UA needs to copy DL immediately on WiFi

Old Jan 7, 20, 12:22 pm
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UA needs to copy DL immediately on WiFi

UA would be brain dead not to respond immediately and globally to DL's announcement at the CES. Internet access is almost indispensable in this day and age. Free WiFi on one domestic airline and not on another? Everyone from the last-minute J traveler to the 6-month advance purchase BE buyer wants free internet access. UA is playing with fire here, and there is zero time to think about it. The time spent catching up to DL on implementation WILL be revenue lost.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/ce...of2&yptr=yahoo
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Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Jan 7, 20 at 12:28 pm
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Old Jan 7, 20, 12:32 pm
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United hasnít committed to free WiFi, but has mentioned it as a goal previously. https://www.khou.com/mobile/article/.../285-608152242

Even DL expects it to take a few more years to become a reality. UA going free today would tank the service so hard it would be completely unusable. Given current bandwidth constraints, I prefer it to be ~$30/TCON so I know that I can count on it when I really have to get work done.
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Old Jan 7, 20, 12:43 pm
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Originally Posted by prometa View Post
United hasnít committed to free WiFi, but has mentioned it as a goal previously. https://www.khou.com/mobile/article/.../285-608152242

Even DL expects it to take a few more years to become a reality. UA going free today would tank the service so hard it would be completely unusable. Given current bandwidth constraints, I prefer it to be ~$30/TCON so I know that I can count on it when I really have to get work done.
Yeah, my point is UA needs to commit to free WiFI and make sure efforts are a high priority to implement. If there's anything that'll change a passenger's mind about one legacy airline over another (all other things being near equal), it'll be free (and reliable) WiFi. If UA is playing catch up with DL on this down the road, it will show up in the numbers.
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Old Jan 7, 20, 12:49 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
free (and reliable) WiFi.
Delta has yet to prove its wifi will be reliable...only free. Delta and United offer free upgrades to all of their elite members too...
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Old Jan 7, 20, 12:50 pm
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Does not seem to be an urgent situation

“WiFi should be free on all flights,” Bastian said Tuesday. “I’m confident we will reach that goal within the next couple of years at speeds as fast as on the ground.”
-- as mentioned, UA has also stated this same goal months ago

The DL statement is just PR as was the UA statement. Let's see when either one makes good on these intents.
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Old Jan 7, 20, 12:51 pm
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UA does lag in installing state of the art wifi compared to its domestic competition.

On the flip side, the functionality of the UA interface, particularly the ability to switch devices, is IME unmatched.
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Old Jan 7, 20, 12:53 pm
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Originally Posted by boolean64 View Post
Delta has yet to prove its wifi will be reliable...only free. Delta and United offer free upgrades to all of their elite members too...
This is the United forum, where anything UA announces is presumed to be overpromised and will never come to fruition, but anything DL announces is immediately a competitive threat.

I do think that UA is prioritizing the WiFi experience, but I also agree that the last thing I'd want at the moment is for it to be free. And I'm extremely skeptical that DL will ever be able to deliver what Bastion was promising -- ground-like speeds for free.
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Old Jan 7, 20, 12:57 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
Yeah, my point is UA needs to commit to free WiFI and make sure efforts are a high priority to implement. If there's anything that'll change a passenger's mind about one legacy airline over another (all other things being near equal), it'll be free (and reliable) WiFi. If UA is playing catch up with DL on this down the road, it will show up in the numbers.
At a minimum it should commit to some minimal level of service for free - e.g., texting/email, even if surfing is slow or a premium service.
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Old Jan 7, 20, 1:00 pm
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The issue for everyone will be reliable service with an aircraft full of users

but for a refresher, these were the comments July 2019 by UA, seems DL is catching up

Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
....
Kirbly mentioned the free wifi plan in Second Quater results in conference call
United Airlines Reports Second-Quarter 2019 Performance & Earnings Call 17 July 2019
WiFi is another product that's incredibly important to our customers. And while we're still making improvements, we've rolled out significant new software and hardware overhauls on 2 of our platforms this year. And in addition to other improvements, the staffs are telling the story of a vastly improving product. We've seen a 20% improvement in customer satisfaction for WiFi, and our compensation refund rates are down around 2/3 because the system is just more reliable. For the past year or so, we've been working towards a goal to get the system to a high enough level of reliability and bandwidth that we can make WiFi free for our customers. We're excited at the progress we're making towards that goal.
He has also mentioned this as the end goal in previous interviews

United hopes to make Wi-Fi free, faster

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 7, 20 at 1:14 pm Reason: grammar, tense
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Old Jan 7, 20, 1:11 pm
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A couple of months ago, one of the 737 NGs had a different internet system installed. It may be the one installed on the MAX aircraft, but I don't remember the details. My impression was that it is to gather data on the speed and reliability of the system and could be rolled out to the rest of the 737 fleet, if not others, if it performs well.
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Old Jan 7, 20, 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
Free WiFi on one domestic airline and not on another?
JetBlue already has free wifi on all their flights. Free snacks too. And more legroom.

Of course the points and status are basically worthless.... and they don't have the network of a big 3 carrier. But if free WiFi is your differentiating issue, there you are.

Personally I don't think that offering something for free if really that big of a deal. Airlines have been unbundling everything for years, and they do it because it's successful. Yes, JetBlue has free WiFi. Southwest has free bags. Will DL free WiFi be that big of a differentiator if their tickets are more expensive? Are you going to start flying DL instead of UA if the wifi is free?
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Old Jan 7, 20, 1:30 pm
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Fast wifi, good wifi, free wifi -- yu can pick any two of those.
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Old Jan 7, 20, 1:32 pm
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Why would this convince business travelers to book away from United? My employer pays for my in flight wifi on all the flights I take so the cost and pricing is not an issue for me. The speed and quality is the issue and the only thing worse than the variability of United's wifi quality depending on aircraft would be if it was constantly unusable. No thank you.
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Old Jan 7, 20, 1:42 pm
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Hard to believe that we're sitting here slamming United for slow WiFi. It was only a few years ago that we had NO WiFi.

It still amazes me that I'm routinely hurtling through the sky, 7 miles above the ground, at over 600mph, with a constant connection to any other network resource on planet Earth. The fact that it works AT ALL still amazes me.... And that's from a guy who's made a career designing and implementing some of the biggest IT and network infrastructure in the world.
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Old Jan 7, 20, 1:50 pm
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Originally Posted by dmurphynj View Post
Hard to believe that we're sitting here slamming United for slow WiFi. It was only a few years ago that we had NO WiFi.

It still amazes me that I'm routinely hurtling through the sky, 7 miles above the ground, at over 600mph, with a constant connection to any other network resource on planet Earth. The fact that it works AT ALL still amazes me.... And that's from a guy who's made a career designing and implementing some of the biggest IT and network infrastructure in the world.
Makes me always think f this:
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