Chances UA will adopt the (much better) CO SDC/standby policy?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Wandering Aramean, Mar 15, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I'm mostly bitter now because my wife got screwed on a connection in IAD and won't be home until very late tonight. That said, what are the chances (or opinions on if they should) that the new carrier adopts CO's more generous SDC/standby policy? One of the nicest things about CO's is that if you make a connection earlier than expected you can standby/SDC for free on the earlier connection flight, even with no status. Basically they do not penalize you because they happen to be on time or early and can be more efficient for you. Apparently CO is alone in this.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. rggale
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    rggale Gold Member

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    I really hope they adopt the CO policy.
    I don't really understand why they even charge for any SDC fees, other than "because they can". You're still the same person, same weight, same city pairs, same fuel burned, etc. etc. The earlier and later flights are going to fly with or without your BIS (theoretically).
     
  3. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    The reason for the fee, other than "because they can," is because it was fairly common for folks to book the latest (and often cheapest) flight out of town when they had every intention of taking an earlier one. You would wind up with strange situations where the last flights between certain city pairs on Thursday and Friday nights looked booked moderately full until the day of and then departed looking like a ghost town. Apparently this was prevalent enough that the airlines decided they needed to do something to protect revenue and get people to pay to fly on the flights they actually wanted.
     
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  4. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    I'm not sure what the free options are on CO, but I sure hope they keep the 24-hour-before the flight SDC period rather than the UA 3-hour rule. Nothing sucks more than having to get up at 3AM to see if you can SDC onto a 6AM flight.
     
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  5. Xyzzy
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    Xyzzy Gold Member

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    I hope they keep the CO rules. They are certainly fair to all parties IMH:eek:.
     
  6. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    In this case it is the free standby at a connecting city bit. CO permits ALL passengers to connect to an earlier flight for free. No status required.

    I actually vaguely understand the business reasons for the fees as they exist today (though I don't necessarily like them). But if a customer books the "safe" itinerary and happens to get to the gate in enough time to go early it is bad policy to punish them for that. And in this case it cost UA a lot of money, between paying US for the flight and paying some Dulles cabbie for the drive.
     
  7. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    This actually makes sense. I always wondered why UA dumped their old policy (which was more like UA's). Now I know. And I can understand. As much as it annoys me, I'm usually willing to go along with the airlines as long as they have a good excuse.
     
  8. sithlord
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    sithlord Silver Member

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    I hope it works on codeshare flights currently ,especially the 24 hour forward and backward from original travel.
     
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  9. Black Cloud
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    Black Cloud Gold Member

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    Where it doesn't make sense is if you're in the middle of an itinerary / at a connecting airport.

    Got caught-up in the UA nonsense flying EWR - LAX - SBA. Flight arrived into LAX early enough that I could catch the earlier flight to SBA. Agent said pay up. I said no thanks. Wouldn't you know the next flight to SBA ended-up being oversold.

    I understand why UA (or any airline wants to protect itself), but when they trip over a nickel and end-up spending a dime -- it doesn't really make sense. Front-line agents should be empowered to do things other than say no.
     
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  10. sfogate
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    sfogate Gold Member

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    I can only answer for what we do at SFO. If you are at the beginning of your trip and wish to go earlier (and have no status) we do look at the larger picture of weather, potential for overselling and so on. If it benefits CO to put you on the earlier flight we will at no extra charge.

    What happened to your wife was totally wrong. Talk about poor/bad customer service being provided.
     
  11. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    That would be nice. However, it might make the rules too complicated for GAs to follow if there are all these exceptions and such. I think most connections are pretty short. And what's to stop someone from using the same trick used for a direct flight, e.g., booking a long connection at a cheaper fare and then trying to standby for the earlier connection?
     
  12. Ygor
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    Ygor Gold Member

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    I disagree that so many people would game the system that way. Connections are generally well timed, but poop happens, flights get delayed, and there should be no reason why, mid itin you have to sit an airport if there is an open seat at an earlier flight.

    I always hear some UA folks (I am looking at you, hanna montana) who constantly brag about how empowered the UA agents are, but this is a perfect occasion where an agent could just use common sense and best judgment if he or she were allowed to.
     
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  13. From NYC
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    Especially true if you're in an upgraded seat and are willing to give that up to travel earlier. Someone else will get that upgrade and the company gets yet another happy customer. Would seem to be a no-brainer.
     
  14. Ygor
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    Ygor Gold Member

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    Either that, or they could sell the seat up front for a couple dozen T.O.Ds. It is a win win for the airline.
    On CO however, as an Elite you would be able to stand by for an earlier flight at no charge, or as a plat you can SDC for free. So if you got a free upgrade, chances are you would have been able to take an earlier flight anyhow at no charge.

    Is the same true with UA? What is the policy on UA for SDC and Stand By regarding their own Elites?
     
  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    And, sadly, in line with the rules.
    Generally speaking, the fare rules. They do not permit excessively long connections.
     
  16. SS255
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    SS255 Silver Member

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    The most important takeaway from CO DO IV for me was that CO giveth with one hand, and taketh away with the other. So I guess the real question becomes, "If they adopt the (better) CO SDC policy, which (worse) CO policy will they retain in exchange?" [​IMG]
     
  17. J.Edward
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    J.Edward Silver Member

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    While the UA window was shorter than CO's, UA would often confirm the change if there was a seat, even if it was not in the same fare bucket. FWIW I hope we see the CO window stay with an exception for high mileage flyers where the SDC can be confirmed, even if there's no seat in the booking class.
     
  18. DenverBrian
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    DenverBrian Silver Member

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    Except that there's no lost revenue to protect. A standby to an earlier flight is occupying a seat that otherwise goes unsold. It's revenue neutral to the airline. Likely it's slightly revenue positive, because when the inevitable MX occurs, there are more seats available to accommodate stranded pax on later flights, meaning less cost in sending stranded pax to other airlines or hotels.

    Now, if the argument is that the last flight of the night is cheaper, then whose fault is that? You can't tell me 21st century revenue management hadn't already figured out ways to handle x amount of standby shifting to earlier flights. Last I knew, an airline's yield management is designed to max revenue on ALL flights.

    No, the reason for the fee is 100% "because they can."
     
  19. 7Continents
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    7Continents Silver Member

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    I agree, but think it should be an elite bennie, but for all elites. This business of not being available to the lowest level elites on UA is [rock-crap] to be polite. Since the higher elites will clear first anyway, why make an elite feel like a kettle.
    As for the fact that if anyone can standby, it's true that the smart ones will buy the cheaper fares late in the day and take their chances earlier in the day. The only kink I see is that if they clear a nobody at T-10 and an elite shows up at T-5 and the doors are still open, they lose.
     

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