Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

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

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

Old May 19, 12, 1:27 pm
  #91  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Programs: DL SM Plat, B6 TrueBlue, UA MP, AAdvantage
Posts: 10,008
Originally Posted by elizadoo View Post
Yep, PMCO is starting to look like Air Tran--you pay your 49 bucks at the gate and you sit up front and drink your complimentary drink(s) and act like a big shot--all on a budget airline.
Not to enflame any passions, but you have to remember where CO's modern roots are.

The last iteration of PMCO (before the merger) was the rebranding of Frank Lorenzo's Texas International Airlines with PeoplExpress, one of the first LCC's.

Lorenzo's brutal tactics left CO decimated with perhaps the worst reputation any U.S. airline ever had for poor service.

When Gordon Bethune took over as CEO in the mid-90's, no self-respecting business traveler would fly the airline, so free upgrades were instituted as a desperation measure.

Things improved a lot at CO (then went downhill more recently), but at its core, CO was always run as a hybrid between a full service carrier and an LCC.

Last edited by TWA Fan 1; May 19, 12 at 1:33 pm
TWA Fan 1 is offline  
Old May 19, 12, 1:28 pm
  #92  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 5,823
Originally Posted by bcj1949 View Post
My flying strategy is rapidly and radically changing. It reflects the reality too that FF programs/strategies are also changing including a shrinking availability for UG's on ALL CARRIERS! Currently I use all three major US carriers and look for the best fare that snags an UG with miles or is a "special" buy up. I now never count on an automatic UG. I think this guy at CO is the business wonk who is stating the current reality.
The correct (and not derogatory) FT term for you is: 'Kayaker'

Which, as you say, seems like an attractive and viable option for many travelers.
LarkSFO is offline  
Old May 19, 12, 1:31 pm
  #93  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Since the BoSox and ChiSox won it, now it is the Cubs turn to take the Series. Go Cubs Go!
Posts: 3,685
Originally Posted by Bowgie View Post
Your description just nailed me and my relationship with Delta Skymiles.

Personally, I think high-mileage and low-fare paying customer do bring lots of incremental revenue to an airline by using up excess (cheap) seat capacity and forcing others to buy higher fare buckets. I've seen the contrary case argued often at FT. In one sense, it does not matter to us, the flyers. There will ALWAYS be an airline who values high mileage customers. We are airline customers, not stockholders.
No need to help a airline see the mistake of its business decisions when it is so much easier to walk over to the competition.

I think you all get that United 1K's and GS's are being hosed.

I am surprised that United mid-tiers are not equally upset. Only a 50% bonus on redeemable miles for United 50k flyers, and 75% bonus for 75k flyers. It's still 100% for the equivalent at Delta or American.

Why waste time hoping United will change? Just choose between American and Delta, and be done with it!
This makes Mileage Plus uncompetitive relative to DL & AA, and it starts the relationship with its customers for the newly combined UA-CO company with a reduction in elite benefits. The loss of 2P benefits are even more dramatic with an inability to select E+ until 24 hours before departure.
chitownflyer is offline  
Old May 19, 12, 1:32 pm
  #94  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Programs: DL SM Plat, B6 TrueBlue, UA MP, AAdvantage
Posts: 10,008
Originally Posted by colonius View Post
Some people will justify anything. If the new United should throw out E+ and upgrade benefits completely, I am sure you will be there to justify it.

The 1k that achieves his/her status solely on those $300 roundtrip transcons (if you can find them) is probably an Urban myth or, at the very least, a negligibly small minority.

I am not a really big spender, but from this day on my $10,000 to $15,000 in air-travel spending per year is going to AA. Glad I did the status match.

UA does not want my business. Fine, it is going away.
Again, I want to be clear: I am not defending CO's approach nor do I agree with it. In fact, this is why I left CO a number of years ago.

I'm just trying to understand it.

As far as the $300 transcon, last week, I flew JFK-ONT for $302 round trip on DL. As a DL SM Silver I was upgraded on 2 of the 4 segments.
TWA Fan 1 is offline  
Old May 19, 12, 1:32 pm
  #95  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: ua mm, starriott LTPP, ihg plat, hh gold.
Posts: 12,897
Originally Posted by kenziid3 View Post
MileagePlus: "We had certain groups that were overentitled, if you will"

"The truth shall set you free, but first it will piss you off"
wow. he must be an arrogant **** to have actually said that out loud. impressive.

i was 1k for years, living in houston (and happy not to be a CO elite, which i tested with a status match) despite slightly higher fares and constant connections. now i'm living elsewhere, premier plat, and am not sure there's any value in retaining that. why bother?

i'm grateful to now have the luxury of choosing who i fly strictly on price. the truth has set me free.
thank you for your candor, cfo rainey. (who i'm guessing may be out of a gig soon. perhaps the truth will set HIM free as well. we can only hope. )
karenkay is offline  
Old May 19, 12, 1:36 pm
  #96  
uwr
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SEA
Programs: AS MVPG 75K, UA 1K
Posts: 843
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
may be an overstatement but with the CFO's talk,
with UA Insider's explanation of upgrades, http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/18590619-post1532.html
the discussion chinatradermr had with Senior VP of Sales, http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/18585613-post236.html
the desired relationship of the new UA with it customers and elites is becoming clear.
While there had been much speculation, these instance are all painting a much clear situation -- a Brave New World.
I feel the same way. The UA Insider explanation and the chinatrader thread were eye-opening and made me regret jumping ship last year from AS. I am on my way to 1K by the end of June, and I don't know if it will be worth it. If things at UA don't improve by year's end, I am going back to AS or to DL.

