Business Week article on the United/Continental merger

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Infinite1K, Feb 2, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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    Making the World's Largest Airline Fly

    An in-depth review of the merger process. And frankly the cover image for the magazine should dispel any confusion of whether this was a merger of equals or if one of the parties got the "upper" hand ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  2. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    You put it much more eloquently than I would have as I would have said "catch of the day'd" (aka schrod ;))
     
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  3. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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    This is Milepoint after all and we all need to do our part to keep the joint classy ;)
     
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  4. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    Thanks, that was an interesting read!
     
  5. unavaca
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    unavaca Gold Member

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    Where is that blue dude's right hand going...
     
  6. DenverBrian
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    DenverBrian Silver Member

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    Where'd they find a UA 737 in white/blue paint? :D :D :D
     
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  7. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Old photos. The CO 737 is sporting a SkyTeam logo – and that particular aircraft was sold to a Russian airline in 2009.
     
  8. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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    There were a few of them before they got retired to Mojave.
     
  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    What? Clearly it's UA propping up CO... (or keeping the CO plane aloft) :D
     
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  10. DenverBrian
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    DenverBrian Silver Member

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    Meh. Would have been more realistic if the UA plane had sported a clown nose. :D :D :D
     
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  11. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    It's clear who wears the pants in this family
     
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  12. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    Thanks for posting the article.

    -RM
     
  13. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    Among those protocols was the wing walker question: Continental had required two baggage handlers to walk beneath an airplane’s wings to help guide it into the gate upon arrival. Legacy United went without wing walkers, preferring to have the handlers already at the wheels of baggage tractors. As part of the single operating certificate process, a team of airport operations people had to resolve the discrepancy. Looking into it, they found that wing walkers don’t actually make planes less likely to run into things and that having workers poised to unload bags shaved 90 seconds off the process. And yet the new United went with wing walkers—it heightened the perception of safety, the airport operations team decided, and that was enough

    This doesn't make me feel any safer and it makes me think decisions are being made for show rather than for underlying value. If the United process worked and was faster, why adopt the Continental process?​
     
  14. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    ...or one can interpret the image as showing who's been doing the heavy-lifting. After all, it was UA that set the stage [for the merger] by pulling CO from out in the cold into *A, after DL tied the knot with NW, and a pouting CO bolted out of SkyTeam...:D
     
  15. DenverBrian
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    DenverBrian Silver Member

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    It is interesting that the CO plane has landing gear down - CO lands on UA? UA is the one left flying?
     
  16. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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    In this instance, they were following the TSA "way" of doing things. Can you say Security Theater?
     
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  17. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    I don't want my airline run by TSA principles or principals.
     
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  18. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The thing about "wing walkers don’t actually make planes less likely to run into things" is that there are basically near zero instances across the board. Does the difference between 1 in 100000 and 2 in 100000 incidents matter at the end of the day? Probably not. Just like 90 seconds difference in getting the bags off probably doesn't matter.

    I don't really care which way they go on it, but I can certainly understand why having those people out there just in case is something that the company likes and is not worth the 90 seconds difference in getting the bags out.

    The net impact of one aircraft hitting something (or getting hit) is WAY bigger than waiting 90 seconds more for bags.
     
  19. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    I'm just glad a Ryanair plane wasn't shown in the cover image! :eek:
     
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  20. United Connection

    United Connection Silver Member

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    This was one of many ::facepalm:: moments in this article.

    That cover is fantastic, by the way. Was sadly absent from the article when I read it on Bloomberg yesterday!
     
  21. Bluto
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    Bluto Silver Member

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    "For months the issue dominated the meetings of the beverage committee, a 14-member panel drawn from procurement, flight operations, finance, food services, and marketing. "

    This is amazing to me. There was a 14-member committee that debated for months which coffee to use. Then they got it wrong and had to revise. This is classic corporate bloat.
     
  22. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    How many departures/day does United have? 4000? If they save 90 seconds/departure that's 100 hours/day. Over time that adds up to significant expense, whether increased labor costs or lower aircraft utilization or more missed connections and missed baggage. I haven't heard of UA aircraft running into anything. I have heard of AS aircraft running into things. AS uses wingwalkers but outsources that to Menzies.

    You can quantify these things, and it boggles the mind if they say that there is no quantifiable safety impact but there is a quantifiable time impact, and we're going to go with our gut here and do the more expensive thing. It's the exact opposite of what they did with the coffee, where they went with the cheap solution without considering the customer impact and then making all kinds of denials.
     
  23. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Indeed. They didn't even once bother to test it with the actual equipment on an actual aircraft before rolling it out to the masses? I was quite shocked when I read that part. Not only the fact that they didn't test correctly, but also that they admitted to it with names and all.
     
  24. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    But it doesn't actually save 90 seconds per flight, certainly not at the staffing level issues. At best it means the few passengers terminating at any station get their bags a few seconds earlier, not that the planes turn any faster. The 90 seconds doesn't make a difference in a 35 minute scheduled turn of a plane. The crew is still working the same number of hours and still has time between the unload and the load to not delay the plane. Suggesting that the decision saves 100 hours of employee time daily is crazy.
     
  25. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Would be interesting to know how many misconnecting bags it would prevent. I know I have seen passengers misconnect by 90 seconds or less while sitting at a gate. Probably not enough to make it a material factor... but it would suck if it was mine :)
     
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