United's latest failure...

Timbuff10

Well-Known Member
United\'s latest failure...

Don't know if anyone on here mentioned it but Ted started yesterday.

Here was my view from my new office at DIA.

http://www.airliners.net/open.file/509221/L/

While watching their little operation down there I got to wondering, instead of starting a low cost airline within an airline why don't they just turn United as a whole into a low cost airline?

I suppose the reasons they don't do that are the same reasons why this Ted thing will fizzle out this fall?

Its been about a year and half since they entered Ch11, and this Ted thing and their new colorscheme is the first sign of any change over there.

Tim
 

Johnathan

Well-Known Member
Re: United\'s latest failure...

I can't wait to see how the whole Ted thing goes, in my opinion (and many others) I too don't think it will succed. They try to establist a LCC but their fares are still higher than most competition.
 

Timbuff10

Well-Known Member
Re: United\'s latest failure...

Yeah, I agree. I work for the airline that Ted was designed to go after (Frontier) and from what has been shown on the local Denver news channels 90% of Ted's fares are slightly to significantly higher than Frontier's. They did have a few fares to LAS, and PHX that were a few dollars lower on certain times of the day on select days though.

Denver will be interesting for a while!

Tim
 

Boltonpilot

New Member
Re: United\'s latest failure...

Yeah, Ted will probably go down like Continental Light. I really don't know what United could do to reduce their costs...I've always wondered if reducing their hub city quantity would do it.
 

FalconCapt

New Member
Re: United\'s latest failure...

You do realize "Ted" is the end (i.e. last part) of "United" (literally, as in the end of the word, or more figuratively, the end of the company).

Take it for what it's worth, if they can't run one airline, how are they going to run two?
 

kellwolf

Piece of Trash
Re: United\'s latest failure...

I think United's main problem is that their costs are out of control. CEO salaries aside, instead of using that money to start up a LCC to compete w/ SWA, JetBlue, Frontier, etc, they should be looking at other options. Ted will more than likely not work for the same reason that Song has stalled. The pilots are still mainline United pilots at mainline wages. That won't work. You can't drop your ticket price, but keep your labor cost and hope that money magically appears. Instead, re-neogtiate your fuel contract, cut down on paper used in the offices, recycle more.

SWA has survived b/c they stuck to their niche market, and LCC is NOT United or Delta's market. Their loyal customers are not going to want to be stuck on a cattle car, but the media keeps saying that LCC are the only ones making money. Well, aparently they have said it for so long and so loudly, that the legacy carriers now believe that. Instead of re-inventing themselves, tighten the cost belt and ride it out. Freeze the bonuses (gasp!) for a couple of years. If your CEOs and VPs are more concerned about their golden parachute than the future of the company, then maybe they should be CEOs someplace else....
 

Prospective_Pilot

New Member
Re: United\'s latest failure...

Maybe this might work for them, and everyone else:

1.dump the domestic market
2.sell off as many domestic aircraft as possible except for the airbus fleet
3.transfer the airbus fleet to Ted
4.limit their domestic market down to a point where they only connect major cities where the money is like: Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Denver?, etc.....maybe keep around 100 737's and 757's for this.
5.use the money they get from the sold assets to buy or lease used 747-400's
5.buy 777-300ER's and 747-400ER's (not likely since they don't exactly have a very friendly relationship with GE because of flight 232)
6.double their international fleet of 747's and 777's!!!!
7.focus on expanding their international service to new destinations!!!
8.triple their total weekly flights to Australia since it's one of their most profitable routes (Qantas will soon be up to 43 flights/week to U.S from Australia, compared to United only offering 14 flights/week...so they could definitely be more competitive there.)
9.add additional flights to the other most profitable international destinations
10.make the employee relationship stronger with the airline......happy employees = good service = happy customers = $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
11.increase their 2 or 3 star rating up to 5 star rating to compete with the all classy, superb, and fancy Singapore Airlines, and Cathay Pacific Airways!
12.improve their product all around
13.come out of bankruptcy a top player who no body wants to mess with

Just some of my crazy ideas...............




I don't see any big problems with it:

The employee's who loose their job will eventually be sucked up by other airlines. No problem there......except for pay being a bit lower....

Where United pulls out the other airlines will fill.

U.S airlines finally turn happy again, including the successful all new classy, and different United.....


Why could this work??

Well, look at all the other major world airlines like Qantas, British Airways, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines..etc..all who mainly tend to focus on international service.

