Flying UA less next year 2014

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by meFIRST, Dec 24, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

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    Are my concerns valid? I can't really quit UA. Being NYC based ( most of the time) UA still has the most non stops to just about anywhere, ex-EWR. Though I will admit DL is catching up. In the end the route network is sort of worth something. Also United and the old CO is are like old friends. Alas, this friendship has turned sour.

    My main gripes:

    1) I often get treated like crap
    -Example : Called to change a plane ticket a few days ago on the p.s route LAX-JFK. Discounted business class, and involved a significant up fare which I paid. The agent on the so called 1K line was condescending / mean and unhelpful. Really? If I ran a business I would be "nice" to a customer that is giving me more revenue. By the way, I called AA on a similar issue a few hours later ( change fee+ up fare + re ticket) and got exact opposite experience. Btw, this is not an isolated example, getting treated like crap happens more often than you think.

    -The FA's on the long haul routes from IAD are talented at treating people like garbage (in Business and Global First). I have lots of experience with this.

    I wonder what they possibly put in the so called customer service training? Must be in one ear out the next.

    2) Late Planes.
    They are obviously running the planes as slow as possible to burn as little gas a possible with no regard to keeping things on schedule, even in the best weather.

    3) Cuts, cuts, cuts
    Enough already. Routes, frequency, little things like the drink list from Business First, no music on the audio system other than stupid playlists. Enough

    4) Mileage Plus devaluation
    Goes without saying

    3) Ever more meaningless CPU
    Unless you buy an M fare way in advance, its almost meaningless, on the busy routes. I usually find myself on W, E ,H for work travel, nada, sitting in coach domestically. They sold all the upgrades to TOD's at the kiosk. Enough.

    Anyway, a quick search of the US majors (AA+DL+UA) I often find UA has the lowest fare when I'm ready to ticket, because I guess people don't want to fly UA anymore? I believe UA should be punished, and I'm electing to do so by not giving them as much money as I could, and opting to fly something else (even if it costs more)

    Personally I would not mind so much if the service + experience on United was good. Courtesy + Respect and on time planes, I guess that is too much to ask.
     
  2. radonc1951

    radonc1951 Gold Member

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    Wow!!!
    I thought I had an out of body experience and was transported to TOBB :rolleyes:

    Lets deal with this by the numbers
    1. Bad customer service? I suspect that every one of these conversations is recorded. Call back, ask to speak to a supervisor and tell them of your interaction. They can pull the tape and listen to it. If it is as bad as you said, I suspect that corrective action will be forthcoming for that service rep.
    2. Why don't you monitor this. On the 737s with TV, they have a map program which gives aircraft speed. Having spent in the past 2 weeks many hours on these planes, it did not appear they were traveling any slower than usual. You can also go to FlightAware and see all the stats for your particular flight. Get some data for your claim prior to making it, please.
    (I almost considered not even responding to this ridiculous claim.....but an answer was requested so here it is)
    3. Agree. They are cutting amenities. I think it is a wrong path to take, but it's their ball, they get to make the rules :oops:.
    4. What is your comparison? Prior MP benefits? If so, you are correct. How about other FF programs? I don't think people are thrilled with SkyPesos. US was no bargain. AA? Don't know enough about it to comment.
    However, it is germane to compare apples with fruit and not meat.
    #3 (actual #5). I will say it now and again. If you want to fly F, pay for it. CPUs are a benefit given to FFs for their business, but it does not guarantee them a seat in F, especially if someone is willing to pay for that real estate. And that includes Kettles willing to do a TOD upgrade. You have just as much right to buy that seat as the Kettle.

    So I will say it again. If you don't like a company you are utilizing, it is your right to leave and even tell the owners why you took your business elsewhere. They will either get the message and change their ways, or bid you adieu and continue on their own flight path. It doesn't mean you have to be on board;)
     
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  3. HubletUAFlyer

    HubletUAFlyer Gold Member

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    Further to this, it should be noted that our conversations, demeanor, attitude and general tone, are noted by the Phone agents.
    I've had one instance in particular where I was trying to assist a colleague, who never had a knack for patience or professional courtesy, with a change he need to make to a reservation.

    He was in the room with me and after I gave the agent his MP number, and said he wanted to speak with her personally, her response was,

    "Only if he promises to be more civil to me than he was to the last two agents. It's right here in the notes"

    Whether genuine, or not, your chances of achieving your desired outcome will be greatly enhanced and start with a pleasant attitude.
     
