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Puckinflight

An all things aviation blog

Tag Archives: United Airlines

United Airlines is bleeding and current changes in market conditions will make it likely that United Airlines will go bankrupt again.

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Both of these changes were noted on the Airline routes blog. H/T to them

Delta Air Lines is starting seasonal weekly service out of Indianapolis to Nassau and Montego Bay.  This adds to Delta’s winter service to Ft. Myers, Orlando, Tampa, and Cancun. What surprises me isn’t snowbird service, but that Delta is expanding a city that is less than 400 miles from three Delta hubs, CVG, MEM, and DTW. While Delta could expand service from any those three hubs, they went with expanding IND. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but then again it doesn’t have to.

United Airlines is reducing their daily service on Washington DC-Kuwait City-Bahrain to 4x weekly service. This appears just to be another instance of United trying to shrink to profitability, a scenario that has barely worked  in the airline industry. That being said United needs to swap crews in Kuwait City, which does increase the cost of the route dramatically.

Happy Flying!

colpuck

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The DOT yesterday issued a “show cause” order detailing how the new Brazil slots for this year and next year are to be divided among the bidders. Here was my prediction.

This year

DL gets JFK-GRU

AA gets LAX-GRU

Next year

AA gets ORD-GRU

US gets PHL-GRU

Those were my predictions. Here is what the show cause order says

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Starting in 2014 the qualification requirements for elite status on United Airlines will include a minimum spend of ten cents a mile. This is in line with Delta’s spend requirement released several months ago.

There are a couple of ways around the requirement.

 

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ccy1

No words.
H/T Flyertalk.com

Happy Travels!
Colpuck

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In what is almost non-news United Airlines announced to Milepoint.com and Flyertalk.com that they will be retrofitting their narrowbody airbus fleet. The upgrades include wifi internet and AVOD and power in first and economy plus. However, the upgrades are almost entirely overshadowed by the notice that United will be installing Recaro’s slimline seats. These seats have been adopted by Southwest and numerous European carriers to universal disappointment of travelers. The seats allow the airline to reduce pitch and cram in more seats into an already cramped space.

How far we have fallen from the days of more “room in coach.” You may remember the ads from TV and here is a 2000 NYT article detailing American Airlines plan to put “more room in coach.”

United Airlines has pledged to pay for extra padding, head rests, and adjusted the seat design so that travel will not be as painful as it is on Southwest or the other European carriers that have adopted the seat. However, this remains to be proven true. Based on the description provided it looks like the seat will probably look like Recaro’s current long-haul seat the CL3620 imaged below.

turntable_55

While the current design is up in the air the other development, wifi, interests me more. Again taking a page out of Southwest’s book, United is going to add wifi internet and streaming AVOD. Southwest’s current offering is described here. I think we can expect to see something similar adopted by United, just more expensive. United previously made available to its first class passengers free Direct-TV on flights with Direct-TV. This will probably not extend to the wifi equipped plane and we will start to see first class passengers being asked to pay wifi. Cramped planes, expensive wifi, no other IFE, UA’s airbus fleet will have the same experience as US Airways’ fleet, just with more pitch and worse food.

The race to the bottom continues.

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Happy Travels!

Colpuck

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What is Standby, basically you show up to the airport in advance of your flight and try to hop on an earlier flight. Airlines used to do this as a matter of routine because it is a win-win. The airlines fill a seat that would have gone out empty and they get an open seat on a later flight that can be used for IRROPS. The passenger wins because they get to go somewhere sooner. However, US Airlines discovered this could be a revenue stream and have changed their policies to get customers to pay for the privilege.  Some airline force customers to use the “Same day confirmed or SDC” this means for a reduced fee airlines will confirm the passenger on to an earlier flight. We’ll discuss that policy in another post. So when you see references to SDC that’s what that means.

Here is the list of US Airline policies:

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Being the not so good blogger I am, I went back to the docket today to have a look at the what the DOT is saying about awarding the available Brazil-US slots. Currently, the slots have not been awarded. According to a published timetable the DOT plans on having a final decision issued no earlier than the middle of next month. The only thing of interest so far was that Delta wanted US Airways and United to disclose the lease agreement that allows US Airways to use United’s slots for their Charlotte-Brazil flight. The DOT denied that motion.

 

Happy Travels!

Colpuck.

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Internet check-in is a huge benefit. People can check-in online and skip some of the lines at the airport. Domestically this works really well, internationally not so much as one passenger found out.

The plan was to go from Puerto Plato, DR to Newark airport on United Airlines. The passenger in Puerto Plato was able to check-in online and print his boarding pass. When he arrived at the airport he was turned away from security for not having the right boarding pass and that he needed to get one from the check-in desk. It is easy to understand why that is. I assume most people traveling out of Puerto Plato are either unable or unwilling to use on-line check-in. So, the passenger went back to the check-in desk which had closed by the time he got there and was directed to the ticketing desk. The ticketing desk said since it was 55 minutes until departure and the cut off time is 60 minutes they were unable to issue a boarding pass. Not being able to get through security, the passenger was forced to purchase a walk-up ticket on another carrier.

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Back on February 20th I wrote a post about how the DOT was putting additional US-Brazil route authorities up for bid. The deadline to submit a bid is today and so far only one airline has applied for the slots. American Airlines submitted an application yesterday to start Los Angeles-Sao Paulo on Nov 21 of this year and Chicago-Sao Paulo on November 20, 2014. They plan to start service using 777-200s. For the United customers in LAX this will mark a welcome change from having to first get to IAD, IAH, or EWR, and will bring some competition with United on the ORD-GRU route.

https://puckinflight.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/new-routes-to-brazil-up-for-bid/

http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=DOT-OST-2013-0041-0001

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