March 3rd System Integration Master Thread (PSS)

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by UA Insider, Mar 1, 2012.  |  Print Topic

    • Original Member

    Jslo Gold Member

    Yeah, apologists say what you want- but to me the "new" UA deal for elites is worse. I'm gonna wait and see on my approach a bit, I know UAInsiderShannon said they had problems with the auto upgrade deal this week, and as it runs out its course of the update, they anticipate by flights after 3/9 it will be running as intended...so...it will be interesting to see how this all plays out. I had a flight Thursday, I'm not even on the list anywhere. Same with Friday. So obviously somehow the previously issued tickets didnt make it into the system for UDU somehow. Not only did I not get anything upgraded, as a 1K I'm not even ON THE LIST lol!
    JLSocks likes this.
    • Original Member

    mht_flyer Gold Member

    What were they saying was wrong? I assume this was discussed on TOBB, can you send the link.

    I have a ton of previously issued CO (005) tickets for future travel so I hope they are included on the PCU sweeps.
  1. KenInEscazu Gold Member

    Upgrade Update

    Status: Premier Platinum
    Flights since merger complete: 4
    Upgrades confirmed prior to day of departure: 2
    Upgrades awarded as my boarding pass was scanned at the gate: 2

    All of my flights were embarrassingly cheap - purchased months ago.
    mht_flyer and IDGflygirl like this.
  2. genemk2 Gold Member

    Another posting issue here -- see Z-fare (for what have should been NC on an S-fare) but no PQMs.

    Gonna give it a couple more days, but there are a lot of issues.

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    • Original Member

    tommy777 Co-founder

    Lol... It's pretty easy to spot these CO gate agents/managers. It's kind of like Southwest where you don't have a complete uniform and you can wear whatever shirt and tie you want.

    From what I saw yesterday, some of the trainers were really helpful trying to educate both customers and gate agents, but some were just outright talking down to their new colleagues. And of course, there are huge cultural differences: United employees had the empowerment to be flexible, helpful and are in most cases, doing whatever they can to make their best customers happy, while the Continental culture is totally different.

    I already knew that I wasn't going to get any upgrades, so I decided to hang back, chill and just observe how according to Seth, everyone is sooooo happy with 3/3 2012. :rolleyes:

    At gate C12 at IAD, the Continental guy engaged in an open fight with the United employees trying to handle the upgrade and boarding process of the flight. I really felt sorry for the gate agents, they sure are getting a lot of beating from loyal United customers who are understandably pretty verbal with their thoughts on a second major change in upgrade policies/ execution in a few months and now they have to learn how to chill and just roll with the punches.

    Yes, there are some massive egos in the United loyal customer base, they have been spoiled most of the time. But they've earned it and they are a big and important part of the merger as well

    And for myself I really liked United as an airline, I was happy with their customer service, of course there are some things to complain about every once in a while with every airline, but I kept coming back and have racked up 150K+ a year ago with them since I moved to the US half a decade ago.

    When all 1Ks, MMs and Premier Executives had stopped screaming and boarded with their seat in coach (some actually in biz also), the government fare bunch had boarded with their seats in business, I went over to a shaken gate agent who had received a really bad beating, I gave her a Starbucks card and boarded, although she was more in need of a bottle of wine.

    After finding my seat in 13A, an agent came on the PA system and apologized for the upgrade and boarding process and they actually gave the entire plane free booze, which was great, because doing something like that's unheard of @ Continental.

    Oh, and the 2 x 2 seater crew rest on the int. 767-300 (13-14AB) had pillows and blankets and got the same service as business :p. 1Ks in all 4 seats, don't know if it was a coincidence, but I actually picked the seat myself (have never seen it available before).

    Face it, United was a bigger airline than Continental and they do things VERY differently and most United travelers are not familiar with the Continental systems at all. Most of them have jobs and don't have the same interest as us and don't have time to figure out every little rule/system/how to and read every email. And they will have a lot of questions when they start traveling in this mess.

    Sure, people with no status are most of the customers, so they won't feel any difference, but the Premier Execs, 1Ks, MMs will for sure have to learn how to walk again and their travel life on United will change. And educating these people is critical, but a huge challenge.
    chrislacey, colpuck and goalie like this.
    • Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Not surprising, but this is a rather biased (and, IME horribly misguided) representation of reality.

