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So how does UA win back the flying public? (Beyond the obvious)

So how does UA win back the flying public? (Beyond the obvious)

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Old Apr 17, 17, 11:44 am
  #331  
 
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Lower fares already

Last week after the incident went viral I saw a $30 fare from SFO to LAS, the lowest from any carrier you see on this route is usually $49. Of course it was a Sunday morning 6:10 am flight but I think they our quietly deep discounting already.

If they do have a nationwide sale their competitors have to match prices on matching routes, that's they way it works with only 4 or fewer competitors in most markets.

-Paul
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Old Apr 17, 17, 11:51 am
  #332  
 
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Lower fares already

Just did a price check SFO/ORD RT 06-11 return 06-17. Which is the start of the Summer travel season since most schools let out that week.

UAL $215 RT non-stop
Spirit $295 RT non stop from OAK.
AA $397 RT non-stop from SFO
VX $423 RT non-stop from SFO

-Paul
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Old Apr 17, 17, 11:54 am
  #333  
 
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Originally Posted by Paul510 View Post
Just did a price check SFO/ORD RT 06-11 return 06-17. Which is the start of the Summer travel season since most schools let out that week.

UAL $215 RT non-stop
Spirit $295 RT non stop from OAK.
AA $397 RT non-stop from SFO
VX $423 RT non-stop from SFO

-Paul
Dr. Dao who?

What we see here is the law of 'supply and demand' in action. All the 'outraged' can proceed and book with VX, AA. I'll continue flying UA.
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Old Apr 17, 17, 12:55 pm
  #334  
 
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Originally Posted by Paul510 View Post
Just did a price check SFO/ORD RT 06-11 return 06-17. Which is the start of the Summer travel season since most schools let out that week.

UAL $215 RT non-stop
Spirit $295 RT non stop from OAK.
AA $397 RT non-stop from SFO
VX $423 RT non-stop from SFO

-Paul
I like the VX brand, but their PRM team must be in a coma, constantly pricing themselves out.

Originally Posted by warrenw View Post
You're right, but Southwest doesn't. Virgin doesn't. Alaska doesn't. What do these airlines have in common? Customers love them.
Yes, but that's because AS, VX, and WN all believe in the importance of customer service; UA couldn't care less about people they consider over entitled and if they didn't have to compete, they would even charge them for water.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 17, 17 at 1:26 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member -- please use multi-quote
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Old Apr 18, 17, 6:06 pm
  #335  
 
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Originally Posted by fly747first View Post
Yes, but that's because AS, VX, and WN all believe in the importance of customer service; UA couldn't care less about people they consider over entitled and if they didn't have to compete, they would even charge them for water.
Which is exactly my point. The title of the thread is "so how does UA win back the flying public?"

That's how
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Old Apr 18, 17, 11:35 pm
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Originally Posted by warrenw View Post
Which is exactly my point. The title of the thread is "so how does UA win back the flying public?"

That's how
The problem is that one cannot indefinitely sustain a pricing edge without also having a sustained cost edge. United is not really in a position to "pull an Uber" and sell the next hundred million tickets all at a loss.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 5:08 am
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Originally Posted by GrayAnderson View Post
The problem is that one cannot indefinitely sustain a pricing edge without also having a sustained cost edge. United is not really in a position to "pull an Uber" and sell the next hundred million tickets all at a loss.
This is why the "just cut price and it will all be fine" folks don't understand the situation. United has basically the highest costs of any airline. Lots of brand new planes, new higher wage rates, and high landing fees at certain hubs.

United just announced its 1Q results, it made only, $196M after special items (see http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28193033-post9.html and entire thread). That was down more than 2/3 from its 1Q 2016 performance, due to costs being 6% higher. ( see http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28194084-post11.html). With $7.174B in Passenger revenue, if United cut prices by 2.8% it would have lost money.

United will price cut, because if there is less demand, lower fare buckets will stay open longer, making United cheaper. United may also lower fare buckets, but I expect discounting to be the result of less demand, not changing fare structures.

IMHO United would be better to spend extra $$$ on a customer service improvement plan, with firm guarantees for passengers, something United can tout. This appears to be what United is doing with its April 30 "roll-out".
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Old Apr 19, 17, 5:21 am
  #338  
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Originally Posted by GrayAnderson View Post
AA and DL also have a "basic economy" product. What I really wish is that search engines (i.e. Google, Expedia, Orbitz, ITA Matrix) would let you exclude those product from searches (rather than just slapping a caveat about "restricted baggage" in place). Frankly, I've always skewed towards booking F, but the presence of those products has made me all but allergic to even checking Economy prices for fear of getting stuck with a "gotcha" fare.
Agreed. Would be nice for the search engines to include checkboxes for "I plan to carry on a roll-aboard suitcase" (exclude BE fare or add fee to fare) and "I plan to check a bag" (add fee to fare).
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Old Apr 19, 17, 5:44 am
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
This is why the "just cut price and it will all be fine" folks don't understand the situation. United has basically the highest costs of any airline. Lots of brand new planes, new higher wage rates, and high landing fees at certain hubs.

United just announced its 1Q results, it made only, $196M after special items (see http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28193033-post9.html and entire thread). That was down more than 2/3 from its 1Q 2016 performance, due to costs being 6% higher. ( see http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28194084-post11.html). With $7.174B in Passenger revenue, if United cut prices by 2.8% it would have lost money.

United will price cut, because if there is less demand, lower fare buckets will stay open longer, making United cheaper. United may also lower fare buckets, but I expect discounting to be the result of less demand, not changing fare structures.

IMHO United would be better to spend extra $$$ on a customer service improvement plan, with firm guarantees for passengers, something United can tout. This appears to be what United is doing with its April 30 "roll-out".
United has a big credibility gap to overcome.

