Will US survive?

Old Dec 1, 02, 7:06 pm
  #1  
us2
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Will US survive?

I've got my doubts, as I watch the company make moves that alienate both passengers and employees. The latest closures of the res office in Orlando and the maintenance hangar in Tampa seem like further indications that they are shrinking the company beyond the point where it can be put back together. Just wondering what others on the board think.
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Old Dec 1, 02, 8:00 pm
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Keep in mind that US had ALOT of excess infrastructure as a result of the numerous mergers and acquisitions over the past 20 years; the BK process has finally offered an opportunity for the company to rationalize itself.

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Old Dec 1, 02, 8:05 pm
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By virtue of the over-shadowing operating losses, continued concessions sought from dedicated employees, and the massive decline in premium services, I very regrettably think not.

Sadly, I believe the airline’s meager assets will be broken up and sold. My check-in agent yesterday said he had 29 years of seniority (started with Mohawk) and was told he may be out of work by the end of the year. All of this goes to the argument about shrinking to profitability. Of course, there may be a contravaling position: everyone who enjoys “knees-in - your - face RJ service, unite!” However, I’ve sent my end-of-year CP statement to others to preserve my options.

All of this is from someone who is truly dedicated to US with 2million miles in my wife’s and my accounts. We still love US! But, we must be practical. FF points are not a claim in bankruptcy liquidation cases.

[This message has been edited by TPA us ff (edited 12-01-2002).]
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Old Dec 1, 02, 8:56 pm
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It's looking real ugly.

The stories about how "they" handled TPA & MCO are hard to understand -- until you reflect on the lesson of Black Tuesday.

I really don't want to end up being part of UA or AA or DL or whatever -- but I'm getting the feeling that that is where this is going to end up.

I sent Dave a letter earlier today on addressing the revenue side of things. I can't believe how hard it is to do anything other than buy the rock bottom cheapest fare -- at every turn they drive you to lower fares. And then they have the nerve to whine about people buying them!

Anyhow -- I'm not booking anything further out than about 3 weeks. The last thing I want is to be holding 2 months worth of tickets when they fold up the tent. A couple of weeks I can work with -- anything more is too much risk. (If I had any sense at all I suppose that I'd be doing nothing but awards -- if it gets any uglier I'll probably do that...)
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Old Dec 1, 02, 9:35 pm
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I think this bird is cooked.

I did not think this way up until the reservation hours debacle. That tells me they don't want to be a "real" and operating airline, but are looking to save money to hang on long enough to merge or sell (or liquidate, if not successfull).

There is some merit to the sentiment about rationalizing what 20 years of acquisitions never did. However, I find that doing things like dismantling the west coast ops (PSA), further reducing the west coast options in the last round of cutbacks, the reservation hours thing, the Baldanza debacle, and the like indicate that they really don't care about operating as a going concern moving into the future.

I'm probably going to be down to about 100k miles by the end of the week. I have nothing booked after Jan--and I'm starting to worry about that (I'll be in Europe). I'm going to concentrate on OA status increases next year, and enjoy a few CP upgrades on US, unless they drastically reverse course in the next few weeks.

