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View Full Version : United Woes


HueyDeweyLouie
05-13-2005, 09:54 AM
Any others out there monitoring...

I'm worried about the workers "disrupting operations in less organized ways" - Basically horrible service for customers (flight delays, baggage, etc.).

:sad2:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/TRAVEL/05/13/united.travelers.ap/index.html?section=cnn_latest

Travelers monitor United's woes
Friday, May 13, 2005 Posted: 9:17 AM EDT (1317 GMT)

CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- Matt Hewitt flies at least once a week for work, and he usually travels on United Airlines because its routes are the most convenient for him.

But with three of the carrier's unions threatening to strike, Hewitt said he's is concerned about booking flights and taking advantage of the bonuses he's accumulated.

"I'm spending all my frequent flyer miles as soon as possible," Hewitt, a salesman, said Thursday after flying to Chicago from Sacramento, California.

Threats of strikes, while rarely carried out, are powerful bargaining chips in the airline industry. The hint of a strike can be costly in terms of lost bookings. If workers walk for any length of time, they can even put carriers out of business.

While trying to emerge from bankruptcy, United -- the nation's second-largest airline -- is seeking approval to replace existing contracts with mechanics and machinists with its own lower-cost versions.

And the flight attendants' union has threatened to strike over the latest round of labor givebacks, particularly the elimination of traditional pensions.

United is based in Elk Grove Village, near Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, where Franca Bukowski, a retired social worker from DeKalb, was waiting Thursday to accompany her husband on a business trip to Boston.

"It had no effect today, but we are worried once we get there that we'll be able to get back," she said.

Travel agents said there hasn't been any groundswell of concern expressed by their customers, nor do they expect any, unless the unions actually strike or if workers begin to disrupt operations in less organized ways.

At Carlson Wagon Travel Inc., the world's second-largest agency behind American Express, managers who handle corporate accounts said clients are booking trips on United as usual, according to spokeswoman Laurie Alexander.

"For now, they're monitoring the situation and don't feel the need to make any abrupt changes," Alexander said. "We have contingency plans in place in case there is a strike."

Richard Copland of Hillside Travel in New York said travelers have become somewhat inured to bad news coming out of the airline industry.

That was a sentiment evident in the dry humor of Paul Cummings, a manufacturing company manager, as he waited at O'Hare to check in for a flight to Toronto.

"United is my bankrupt airline of choice," he said. "Until such time as they stop flying, I'll probably stay with them."

RAD
05-13-2005, 10:24 AM
DW and I have tried to go back to AA for our flights and just trying to use up our UAL Milage Plus miles ASAP, even before all this laters round of problems. What ticked us off was UAL replaced all the ORD<->MCO flights with TED. When we did DVC vacation, since we had to plan ahead, we always flyed 1st class on miles, nice way to start/end a vacation. But with TED it's all coach class all the time so it's bye bye UAL.

caitycaity
05-13-2005, 04:41 PM
What ticked us off was UAL replaced all the ORD<->MCO flights with TED.

same thing happened at IAD. i hate it.

i've been flying united pretty exclusively for 8 years and we frequently use miles to upgrade too.

KerryCM
05-13-2005, 05:29 PM
Well, I am flying United June 9th to Santa Maria, CA to see my daughter and her family. United is the only airline that flies into SM. My DIL works for Delta and she said they will probably take United's tickets in the event of a strike. I will just have to fly into Santa Barbara. I will be gald whne my SIL gets stationed at Cape Canaveral, Patrick AFB after the 1st of the year. While Vandenberg is nice it is expensive to fly to!

cruiseonmagic
05-14-2005, 07:43 AM
What ticked us off was UAL replaced all the ORD<->MCO flights with TED. When we did DVC vacation, since we had to plan ahead, we always flyed 1st class on miles, nice way to start/end a vacation. But with TED it's all coach class all the time so it's bye bye UAL.

The reason that they switched is because the majority of travelers want the less expensive coach tickets for the 2 1/2 hour flight. Very few use miles to upgrade for such a short flight. When they used mainline flights and flew 757s it was typical to have flights be oversold, yet have 20 out of 24 first class seats used by employees.

CarolA
05-15-2005, 04:46 PM
I think that United switched those routes to Ted because no one was PAYING for the first class tickets. They really don't want to give the "free" or mile upgrades LOL!

RAD
05-15-2005, 05:08 PM
I think that United switched those routes to Ted because no one was PAYING for the first class tickets. They really don't want to give the "free" or mile upgrades LOL!

I don't know about that. I've flown a number of times, when it was a mainline route, and there were a number of business folks up in 1st along with some celeb's.

CarolA
05-15-2005, 05:47 PM
I don't know about that. I've flown a number of times, when it was a mainline route, and there were a number of business folks up in 1st along with some celeb's.

And I would bet that most of those business folks are like me. I fly first class 90% of the time, I NEVER pay for it. It's one of the perks of all those flights, but Delta isn't getting first class fare from me (Granted they are getting FULL fare coach!)

cruiseonmagic
05-16-2005, 09:50 PM
I don't know about that. I've flown a number of times, when it was a mainline route, and there were a number of business folks up in 1st along with some celeb's.

In the years that I worked for UAL, I flew first class 100% of the time. I don't know what it's like to sit in coach on a UAL flight to anywhere. The only way that someone could tell if it was an employee flying is if you overheard them talking about work (which they are not supposed to do). You won't see an employee dressed in jeans, shorts, tennis shoes, or even a shirt without a collar. It was a business perk for the job, and that's the way everyone was expected to act.

back2disney
06-07-2005, 06:36 PM
My advice for when flying with United is to tip heavily if you want your luggage to arrive on time.

DisKim
06-08-2005, 06:05 AM
I was going to book with United. I had no idea that all of this was going on. Thanks for the info. I'll probably book with Airtran instead.

RAD
06-08-2005, 06:13 AM
FYI, just flew a United trip over the weekend, no problems at all.

cruiseonmagic
06-11-2005, 12:29 PM
My advice for when flying with United is to tip heavily if you want your luggage to arrive on time.
WHAT? Where in the world did that come from? Oh yes--I remember. The big tippers bags are marked with the white tags to be placed on the same plane as the pax. The blue tags get on whatever plane has room that day. :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2:

mkymouse4ever
06-11-2005, 03:15 PM
last nite on the news the union had a "mock" walk out, to disrupt ohare. :earseek: I'm very worried. We aren't going till august, but I think, I'm holding tix and by then this will be over, OR blow up just about our time to go, & then it will be to late to make alternative plans. :confused3 I was very happy with TED in march, and am happy with our times, So we booked it months ago, I even paid to change the day when I got 2 extra days off at work, so these are kinds expensive tix to throw away. The union said, they where "practicing" to show united they could close down ohare / united in about 5 minutes. Pulling people off there jobs, for 5 minutes. It looked scary on cbs / channel 2 news.

Mky princess:

Uncle Buck
06-11-2005, 05:27 PM
In 1994 UAL employees took a 55% stake in the company with their ESOP. While their stake is no longer that high, they would still basically be striking against themselves. That's how smart these folks are. And we've trusted them until now to pilot our travel and handle our belongings?