  4. Mackieman
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    Mackieman Gold Member

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    This is true on a nearly universal basis, and what I believe a large part of the OP's issue is.
     
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  5. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Amen!

    I am always polite and ask the agents how they're doing and strike up a conversation with them instead of being put on hold awkwardly sometimes.

    The ROI on being Nice always pays off when you don't expect anything in return and everything else is a bonus!
     
  6. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

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    LAX-JFK is a route I do often. When UA is late (often) as a point of comparison, I'm checking the competition. The competition will be on time, UA will be 5 minutes late even after leaving the gate 10 minutes early, in most cases. This is based on a sample of 20 or so flights on that route. By the way, 5 minutes late is A VERY GOOD DAY.

    UA is a commercial airline, I don't expect them operate like General Aviation, but it is possible to fly just a little bit faster to get there, but you'll be burning more jet fuel obviously.

    I'm convinced UA has the pilots setting the throttle so low at cruise, nudge it down a little and the stall warning comes on. They practically run the 757 TATL birds flying west on fumes.
     
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  7. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    If you're going to cite anecdotal evidence as evidence of an entire network, I will do the same. I fly that route 10+ times a year and have never been late. Therefore you MUST be wrong because my anecdotal evidence proves it so. I routinely get in 30 mins ahead of schedule. But I also know the secret code that engages boost mode on the aircraft.
     
  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    True, if you want to be sure for a given flight that you are in F, you have to buy it.

    However, UA markets CPUs as a benefit for elites, and while they don't promise a certain percentage or likelihood of upgrades, they do have to expect people to have certain expectations based on the promotion of those benefits.

    And it isn't particularly helpful to tell people that these aren't guaranteed benefits for every flight (they usually know that). If UA were to sell so many F seats and $-based upgrades that CPUs and RPUs/GPUs essentially never clear, it becomes a worthless benefit. Don't think we are quite there yet, but UA needs to be careful.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
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  9. Mackieman
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    Mackieman Gold Member

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    [​IMG]

    Weather (on the ground), winds aloft, ATC, and any number of other things can cause variance from day to day and flight to flight. You clearly have no idea what you're talking about and enjoy spouting conjecture. Go sell crazy elsewhere, please.
     
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  10. radonc1951

    radonc1951 Gold Member

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    UA should be so fortunate as to sell out F (and I mean sell, not give away with upgrades). Last week I was shut out of 2 upgrades (using instruments) probably because bad weather displaced true F passengers onto my flights thereby displacing me (a faux F) into E+. But that is the nature of the game. Unless I pay for F, I do not expect to sit in F, and that is especially true for high density routes such as transcons and hub to hub segments.
     
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  11. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Fine. I do associate a certain value with the upgrade benefits I earn by flying 100k+ miles this year. If I found that I cannot realize that value, I would question the business proposition offered by United. For the last six or seven years I have flown more on United than I really need to because it seemed like a worthwhile use of my limited time and resources. Nothing personal, just business.
     
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  12. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Wow... So much to which I can respond and so little space. ;)

    1) In the past, UA (and CO) have had the best customer service that I have personally experienced. Since I only fly UA, CM, and AV now, I can't comment on how they compare to the domestic competition. Still, in most cases, I find them to be extremely helpful. This is true even when I sense a lack of enthusiasm at the beginning of the call.

    As the owner of an internet-based company with our toll-free number boldly displayed everywhere our customers turn, I can assure you that there are a certain percentage of callers who make it difficult to remain friendly and courteous. Perhaps this has resulted in a heightened awareness when I'm on the customer side of things, and I'm no saint, but I do try to be overly appreciative of their efforts. I've heard a change of tone more times than not in those cases where I caught a stressed agent when I needed their assistance.

    All that said, my observation of late has been that I had to "cheer up" a higher percentage of phone agents. This is probably a problem of UA's own making, as I'm sure there are many customers who are just now learning about the changes those of us who read the forums have known about the longest. Most people find out about them when they affect them personally, and the natural reaction can't be pretty.

    UA has definitely made a serious mistake, IMHO, in going to the Philippines and India to outsource customer service. Those are far and away my worst experiences. The conversations with those agents don't flow, as they have limited English skills and significant cultural differences. They certainly don't pick up on our idioms, and I find their replies to often have nothing to do with what I have said. These calls result in an increased number of HUACA.

