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Is it better? After 2 years, a pensive return...

Is it better? After 2 years, a pensive return...

Old Feb 7, 17, 12:28 pm
  #1  
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Programs: Hilton Diamond, National Exec, WN A-List
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Is it better? After 2 years, a pensive return...

So, I was UA-exclusive for over a decade - and 2 years ago, made the decision to move my loyalty over to WN.

Starting in 2017, I'm assigned primarily to destinations not served by Southwest. I live in DEN, so, I'm making the move back to UA.

Have heard that things have improved - Ops are back such that delay is the exception not the norm, CS is improved after retraining, regional product is improving and routes that deserve mainline service (I'm looking at you, DEN-ATL) are getting mainline service, inflight is happier after unifying FA contracts - and yes, the coffee and waffles and snack mix.

I'm hoping it's all true - that the best of CO and UA are finally coming together under Oscar.

Am I worrying for nothing? Are the Friendly Skies...friendly again?
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Old Feb 7, 17, 12:41 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
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I am historically very critical of UA. But my view is UA is better now under Oscar, and is heading more in the right direction than anytime in the past 5 years. So yes, come back in, the water is fine.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 12:44 pm
  #3  
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Yes it's better (but not perfect).

I much prefer UA to WN.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 12:45 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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It seems to be getting better ^
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Old Feb 7, 17, 12:46 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Mostly on the upswing.

Personally, I have been experiencing rather dramatic levels of UA irrops this year, but willing to accept it is anecdotal. Monthly stats do not show such a dramatic fall.

I am apparently under some sort of curse.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 1:28 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
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Originally Posted by goodeats21 View Post
... I have been experiencing rather dramatic levels of UA irrops this year, but willing to accept it is anecdotal. Monthly stats do not show such a dramatic fall.

I am apparently under some sort of curse.
I must be under a similar curse. Last year half my flights were on UA but that's where I experienced ALL my irrops (several Mx/severe delays). So far this year six flights on OALs and no problems. First UA flight is in 10 days so we'll see what happens.

OTOH, if flying out of DEN how much choice do you have?
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Old Feb 7, 17, 1:35 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
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Come back, give United a test run, and let us know! It'd be nice to hear some thoughts about United 'then' vs. United 'now'.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 1:50 pm
  #8  
 
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We're still about a year or so away from the last customer-facing step of completely merging the flight attendant groups (a technology limitation) which should hopefully close the book on the integration phase.

United in early 2017 is a quantum leap forward from the dark days of 2012-2014. The company at the end of the Smisek era started to become a bit more self-aware and roll out some tangible product improvements after three years of a merger-related hatchet job to anything good or differentiated about UA+CO (individually and collectively), but the damage was already done.

From my point of view, the fundamentals are improving: OTP (measurable), completion factor (measurable), service recovery (anecdotal) and the perception of morale (feel).
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Old Feb 7, 17, 1:54 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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I also think better, especially on regional with the E-170/175. The only thing that worsened is CPU rate...nearly on par with WN, sadly.

Might also be worth asking for a Premier Status Match. No idea if they will do it for WN, or to what level, but anything would be better than kettle. Even a Challenge will help you get there sooner.

Good luck!

Last edited by wh6cto; Feb 7, 17 at 1:55 pm Reason: Forgot to mention that it is better.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 2:07 pm
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by megalab View Post
I must be under a similar curse. Last year half my flights were on UA but that's where I experienced ALL my irrops (several Mx/severe delays). So far this year six flights on OALs and no problems. First UA flight is in 10 days so we'll see what happens.

OTOH, if flying out of DEN how much choice do you have?
I have yet to have an itinerary on United free of major irrops this year. Includes forced overnights at NRT and ORD, as well as several flight cancellations and several 2hr + delays. (some each of Mx and Wx)
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Old Feb 7, 17, 2:13 pm
  #11  
 
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I think one should pay more attention to the actual stats on IRROPS and OTP than anecdotals. I find that I go through periods where everything works perfectly, and then I go through cursed periods - rather like domestic building problems which don't happen for many years and then you get three in a row.

My opinion is that the odds on UA are pretty good now. As to the rest of it, I feel that UA is returning to the middle of the pack in pretty well all areas - service is improving, reliability is improving but MP is moving backwards.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 2:24 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Better? yes, it could not have gotten much worse....my travel is way down the past 18 months since I retired but for the most part my fun travel has been ok. Forget the idea of CPU or even a mileage upgrade. They are scarce at best with UA working hard to upsell others before allowing any CPUs or MUAs. I had ONE CPU in 2016. One for a 650 mile flight from DEN to MSP. I flew just over 25,000 miles on UA last year and 9,000 on AA....
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Old Feb 7, 17, 2:37 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
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I'll agree with the posts that say UA is trying to get their act together and I would rate their customer service as middle of the road. Coach food is still awful. I've only been stranded, in all my flying, in 3 cities and DEN is one of them, about a year ago. I do a lot of TPAC and I tend to avoid Denver as I live in BOS and the connections aren't great. I do have a daughter who now lives in Denver so I'm getting more familiar with the airport over the last couple of years. I'm rambling but my point is give UA a try again but I'm not sure about their on-time performance at DEN.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 2:40 pm
  #14  
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United is way better than it was 2 years ago.

The lounges are at least serviceable, the soup and salad options are better than the prepackaged cheese, though I'd say overall the offerings are worse than Delta.

Onboard, unfortunately, I think its all relative at this point but the food is decent now, but the new F and Y slimlines are horribly uncomfortable but all the majors are moving towards those.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 2:48 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
As to the rest of it, I feel that UA is returning to the middle of the pack in pretty well all areas - service is improving, reliability is improving but MP is moving backwards.
I think a good summary, since AA has gone down, UA is now middle of the pack. Really hard to see the advantage of MP at this point. Upgrades are a sad come on, and even at 1K level, very little special handling, below 1K, it is basically SDC and E+ access.

Originally Posted by gene2632 View Post
Forget the idea of CPU or even a mileage upgrade. They are scarce at best with UA working hard to upsell others before allowing any CPUs or MUAs.
+1. And this is sort of why WN is competitive. If you are counting on a CPU on UA, you might as well just fly WN, it is not gonna happen.

Originally Posted by entropy View Post
United is way better than it was 2 years ago.

The lounges are at least serviceable, the soup and salad options are better than the prepackaged cheese, though I'd say overall the offerings are worse than Delta.

Onboard, unfortunately, I think its all relative at this point but the food is decent now, but the new F and Y slimlines are horribly uncomfortable but all the majors are moving towards those.
+1. This said, I have had no slim line seats on any other airline so far that is as bad as exit row on the UA 737s and any seat on the A320s. United is IMHE the lowest of the low when it comes to seat comfort at this point. (although the old, broken down sNW A320 seat I had last night on SLC-SFO, was high up there in lack of comfort...)
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