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Yea! UA planes are full. The strategy is working. Why do I feel so bad?

Yea! UA planes are full. The strategy is working. Why do I feel so bad?

 
Old Jul 3, 07, 11:48 am
  #16  
tjl
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Originally Posted by BigE View Post
I suppose this is why UA has MP ...to get us to pay more. When you figure in the double RDM, promotions, E+, status advancement, it's worth it to pay ~30% to fly UA.
For a non-elite, it is probably worth it to pay 10-30% more to fly some other airline besides UA, due to UA's delays.
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Old Jul 3, 07, 12:08 pm
  #17  
 
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I've been priced out of UA completely for several trips already this summer (I fly from SFO to the midwest weekly). At first, my loyalty combined with high fares on convenient UA itineraries forced me to accept alternate airports, long connections and horrible arrival times on busy travel days. After one too many ORD thunderstorms and repeatedly not clearing standby lists even as a 1K, I "defected".

UA's high summer fares led me to open an AAdvantage account and sign up for the Platinum Challenge, as United will see when they review my faxed AA statement. I've already spent about $2,000 on American tickets and will get AA status early next month. I do believe that UA has a better product and treats its elite customers better than AA, but I just can't justify paying such a premium every week.
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Old Jul 3, 07, 12:33 pm
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by flyinbob View Post
I've found summer is playing a big part in the big prices. SNA-ORD used to be routinely around $300 a week out. Now $600 or more. But I noticed a lot of fares, including international, significantly lower after September.
Interestingly, for my Sept flight to France, UA's cheapest flights from SoCal were through SNA. Even allowing a host of silly connections, LAX or even Ontario was more expensive.

It works great for me because I'm so close to the airport, but strange given the usual SNA premium for anything.
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Old Jul 3, 07, 2:32 pm
  #19  
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It's not the Economy fares that are forcing me away from UA more and more, but the First and Business fares. SEA-DEN on UA is $1600 vs. $800 on AS so I chose AS.
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Old Jul 3, 07, 2:42 pm
  #20  
 
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Not to mention virtually no cheap and lengthy flights in July with which to take advantage of the triple miles promotion earned last year.
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Old Jul 3, 07, 3:18 pm
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by vsevolod4 View Post
Not to mention virtually no cheap and lengthy flights in July with which to take advantage of the triple miles promotion earned last year.
Yup, I am surfing da bomb for months now, nil...and e-fares from ROC to cities where you think someone mistyped the three-letter code .

BTW: Did anyone try ARUA4 (F class excursion fare ex US for ca. $500 r/t) to MEX last year?
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Old Jul 3, 07, 4:50 pm
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by FF_Parrothead View Post
It's like planning a factory to run 100%. It's not realistic to sustain that level, and when something does go wrong, it is very expensive to get back on track.

Just my $0.02.

Six Sigma...what % perfect is that? It is virtualy 100% (by any normal statsitical measure.) Do you think that UA leaders read those books?

Originally Posted by BigE View Post
What I'm scratching my ahead about is how we can have the triple combination of full flights, high fares, and poor UA financials.
Did you not see UA restate their 2nd 1/4 estimates 2 weeks ago? They scaled them up, not down.

Originally Posted by tjl View Post
For a non-elite, it is probably worth it to pay 10-30% more to fly some other airline besides UA, due to UA's delays.
Like B6? B6 had problems with their regional jets for 6 months causing terrible delays, then they had their winter meltdown, then they had computer failure that made UA's look like NOTHING, thne they had the "fear" of east coast storms this week and proactivly cncld flights for the storm that didn't really happen (I don't fault them for that...it didn't pay off this time, but it IS the right thing to do.)...UA delays? I think you need to read your BTS stats. UA is by no means near the top of the list...It IS the summer...summer has delays for everyone. B6 and DL both cncld tons of flights last week, so did NW. UA has not had these issues any more than any other airline (let's leave the Hawaiin airlines out...they are in a different class.)

Originally Posted by vsevolod4 View Post
Not to mention virtually no cheap and lengthy flights in July with which to take advantage of the triple miles promotion earned last year.
wow...I got 4 posts in a row (addressing what I see as I read)

Do you think that maybe that is why the 3x miles promo is in July instead of January where you can get uber-cheap fares, and 3x the miles?

If you ran a company, when would you "pay" people to buy your product...when you can charge a lot and get a positive margin, or when the person traveling is going to barely cover their incrimental costs? Sounds like a smart promo to me!