    2) No comment. (I often enjoy your posts, but this part of this one? :rolleyes:)

    3) Agreed. We are in an age where customers demand more for less. UA needs to find a way to balance that challenge.

    4) The impact of these changes on my flight patterns has minimal impact, and I have found an acceptable workaround, so while I sympathize with those who are affected, I'll refrain from comment beyond saying that UA depreciated my trust in them with such enormous (in some cases) devaluations. What coming change will affect me to the same degree?

    5) At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the merger created unmanageable numbers of Premier passengers. The pmUA customers who previously flew CO were doing so as *G. The pmCO customers who previously flew UA were also doing so as *G. The merger had a negatively synergistic impact on what would seem to be the same number of Premiers on the same (cuts not considered) number of flights.

    DL and NW had the same problem, and AA and US will, too. It's pretty simple, really. PQDs is how UA has chosen to deal with it, and that probably makes the most sense. The status quo was broken on the day they started granting benefits across both airlines, and the route cuts have made it worse.

    I'm no UA cheerleader. There are enough legitimate issues about which we can exchange opinion. Even though I chose to participate in this thread today, I hope we can focus as a group on the more important issues that affect us all.
     
  13. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

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    I'm posting this from a UA flight to Vegas that you guessed it.....LATE

    Additionally some greatest hits



    image-1993286336.jpg

    First flight of the day went MX. Great start to the morning . Interestingly enough AA and DL had no such problems

    I missed a meeting and billable time because of this


    image-555799016.jpg

    Yeah , this was during the ps retrofit era which thankfully is done

    I have many others

    ENOUGH
     
  14. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

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    Today's flight

    YUP. Late!



    image-4233516938.jpg

    No weather in LA today as far as I know



    image-864863390.jpg

    I took this photo while filling up my car with Gas at the shell on Century . Looks like perfect flying weather to me.


    ENOUGH. I'm not flying UA : No longer reliable and the cuts ( routes / service ) have gone too far
     
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  15. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    FWIW, based on your flight experiences, why not fly these routes on AA? The JFK-LAX flight has also been a mainstay with AA for a very long time. I've also flown the redeye back East with AA - a nice-to-have option. ;)

    And the US-AA merger should help with more available flight options. Yes, it's tough to change from one loyalty program to another. But why be unhappy with the status quo and do nothing about it? :rolleyes:
     
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  16. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Is it your view that UA is purposely withholding this benefit? I doubt it because I have never flown in the back when there were empty seats up front. So, the expectation game would indeed be a terrible thing for which UA should be blamed if it is your view that UA should turn down revenue from people willing to pay to fly in F simply to ensure that some elites get CPUd on every flight. But being a for-profit company it would be stupid for them to do that. However, insofar as some of us still get emails like these fairly regularly related to CPU, I would have to say that UA keeps their part of the bargain reasonably well:
    Based on my experience and as recently as last week on a LAX-PVG flight, the above is demonstrably false, as is the claim about how terrible the UA FAs are. My LAX-PVG experience following a smooth JFK-LAX p.s. flight, is, in fact, quite germane because I was standing in the elite lane behind a guy who must be a serial complainer, who after complaining about everything that UA was doing wrong, started complaining about how he has not been on a single B787 flight, which this one was, that was on time. What prompted this was that the flight was full and it was clear that due to departure management issues, we would be leaving late. I then related my experience to the complainer. I had just been to NRT and back on a B787 the previous month and none of the flights was late reaching destination, although one of them had started out a bit late. So,I continued, my guess was that even if we were late departing on this B787, it did not necessary mean that we would be late to destination because the pilot could make up for it by burning a bit more fuel (exactly the opposite of what the OP claims UA pilots are urged to do). Well, what do you know? What I'd surmised is exactly what happened. We departed about 30 min later than scheduled from LAX but got to PVG about 10 min before the scheduled landing. After the pilot announced that we had arrived ahead of schedule, I leaned over to the serial complainer, who was sitting in A1 and I was in A2 in BF, and said he had finally traveled on a B787 that made it on time! He just smile sheepishly and said nothing.

    As for the FAs on this flight, they could not have been nicer or more solicitous, and after we landed, the guy who served our cabin went from seat to seat warmly thanking people for flying UA, and wishing them happy holidays and safe travels. I could not have asked for more than this crew delivered.