I am interested to see what is announced on April 30th, but have little faith that it will mean firm guarantees, with the possible exception of a firm guarantee to not drag bloody bodies off their planes anymore.

The lack of consistency with all things United does not lend itself to executing any cohesive customer engagement strategy.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 6:49 am
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Originally Posted by goodeats21 View Post
United has a big credibility gap to overcome.

I am interested to see what is announced on April 30th, but have little faith that it will mean firm guarantees, with the possible exception of a firm guarantee to not drag bloody bodies off their planes anymore.

The lack of consistency with all things United does not lend itself to executing any cohesive customer engagement strategy.
I am hopeful that they get how bad things are for them and make some major moves. If they don't there will be another round of negative stories.

I might add that all of the reports we are seeing of "lower fares" for United suggests to me that they are having a book away problem. United's system is set to keep open lower fare buckets when loads are light, and if people are seeing some of the fares they are seeing then United is having a demand problem.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 7:04 am
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people still fly the airline that took all of their passengers into the ground and bust into ball of fire in Europe. I truly hope UA will make some positive changes, but i highly doubted this will last longer than 1-2 months before people forget about it.

short UA stocks and hope for the best.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 7:34 am
  #342  
 
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Originally Posted by Manospeed View Post
United Airlines will make some modifications to their previous protocols, but my money is that they won't change much. The overwhelming majority of the flying public, who might fly once a year on a family vacation, only cares about two things:

1. Flight safety
2. Price

Will this airline get me to my destination or will the plane crash due to insufficient maintenance or because we're flying on fumes? Is this the lowest price I can expect to pay to fly from A to B? Yes? Book it.

As more and more people switch over to other carriers three things will happen:

1. As demand at other carriers goes up, so will their ticket prices. Eventually the difference between them and UA will simply be too high to ignore.

2. As UA's demand takes a hit they will respond by lowering their fares (short-mid term) in order to increase capacity. People are more likely to take the bait.

3. As demand to fly with other airlines increases, the chances of the flight being overbooked increase as well. Passengers thinking "if I book with x and not UA, my chances of being bumped are nill" will be getting a very rude awakening.

With time people will forget about the Dao incident and start going back to UA until a 'market equilibrium' is reached again. Bottom line; safety and price determine where you book about 90% of the time for the overwhelming majority of people walking in airports.
For the demographic you're referencing, I'm not even sure your point #1 , flight safety, is valid given how many people still fly Allegiant.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 9:19 am
  #343  
 
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Originally Posted by Paul510 View Post
Just did a price check SFO/ORD RT 06-11 return 06-17. Which is the start of the Summer travel season since most schools let out that week.

UAL $215 RT non-stop
Spirit $295 RT non stop from OAK.
AA $397 RT non-stop from SFO
VX $423 RT non-stop from SFO

-Paul
Curious . . . did you check the prices for those dates back around, say, April 4th? Are the low UA prices new?

Looks like UA's $215 fare is available on one outbound flight and one inbound flight. Both arrive in the 1-2am time range - not the most desirable arrival times. All other flights are $450 and up.

We all know airlines have fare buckets, and low fares are usually pretty limited. Let's say there are 20 available at the $215 price. UA has 13 non-stop SFO/ORD flights. Roughly 3000 total seats. MAYBE 20 (I'd guess fewer than that) of those at the low price. That's less than 1% of their capacity. Perhaps less than 0.5% if the 20 number is high. By comparison, the others have perhaps a combined 1500 seats on that route.

The $2125 fare could be price cuts in reaction to recent events. Could be yield management for some of the least-desirable times for a fairly high volume route. Hard to read much into a <1% change - if it is even a change.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 9:32 am
  #344  
 
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In my opinion UA should use attractive pricing strategies in the short to mid-term period to attract new customers on price in order to increase their utilization/demand and not worry about trying to get back pax who are choosing to pay more or inconvenience themselves with additional segments for the same route with another carrier so as to make a 'statement'.

The above requires little effort on UAs part and is likely to attract a much larger number of pax. Simultaneously, they should be reviewing their protocols and make the necessary changes so as to increase customer engagement and satisfaction. The fastest way to do this is to identify various groups of pax and through the use of surveys ask them what they want, what are their expectations, what do they value the most. Then go back to the drawing board and make an action plan to address pax expectations. Rather than looking at this problem as attempting to climb Mt. Everest, they should instead focus on step-by-step goals with the eventual intent on eventually reaching the top (multi-year plan).

If I were UA, at this stage I wouldn't necessarily focus my attention on those pax who are overtly jaded and express almost outright hostility to UA as the amount of effort required to bring these pax back is enormous and there are still no guarantees they will ever get them back.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 9:50 am
  #345  
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Originally Posted by Manospeed View Post
In my opinion UA should use attractive pricing strategies in the short to mid-term period to attract new customers on price in order to increase their utilization/demand and not worry about trying to get back pax who are choosing to pay more or inconvenience themselves with additional segments for the same route with another carrier so as to make a 'statement'.

The above requires little effort on UAs part and is likely to attract a much larger number of pax. Simultaneously, they should be reviewing their protocols and make the necessary changes so as to increase customer engagement and satisfaction. The fastest way to do this is to identify various groups of pax and through the use of surveys ask them what they want, what are their expectations, what do they value the most. Then go back to the drawing board and make an action plan to address pax expectations. Rather than looking at this problem as attempting to climb Mt. Everest, they should instead focus on step-by-step goals with the eventual intent on eventually reaching the top (multi-year plan).

If I were UA, at this stage I wouldn't necessarily focus my attention on those pax who are overtly jaded and express almost outright hostility to UA as the amount of effort required to bring these pax back is enormous and there are still no guarantees they will ever get them back.
Except for the text in bold, this sounds like the SMI/J approach.
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