Last edited by iluv2fly; Jul 3, 07 at 11:23 pm Reason: merge
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Old Jul 3, 07, 4:58 pm
  #23  
 
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I've noticed UA fares creeping up for my routes in 2007 as well. Schedule mostly dictates who I fly and UA and AA can both accomodate me these days so I go with whichever matches the times I need. I end up paying $100-200 more certain days but nothing horrific.
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Old Jul 3, 07, 5:16 pm
  #24  
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When I book my corp travel, the website always pulls up fares that are at least $20 less than what I'm flying. Anything over $100 less, and I have to justify my purchase. I've never had to do it this year. 47 flights on UA, 3 on F9 and 1 on US.
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Old Jul 3, 07, 5:21 pm
  #25  
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Originally Posted by fastair View Post
Like B6? B6 had problems with their regional jets for 6 months causing terrible delays, then they had their winter meltdown, then they had computer failure that made UA's look like NOTHING, thne they had the "fear" of east coast storms this week and proactivly cncld flights for the storm that didn't really happen (I don't fault them for that...it didn't pay off this time, but it IS the right thing to do.)...UA delays? I think you need to read your BTS stats. UA is by no means near the top of the list...It IS the summer...summer has delays for everyone. B6 and DL both cncld tons of flights last week, so did NW. UA has not had these issues any more than any other airline (let's leave the Hawaiin airlines out...they are in a different class.)
Yeah, but a delay in B6's 34-36" pitch is much more comfortable than it would be for a non-elite on UA.
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Old Jul 3, 07, 6:20 pm
  #26  
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According to an article in the WSJ yesterday UAs revenue/ available seat mile is some 3 cents lower than US. But many point to US fares being more competitive/lower.

Is UAs revenue mgmt selling out too many low fare seats too far ahead?
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Old Jul 3, 07, 6:33 pm
  #27  
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Originally Posted by whlinder View Post
In typical UA fashion they probably pissed away inventory by selling tons of low fares months ago and now everything is sold out and folks who want to buy profitable fares are given the option of either insane fares or heading to a competitor.
Certainly true in my case. I bought LAX-CDG for 500 in August in E+ which many people here will not do but it does explain inventory problems.
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Old Jul 3, 07, 7:03 pm
  #28  
 
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I've noticed that UA and other airline pricing this summer seems to provide a disincentive to book early which seems like a strange way to run a business. Specifically in the last few days, I've noticed that UA slashed fares to and from Hawaii in coach with their Hawaii Hula sale so that later bookers got better deals than the plan ahead types. I've also noticed this on UA fares BWI-YVR-BWI and LAS-YVR-LAS. What I've learned from all of this is to go to the airlines' websites, make a query on the flights I want and check seats--if the plane still has plenty of room with desireable seats available, maybe it's not time to book unless the price seems at the low end or you don't care because the employer is paying for the ticket or you've got bigger fish to fry. Of course, collectively, if all pax did this, it would bluff the airlines into putting everything on deep discount sale.
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Old Jul 3, 07, 10:58 pm
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by fastair View Post
Six Sigma...what % perfect is that? It is virtualy 100% (by any normal statsitical measure.) Do you think that UA leaders read those books?
Operating at a 6S quality level would mean less than 4 defects per million opportunities. I'd be surprised if UA is operating at a 1S level when it comes to customer service.

I've been reading "The Toyota Way" recently - maybe we should send a case of those books to WHQ and divvy out a case to the union heads.

These fight loads are getting to be a PITA for me too. Today I needed to book a trip for next week heading ORD-FAT. Usually, this goes through SFO or LAX, and costs $650-900. Via LAX priced at $900, but I couldn't get a seat assignment. I can't afford to be bumped and delayed this trip, or else I'd play the bump game. Via SFO, $1200. So, it's ORD-LAS-FAT for me. Rar! That, and a longer flight in an EMB-120, although I did snag 9C. Return, same deal - only way to go was via DEN with a 3-hr layover (and me w/o any extra RCC day passes - anyone going to be in DEN next Thursday evening?)
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Old Jul 4, 07, 7:32 am
  #30  
das
 
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Originally Posted by Brattflyer View Post
Is UA's strategy really working or will it come back to bite them at the next business turn down? Will their loyal customers come back when the fares go down. Who's buying these high priced fares a month in advance? Is there anyone else who's been priced off UA?
Long term, flat/lower domestic capacity will mean higher domestic fares on UA (which end up being uncompetitive as a function of fuller planes), and fewer loyal customers/elite members from domestic travel.

Just as an anecdotal example, the Chicago suburb where I live is incredibly inconvenient to MDW, but many of my friends usually fly WN because it is so much cheaper than UA/AA. I don't mind paying 25% extra to fly UA because of the perks I get as 1K (and the fact that ORD is more convenient), but even myself have flown WN when UA was 4x the price.

I guess it really boils down to UA's strategy for developing new elite customers. Perhaps the idea is that new elites will come from customers with primarily international travel, and that excess domestic capacity just isn't worth the cost.
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