why is United so cheap?

relief tube

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The other day on a quick turn, grabbed a banana from the basket onboard. The FA kindly mentioned how united only stocks 2 bananas a flight. I had thought enough were stocked to warrant grabbing one.

There's half a dozen First class seats- why does UAL think that 2 pieces of fruit are enough? It's embarrassing.

this, along with tons of other examples- namely the recent firing of employees at dozens of stations to bring in minimum wage contract employees, makes me wonder what they think they are accomplishing, especially in the current revenue environment where money is just flowing in.

is it b/c of current mgmnt, or has it always been like this. just wondering...
 

Flopgut

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It's current mgt IMO. This is not how either subsidiary used to operate.
 

SpauldingSmails

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I almost think it would be better to not stock bananas at all than to merely cater a pair of them. If there are none, you could at least speculate some reason why - but carrying only two immediately appears as stupendously cheap.
 

Andy

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I almost think it would be better to not stock bananas at all than to merely cater a pair of them. If there are none, you could at least speculate some reason why - but carrying only two immediately appears as stupendously cheap.
Depends. If there are 6 F seats, how many bananas do you need? 6? Seems wasteful because you know most people aren't going to eat a banana.
There's a pencil pusher somewhere in Willis tower that's calculated the number of bananas per F seat.
Relief Tube flies for a regional partner so we're not talking about catering for a 777.
 

Baronman

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this, along with tons of other examples- namely the recent firing of employees at dozens of stations to bring in minimum wage contract employees, makes me wonder what they think they are accomplishing, especially in the current revenue environment where money is just flowing in.

is it b/c of current mgmnt, or has it always been like this. just wondering...
Exactly. The banana is just another example. Firing long term employees that were invested in the success of the company in exchange for ACME ground handlers in the current revenue environment is cheap.

I saw this as a CoEx regional pilot. At one point we felt (rightfully so or not) invested in the success of CAL. Through the course of 5 years that sentiment turned into outright resentment and while they may have saved money on us, we certainly cost the company in other ways. This was the difference between going above and beyond and doing the bare minimum to comply with the job description.
 

eaglesview

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It's current mgt IMO. This is not how either subsidiary used to operate.
Absolutely correct. That being said I have been offered plenty out of the first class basket. This thead is just a bit exaggerated.
 

Continental

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Take what you want. Don't worry about it.

Problem fixed. Next..
 

SpauldingSmails

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Depends. If there are 6 F seats, how many bananas do you need? 6? Seems wasteful because you know most people aren't going to eat a banana.
There's a pencil pusher somewhere in Willis tower that's calculated the number of bananas per F seat.
Relief Tube flies for a regional partner so we're not talking about catering for a 777.
Yeah, I didn't pick up on the half dozen part...
 

Flopgut

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Bethune once said "you can't take the cheese off the pizza"... Jeff has not only removed the cheese, but has deficated on the pizza.
 

Andy

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Bethune once said "you can't take the cheese off the pizza"... Jeff has not only removed the cheese, but has deficated on the pizza.
The quote:
It's the old adage: You can make a pizza so cheap, nobody will eat it. You can make an airline so cheap, nobody will fly it.
Gordon Bethune

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/g/gordonbeth543779.html

Gordo's wrong. Little Caesar's, Totino's, Chuck E Cheese, Spirit, Frontier, Allegiant, and Southwest have proven that no matter how cheap you make things, there's a line of buyers for your product.
 

wms

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Depends. If there are 6 F seats, how many bananas do you need? 6? Seems wasteful because you know most people aren't going to eat a banana.
There's a pencil pusher somewhere in Willis tower that's calculated the number of bananas per F seat.
Relief Tube flies for a regional partner so we're not talking about catering for a 777.
That right there is UALs problem, bean counters running an airline from a cubicle. That may have been necessary during the merger, but now they need some visionary career aviation types to build the brand.
 

SIG600

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The other day on a quick turn, grabbed a banana from the basket onboard. The FA kindly mentioned how united only stocks 2 bananas a flight. I had thought enough were stocked to warrant grabbing one.

There's half a dozen First class seats- why does UAL think that 2 pieces of fruit are enough? It's embarrassing.

this, along with tons of other examples- namely the recent firing of employees at dozens of stations to bring in minimum wage contract employees, makes me wonder what they think they are accomplishing, especially in the current revenue environment where money is just flowing in.

is it b/c of current mgmnt, or has it always been like this. just wondering...
Do you work for the company, or were you jump seating? From your other posts I gather you're a regional pilot in which case what are you doing helping yourself to anything commuting on another carrier?