    People can always find things to complain about no matter the subject, but as one who flies almost exclusively with UA and intends to keep doing it because UA and *A cover my destinations quite effectively, I find the OP's entire post to be, well, a flight of fancy...

    Happy Holidays from PVG, onto MNL next!

    **post edited to clean up many syntactic errors
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2013
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  17. JetsettingEric
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    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    I've historically found the ps fleet to be more reliable. with a larger subfleet and lots of ground time, it was a well run premium option. With the refits, there are likely fewer planes dedicated to ps, and more and more 757s being sold to Fedex. I've switched from paid J on a AA 762 to a UA ps 757 as the 762 went tech.

    I've struggled with UAs international call center. I've had very good experiences with US's domestic call centers (and domestic for everyone now, not just top elites). I hope much of that sticks with the AA merger.

    The new American is worth considering in NYC. New A321Ts for JFK-LAX/SFO. They will likely retune their schedule for better O&D out of NYC proper. The every half hour Dash-8 shuttle to PHL will likely be scaled back.

    Exciting times to be flying out of NYC with American and Delta making a big push. Looking through the transcripts of the earnings call it was hilarious to see the analysts try to flesh out color on how much corporate traffic UA has lost. My favorite quote was an analyst asking Delta for color, stressing that his own firm has switched to Delta.
     
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  18. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

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    - On time planes, barring bad weather
    - Courteous flight attendants + phone agents

    Too much to ask?

    The rest I can sort of deal with. Those that do know me know that actually could case less about sitting in first class domestically, unless I need to work enroute (no wifi) and show up to a meeting after. My work contract is > 5 hours in Business, so NYC-LA is covered in Business.

    And no, everyone assumes I was rude on the phone, that was not the case. I also fly AA + DL, AA by far has the nicest people I have ever talked to (US airline wise) on the phone. I sadly cannot switch all of it to AA, they don't go everywhere I need to go.

    UA and the old CO are like old friends. Its hard to dump an old friend.

    Enough said. Merry Christmas.
     
  19. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

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    Simple laws of physics. When you accelerate you go faster ( even with ATC, winds). I don't have proof but I'm convinced UA's are flying their planes as slow as they possibly can. I highly doubt the 757's I fly from NYC-LA are going at high speed cruise. More like as slow as possible. Thus late. I am not sure how else to explain it, when UA is late even when the plane leaves the gate early.

    And please don't get me started on mx es that do happen.
     
  20. Hartmann
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    Hartmann Gold Member

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    So you're saying the other airlines are putting the "pedal to the metal"?

    UA requests speeds in their flight plans, however, ATC has the authority to tell airlines to alter their flight for a given speed for a number of reasons (spacing, weather, winds, turbulence, etc).

    Lastly, lowering the cruise speed doesn't necessarily mean a lower fuel burn.
     
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  21. Hartmann
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    Hartmann Gold Member

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    I'll see your anecdotal evidence and raise you not only an ontime arrival but one that was an hour early. My flight yesterday:



    image-3226569273.jpg
     
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  22. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Of course they aren't flying empty seats in C/F.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  23. flyforawg

    flyforawg Silver Member

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    TODs may bring more revenue, but they don't bring loyalty. Being a business flyer compelled to fly using a corporate booking tool at the lowest contracted rate, there is no way to pay for first. Fortunately, free upgrades are not frowned upon, but buying up is simply not an option. If I'm going to direct a lot of company dollars to an airline, I'd like to have a shot at sitting up front.

    Tried to give UA a shot this year, but the route I've been flying ends up appx. 20% upgrade rate on UA. Over at another cAArrier on that route it's appx. 80%. So instead of taking TODs from me, UA is losing tens of thousands in a year in my corporate travel spend. I also end up where I am supposed to be on time a lot more often.

    I won't feed into the hyperbole, but certainly can understand the sentiment that drives it. OP, the water's fine back over here on the dAArk side. Hopefully, your routes will be as favorable as mine are.
     
  24. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

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    Just spoke to UA to change a flight. Agent on the so called 1k line does not know what a red eye flight is . I hang up .
     
  25. colpuck
    Original Member

    colpuck Gold Member

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    Ohnomnomnom

    Sent from a reasonably priced car.
     
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