New video - you might like it...

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by TexasT, Apr 30, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. TexasT
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    TexasT Silver Member

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    There's a new safety video showing as of today and the "I think you will like" the changes statement is gone. :)

    (I saw it on my flight today SEA to IAH, they still had the old one last night IAH to SEA.)

    Catch a flight and see it!
     
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  2. Jslo
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    Jslo Gold Member

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    I have to say I have never met the guy, but am glad that part of the vid is gone. He wasn't fooling anyone and besides, it wasn't very convincing anyway. Smi/J lol. I have no angst but the whole thing is just such a bad sales job. Laughable really.

    Don't torch me, I'm not bitter at all. I feel like this post sounds too bitter....I'm just a realist who thinks fares will keep going up, and service will keep going down. It doesn't help my perspective that I spend so much time in Asia where the service culture has higher standards...hey Smi/J, try riding back of the bus 747 ORD-HKG with your cranky matronly employees...I think you'll like it! ;)
     
  3. mail4me.jy
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    mail4me.jy Active Member

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    I'm sorry, but the guy just seems slippery to me. He has strikes me as a pure marketing guy; fake smile, insincere presentation and the actual content of his monologues are in direct opposition to what those of us who have been flying UAL for decades know to be true. I too fly from Asia to the US and the service ethic is absolutely night and day. Try flying on Sigapore, TG or ANA and then connecting to a US staffed UAL plane. You will feel as though you have just gone from a respected customer to someone who is in the way of the UAL staff. It may all be a show in Asia but it is more convincing that the pitiful customer experience we receive in the US.
     
  4. Rlpro
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    Rlpro Silver Member

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    Saw the video today LAS-SFO. He still comes off a bit "creepy" to me. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Ygor
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    Ygor Gold Member

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    Aye. I hope this is one less thing for people to complain about. Oh who am I kidding? People will just find something else and complain.

    This video change mean absolutely 0. It wasn't important before, and it is not important that it is gone.
     
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  6. CGK
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    CGK Gold Member

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    It is still nteresting that they made the effort to remove the "I think you'll like it" comment, though.
     
  7. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    You know, for all the cheesy comments on MP, I for one appreciate that he is taking the time to talk to us directly, even if it is via the camera. He's doing the best he can to communicate directly to us as travelers.

    And it's not wrong for the airline to focus on the bottom line. At the end of the day, we need for UACO to earn enough profits to pay for new aircraft and earn their cost of capital and make sure they do run a profitable airline.

    I am very happy they are keeping Economy Plus and the mileage programs and clubs and Star Alliance are all world class. Let's stop being so snarky.
     
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  8. Ygor
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    Ygor Gold Member

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    You can believe that if you want. I think it is far more likely he just is updating the message, and that phrase just happened to not be used again.

    I highly doubt that some people complaining on MP or FT would cause them to review something of such little consequence. I hope he will keep changing the video periodically, so it doesn't get boring, but I also will never live or die by the contents of a silly "welcome to our airline" type video.
     
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  9. Rlpro
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    Rlpro Silver Member

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    Good points. Sorry about that....
     
  10. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    +1. Update it periodically. Keep it short unless he really has important news. A short, friendly welcome from the CEO.

    I hope they keep the onboard credit card solicitations to a minimum.
     
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  11. Hannaman
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    Hannaman Silver Member

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    I think he refers to the 80,000 coworkers as the "best in the business."

    I'm afraid this type of language will contribute to additional arrogance, especially amongst the legacy CO staff who have already had their heads filled with this sort of drivel for the better part of two decades now.

    The fear of course is that this sort of language ultimately results in poor customer service behavior, much the same as some of the issues we've seen at times on the CO side of the house -- where staff act like it's a privilege for you to be able to fly them, and so long as they get you from Point A to Point B, they've done their job.

    This is not to say there aren't good legacy CO employees -- there certainly are. But some of them really buy into the cheerleading, making this sort of message harmful from a customer perspective.
     
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  12. Gtitan
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    Gtitan Gold Member

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    In the same vein, the much beleagured employees of legacy UA for anyone other than GS or 1Ks are often on the "rough side". IAD UA GAs are often challenging, and the some RCC Matrons are shall we say not inviting. I don't take issue with you that CO can be a touch recalcitrant due to "praise", but let's call a spade a spade. UA's employees have more than their share of issues to.
     
