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(NBC News)   Remember the boarding advantage of being a United Airlines passenger with elite status? Well, hold on to those memories   (nbcnews.com) divider line 89
    More: Fail, United Airlines, busiest airport  
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3869 clicks; posted to Business » on 15 Jan 2013 at 9:17 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-15 08:33:35 AM  
Wah.
 
2013-01-15 09:27:00 AM  
But many frequent fliers are balking at the change because they're being forced to - horror of horrors! - board together with some non-elite masses.

Yeah, well it does suck. I've given loyalty in exchange for a perk. If I give you $10,000 a year for flying in your crappy tin cans over someone else's crappy tin can then it would be nice if I got a little perk for it like having room to stash my carryon. Maybe a free drink. If there's no advantage to it then I'll always go on price.

We don't biatch about people expecting a free sub for 10 visits at Jimmy John's, but when the same thing is applied to airlines it makes people biatch and moan. It probably has something to do with the word "elite" which has become fairly hated in rhetorical circles. They probably should call it the United Airlines Value Club and give you a foam hat to wear. That will even things out.
 
2013-01-15 09:29:41 AM  

xanadian: Wah.


Please allow me to expand upon your theme..

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA A AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH. I have to line up with the unwashed masses.
 
2013-01-15 09:40:06 AM  
Well, say goodbye to all your business business. Good luck competing with Southwest for the Fat Farm traffic
 
2013-01-15 09:42:29 AM  

soopey: I have to line up with the unwashed masses.


As someone who once held elite status and still frequently travels in business class, you have no idea how hard it is. :)

Seriously, though, flying generally sucks. There is little differentiation in product in economy and not much more in business. Any little perk that doesn't cost the airline money (which allowing elites to board first, generally, does not - assuming they're not trying to get an extra cycle per day from the aircraft and reduce turn times) should help bring value by engendering loyalty.

And for my elitist rant... it is nice to board before everyone who has never flown tries to cram their steamer trunk into the overhead, waddles their asses into your face because they can't fit in the aisle, and use your chair back for a crutch because they're too lazy or ignorant to unwedge their ass without needing tractive assistance. The best part about flying business isn't the seat or the service, it's not having people yank your seat back four inches backwards when you're just about asleep.
 
2013-01-15 09:53:43 AM  
The way they board is ridiculous anyway. They should stagger it so that not everyone in one section is trying to board at the same time -- instead get a couple people from the back, then middle, then front. Repeat until done.

What I don't get is why airlines charge people for checked in luggage when they should encourage it (up to a bag limit) as that speeds up everything for the airline and makes flying nicer. Well as long as they can guarantee to get bags to the luggage caurosel in a given time like Alaska does.
 
2013-01-15 10:00:16 AM  

lelio: The way they board is ridiculous anyway. They should stagger it so that not everyone in one section is trying to board at the same time -- instead get a couple people from the back, then middle, then front. Repeat until done.

What I don't get is why airlines charge people for checked in luggage when they should encourage it (up to a bag limit) as that speeds up everything for the airline and makes flying nicer. Well as long as they can guarantee to get bags to the luggage caurosel in a given time like Alaska does.


Not true. The amount of time it takes even a really unorganised flight to board is still less than the time it takes from allowing boarding to carry out flight checks and load the hold.
 
2013-01-15 10:17:45 AM  

lelio: The way they board is ridiculous anyway. They should stagger it so that not everyone in one section is trying to board at the same time -- instead get a couple people from the back, then middle, then front. Repeat until done.

What I don't get is why airlines charge people for checked in luggage when they should encourage it (up to a bag limit) as that speeds up everything for the airline and makes flying nicer. Well as long as they can guarantee to get bags to the luggage caurosel in a given time like Alaska does.


Or, at the very least, enforce the carry-on size and # of bag limitations.
 
2013-01-15 10:34:12 AM  

Rapmaster2000: If I give you $10,000 a year for flying in your crappy tin cans over someone else's crappy tin can then it would be nice if I got a little perk for it like having room to stash my carryon.


You should have no problem finding space in the overhead as long as you're not in the back of the final group. Also, your carry-on is supposed to go under your seat if it will fit. Don't be that guy.
/air travel nazi
 
2013-01-15 10:34:57 AM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: your carry-on is supposed to go under your seatthe seat in front of you if it will fit


ftfm
 
2013-01-15 10:36:14 AM  
For reasons stated above, this is a big deal. But not as big of a deal as treating people that have paid well over $5,000 (likely closer to $10,000) per ticket (international first) lesser than Platinum elites. Few people are crazy enough to spend that kind of money on a plane ticket... why actively discourage their business?
 
2013-01-15 10:38:39 AM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: SacriliciousBeerSwiller: your carry-on is supposed to go under your seatthe seat in front of you if it will fit

ftfm


Depends on the airline. Many airlines allow one overhead carry-on and one under-seat carry-on, even in coach.
 
2013-01-15 10:40:24 AM  

born_yesterday: Or, at the very least, enforce the carry-on size and # of bag limitations.


I suspect this isn't going to accomplish a lot. It really comes down to the fact that most passengers aren't paying attention to what they're doing and don't care that they're holding things up.

I often travel with a small roll-aboard and a backpack. As I walk down the plane, the roll-aboard is already in my hands ready to go in the overhead bin. When I get to my seat, it takes me no more than 2-3 seconds to put my bag overhead and step into my row.

As a frequent traveler, I can't tell you how many people I've seen hold up the line with nothing more than a purse and a coat. The size of carry-ons is only part of the problem. (That said, charging for checked bags is an absurd fee grab and has ruined the entire experience.)
 
