Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

Why aren't UA execs ashamed when Ethiopian Airlines have better meals in coach?

Why aren't UA execs ashamed when Ethiopian Airlines have better meals in coach?

Old Jan 15, 19, 9:56 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Programs: UA, LH, BA
Posts: 294
Why aren't UA execs ashamed when Ethiopian Airlines have better meals in coach?

Why aren't UA execs ashamed when Ethiopian Airlines have better meals in coach?

Almost all of my UA flights are long haul TPAC flights. My most two recent flights are SFO-NRT-SFO.

Well... imagine my surprise when I flew Ethiopian Airlines for the first time on a similar 5000-mile flight.

The coach meals that I had had better presentation, better quantity and better taste... (compared directly to the UA meals that I'm used to on flights of similar length)

Sorry... end of rant...
geometry is offline  
Old Jan 15, 19, 10:04 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YYZ
Programs: TK*G, Marriott/SPG Gold, Hilton Gold, Hertz Gold
Posts: 581
Did SFO-SYD recently on a mileage run, I have to agree that UA long haul Y meals have fallen into the category of disgusting and uneditable - even tho my expectation was already low.

Luckily, on the way back I flew Air NZ which was much much better.
ericw is online now  
Old Jan 15, 19, 10:09 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: AVP & PEK
Programs: UA 1K 1.6MM, Hertz PC
Posts: 3,438
Originally Posted by geometry View Post
Why aren't UA execs ashamed when Ethiopian Airlines have better meals in coach?
Why?
This is why:


narvik is online now  
Old Jan 15, 19, 10:22 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton ♦ , Hyatt Carbonado, Wyndham ♦, Marriott PE, "Stinking Bum" elsewhere.
Posts: 3,361
Originally Posted by narvik View Post
Why?
This is why:


Truth!
UA continues to cut FF benefits, jam more torture seats on its 10-across long-hauls, cater the cheapest food possible, etc. all in the pursuit of one thing---Profits.

With all of the majors doing the same in the US, and demand at all-time highs, there is no downside to decreasing the quality of the product-at least not until a recession hits.
narvik and Often1 like this.
zombietooth is offline  
Old Jan 15, 19, 10:26 am
  #5  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 45,220
UA is a for-profit business. It has an obligation to its shareholders. To the extent that cutting the quality of its meals is cutting its net revenue, owner (shareholder) equity, and this ROI, that would be a bad thing. But, apparently it is not.

The customer for TPAC are the large corporate accounts. So long as those companies are OK with lousy food, that is what the food will be.

Thus, if you prefer the food on ET and find it to be better value, you should fly it on your next TPAC.
Miggles and YYCowboy like this.
Often1 is offline  
Old Jan 15, 19, 10:43 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 498
UA has a vision and formula for success but they make a lot of unforced fumbles. That stock price would be even higher if they'd realize that cuts aren't the only answer- cut where needed but transform the brand and develop a truly premium product people want to pay for instead of just tolerate to get them from point A-B..
BeanTownBoy and dchambric like this.
gmt4 is offline  
Old Jan 15, 19, 10:47 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Austin, TX
Programs: Airline Free Agent, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG
Posts: 1,537
Originally Posted by geometry View Post
Why aren't UA execs ashamed when Ethiopian Airlines have better meals in coach?

Almost all of my UA flights are long haul TPAC flights. My most two recent flights are SFO-NRT-SFO.
How many TPAC routes does UA directly compete with Ethiopian, or any long haul route for that matter? The answer to my question will help you find the answer to your question.
chebert999 and nancypants like this.
Austin787 is offline  
Old Jan 15, 19, 10:48 am
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: DCA/IAD/MIA/FLL/PBI
Programs: UA Lifetime GS, SQ*PPS
Posts: 10,578
Why signaling out Ethiopian Airlines? UA meals are below most of *A airlines.

