Den Lcc Announcement Imminent

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UnitedChicago

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While I agree that the "average", occasional, non-business travel would put service and price at the top of the list...the business traveler would put price (at least in this economy) and convenience at the top of the list.

I should know, I'm a business travel. I know I can fly on United and have a ton of flight options, at worst connect once, and add more miles to my account.

The business travel demands frequency and on-time flights. At the end of the day - i'd pick an on-time arrival over a happy, peppy crew.
 

Andre1980

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Sep 8, 2003
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Why is Ual doing this? I know they the LCC's are very competitive and they are taking away market share from the network carriers but doing a carrier within a carrier could solve the problem if United is really serious about it being implemented right accross the system instead of being too specific about which market they should have their LCC in since the Lcc's are so spread out throughout its network and growing every day.

At the moment I am trying to picture the future of United's domestic operations. Will 'starfish' replace all of its domestic services? Will United be spilt in two with one catering for international service and another for the domestic transportation?
What will happen when thoes unions want to get back their concessions when UA starts making a profit and would this put a damper on its Lcc operations?Why is UA doing this when they could have tried to improve productivity through out its entire operations by turning around aircraft faster similar to what WN is doing and return or start new operations with the excess aircraft?

I would love to know the answers to these questions so that I will have a clear understanding of what Ual wants to do and what is their vision for the future as a major air transport company.
 

767jetz

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I'm not sure if I can answer your questions completely, but I'll try to give you my perspective.

UA has improved productivity throughout it's system. The LCC will be targeted at specific markets based on extensive marketing research. The ability to turn aircraft quickly and increase usage depends on many factors.

One is catering(food service) and pre-boarding. It takes longer to cater first class and coach than coach alone. First class usually requires a pre-boarding period. So the LCO will work best in markets where there is not a large demand for the first class product. However putting the LCO in a market where there is a high demand for fist class would only serve to drive those high paying customers away.

Airports also have a huge impact. Quick turns in ORD are much harder to achieve consistently than lets say Buffalo.

Also, a leisure route from point A to point B and back can be scheduled differently than a route designed to feed connecting traffic.

So don't expect the LCO to replace Mainline. It will complement it in appropriate markets.

As for unions wanting their piece of the pie, I think it's realistic to say that employees will want to share in the wealth when contract time comes up. But I do not expect to see contract changes that would make the LCO unprofitable. Pay is only a small part of it. When the company is profitable I expect we'll see some raises and some profit sharing. But IMO the work rules that make the LCO profitable will remain.
 

Andre1980

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Sep 8, 2003
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Thanks 767jetz for that little lesson. What u have explained to me makes sense and I expect good finanical results from Ual in the future as a result of this new venture. I was a bit surprised that United Lcc employees will have different work rules than those working for the mainline I thought when the employees gave concessions work rule changes were included and this would have been implemented accross the board but you probably meant that the work rules at 'starfish' would be more rigerous than the others.

In the future would 'starfish' expand more point to point routes outside of United hubs that demand this type of service?I have heard that UA wants to use 40 planes out of its A320 fleet but in the future do you expect this figure to double in response to the mass expansion of Lcc accross the market?
 

jimntx

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767jetz said:
funguy2 said:
Finally, as for on board ammenities, UA has said that food service will be provided.
As the River City Mayor says in The Music Man, "Sir, watch your phrasee ology."(phonetically spelled to match the mayor's pronunciation of the word) :D

The press release said, "All seats will be pre-assigned, and food and beverage service will be available on board."

There is a small, but telling difference between "food and beverage service will be provided" and "food and beverage service will be available." Even American Eagle has food "available" on some flights now. But it is on-board sales, not provided as part of the ticket.

Does anyone know if the LCO will sell food on board or will it be provided as part of the ticket?
 

wrx

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Sep 19, 2003
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Two of my roomates in NYC who fly for UAL said they heard the name of the new UAL-LCC is going to be "Starfish", is this true?
 

767jetz

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wrx said:
Two of my roomates in NYC who fly for UAL said they heard the name of the new UAL-LCC is going to be "Starfish", is this true?
No. Starfish was the internal name corporate gave the operation. It definitely will not be called Starfish.
 

767jetz

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Andre1980 said:
I was a bit surprised that United Lcc employees will have different work rules than those working for the mainline I thought when the employees gave concessions work rule changes were included and this would have been implemented accross the board
I'm sorry if I was not clear. As for contracts, there is no difference in pay or benefits for employees working at UA, whether mainline or LCO.

The company has those savings across the board. The LCO will have additional cost savings not related to labor. (ie: routes, AC usage, etc.)
 

willyloman

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Jan 23, 2003
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UnitedChicago said:
I vote for "U2". That was a name considered when they launched Shuttle. Seems like DEN is the logical choice to launch the product.
:lol: UA's LCC will be called "And Dance."
 
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Cfm56 said:
>>>>Finally, as for on board ammenities, UA has said that food service will be provided. (SWA and JBlu have no catering) I don't know any details about Live TV. I do know that UA will be introducing inflight internet access throughout the system, and I'm sure that entertainment will be competitive.

Add to all of this the other benefits such as Easy Check-in, Advanced seat assginment, a leading frequent flyer program, and access to the worlds best route system, and I believe most customers will find our LCO to be a far superior product than the competition. <<<


Sounds like a repeat of the stuff that was said when United Shuttle, CAL-LITE, and METRO-JET were started. "Overall our product is superior, assigned seating, 'wordwide service', food, blah, blah, blah.

The average guy doesn't care about "the world's best route sytem" and FF program...he wants consistent service from friendly people at low fares. I know many business people who have sworn off UAL for the rest of their lives due to the "Summer of Discontent" and UAL is still paying for it. "Wordwide service" and other egotistical rantings etc doesn't make up for the fundamental basics of friendly CONSISTENT service and not ripping off the last minute business traveler with fares 10 times higher than the leisure traveler. Others will be irritated at the product differentation with one 800 mile route on the UAL "mainline" always being 5 times more expensive than the same distance traveled on a UAL "Starfish" route instead of the same ticket cost per mile, or a cost consistency for the whole airline....no reputation for consistent low fares overall -- just on "some" routes. Meanwhile the other UAL 'mainline' routes will gradually be invaded by more LCCs anyway.

Oh.......and for the UAL and USAirways pilots who always lectured me on the "guaranteed, "safe" pensions" at their airlines, now you understand what I meant when I said I prefered to have a DC plan run by the union OUTSIDE of the airline's control or ownership.
This is the correct answer.

Don't confuse your customers folks.