Either way I never just take anything before the flight without asking an FA. You don't know what their cabin mgmt program is, no matter how mundane your perception.
 

IAHERJ

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hmmm?
The other day on a quick turn, grabbed a banana from the basket onboard. The FA kindly mentioned how united only stocks 2 bananas a flight. I had thought enough were stocked to warrant grabbing one.

There's half a dozen First class seats- why does UAL think that 2 pieces of fruit are enough? It's embarrassing.

this, along with tons of other examples- namely the recent firing of employees at dozens of stations to bring in minimum wage contract employees, makes me wonder what they think they are accomplishing, especially in the current revenue environment where money is just flowing in.

is it b/c of current mgmnt, or has it always been like this. just wondering...
I'm confused. What aircraft does UAL operate with 6 first class seats? And what basket are you talking about? Never seen one of these. I see tons of wasted hot food thrown away each leg as we cannot even consider eating it on top of our boarded meals. Sifting through the galley for bananas is not an issue. Again, who do you fly for?
 

NEDude

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The problem with accountants is their process can only deal in known factors. For example, cutting the number of bananas from 5 per flight to 2 will save us XXX dollars. Or outsourcing our ground handling to ABC ground services will save us XXX dollars. Unfortunately the cost of disgruntled passengers or future delays caused by inexperienced, minimum wage ground handlers at ABC ground services is an unknown factor and thus disregarded. The true costs may only be known a few years down the road. CEOs and other executives deal only in the next quarterly report, so for the most part they are not too concerned about long term success, only short term financial reports.
 

Andy

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That right there is UALs problem, bean counters running an airline from a cubicle. That may have been necessary during the merger, but now they need some visionary career aviation types to build the brand.
Bean counters run every major airline. Visionaries who don't listen to bean counters put airlines into Chap 11 or 7.
 

Andy

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Pardon me for revisiting the original post, but I want to add some food for thought.

The other day on a quick turn,
This was not a first flight of the day. Chances are, most F passengers have already eaten breakfast.

As an elite customer with Marriott (lifetime Plat), Hyatt (Diamond), and Starwood (Platinum), I get free breakfast at hotels. Just like most of the F passengers.

Most passengers in F spend a ton of nights on the road; they're not only top tier frequent flyer customers, they're also top tier hotel customers. They're road warriors who know to not expect much more than a breakfast box on an RJ so almost all of them will have eaten at the hotel before they fly. There's not going to be a huge demand for bananas.

There's half a dozen First class seats- why does UAL think that 2 pieces of fruit are enough? It's embarrassing.
Fruit is a perishable item. If it's not eaten on a flight, it's very, very likely to be thrown out at the next station. That's a lot of waste, both in terms of costs and in environmental terms.

Bananas are different than peanuts/pretzels where unused items can be served on another flight.


Relief Tube, my advice to you is that if you want a banana on a quick turn, ask the FA prior to the first flight landing if there's any left over bananas. Those are going to get thrown away and the FA will probably have zero concern about giving it to you.
 

wms

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Bean counters run every major airline. Visionaries who don't listen to bean counters put airlines into Chap 11 or 7.
Bean counters took delta through bk and the merger. RA turned it back into a customer-focused airline. He has a vision for the airline beyond revenue and it's far exceeding UAL and AA in every way. I've worked both systems and spend a lot of time in the AA system and there is no comparison when it comes to operational efficiency and customer service.

Even the two-class RJs operate the same standard as mainline on DAL. When I flew RJs for UAX I was embarrassed at the treatment the passengers got. Not just what we were able to offer them on board which is nothing but beverages, but the treatment they receive on F in ORD and A in IAD is disgraceful.
 
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Flopgut

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Andy: The banana is not the perishable commodity, so much as the flight is. We aren't in the fruit bisiness, this is the flying business. When the doors close, the beacon is on and it's time to push, we only get the $ we were able to get for the flight. The airline spends whatever it takes to get from a to b and we don't keep any of that cost. We have to get better $ for selling the seats on the flight, and if what differentiates us from swa or others is the fruit or other accoutrements then we better have it on board. RA at Delta understands what business they are actually in. He doesn't step over the thousands the flight can generate to pick up the pennies the f-ing banana cost.
 
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