80% of Qantas's profits come from international flying!!! The other airlines I imagine would be somewhat similar......

That is where the money seems to be.




Note: this was written at 2:00am with much tiredness. Please do not flame me............
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Re: United\'s latest failure...

I think the last airline that tried to be a international behemoth without a supporting domestic network was Pan Am.
 

FL270

New Member
Re: United\'s latest failure...

This is true ... of course, they did fairly well at being an international behemoth. The beginning of the end was when they overpaid for an ill-advised takeover of National in an effort to have an overnight domestic network.

The difference between then and now is that only a couple of US carriers back then flew overseas. Pan Am counted on interline transfers to its long-haul network. Now, everybody goes overseas. Are you really going to fly from St. Louis to Newark on Continental just to switch to a United flight to Paris, when Continental has its own flight to Paris with less hassle from the same terminal?

Yes, international is where the most profit can be made, but the domestic networks exist (in part) to support that international flying. Look at Delta ... are there really that many people in Atlanta that want to go to Stuttgart or Shannon? Probably not ... but when they've got flights from 100 other cities feeding that flight, they can make the money on the crossing no problem. Even Continental, operating from one of the largest O&D markets in the world at EWR, has timed its domestic network to feed the overseas services.

Just my $0.02 ...

FL270
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
Re: United\'s latest failure...

You can't do this because how are you going to fill that 747 or 777 with passengers going international without feeder routes?

The hub and spoke system, for all the pundits calling it a dinosaur, does work.

Look, what the legacy carriers are going to need is a return of business travel, which will happen eventually. The question is how do you hang on until that comes back.

I know that net meetings are supposed to be the end of business travel, but then, so was the telephone and the fax machine.

People still like to do business face to face, and as long as that continues business travel will come back.
 

Prospective_Pilot

New Member
Re: United\'s latest failure...

Ted would have about 150 Airbus's. Those combined with the 100 or so other aircraft (mainline domestic) would probably give United enough feeder routes....and then they have United Express.

I hope the business travel market will pick up for the major airlines, however, many business travelers have become fed up with the major airlines and gone to airlines such as jetBlue. Business just isn't what it use to be. It seems to have gone very casual. Suits are almost a thing of past just like first and business class on the major airline. I guess I am not very confident that it will pick up to where it use to be due to offshore employees in other countries who have replaced many American jobs. But I defenitely believe that it will pick up again, and the major's definitely can''t wait around for that if they can't compete with the LCC's in the mean time....

There are 3 different ways United could go, I just hope they choose the correct one....
 

FalconCapt

New Member
Re: United\'s latest failure...

[ QUOTE ]
many business travelers have become fed up with the major airlines

[/ QUOTE ]

Your right... Our Corporate Flying has picked up nearly 50% since late 2001... Everytime I see a news article about a Terminal being cleared because some TSA Agent fell asleep or some old lady went through security and kept on going... I just sit back and smile...

Flying on the airlines has become a circus of unpredictability and unreliability... Look at the recent cancellations of the flights from Europe to the US... I bet there are some very UNhappy business travelers among the ranks of passengers who were booked on those particular flights.
 

Nick

Well-Known Member
Re: United\'s latest failure...

Falconcapt,
What if a terrorist boarded a corporate jet and took it over like on 9/11? It seems like if that ever happened, then the ease of flying your own business jet would dissappear as new "security" measures would be put in place.
Any thoughts on this?

Nick
 

FalconCapt

New Member
Re: United\'s latest failure...

[ QUOTE ]
Falconcapt,
What if a terrorist boarded a corporate jet and took it over like on 9/11? It seems like if that ever happened, then the ease of flying your own business jet would dissappear as new "security" measures would be put in place.
Any thoughts on this?

Nick

[/ QUOTE ]

Hi Nick,

First off a business jets isn't a likely target for a terrorist, many because it would not drive fear into the general public. How many people fly around on business jets? Maybe 4-5% of the public. Terrorist target things that offer then the ability to create wide-spread fear. How many people are they going to kill doing that? Maybe 3 or 4? A dozen at most? A Corporate Jet (even a G-V) doesn't have the potential energy to take down a skyscraper... A G-V only carries about 1/4th the fuel of a 767... Those terrorists were smart, they used the two 767 for the towers and the two 757's were for the smaller targets, they knew what they were doing.

Things have changed since 9/11 for us too. Security is tighter in a lot of places. Until you have worked in the Corporate Aviation arena, you wouldn't understand how unlikely your proposed scenario is. It would be far more likely they could get on a Charter or Fractional aircraft before a Corporate aircraft, mainly because we know each of our passengers (and have some additional security measures in place that aren't subject for public discussion)...

