29 Replies Latest reply: Feb 11, 2014 3:49 PM by iahflyr RSS

United Airlines dehubs Cleveland

ks77 Gold 23 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

So by now everyone has probably heard that CLE is no longer a hub for United. Below is an article written by a man who lives in that area and he is not happy about it. What does everyone else think about this move?

 

http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/40226

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  • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
    ks77 Gold 23 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Additional link I left out...this makes a lot of valid points that Continental was better than United.

     

    http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/40214

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    • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
      iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Here is the letter from the CEO:

       

      United Airlines Letter to Employees

       

      To be honest, CLE is too close to ORD and EWR to be a successful UA HUB.  They no longer have direct flights to any destinations outside of the U.S. other than Canada, most of the flights are 50 seat or smaller RJ's or Turbo-Props which is difficult to maintain a HUB using mainly those type of aircraft.  Don't get me wrong as I am in no way shape or form a fan of Smisek (he has many other names with the industry), but I don't think he has it out for CLE more so Houston.

       

      Smisek got upset with the Mayor of Houston and picked up his shovel and pale from the sandbox and pouted when the Mayor announce an expansion at Hobby Airport (south airport) to include a FIS for Southwest to do international flying from Hobby.  The expansion was to be completed in 2015 and Smisek declared they would reduce flying from Intercontinental (north airport and UA massive HUB), cut jobs due to the loss of revenue from Southwest flying internationally.  Come on Smisek, get a grip, UA can match Southwest flight for flight and exceed their numbers simply because Hobby cannot accommodate a huge increase if flights as Intercontinental can just due to space and runway capacity. 

       

      So while Smisek stewed and pull the future Houston-Auckland, has only added one new international destination (Munich) other airlines such as China Air, Korean Air, Turkish Airlines, Qatar and Emirates have come into town or added frequency to existing flights.  Domestically he has not increased capacity to cities where Spirit and Frontier have added service.  He then decided it was best to bring in a bunch of old pre-merger UA airplanes without an established crew or maintenance base and reduce much newer B737 flying at Intercontinental already with a huge pre-merger CO crew and maintenance base.  Yet he and the stellar UA Board wonders why they are only producing 1/2 of the revenue that DL did last year?

       

      To attract more customers they have removed ALL meal service from First Class on flights of 899 miles or less except certain flights that go through DEN or ORD and get a snack basket passed around if catering remembers to load it on the flight.  Flights to Asia no longer have provide free alcohol United Cuts Free Booze From Asia Flights In Economy | LoyaltyLobby removes pretzels from international flights United Cuts Free Booze From Asia Flights In Economy | LoyaltyLobby increased the number of miles required for to use award travel in Business First United MileagePlus Award & Upgrade Changes Effective February 1, 2014 (Major Devaluation) | LoyaltyLobby a significant devaluation all while producing some incredibly horrible rankings Which airline placed first in our latest Middle Seat scorecard?  Flying Friendly they say, okay prove it Smisek!

       

      So CLE maybe you're lucky after all and somebody may come in to provide customer service.

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      • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
        ks77 Gold 23 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        IAHFLYR,

         

        Wow...great insight. Lots of information. I agree that CLE is only a RJ airport and having it as a hub no longer makes sense. Dan from Dan's Deals is a resident of the area and uses CLE so he is rightfully upset, but the statements about Smisek are pretty believeable based on your supporting info/experience.

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        • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
          iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          He is a Harvard Law school graduate and hired by CO as a Senior VP and Counsel, not sure that actually qualifies anyone to be the CEO of an airline regardless of the size.  I won't say that moving the UA HQ to Chicago rather than having it be in Houston which was the HQ of CO didn't have some impact in the Southwest thing at Hobby, it does seem the timing kind of fit. 

           

          While I love Chicago in the spring and fall, winter time and the employees paying state income tax something we don't have in Texas it would appear Houston should have been more attractive.....might just be me whining about them leaving 1600 Smith St.

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          • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
            ks77 Gold 23 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            Yeah living in Chicagoland is rough...very expensive, high taxes, very bad traffic...only saving grace is higher wages. Basically the same story here in the tri state (NY,NJ,CT). 

