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UAL to file Chapter 11 this week.....

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UAL to file Chapter 11 this week.....

Old 24th Jan 2002, 04:15
  #41 (permalink)  
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Gee Andreas in SAF

You sound upset...Get a hold of your emotions before you blow a gasket.

Surprisingly(not) I have to disagree on your personal take on the state of the industry. I would have thought that you would know better, but alias, you don't.

Cheers
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Old 24th Jan 2002, 05:25
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Spud ....... thanks for being so kind not to mention my spelling , poor editing, or questioning how many glases I might have had. I did just have an idea why you and I may differ on our views. I live in Denver, they have something like 65% of the market and that may be the problem here. They are the Kings and act so. Maybe in Ohio they may have a totally different attitude. Often the smaller the station the more friendly they are. I have had FAA friends tell me it is a safe airline.
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Old 24th Jan 2002, 05:29
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glasses ?
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Old 24th Jan 2002, 08:26
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OK Polzin,

Lets leave the Idaho cracks alone! Everyone knows we have some of the best back country flying around.. .You stay in Denver where you belong. UA may well see some Bumps, but I think they will do just fine. (if you only knew what I said about Midway)
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Old 24th Jan 2002, 08:36
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Are yo married to Velvet / Watch jetblast ....prisoners. this might be fun.
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Old 24th Jan 2002, 10:38
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Lavdumper,

You said your friend was being payed high wages. Do you really think United's pay is the problem? Pilots are payed fare wages for the job they do....no?

Just one farm boys opinion!
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Old 24th Jan 2002, 23:44
  #47 (permalink)  
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polzin -- they have two gates in Columbus, not a huge presence. Unfortunately our major presence is America West *PuKe*

Actually most of my good experiences with United at the Chicago hub. Although I hit Denver almost every time I fly to see my parents in Idaho, I'm never in Denver for more than at most 45 minutes, and have never really had much interaction with the ticketing staff, just sitting on the tarmac waiting to be deiced for an hour... *sigh* I know it has to be done, but they need to be more efficient about it like Chicago is!

and no worries aboutt the spelling or grammer... I've seen a lot worse! At least I can understand you

. .Willit Run -- Amen, I lived in Idaho for 10 years, (I lived in Idaho Falls) and while I'll be the first to admitt it's a horrible place for a kid to grow up (nothing to do except outdoors stuph) it is some of the most beautiful country I've ever seen. I hope eventually to get into flying gliders around there like one of the instructors in my flight school.
 
Old 25th Jan 2002, 06:29
  #48 (permalink)  
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I don't think the government could let this happen... besides they are one of our major carriers. The star alliance, ACA, ACJET also contribute to their business.. . . .But it has been easier to fly standby now a days !
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Old 25th Jan 2002, 09:23
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Spuds.......... born in Ohio , wished i lived in Idaho except for one exception,... Willie runs. He lives there BECAUSE there is nothing for children to do. Spuds....... forgive.... I want to tell you an experience on United, not mine because im biased. Im going to ignore ALL english rules because its a long story and Im a lazy sob. Buddy of mine is flying Detroit to Denver and switch airplanes and go to Los . . Angelos. Flight is late arriving in Detroit and he asks the ticket agent at the gate if there will be a problem on the connection in Denver because he can stay in Detroit and go the next day, its no problem because the comany is paying the bill. Twice he asked this question. No problem . We will hold the flight in Denver so you will make the connection. Upon arrival in Denver they were told to go directly to gate number ....?.. and get on their connecting flight. upon arrival at the departure gate they were told that the flight had departed 45 minutes earlier. Their bags would be available in a few mintues at that gate. They waited 30 minutes and questioned where their bags were and were notified that they had been sent to the baggage claim area. my buddy then asked what hotel reservations had been made for them. Was told none. He said it was not a big deal for him because his company was paying for his hotel but he was curious why United was not paying for the hotel. It was a weather delay. I have forgot what they call this but basicly its Gods fault and we are not responsible Whoa he said . In Detroit the weather was fantastic at least 30 miles visibility and when we landed in Denver vis was at lest 75 miles. So how could it be a weather delay? Well it seems that 2 landings before they arrived in Detroit there had been some bad weather that caused the delay. Here is the kicker.! Next to my buddy was a woman who had two children . One about 4 and the other a baby. At 1030 at night she was on her own to get a hotel room , pay for it , get to it after collecting her baggage , and wake up early enough to arrive for the first flight out at 630 in the morning.

Think about it mate....... 3 hours sleep?maybe?. .If you are lucky enough not to have any horror stories about United .............. can you please tell me what you think the stock market is going to do?

When I moved to Denver in 1952 ther were 2 large airlines ,UAL an CAL. Can You tell me ONE innovation for passengers that United invented? Just one. Then I will tell you about CAL. Beware of Willie!!
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Old 25th Jan 2002, 20:26
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Hey Tim,

Still waiting for that announcement you promised...

Perhaps you should check your sources next time...
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Old 25th Jan 2002, 21:23
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Andreas in SAF:. .As a Travel Agency Owner I'd be looking to get into another job/profession soon, because the Internet is replacing your services, if ever so slowly. Not a threat, just a statement of fact.. . <img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0">
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Old 29th Jan 2002, 15:46
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GlueBall: We have learned to live with and USE the internet for our customers, so we plan to stay alive for a long time.

There are certain trip arrangements, where a professional travel agent still by far beats the internet: E.G. that 12-stopover itinerary across Europe, advice about whether the Annapurna- or the Everest-trek is more interesting, 24-hour support in case of a crisis like Sept. 11... etc.

The real problem is the Enron-attitude of the airlines, their arrocance has increased since the handout by the government. They have 3 enemies, according to my opinion: The customer, the travel agent and their own staff.
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Old 29th Jan 2002, 17:15
  #53 (permalink)  
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polzin --

Something similar happened to me. I was on my was from Salt Lake City to Wilmington , NC(ILM). I got stuck in Chicago as usual for storms, but these were really bad. I was supposed to have a direct flight to ILM... they canceled it 4 hours after it was supposed to leave. being innovative I went to a gate at the other end of the terminal (united terminal) where there were two gate agents that had just finished loading a different plane and seeing it off.

I asked if it was possible if not to get to ILM, to get me closer... sure enough there was a flight to Dulles (D.C.) leaving at midnight and they put me on it. the itinerary I had said I would get a connecting flight to ILM. Right..... like you'd think, ILM is very small, Class D I believe, possibly class c but I think it's too small? No flight that night and the flight to Dulles didn't leave until 1:30am after the storms moved out.

United paid for a stay at the Dulles airport Hilton (normally $250/night) a taxi ride to and from, and breakfast. plus got me on a noon flight the next morning to finish the trip. THat's why I'm loyal, they treated me well.
 
Old 29th Jan 2002, 18:31
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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So have United filed Chapter 11 yet? Not even perhaps Chapter 8, or even CHAPTER ONE? So shall we terminate this thread that is probably damaging a perfectly good business all in the name of RUMOUR ONLY? This is getting to be rather a waste of time!
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Old 29th Jan 2002, 22:21
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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A friend of mine who is a senior capt with UA, says there flying nearly 95% capacity, since sept 11th. There cut a long story short there won' be any filing of Chpt 11 at UA.
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Old 29th Jan 2002, 23:49
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Andreas in SAF:

[ Please understand this is not directed at your agency or yourself directly, merely your industry ]

You talk about the arrogance of the airlines, but you belong to an industry that, in 1990, epitomized arrogance. In those days, a lot of agencies were getting (IIRC) uncapped 10% commissions, and yet were pathetically little more than the consumer could do with Easy SAABRE via Compuserve or the like.

Further, we'd have agents poor choices for the clients simply because they didn't know the airports, hotels, etc. but acted as if they did. For example: LHR-LGW transfers being touted as "convenient" since all the flights were on the same carrier, yet anyone who's ever tried that one would know that interlining at LGW would be a far easier option. Then there's booking "convenient" and expensive hotels, based solely on distance rather than accessibility (e.g. it certainly used to be the case that you could stay in New Jersey more cheaply *and* more easily than you could stay in the New York Financial district).

And so on... (the lament of the traveller with a mediocre agent!)

Another point, from a consumer standpoint, the old agency commission scheme was a total non-starter: what incentive do you have to sell me the lowest fare? You often need to exert yourself more to get a lower fare, which would net you less money. For a repeat business account, that's reasonable; yet for a walk-in casual traveller, are you *really* going to go to great lengths to get the best fare?

Lastly: you complain bitterly about the (now defunct) idea of a AA/BA alliance. Yet AS A CONSUMER what I want _is_ this sort of arrangement. Look at what the frequent Star Alliance travellers think about that deal: getting "FF elite" recognition on other carriers, FF mileage (important, whether you like it or not, to many business travellers), greater ticket flexibility ("VALID AA ONLY" is less restrictive if BA flights have AA codes). And so on...

And this seems like a contradiction in your position: you argue that TA's provide service, even though they're obviously not the cheapest outlet for the product. Alliances provide service, even though there are pricing implications. If you want me to support the notion that TA's are useful, why do you try to assert that alliances aren't?

In the past 15 years I've had precisely ONE good business travel agent (and that's AGENT, not agency), a couple of REALLY bad ones, and the rest all mediocre and thus basically useless. On the leisure side, the stats are a bit better (as you note, side trips and the like can be arranged), but even then its pretty common that _something_ will get miscommunicated between the client, the agency, and the provider...

My challenge to you, now, is to explain why the airlines cutting commission is an issue for you. If, as you allege, you provide such a wonderful service, why won't your customers willingly pay you, directly, for your service?

Malc.
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Old 30th Jan 2002, 07:28
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MalcLoadingCargo: I said in my previous post that we do use the internet, when it is to our customers' advantage.. .And - the customers "willingly" DO pay us for this service and other services, in fact 1/2 of our income is from service charges.

I have 2 issues where I completely disagree with you:. .1. Your "bigger is better" attitude, which for some reason a lot of people adhere to, even if it hurts them, but due to all the indoctrination in the media, they never understand it.. .Example: The smaller airlines, like Southwest, Frontier, even AirTran, DID NOT need a tax payer bailout to keep them alive, but AA, DL, UA certainly did. Gues who paid for that - you did!

2. You buy into that weird notion that travel agents want to sell you expensive, so they can earn more. The fact is that most businesses live off their repeat customers. If these customers don't get good service at a good price they will not come back.

According to your logic, you always get the highest price from your insurance agent, your grocery store, your plumber, your electrican, your gas station, your ..... you get the idea, I hope!?

All these businesses, including yours, whatever it may be, always charge their customers the highest price, so they can make the most money!!

Do you see how unreasonable your argument about travel agencies is?

By the way, I'm not just a travel agency owner, but also a student pilot, so maybe one day I will see everything from the airlines' or airline employees' point of view.... who knows?
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Old 30th Jan 2002, 08:14
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Let us say that an airline has 100 airplanes. Due to lack of demand the airline parks 30 aircraft. The airlines lays off some employees and saves some costs. But the station costs can only be cut back a little. The finance costs continue. ETC,ETC, Can you understand how this airline could be running at 95% capacity and still lose money? Im not saying this is United's situation because I dont know. But it is possible.

Airlines are such a leveraged business. I remember in a stock market class years ago discussing Eastern Airlines. They had a lot of debt, The fixed cost were enormous, but if they could have just added one, just one, passenger, their profit would have gone up 50%. Cant remember the exact number , its been a long time. Good luck UAL.
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Old 30th Jan 2002, 10:24
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To all of those who are batting at Andreas at SAF you must not be "professional"pax. Any road warrior worth their salt recognizes the value a professional travel agent provides. Lets see its Friday afternoon, an unadvoidable change in schedule causes me to miss my flight - oh yeah I would much rather juggle my laptop at some cr@ppy payphone to connect to some website or use my cell to call 8 different 800 numbers where I can wait on hold for 4 to 400 minutes to try to find a flight home-NOT. I make one call to my professional travel agent and say get me home tonight. This service is worth the 10% unrestricted commission hands down. If BIG US AIRLINE can charge me $2400 US to fly no notice from SEA to ORD they can pay my travel agent 10%!

As a pax that spends more than 250 nights on the road a year I rely on my travel agent - I do not want to have to rely on the internet to do this myself so I can save BIG BANKRUPT US AIRLINE a few commission dollars.
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Old 31st Jan 2002, 03:48
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Andreas:

As to your "bigger is better" notion, your suggestion that I subscribe to it is simply wrong.

I believe, and vehemently, that CHEAPER is NOT the only yardstick to measure anything by. Yet you suggest that there is something horrendous about me (the taxpayer) paying for a service INFRASTUCTURE that results in *better*, if not always *cheaper*, service. Case in point: AA is usually more expensive than WN. I have yet to experience a flight where the service was *worse* on AA than on WN. Since I want *service*, not minimum cost, what I want is integrated interline connections, etc.

In the UK, rail *used* to be integrated; for all its faults, British Rail was damn good at making and guaranteeing connections. Then, in the name of your vaunted "price is everything" gods, they de-integrated everything, and now connections between trains aren't guaranteed, etc. In other words, service has decreased as competition has increased. This shouldn't be a surprise, but the alleged "consumer groups" all seem to forget that there's no such thing as a free lunch.

From all this, it follows obviously that I have NO problem with paying for service, and *if* a travel agent provides value, I'm quite happy to pay for it. What I'm NOT happy about paying for is the TA that doesn't provide value (which, in my experience, is the majority of same), yet who then -- like you -- whine about the cuts in the airline commissions.

IF, as you allege, you are so wonderful, people will pay for your service. And if you like commissions that much, then simply tack them onto the client's invoice. That, then, is all fair and above board, and those who know (or think they know) that they don't need the service can save themselves the hassle by booking direct.

Your other point included a bogus attempt to compare a paid-by-the-supplier commission scheme (airlines, in this case) with a "cost plus" scheme (the plumber). The insurance agent looks the same as the airline at first glance, but since few insurance issues are like same-day return tickets, it's clear that there are huge differences.

BUT... if a travel agency wanted to agree a "inverse" commission scheme, I'd be all over that. This is a scheme where the agent gets a percentage of the difference between the full fare and the fare paid (usually subject to a minimum, so they still get paid for full fare ticket. This scheme tracks the value of an agent much better: the trivially easy full-fare ticket, needing zero special expertise to obtain, netts the agent the minimum, but if they can save you thousands, they make lots of loverly lolly...

And to that other respondent: I was, and periodically still am, a "professional traveller". I've had, as I've said, exactly *one* good agent, and even then the scenario you outline would leave me talking to some call center type in the small hours.

So, speaking as a professional traveller, I'll say that the most important thing is to have the resources to do the job yourself... when the plane is taxi-ing back to the gate and the airfones aren't on and cell phones are forbidden, you can still look in the OAG and call the carrier as soon as the door opens...

Malc.
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