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United Club changes (drinks and Wifi) - Sept/Oct. 2013

United Club changes (drinks and Wifi) - Sept/Oct. 2013

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Old Sep 7, 13, 8:58 pm
  #271  
 
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Originally Posted by lensman View Post
Like all businesses, the cost of consumables is but a small part of the cost of providing the service. It's like they tell you on those restaurant makeover shows - if you don't include enough margin, you'll go out of business. Let's compare pre-merger RCC with today. How many drinks did UA think they could give away for free and not lose their shirts on RCCs? Two per international premium class customer. I guess they tried out giving away more and it hasn't worked out for them. Obviously another miscalculation by management based on applying a management technique based on the pre-merger CO demographic to the post-merger UA demographic and having it not work out.

We're seeing the same thing at the company I work at. The management from one side of the house is applying their management instincts to my side of the house and it has resulted in a number of issues for the firm. Ultimately they learned their lesson and are making big corrections.
You mean the other side of the house believes in concepts such as marginal costs?
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Old Sep 7, 13, 9:03 pm
  #272  
 
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Originally Posted by lensman View Post
Like all businesses, the cost of consumables is but a small part of the cost of providing the service. It's like they tell you on those restaurant makeover shows - if you don't include enough margin, you'll go out of business. Let's compare pre-merger RCC with today. How many drinks did UA think they could give away for free and not lose their shirts on RCCs? Two per international premium class customer. I guess they tried out giving away more and it hasn't worked out for them. Obviously another miscalculation by management based on applying a management technique based on the pre-merger CO demographic to the post-merger UA demographic and having it not work out.

We're seeing the same thing at the company I work at. The management from one side of the house is applying their management instincts to my side of the house and it has resulted in a number of issues for the firm. Ultimately they learned their lesson and are making big corrections.

I don't go into the United Club for the food, drinks or to sit on Corinthian leather. I go there to relax and read, have quiet conversation with my wife or colleagues, and do some work on decent wifi someplace with conveniently placed power plugs. While there I need hydration and sometimes a small snack. I don't know the psychology of day passes but I know I didn't didn't buy my membership to get sloshed or for the food.

That said the mentality of offering an embarassingly low quality bottom shelf liquors, beer and wine is questionable. But maybe this is just a first step and the second step will be the announcement that they've decided to drop the unacceptably low quality stuff altogether and we'll have to pay for everything.
I agree with what you say.

In addition what should be added is that in the price of the $50 (or whatever) pass is the fact that out of every X passes sold Y people with said pass will consume enough consumables to make it unprofitable for the Club. If Y is growing at such a rate that the remaining (X-Y) day passes do not generate enough profit for all X then raise the price or stop selling day passes. Don't make your paying members suffer. I must add that it isn't Sept 10 yet, the day I understand all this mongering is about so we don't know what will happen. --oops I was thinking about the Apple announcement. But still no reports of downgrade in liquor sans one unsubstantiated LAX and McCormick vodka report.

Also, bartenders in most states are liable if they serve too many drinks to a customer. To consume $10 worth of cost in alcoholic beverage in less than four hours a 200 pound person such as myself would be slightly plastered subject to denied boarding, being arrested for public intoxication and certainly thrown in jail if I was caught driving. Your not very prudent if you are doing such and telling people that you are. $10 isn't going to break the bank.

Finally, bartenders are fonts of irrefutable information. Believe that? See me about a bridge.

Last edited by Michael D; Sep 7, 13 at 9:11 pm Reason: italics added
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Old Sep 8, 13, 12:16 pm
  #273  
 
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Originally Posted by Michael D View Post
I agree with what you say.

In addition what should be added is that in the price of the $50 (or whatever) pass is the fact that out of every X passes sold Y people with said pass will consume enough consumables to make it unprofitable for the Club. If Y is growing at such a rate that the remaining (X-Y) day passes do not generate enough profit for all X then raise the price or stop selling day passes. Don't make your paying members suffer. I must add that it isn't Sept 10 yet, the day I understand all this mongering is about so we don't know what will happen. --oops I was thinking about the Apple announcement. But still no reports of downgrade in liquor sans one unsubstantiated LAX and McCormick vodka report.

Also, bartenders in most states are liable if they serve too many drinks to a customer. To consume $10 worth of cost in alcoholic beverage in less than four hours a 200 pound person such as myself would be slightly plastered subject to denied boarding, being arrested for public intoxication and certainly thrown in jail if I was caught driving. Your not very prudent if you are doing such and telling people that you are. $10 isn't going to break the bank.

Finally, bartenders are fonts of irrefutable information. Believe that? See me about a bridge.
I will confirm Bellows is flowing at ORD for the last few days as they ran out of Smirnoff. Bellows is much worse then even McKormicks.
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Old Sep 8, 13, 12:58 pm
  #274  
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Originally Posted by dinoscool3 View Post
Just skimmed the thread, and didn't see confirmation, but will the Wi-Fi go back to one OMUA cards? If so, big downgrade. PMUA would allow guests to get cards, and on domestic we obviously only have one lounge access card for the family, it meant my mother and I couldn't get on Wi-Fi.
IME, many of the lounges had a stack of cards sitting on the counter, free for people to grab. I probably have 50+ of the original t-mobile cards from the DEN RCC.
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Old Sep 8, 13, 1:06 pm
  #275  
 
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Originally Posted by Passmethesickbag View Post
You mean the other side of the house believes in concepts such as marginal costs?
I don't understand what you're asking.
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Old Sep 8, 13, 2:47 pm
  #276  
 
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Originally Posted by dshafiee View Post
I will confirm Bellows is flowing at ORD for the last few days as they ran out of Smirnoff. Bellows is much worse then even McKormicks.
I wonder if I would get weird looks if I pulled out one of those lifestraw charcoal filters to drink my vodka tonic =)
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Old Sep 8, 13, 5:01 pm
  #277  
 
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Originally Posted by dshafiee View Post
I will confirm Bellows is flowing at ORD for the last few days as they ran out of Smirnoff. Bellows is much worse then even McKormicks.
Now it is the 8th in the states and I was wrong to correct myself in my prior post. the official date according to the reported email for the '"extended beverage program" is the 10th.

