"Expert Mode" Changes

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by UA Insider, Sep 7, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. UA Insider
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    UA Insider Official Representative

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    Hi Everyone,

    Later this evening we’ll be making a change on united.com that will remove the ability to see the specific allocation of seat inventory made to each Fare Class (this is the Fare Class hyperlink found in the right-most column when searching for flights or viewing itinerary details). I know that this is a popular feature for many of you here – in fact, we liked it too. But, it wasn’t without issues. Specifically, for many customers who are not as familiar with the ins and outs of fare structures, there was often room for this information to be misinterpreted. It also left the door open for undesired exposure that allowed automated scripts to scrape and re-display information in ways for which it was not intended.

    That said, we have great appreciation for the transparency this information offered. For example, having a better understanding of how full a flight is, along with knowing how many other customers want to upgrade on a flight, can be critical in deciding whether to pay to guarantee a seat immediately, use mileage to upgrade, hold out to see if a space-available upgrade will clear or select another flight all together. We are committed to improving transparency around this. But, instead of simply exposing fare class inventory (which is quite confusing to most customers), we are working on better ways to share this more meaningful information. You’ll see one new feature added with this release and even more changes that work toward this effort in future releases.

    9/14/2012: Important update on Expert Mode posted here

    Shannon Kelly
    Director, Customer Insights
    United Airlines
     
  2. Rob
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    Rob Gold Member

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    Dislike :(
     
  3. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    +1. :(
     
  4. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    While I can understand why United is doing this to preserve the integrity of their data however it's a major detraction for the customers, how are we now supposed to know if the flight can be confirmed right away with Upgrade Instruments UA Insider?
     
  5. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    +2 :(

    If it is in "Expert Mode" do customers who may get "confused" see this information? :confused:
     
  6. EWR764
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    EWR764 Silver Member

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    Major devaluation, full stop. There's no good way to spin this.

    For those of us who understand the way things work, this 'dumbing down' of the website makes it more difficult to use, and time-consuming especially if we are looking for ways to use our (earned) upgrade instruments. I like to be able to see complete inventory, and the number of seats available, all in one place. Removing this feature makes the website harder to use, period.

    Why can't there be a way to toggle the feature (that is defaulted 'off') so that the less-informed users simply have no idea it even exists? Or is there some other reason, like reduced breakage rate of GPU/RPUs? Why obfuscate inventory?

    No matter what the answer is, I do not like this change one iota.
     
  7. Hartmann
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    Hartmann Gold Member

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    Definitely a big thumbs down from me. The ability to see the fare class was the easiest way to decide whether or not to book a certain routing for GPU use. Now we will have to use other means to find that information.
     
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  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    This absolutely sucks. No way to dispute that.

    For folks looking to find upgrade inventory the annoying, click-intensive upgrade search will likely still work. But it is annoying and click intensive. Crappy, indeed.
     
  9. EWR764
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    EWR764 Silver Member

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    Way to sneak this one in at the end of the day on Friday... :rolleyes:
     
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  10. Mackieman
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    Mackieman Gold Member

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    This is a really big disappointment. I would've rather seen a feature wherein only elites saw the feature or something else that limits it so that most people can't see it without specifically turning on the feature rather than its complete removal.

    Being armed with information makes all aspects of the travel experience better, at least for me.
     
  11. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    Will you be providing an alternate solution to those who have a need for this information?

    You may consider it a "not intended" use, but (potentially) loyal customers probably feel otherwise. Many may even pay third party’s for access to that information - thus proving demand.

    Or do you prefer that customers tie up the phone lines collecting this information?
     
  12. Hartmann
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    Hartmann Gold Member

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    That feature is buggy and I don't trust it to find space.

    I have tried it a number of times where I saw R1 and chose a "W" fare and was not returned any upgrade inventory.
     
  13. EWR764
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    EWR764 Silver Member

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    As the 'new feature' undoubtedly will be... this was one of the few tools on the site that just worked.
     
  14. LearningToFly
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    LearningToFly Silver Member

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    I became a Mileage Plus member yesterday. Half useless now...
     
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  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    I guess I'll be calling UA reservations tomorrow for several hours to find upgradable flights. :(
     
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  16. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    It's always correctly displayed R0 for me :)
     
  17. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Taking information away from customers is not a long-run winning strategy. Keeping customers in the dark about information crucial to their travels, in a highly competitive industry, is bad.

    If there were concerns, the better approach would be to develop the replacement system before decommissioning the current one.

    I do wonder if availability will still show in Expertflyer, which wasn't screen scraping?
     
  18. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    LOLz -- you should replace that smiley face with a Smizek smirky face :p
     
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  19. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    I'll work on that after a quick visit the FT for the riots...
     
  20. jswong
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    jswong Gold Member

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    I'm just pleased that I have done all my 2013 bookings in the past 10 days

    This is a horribly agressive, customer unfriendly move

    Jeff
     
  21. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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  22. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    I am just pleased I haven't made any 2013 bookings yet.
     
  23. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Absolutely. But when others are taking your data, repackaging and selling it sometimes you have to act. Sucks for everyone else, but I can see some of the motivation there.
     
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  24. js787

    js787 Silver Member

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    There is no end to the changes that I DIS-like. :mad:
     
  25. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Perhaps also remove the aircraft type, since that, too, can be misinterpreted by many customers and is subject to change. And while you're at it, since departure times change, why not just list the day and we all show up at 6am and you can allocate us to the flights that you happen to run that day. That's actually how I remember it working for one of the most customer oriented airlines back in the day, Aeroflot.
     

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