engagement- i've pretty much given up that the negativity over changes to date will be able to be reversed.

Right now we are piecing the rules together through inferences, through feedback to individual members, etc. Those "pieces" seem to point to TOD being intentional business practice - not a 'glitch.' It’s SHARES wonderful ability for differential pricing Rainey extolled - and we'll use it to extract any incremental revenue at any point of the process right up to flight time (only falling back to complementary in absence of accepted buy-ups).

If those are the rules - lay it out. At least that i can plan for - and know if i really want to get the seat I better pop for miles and $$$ or whatever mechanism. Even if I don’t like it – I won’t be PO’d because I was still buying into the fantasy of the old system or the alleged system we don’t see working in practice.

While the reality is I’m more likely to use my new EXP status than play these games any longer – you have a chance of not angering me by being honest and letting me know it’s all a la carte, or you’re only getting E+ with that order, upgrades are extra – be you a 1K or not.

I know - foolish man - expecting honesty.

I guess its a testiment to all the accumulated loyalty UA (in my case) had earned that we even bother responding to messages like UAInsiders.
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Old May 21, 2012, 3:35 pm
  #742  
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Originally Posted by UA Insider
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
No thanks for our loyalty, or does it really not matter past the current transaction?

Our egos still appreciate at least lip service.
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Old May 21, 2012, 3:36 pm
  #743  
 
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Originally Posted by UA Insider
Hi Everyone, ...

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.
...

Thanks as always for allowing us the clarify these points.

Shannon Kelly
Director, Customer Insights
United Airlines
[Bolding mine]

ahhhh - notice the distinction between the "instand upgrade fares" and the buy-ups, marketing speak for we are pricing the TODs at whatever price we want to generate more money...
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Old May 21, 2012, 3:36 pm
  #744  
 
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Originally Posted by DCEsquire
Frankly a FlyerTalk thread is the least of their worries. More problematic would be if a mainstream travel reporter picked this up. Speaking of which..Middle seat blog just picked this up.

http://blogs.wsj.com/middleseat/2012...over-entitled/
Thanks for posting the link. Here it is in black and white, who the over-entitleds were, it was the Silvers:

"United said Mr. Rainey was specifically referring to a change that makes it more difficult for the lowest of the elite frequent-flier levels — customers who earn 25,000 miles a year — to nab seats in the Economy Plus coach section, which has added legroom. In some markets, lower-level elites got so many of the Economy Plus seats that there were no seats left there for late-booking, high-fare, high-status passengers. United used to let the lowest elite level reserve Economy Plus seats at booking. But as of March 3, the lowest tier of elite level members can only reserve Economy Plus seats for free at check-in."

They need to step up the damage control a bit, though.
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Old May 21, 2012, 3:38 pm
  #745  
 
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Originally Posted by mitchmu
Awesome article!

Saw your quote.

And this one: "One small-business owner turned in $132,000 worth of tickets for refunds—and posted on FlyerTalk that he received a call from a United sales manager acknowledging problems with the computer switchover."

We know who that is. ;-)
CT - hope there haven't been any repercussions of your sharing your experiences. No mystery adjustements to your mileage balance or status...
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Old May 21, 2012, 3:39 pm
  #746  
 
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Value of flyers

And this quote from the WFJ article: "Translation: An airline’s best customers these days are those who buy expensive tickets, not necessarily those who fly a lot on cheap tickets. Airlines have been struggling to realign their loyalty programs to reward dollars spent more than miles traveled. Some have been more diplomatic about it than others."

It seems that nobody gets it!!!

There is nothing wrong with aligning benefits with profit contribution.

NOTHING WHATSOEVER WRONG with it.

But that is not what UA is doing.

If UA was aligning benefits with contribution then position on wait-list would be based on some combination of status and fare class to balance fare class with ongoing loyalty. And that position in the wait list would determine upgrade priority. And, status would be based itself on a measure of profitability whether that's minimum annual spend or average value of flights taken or some other appropriate metric. Why don't they do any of these things?

None of us in these conversations have defended the people who get 1K status through various schemes. And, if we got rid of the long tail, it'd be better for everyone.

For example, this is how UA did it for as long as I flew with them. When I flew on a flight I knew would be packed, I'd pay for a B or M fare, bump to the top of the list, and get the upgrade. It was a fair deal for all involved. No complaints.

But, what seems to be happening if the reports here aren't all made up nonsense, is that COdbaUA takes the B fare from the flyer, puts them to the top of the list, then makes them sit in the list, while they sell seats to everyone else on the airplane at pennies on the dollar. So they collect the B fare and then they collect more money again from those in the back willing to pay $29 for the same seat.

This is not aligning value with rewards. This is value destructing deception.

How many times does this need to be said?

Originally Posted by johnru36
CT - hope there haven't been any repercussions of your sharing your experiences. No mystery adjustements to your mileage balance or status...
Based on what I read here every day, it seems the mystery adjustments happen with or without public comments in FT.

Last edited by iluv2fly; May 21, 2012 at 7:43 pm Reason: merge
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Old May 21, 2012, 3:41 pm
  #747  
 
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Originally Posted by mitchmu
Awesome article!

Saw your quote.

And this one: "One small-business owner turned in $132,000 worth of tickets for refunds—and posted on FlyerTalk that he received a call from a United sales manager acknowledging problems with the computer switchover."

We know who that is. ;-)
Hay - THATS MEEEEEEE!!! I guess someone is reading this after all
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Old May 21, 2012, 3:41 pm
  #748  
 
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At least Shannon did clarify steerage level

No question reading Shannon's post that it's all about Gold & above these days. However, I'd take her to task on the idea that a Gold is better off now than last year. 50% RDM vs 100% alone is a pretty big hit, and I never had issues in the past obtaining E+ seats (except once or twice during irrops).

I feel for anyone thinking there's a point to Silver these days. United, and most other airlines, are teaching people to paddle (Kayak). The possible downside (to COdbaUA) for strapping the Silvers to the wing is that Golds & Plats & 1Ks aren't typically born that way; the first 49,999 miles are either in back or benefits purchased a la carte.

COdbaUA likely thinks that makes sense, as long as you can buy your way out, a la carte. Trouble is, a lot of businesses won't pay for a la carte options for their traveling employees, so the more carefully you align your pay-for programs with what people actually use, the more you alienate the <49,999 mile business person.
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Old May 21, 2012, 3:43 pm
  #749  
 
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Well..talk about going viral. Now the link to the WSJ is on the Yahoo stock page. Let's see who starts to connect dots tomorrow... Today it was up on fuel costs dropping.

http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=ual&ql=1

update: note if you compare to Delta and USAirways (forget AA given they are bkpt) They are actually the worst performing major airline stock.

http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=U...rce=undefined;

Last edited by DCEsquire; May 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm Reason: compare stocks
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Old May 21, 2012, 3:45 pm
  #750  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Originally Posted by johnru36
I guess its a testiment to all the accumulated loyalty UA (in my case) had earned that we even bother responding to messages like UAInsiders.
You're right about that. When you spend as much of your time sitting on UA metal as we must spend to qualify for 1K status year after year, it becomes a part of your life. Yes, it's a business. Yes, we need to follow our self-interest here and should not be emotional about it. But, it turns out that most if not all of us are actually humans and emotion is part of being human. And, when a company that you admire and respect and build a relationship with slaps you in the face, starts treating you with disdain, and then tells you that you were over-entitled, it's reasonable to be upset. At some point, we'll have to let this go and move on.
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