We have prior to b-day two reports of vodka downgrade:
CLE serving McCormick
ORD serving Bellows

The bottom line is if they are downgrading the experience, making drinks more expensive and other evil then they will stop if membership, day passes, people buying tickets and companies renewing their contracts decrease. Otherwise they won't. It may be "too late" if they wait until they see decreases. Certainly in general this is true when people leave a product because they view it as inferior.

If they have decided to downgrade they have already decided to live with what I would think would and I imagine they think will be an initial then decreasing flood of complaints from their customers while UA moves on to greener pastures for them.

Let's see what happens Tuesday.
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Old Sep 8, 13, 6:02 pm
  #278  
 
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Originally Posted by Michael D View Post
I imagine they think will be an initial then decreasing flood of complaints from their customers while UA moves on to greener pastures for them.

Let's see what happens Tuesday.
If the clubs get less crowded then it's a + for me. My main concerns aren't the fact that I have to pay for good liquor or go outside for food because I can do both of these. I don't really want to pay $50 a month for mifi. I want the wifi to work at decent speed. It's hard to otherwise find a nice quiet place in the terminal to read and work so I would first like to be able to get in and find a nice seat.

BTW, I don't think it's all the Explorer day pass people who are crowding up the clubs, but I'd like to hear evidence otherwise.
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Old Sep 8, 13, 6:54 pm
  #279  
 
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Originally Posted by lensman View Post
If the clubs get less crowded then it's a + for me. My main concerns aren't the fact that I have to pay for good liquor or go outside for food because I can do both of these. I don't really want to pay $50 a month for mifi. I want the wifi to work at decent speed. It's hard to otherwise find a nice quiet place in the terminal to read and work so I would first like to be able to get in and find a nice seat.

BTW, I don't think it's all the Explorer day pass people who are crowding up the clubs, but I'd like to hear evidence otherwise.
I thought the club was a good excuse to pay 50.00 per month for wi-fi
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Old Sep 8, 13, 7:18 pm
  #280  
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Originally Posted by lensman View Post
If the clubs get less crowded then it's a + for me. My main concerns aren't the fact that I have to pay for good liquor or go outside for food because I can do both of these. I don't really want to pay $50 a month for mifi. I want the wifi to work at decent speed. It's hard to otherwise find a nice quiet place in the terminal to read and work so I would first like to be able to get in and find a nice seat.

BTW, I don't think it's all the Explorer day pass people who are crowding up the clubs, but I'd like to hear evidence otherwise.
At this rate, they might even start charging for wifi access several years later. They might even utilize the bundling marketing concept here:

Basic membership $400
Membership with unlimited wifi 595
Membership with unlimited premium drinks 695
Full membership includes unlimited wifi and premium drinks 795

15 years ago, nobody thought we would ever have to pay for bags, to select a seat, to standby, etc. Amazing how things have changed in such short period of time, and the trend is showing no signs of leveling out.
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Old Sep 8, 13, 8:26 pm
  #281  
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Moderators, can we get an edit to the title of this thread? It still says "Improvements"...I think we can all agree that these changes are anything but.
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Old Sep 8, 13, 8:46 pm
  #282  
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Originally Posted by MBS MillionMiler View Post
Moderators, can we get an edit to the title of this thread? It still says "Improvements"...I think we can all agree that these changes are anything but.
Agreed, can we please call this "rumored beverage downgrade", and then just remove "rumored" on Tuesday
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Old Sep 8, 13, 9:10 pm
  #283  
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
Agreed, can we please call this "rumored beverage downgrade", and then just remove "rumored" on Tuesday
Then again, unless it's intentionally ironic like "changes you'll like" or other "enhancements".
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Old Sep 8, 13, 9:48 pm
  #284  
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International J/F customers are paying their way drinking premium wines like it's water and domestic business travelers are keeping sober on their way to work or because they have to drive home after landing after a hard week's work - either that or they are also paying their way buying top shelf bourbon.
Well, I don't know about others, but I'm not going to booze up on swill in the club just because its free. At least they still serve decent alcohol on board. If they're charging $11 for a sapphire and tonic on the ground, the $7 on board is a bargain. I'm certainly not going to waste alcohol processing capacity on lousy alcohol.

I'm pretty sure I'm not alone. And the cheapened alcohol, drink it or not, leaves a very bitter taste in the mouths of travelers who haven't seen such plonk since freshman year.
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Old Sep 9, 13, 7:01 am
  #285  
 
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Originally Posted by MBS MillionMiler View Post
Moderators, can we get an edit to the title of this thread? It still says "Improvements"...I think we can all agree that these changes are anything but.
+1. Just because UA is using newspeak to describe club downgrades doesn't mean we have to.
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