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Any rumors of UA bringing back carry-on for BE?

Any rumors of UA bringing back carry-on for BE?

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Old Nov 19, 18, 12:49 pm
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
I always assumed that part of the BE strategy was to make sure that fewer regular Y pax have to involuntarily check their bags. There's not enough room in the overhead for everyone, so why not offer some pax a discount not to use it? They'll be happy with the discount, the business travelers will be happy with their overhead bin space. Win-win.
I'm not really sure this would work. Without BE the pax that are likely to have to check bags are the group 5 folks (and maybe group 4), which is to say people without status or a credit card. And those are the exact passengers that BE is aimed at (or to whom BE will most likely appeal). So UA would really be giving a discount* to people for something they're already not getting. At best it means they can collect $25-30 for a checked bag that previously would have been free, in which case it's a wash for the passenger.

*I realize not a discount but actually no price increase.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 1:00 pm
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There's not enough overhead bin space. The four options are:

(1) increase bin space (hard)

(2) decrease or eliminate checked bag fee, at least for legal carry-ons (expensive, but this is the option I'd choose)

(3) first come first served (results in the mad boarding dash we see now, with line jockeying and lining up before boarding even starts)

(4) charge for access to the overheads for some class of passengers. UA could have chosen "all non-elites", instead it created a new class of customer that doesn't have access to the overheads, and charges less for that ticket.

The no carry on restriction doesn't apply to elites, so there's no way it can piss elites off. If elites are pissed off at BE, it's for other reasons (no PQM, no seat assignment, etc.).

I'm 100% sure that the same people complaining about BE not allowing carry-ons are the same people who are complaining that they had to gate-check a bag when they came off a tight connection.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 1:16 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
No.

And, if you are strictly a price shopper, you aren't a target flier of UA - or, DL or AA or SWA. You are more a target of Frontier or Spirit.
Who isn't a price shopper these days, outside of corporate clients, especially on routes where more than one airline has a hub on either end? Scheduling isn't often a big issue for these trunk routes as multiple airlines have multiple flights/day. Points have been so devalued that it isn't really a reason for a casual flyer to choose one airline over another -- something I used to do around the turn of the decade -- keep all my flights within *A due to the 1:1 mileage earning.

F9/NK offer a true ULCC platform -- they often are the low price leader -- as long as you know what you're buying and can fly their sometimes limited schedules and limited ability to solve IRROPS issues.

I'd be curious who the people are who are filling those UA E seats -- late purchases where BE isn't offered anymore? Captive audiences? People not smart enough to realize it's cheaper on AA, DL or WN if they're buying up? Corporate clients? MileagePlus card holders (free checked bags)?

As someone mentioned, some of the search engines are now including the option to add in bag prices or only see fares that allow carry-ons. This means someone would have to actively *want* to pay more and choose UA, assuming competition on the route.

Edit: It totally makes sense on hub-spoke routes with no direct competition -- easy upsell since you don't have competition. What I'm getting at is it's on all routes... which makes them not really competitive with the other majors.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by caverunner17 View Post

I'd be curious who the people are who are filling those UA E seats -- late purchases where BE isn't offered anymore? Captive audiences? People not smart enough to realize it's cheaper on AA, DL or WN if they're buying up? Corporate clients? MileagePlus card holders (free checked bags)?
People with Frequent Flier status fill the majority of the UA E cabin. People with Frequent Flier are less sensitive to price than people who do not have the status.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 1:53 pm
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
People with Frequent Flier status fill the majority of the UA E cabin.
Do you have source for this claim?
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Old Nov 19, 18, 2:09 pm
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
Do you have source for this claim?
Yes, me (By the way, I worked several years at an airline - Not UA). Regardless, all one has to do the math of people waiting for complimentary upgrades via the app or website.

If you don't believe me - slide 15 below states, 2/3 of fliers are member of a frequent flier program.

http://airlines.org/wp-content/uploa...2016Survey.pdf
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Old Nov 19, 18, 2:28 pm
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
Yes, me (By the way, I worked several years at an airline - Not UA). Regardless, all one has to do the math of people waiting for complimentary upgrades via the app or website.

If you don't believe me - slide 15 below states, 2/3 of fliers are member of a frequent flier program.

http://airlines.org/wp-content/uploa...2016Survey.pdf
Cool, thanks for the link. Looks like slide 15 states that only 10% of flyers have frequent flyer status. (It doesn't say anything about what % of pax on a given day have status.)

