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UAL's Captain Denny Flanagan (In-Flight Experiences, Sightings, Schedule, etc.)

Old Apr 23, 2016, 1:38 pm
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Last edit by: paranoiatx
Captain Denny's Retirement flight roll call. Please list your handle, cabin, and when you will be arriving in SEA, where we will arrange a dinner on 5/30.

Pat89339 - F - arriving 5/30
legalalien - F - arriving 5/31 (I can guest 2 into UC at either SEA or ORD)
Jubileesmom-F-arriving 5/30 ( I also can guest 2 into UC. )
Whiskarina - F - arriving 5/30
wxguy - F - arriving 5/30 via Capt Denny's second to last flight
FlyerBeek - F - arriving 5/29
JeepGuyDE - F - arriving 5/29 (need guesting into UC)
jmd001 - F - arriving 5/30 (would appreciate guesting into UC)
texasex95 - Y - arriving 5/31 (hopefully 5/30 if I can change my flight)
alanro - F - arriving 5/30 (I can also guest 2 into UC)
mendicantmonk - Y - arriving 5/30 (need guesting into UC)
SFO 1K - F - arriving 5/30 (I can guest 2 into UC)
wtigerFF - F - arriving 5/30 UA 635 (I can guest 2 into UC)
YRKInsider - F - arriving 5/30 UA 635 (can guest 2 into UC)
N1120A - F - Arriving 5/31 UA635 (Probably need guesting into UC)
CleUnited - Y - Arriving 5/30 (hopefully)
cawhite - F -arriving 5/30 UA635
paranoiatx - F - arriving 5/28 (can guest 2 into UC and/or 1 into CL)
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UAL's Captain Denny Flanagan (In-Flight Experiences, Sightings, Schedule, etc.)

Old Aug 28, 2007, 1:15 pm
  #31  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Denver, CO USA
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Originally Posted by BankofJosh
My first thought was "Why is this guy still in the cockpit at all?" He clearly is too valuable a resource to waste on 200 passengers at a time. He needs to be training other pilots so that this can be replicated. With just a few hundred Captain Denny's United could turn it's reputation around.
Couldn't agree more. I'd rather see him than Higgins in a Denver Post interview anyday.
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Old Aug 28, 2007, 1:26 pm
  #32  
 
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Great Captains But Problem Lies In UA Management Not Putting Money Where Mouth Is

Now that you mention it, I remember being on a 757 with Molly Flanagan as one of the pilots.

Here is a link to the WSJ article (subscription required)
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118826634834410559.html

Another snip from the article:
Last Tuesday morning, Capt. Flanagan was at gate C19 at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport an hour before the scheduled departure of Flight 831 to San Francisco and made his first announcement about the delay before the gate agent had shown up. The time posted for departure was 8:20, but that was optimistic, Capt. Flanagan told passengers, because the Boeing 767 they would fly wouldn't land from São Paulo, Brazil, until 7:02 and then had to be emptied, cleaned, inspected and towed from the international terminal...

...Ajoke Odumosu, a track star at the University of South Alabama who was on her way to Osaka, Japan, for a world-championship competition, realized that when she began her trip with US Airways Group Inc., her luggage had been checked only as far as San Francisco. With the delay, there wouldn't be time to retrieve it and recheck it for Japan.

Capt. Flanagan called Chicago and learned that the luggage was already in metal containers ready for loading on the 767, and couldn't be retagged. He called San Francisco and found a manager who agreed to pull Ms. Odumosu's bags aside and retag them for Osaka. In all, he spent 15 minutes on the problem...
I don't know that United management creates an environment and provides the necessary tools and money to employees to make this service level the norm. Sure they are quoted in the paper as saying this is great, but I don't know that they have truly retrofitted their bureucratic corporate culture to put customer service first. I don't think any legacy has, UA included.

I'm sure both Capt. Flanagan's are motivated by something inside them more than some sort of program or initiative at United Airlines.

I mean when was the last time someone at WHQ or customer relations gave you either their cell phone number, or a direct email address.

I will say I've gotten that kind of information from some UA airport workers, but never from anyone remotely connected to UA's corporate headquarters or customer relations bureaucracy.

From reading about airlines, the only other domestic one that really seems to place a high and tangible value on customer service (beyond window dressing) at the corporate level is WN:
http://blogsouthwest.com

So I more thank the Capt. Flanagan's personally as opposed to this somehow being related to the current mission at UA. You don't even hear the modern UA management refer to "friendly skys" much anymore. I don't know that "friendly skys" is the core and fundamental mission of United's current senior and executive management. Unfortunately I think the management is more concerned about cost and expense metrix than they are about how you or I enjoy our customer service experience or about the perception of the brand in the industry.

They can't have it both ways on the one hand all this nickel and dime cost cutting, and then talking out of the other side of their mouth saying how important customer service is. UA management needs to put their money where their mouth is.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Aug 28, 2007 at 1:39 pm Reason: To comply with FT's copyright law compliance policy and to help format the post
jetsetter is offline  
Old Aug 28, 2007, 2:17 pm
  #33  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Originally Posted by Chapel Hill Guy
...he was standing at the door handing out small collector cards with specs on the 757....
"The 757-200 flies at Mach .80
This is the original interior from 1988.
This interior was last cleaned in 1989.
4 of the 5 monitors don't work.
None of the power ports work.
We'll replace it next week with a DC-3 in Ted livery."