As far as UAL is concerned, their problems were severe long before 9/11... The only thing 9/11 did was accelerate the effect of their already existing issues. UAL's business plan has been faulty for a long, long time. They had a very unrealistic cost structure.

Commercial travel will never be the same... People who can afford it, will travel via different methods and not return. If you think about it, who wants to be at the gate 1 1/2 - 2 hours before departure, get reamed through security and then have the terminal evacuated 10 minutes before you board your flight, resulting in a several hour delay causing you to miss you connecting flight and that important business meeting?

I was there on 9/11, I saw the towers fall first hand, with my own eyes (from a few miles away)... It was something I will never forget... That was the day the world changed. That was our generations "Pearl Harbor".

I hope this answers your questions...
 

kellwolf

Piece of Trash
Re: United\'s latest failure...

There was a really good show on Discovery Wings not too long ago on security and corporate a/c. Showed things like motion sensors placed around the plane that would activate a remote TV monitor when triggered, corporations employing their own specially trained security personal to insure the safety of their execs, and special tape put on doors that shows when they have been opened or tampered with.
 

eeg

New Member
Re: United\'s latest failure...

Yes, but people are still flying on jetBlue and other airlines and LCC's have their planes full and making money, so I'm pretty sure people will continue to fly and things will eventually get better. The problem is people are just so negative about everything it's messed up.

I'll give you an example:

A few months back I was traveling from FLL to JFK. The TSA agent told everybody before they got on the line to take off their shoes, belt and everything out of their pockets. Now the TSA agent said this out loud about 3 times and people were still not paying attention which caused delays. I personally havn't had a problem with TSA. It's paying attention to detail and not taking everything personal.
 

FL270

New Member
Re: United\'s latest failure...

I will agree with Falcon Capt's statements that corporate aviation is extremely secure, and any sort of terrorist event like that Nick describes is incredibly unlikely.

First of all, our passengers are known to us. Probably 75% of the people on the airplane are directly known to the flight crew. The remaining 25% are customers/vendors/etc. and are directly known to one of the passengers. All passengers and all flights must be approved by management. Put simply, there just isn't a hole in the system that would allow an unknown passenger to board our airplane.

Additionally, post-9/11, we have updated security at our home base. All the locks on the hangar were changed, as were the keyed locks on the airplane. We replaced the factory locks (which could be opened with a pocket knife!) with higher-security Medeco locks. If someone wanted to steal our airplane from its hangar, they would have to have a security code for the airport fence/gate, four separate keys to gain access to the hangar and aircraft, then there are a couple of other, more subtle, security measures in place.

Even after all that, a UHaul truck weighs more than a King Air 200 and can carry more stuff.

Corporate aviation, in spite of what some idiots on the news would have you believe, is probably far more secure than the airlines are. Having TSA morons around does not security make, and the absence of them does not security compromise.

FL270
 

Jack

Well-Known Member
Re: United\'s latest failure...

For 28 years I used to do 100,000-125,000 miles a year via commercial airlines, most of it paid business/first class. For the past couple of years its been down to 20,000-25,000 and thats' probably what it will be this year as well. Of those miles, most will be international.

I have cut my travel by about 30% overall. The remainder has been picked up by charters. Why? The TSA.

I got fed up with having to get to the airport two hours early, not knowing whether it would take me 5 minutes or an hour and a half to check in and clear "security", strip to get to the airplane and then usually wind up getting so-so or outright bad service once I got onboard.

This old road warrior has had enough.

I've gotten to know my local Citation operator really well, and discovered that I could turn what once was a two or three day trip into a one day trip -- a long day, but one day nonetheless. And the nice thing about it is I can work on the plane, have what I want to eat and drink and even at the end of a long day I'm not nearly as tired as I used to be.

Even if things were to ease up with the TSA idiocy, I can't see me ever going back to my old habits of 28 years.
 

eeg

New Member
Re: United\'s latest failure...

Just out of curiousity how much more do you spend on the private jet then you would on a commercial flight?
 

FalconCapt

New Member
Re: United\'s latest failure...

[ QUOTE ]
Just out of curiousity how much more do you spend on the private jet then you would on a commercial flight?

[/ QUOTE ]

When it comes to business travel, typically the cost isn't an over-riding concern. The security, convienience and privacy far outweigh the extra money spent.
 
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