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United to close HNL & DTW reservations office & DTW GS office {work from home option}

United to close HNL & DTW reservations office & DTW GS office {work from home option}

Old Sep 2, 15, 1:37 pm
  #1  
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United to close HNL & DTW reservations office & DTW GS office {work from home option}

Updating this message from rumor to apparent fact confirmed by two additional sources in this thread.

Seems that United is indeed closing both the DTW and HNL offices.

Some of the best agents in the system have been based there. Sad.

Worth remembering his promise to Congress:

http://www.c-span.org/video/?c445872...cut-front-line

Tilton: "This merger will not have a negative effect on ... front line employment."

Smisek: "... we do not expect any significant effect on employment on front line jobs."

Last edited by goalie; Sep 2, 15 at 10:37 pm Reason: Updated from rumor/question to what seems like a confirmed fact./changed smisek to united
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Old Sep 2, 15, 2:12 pm
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It will be sad. DTW and HNL are the BEST!!! Hands down!
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Old Sep 2, 15, 2:57 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyWorld View Post
Can anyone confirm this?

Some of the best agents in the system have been based there.

Background:

http://www.c-span.org/video/?c445872...cut-front-line

Tilton: "This merger will not have a negative effect on ... front line employment."

Smisek: "... we do not expect any significant effect on employment on front line jobs."
No, the "story" is UA is closing DTWRR and HNLRR, leaving only CHIRR and 1 other that I am unaware of. It isn't GS, it's all functions of those centers, from what I hear.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 3:05 pm
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Originally Posted by fastair View Post
No, the "story" is UA is closing DTWRR and HNLRR, leaving only CHIRR and 1 other that I am unaware of. It isn't GS, it's all functions of those centers, from what I hear.
I'm not sure why you started the sentence with "No ..."

It seems the correct response is "Yes ..."

You seem to be confirming the validity of the report, not denying it. Right?

From what I hear, Chicago and Houston are the two that remain open and, yes, I've also heard that HNL is being shut down too.

It was only a matter of time. I feel so badly for those employees. They were the absolute best but since they were senior and sUA, it was inevitable that Smisek would get rid of them.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 3:10 pm
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Originally Posted by fastair View Post
No, the "story" is UA is closing DTWRR and HNLRR, leaving only CHIRR and 1 other that I am unaware of. It isn't GS, it's all functions of those centers, from what I hear.
Were DTWRR and HNLRR actual office sites? A couple of months ago one of the most helpful agents I talked to in Honolulu mentioned she was moving to mainland and still would be working for UA from home (not because of a change at United but she wanted to be closer to grandkids). I'm wondering if they're shutting down physical office space but the agents will still be working?
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Old Sep 2, 15, 3:13 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
Were DTWRR and HNLRR actual office sites? A couple of months ago one of the most helpful agents I talked to in Honolulu mentioned she was moving to mainland and still would be working for UA from home (not because of a change at United but she wanted to be closer to grandkids). I'm wondering if they're shutting down physical office space but the agents will still be working?
I was told that agents have an option to work from home, but if they take that option, they will have a pay cut, and they have to buy their own computers and other necessary equipment, or they can get a "loan" from United Continental to buy them.

Yes, DTWRR and HNLRR are actual sites. Places where people would go to work and earn a solid middle class wage. No more.

