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A Cautionary tale -- United, GS, 1K -- Wake up call...

A Cautionary tale -- United, GS, 1K -- Wake up call...

Old Apr 19, 2024, 6:40 pm
  #91  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SAN
Programs: UA 1MM/1K, HH Diamond
Posts: 6,857
I'm not and never have been a GS, but I have to say, as a 1K I haven't ever felt like I didn't matter to UA. Sure, GS "matters more" as they should, but I've never experienced being dismissed because I was just a 1K. YMMV I guess...
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Old Apr 19, 2024, 10:22 pm
  #92  
Moderator: Hyatt Gold Passport & Star Alliance
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: London, UK
Programs: UA-1K 3MM/HY- LT Globalist/BA-GGLfL
Posts: 12,192
Originally Posted by as219
I'm not and never have been a GS, but I have to say, as a 1K I haven't ever felt like I didn't matter to UA. Sure, GS "matters more" as they should, but I've never experienced being dismissed because I was just a 1K. YMMV I guess...
I am glad you feel that way. As a lifetime 3MM who never flies UA anymore I always felt second class in comparison to GS.

- Upgrade granted at the gate at LHR and in the time between my name being called and getting to the podium, a GS has asked about an upgrade. I was back in Coach as he enjoyed Business.
- Travelled from Australia and had a nice aisle seat when I was called to the podium - 'I am sorry but I have had to change your seat' - 'Yes so that GS member can have my seat'. The agent backed down when caught.

Why would I fly an airline that clearly makes it obvious my business does not matter to them.
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Old Apr 19, 2024, 11:27 pm
  #93  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Programs: SQ, QF, UA, CO, DL
Posts: 3,096
Originally Posted by bmwe92fan
I also think that the GS update only occurs overnight - the miles and spend have already hit my account so I’m thinking tonight when it runs my status will be updated….
Let us know when you get the update. I'll throw some virtual confetti your way, the glittery kind.

Originally Posted by lamphs
I am just a lowly Gold (and happy with it), but another data point, I suppose.
[MENTION=123551]IAD[/MENTION] a few months ago, I had a question, I don't recall what it was. There was someone at each of the two 'Premier' counters and no one at the 'GS' counter. I thought I could ask the agent my simple question. Nope, 'I only serve GS customers'; and not pleasantly either. Of course I looked around and didn't see hordes of customers around. I thought 'wow, I'd certainly understand if it was busy, or near the late afternoon/early evening bank of international flights, but this was at 10 AM. No big deal...I survived.
IAD GS reception used to have some classy people. They seem to have shipped them off somewhere. I checked in for a FLL flight earlier this year and was met with an "Oh, you're just going to Florida today" with what some would take as a look of disapproval. She then talked to her fellow agent about someone else who was out sick the entire time tagging luggage and never really looked at me or made eye contact again. Passed me my baggage tags and said "You can go, I'm done". Does not bother me but I made a mental note of how poor the service had become.

I agree that consumer-facing industries are putting profits before service. But I also notice UA service is suffering more than DL. It may be because UA is trying to grow faster and hiring more new people. Directionally UA is on track but they are starting to develop a certain blindness towards seeing where they are not performing well.
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Old Apr 19, 2024, 11:38 pm
  #94  
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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Posts: 6,726
Originally Posted by uanj
Let us know when you get the update. I'll throw some virtual confetti your way, the glittery kind.
Update came through -- wife can access the UA club tomorrow in PHX on way home -- no glitter necessary but thanks!
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Old Apr 20, 2024, 12:08 am
  #95  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Programs: SQ, QF, UA, CO, DL
Posts: 3,096
Originally Posted by bmwe92fan
Update came through -- wife can access the UA club tomorrow in PHX on way home -- no glitter necessary but thanks!
Congrats! Now get some sleep!
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Old Apr 20, 2024, 2:50 am
  #96  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NYC
Programs: AADULtArer
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Welcome back ! I know it was hard looking up at the GS during the challenge but now we can share th PE envy of the Universe Services (R) customers we long to be as we transit EWR. See you soon for free sushi!
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Old Apr 20, 2024, 8:29 am
  #97  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Programs: AA Plat, UA 1K>Plat>moving to Silver
Posts: 2,132
Originally Posted by Markie
Why would I fly an airline that clearly makes it obvious my business does not matter to them.
I buy F and J (mostly), and have mostly flown based on a combination of route, time, price (including taking into account upgrades) and quality. It used to be that that often happened to be UA. Loyalty was sort of a tie- breaker. I easily made 1K for many years. But once upgrades practically disappeared, I flew less UA and have been mostly on TATL on OAL. Having dropped down to Silver, I cant say I see much difference. Now, I just had a bad experience on a UA TATL in business which is the subject of another thread. I dont think id have gotten bumped if I was GS, but Im not sure I wouldnt have been had I been 1K. I think whoever paid the least on an oversold flight got bumped, so they could oversell it for $10K or whatever. Being GS just probably would have exempted me and moved them to the next person. Im sure they made money from kicking me off the flight so they did. But I think that is the way UA operates now.
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Old Apr 20, 2024, 12:39 pm
  #98  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NYC, LON
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Originally Posted by Markie
Why would I fly an airline that clearly makes it obvious my business does not matter to them.
Your business matters to them a lot.
The vast majority of income UA receives will, by definition, be from passengers who are not GS. If all the non-GS stopped flying United then there will be no airline left.
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Old Apr 20, 2024, 3:28 pm
  #99  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
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Originally Posted by ani90
Your business matters to them a lot.
The vast majority of income UA receives will, by definition, be from passengers who are not GS. If all the non-GS stopped flying United then there will be no airline left.
Yes the middle class segment of the market obviously matters to them. But 1Ks used to get treatment pretty similar to what GS gets today. Unless youre buying expensive fares these days your individual value to them is basically not that much, if they dont sell the seat to you they will still sell it regardless. Its been this way since consolidation.
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Old Apr 20, 2024, 3:34 pm
  #100  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: OSL/IAH/ZRH (time, not preference)
Programs: UA1K, LH GM, AA EXP->GM
Posts: 38,313
Originally Posted by as219
I'm not and never have been a GS, but I have to say, as a 1K I haven't ever felt like I didn't matter to UA. Sure, GS "matters more" as they should, but I've never experienced being dismissed because I was just a 1K. YMMV I guess...
I have when GS was introduced.