  13. Ygor
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    Ygor Gold Member

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    Ok. You obviously think CO or Jeff can do no right, and that UA legacy is better in all aspects.
    Not too many people here take you seriously, but whatever. Here is my question to you.
    What should the video say then? If you were the CEO, what is the "right" content?

    If you ran a company, would seriously say "we are your average airline, and we have good and bad employees. Hope you lucked out today with a good crew - wink wink, nod nod"?

    The thought that a CEO saying in a video that their employees are the best in the business will lead to arrogant employees is IMO, ridiculous.
    How do you explain workers that are not exposed to the video on a daily basis? GAs, Phone Agents, etc? None of them get to watch said video over and over again. I doubt they have regular contact with Jeff. And I doubt that in the communications to employees, all Jeff says is "you are the best".

    You whole reasoning is sorta :rolleyes:. If CO has crappy employees, it is because they have crappy employees, and not because of what some CEO tells them.

    I interviewed, and was offered a job at DL as an FA(declined the job ultimately). You wanna talk about pep talk???
    You have no idea. At DL the whole job interview is a pep talk. You should have seen how they portray it working for DL as a god's gift. How DL is the best, etc etc etc. I suspect most airlines do this, and if they don't, they should. DL is a fine company to work for, and I almost took the job (hadn't the pay been so :rolleyes:), but after talking to CO employees, I suspect DL does a heck lot more of cheer leading.

    In fact, a friend of mine who is CO FA told me that Jeff is quoted as saying directly that he "hates FAs" and that they are "overpaid, and mere sky waiters/waitresses". He told me the feeling is that Jeff is not FA friendly.

    Is that pep talk?
     
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  14. Hannaman
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    Hannaman Silver Member

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    This is true. Though in general, the UA employees recognize that they or their company can make a mistake. That's healthier than being in denial.
     
  15. sfo1
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    sfo1 Silver Member

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    His makeup, just awful, if he had smiled any bigger his face would have cracked.
     
  16. Hannaman
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    Hannaman Silver Member

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    I disagree. Legacy UA does some things better, and CO does some things better. As much as Tilton was disliked by everybody, I never felt that he talked down to me. Same cannot be said for Smisek.

    Why do we need content in the first place? Why is a CEO intro video even necessary?

    The video came about in a different era, under different circumstances, and delivered by a man who could actually pull it off. It's no longer needed today.

    So to answer your question, the right content for the video would be a pure safety video with no CEO intro. If he did that, then that would be a change that I think I'd like.

    Of course not. I wouldn't over-promise something to my customers on a daily basis. That'd be foolish. How do you think that customer who got messed up in his travels feels hearing how their staff are the "best in the business." It's galling, and I wouldn't want to subject my customers to salt in their wounds.

    If my customers liked the service, I'd hope the service would speak for itself, and I'd hope they'd return as a result.

    I disagree. To think that a CEO saying that or a similar message for 20 years has zero impact on employee behavior is ridiculous. It may not get to everybody's head, but it certainly gets to some of them.

    I'm sure there's ample cheerleading in other communications.

    The reasoning is actually more complex. The ability for a front-line airline employee to experience or understand their competitive position is very limited. While some do fly OALs, many do not. Their only impression of their competitive position is from what they hear.

    This is not like some McDonald's employee who can eat lunch at Arby's tomorrow and see the differences for a $3.99 investment. While a CO employee can certainly buy a DL ticket, they have significant incentive to stay with the home carrier (e.g,. nonrev benefits and priorities on the home carrier), not to mention if they work for an airline, their airline more likely gets them to where they're going anyway.

    I believe you. But it's behind the scenes, and is it using ridiculous absolutes like "best in the business?" What do your DL buddies think about CO's employees being better? After all, if CO's are the best in the business, DL's can't be.

    Yet another reason to can the video. If he doesn't even believe what he's saying, that's not just arrogant and obnoxious, it's disingenuous. Now he's negatively impacting customer service with a video he doesn't believe in.
     
  17. Ygor
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    Ygor Gold Member

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    I can't help you if you feel he is talking down to you. It sounds like you have some issues you need to work out. If you translate someone talking about their business with pride, to talking down, I have absolutely no reply.

