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Should UA provide a premium travel option for leisure travelers: lounges, lieflats, …

Should UA provide a premium travel option for leisure travelers: lounges, lieflats, …

Old Jan 18, 21, 5:27 pm
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Should UA provide a premium travel option for leisure travelers: lounges, lieflats, …

Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
A 3rd-party operated lounge (or lounges) at ATL could contract out to handle AA and UA pax instead of each operating their own lounge in a DL hub. Or at FLL, one contract lounge for all carriers. I'd guess the domestic survivors for UA might be EWR, ORD, IAD, SFO, DEN, HNL, LAX, and (for convention traffic and a selfish yours truly ) LAS.
Ah, but if UA generates so much domestic travel to/from cities such as FLL, TPA, MCO, MSY, etc., (and with sufficient spend/value to UA), does that not drive the value of opening/re-opening UCs?

David

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 18, 21 at 8:58 pm Reason: Pulled subthread out of lounge thread to start this discussion
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Old Jan 18, 21, 5:41 pm
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Originally Posted by DELee View Post
Ah, but if UA generates so much domestic travel to/from cities such as FLL, TPA, MCO, MSY, etc., (and with sufficient spend/value to UA), does that not drive the value of opening/re-opening UCs? ...
Much of that traffic is non-elites, non-UC members to those locations.
And the greater levels of traffic relatively to those cities are still well below that levels of a year ago and is mostly leisure travel, not business travel that UA had traditionally depended
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Old Jan 18, 21, 6:02 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Much of that traffic is non-elites, non-UC members to those locations.
And the greater levels of traffic relatively to those cities are still well below that levels of a year ago and is mostly leisure travel, not business travel that UA had traditionally depended
But it provides an opportunity, especially in airports with a shuttered UC, to acquire new members/renew members, sell Chase credit cards, etc. And, for folks wanting a more elite experience, having some planes with better seating (semi/lie flats, actual in-flight food, etc.) that turistas similar to the longer haul 772s XXX-HNL are willing to pay for.

This is going to go on for years. UA needs to adapt.

David
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Old Jan 18, 21, 7:18 pm
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Originally Posted by DELee View Post
But it provides an opportunity, especially in airports with a shuttered UC, to acquire new members/renew members, sell Chase credit cards, etc. ...
A leisure, infrequent traveler forking out $500+ for a lounge with minimum service due to local requirements?

Originally Posted by DELee View Post
for folks wanting a more elite experience, having some planes with better seating (semi/lie flats, actual in-flight food, etc.) that turistas similar to the longer haul 772s XXX-HNL are willing to pay for. ...
Running wide-bodies on leisure routines requires passenger volume and passengers willing to pay a premium for shorthaul flights. There is a market for 13-14 hour flights but for 2-3 hour flights? Especially routes where you are taking the kiddies?

Yes good be an interesting experiment to determining if a premium leisure traveler exists, while that might exists for a small portion of seniors. But my guess it would fail. No history exists to suggest this would work
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Old Jan 18, 21, 7:27 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
A leisure, infrequent traveler forking out $500+ for a lounge with minimum service due to local requirements?

Running wide-bodies on leisure routines requires passenger volume and passengers willing to pay a premium for shorthaul flights. There is a market for 13-14 hour flights but for 2-3 hour flights? Especially routes where you are taking the kiddies?

Yes good be an interesting experiment to determining if a premium leisure traveler exists, while that might exists for a small portion of seniors. But my guess it would fail. No history exists to suggest this would work
There's a reason for folks flying, especially at this time of year, from the Northeast to Florida. There's a whole bunch of resorts that are busy. UA has flown 752s on these routes. There are folks who'll pay and, yes, others who won't.

Perhaps 772s flying EWR-MCO is overkill. Perhaps E175s properly equipped may be better.

Or maybe UA doesn't care. But there's money to be had.

David
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Old Jan 18, 21, 7:42 pm
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Originally Posted by DELee View Post
... But there's money to be had....
The case for profitable revenue is unproven. If you believe UA is so incompetent, what about AA and DL? Nothing stopping them to showing their great business acumen, but may be they also don't see a profitable opportunity. Isn't AA Florida's leading carrier?
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Old Jan 18, 21, 7:50 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
The case for profitable revenue is unproven. If you believe UA is so incompetent, what about AA and DL? Nothing stopping them to showing their great business acumen, but may be they also don't see a profitable opportunity. Isn't AA Florida's leading carrier?
Not to stray too far OT but AA is flying a daily 772 and another 5x weekly on JFK-MIA...
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Old Jan 18, 21, 8:02 pm
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Originally Posted by truncated View Post
Not to stray too far OT but AA is flying a daily 772 and another 5x weekly on JFK-MIA...
Well, AA has a large South/Central America hub in Miami...
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Old Jan 18, 21, 8:15 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
Well, AA has a large South/Central America hub in Miami...
Yeah but wasn't the argument around widebodies (or lack thereof) between NYC and FL
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Old Jan 18, 21, 8:24 pm
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Originally Posted by truncated View Post
Yeah but wasn't the argument around widebodies (or lack thereof) between NYC and FL
The discussion was about destination Florida leisure traffic supporting premium products -- far more realistic that an international gateway would support a premium product. And while some of the AA traffic maybe destination MIA, the international traffic likes pays the bill
And as there is no UA international gateway hub in FL, those AA flights don't really provide support UA is missing a destination premium opportunity (UA missing an opportunity is where this started).
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Old Jan 18, 21, 8:35 pm
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It’s kinda pertinent to the recent conversation;

recently had someone in front of me try to get into a DEN UC location because they had ‘premier access’. Probably not unique, but it did make me think of the brunt of people flying right now.