The problem with looking at any specific flight and counting the upgraders (or looking at the boarding lines, etc.) is that it doesn't tell you anything about the network overall. I just counted ORD-SMF (random route, neither hub-to-hub nor a tiny market) for this morning's flight and it was 3 upgraded, 35 in E+, and 92 in E-. There were available aisles and windows in E+ (and pairs), so I'm assuming no elites in E-. If zero kettles bought E+ upgrades, and zero kettles won the E+ lottery, that's a maximum of 38 elites who bought Y (plus possibly a few who upgraded earlier, maximum 13) vs 92 non-status (BE and regular Y kettles). About 1/3 elite. Again, this flight may or may not be representative.

I was hoping for a source that says what % of the pax flowing through the UA network on a given day who are on economy tickets have status vs. how many do not have status.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 2:32 pm
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
Looks like slide 15 states that only 10% of flyers have frequent flyer status. (It doesn't say anything about what % of pax on a given day have status.)
No. The slide says "Two-thirds of all flyers are a member of a frequent flier program" bolding is mine

Of those, 10% have elite status.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 2:39 pm
  #24  
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Originally Posted by caverunner17 View Post
That's what is surprising me though. I've flown DEN-Chicago 7x this year. That's 14 flights -- and 0 of them have been on UA. There's 5 carriers competing on that route - UA, AA, NK, WN, and F9.

My most recent trip this weekend cost around $130 for each ticket (so $260 RT). AA, WN and UA offered the same price, AA and UA were BE. What's the incentive for me to fly UA when they're going to cost $20-25 more than AA or WN, per flight?

NK and F9 both offered around $90-110 fares, so when you added in the checked luggage, it brought it to the AA/WN/UA fares. If UA was matching ULCC fares with BE, then I'd understand.

Surprised they haven't seen more people booking away, I guess based on what you said. Captive audience?
Now now it gets more interesting. Because youíre flying a hub-hub route and not with UA. So if youíre so price sensitive and not taking up a seat on a route on which UA can easily fill with those paying higher fares, Iím even more confused why they should be offering a bigger incentive for you to fly UA on this route. These are going to be UAs busiest flights. Why incentivize a flyer to UA from. NK, F9, etc, on a hub-hub like this when they can likely be earning a higher fare from a hub captive on either end, a flyer connecting to a lucrative international flight, etc. thereís simply no point since their likely to fill the seat with a higher paying customer.

Originally Posted by MrAndy1369 View Post
Makes no sense to me why UA won't match AA/DL/AS with this. UA might lose some competition on this, and UA should be working to keep its customers after what happened last year and all the negative PR fallout. My two cents.
What negative PR fallout? Are we still trying to go back to the Dao incident?

Ive heard of many negative PR stories on multiple carriers, specifically the US ones. Both major and ULCC. UA has had its fair share, sure. But DL or AA arenít doing much better in that category these days. There was a riot (or pretty close to it) in Florida (was it FLL?) when Spirit cancelled a bunch of flights and didnít help their pax at all. Have you ever heard of what happens then on a ULCC? Trust me, theyíre not booking you on another carrier - and they donít have extra planes to bring in - youíre at their mercy of how many days it takes them to get you in their next available seat - could be days - especially if itís a route that isnít even daily.

Quite honestly, Iíd rather be on UA as a BE pax then on F9, NK, etc.

Originally Posted by a View Post
No.

And, if you are strictly a price shopper, you aren't a target flier of UA - or, DL or AA or SWA. You are more a target of Frontier or Spirit.
this. Despite the fact that I would never fly Spirit, Allegiant or Frontier, etc., because I donít think itís worth it, personally, I respect that they have been able to bring in essentially a new class of travelers, offer flights to smaller places the majors wonít nexessarily go, and be profitible doing it. I do feel bad for the pax though who donít realize how tight the pitch is, that theyíll have to pay for a glass of water or to be guaranteed a seat next to their companion, or the mess that theyíll be in if a plane goes MX, or if there happens to be a thunderstorm that day. At least BE isnít as bad in many of those respects, even if it means thereís no full size carry on.

Originally Posted by caverunner17 View Post
Who isn't a price shopper these days, outside of corporate clients, especially on routes where more than one airline has a hub on either end? Scheduling isn't often a big issue for these trunk routes as multiple airlines have multiple flights/day. Points have been so devalued that it isn't really a reason for a casual flyer to choose one airline over another -- something I used to do around the turn of the decade -- keep all my flights within *A due to the 1:1 mileage earning.

F9/NK offer a true ULCC platform -- they often are the low price leader -- as long as you know what you're buying and can fly their sometimes limited schedules and limited ability to solve IRROPS issues.