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Old Aug 28, 2007, 4:31 pm
  #34  
 
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Very nice article about a real nice person! Now I'm looking forward to a flight on his plane. Most of my domestic flights are on 757s so hopefully it increases my odds.

I echo the earlier sentiment that most UA pilots are very professional and keep us informed. I would add that my most recent flight, FRA-ORD, was the first flight this year that a captain has elected to keep channel 9 silent. On the connecting flight from ORD home, it was the captain that gave us the real reason (mechanical) for our 3 hour delay, and not the weather as gate agents have been saying all afternoon.

Another interesting thing, all the business cards I've received from captains with notes on back are from 757 and 767s. What do they teach them that aren't being taught on the other types?
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Old Aug 28, 2007, 4:47 pm
  #35  
 
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I don't know if it was him or another great pilot but back a couple years ago (a year or so after 9/11 probably) I flew SNA-ORD and asked the pilot about channel 9 etc. before takeoff. He was very friendly and after the flight, he offerred to give us a tour of United Operations at the ORD concourse which was pretty neat. There was a 9/11 memorial to the FA's who died which is how I remember the time frame. I also got a trading card. After thinking about it, I bet that this was him. Great guy!
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Old Aug 28, 2007, 4:59 pm
  #36  
 
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Originally Posted by SEA1K4EVR
The other Captain Flanagan, Molly Flanagan who is based in SEA (also a 757/767 captain) also passes out personalized cards to F and elites and she comes out and gives a quick pre-flight briefing to the F & C cabins on her flights...always a pleasure. Wonder if they are related.
Probably not - Denny lives on a farm in Ohio, according to the article.

I've been impressed with my UA pilot experiences - on an SFO-ORD redeye, the pilot walked up and down the aisles of the F cabin asking if there was anything he could do to make our flight better before pushback. I was impressed because he genuinely seemed to care. This was a 777, so no Denny I guess.

On a SEA-SFO flight I had the pleasure of sitting next to and speaking with a cool SEA-based 757/767 pilot. He was studying charts for a redeye flight to HNL later that night - didn't want to bug him too much lest he miss something important on the chart...

Guess I need to fly more to score one of the 757/767 cards...
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Old Aug 28, 2007, 6:53 pm
  #37  
 
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CPT. Denny by his actions embodies exactly my first experience on United back when I was just a kid like 15 years old if I remember correctly going from ORD-SAN boy what a flight - I even recorded the captain welcoming everyone and how he did it was dreamy. Ahhh the good ole days!
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Old Aug 28, 2007, 8:54 pm
  #38  
 
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I had the pleasure of having Molly Flanagan lead one of my flights. She was terrific and left signed business cards with a short note for all of the F passengers, and she also updated the plane as to routing changes made to avoid turbulence.
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Old Aug 28, 2007, 9:36 pm
  #39  
 
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I'm sure the majority of FTers are used to the attention, but as a relative rookie, I want to recognize the proprietors and moderators for running a great site that attracts the regular attention of WSJ's Middle Seat. Congratulations to the regulars for some terrific press. ^
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Old Aug 29, 2007, 12:19 am
  #40  
 
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX
Wonderful article. Doe Capt. Flanagan fly both both 757 and 767?
Yes. He flew me on a 757 and his business card says 767.
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Old Aug 30, 2007, 11:58 am
  #41  
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ABC News request re: Capt. Flanagan

I'm a producer with Good Morning America. We're doing a story on Capt. Flanagan and wanted to share some experiences of passengers who've flown with him. Please give me a call today if you have a good story to tell 212-456-6632.

thanks,
Josh Gaynor
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Old Aug 30, 2007, 12:04 pm
  #42  
 
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1 good employee and 40,000 incompetent lazy employees does not a good airline make. Now if you had 40,000 other Capt Flanagan's at United, you would have a story!

Originally Posted by bug_me_not
I'm a producer with Good Morning America. We're doing a story on Capt. Flanagan and wanted to share some experiences of passengers who've flown with him. Please give me a call today if you have a good story to tell 212-456-6632.

thanks,
Josh Gaynor
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Old Aug 30, 2007, 12:33 pm
  #43  
kuf
 
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I just read the WSJ article this morning while seeing off my spouse at the airport; I hope I could one day be on one of his flights... (we usually fly 752s and 777s so maybe not much luck, huh)
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Old Aug 30, 2007, 12:55 pm
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by HitAndRun
1 good employee and 40,000 incompetent lazy employees does not a good airline make. Now if you had 40,000 other Capt Flanagan's at United, you would have a story!
But why should the bad employees detract from recognizing the good ones? I guess I'm not sure why you responded the way you did to the GMA solicitation - do you think they should not do a story on him?
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Old Aug 30, 2007, 1:03 pm
  #45  
 
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I have nothing against an interest story and I commend Capt Fannagan for his extraordinary efforts. Ultimately however, his efforts amount to zero because the goodwill generated by his effots are swamped my the mediocrity of the service experience provided by the majority of United employees.

Originally Posted by vysean
But why should the bad employees detract from recognizing the good ones? I guess I'm not sure why you responded the way you did to the GMA solicitation - do you think they should not do a story on him?
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