    I never said everyone is happy with it. I said it wasn't a disaster and that things are going pretty well considering what they had to do. I'd like to compare to comparable events but I'm not sure there have been any at this size. US/HP was smaller and was a complete fiasco compared to this one. B6 was MUCH smaller and went much better. I think that this one went better than the recent CX migration which was also much smaller.

    But which one was actually correctly implementing the policy?

    Indeed, it sucks when your customers are complete assholes.

    And there's your problem, folks. (emphasis mine)

    Funny...I've had that happen more than once on CO. But it must not have ever happened since you never got it. :rolleyes:

    Not by much.
    Absolutely. But that's not an excuse for the passengers to behave in the manner you've described. If the only argument you've got here is that things have changed and the coddled shmucks deserve to be able to yell at anyone they want because things have changed then you may as well just stop. That's a completely ridiculous argument, hardly worth disputing except that you called me out personally on it

    No doubt. So ask the questions and learn the answers. That's VERY different from yelling at GAs and demanding upgrades.
    Trustguy, colpuck, IDGflygirl and 2 others like this.
    • Original Member

    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

    This is slightly off-topic from the last couple posts, but what I've found interesting throughout this whole merger process is how the PMUA frequent flier community has seemed to totally dominate conversations around all aspects of this merger.

    What I mean is, if a neutral observer who knew absolutely nothing about the airline industry came onto this forum, or FT, and read the UA/CO forums, that you would think PMUA had 10x the number of elites that PMCO did, based on the viewpoint of the responses. Other than Wandering Aramean and maybe a couple others, everyone else seems to be coming from the legacy UA side of things...same with all the travel related blogs out there.

    I don't fully understand why this is...sure UA was slightly bigger (3rd largest airline in the US at the time of the merger (I think), whereas CO was 4th), but not by much...and maybe once you combine the elite ranks, PMUA would outnumber PMCO 55-45 or something close like that, but that same ratio doesn't seem to come even close to holding true in discussions like this.

    While I understand that PMUA "lost" in many respects by changing to the PMCO way, I would still think we'd hear more from PMCO elites on these boards...there are tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands, I don't know what the total number of elites is) of them, and it's just surprising you don't hear more of it here.
    • Original Member

    Xyzzy Gold Member

    They are spoiled but they have earned it. Wow. This (coupled with the earlier complaints about upgrades) speaks v:eek:lumes about the customer entitlement culture at UA.
    colpuck likes this.
    • Original Member

    colpuck Gold Member

    And that ladies and gents is the ball game.

    I think this is a perfect example of the the US v EU mindset. Culturally, Europe was and still is very class based. Class and status is ingrained in the European mentality. I am not saying this is a good or bad thing. I remember reading where the was a German doctor on a LH flight who got very offended when the FA did not address by his title. There is an expected level of treatment for HONs SENs, and FTLs. If one is entitled to a certain level of treatment, it is not wrong to complain when one does not get it.

    As Americans we culturally reject class and see everyone as equal, even if we are not. We are comfortable with people of status being treated the same as those without depending on the circumstances. I believe there was a UA thread where a 1K was bumped off a flight due to weather and the GA boarded two people going to SYD. The 1K was livid, but there were a lot of understanding voices in the thread.

    A European 1K might say, "I am entitled to the 1K benefits at all times." A US 1K might say, "it's great that I have these benefits, but they may not apply at all times."

    Guess what, both sides are right.
    • Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    IMO there are really only a small handful from either side saying anything. They just keep saying the same things over and over, often in discussions that are about something else, in hopes that somehow it will validate their point of view.

    Remember that these communities are a TINY subset of the total elite population. Pretending that consensus (or opinion) in here means anything out there is quite a leap and not one that is always reasonable.

    I do agree with Tommy777's point that UA historically coddled its elites. And I agree that has contributed significantly to the situation we are in today. Where I disagree is in the assertion that it was appropriate and that those passengers deserve such.

