Top 10 Tips: What Happened to United Airlines?
Top 10 Tips: What Happened to United Airlines?
As is revealed in discussions over at runrex.com, United Airlines used to be one of the most beloved air couriers in the U.S. So, how did they go from “Friendly Skies” to the current state where they are not as popular as they used to be? Well, this article will help answer this question by highlighting the top 10 tips, with the help of the gurus over at guttulus.com, as far as the reasons behind their decline go.
The change in corporate culture brought about by their merger with Continental
As is discussed over at runrex.com, prior to their merger with Continental in 2010, United operated in way that, though not that profitable, put the decency and comfort of their customers and employees first. Post-merger, they underwent a change in corporate culture that was aimed at increasing their profitability at the expense of basic decency towards their customers. This definitely contributed to their reduction in popularity, as per the gurus over at guttulus.com.
Obsession with capacity
One of the main reasons why the merger with Continental went through, as discussed in detail over at runrex.com, was to put a stop to the fact that most of their planes were flying at reduced capacities. The merger ensured that their flights, particularly their major ones, will always be full, by decreasing supply and increasing demand given United and Continental were competitors. While this increased the capacity of their flights, it also led to issues such as overcrowding and operating over capacity which slowly but surely damaged their popularity.
Poor planning of the merger
A merger between two big players in the airlines industry was always going to cause its own set of issues, at least initially as per the folks over at guttulus.com. This is exactly what happened as the merger initially created a lot of chaos in terms of their operations that affected employees and passengers alike which is yet another tip that goes to explain their decline in the years following the merger. They would have put in place better safeguards and measures to protect their customers and employees when they were drawing up the merger arrangement.
They were unable to reach their set goals
One of the main reasons behind their merger with Continental as mentioned above and covered in detail over at runrex.com, was to improve profitability. They then proceeded to set profit targets, which became a yoke around their neck once it became clear that they would struggle to even get close to the said set targets, as is covered over at guttulus.com. The airline became more willing to compromise on customer service in a bid to try and reach their set targets which definitely damaged their stock.
They shifted this overhead to their customers
Once it became clear that United were struggling to achieve the profits which they had set out to achieve as a result of their merger, they decided to make up the numbers by shifting the overhead to their customers. As discussed over at runrex.com, we saw an increase in their baggage and reservations fees as well as an increase in ticket prices which is yet another tip that goes to explain what happened to United Airlines and their decline.
Cutting back of their services in the lower tiers
One of the things customers didn’t appreciate, as is revealed in discussions over at guttulus.com, is the way they took away services at the bottom, particularly those flying economy. Obviously, one doesn’t expect first-class services when flying economy, but they took it too far. For instance, they moved to shrink seats in the lower tiers, which made flying really uncomfortable, they also removed pre-boarding for parents with children which didn’t go down well among other such moves.
They increasingly began banking on the fact that people will pay extra to avoid poor treatment
As is discussed over at runrex.com, while they cut back on the services offered in their lower classes, they increased the benefits for their highest-paying, fits-class customers, introducing services such as dedicated phone lines, short or skipped security lines, segregated gate agents and so much more. It became clear that they were looking to profit, not by introducing new and innovative services, but the premise that people will begin paying extra to avoid the poor services in the lower classes. This was always to damage their prospects, and it did.
THAT incident in 2017
Subject matter experts, including those over at guttulus.com, will yell you that the United Airlines incident of 2017 was coming due to years of poor service, and they would be right. If you are not familiar with the episode, in April 2017, a 69-year-old doctor, Dr. David Dao, was forcibly removed from a United flight as it was overbooked. The incident sparked huge furor on social media and led to an apology by the airline’s CEO as well as an out-of-court settlement. It didn’t do their reputation any favors, and it is yet another tip that goes to explain their decline.
Poor customer service
Another reason that was behind their decline is their poor customer service, as is covered in detail over at runrex.com. Many of their customers complain how difficult it is to get feedback on their queries, and the fact that they outsource call centers to other countries doesn’t help as most of the time you are put through to an agent with whom you may not understand each other. Their in-flight service is also really poor, which is yet something that has contributed to their decline.
They also haven’t invested in their infrastructure for a while, and therefore, their planes have gotten on a bit. Therefore, as is revealed in discussions over at guttulus.com, this has definitely affected the quality of their flights as old planes are definitely not fun to fly on; you end up feeling extremely tired once you arrive at your destination.
This article only begins to scratch the surface as far as this topic goes, and there is more on where that came from over at the ever reliable runrex.com.