With chief rival Delta moving to free spirits in Intl Y, how will UA become competitive?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by HeathrowGuy, Dec 2, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    As part of a series of international Economy product improvements, Delta will be offering complimentary spirits on international flights from January 1st. How will United remain competitive in product offfering for the numerical majority of its longhaul flyers?
     
  2. bmg42000
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    bmg42000 Gold Member

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    Free bud lite and mccormicks gin.
     
  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    What else is part of that series of Y improvements? I looked in the MP Delta forum and didn't see any obvious thread about it.
     
  4. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    Link?

    Sent from a reasonably priced car.
     
  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Flyer1976 and mht_flyer like this.
  6. DeltaExpert
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    Complimentary spirits will be offered in Economy on all international flights that feature a BusinessElite cabin. This means flights to Europe, Asia, South Africa, and Australia etc.

    In addition, they will be offered on Delta’s intra Asian routes, as well as flights from the U.S. to Bogota, Columbia; Caracas, Venezuela; and Quito, Ecuador, even though some of these routes do not feature a BusinessElite cabin.
     
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  7. EWR764
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    EWR764 Silver Member

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    Word is there are some more improvements coming. As I said elsewhere, 0.0 chance UA does anything. They are the world's leading airline, after all.
     
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  8. Captain Oveur
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    With the current momentum and $2B in cuts coming, a price freeze on the int'l booze could be classified as an improvement.
     
  9. ducster
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    ducster Gold Member

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    On the upside, I was offered the entire can both ways on a recent transcon trip without even asking!
     
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  10. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    UA will improve its on board product only if they ever get out of this ridiculous mindset that they can simply keep cutting costs to become profitable.

    Has that ever worked for anyone?
     
  11. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    Agreed. UA has alienated enough potential pax, that they only book UA when it's cheaper. That creates a revenue problem. Cutting costs and quality doesn't increase revenue, nor does reducing the benefits of loyalty which might have encouraged pax to book UA at a higher price. They are scrambling to deliver the profit benefits of the merger, but the problems reduced the revenue and the response to cut costs and benefits exacerbates the revenue problem. There's no easy way out of the spiral, but simply cutting costs and driving up ancillary revenue through fees isn't likely to earn UA a revenue premium on fares.
     
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  12. Gtitan
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    Gtitan Gold Member

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    Glad to see DL is offering free spirits in International Economy. You know Delta used to do that a few years ago under a different name. Anyone know what that name was .....NORTHWEST.:rolleyes:
     
    Misplaced Texan and brfong like this.
  13. Flyer1976
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    *Thumbs Up*
     
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  14. Muerl
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    Muerl Gold Member

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    Yes, Thumbs Up to free booze.
     
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  15. Flyer1976
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    M0ar free Woodford... Now I must ensure that they don't run out of the stuff before I get served. :p
     
  16. Weatherboy

    Weatherboy Gold Member

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    United does everything Delta does, 3 months later. Innovation isn't in their blood.
     
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  17. jaw_24
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    jaw_24 Silver Member

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    Delta already offered wine and beer, which UA doesn't that I remember (I try to avoid longer than 3 hr flights on UA).
    Heck, I'd be happy with some free peanuts and a Coke. Flew on the 6 hour ANC-IAH leg and got a cup of water.
     
  18. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    If DL has free spirits in coach, then UA should offer some elves. They would fit in well with the holiday season. Free spirits seem so springlike.
     
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  19. Bill Hunt

    Bill Hunt Silver Member

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    Well, we fly UA International about 6x per year, and mostly in BC, or Global FC. What I would care about is their upgrading the in-flight wine service, and by quite a bit.

    Going back 15 years, UA had a sommelier consultant, and things DID improve greatly. Recently, the offerings have been poor to awful, but then, it has to be price-points, and what their perceive as the travelers' desires. In 2013, we did 8 trips, and never saw some of the listed wines, on our flights. It took 6, before we every got the Albariño, and then, it was really not a good example.

    Please do not get me started on UA's domestic (US) FC wines, as my reply would likely be deleted by the MOD's. Dreck!

    As for other alcoholic beverages, I am not qualified to comment.

    If DL does raise the bar, I only hope that UA will follow, and get a tad bit more serious - like they did, 15 years ago.
     
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  20. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Listed? I think they fixed that.

    On my two recent BF flights the menu did not list any wines. The FA asked "would you like the French or the Australian one" when I asked for red wine.
     
  21. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    I really doubt this is a major factor for most people who want the cheapest fare on the most direct flight overseas. UA and AA will likely follow, though real question is will UA backtrack on removing bags of pretzels?!
     
  22. Canadi>n
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    At last year's SMD we met UA's wine consultant and sampled some of the dozens of wines they were considering for this year. There is certainly a difference between what we sampled at the training center and what is offered inflight.
     
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  23. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

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    FCOL, they removed the drink list on the menu from Global First and Business First.
    There are no longer any music albums on the IFE, just lame playlists.
    There are no longer any pretzels in Y.

    Booze in Y?

    I always thought that the announcement you hear right after the plane takes off (drinks and $5 etc etc) makes UA seem ghetto internationally.
    Especially since competitor airlines on the same routes don't do that.
     
  24. radonc1951

    radonc1951 Gold Member

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    I hate to say it but yes it has. All you need to do is look at large international corporate behavior over the past 5 years since the Great Recession started. The way they rebuilt their damaged financial statements was to reduce expenses by cutting payrolls and other business expenses until income exceeded outgo. They have been very good at building bottom line income even when top line sales stagnated. And these companies have been rewarded by ever increasing equity valuation (i.e. rising stock prices) which means future employment (and bonuses) for their respective CEOs. The fact that this has not been great for the economy in that growth is so sluggish does not factor into their business models.

    So yes, Smisnek can point to multiple examples of his approach as the appropriate way to deal with poor business performance. These may not be correct, but we will not know this until UA either fails or the CEO is tossed by his board.

    (BTW, this is not an endorsement of his approach by me ;))
     
  25. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Yes, but it doesn't really work long term, and at some point, you can't cut anymore without negatively affecting customers, who then stop buying from you, which further damages revenue. It's a nasty cycle. I work someplace that has fallen into this trap, particularly after being sold to a private equity firm and merged with a competitor. It hasn't benefited anyone, and customers generally are as unhappy as employees, with many of both leaving. It's not that different from UA's situation, except on a smaller scale.
     

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