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Old Dec 1, 02, 9:42 pm
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To TomBascom - I have 4 trips booked until Feb. Why give up the miles/great fares/better than Southwest service? To allay your fears - which I personally think are unnecessary- book with a credit card (does anyone do it any other way?). I had tix on Eastern when they went out and it was no problem getting the credit put back in my account. One quick call to the credit card company. I think USAirways will clear out excess costs during bankruptcy and come out smaller, with lower costs, and partner with another carrier (UAL?). The government won't give them such a hassle about networking with other carriers this time around and we may see a better buisness in the end, with more choices for frequent flyers who will then want to continue flying them. At least that is my hope - I'd hate to see 35,000 people out of work and I don't think it is necessary.
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Old Dec 1, 02, 11:36 pm
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You can tell from the way things are going that they are chasing the problem, which is a sure sign the place is going down the rathole. If you aren't in front of your challenges, the dynamic is in the wrong place. It's a meltdown. They cut flights, and other carriers move right in. They bust the unions, extract givebacks, then have to come right back and try to get more because the business has deteriorated faster than they expected. Nearly one of every three employees laid off. Two thirds of the res centers closed. No res calls after midnight. Dozens of first line aircraft parked, or returned to lessors. A two dimensional management trying to deal with three dimensional problems. Smart guys, like Bonderman at Texas Pacific, walk away, even though they can buy control of the place for less than the cost of a couple of widebodies. Notice all the RJ talk has subsided, even though they were willing to shut the place down over that one just a few months ago. This place will just disappear in the middle of the night, probably without warning. It's too quiet at Fort Fumble. That means they've likely figured out the cash burn is exceeding the revenue at a rate they can't restrain.
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Old Dec 2, 02, 12:41 am
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Reserving my opinion for now! The loan is the key. I have examined this and it appears that the TPA/MCO fiasco was deliberate and calculated! Whether it back fires remains to be seen. Their Marketing is worthless. They do some nice print ads but that's it. No imagination, no breaking the mold. I think Ben Baldanza is a gaping recto-cranial inversion and is the single biggest blunder to hit Fort Fumble. I am actually optimistic and I don't think the cash burn is sooo bad! why would they close TPA and pay big $$$ to cart everything up to CLT? I actually think Dave might pull the US Rabbit ou of his hat.
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Old Dec 2, 02, 7:07 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by steves:
To TomBascom - I have 4 trips booked until Feb. Why give up the miles/great fares/better than Southwest service?</font>
SWA service is pretty darned good -- just a week or so ago I missed my SWA flight because my US connection was (very) late. The SWA ticket agent didn't even blink -- she just very smoothly put me on the next flight, smiled and thanked me. Along with studying their customer service etc the big arlines might want to take a look at the computer systems that SWA "doesn't have". They seem to be pretty well designed.

Because I can actually use a SWA award?

Because SWA fares really are pretty good? And there's no chance that I'll ever be asked to pay four figures to buy up a SWA ticket due to a last minute change?

Plus SWA actually likes me if I buy a cheap ticket... they celebrate people getting good deals.

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">To allay your fears - which I personally think are unnecessary- book with a credit card (does anyone do it any other way?).</font>
I do. I just don't want to have to deal with more than a small number of tickets when it happens. It's a pain in the butt.

BTW -- for those of you with Corporate AMEX cards. Stop using them -- in the event of a refund situation the refund will be sent back to the sponsoring company. And if your company goes belly up between now and then the creditors will get the check. You'll never shake it loose. Even though you paid the bill and never got reimbursed.

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">I had tix on Eastern when they went out and it was no problem getting the credit put back in my account. One quick call to the credit card company.</font>
I'm more worried about what will happen with e-tickets and awards. Will they be honored by someone? How? That seems likely to be a really ugly affair. I don't think there has been a major airline failure since the advent of e-tickets so this could get really interesting.

Now that paper tickets cost money the "just get paper tickets" strategy isn't at all attractive.

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">I think USAirways will clear out excess costs during bankruptcy and come out smaller, with lower costs, and partner with another carrier (UAL?). The government won't give them such a hassle about networking with other carriers this time around and we may see a better business in the end, with more choices for frequent flyers who will then want to continue flying them. At least that is my hope - I'd hate to see 35,000 people out of work and I don't think it is necessary. </font>
I hope you're right.
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Old Dec 2, 02, 8:10 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by TomBascom:
Now that paper tickets cost money the "just get paper tickets" strategy isn't at all attractive.</font>
Keep in mind that Preferreds can ask for paper tickets without an additional fee. I requested/received one last week, even for award travel.

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Old Dec 2, 02, 9:05 am
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FEAMOM, dollars to donuts, when they did the cost savings calc on closing TPA, they never did a cost benefit on moving inventory. Also, I know the carriers have reciprocal bennies with FedEx and the like. They may have gotten special rates to truck the stuff. If you can't sell tickets, you can at least barter them.
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Old Dec 2, 02, 2:01 pm
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I think the more important question is not whether the airline will survive but what will it be if it does... As it stands now, and as much as I hate to say it, I just think it would be best if the airline is parted into others. It is unfortunate, and I feel for US's traditionally excellent front-line employees -who I might add are starting to look a little jaded by all this- but, as a passenger, I don't see what a standalone US will be able to offer me in the mid to longer term...

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Old Dec 2, 02, 2:41 pm
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The federal government won't let US die.....at the very least the US/United merger would be resurrected first.

Before loan guarantees are doled out, the Feds must be assured that the recipients have done all they can do to lower costs.

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Old Dec 3, 02, 9:30 am
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They're reporting on www.usaviation.com that the BOD is meeting today.

I can't imagine that it is a happy meeting.
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Old Dec 3, 02, 9:40 am
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Can you explain to me ITRADE or anyone else, why the BOD meeting today is such an ominous sign?

Chris

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