But once I stopped caring about upgrades, generally customer service for 1Ks is ok-ish. I can live with it.
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Old Apr 20, 2024, 3:46 pm
  #101  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Programs: United 1k, HH Diamond, Bonvoy Ambassador and LT-Gold
Posts: 1,752
Originally Posted by weero
I have when GS was introduced.

But once I stopped caring about upgrades, generally customer service for 1Ks is ok-ish. I can live with it.
likewise, in my 5-6 years as a 1K, I always felt valued and appreciated - and a willingness to help (even if they didnt know I was 1k)

maybe the needs of GS , from a practical standpoint are such that they might be considered more "high maintenance" (dont mean that in a negative way - especially of fear from the potential backlash)... but my 60 segments and $25k spend last year, by definition, is a much different type of traveler that spends >$60k and/or 100+ segments or has challenging, tight, and frequent itineraries and hence much more sensitive to the issues and impacts of the small issues many of us are not bothered (as much) by.... and once you get a taste (and need) for that level of service - hard to go back, even if you no longer need a BMW to shuttle you between gates in ABQ or a lay flat on a RJ

Originally Posted by ani90
Your business matters to them a lot.
The vast majority of income UA receives will, by definition, be from passengers who are not GS. If all the non-GS stopped flying United then there will be no airline left.
ani90 - I think if all the GS stopped flying (or doing whatever else, besides flying, that they do for UA), UA would be not happy either. Remember the adage that the people up front subsidize those in the cheap seats in the back.... yes, everything is more complicated than that.... but there is probably some very good reasons that UA offers GS separately from their usual elite program and I would bet that many of those reasons are focused on profit.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 20, 2024 at 4:42 pm
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Old Apr 20, 2024, 3:49 pm
  #102  
Moderator: Trip Reports
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Denver, CO
Programs: UA GS-2MM, Marriott Ambassador
Posts: 3,775
Originally Posted by Markie
I am glad you feel that way. As a lifetime 3MM who never flies UA anymore I always felt second class in comparison to GS.

- Upgrade granted at the gate at LHR and in the time between my name being called and getting to the podium, a GS has asked about an upgrade. I was back in Coach as he enjoyed Business.
- Travelled from Australia and had a nice aisle seat when I was called to the podium - 'I am sorry but I have had to change your seat' - 'Yes so that GS member can have my seat'. The agent backed down when caught.

Why would I fly an airline that clearly makes it obvious my business does not matter to them.
Is that not like me saying I always feel second class in comparison to GGL on BA?

For me its a practical thing, because DEN is my home airport and most of flights are long haul to Australia or Europe. I never had a problem with 1K and used every Plus Point. Now that I am GS, I think the benefits make this status more valuable. And I would never fly coach long haul - and I dont always buy revenue J (about half the time, and the other half are Premium Plus) but I have always cleared before.

My schedule is mostly flexible so I just choose flights where I know the upgrade is going to clear. If it hasnt by the day of departure, I'll switch flights, take a different routing or buy up.
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Old Apr 20, 2024, 3:53 pm
  #103  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: OSL/IAH/ZRH (time, not preference)
Programs: UA1K, LH GM, AA EXP->GM
Posts: 38,313
Originally Posted by mfirst
..maybe the needs of GS , from a practical standpoint are such that they might be considered more "high maintenance" (dont mean that in a negative way - especially of fear from the potential backlash)..
This. And I reckon that is fair and makes business sense for both sides.

Of course there are accidental or awarded GS who make no use of their powers but I reckon most do enjoy and use the privileges.
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Old Apr 20, 2024, 4:52 pm
  #104  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,615
Originally Posted by mfirst
.. Remember the adage that the people up front subsidize those in the cheap seats in the back.... .....
I think you will find most 1Ks and I as a Plat (in economy) exceed UA's CASM (roughly 17-18 cent per mile). so, yes it is more complicated.
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Old Apr 20, 2024, 6:46 pm
  #105  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Programs: UA GS, *G, Bonvoy Titanium, HH Diamond, Platinum on Blockbuster, GameStop, several library cards
Posts: 798
Agree with Ani, but also clear that we shouldnt expect too much. Ive been 1K for years, and the only meaningful benefit has been preboarding and access to premium seats without paying full boat (as well as free luggage allowance for family trips). Upgrades were few and far between.

Flying as GS this year has made a world of difference. Upgrades more than 50% of the time is nice, but the extra handling when itineraries dont work out is priceless (well, not really, as its easy to see how much Im spending).

Not knowing any better, I thought 1K was fine, but nothing to write home about. And clearly, the numbers just dont work out to make the same product available for 1K, since there are too many, and they cant just raise prices in a competitive market. (And for such a big company, service is defined as lowest common denominator. You simply cannot give an individual service experience for a mass market price.) Makes me wonder if you could sell it as an after market. Is Irrops Upgrades worth $5K/year? I worry that it actually is, and itll be like DisneyWorld where you are less than nobody without a fast pass.

I will cherish this year as GS, but I dont expect it to last.

The true solution is to not fly.
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