    Quite frankly, the whole thing just makes me laugh at the image of some immature idiot standing at a ticket counter or gate yelling at the agent because the system changed and they don't like it. It also makes me cry a bit, both because I feel badly for the agents subjected to this and because the future of our society is doomed if this is the type of people we have pretending to be leaders and role models.
    • Original Member

    Xyzzy Gold Member

    I agree. I was witness to a DYKWIA elite just the other day at the Red Presidents club at EWR. He was c:eek:mplaining that he was in boarding group two instead of group one. Based on the customer's status, group two was appropriate. After he left I had occasion to speak with the agent a bit. He said if there was something, anything, to complain about, people would do so, that he had seen/heard it all, and that it was only getting worse of late.
    DeacFlyer1 and IDGflygirl like this.
    • Original Member

    IDGflygirl Gold Member

    Do you 'have' a flight on Thursday (ie. tomorrow) or you 'had' one last week? :confused:

    FYI, one cannot view their place on the upgrade standby list until after OLCI, and then it's only viewable on the mobile site -- for now.
    • Original Member

    Seacarl Gold Member

    I think it is a reflection of the fact that pmUA fliers are facing many more changes than pmCO fliers.

    Love it or hate it, .bomb was familiar to pmUA fliers. We are all on CO SHARES & website now - change for pmUA, status quo for pmCO. On the whole I don't mind the computer shift, but there are new things to learn and find, new booking codes to learn, etc.

    Beyond the computer transition, we are also wholesale being switched to CO's policies, especially with respect to upgrades. Reasonable people can have reasonable differing opinions about the merits of upgrading lower status passengers and high fares ahead of higher status passengers. And I can live with CO's policies in that regard, I believe (though a person purchasing B or even Y at the last minute, because it is all that is available, doesn't necessarily need the incentive of an instant upgrade.)

    But what is frustrating to pmUA fliers is the combination of the lack of transparency and lack of integrity in the CO upgrade system. In my opinion, if R is available inside your upgrade window, you should get the upgrade. Sweeps shouldn't be blamed. I am reading that R inventory may in fact be set to zero just before a sweep runs. That seems duplicitous. I think we deserve both an explanation and a fix to the systems so that there is more integrity to the process.

    Perhaps pmCO fliers are used to this and accept it, but it is upsetting to pmUA fliers.

    UA was once #1 and has been shrinking for years, but perhaps elites are the most loyal of all and stuck with UA - and of course UA rewarded and supported that loyalty. So maybe pmUA had a higher percentage of elites

    pmUA fliers do believe they lost. I haven't been particuarly vocal, and I still see many benefits from the merger. I do wish that the integrity and transparency of the upgrade system were increased, and that perhaps high fares bought by GMs or low elites in the last day or two did not trump people within their upgrade window.

    UA took care of its elites, and the elites remained loyal to UA. To what degree are the elites also opinion leaders and influencers? I know that I have booked many many colleagues, family, and other affiliated travelers onto UA (and more recently CO) over the years, in part because I'm familiar, or if they traveled in conjunction with me.

    Boorish behavior is boorish behavior in any setting. No one should abuse UA employees. I don't think that is the norm, though. But pmUA travelers may be confused in learning a new system, so tolerance and grace on all sides are always appreciated.
    bonnerbl, jetsetr and DIG/R_1K like this.
    • Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Sure, but that doesn't involve berating a GA.
    You're free to believe that, but it is not the policy. Would you prefer that they had the same policies that they do now - miles/certs take precedence over CPU - but that R was just always zero so everything was a waitlist always? It would be the same net effect.

    I think the obsession with feeling like the system needs to be audited because "something must be going wrong if I'm not upgraded" is rather telling. I know it isn't perfect every time. I've even helped identify a few situations where it gets messed up. But publishing all the data about all the passengers to the passengers isn't the solution to that. The company actually fixing the issues is.