BTW, I am looking forward to fly Ethiopian next week to/from JNB.
UA_Flyer is offline  
Old Jan 15, 19, 11:12 am
  #9  
TA
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: if it's Thursday, this must be Belgium
Programs: UA 1K MM
Posts: 6,180
You can't blame UA alone for the service and amenities being crappy. Like so many things, the outcomes you observe are dictated by the rules, not the players.

UA exists in a consumer, labor, and economic environment that does not reward excessive / outstanding service for domestic airline travel. When flying is as rote as taking a bus to work, and people are unwilling to pay more for a ticket, *and* there are 3 other similar airlines offering similar fares to get to your destination, no one is going to be offering luxuries after the race to the bottom. None of the US majors are in a ego race to launch new routes to tantalize customers either (like some other national carriers).

Take your example of Ethiopian. A flight from ADD-CPT. There is one (1) flight per day, by anyone -- they are the only carrier. In fact many of their flights are 1x/day. Their labor costs are different from in the US. If EWR-LAX had that kind of competitive environment, UA might offer nice meals in coach as well.
TA is offline  
Old Jan 15, 19, 11:19 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Boston MA
Programs: UA 1K/1.5 million miler, SU Gold, JL Sapphire
Posts: 528
Originally Posted by narvik View Post
Why?
This is why:


Agreed.

There is no penalty to go to the bottom right now. Economy is good, seats are selling briskly, and frankly UA and others look at Spirit and sees it pays absolutely no cost for treating people more like cargo than people.

When the economy turns, will it be different? I wish but I have my doubts. When the economy turns, corporate depts will try to squeeze every single dime they can out of their travel budgets. United will also hurt. Do you really think that they then will go upscale?

Maybe a long-term visionary would do it. That person would understand that long-run there is more money/stability to be SQ than Spirit. But I doubt very much there will be a leader in UA with the guts to get it done. More likely they will ask unions to cut on pay, ensuring surly FAs for years to come, and try to find a way to cut down costs where they can. Hey, who said they needed to serve food at all on TPAC anyway? Have people bring their own stock!
skidooman is offline  
Old Jan 15, 19, 11:21 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: STR, IAD, and DCA
Programs: UA 1K; *G and *A Top 1000; DL Plat; HHonors Diamond; *$ Gold; Marriott Plat; Global Entry
Posts: 1,804
Are you kidding? I got food poisoning last time I ate the food in Economy flying out of ADD on ET...
sannmann is offline  
Old Jan 15, 19, 11:24 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: IAH
Programs: UA Mileage Plus
Posts: 157
I have basically given up on airline food. When doing a long flight out of IAH we usually just eat in Pappadeaux in the terminal. On going to Rio for xmas I declined the meal. When we were coming back having eaten in the Star Alliance lounge we declined the airline meal.
leiserom is offline  
Old Jan 15, 19, 11:43 am
  #13  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 45,220
This won't change. PE will mean differentiating the product even more.
Often1 is offline  
Old Jan 15, 19, 11:51 am
  #14  
was bluegatorade
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: WAS
Programs: Virtuoso TA, Ritz Carlton Stars TA
Posts: 213
Originally Posted by geometry View Post
Why aren't UA execs ashamed when Ethiopian Airlines have better meals in coach?

Almost all of my UA flights are long haul TPAC flights. My most two recent flights are SFO-NRT-SFO.

Well... imagine my surprise when I flew Ethiopian Airlines for the first time on a similar 5000-mile flight.

The coach meals that I had had better presentation, better quantity and better taste... (compared directly to the UA meals that I'm used to on flights of similar length)

Sorry... end of rant...
Why do people have the implicit assumption that Ethiopian is or should be worse than UA?
ChateauMargaux is offline  
Old Jan 15, 19, 11:52 am
  #15  
Moderator: Midwest, Las Vegas & Dining Buzz
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 17,486
Originally Posted by bluegatorade View Post


Why do people have the implicit assumption that Ethiopian is or should be worse than UA?
Exactly what I was thinking.
iluv2fly is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: