United Airlines to revamp scheduling to fight flight delays

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Newscience, Aug 30, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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  2. rggale
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    rggale Gold Member

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    As a business-minded person, many things in that article make my skin boil, but none more than this:

    You mean you don't want to be better than the competition?
     
  3. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    That's setting the bar awfully low, seems to me. :rolleyes:
     
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  4. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    No, because in many ways post-merger UA has made it clear that it doesn't intend to be the best, just somewhere around what the competition is doing. The emphasis at UA is always on pushing up the profits, which is perfectly fine - they should be a sound, profitable business - but what they often seem to miss on is that they tend to go after profits through cutting the low-hanging fruit costs, while some of the competition (especially DL) goes after cutting costs by running a reliable airline that generates more positive customer sentiment than negative. There's a big contrast between the thought of how to turn the airline around into profitability at UA in the last couple of years than there was at post-merger DL, or at CO during its turnaround 20 years ago. And, while things like new meals on board and the slow rollout of new food in the UCs are signs of a change in how UA is approaching this, they're still suffering from a variety of issues that leave them behind all of the competition that really matters in terms of operational reliability. They can blame the weather all they want for that, but the weather doesn't explain their IT problems, labor relations problems, or the fact that they have far more difficulty in recovering from bad weather than other airlines do. You don't see AA and DL constantly saying, "We keep getting hit by bad weather" when trying to explain their on time numbers. Yet, when bad weather strikes UA's hub at EWR, it's also hurting AA and DL's hubs at JFK and LGA, and when it hits ORD, it's also hitting AA and WN's hubs in that city. And DL's biggest hub, ATL, is one of the stormiest cities in the country - and it's also the biggest hub operation in the world. Yet DL somehow manages to lead the pack in on-time numbers with the heart of its system in a location that's plagued by severe storms most of the spring and summer. At some point they have to stop blaming the weather and start looking at themselves, and while I see some hints of that, they still haven't had that major attitude adjustment from the top of the company down that needs to happen.
     
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  5. dayone
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    dayone Silver Member

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    At least United recognizes that it has an on-time problem.
     
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  6. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    How so? Delta is the "On Time Machine" with what arguably is the best CCF in the industry. There's no way for United to even match what Delta is doing right now.
     
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  7. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    If you have the mentality of just equaling your competition, you're going to miss and fall short. Always aim higher.
     
  8. Garp74

    Garp74 Gold Member

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    In this industry, in the context of this conversation, I'm not sure I agree with you, good sir. This is a math game. Planes in, planes serviced, pax boarded, problems solved, planes out. United is working on making better choices through better technological tools - tools that do better math than what they have now. Aiming to be as on-time as the best airline (Delta) is a VERY big reach for United. It's a difficult goal they likely WONT achieve (because Chicago's weather... because EWR has challenges... because there aren't enough gates at IAD for the big planes ... because SFO's fog...). This isn't about morale, and it isn't about employee culture. It's about math, and I believe the math is working against United in a big way.

    Just my opinion. Always happy to be proven wrong.
     
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  9. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    I still believe that if you aim at the middle, you'll hit low. If you aim high, you'll hit the middle. Employees who say, "I'm just going to do enough" do not make companies great, IMO.
     
  10. Garp74

    Garp74 Gold Member

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    I agree completely. Just not in this context. Let's agree to disagree, and you can bill me $815 an hour while we do a 3 martini lunch *nods* :D
     
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  11. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    Amen!

    As I've noted elsewhere, when Northwest was still flying, I finally decided to route through MSP during the winter instead of ORD because United couldn't seem to cope with snow while NW took even blizzards in stride. And you make a good point -- some bame ORD rather than UA for the weather delays, but the same ORD that UA uses is used by DL and AA and they're not experiencing the same delays. (I know, if the airport's closed, it's closed to all. But when it's not closed for Wx, just running slow, it seems UA flights suffer more than those of AA or DL.)
     
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  12. snod08
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    snod08 Gold Member

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    This is the way I see it too.
     
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  13. JC1120

    JC1120 Silver Member

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  14. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    I think that says the opposite. Delta is saying -- I will be better than UA or AA (or both). Not equal to.
     
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  15. snod08
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    snod08 Gold Member

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    agreed
     
  16. Hartmann
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    Hartmann Gold Member

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    I'll believe it when I see it.

    The one thing it may do is relieve some of the clogged gates at ORD. I can't even count the number of times I've sat in the penalty box at ORD on arrival, waiting for a gate. Occasionally the wait times are 20-30 minutes! Relieve some of that and things get better.
     
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  17. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    Given the perceived impediments to UA's matching DL, matching would be performing at a higher level. My experience (out of EWR) for the last 2 years has been around 95% on time so I am not particularly sensitive to the nuance of the some of the above posts.
    Focusing on absolute performance improvement is often a better management approach than relative performance improvement. Even HA can improve their absolute performance, but impediments that are truly outside of your control (or advantages in HA's case) have to be dealt with regardless of how efficient you are. A better tell might be head-to-head route comparisons. The data is there, maybe someone should take a look.
     

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