United cuts Houston to Paris route in the fall

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Infinite1K, Jul 6, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Infinite1K
    Original Member

    Infinite1K Silver Member

    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    1,161
    Status Points:
    810
    As reported by the Houston Chronicle, United is ending the IAH-CDG service with the last scheduled departure on October 8th.

    United cites the Southwest international expansion at Hobby as the reason for cutting this route as well as two south of the border destinations (Toluca, Mazatlán and Tuxtla Gutiérrez), Aruba, Waco, Greensboro and Asheville North Carolina.

    Last I checked Waco was in the same state as Houston and traveling between Texas and North Carolina isn't normally considered international travel.

    I thought SMI/J and his team were always about making decisions based on numbers and not spite.
     
    JLSocks, mht_flyer, sobore and 3 others like this.
  2. aptraveler

    aptraveler Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,756
    Likes Received:
    18,989
    Status Points:
    10,675
    Unfortunately, we may very well be seeing the new nasty side of United, a fact that is not too encouraging for us who live in Houston. Right you are that Waco is in Texas and has nothing to do with Paris, France. Yes, they are showing their disagreement with the city's recent decision on Southwest's request to fly out of Hobby Airport to the Caribbean and Latin America. United also cancelled what would have been the much anticipated new nonstop flight from IAH-AKL on their first 787, scheduled to be delivered later this year. Instead, as I understand it, the new aircraft is scheduled to fly the DEN-NRT instead. So, yes it is a sad day for everyone, when one sees decisions such as the ones that were announced.:(

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
    Flyer1976, mht_flyer and Infinite1K like this.
  3. Hartmann
    Original Member

    Hartmann Gold Member

    Messages:
    8,061
    Likes Received:
    14,556
    Status Points:
    14,520
    They're cutting routes that aren't making money. Plain and simple. (same reason Beaumont-IAH is going to bus service)

    It's poor form for UA to blame this on Southwest and instead of making a statement they're irritating Houstonians.

    I don't think UA really cares if they irritate people in one of their hubs, it's not like we can all run to HOU and fly WN everywhere.
     
  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    When I was a kid, my mom called it "lying".
     
  5. EWR764
    Original Member

    EWR764 Silver Member

    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    580
    Status Points:
    670
    The argument (which I buy) is that former CO had a number of marginal routes from IAH that lost money over the years but were held on to for several reasons (connectivity, prestige, potential for future growth, etc.). If the City of Houston refuses to afford special deference to UA, I see no reason to retain loss-making service at the hub. Conversely, if the flights were money-makers, they would never be on the chopping block in the first place. We can portray UA/Jeff as a petulant, whiny children all we want, but this is in fact the prudent course of action. IAH may not have been as strong a hub in the first place. Here is a good analysis: http://www.centreforaviation.com/an...uston-in-fallout-from-battle-over-hobby-77494

    As for IAH-CDG, the reality is that the route has struggled since CO left SkyTeam. Connections beyond CDG to oil destinations keep the route viable for Air France, but UAL captures very little of that feed. C'est la vie...
     
    LETTERBOY and mht_flyer like this.
  6. colpuck
    Original Member

    colpuck Gold Member

    Messages:
    14,500
    Likes Received:
    21,641
    Status Points:
    16,520
    IAH-CDG started 5 years before SkyTeam came into being; so I am not buying that argument.
     
  7. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,219
    Likes Received:
    61,765
    Status Points:
    20,020
    It also started in an era where fuel was much cheaper. Now that there are much greater pressures on yields for flights the more marginal ones are struggling. The ATI favors pushing lots of that traffic through *A hubs. Combine that with the much greater ability for the larger United to now flow CDG traffic over ORD or IAD in addition to EWR versus only having IAH and EWR and it becomes clear very quickly that you need a LOT of O/D demand to keep a route like this up. If they don't have the corporate contracts then that demand likely isn't going to exist.

    Five years ago a CO customer looking for a one-stop itinerary from DEN to CDG had two options, IAH and EWR. Today they have at least ORD, EWR, IAD, FRA and YYZ and the company gets the same revenue.
     
  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    The "other options within the UA hub system" argument is one I can buy. WN starting to fly internationally at a nearby airport triggering this change now... not so much.
     
    BuckleandBoots and aptraveler like this.
  9. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,219
    Likes Received:
    61,765
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I understand the WN argument from the very high level. It is utter bullshit today since the impact of WN flying international routes in 3 years won't be felt for at least 2, but that doesn't mean ultimately that the issue is moot. It is just stupid to claim that today.
     
    LETTERBOY likes this.
  10. EWR764
    Original Member

    EWR764 Silver Member

    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    580
    Status Points:
    670
    Feel free, but keep in mind that the route started in a different era, before global alliances and the advent of nonstops from Houston to Africa. The market is not static; IAH-ORY of 1992 or IAH-CDG of 1997 is not the same as IAH-CDG of 2012. As noted, United of 2012 is not the same as Continental of years past. As the dynamics of the market and cost environment have changed, Continental/United's traffic has eroded to the point where it is no longer a profitable route, especially with a high-CASM airplane like the 762.

    Any suggestion that UA is removing a viable route to spite the City of Houston is patently ridiculous. The effect of the WN decision is that UA will not afford IAH any sort of special or preferred status among hubs, so marginal routes will be carefully evaluated and cut if necessary. No, this does not fit into the convenient "all Jeff'd up" narrative, but people may interpret this any way they like. At the end of the day, United is a publicly-traded corporation and joint venture participant with obligations both to shareholders and JV partners to cull loss-making flying. Simple as that.
     
  11. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,219
    Likes Received:
    61,765
    Status Points:
    20,020
    The only part that fits the "all Jeff'd up" narrative IMO is the blaming of it on the Hobby decision. Over the next two years the growth of IAH as an operation will not be affected. If United somehow believes that the market really is going to change in the next 24 months despite there still not being international operations out of HOU, then I just don't know what to say.
     
    BuckleandBoots, ssullivan and EWR764 like this.
  12. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    The "done out of spite" argument is silly, I agree with that. But I'd bet cash that, had the decision regarding HOU gone the other way, these flights would have been axed anyway. Maybe a bit later, maybe more quiet and staggered. And it would have blamed on/explained with higher fuel costs or rationalizing the route network. Of course, there is no way to prove or disprove this unless some insider were to leak internal documents (not waiting for that).
     
  13. Hartmann
    Original Member

    Hartmann Gold Member

    Messages:
    8,061
    Likes Received:
    14,556
    Status Points:
    14,520
    Has UA come out and directly said this is because of HOU/WN?

    I haven't seen much on CDG being because of the HOU decision from UA, but what I have seen is the media writing that narrative into any news about UA.

    Would this have happened had the decision gone the other way? Absolutely. Should UA be upfront and honest when cutting the routes and leave the HOU rhetoric for two years down the road? No question.
     
  14. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,219
    Likes Received:
    61,765
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Apparently, yes. :rolleyes:

     
    Flyer1976 likes this.
  15. EWR764
    Original Member

    EWR764 Silver Member

    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    580
    Status Points:
    670
    I think you're right. They were on the chopping block anyway. UA is trying to throw its political weight around by publicizing these cuts as a response to the Council's decision to grant WN's request. The hope is that voters associate the UA drawdown with the sitting Council. It's dirty, but that's the game. At best, it's a smoother PR play.
     
  16. Photonerd71

    Photonerd71 Silver Member

    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    973
    Status Points:
    770
    Whatever the reason they (UA) really needs to hire some new marketing people. They have seem to have a bad habit of poor timing in their announcements. As well as putting their feet in their mouths. Somebody really needs to read the press releases and look the wording and timing before they are released. They continue to find ways to shoot themselves in the foot.

    Plus if you think FT has some vile comments about UA, you should check out the comment section on the Houston paper. Just some asinine posts on there about this announcement.
     
    HaveMilesWillTravel likes this.
  17. Hartmann
    Original Member

    Hartmann Gold Member

    Messages:
    8,061
    Likes Received:
    14,556
    Status Points:
    14,520
    So he gave the real reason (profit) and then chunked it over the fence to HOU. If I was in UA's marketing/PR department, I'd be livid that the cuts are being handled the way they are.
     
  18. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,219
    Likes Received:
    61,765
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I dunno...I actually just wrote (it'll post tomorrow morning) about how happy UA is to have help from WN and the city of Houston in saving money. I think it was quite impressive for them to step up and be honest in thanking their competitor for convincing them that continuing to lose money was a bad plan. ;)
     
  19. Photonerd71

    Photonerd71 Silver Member

    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    973
    Status Points:
    770
    UA needs to fire their marketing department and start from scratch. They should hire WN's marketing people, love them or hate them, southwest always seems to come out smelling like a rose. Where ad UA always seems to come out smelling like.....
     
  20. ella
    Original Member

    ella Silver Member

    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    602
    Status Points:
    620
    With Air France also cutting one IAH-CDG flight a week, indicates to me that UA's flights were unprofitable.
     
    LETTERBOY likes this.
  21. BuckleandBoots

    BuckleandBoots Silver Member

    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    282
    Status Points:
    435
    Somewhere between the two of these is the problem.

    If I worked in UA's marketing department (I do not, for the record) and the CEO pulled stunts like this against the advice of the department, I'd try to seek employment elsewhere.

    If I was a CEO and my marketing department advised this, then I'd show them the door.

    Fact is, I've got some friends who live very close to HOU that will be incredibly excited to fly HOU-CDG on WN. I imagine the route will be HOU-ATL-RDU-BWI-BUF-PVD-YHZ-YWK-GOH-DUB-CDG :D
     
    HaveMilesWillTravel likes this.
  22. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Instead of overentitled elites, could we have an over entitled airline here?
     
  23. United747&777Expert

    United747&777Expert Silver Member

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    34
    Status Points:
    125
    I wish it's ORD-PEK 787 instead of DEN-NRT, not much traffic from denver to asia i would think :p

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
  24. Hartmann
    Original Member

    Hartmann Gold Member

    Messages:
    8,061
    Likes Received:
    14,556
    Status Points:
    14,520
    Did they completely cut it? I thought they had just reduced the frequency.
     
  25. ella
    Original Member

    ella Silver Member

    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    602
    Status Points:
    620
    Reduced frequency. They're going to 6x week in October.
     

Share This Page