             

            I learned from my father that working in Operations no matter what the business is never going to lead to glory or easy upward mobility. Lawyers and marketing people are often at the top of corporations when the Ops guys to actually know how the business works often times never reach those levels or have their input truly considered often enough. As far as Smisek is concerned I remember being on lots of EWR-ORD flights where his face pops up and hes talking about how great things will be and the expanded network and the upgraded planes, and the IFE additions. Truth is, most of that was hogwash. I keep hearing more and more negative things about United each month. Smisek just doesn't seem to get it though. How can you possibly integrate a better airline into your own and end up with a worse product than you had originally? At the very least United should have slightly improved with the addition of Continental and instead it appears at least that it has declined.


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            • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
              iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              Ops guys succeed if they get the chance, thus Gordon Bethune and his success with CO. I am baffled (not so after looking at the board) at why the UA Board of Directors hasn't taken action as yet to find someone with more personality, who is truly liked by employees as well as customers and stop trying to patch a problem with another patch. 

               

              CO had a fantastic fleet and you knew pretty much what you'd get when you got on the plane as far as amenities.  Now they've developed a mess with upgrades to interiors of the old UA planes, some having WiFi, others have old overhead monitors for an entertainment system that you can't see anyway, others have nothing at all...and it's that way for all the A319/A320's and the newest B739ER's as some will have DirecTV and others no.  Nothing like booking a flight across the country thinking you might be able to watch TV only to get on the plane and hope you're able to entertain yourself for 5 hours. 

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              • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
                ks77 Gold 23 Reviews
                Currently Being Moderated

                It's one of those situations where if you don't laugh you will cry. I have never been the CEO of any company but as a consumer you have to wonder...wouldn't consistency be the best policy no matter what the situation? Be it IFE, Wi-Fi, meals, cabin layout, reservations, employees, boarding processes, you name it. How does this overwheming sense of inconsistency get solved? Well IMO it starts at the top.

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              • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
                ks77 Gold 23 Reviews
                Currently Being Moderated

                smisek

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                • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
                  iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
                  Currently Being Moderated

                  You've got to delete that picture before some Insiders start tossing tomatoes at their monitors!!!!

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          • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
            ks77 Gold 23 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            IAHFLYR   

             

            Not sure if you have had the opportunity to read this but if not give it a look. I find it to painfully spot on. This is why I am an AA elite.

             

            http://upgrd.com/aerospace/jeff-smisek-needs-to-step-down-as-united-chairman-and-ceo.html

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            • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
              iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              That is an awesome article and whoever this guy Rohan is hit the nail on the head.  Jeffy needs to go and save the pieces of what could be a great airline to both work for and be a passenger on.  He took a fantastic airline and turned it into a mere dumpster for the other legacy carriers to toss their blue water. 

               

              I've learned something today with all this UA stuff and that is I don't dislike the airline itself, I very much dislike Slimesek, or as former CO employees dubbed him FLIBS, Frank Lorenzo In Better Suit.

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            • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
              iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              ks77,

               

              Like I told kharada46 a few days back, I've got my Mother-In-Law talked into buying a ticket on AA for later this year so I can't wait to her of her experiences.  I may find myself flying through DFW or ATL sooner than later and not because I like those airports either.

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  • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
    pluto77 Alumni Steward Platinum 25 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    IAHFLYR, why don't you ditch United and free yourself from such an unwanted union?

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    • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
      iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      It's hard to toss over a million miles down the drain at this point, better to use them when we can for trips with other Star Alliance airlines like we will this summer to Europe while taking an optimistic look at other options. Living in a huge HUB city it is very hard also to take the non-stop flights away and have to change to another carrier that will require making stops and changing planes.  Why do you ask pluto77 did it sound as if I was complaining about this airline or more pointing out issues?

       

      You know if you'd just tell AS to operate more flights to IAH it would all be good!!!!!

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      • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
        kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        IAHFLYR,

         

        May I suggest using your miles on LH, NH, SQ, OS, BR and/or OZ?  All are top rate airlines with excellent service! 

         

        LH 748

        BR 77W

        OZ 744

        SQ 77W

        OS 772

        NH 77W

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        • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
          iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          LH has already gotten some of my miles as well as AC!

           

          marriottmemberfromla, you must have not come through IAH when I was working then as I could find many ways to delay flights!!! LOL

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          • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
            marriottmemberfromla Platinum 51 Reviews
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            I've only used IAH for 2 years.  So far so good.  I've never really had issues with DEN (though it has a high delay rate), but I just prefer IAH.  I love Chicago and enjoy a lot of things about their airport (Tortas Fronteras, picking up Garrett popcorn for friends), but I avoid ORD.  Over 25% of their flights get delayed.