I'd be curious who the people are who are filling those UA E seats -- late purchases where BE isn't offered anymore? Captive audiences? People not smart enough to realize it's cheaper on AA, DL or WN if they're buying up? Corporate clients? MileagePlus card holders (free checked bags)?

As someone mentioned, some of the search engines are now including the option to add in bag prices or only see fares that allow carry-ons. This means someone would have to actively *want* to pay more and choose UA, assuming competition on the route.

Edit: It totally makes sense on hub-spoke routes with no direct competition -- easy upsell since you don't have competition. What I'm getting at is it's on all routes... which makes them not really competitive with the other majors.
probabyl almost everyone is a price shopper, to some extent. But there are different variances.

I value my UA status, for example, and traveling with a family, I value those benefits as well as the relatively large schedule options UA has. So Iím still willing to pay more for UA than other carriers, particularly the ULCCs mentioned, and even than other legacies (traveling with two adults and two kids mean we need 1-2 bags, so every ticket on a carrier that I donít have status on is automatically $50-$100 more round trip). I want a decent legroom (sorry...28 inches wonít do), I want to know that I can sit with my family, and I want to know that thereís more than one flight a day because of something goes wrong (and it does...not always, but it does), I want to know that there are backup options if necessary. If you donít want/need those things, thatís great...ULCCs May very well be a better option. For me, itís not.

Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
People with Frequent Flier status fill the majority of the UA E cabin. People with Frequent Flier are less sensitive to price than people who do not have the status.
maybe on some hub to hubs and peak time business city pairs. I doubt itís that way on the average flight. Iíd guess there are many flights where the majority of the cabin doesnít even have a frequent flyer account, much less status.

Last edited by emcampbe; Nov 19, 18 at 2:51 pm
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Old Nov 19, 18, 3:45 pm
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
Cool, thanks for the link. Looks like slide 15 states that only 10% of flyers have frequent flyer status. (It doesn't say anything about what % of pax on a given day have status.)
.
Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
No. The slide says "Two-thirds of all flyers are a member of a frequent flier program" bolding is mine

Of those, 10% have elite status.
Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
People with Frequent Flier status fill the majority of the UA E cabin.
I'm not sure where the confusion is coming from. By "Frequent Flier status" did you not mean elite status on UA? You meant to include, for example, people who are General Members in the AAdvantage program?
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Old Nov 19, 18, 3:46 pm
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I can't believe I've been doing it wrong! If I am going to fly BE, and want to punish UA, I should be flying BE ON UA so they can't sell the seat for more, D'oh!
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Old Nov 19, 18, 5:57 pm
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
I'm not sure where the confusion is coming from. By "Frequent Flier status" did you not mean elite status on UA? You meant to include, for example, people who are General Members in the AAdvantage program?
I did not mean to include only elites - nor AAdvantage members.

There are plenty of general members who stick with one airline who have a lot of frequent flier miles and want to increase earnings - lots of members shooting for silver - lots of former elites - people who don't want miles expired, etc.

I'm actually kind of surprised anyone would not think the vast majority of the plane are not MileagePlus members.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 6:10 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
I did not mean to include only elites - nor AAdvantage members.

There are plenty of general members who stick with one airline who have a lot of frequent flier miles and want to increase earnings - lots of members shooting for silver - lots of former elites - people who don't want miles expired, etc.

I'm actually kind of surprised anyone would not think the vast majority of the plane are not MileagePlus members.
there are also plenty of folks who book solely based on price, and either fly different airlines each time because A is cheaper this time, and B is cheaper last time. Iíd guess most of these folks that are the most price sensitive arenít actually paying much attention to expiring mileage (or that even Carr about it at all). Maybe theyíll have an account, or maybe not.

Im not suggesting that the Ďvast majorityíof UA flyers arenít MP members (or members of another partner), but Iíd bet there are more than most on here would think.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 6:16 pm
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
I did not mean to include only elites - nor AAdvantage members.

There are plenty of general members who stick with one airline who have a lot of frequent flier miles and want to increase earnings - lots of members shooting for silver - lots of former elites - people who don't want miles expired, etc.

I'm actually kind of surprised anyone would not think the vast majority of the plane are not MileagePlus members.
Ok, thanks for clearing that up. I am willing to believe that the majority of any given UA plane are MP members (without elite status).

I was also willing to believe the majority of pax are elite pax, I just wanted to see evidence.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 7:57 pm
  #30  
 
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UA should just get rid of BE altogether, but I guess having it allows them to jack up the regular economy fares so I doubt they will scrap it.
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