UACO Outsider: What are the Issues?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by mrredskin, Apr 23, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. mrredskin
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    mrredskin Gold Member

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    I often hear about "all the post-merger issues", but as an outsider, I have no clue what the issues are. Can those of you familiar with the mess weigh in on what the problems are?

    I do have a slight personal interest due to an award flight later this September. Long way off, but still...
     
  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    There's a forum on the internet that's full-time dedicated to it:

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/united-mileageplus-consolidated-681/

    :D

    Problems raised include:

    - miles don't post fast enough for some people
    - balances (RDM, EQM, life-time) seem wrong
    - complimentary upgrades don't clear
    - GPUs not returned promptly when upgrades don't clear
    - long delays in getting email responses from United
    - long wait times on phone lines
    - problems booking tickets with ecerts
    - Smisek personally spitting in people's coffee to "enhance" flavor

    For me personally (and the three accounts I manage) things I have been reasonably smooth. Balances are all correct without requiring any intervention. Miles post within 3 days. Phones were answered promptly. I did have the GPU-return issue and a long email response time, but neither was critical for me personally.
     
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  3. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    In addition to the above, there's:

    1) new food (especially, imho, complete loss of special meals options) and blankets suck
    2) upgrades appear not to be clearing in correct order per stated policy
    3) sometimes seat assignments randomly change and attempts to change them don't stick (even when agents do it)
    4) downgrading of value of million miler benefits, especially for 1MM
    5) after an upgrade clears, some people have found they're suddenly on the standby list again (and may or may not clear); it's not obvious if this is always due to equipment changes
    6) snarky and/or unhappy and/or untrained GAs and FAs
    7) the inability to change flights from within the United Club when that was the best way to do it before in many cases (I suspect this was more of a timing of training issue than anything else)
    8) wrong boarding group (the biggest classes of these seem to have been fixed, though)
    9) delays for elite membership and club card mailings that have affected int'l ability to use various lounges
    10) mystery p.s. flight equipment downgrades
    11) the begging nun (which sounds like a regular plane was downgraded to p.s. capacity, at least on the SFO-JFK flight mentioned in that thread)

    I've flown seven segments this year; two post-merger. So far, everything's been fine for me. I have another six coming up over the next 10 days.
     
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  4. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    Stop-you're scaring me ;) but all in all a good list save for item #10 but I'll give you a mulligan as this happened PMUA as well (and it seemed to happen in spurts either for D checks (or a bunch of PS a/c all getting sick at once ;))
     
  5. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Just think nice thoughts for my upcoming p.s. flights, please. :) Especially my waitlisted upgrade.
     
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  6. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    This is definitely a YMMV issue along with the other agent issues. I did it the other day no problem.
     
  7. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    I had been reading about this in several FT threads over the last few weeks, and it seems that the reports are less frequent now than they were six weeks ago. During the LAX begging nun episode (and its SFO counterpart), people weren't allowed to use the club to rebook.

    Also, if this post is the whole story, the problem is worst during that kind of IRROPS; they can be changed so long as the flight's not restricted to the gate, but during the begging nun kind of episode, yes, it would have been (taking everything at face value) restricted to a maximum of five computers, and those would probably not have included the club agents' computers.
     
  8. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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    Maybe they treat their Global Service members differently.
     
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  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    In that the agent was trying to charge me a fee to make the change and didn't realize I was GS, I doubt it.
     
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  10. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Not to pile on, but I would echo a lot of what HMWT said. And I have been a UA apologist for awhile.

    There's a culture of unhappiness, discontent and uncertainty among the UA staff. And this is compounded by these pre-departure videos recorded by Jeff Smisek saying their working hard to create a culture of people wanting to come to work. I think the few FAs who bypass that video is doing Smisek a favor.

    Smisek also made, in my opinion, a HUGE mistake a year ago in those pre-departure videos in talking about "changes I think you're going to like" (hence the ridicule in threads). That raised a LOT of expectations among a lot of people, particularly frequent flyers. And with this Chinese Fire Drill happening now, it only magnifies the woes going on.

