I read the news this morning that United managed to lose money in Q1 while their chief competitors, all of whom faced a bit of winter weather as well, did not. Most impressive news of today? American Airlines, which somehow managed a record breaking Q1. In United’s defense, American has yet to get down to the really dirty stuff like merging reservations systems, but something about the new American just feels like it’s going to turn out better than United. Call me an optimist.
But about United. I’ve tried to like them a few times in the past, but about the only thing I found I could love was MileagePlus. The airline, try as they might, just never seemed to run well. My previously blogged about issues with my former employer with me turned customer aside, AA always managed to find me a way out of a mess. United, not so much.
Granted, I’ve flown United exactly once in 2 years, but it seemed about the same as I remembered. To borrow a bit of a phrase from a former Continental CEO, has United’s pizza just gotten too cheap? Delta, and American seem to offer products that people are willing to pay for, and I once called US Airways the most underrated airline in America. Now, US Airways was not luxurious, but by the end of my time in DC, you could usually count on them to get you there. You already know my affinity for Delta’s operational integrity, service, and all around decent airline traits. Maybe it’s time to add some new ingredients at United? Another quarter like this and people may start to talk.
-MJ, April 24, 2014