IAHFLYR, I know you will have an opinion on this....
So Jeff Smisek just posted a first quarter loss of $609 million. He blames the bad weather but AA cancelled the same number of flights and posted net income of $480 million. IMO, when you are a billion dollars behind your competitors in one quarter with similar operating conditions it means you aren't doing a very good job. Thoughts?
Thanks for posting the information!
Recently flew AA, after a long period of not flying them, and was impressed! I wish I could say the same about UA! It was terrible, and that was all after waiting over one hour, each way, for the flights to get into the air!
This week-end I am looking forward to enjoying my 747 flight on Air France! Hope to get some photo's to share!
It is also about a 6% drop in total value. I would agree. Wonder what shareholders are thinking. United has not had a very good financial history in it's last 20 years. I would not want to be a United Continental Holdings shareholder. I would not want to be a United employee. I am not a United customer. I'm not sure I would want to be Smisek either.
Smisek's days are numbered at UA. All his pontificating about bringing the best parts of both airlines together to create one amazing airline just flat out have not happened. It has been 4 years and so few customers say good things about UA. I just don't understand how 4 years later you can still be talking about inefficiencies and merger effects. I took probably 20 flights over a period from early 2010 to May 2011 and I was really thinking he was going to improve the product. I find it crazy that it takes years to implement the smallest changes. Yes I understand that when your fleet is running at 90% efficiency you can't just park planes in order to install wifi and power ports and tv screens. However, 4 years later and the numbers speak for themselves. Customers are tired of delays, surly FAs, crabby GAs, and an overall mediocre (domestic) product.
Delays, surliness, crabbiness, mediocrity... that's been going on for a long time. Why I quit UA back in '05, and here we are, 9 years later. I did fly them a year ago, and purely by accident (I needed to change a flight and LH put me on a UA codeshare). There was no comparison possible between them and LH, and sorry to say.
Sad thing is CO gets lumped into that UA barrel too often since they are now merged (supposedly), and a reason we always attempt to get on a CO plane even though when they have swapped out to an Airbus we have not found too much surliness. Regardless I still don't like it and that's why LH and AC are getting us later this summer.
Okay, for those who don't know I have lived in Houston for a very long time and was a Continental Airlines supporter for many years as was almost everyone else in this town. I live near many of them, my best friends were pilots for them, I talked to their flights as a controller every day at work, they had the most advanced flight deck procedures in the lower 48 states other than Alaska Airlines (pluto77, you go) and they were making money.
Sure, they had their problems in the Lorenzo days and after, but Gordon Bethune came in and with a complete change in attitude toward employees, empowering them to fix what was wrong and letting operational personnel be ops folks Continental soared. Flights were on time, bags were not lost, passengers complaints down, expanding routes and more.
They had OnePass members who were happy, passengers who got great service in the air and on the ground. They bought new airplanes and at one point had totally eliminated turbo-prop flying by replacing them with Regional Jets, which at the time were not flown on 3 plus hour flights and became a huge step up in flying. Flying CO was great and they were our home town airline with HQ in downtown Houston.
And then along comes this Harvard Law School grad names Smisek who did not have a clue (still does not) about the day to day operation of an airline and he gets names CEO of CO after Larry Kellner was basically driven out by the CO Board of Directors as they thought CO needed to merge with another airline. Slimesek as he is known now was given the helm and sure enough the CO and UA "merger of equals" was on the table. UA had a horrible track record with passengers and employees alike and that didn't fit with CO at all. The CO employees were very very unhappy with this merger and the pilots even more so as the UA Pilots Union called Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) during the Lorenzo days had blackballed all CO pilots since they crossed a picket line to get or keep their jobs when Lorenzo filed Chapter 11 and ALPA gave them all the "Scab" name. Well this was 25 years later and the UA pilots were still fighting the ALPA battle and now had to have these same "Scabs" working for the same company although the CO pilots were flying newer and much better airplanes than the UA pilots.
Anyway, so much for history, background or whatever else you want to call it, I am not a fan of this merger and doubt I every will be. I was a million miler with CO and am now with UA after they put the FF programs together. I was a "Co-Star" with CO which is similar to MileagePlus Global Service. My status with UA was 1K for a total of four years after this merger and just dropped to Gold since I don't fly as much anymore. Regardless, my FF account will be getting used over the next few years on other Star Alliance airlines as I am going to avoid UA as much as I am able all while realizing where I live and this is their largest HUB.
UA is going to have to struggle in my opinion to turn it around this year. They cannot cut connection times any more as they'll be at the bottom of the list for on time performance. Last I checked about a year ago the IAH times between planes at a gate during peak hours was close to seven minutes, that means if the flight on the gate is late leaving the inbound flight sits and waits, then it starts to snowball.
So let's all wait to see what the brain child and his appointed master minds come up with on how to compete with the likes of DL and AA, heck drop Spirit into the mix as they continue to expand and add new destinations out of IAH poking a stick right in the eye of UA even though you won't find me on a Spirit flight any time soon.
Oh I could go on and on, but will calm down and get some more "meds"!!
So much for history... Since you live in Houston, you have to make the most of it, my friend. Since all of the other Star Alliance partners are foreign, guess you'll be doing a lot of overseas travel! And that's not a bad thing... (Well, there's AC at least.) And thanks for the AS shout out. Too bad they don't do a n/s IAH - PDX. Almost, but not quite.
WOW...check out this article....they didn't mince words in this one....
Some good insight and funny jokes on this site as well:
"No one else has a greater stake in United Airlines than the collective stake of our pilots," the letter said. "Our careers should not be jeopardized by the worst senior management in the airline industry." "We have absolutely zero confidence in the ability of present management to lead a turnaround," wrote LEC Chairman Glenn Johnson, Vice Chairman Mark Leneski and Secretary-Treasurer Tim Boyens.
The three listed United's faults, including these: It has "a disengaged and incompetent CEO is leading a terrible management team." Also, "a merger that should have been completed in three years or less remains incomplete after nearly four years (and) interdepartmental and cooperation are nearly nonexistent."
Interesting that I mentioned yesterday that here we are a full 4 years later and the merger is still a cause for excuses...sounds like I wasn't wrong that 4 years was enough time to complete everything and be improving.
I have to say as much as I dislike ALPA these LEC boys are right on the money.
Gordon, Gordon, Gordon, Gordon.......I know he is riding his Harley laughing is backside off at this entire thing, as he should. But he could fix it within a year and have the the employee groups supporting him or for that matter anyone else who would listen to what they employees are saying and what customers are saying.
I've got to go watch the grass grow.
Some interesting thoughts from Barron's....
What's wrong with UnitedContinental?
That guy did not even research UA before writing that article, they don't fly to over 400 destinations nor do they need to stop taking deliveries of new planes, nor will the current management team be able to correct the problems. They need to do two very important things in my humble opinion.
And as one of the comments mentioned, put some mainline jets on some of the $$ making Mexico routes and remove the almost constant pile of RJ's flying them. Other than MEX, CUN and CZM every other city gets nothing but RJ's and most are excellent industrial and business routes out of Houston.