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Old 09-16-2010, 07:02 PM   #1  
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Default MGT Posturing?

September 16, 2010

Dear Fellow Pilot,

In an action that has to be placed at the top of the “What Could They Possibly Be Thinking” file, United Airlines is conducting “United Express Education Sessions” to, as it was stated in today’s NewsReal, “show the important role United Express plays in our business and for our customers.”

In an incredulous display of either ignorance or arrogance, the Company chose a time when management and pilots are deep in the middle of contract negotiations for a Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement as part of the United/Continental merger to tout United Express, an aspect of our company that has been an anathema to each and every pilot – those currently working and laid off – on this property.

According to the NewsReal, Cindy Szadokierski, United’s VP-Airport Operations Planning and Mary Movic, managing director of United Express, teamed up to serve as the company’s propaganda ministers to deliver management’s talking points regarding the so-called advantages United Express brings to the mainline operation. The NewsReal mentioned that United Express serves 181 cities in the United States and Canada and has 2,333 daily departures, and that “our largest international mainline flights rely heavily on United Express to fill those flights.” The NewsReal continues to say “42% of our customers on our London flights out of Chicago O’Hare are United Express connections customers.” Well of course they are. We no longer feed hubs with mainline aircraft due to the ill thought out decision to park the entire 737 fleet. How else would passengers connect in O’Hare? Statistics are a funny thing.

Szadokierski even went so far as to say, “There’s a good chance we would have less flights to some of our international locations if we didn’t have United Express.” This implies that United can’t do its own flying. One such attendee of the education sessions believes this Company propaganda, as the NewsReal quoted her as saying “Without (United Express), we wouldn’t be the strong carrier we are today.” Really? Did this employee bother to ask the Company why it believes United Express is the key component to keeping our international routes at their current levels? This is illogical given service levels and quality that do not begin to approximate that of the mainline. Did this employee ask any questions at all, or did she simply accept the Company propaganda as fact?

Did Szadokierski or Movic mention that United Airlines decided to park the entire 737 fleet – the fleet that has historically fed the international flights – in order to outsource that flying to United Express? Did the employee who was so impressed with the Company’s presentation bother to ask what happened to the jobs of the pilots who were flying the 737 feeder carriers? If that employee knew the answers to these questions, would she still believe United Express makes United the “strong carrier we are today?”

The Company’s education sessions on United Express not only are a slap to the face to each and every United pilot and employee, they serve as a grotesque misrepresentation of the facts concerning United Express. Perhaps Szadokierski and Movic should have invited some of the 1,437 pilots who were laid off thanks in large part to the Company’s continued outsourcing of its flying to United Express carriers to provide a different perspective to the “value” of United Express to the mainline operation. Perhaps Szadokierski and Movic should visit Concourse F at ORD – described as akin to a third world country or of an airport design of the 1950’s – more often and ask some of the United Express passengers whether they prefer doing their traveling on a cramped, uncomfortable 50/70 seat SJ or on a more roomy mainline aircraft

What is unclear is whether the Company plans on taking their “United Express Education Sessions” to the passengers of United Express. It would be interesting to know whether the following messages regarding customer options on United Express would be included in their lesson plans:

· The Company outsourcing flying to the lowest subcontracting fee-for-departure carrier whipsaws carriers, one against another, leading to inconsistent service to the passengers as each carrier’s service in a given city pair changes on a daily and even hourly basis..
· Aircraft that fly under the United Express banner are smaller so that passengers bump their heads and must crouch and turn sideways to walk down the aisle to get to their seat or to the one blue room in the rear. Obviously they provide far less comfort for the passengers.
· Passengers can forget about carry-on bags, and should budget their time to allow 15 to 20 minutes to get their bags. They should expect to stand in a cold or hot jetway for this period of time waiting for their carry-on to be delivered. This makes reaching connections even more interesting, especially when Express connections arrive at different terminals.
· Small jets were designed to serve outlying cities with less than a two-hour stage length, not for hub-to-hub or four-hour flights.

Another interesting question to pose to Szadokierski and Movic would be, “Does United CEO Glenn Tilton and Continental CEO Jeff Smisek hop on an Express carrier when flying between Chicago and Houston, or do they prefer to travel First Class on a mainline aircraft?”

And perhaps Szadokierski and Movic should explain to those attending United Express Education Sessions how a frequent UAL passenger discovered that the flight she thought she had booked with United was actually a subcontracted United Express carrier flight. This passenger, who contacted ALPA, was disturbed when she learned she would be traveling on an aircraft other than what she thought was a United airplane, flown by a United crew. This passenger emailed UAL customer service and received the following response:

Dear (name withheld):

The decision to use United Express service on some routes was meant to
allow United to operate efficiently and cost-effectively based on the
demand for our different routes. The pilots for United Express receive
the same thorough training through our Denver facility which is the top
training facility in the world. The military trains at our facility as
well. United Express pilots must follow the strict guidelines all our
pilots do such as the number of flying hours prior to being hired.

United and United Express are striving to provide you with the best
service in the industry with safety as our number one priority. We're
committed to meeting your expectations, and we hope you will give us a
future opportunity to restore your confidence and support. Your business
is important to us.