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            • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
              iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              Glad to hear the airport here is treating you well.  We really don't run many delays unless thunderstorms are around making a mess of things.  With three east/west parallels to land on simultaneously in all weather conditions it should be pretty delay free.

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              • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
                ks77 Gold 23 Reviews
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                The second phase of the four phase expansion project is complete at ORD now. I am curious to see if delays will improve this year and in the coming years once the final runway configuration is complete.

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                • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
                  iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
                  Currently Being Moderated

                  What did they do now since they already had the third east/west parallel runway like ATL, IAH, DFW, DEN and some other place can't remember now?

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                  • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
                    ks77 Gold 23 Reviews
                    Currently Being Moderated

                    Once completed the final runway config will be pretty darn impressive...it probably won't be done until 2018 but who cares if it is steadliy getting better each year. IMHO, this plan is not the typical meets capacity today but in a year will already be overwhelmed, it looks like the final confiuration will mean that their capacity and setup will be great for decades.

                     

                    BLUE= Existing

                    GREEN= NEW Runway

                    Yellow= Removed Runway

                     

                    Phase 1

                    Phase 2 (now complete)

                    (

                     

                    Phase 3 (work has now begun)

                    Phase 4 (completed configuration)

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                    • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
                      iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
                      Currently Being Moderated

                      ks77,

                       

                      Nicely done.  Looks like they are extending some runways and adding a close parallel in other cases other than Phase 3.  In the Phase 3 picture they are adding a new parallel which will be able to be used for all weather simultaneous quad approaches as the closely spaced parallels are not far enough apart to land more in all weather and look like they'll be designated as mostly departure runways.  Very interesting, thanks for sharing.

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                    • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
                      ks77 Gold 23 Reviews
                      Currently Being Moderated

                      IAHFLYR,

                       

                      No problem! On a related air travel note, anyone see the "Mile High Club Snub" article/video? If I was on this flight and I was diverted and delayed because of this clown I would have been more than a little miffed. At least United didn't have anything to do with it. LOL

                       

                      http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/womans-fury-over-milehigh-sex-snub-on-delta-airlines-plane/story-e6frfq80-1226824249560

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                      • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
                        iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
                        Currently Being Moderated

                        That is just crazy plain and simple. 

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      • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
        pluto77 Alumni Steward Platinum 25 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Ah, I didn't realize that you were still joined to them in that way.  Understood.  Yes, you've pointed out a lot of issues over time my friend (just my observation).    Call it what you will!   I simply opt not to fly with United because their customer service is terrible.  Not worth the misery.

         

        As a non-frequent flyer (16-18 flights/year), I have found that by trying to buy into airline loyalty, I end up on the losing end of the deal, mainly because I am not a true frequent flyer.  I will never be upgraded since I will only barely (and maybe) make the bottom tier of status, and it takes forever to get enough miles for a free ticket, and award tickets have all kinds of problems of their own.  I have learned through trial and error to just go with whatever airline offers me the best itinerary (as I'm still working, itinerary is important - I'm not interested in burning valuable annual leave on 2 or more connections and/or an overabundance of airport time just to save a buck) and the best service for the lowest price.  This means that I'm flying a number of airlines - mostly AS, DL, AA, QF, LH, AF, depending on my destination and though I'm not getting any miles that will add up quick (since earnings are spread across airlines) and no status, I'm still shopping the sales, mostly getting good deals and having good flying experiences.  At the end of the day, I'm happy.

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  • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
    marriottmemberfromla Platinum 51 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    It doesn't surprise me that Cleveland is no longer a hub.  It is close to Chicago.  It is a bummer if you live in Cleveland though.  I live in LA and having United as a hub makes flying very convenient.  American Airlines also has a hub in LA, but I have never been a big fan of them (they have made a lot of changes in the last few years though).

     

    If I am going to the east coast, I prefer going through Houston.  I've had the best luck with weather and delays in Houston.  I've had good luck with Denver too, but I prefer Houston.  I've never used Cleveland.  I try to avoid Chicago.

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    • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
      jerryl Platinum 2 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      there are too many hubs as mergers get implemented. USAIR and AA said they won't consolidate hubs and I think they have a couple of years they guarantee but like United they will once they get past the date that they contractually agreed to.

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  • Re: United Airlines dehubs Cleveland
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Cleveland and United was a "Horrible" experience!

     

    Will not experience that again!

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