Interesting Tidbits from WHQ re: new C/F

 
Old Oct 16, 08, 5:36 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by UAX_Brasilia View Post
Is there any pictures of either of the new C or F that are actual Cabin pics? I haven't seen one, and I can't find one (I am usually very good at finding things on the internet )
Take a look at

http://genefowler.com/travel/airline...ium_Inaugural/

from fellow FTer gfowler-ord-1k.
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Old Oct 16, 08, 7:29 pm
  #17  
 
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Thanks, cstead, for some very interesting, and frank comments.

Originally Posted by cstead View Post
(snip)
First off, N was extremely frank with us. Surprisingly so. Among the things that he admitted include:
  • UA knows that their service will never be as good as NH, SQ or CX (we knew that)
    ...
This statement annoys me no end. Unfortunately, it is indicative of UA management's approach (or lack thereof) to the problem: they seem to have given up without really trying.

And yes, I said management. Not senior FA's. Not unions. Management. (And I am not a union fan, either.) They are the ones running the show and it is their responsibility to decide what the service should be, put the resources in place to deliver it and monitor the results to ensure it is delivered as expected.

It's very discouraging to hear UA simply accept that they can never compete, because then they never will. But it is disingenuous to expect to charge higher prices than the competition when you already have decided the product is not as good.

To me, the really sad part is that once you make the investment in the hard goods, improving the rest of the product should not cost all that much.
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Old Oct 17, 08, 11:37 pm
  #18  
 
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Age Discrimination

Originally Posted by Paella747 View Post
You typed the words right off my keyboard! I was just going to answer "Unions".
The unions don't have anything to do with it.

I believe there are US FEDERAL laws against age discrimination.
Carriers from other countries can mandate that flt atts are below a certain age because they do not have laws in effect that prevent age discrimination, along with with a lack of many civil rights across the board.

Feel free to wipe the condescending grin off your face (as indicated by your smiley).

And you wonder why you get crappy service.
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Old Oct 17, 08, 11:40 pm
  #19  
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Old Oct 18, 08, 2:38 am
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by UAX_Brasilia View Post
Is there any pictures of either of the new C or F that are actual Cabin pics? I haven't seen one, and I can't find one (I am usually very good at finding things on the internet )
See page 2 and later of http://gfowler.smugmug.com/gallery/3...24068322_pVby4

I just noticed that notquietaff also posted a link to my pics.

Last edited by gfowler-ord-1k; Oct 18, 08 at 9:02 am
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Old Oct 18, 08, 3:42 am
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by cepheid View Post
..People buy Y not for the seat or for the service, but for getting from point A to point B, and hopefully (but not exclusively) without severe discomfort..
I agree with you that this is highly likely the thinking of the marketing genii @ UA. I do not agree that the argument actually works in reality.
UA needs to make its Y tolerable, but there is otherwise very little incentive to improve it, not only because very few competitors have a better product..
Even the #1 which treated its coach flyers with the largest possible disdain, Lufthansa, got the message and is now putting AVOD longhaul-fleetwide into its Y cabin.
..but also because the majority of people who buy Y place a much higher priority on price, schedule, and route (in that order) than on comfort or amenities.
And that makes this a self fulfilling prophecy! With such an outdated longhaul Y product, UA makes sure no one will ever pay higher fares for it.
..That's all they did, and really, that's all I would really expect them to do, given the consumer mindset and especially in today's market.
Same agrument as above - and the flaw is the following: with the new cabins in place, the gap in amenities between Y and C grew from huge to tremendous, the flying folks however consist of a continuum of what they can afford to pay for a flight. A large flock of better spenders now is precluded from premium travel (and in today's market, this group is growing) but will only reluctantly put up with UA's shabby Y product.

As a revenge for UA's xenophobic fit with the DEQM discrimination, I bought 3 flexible SQ coach tickets to Oz and Europe - and I never looked back. There's seat blocking, fantastic IFE, lots of legroom, drink services every 10 minutes. SQ Y beats UA C hands down when it comes to service. If the silly new C cabins make my upgrade rate go down any more, I will only buy W and S fares anymore on UA and only if I can get a confirmed upgrade. Otherwise it is going to be SQ for all the flexible tickets I need.

Oh yes - no TSA and no ICC also add quite a bit of value to their product.

Again I might not be THE standard UA flyer out there but thanks to the crisis, my kin is growing but UA plans their strategy for a past that doesn't exist anymore .
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Old Oct 18, 08, 9:39 am
  #22  
 
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Thumbs up Civility

Originally Posted by iluv2fly View Post
ATTENTION:

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Failure to do so will result in this thread being closed without warning.

Thanks for your cooperation.

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Old Oct 18, 08, 10:10 am
  #23  
 
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I don't believe for a minute that NOT upgrading the Y seats is rational.

Other carriers (even some in dire straits) are working to change their Y seats to lighter seats. The UA Y seat is ancient now and one of the heavier seats in the market. The weight savings pay off the investment over time, along with the fact that the newer seats actually allow for greater pitch since the backrest has higher density foam and a narrower backing (which I can assume UA will use to shove an extra row in the back)
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Old Oct 18, 08, 10:24 am
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Originally Posted by NickP 1K View Post
I don't believe for a minute that NOT upgrading the Y seats is rational.

Other carriers (even some in dire straits) are working to change their Y seats to lighter seats. The UA Y seat is ancient now and one of the heavier seats in the market. The weight savings pay off the investment over time, along with the fact that the newer seats actually allow for greater pitch since the backrest has higher density foam and a narrower backing (which I can assume UA will use to shove an extra row in the back)
Well, not to be a UA apologist, but it may be that the Y seats that offer them the best long-term value are still a few years away from being ready (see Delta's Y seat decision), and are waiting for those before updating the Y cabin. The seats currently out there are impressive in terms of losing weight, but reconfiguring in a diagonal pattern is the real win in terms of capacity, and those seats are just coming online.

So we just don't know. While its usually safe to assume incompetence on UA's part, there may be a bit of logic thrown in there...
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Old Oct 18, 08, 11:02 am
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Was there any mention or talk regarding broadband Internet access?
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Old Oct 18, 08, 11:47 am
  #26  
 
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United really should have added IFE in each seat on the 747s. By not doing so, they risk loosing a substantial amount of Y purchases when their competion is SQ, NH, etc.
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Old Oct 18, 08, 12:07 pm
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Originally Posted by 1kBill View Post
This statement annoys me no end. Unfortunately, it is indicative of UA management's approach (or lack thereof) to the problem: they seem to have given up without really trying.

. . .

It's very discouraging to hear UA simply accept that they can never compete, because then they never will. But it is disingenuous to expect to charge higher prices than the competition when you already have decided the product is not as good.
I disagree with your reasoning. It's great that UA admits that it can't be all things to all customers, and is going to have to choose where to compete. The alternative would be to have no strategy at all.

To admit that it will not be able to compete with the likes of SQ and CX among people purchasing premium-cabin seats with their own money makes sense. It is not a coincidence that no U.S. carrier is currently competing in this way.

Originally Posted by 1kBill View Post
To me, the really sad part is that once you make the investment in the hard goods, improving the rest of the product should not cost all that much.
Perhaps you're underestimating how difficult and expensive it is (even without unions) to create a culture of excellent, consistent customer service. Looking around the American economy, this challenge is not unique to United or the airline industry.
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