United would never do this....

Old Jun 24, 14, 8:30 am
  #1  
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United would never do this....

Yesterday, while flying from Louisville to ATL, my wife reported that they had to divert to Knoxville (TYS) because of bad weather in ATL. After sitting in the bull pen for an hour they ran out of water, etc. All of a sudden, the front door opens and the flight attendants start walking back with boxes and boxes of pizza and bottles of water. Everybody got at least 1 slice. As my wife said, it was great PR.
The airline, of course, was Delta.
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Old Jun 24, 14, 8:47 am
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Originally Posted by Vulcan View Post
Yesterday, while flying from Louisville to ATL, my wife reported that they had to divert to Knoxville (TYS) because of bad weather in ATL. After sitting in the bull pen for an hour they ran out of water, etc. All of a sudden, the front door opens and the flight attendants start walking back with boxes and boxes of pizza and bottles of water. Everybody got at least 1 slice. As my wife said, it was great PR.
The airline, of course, was Delta.
How much did they charge per slice? Sounds like a great revenue enhancement idea for Jeff. Of course, UA should make sure that only the cheapest possible ingredients are used on the pizza.
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Old Jun 24, 14, 8:51 am
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I had a 45-minute ATC delay on DL the other day, and in the terminal, they made multiple announcements apologizing for the delay, and they rolled out a cart of sodas and snacks (cookies/pretzels/peanuts).

While I've seen UA (and CO) roll out the soda cart, it's usually a pretty nasty delay (e.g., 2+ hours) before they do it.
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Old Jun 24, 14, 8:57 am
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I read the stories about pizza delivery like this occasionally. I agree its a nice idea and good PR, but I always wonder how difficult it is to coordinate something like this. I guess the crew has to know that they're in for a pretty long wait. Otherwise I'd hate to be loading pizzas on board when the pilots get the go-ahead!
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Old Jun 24, 14, 9:28 am
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
I agree its a nice idea and good PR, but I always wonder how difficult it is to coordinate something like this.

It's 2014. It's pizza. We're not talking about obtaining and delivering a Faberge Egg to the middle of the desert. We're talking about pizza, at an airport with multiple pizza outlets, delivered to an airplane, at an airport.

Don't mean to sound like an idiot but I have no doubt when ideas like this are kicked around at the UA offices, they take a similar track - if all you discuss is why something can't be done, that's the conclusion you'll come to. Any idea like "pizza" can be made as complicated or as simple as an exec wants it to be.

It's pretty apparent that UA's offices are full of folks that can't see the straightest, simplest route to a solution if it jumped out in front of them. Unfortunately.
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Old Jun 24, 14, 9:33 am
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
I read the stories about pizza delivery like this occasionally. I agree its a nice idea and good PR, but I always wonder how difficult it is to coordinate something like this. I guess the crew has to know that they're in for a pretty long wait. Otherwise I'd hate to be loading pizzas on board when the pilots get the go-ahead!
That exact situation happened years ago when I ordered pizzas while a Captain at UX. There was some computer failure or unexplained ATC issue going on, don't quite remember. Right after I payed for the food we got released by ATC and left.

Not sure who ate the food we left behind but I bought dinner for somebody that night. The pizzas cost me more than what I made flying the BNA-IAD flight!
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Old Jun 24, 14, 9:36 am
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Sounds like they forgot to board the now-mandatory tarmac delay snack...
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Old Jun 24, 14, 9:42 am
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DL seems to do this from time to time - if you google "DL" "pizza" and "delay" you'll get a few hits.

It is phenomenal PR and great for passengers on board who remember that and think about booking DL for their next flight over other carriers.

From a couple articles it looks like the pizza in at least some situations was actually ordered by an employee who thought it was the right thing to do given the situation. Imagine that - empowering your employees to do things like that. Funny how when you empower employees they almost overwhelmingly do things that benefit the company and in doing so can even bring in free PR worth way more than the cost of the pizza
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Old Jun 24, 14, 9:45 am
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I don't believe it. DL should be serving ham sandwiches to everyone.
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Old Jun 24, 14, 9:46 am
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Good for Delta. I think that is a nice customer service touch.

Not sure what this has to do with United other than as a stick for the OP to beat on United.
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Old Jun 24, 14, 9:46 am
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Originally Posted by fireworksboy View Post
It's 2014. It's pizza. We're not talking about obtaining and delivering a Faberge Egg to the middle of the desert. We're talking about pizza, at an airport with multiple pizza outlets, delivered to an airplane, at an airport.

Don't mean to sound like an idiot but I have no doubt when ideas like this are kicked around at the UA offices, they take a similar track - if all you discuss is why something can't be done, that's the conclusion you'll come to. Any idea like "pizza" can be made as complicated or as simple as an exec wants it to be.

It's pretty apparent that UA's offices are full of folks that can't see the straightest, simplest route to a solution if it jumped out in front of them. Unfortunately.
You've misunderstood my post I think. I'm in favor of these things when it makes sense. I haven't been to Knoxville in years, I wouldn't expect that they have multiple outlets capable of supplying a number of whole pizzas quickly, but clearly they must.

But I never implied it couldn't (or shouldn't) be done. Just that I wondered about the logistics. Probably not a big deal at TYS, but that isn't the only airport where this has happened.
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Old Jun 24, 14, 9:52 am
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Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
Good for Delta. I think that is a nice customer service touch.

Not sure what this has to do with United other than as a stick for the OP to beat on United.
Well, it is a competitive market in which consumers (at least presumably) have a choice.

I think this example was simply meant to highlight the perceived difference between the approach to customer service during IrrOps at DL and UA.

Maybe it was even meant as a hint.
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Old Jun 24, 14, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by TWA Fan 1 View Post
I think this example was simply meant to highlight the perceived difference between the approach to customer service during IrrOps at DL and UA.

Maybe it was even meant as a hint.
The way it is worded implies something different IMO.
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Old Jun 24, 14, 9:59 am
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Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
Good for Delta. I think that is a nice customer service touch.

Not sure what this has to do with United other than as a stick for the OP to beat on United.
Inexpensive positive customer PR that result from empowered line employees?
Sadly, if such a strategy was debated among current UA management, the focus would be entirely upon direct costs of such a decision. Cheese versus pepperoni, 12" versus 16", minimum slice per passenger load..not a soul would chip in, "imagine how this might put a smile on the customer's face in an awkward situation and increase the possibility they will fly us again."
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Old Jun 24, 14, 10:07 am
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Given the number of delays, UA could have frozen pizzas prepositioned at airports that could quickly be heated and delivered onboard.

Hey, this whole pizza idea may just save UA from further decline!
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