Regards,

Cherie Stevens
United Airlines Customer Relations

Anybody notice United Express pilots wandering around the halls of TK lately? Seems Customer Relations doesn’t even know the facts, but they are convinced that this is a good thing. What Ms. Stevens failed to mention in her letter to the passenger is that United Airlines, when booking an unwitting passenger on a United Express flight, is misleading the very loyal and trusting customers who expect to be flown to their destinations by an industry-leading professional crew flown by United pilots on a United mainline aircraft.

Going by today’s NewsReal, it is apparent that United management does not understand the importance of scope in the current Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations. The pilots of United and Continental certainly do. I encourage your professional feedback consistent with the ALPA Code of Ethics to the points raised in the SkyNet article. This is accomplished by clicking on the link “Post a Comment” at the bottom of the article. Please refer to the “Guidelines” link also located at the bottom of the SkyNet article before submitting your comment. The Company can waste their time conducting such United Express Education Sessions, but they must understand: Scope is an unwavering issue to the pilots. The sooner management understands that fact, the sooner the Company will realize the advertised synergies from the United/Continental merger.

Fraternally,


Captain Wendy Morse
Chairman, United MEC
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:27 PM   #2  
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Go Wendy!!!!

Tough talk I'll believe it when I see it.
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:45 PM   #3  
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To say the least, interesting post.....

I just hope this press release/propaganda "stokes the fire" just enough to induce a full blown back-draft in the face's of Mgt on their desperate attempt to gain the public's support of present/or increased UAL feed on mainline flying/jobs.

The NEW UAL's SCOPE needs to be NOTHING South of CAL's present POS Contract '02 provisions....Hold the line, and ALL improvements North.

Any UAL painted jet = UAL Pilot's in the cockpit......Period.
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:57 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalGuy View Post
To say the least, interesting post.....

I just hope this press release/propaganda "stokes the fire" just enough to induce a full blown back-draft in the face's of Mgt on their desperate attempt to gain the public's support of present/or increased UAL feed on mainline flying/jobs.

The NEW UAL's SCOPE needs to be NOTHING South of CAL's present POS Contract '02 provisions....Hold the line, and ALL improvements North.

Any UAL painted jet = UAL Pilot's in the cockpit......Period.
Hello there SoCal,

Welcome to the United we so dearly love. The spin on us worked so well in 2000 why not try it again. Joseph Goebbels would be proud.

Take care and we'll see you on the line soon.

Fritz
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:15 PM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fritzthepilot View Post
Hello there SoCal,

Welcome to the United we so dearly love. The spin on us worked so well in 2000 why not try it again. Joseph Goebbels would be proud.

Take care and we'll see you on the line soon.

Fritz
I hear that Fritz......

But there within lies the rub of what Goebbels's didn't know:
"First time shame on me....Second time shame on you"

I think it's safe to say that we've seen the alternative up to this point, and I don't know 'too many' who like it.

See you around campus Fritz!

SC
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:41 PM   #6  
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Quote:
"First time shame on me....Second time shame on you"
Or Something like that.

Reverse the polarity and I think you've got it!

Don't worry Dubya got it mixed up too....

Last edited by Airhoss; 09-18-2010 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 09-18-2010, 04:01 AM   #7  
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Why doesn't Wendy and Jay produce their own film? Show the work that their professional pilots do each day. Hammer home its not about finance but about the safety and outstanding customer service. If the company needs to outsource to save some money, at least use the finest trained and most professional pilots...you get the idea. With the internet and other low cost ways of distribution you could really get the word out there.
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Old 09-18-2010, 02:58 PM   #8  
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Originally Posted by Shootinstr8 View Post
Why doesn't Wendy and Jay produce their own film? Show the work that their professional pilots do each day. Hammer home its not about finance but about the safety and outstanding customer service. If the company needs to outsource to save some money, at least use the finest trained and most professional pilots...you get the idea. With the internet and other low cost ways of distribution you could really get the word out there.
Do you not realize Wendy and Jay are part of the problem they like the RJ’s. They are only concerned about the top 10% SLI the rest does not matter.
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Old 09-18-2010, 04:07 PM   #9  
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Do you not realize Wendy and Jay are part of the problem they like the RJ’s. They are only concerned about the top 10% SLI the rest does not matter.
I'm sure Jay cares for more than the top 10%. He is no where near that high on the seniority list. Maybe just top 50%
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Old 09-19-2010, 09:25 AM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalGuy View Post
To say the least, interesting post.....

I just hope this press release/propaganda "stokes the fire" just enough to induce a full blown back-draft in the face's of Mgt on their desperate attempt to gain the public's support of present/or increased UAL feed on mainline flying/jobs.

The NEW UAL's SCOPE needs to be NOTHING South of CAL's present POS Contract '02 provisions....Hold the line, and ALL improvements North.

Any UAL painted jet = UAL Pilot's in the cockpit......Period.
Regarding the JCBA and the 70 seat scope, a source informed me that management is just as adamant in keeping the clause for the combined company. Nothing shocking there. The sentiment was that if scope could be solved (in our favor), a TA could be had by the end of October. If not, we could be looking at at least a year or more, culminating with a cooling off period and 11th hour negotiations. So don't divert your strike fund for other needs at this time. You might actually need it for the original intended purpose.

In addition, all the rumors floating around are simply that. Thoughts of 30-40% raises are just thoughts. Nothing to that extent has been discussed yet.
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