    Why not. It puts a face on a business. It is a marketing decision, and they obviously have felt for a long time that it does something positive, except to very few people who feel talked down to. I don't know if the video helps from a costumer stand point, but I am very hard pressed to believe it hurts. If someone has been burned bad by CO on any level, and sees Jeff, that may make them more bitter, but they probably would not be going back to begin with.

    Two issues here. "hoping" someone will like changes, and saying your employees are the best in the business is not over promising. What has he promised?

    Product speaking for itself? Are you kidding me? Maybe coke should not spend a dime on advertising and message, because people will just keep drinking coke, since it tastes good. I think your marketing sense is disingenuous.
    "drink coke. We are as refreshing as pepsi!" = reality
    "drink coke. We are the best!" = what coke wants reality to be

    Really? I didn't know you work for CO?

    This is true, but once again, the competence of a CO employee cannot be attributed solely on a CEOs video massage.

    How is it the fact that behind the scenes makes a difference?? If your theory were true, DL employees would have the same "we can do no wrong" attitude that you think CO has. And yes, I head "we are the best" more than once during their recruiting process.

    And even when I tell you that Jeff is not a darling of the FAs, and that FAs do not believe him to be a cheer leader, you still do no see that your "theory" behind your perceived attitude of CO employees cannot be attributed to the video message. You cannot reason both ways.

    and you did not reply: Is it pep talk?

    I will say it again. Video words meant nothing before, and still mean squat now. You have a problem, and you are looking for a cause. The video isn't it.
     
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  18. Hannaman
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    Hannaman Silver Member

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    The video is unnecessary. He talks down to me, and all his customers.

    I think the more meaningful impact is the impact it has on employees, and how their resultant behavior manifests itself with customers.

    Your analogy is not correct. This is not advertising. If he wants to advertise, he can buy spots on TV.

    This is forcing his message in a captive audience situation.

    I don't. And if I did, I would resent the rhetoric because as a manager, it's challenging enough to motivate employees. Last thing we need is a CEO undermining that by needlessly puffing up employees' heads.

    I don't think I said solely. It's a contributing factor which can be of little to major significance based on how the employee reacts to it and behaves in response.

    If it's behind the scenes, customers cannot identify it. That said, it's part of an overall culture that is communicated from the top down. Larry used to blame customers for things. Gordon and Jeff have called other airlines names, and so on. If CO is so arrogant so as to boast about themselves in public, you know what their culture is like. At least if DL is doing it, they have some manners about themselves.

    As I mentioned before, the message will have different impact to different people. You're right that some will see right through it. Others, OTOH, may not.

    Perfect. Then get rid of it.

    It's part of the problem. CO's culture is the big problem.
     
  19. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Why would he buy ad time on TV when he has a much better targeted demographic available and it doesn't cost anything? Surely you can recognize that - whether you like the message or not - taking the free opportunity for the message is better than paying for ad time, right?
     
  20. Hannaman
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    Hannaman Silver Member

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    In the same vein, why not use the whole flight duration to boast about the company and tout one's products and services? Heck, they could do up a 6-hour documentary on the airline and show it on a transcon, volume up with the seatbelt sign on.

    Similarly, Jeff could wear a blue and gold suit and dye his hair blue and yellow to raise brand awareness.

    Just because it's cheaper or free does not make it appropriate.

    The audience is fully captive, and not allowed to get up or down the sound with other media. That time should be used for a safety briefing, period.
     
  21. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    Frankly spending 6 hours with the DirecTV screen glowing trying to get $6 from me is a whole lot more irritating than a 1-minute greeting video. Even if I turned mine off, 95% of the travelers don't.

    Although as a frequent traveler I get tired of the repetition, I find it is a nice greeting to have the CEO welcome us aboard, and most aboard don't travel as frequently as do we.

    There's a lot more important things than this short video. And, no, I don't feel it has a negative or material impact on the attitude or service by the airline's employees.
     
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  22. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    If the video bothers you, then stop giving CO/UA your business.

    You would be doing both us and UA a favor by leaving.
     
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  23. sdcarver
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    sdcarver Silver Member

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    lol
     
  24. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Because that would be bad marketing. Cute use of a red herring there, though.
     
  25. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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    You are right SMI/J is an expert in marketing and would never make any mistakes like that.

    Just look at what a brilliant job he has done with maintaining the United brand. :rolleyes:
     

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