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Did UA do anything in 2017 that changes what carriers you will use in 2018

Did UA do anything in 2017 that changes what carriers you will use in 2018

Old Jan 3, 18, 9:47 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: dark side of the moon
Programs: papa card, UA 1K
Posts: 707
Did UA do anything in 2017 that changes what carriers you will use in 2018

Briefly, I pretty much flew UA for 90% of my revenue air travel until UA started to gut MP a few years ago; that pushed me to other carriers. Now UA is down to about 60% of my revenue air travel (just enough to get 1K). The bad PR incidents of 2017 didn't have any impact on what carriers I fly. I think the last major MP devaluation was the gutting of award travel (wasn't that in 2016 though?). So for me UA didn't do anything in 2017 that affected the way I travel. I haven't kept up with the fleet make up; that may affect some. However after Feb 2018 I will no longer be a Club member.
ermintrude is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 10:12 am
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: DEN
Programs: UA GS
Posts: 1,379
Due to the fall of Global First most of my international travel will move to other *A and EK
ill miss out on UA metal miles and though never get lifetime GS, but my back thanks me more. The UA biz seats are for midgets with size 8 feet.
Plane-is-home is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 11:27 am
Join Date: Feb 2008
Programs: 6 year GS, now 2MM Jeff-ugee, *wood LTPlt, SkyPeso PLT
Posts: 6,524
After basically avoiding UA at all costs starting in 2013, with some of the improvements we saw early in Oscars Time (now being reversed by Kirby) am willing to book UA when they offer the best product/price combination (e.g. they just got $3500 from me for SFO-LIH-SFO). However, where they had the best shot at my $$$$ (overseas family trips where I need 4 seats, ex-SFO) they just took themselves off my buy list with the horrible cramped 3-4-3 773, with seats that are .6" narrower than on a 737. They lost a shot at the $6K we spent over x-mas, and just lost a spring trip to Europe. Both times we went with airlines that offered a still decent Y or a PE experience. With the UA options ex-SFO being "pay for J, or get crammed into a horrible Y" on international flights, the product changes in 2017 basically ended any chance that UA will get much of my business, let alone that I would come back and make them my primary business carrier.
Silver Fox likes this.
spin88 is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 11:37 am
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: NYC
Programs: Marriott Platinum Elite, National Executive, United Gold
Posts: 1,180
UA did not do anything particularly negative, but I recently flew BR on a TPAC trip in Y and I'm hooked. As I pay for most of my trips, now I'm trying to figure out how to requalify for *G in 2018 while maximizing travel on *A partners. I suppose I can shift TPAC travel to NH metal to make sure I hit the $6,000 PQD threshold or hit the PQD waiver, but BR/SQ are really fantastic experiences in all cabins...
764toHI is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 12:45 pm
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: EWR
Programs: UA Gold, BA, HHonors, Avis
Posts: 192
I wouldn't say that UA have done anything in 2017 to make me fly them more, but they also haven't done anything to make me fly them less. And as AA and Delta both seem to have devalued their frequent flyer programs further in 2017 that means I am more inclined to stick with UA in 2018 than I was in 2017. For international I will therefore remain mostly* agnostic on who to choose in *A but for domestic it will be UA all the way I think.
*I say mostly because I will never knowingly fly Air Canada again after several more bad experiences in 2017
TCD is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 12:50 pm
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 2,687
UA hasn't done anything to make me steer business to them nor to avoid them. For 2017 and so far into 2018 they have had the best schedule and the best F/J prices so it's UA for me in 2018
sdix is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 1:01 pm
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: PDX
Programs: AA LT PLT (2.6+ MM), UA *G, Hilton Diamond, Bonvoy Gold.
Posts: 1,558
Yes, the move to 3-4-3 on the 777w is a horrible decision and I now book more *A partners that have a decent true premium economy product. Last year UA lost me to LOT, AC and multiple LH flights to the tune of ~10k of revenue. To bring me back they need to implement a true Y+ product and stop the roll out of the horrible 777W config. I had the misfortune to fly that one time (EWR-TLV) and it was truly ghastly in Y. Never again.
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timfountain is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 1:40 pm
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: wandering expat
Posts: 44,016
Five years ago 90% of my flying was on UA - I actively evaded contract routes while on business travel in order to fly UA. Starting in 2016, that percentage slipped to 70%, and now that they are expanding 10 across in Y to their entire 777 fleet, have increasing numbers of 787s with the same cramped seat size, coupled with no true PE, this will gradually further shrink my UA flying, especially on long haul routes.
halls120 is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 2:31 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: DL PM, UA Gold, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 11,338
I'm getting annoyed by the domestic meal cuts, but it hasn't risen to the point of changing my spending habits (yet). I've found 1K to be too valuable to become a free agent.
findark is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 2:38 pm
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: CHS
Programs: UA GS, Bonvoy Amabassador, Hertz PC
Posts: 2,254
At my local small airport, American and Delta have stepped up - MANY mainline flights (DL - almost all) and American will start an ORD direct flight on mainline instead of typical E145 on UA