    Non-elites buying Y or B fares DO NOT get free upgrades.
    IDGflygirl likes this.
    • Original Member

    Seacarl Gold Member

    At SEA UC in N satellite (former RCC) scanning your BP is not working for club access. They asked to see my Club card. I don't know if this true at all RCCs. They said scanning BPs to determine club membership has not worked since the changeover Saturday.
    • Original Member

    Rob Gold Member

    It worked for me on Saturday at SFO.
    • Original Member

    DIG/R_1K Gold Member

    GUM asked for the Card & BP.
    • Original Member

    Seacarl Gold Member

    Not only didn't I agree or excuse berating an agent, you didn't quote what I did say:
    I didn't ask for an audit. I asked for transparency and integrity. That means making the rules clear and implementing systems that follow the rules. And once within the upgrade window, people should be upgraded by the priority system, and not able to be bypassed by someone who decides to buy a ticket or use an instrument in between "sweeps".
    Within the upgrade windows, new Y or B purchases by lower elites should not trump higher status. It's fine to give them instant upgrades when inventory is available prior to the upgrade window, since it is supporting buying behavior to buy higher fares. But when the flight is full or only high fares are available because of advance purchase deadlines, an upgrade needn't be given away.
    bonnerbl likes this.
  3. Braindead Active Member

    This cutover really sucked for me. My seat on our SFO\HKG flight was moved to economy when I booked in economy plus. I'm platinum and my wife doesn't have status. They didn't change her seat, only mine. I tried to change the seats online and it would not take. I was on hold for almost 40 minutes and could only get a window/middle seat for the two of us. We usually fly with aisle/middle. After we got to the check-in counter they offered us exit row seats right next to the lavatories that had aisle/middle. We took the exit row seats. I hope this doesn't happen again. If it does,I will definitely fly another airline.

    Both our account profiles were "updated" with old data. My email address was changed to an email I used 5 years ago from my previous employer. All of my flight notifications were wrong. I had to update everything all over again. My wife's profile was changed to her parents' phone number that my wife of 12 years has not used in a long time. We got a call from her mom while we were in the security line to tell us she got a call from United telling us our flight was on time.
  4. voh2ox2 Active Member

    Our employee got to SFO from Hong Kong on March 2 and was told his connecting flight on March 3was cancelled - he had to buy a new ticket from SFO to ALB, yet United is saying he used the portion from SFO to EWR and the EWR to Alb portion is still open.
    Our travel agent is not able to resolve this, he is out 1000.00 and we are going to have to reimburse him, who can we contact?
    Thanks For any help
    • Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    But that's not what the rules are. Moreover, it is not clear to me why this is a better policy, either for customers or the company. If I'm the customer buying the higher fare then I'd think I deserve the upgrade more than the person who bought a G fare months ago. I can see why the company would feel the same way. And while I see how the G fare customer might disagree, I don't think their vote counts as much.

    You're free to feel that way, but it isn't the policy and I doubt it is going to change anytime soon.
    • Original Member

    Gtitan Gold Member

    As someone that was both legacy CO and legacy UA, and as someone that went through the DL-NW merger, the screaming of my legacy UA 1K brethren is nothing compared to the absolute and royal hosing NW Elites took when SM replaced WP.

    Rather than lament what has been lost (i.e. SWUs on CO side that could be used on any fare, or on the UA 1K side, boarding on the Red Carpet prior to just about anyone else and their cousin), energy should be focused on buliding the best program available for us all now. Then again what do I know?

    Please now return to your regularly scheduled PMCO v. PMUA war.:D
    • Original Member

    Seacarl Gold Member

    Just arrived at ORD. At UC near C-16 (former RCC) the BP scanners are taped over and UC gatekeeper asked for physical Club card. She told me that this is the new policy (since 3/3), that members have to show the card to reduce fraud. I'm not saying I believe her, but for now it's probably prudent to make sure you bring the card along while traveling. She did swipe it.

    Also for your amusement, although it belongs in a different thread, while boarding in SEA at gate N16, since the carpet lane was full of first class, 1K's, etc., when they announced military & GS boarding, that was handled through the non-carpet lane. We're almost back to the old process, just inverted to Lake Wobegone where everyone is elite.
    bonnerbl likes this.
    • Original Member

    Cuse44 Silver Member

    Maybe if all the 1K and First Class passengers didn't clog the blue carpet and actually waited their turn to board, we wouldn't have this problem. :D
    bonnerbl and Wandering Aramean like this.
    • Original Member

    744 Gold Member

    hey where did my pqm's go?? there yesteday, gone today....................

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