While it seemingly may not make sense to fly 772 or other wide body domestically, it’s been done in the past and isn’t too far off of the ULCC business model.

Flying one 772 per day on a leisure route that previously had a mix of UAX/UA flights could make sense as most PAX are likely leisure so time insensitive but price sensitive.

Previous ideas of what traffic is composed of is not relevant now, and likely won’t be for quite a while. I’m not saying I agree, but United has its data and is acting accordingly. They’re not getting the business traffic they used to so they must change accordingly.

That means a far different vision of what UC offers, even though I’d love to see the PHX club open yesterday 😁
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Old Jan 18, 21, 8:55 pm
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Originally Posted by DELee View Post
There's a reason for folks flying, especially at this time of year, from the Northeast to Florida. There's a whole bunch of resorts that are busy. UA has flown 752s on these routes. There are folks who'll pay and, yes, others who won't.

Perhaps 772s flying EWR-MCO is overkill. Perhaps E175s properly equipped may be better.

Or maybe UA doesn't care. But there's money to be had.

David
Those days are long over. I used to fly Delta L1011s FLL-ATL, I've made my share of trips on a CO 764 FLL-EWR and I regularly flew IAH-LAX on CO DC10s. As you are aware, no one is doing that anymore, and what the future will bring, is reduced frequency on smaller narrow body aircraft. You're imagining traffic that will never come back the way it was before the virus. FLL was a leisure AND business market - but no more. Those flights were often packed with cruise ship passengers - now, good luck getting anyone to buy a cruise, I can't even give them away. Even if leisure travel recovers to some degree, business travel as we knew it is finished given the labor market has now dispersed and remote work is normal work. Home builders are now investing in new homes that showcase private home office spaces - if there was any chance of the labor force returning to offices, that wouldn't be happening to the extent that it is.

The future of lounges are premium credit card products like Amex, or premium partner lounges like the Escape Lounge. They will fill the void where needed, and airline lounges will continue in hubs and focus cities....but Florida will no longer be a source of focus cities.
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Old Jan 18, 21, 10:20 pm
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
You're imagining traffic that will never come back the way it was before the virus. FLL was a leisure AND business market - but no more. Those flights were often packed with cruise ship passengers - now, good luck getting anyone to buy a cruise, I can't even give them away. Even if leisure travel recovers to some degree, business travel as we knew it is finished given the labor market has now dispersed and remote work is normal work. Home builders are now investing in new homes that showcase private home office spaces - if there was any chance of the labor force returning to offices, that wouldn't be happening to the extent that it is.
The speculation of travel never (or in 5+ years) returning to pre-pandemic levels is just that...speculation. I could just as easily say that within 12-18 months travel will be close to or exactly where it was pre-pandemic. The airlines have been betting on travel picking up and so far have been right. No ones buying cruises right now because there are no cruises LOL. That industry will probably come back strong. They will re-invent what they do and be very successful again, like every other industry is doing.

As for builders selling houses with work from home options, that’s what builders do. Sell houses. That’s the “current thing” so they are running with it. Many businesses are starting to realize the downsides to people working from home, mine included.
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Old Jan 19, 21, 12:59 am
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Originally Posted by J_Stroming View Post
The speculation of travel never (or in 5+ years) returning to pre-pandemic levels is just that...speculation.
And it predates Covid by years.

Whenever someone tells you this is the "new normal," about anything, be skeptical.
Whenever they're doing it while trying to sell you something, be extremely skeptical.
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Old Jan 19, 21, 2:54 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
The discussion was about destination Florida leisure traffic supporting premium products -- far more realistic that an international gateway would support a premium product. And while some of the AA traffic maybe destination MIA, the international traffic likes pays the bill
And as there is no UA international gateway hub in FL, those AA flights don't really provide support UA is missing a destination premium opportunity (UA missing an opportunity is where this started).
You made the same point I was going to make.

Being a South Florida resident since early 80s, I have witnessed various stages of air travel change.

When UA purchased Pan Am's Latin American operations in Miami back in the early to mid 90s, there were a fleet of widebodies and multiple flights between MIA and UA hub cities.
As an example:

763 between JFK and MIA
741 (later 777) between SFO and MIA
777 between IAD-MIA, LAX-MIA, DEN-MIA, ORD-MIA
There were 727/757 flights between DCA-MIA, LGA/EWR-MIA, ATL-MIA, BOS-MIA

There were multiple flights between IAD, ORD, DEN, LAX and MIA.
[email protected] MIA was the best in the system with open bar and a full buffet (not the current crackers and cheese).

There were all mostly driven by international traffic not domestic leisure traffic between hubs and MIA.
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