Some days in winter, the ONLY plane with FC is a CRJ-700 to IAD

This coupled with the removal of HKG-SIN has already moved me away from UA on many flights
Polaris is a friggin DISASTER - yeah I know, it is better than before - but ONLY if you compare it to 8 across J, it is only slightly better than the pnCO planes and I would say it is worse in any airport besides ORD as that is the only PL after 19 months since the announcement of Polaris.

I am actively pursuing a EXP status match and will most likely be maintaining both 1K and EXP for a year or 2 until i full decide to swap over or not. If nothing else, I may fly AA in the winter and UA in the spring/fall


Star Alliance and the MP rewards program is the ONLY reason i am not ditching UA completely. There was a devaluation, but they are still ahead of DL and AA IMO, and definitely where i fly for vacation or would use my miles.

Last edited by Hipplewm; Jan 3, 18 at 3:27 pm
Hipplewm is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 2:40 pm
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: if it's Thursday, this must be Belgium
Programs: UA 1K MM
Posts: 6,210
Originally Posted by TCD View Post
*I say mostly because I will never knowingly fly Air Canada again after several more bad experiences in 2017
What were the bad experiences? Tight seating on the new AC 77W HD?
TA is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 2:48 pm
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: HNL
Programs: UA GS4MM, MR LT Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 3,333
Originally Posted by ermintrude View Post
I think the last major MP devaluation was the gutting of award travel (wasn't that in 2016 though?).
Personally, I still think it is still a great program - picked up 2 saver biz class from SFO to SGN on Eva Air last Sunday leaving this Sunday, bought a cheap one-way SGN-NRT, and used GPU to upgrade the United leg back to SFO. If you are 1K you can still rake in the miles depending on where you fly.
HNLbasedFlyer is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 2:58 pm
Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: ua Gold, Marriott Gold, Hilton Silver, Hyatt Gold, National Executive, Avis First
Posts: 193
At the end of the month, for the first time in a long time, I will have 0 status on United.

For me, over the past few years, United has devalued low-tier status (silver and gold) to the point where my threshold for how much extra I would pay to be on United is reduced significantly. Other than E+ (which I still love, and will sorely miss), just about everything else I get from a branded credit card.

At the same time, they have decided to become less and less price competitive in my market (IAD). For a long time it seemed as if their fares were equivalent to other carriers, even at DCA. But so very regularly now, I find flying someone else (usually WN, AA, or B6) out of DCA results in hundreds of dollars of fare differences to UA out of IAD. Despite the fact that I'm much closer to IAD, and the fact that I still have a tiny preference for UA, I can't justify the cost difference, particularly as my customers often foot the bill for my flights.

In December my one-ways broke out as: 3 on B6, 4 on AA, 2 on WN and 1 on UA.

Without status, my incentive to fly UA is dropped even further, so we'll see how 2018 goes. Just 5 years ago, my travel was probably 90% on UA. Today it is below 20%.

FWIW, my travel is mostly short-haul domestic, probably around 60% of that is some form of regional jet, regardless of carrier. So things like international and long haul products have little impact on my carrier choice, although it appears UA is focusing there and is making good improvements there as well. I know UA doesn't value my type of travel as much as international and such now, so I'm sure they are losing no sleep over me. However, my $$ per mile were always pretty high. For the last few years I've averaged around 35-45k miles on (that of silver) but would have PQD over 10k (that of Platinum). That doesn't seem to matter much.
z28lt1 is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 3:06 pm
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 10,582
They didn't do anything to make me want to change to or away from them but they did affirm my decision to move away late 2016. 1 round trip taken on UA in 2017, SFO-IAH-SFO. Outbound delayed mechanical for 2 hours. Inbound, lost my bag for a day. I've been very happy with AS so they affirmed I will stay with AS.
Baze is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 3:28 pm
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: DEN
Programs: UA 1MM, MP 1K, Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 375
I’m giving up the United Club credit card and the club because of the DEN catering issue. It led me to explore using the Priority Pass opportunity at DEN and to figure out that I have UC access on my international flights anyway. The whole Polaris fake out and decline also added to the decision but it also means I will likely do comparison shopping on future international business travel. In 2016, I flew American for one because I could buy it straight up for the same as being waitlisted for mile and money on United. Also, not a fan of the half GPU thing - get international but not the domestic legs. Then again, when I just flew DEN SFO as #1 on the upgrade list, I probably had the same food anyway.
FlyfromDenver is offline  

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