Last edited by goalie; Sep 2, 15 at 10:27 pm Reason: Off topic comments removed
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Old Sep 2, 15, 3:18 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
Were DTWRR and HNLRR actual office sites? A couple of months ago one of the most helpful agents I talked to in Honolulu mentioned she was moving to mainland and still would be working for UA from home (not because of a change at United but she wanted to be closer to grandkids). I'm wondering if they're shutting down physical office space but the agents will still be working?
Yes, 4 office sites, that I know of,chi, dtw, HNL, and one other. There might be done more on CO side as well. Currently, only HNL and DTW are bring shuttered. Contract says their jobs are 100% protected if in a res office from outsource, but didn't say that they couldn't force you to move or take a pay cut to work from home. And who said a lawyer can't run an airline (many currently are). The devil is in the details, it's the letter of the law, not the spirit. Easier to prove the letter.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 3:19 pm
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A friend of mine (coming from the PMUA side, 25+ years seniority) recently transferred from DTWRR to IAHRR. I don't know what the transfer/furlough policy is, but I assume that DTWRR (and HNLRR as well) is pretty senior and anyone who wishes to transfer (or commute, which happens frequently believe it or not) can do so. So, FWIW, many of the same staff will continue to handle the phone calls
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Old Sep 2, 15, 3:22 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyWorld View Post
I was told that agents have an option to work from home, but if they take that option, they will have a pay cut, and they have to buy their own computers and other necessary equipment, or they can get a "loan" from United Continental to buy them.
Not sure what the wage difference is, but there are advantages to working from home:

1) No commute. In Honolulu, that time savings could be huge. Take a 2-hour daily commute off the table on a 8-hour work day and that's 20% time saving. Is that worth a 20% pay cut? Some would say yes, some no...
3) Gas and auto wear/tear (might even be able to get rid of a car - and insurance assoc. w/ that car)
4) Computers are cheap.
5) Employees can deduct/depreciate expenses - internet, hardware, furniture, "office space", share of utilities. In Honolulu, that could also be significant.
6) Ability to work in underwear and go without a shower/shave for days .

Last edited by goalie; Sep 2, 15 at 10:28 pm Reason: Edited quoted post to match edited original post
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Old Sep 2, 15, 3:27 pm
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I think that is key -- most SLC agents work from home. TPA too.

Will HNL and DTW really just be able to work from home and is rent just that so expensive (especially in Michigan!!) that UA sees no advantage to having a cell center with colleagues and supervisors within easy speaking distance?

Home agents send electronic messages, like SMSs, to their colleagues -- seems a more arduous task for many of the older ones who are not so nimble on a keyboard.

As long as the same HNL agents stay, I'll be happy. The CO SLC team is still best, whether working form home or in an office.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 3:28 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyWorld View Post
Tilton: "This merger will not have a negative effect on ... front line employment."

Smisek: "... we do not expect any significant effect on employment on front line jobs."
Tell that to the 200+ Canadian front line employees that got turfed out on to the streets.

Originally Posted by FlyWorld View Post
I

From what I hear, Chicago and Houston are the two that remain open and, yes, I've also heard that HNL is being shut down too.

.
And all the (outsourced) ones in India will remain open too is my guess.

Last edited by Ocn Vw 1K; Sep 2, 15 at 11:57 pm Reason: Combine consecutive posts of same member.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 3:41 pm
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Just had another great experience with a late-night call to a HNL agent while on the road in Tokyo. Sad to see the office close, as it will undoubtedly lead to some of the "gems" leaving the company.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 3:44 pm
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Originally Posted by LASUA1K View Post
It will be sad. DTW and HNL are the BEST!!! Hands down!
Oh no! Truly I loved the HNL agents, and we could "talk story" while working on an issue.
I always sent an email to 1K Voice after an agent helped me out. The Detroit agents were great also. Just goes to show that my letters to United explaining that the 1K Desk was a BIG factor in sticking with United didn't mean much.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 4:03 pm
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
Home agents send electronic messages, like SMSs, to their colleagues -- seems a more arduous task for many of the older ones who are not so nimble on a keyboard.
If you're an airline reservation agent and not nimble on a keyboard ........ I think you're in the wrong industry.

Not saying I don't feel bad for these folks regarding the pay cut (of course I do!) but working from home has its upsides as well.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 4:28 pm
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Does this mean they are closing the counter in Ala Moana as well? The agents there have helped me a lot recently and I would hate to see them go.

Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
6) Ability to work in underwear and go without a shower/shave for days .
This! +1000 I would also add:

7) The ability to work from anywhere there is an internet connection.

I once rented an apartment in Paris for two weeks and "worked" from there. The hours were strange though I started at 1400 and ended at 2230.

I wonder if UA work-from-home agents can also work from anywhere or are they fixed in a certain physical location for some reason?
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