I think that UA's service is similar to that of other U.S.-based airlines (except for AS, which has slightly better on-board service in my experience), but their attitude towards elites is much worse.

Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
Obviously not using a teleprompter...

Starts at about 11:50...
"...Additionally, we also changed our Mileage Plus program, some of the benefits that, uh, accrued to the members. Uh, we, uh, we had certain groups in this group were over entitled if you will. Uh, and now, uh, we have realigned the benefits of that program with what the, the, the customers and, and, program, um, um, the participants are actually providing to the airline, and, and this is a good change going forward..."
I am not an apologist for UA, but a charitable reading of the "over entitled" comment, in context, suggests that he might have meant "over compensated." He says that in the context of what the customers are providing to the airline.

That said, I am unhappy (as many of you are) about the upgrade policy and other devaluations.
uwr is offline  
Old May 19, 12, 1:38 pm
  #97  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Programs: HH Diamond, MR Plat
Posts: 2,389
It will be interesting when DL and UA both migrate their FF systems to be monetary based rather than mileage base. Whether overtly (UA) or covertly (DL), the focus of both is rebalancing FF benefits to reward $IS rather than strictly BIS. I can hear the screams of collusion already.

Also, one of the most profound statements in the previous posts has to be:
"1K BIS is not to be sniffed at"

You won't find me sniffing that seat for sure!!
xooz is online now  
Old May 19, 12, 1:42 pm
  #98  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: LRM
Programs: UA/DL plat to AA
Posts: 525
Originally Posted by dkc715 View Post
"We have certain groups in this (Mileage Plus) program that were over entitled..."
The word, "tool" comes to mind.
ONTRandy is offline  
Old May 19, 12, 1:44 pm
  #99  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: New England
Programs: DL/UA Plat, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Plat, Radisson Gold
Posts: 6,305
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)

Originally Posted by ONTRandy
Originally Posted by dkc715 View Post
"We have certain groups in this (Mileage Plus) program that were over entitled..."
The word, "tool" comes to mind.
My word rhymes with tool!

UA is making all these assumptions while they're the ones losing the most $.

Last edited by iluv2fly; May 19, 12 at 5:11 pm Reason: merge/edit
demkr is offline  
Old May 19, 12, 1:44 pm
  #100  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: San Francisco/Tel Aviv/YYZ
Programs: CO 1K-MM
Posts: 10,483
I am not an apologist for UA, but a charitable reading of the "over entitled" comment, in context, suggests that he might have meant "over compensated." He says that in the context of what the customers are providing to the airline.
You're more charitable than Mother Theresa.

I think he's pretty clear, they knew what they were doing (cutting elite bonii for Gold/Plat, cutting promised lifetime benefits for MMs), and did it because they think loyal flyers are 'entitled' leaches. Eliminating special service for Plats and 1Ks because some of them might be "cockroach plats/1Ks". They'll reap what they sow.
entropy is offline  
Old May 19, 12, 1:48 pm
  #101  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: IAD
Programs: UA 2P, UC, Hertz 5*
Posts: 490
Originally Posted by penner42 View Post
I fail to see how someone flying 25K a year was "over entitled" to get more than one free checked bag when someone with a credit card with a $395 annual fee gets a Club membership valued at $475 AND two free checked bags.

Honestly, as a silver never expecting to get upgrades, the bags and E+ were the two things I cared about most.
penner42 You forgot to add Premier Access to the equation for CC holders, plus UG are almost nonexistant now,
am1108 is offline  
Old May 19, 12, 1:53 pm
  #102  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Always on the move
Programs: Something lifetime here and there
Posts: 1,862
Originally Posted by LarkSFO View Post
"Making good progress in unifying labor contracts"
My pilot friends (PMUA) would say...What Rainey says in his "drivel"........"this is an outright lie..."
goingbananas is offline  
Old May 19, 12, 1:55 pm
  #103  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: New England
Programs: DL/UA Plat, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Plat, Radisson Gold
Posts: 6,305
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)

CO was "over entitled" to its customer service awards
demkr is offline  
Old May 19, 12, 2:01 pm
  #104  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Programs: UA 1K 1MM
Posts: 455
I listened to the whole presentation and Q & A and found it fascinating.

I was particularly interested when someone asked him about UA's recent revenue underperformance relative to Delta. He specifically mentioned three factors: Asia, where UA's China exposure has hurt them relative to DL's Japan exposure. A decision to not overbook as much (since stopped). And the transition to Orion, where there were some teething pains. Specifically, zero mention of any fallout from any Shares transition or policy changes. Even the thought of customers choosing another airline was not considered. He also said that he thought the underperformance should have just about run its course.

I think there is some hope that the things will get interesting sooner rather than later IF he is wrong and their revenue performance continues to suffer.
demosthenes1 is offline  
Old May 19, 12, 2:04 pm
  #105  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: NYC
Posts: 1,320
Is there any precedent of airlines offering matches to MM status?
If I were AA, I would definitely offer some form of status match and challenge; say 100k within a year for UA MM Elites.
HumbleBee is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: