March 2014 - 2 years since COdbaUA. A look back

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by dhammer53, Feb 15, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    We're fast approaching the 2nd anniversary of the merging of CO and UA.

    Jeff and his crew and I were like oil and water. A lovely marriage that began in 1988, came to an end for me. How sad. :( I started fying Southwest (not as bad as you may think) domestically. You can make a paid or award reservation, then cancel without issues. I can't do that on UA.

    I just about cleaned out my UA account on upfront international award travel on LH (at the old rate). A one time account with close to 400,000 miles now has 16,000 miles. I'll probably move some Chase Ultimate Reward points over and cash out with a 25,000 mile domestic ticket.

    Feel free to ramble with your feelings now that we're almost at the 2 year mark.

    I miss the old United.
     
  2. HubletUAFlyer

    HubletUAFlyer Gold Member

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    I miss the old continental!!!
     
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  3. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    After ten years as an over-entitled elite, I'm within a few transcons of my 1MM. I've dropped from my usual 1K to 1P ("Gold" in the new parlance), and I've decided to be content with it. No more chasing 1K - GPUs weren't clearing anyway. No more spending more for W fares in hopes of a GPU clearing. And no chasing of the new PQD thresholds. (Well, maybe. If I'm within $200 of PP or 1K....)

    I have not been aggressive about moving travel away from UA, but I've used JetBlue a bit in the past year, and I may use AA more. I'll certainly feel easier about shopping around for fares and schedules. UA is likely to remain my default carrier - E+ continues to be a draw, as do the other pain-easing perks of elite status, even at the gold level - but I no longer have the enthusiasm for UA that I once did.
     
  4. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    I miss both the old Continental and the old United. While both were far from perfect, and yes, they were oil and water, in many cases one's weaknesses were the other's strengths. And some things both did quite well, just a bit differently. But, while I was optimistic for a long time we'd end up with a new airline that had the best of both, two years in, it's pretty clear that's not (yet) the case. What we have isn't as strong as either of its predecessors in most areas. I stick around because I think MileagePlus is still better than the alternatives, even after its recent major devaluation, and EconomyPlus is the best of the extra legroom options, which is a very important factor for me. And I've got Million Miler status, and that status match is nice. But, that's about it. Flying UA doesn't excite me anymore on 90% of my flights. I still hold out hope that the company will eventually get its act together, but it is taking far longer than anyone would have ever wanted.

    And, it's still not fair to call it "COdbaUA." If CO had been run like this, none of us old longtime CO elites would have stuck with them.
     
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  5. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    I miss the legacy Continental under the Kellner days even though the Bethune days were way better. :(
     
  6. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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  7. ballardFlyer

    ballardFlyer Gold Member

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    Haven't been on a UA (or CO) flight since 2011. Miss the old CO of the 90s and 00s.

    More then just about anything other then an exit row or F upgrade, I need consistent wifi on planes - it is the best thing to happen for my travel this decade.

    UA has under 5% coverage on their Boeing domestic fleet, but the Airbus are now getting pretty well covered in the high 80%s. However, the United Wifi service - when available at all - is slow and variable. Gogo is not perfect, but for me on AS, AA, and DL it works well enough 99% of the time to get lots of work done. I am impressed with UA's intl roll out, but most of my intl travel is for personal trips where I'm less concerned with wifi.

    If ops and hard product get really consistent at UA over 2014/15 I might start building up some status again so that I will have mid-to-high status with all 3 "new" majors and don't have to shop/schedule around as much to find status-centric flights. But I won't consider that until the product improves to a broad & regular consistency. Unfortunately, it seems like most effort is going into operational savings right now.

    Just my .02.
     
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  8. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    My last UA flight was October, 2011. My MP bank went from a bit over 200K miles to just over 3K recently, with a pair of C tix on LH. My MP Visa is now getting very little use. It was a great ride, mostly, from 1986 (year I joined MP), and elite of some sort every year since 1992.

    I don't miss you. I miss what was.

    Sincerely,
    A clearly overentitled MM flyer who spends his $ (and a fair chunk of it) on other carriers.
     
  9. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Haven't flown a revenue mile on UA since August 2012. I was planning on not flying UA for awhile upon my last trip on that day (I re-qualified for 1K that day), but when it took a GA 25 minutes to check me in (this was a Canadian airport without kiosks), it was a fitting ending to 20 years of what I thought was a good business relationship.

    1.85MM, 1K 15 of the past 16 years, no revenue miles in 18 months, and not even an e-mail or a call to find out what's going on.
     
  10. Gtitan
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    Gtitan Gold Member

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    I miss NWA. Just thought I'd share. :p
     
  11. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Agreed. The old UA and old CO are gone. They're not coming back. Deal with it, people.
     
  12. HubletUAFlyer

    HubletUAFlyer Gold Member

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    Spoken your wisdom you have young jedi
     
  13. Garp74

    Garp74 Gold Member

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    As an active traveller going transcon every week, here's what I think:

    - I can't beat UA for schedule at IAD. So I'm flying them a lot again because it's just so much faster to take a 6 hour trip there and a 5 hour trip back than to connect and take 10+ hours. (And worse, connecting via redeyes with a layover and another segment. It's a retarded way to travel.)

    - But I flew Virgin a few times, Jet Blue, and AA while exploring other airlines.
    - I had a bad experience on AA, which I'm told is atypical. (The FAs were the worst.) The only highlight was SEA->DFW on a 737 with Boeing Sky Interior. It was a redeye and I slept like a baby with the proper mood settings.
    - JetBlue had excellent service and decent equipment
    - Virgin America was the bomb. Best domestic service in my lifetime. Coach seats were fine. First class seats were amazing for a little A320. SFO terminal for transit had the best choices of everything that I can recall ever seeing at a domestic airport. I really should fly them more often. It's just a pain to connect.
    Friday I start my international travel, and it's mostly on Emirates (with a little BA thrown in). I'm actually looking forward to proper airline travel again :)
     
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  14. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    Yes. Your right. I've dealt with this by finding other airlines to fly. Maybe UA did me/us all a favor.
     
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  15. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    It has been an interesting trip for me. On the positive side have been the GAs and FAs as well as the customer service on the phone. From the statements above I would think that the overall level of service that my family, co-workers and I have received simply could not happen, but I have had only good to very good service. My flights have been on time (with 1 exception for which I received compensation), comfortable and clean. E+ has been a nice addition.
    On the negative side I do not like the snackboxes and the IFEs on many flights have been missing or from the 80s. There were no PMCO mainline aircraft with such old IFEs, but neither of these is more than a petty annoyance.
    As a budget minded business and leisure traveler (and MMr) out of EWR my choices are somewhat constrained so changing airlines would not work for me.
    While I have experienced a bump or two, I am getting what I am paying for: safe, comfortable and reliable transport.
     
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  16. JetsettingEric
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    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    I was a fan of the old united and the old co. Both aren't coming back. About a year ago, I stopped giving revenue miles to UA except for 1 short uax hop. Very happy with US and AA. One world carriers have treated me well.

    Do have some mileage redemptions on UA, but really just positioning for other long hauls.

    It disappoints me that the coach class burger on co is now a J class meal. The CO business first service and concierges are a shell of it's former self.

    I do miss the friendly side of UA, back when it was truely friendly. Now, agents are simply frustrated with shares. I remember my first 747-400 ride in the late 80s. That 747 has seen better days. I hope channel 9 stays.
     
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  17. Steve GadFly
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    Steve GadFly Gold Member

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    Learning SHARES is their job whether they like it or not. I'm not trying to start a SHARES vs APOLLO discussion but the system worked fine for Continental, the decision was made to keep it, the agents were given the opportunity to learn it, and it's essential to their jobs. If they aren't willing to learn to work with it this far after the integration and are complaining about it (especially to customers), they should be fired.
     
  18. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    I don't know about you, but I spent a lot of time on United. To the point where some GAs knew my slightly unconventional preferences in seat assignments or alternate flights.

    How many flight attendants remember that you like plain vanilla ice cream soaked with a bottle of Bailey's?

    "This is your million-mile flight? The upgrade is on me."

    "Nah, I don't need your credit card confirmation code, I remember talking to you before. We all make mistakes sometimes, I'll waive the change fee."

    Or the 1K agent who insisted I stay on the phone while she hit the button for what seemed to be a million times for a solid hour. Done to get me an itinerary I liked in response to the Icelandic volcano eruption several years ago.

    When you got customer service like that over the course of two decades, not to mention the millions of dollars spent in advertising and marketing, it's easy to form a business and emotional allegiance to an airline.

    Whether it involves a human or business, an abrupt halt of a 20-year relationship is not just swept under the rug. And in what is supposed to be a more friendly environment in Milepoint, it is certainly not properly handled with the smugness of an emoticon or a snide comment such as "deal with it."

    Is it wrong to expect better from today's United, or in this forum?
     
  19. stephenbgarvan

    stephenbgarvan Silver Member

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    Captain Oveur is on target.
    Decades of unwavering loyalty on passenger/customer and airline employees .. the kind of awe-inspiring loyalty that makes you want to vote with your wallet, over and over again, given choices.
    High expectations of ourselves and service providers. Appreciated highly when applied steadily.
     
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  20. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Probably. The brick doesn't love you. It never did.

    I've had great service pre and post merger. I've had horrid service, too. That's part of the fun of flying on various airlines.
     
  21. EWR764
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    EWR764 Silver Member

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    I think this is a function of consolidation as much as anything else, with dash of hindsight's rosy tint. For better or worse, UA has determined it can draw the same (or greater) wallet share while spending less to obtain it, and there is some macroeconomic evidence to support that assertion. I don't agree with it, but it's one of the theoretical economies of scale widespread industry consolidation can deliver, and undoubtedly a factor in cost-savings projections associated with the merger.

    I remember a time at Continental when there was no such thing as extra-legroom Y/C seating outside of bulkheads or exit rows and top-tiers were no better off than general members when it came to international upgrades. I also remember the days of Starnet blocking at UA and a far less flexible same-day change policy. I was around for ESOP, SFH, Ted, Rising, and better coffee. I also recall the days of HoKeY, broken DC-10s, the first CO DOs, 12F 757-300s and Gordon. As time goes on, it's only human nature to remember the better things and stash the worse memories away. After all, what would a good online forum be without the "Remember when..." crowd? ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
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  22. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    I wouldn't say it's wrong, but it's incredibly naive and unrealistic.

    Yep. United (and all airlines) love money far more than they love anything else.
     
  23. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    Haven't heard that one in a while, but what a great way to describe the airlines.
     
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  24. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Full credit goes to Mackieman for that one; at least that's where I heard it first.

    People get attached, assuming that the company loved them with some sort of emotional factor. Except it didn't. That can be hard to accept, but it is and pretty much always has been the truth.
     
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  25. Anglo Large Clawed Otter
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    Anglo Large Clawed Otter Gold Member

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    I haven't found the new UA to be as pleasant to fly regularly as either UA or CO as stand-alone carriers. I've responded by spreading a considerable chunk of my travel business to other carriers (BA and AF/KL for longhaul, and AS/DL for domestic). In all, I've been pretty pleased with diversifying. If United ever gets the clown car under control and starts offering a consistently reliable and good product, I'll probably shift business back to them (as it's convenient to do so being based in IAH). Until then, my current travel strategy is working (for me).
     

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