    Personally, I think they should replace the music on hold from Rhapsody In Blue to Yakety Sax. It really has been that ridiculous.

    For me, the eye-opener was not making an upgrade from my home airport to Chicago on a 757. That has never happened before pre-March 3rd. Normally, I would have no problem accepting it, but to see a 1K on a V fare end up number eight on a waitlist was stunning.

    And, for the first time since the 2003 BK filing, I have given serious thought to jumping ship to AA.

    For now, I'm holding out hope that Smisek and Company will understand the culture they have thoroughly extinguished. And restore some semblance of it sooner than later. If he fails to recognize the huge step backward that UA has taken, then there is going to be a lot more malcontent among very loyal UA fliers.
     
  11. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    Just to provide a counter point -- I've been receiving more upgrades at the 96hr window after post-PSS merge than before. I fly out of LAX.
     
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  12. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    Row 9...Row 9...Row9... :)
     
  13. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Can't do Row 9 (disabled).

    Sad, because it is so awesome. I'm hoping for 10A.
     
  14. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    6B or 6C... 6B or 6C... 6B or 6C... :)
     
  15. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    I prefer window. 10A's the only remaining non-exit window.
     
  16. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Did you get upgraded yet on the PS Flight?
     
  17. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    No. :(

    F2 A0 J4 C4 D2 Z1 P0 Y2 B1 M1 E0U0 H0 Q0 V0 W0 S0 T0 L0 K0 G0

    First - Saver Award
    O​
    0​
    First - Saver Award for Plat Elites & Upgrades [​IMG]
    ON​
    0​
    First - Standard Award
    FN​
    2​
    First/Business - Saver Award and Alliance Upgrades [​IMG]
    I​
    0​
    First/Business - Saver Award for Plat Elites[​IMG]
    IN​
    0​
    First/Business - Standard Award
    ZN​
    1​
    First/Business - Standard Award & Y Class Upgrade for Elites [​IMG]
    JN​
    4​
    First/Business - Upgrade with Miles/GPU/RPU/CPU
    R​
    0​
    First/Business - Upgrade with Miles/GPU/RPU/CPU for Elites [​IMG]
    RN​
    0​
     
  18. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Out of curiosity, what MP level are you, and what kind of fares do you normally buy?
     
  19. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    1K. S/L/G fares, typically.
     
  20. mrredskin
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    mrredskin Gold Member

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    wow, that's quite a bit of headache. examples like this help build the argument against mergers.
     
  21. Mackieman
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    Mackieman Gold Member

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    Except that mergers are not about customers, despite all the marketing effort trying to convince everyone otherwise. They are first and foremost a business tool to attempt and drive profit through reduced cost and other methods that are designated by one of the most hated words of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries: synergies. Remembering that can help provide one some perspective on how and why things happen. The expectation that the customer comes first in these sorts of things is folly.
     
  22. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    One more major issue, which UA has acknowledged: inability to request an upgrade within 24 hours of the flight. Book a last-minute ticket? Even as a 1K with CR1's to burn, you're sitting in the back. Change your international flight on the day of departure? Hope you didn't want that biz seat.
     
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  23. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    Acknowledged, yes. Fixed, no. (and SCARES and its associated ancillary systems are supposed to be superior than what PMUA had, right?)
     
  24. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I don't think UA claimed that it was superior in all aspects. NewUA compared them and came to the conclusion that overall Shares was going to be better for them than UA's legacy system. I would expect them to have found things that were deficient with Shares, but in the big picture weren't (to them) as important as others, hence the overall decision. Frankly, no one here is probably qualified to say whether they came to the wrong conclusion. I have many complex systems cause severe problems for their users because of the way they were poorly configured/implemented or the users didn't receive the appropriate training, or ... Clearly, not everything's going according to plan, that much seems certain.
     
  25. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    IIRCC, CO owned the SHARES software, but UA did not own FastRes, so COdbaUA decided to choose SHARES as a method of saving money and possibly also for what they thought its advantages were to UA's reservations system.
     
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