WSJ Article: Smisek says UA on the Mend

Old Jun 16, 13, 9:24 pm
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WSJ Article: Smisek says UA on the Mend

Here is the link to the new WSJ article posted this evening.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...o&mod=yahoo_hs
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Old Jun 16, 13, 9:28 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingNut724 View Post
Here is the link to the new WSJ article posted this evening.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...o&mod=yahoo_hs
Can't see it...looks like you have to be a subscriber...
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Old Jun 16, 13, 9:30 pm
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This link works for me:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...212270480.html

I can't believe it. This, again? He's been telling us how great things are every month since he took control.

Zero credibility.

The biggest issue has nothing to do with merger pains. It has everything to do with anti-customer hostility. These are policy driven problems as much as system driven problems.

Fun read:

"Mr. Smisek, in an interview, called 2012 "awful" for United. The company lost money, was hit by a wave of canceled and delayed flights, and infuriated many customers by mishandling changes to its passenger reservation system and dramatically modifying its frequent-flier rules. Two reservations outages, last August and November, inconvenienced fliers and fueled questions about United's ability to manage itself."

So, now he calls it awful? For the last 2 years, he's been telling us it's all great and we'll love the changes.

And, what we have to look forward to?

"United is seeking reductions large and small. It revamped its employee shuttle-bus system at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, an effort expected to save $2 million over five years. New luggage handling procedures at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport are shaving $400,000 a month. The catering team rebid the contract for the heated nut cocktail served in first class by switching to split cashews from whole ones, a savings of $200,000 a year. "Customers don't care if it's a whole nut or split in half," Mr. Smisek said."

Last edited by FlyWorld; Jun 16, 13 at 10:06 pm
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Old Jun 16, 13, 9:31 pm
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Try this:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...47883778,d.dmQ
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Old Jun 16, 13, 9:31 pm
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Originally Posted by PDXPremier View Post
Can't see it...looks like you have to be a subscriber...
Just google the title.
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Old Jun 16, 13, 9:34 pm
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The catering team rebid the contract for the heated nut cocktail served in first class by switching to split cashews from whole ones, a savings of $200,000 a year. "Customers don't care if it's a whole nut or split in half," Mr. Smisek said.
That's pretty smart -- I'll give them props for that.
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Old Jun 16, 13, 9:34 pm
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I thought this quote showed an interesting juxtaposition of facts:

"United in the first quarter of 2013 posted its best on-time performance in a decade, with 81% of domestic flights arriving on time. In the 12 months through April, United was second worst among its major rivals, with a 77% on-time rate, according to U.S. Department of Transportation data."

Although, I still don't understand how the 81% was their highest on-time percentage in a decade. I thought they were much higher prior to the merger.
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Old Jun 16, 13, 9:37 pm
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Originally Posted by edcho View Post
Thanks...it's giving me the option of subscribing or logging in (through Facebook, so I'm assuming it's free, but I think I'll stick with reading the comments about it on FT).

Originally Posted by unavaca View Post
That's pretty smart -- I'll give them props for that.
I'd like to know how much they saved getting rid of that packaged brownie on the snack tray....I wish they could get rid of the rubbery white cheese balls and replace them with the brownie...maybe the brownie is cheaper!

Last edited by iluv2fly; Jun 16, 13 at 9:41 pm Reason: merge
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Old Jun 16, 13, 9:43 pm
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Interesting statement he's made at the end:

Mr. Smisek said he takes inspiration from Delta, "which is doing quite well, which I'm delighted with because they're two years ahead of us" in absorbing its 2008 acquisition of Northwest Airlines.

Delta last month announced plans to begin paying a quarterly dividend of six cents a share, and to buy back $500 million of its stock.

Mr. Smisek said United has "absolutely every intention of paying a dividend to our shareholders. The time is not right now, but the time will come."
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Old Jun 16, 13, 9:44 pm
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Originally Posted by mitchmu View Post
The catering team rebid the contract for the heated nut cocktail served in first class by switching to split cashews from whole ones, a savings of $200,000 a year. "Customers don't care if it's a whole nut or split in half," Mr. Smisek said."
Those savings are nothing. I think they could save a couple million dollars a year if they cut Smisek.
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Old Jun 16, 13, 9:45 pm
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Originally Posted by unavaca View Post
That's pretty smart -- I'll give them props for that.
Yes and no... The little things are little, until a pile of them becomes big. It's ironic that he points out stuff like this in the same article that he admits they "changed too much too fast".

Customers rarely notice teeny tiny changes. But eventually you cross an invisible threshold where everything gets noticed, all at once. I think there's been ample FT threads pointing out the degradation of foodservice in GF/J/F, so the overall downgrade HAS been noticed. Frankly, nobody would have noticed this if he hadn't opened his mouth! But now when I'm in F this coming Tuesday, I'm going to stare at the nuts and laugh... then sigh.
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Old Jun 16, 13, 9:47 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingNut724 View Post
Those savings are nothing. I think they could save a couple million dollars a year if they cut Smisek.
^^^^^ x 14 million!

Thanks for giving me a great chuckle to end the week.
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Old Jun 16, 13, 9:48 pm
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Originally Posted by edcho View Post
Interesting statement he's made at the end:
Interesting indeed. I think he views Delta as the model airline. (Wall Street likes them a lot too - no coincidence). Just look over to this thread to see people talking about earning 1k this year for less than $3k. PQDs are coming. At least we'll have *A?
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Old Jun 16, 13, 9:56 pm
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Yeah, cut the premium product to save $200K. Really smart :Rolleyes:

Though, this is the first post-merger article I've seen acknowledging that changes to the FF program is what angered people. Of course, those changes appear to be staying..
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Old Jun 16, 13, 10:08 pm
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So he's been telling the investor calls for a solid year that the airline's in good shape, everything's looking up, we're right on track, etc., and now he looks back on the last year and tells the WSJ things were "awful." Interesting.
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