2013-01-15 10:41:39 AM  
1.  Pack light.
2.  Stay in the bar until they almost close the doors.
3.  Board and stuff your backpack underneath the seat in front of you..
4.  Pass out.
 
2013-01-15 10:43:47 AM  
So if I lose my elite status I can't board first and put my carry on in the overhead at the front of the plane anymore?
And what's the deal with first class anyway? They get on first so the unwashed masses can file by and blow farts on them? Or is it the "Look at me, I'm special" feeling they get as you get herded to cattle car?
 
2013-01-15 10:46:27 AM  
for $9 extra Delta let me board in advance of everyone.

Very cool.
 
2013-01-15 10:51:02 AM  
Seriously....i've never quite got this...

Benefits to frequent flyer perks = private airport lounge
Thats it...literally thats it...

There is absolutely no benefit to being crammed into your immovable seat sooner than everyone else.
 
2013-01-15 10:52:39 AM  

tricycleracer: 1.  Pack light.
2.  Stay in the bar until they almost close the doors.
3.  Board and stuff your backpack underneath the seat in front of you..
4.  Pass out.


Aaaaand done.
 
2013-01-15 10:55:22 AM  

slykens1: And for my elitist rant... it is nice to board before everyone who has never flown tries to cram their steamer trunk into the overhead, waddles their asses into your face because they can't fit in the aisle, and use your chair back for a crutch because they're too lazy or ignorant to unwedge their ass without needing tractive assistance.


Since two of the three examples you gave can only bother you once you're seated, then you should want to sit down after everyone else. Right?
 
2013-01-15 11:00:13 AM  
Isn't United assigned seating? If so, not really sure I understand why it matters. Open seating, it sort of makes sense if you're the kind of person who wants to jockey for a window/aisle at the front of the plane, but assigned? What I would consider a "perk" would be whatever gets the plane loaded and off the ground as soon as humanly possible.
 
2013-01-15 11:09:33 AM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Rapmaster2000: If I give you $10,000 a year for flying in your crappy tin cans over someone else's crappy tin can then it would be nice if I got a little perk for it like having room to stash my carryon.

You should have no problem finding space in the overhead as long as you're not in the back of the final group. Also, your carry-on is supposed to go under your seat if it will fit. Don't be that guy.
/air travel nazi


I last flew a month ago, I board in group 1 on Delta. I had to put my jacket 4 rows behind my seat because the 8 people who boarded before me were taking up all of the overhead space (I didn't have a seat in front of me).
 
2013-01-15 11:12:04 AM  
images.sodahead.com
 
2013-01-15 11:12:05 AM  
Flying is the most annoying way to travel. Unless i'm traveling more than 2000 miles or so, I wouldn't bother.
 
2013-01-15 11:13:38 AM  

cig-mkr: So if I lose my elite status I can't board first and put my carry on in the overhead at the front of the plane anymore?
And what's the deal with first class anyway? They get on first so the unwashed masses can file by and blow farts on them? Or is it the "Look at me, I'm special" feeling they get as you get herded to cattle car?


For me, the deal of being in first class is that I don't have an oozer placing part of his bloated 3-foot-wide body on my lap for 4 hours.
 
2013-01-15 11:14:59 AM  
spoiled rich peoples problems.
 
2013-01-15 11:30:30 AM  

ImpendingCynic: born_yesterday: Or, at the very least, enforce the carry-on size and # of bag limitations.

I suspect this isn't going to accomplish a lot. It really comes down to the fact that most passengers aren't paying attention to what they're doing and don't care that they're holding things up.

I often travel with a small roll-aboard and a backpack. As I walk down the plane, the roll-aboard is already in my hands ready to go in the overhead bin. When I get to my seat, it takes me no more than 2-3 seconds to put my bag overhead and step into my row.

As a frequent traveler, I can't tell you how many people I've seen hold up the line with nothing more than a purse and a coat. The size of carry-ons is only part of the problem. (That said, charging for checked bags is an absurd fee grab and has ruined the entire experience.)


I've encountered a different problem; largely, people carrying multiple bags and utilizing the overhead space over other people's seats. Also, people being allowed to carry-on bags that are obviously too large. But, as you said, idiots will find a way to ruin travel no matter what.
 
2013-01-15 11:41:13 AM  

moel: Seriously....i've never quite got this...

Benefits to frequent flyer perks = private airport lounge
Thats it...literally thats it...

There is absolutely no benefit to being crammed into your immovable seat sooner than everyone else.



I'm sorry, but you couldn't be more wrong. I've been Star Alliance Gold for several years (Air Canada) and while the lounge is the best perk, and AC lounges are much better than United, pre-boarding is easily the second best.

Not having to wait in jet-way or in the aisle while a bunch of rookies tries to comprehend how a luggage bin works, or numbers (you see them checking each row as they look for row 38), never, ever having to wonder if you'll have room for a carry-on in the bin, having time to stand in the aisle and sort yourself out (headphones, iPad, book, drink, whatever) without holding others up, and not having to stand in a huge, confused crowd at the gate is really worthwhile.

Even though you don't ultimately end up anywhere sooner, it is very civilized, and when you're on 78 flights in a year, like I was in 2012, you need that.

On AC flights, each seat has a touchscreen videoplayer, so you can easily catch the first half-hour of your movie just during boarding (on a big plane).

/FF seats are in the front usually, which is where all the schmucks from row 43 stow their huge bags because they don't want to take them all the way down, or because less frequent fliers tend to carry-on more stuff, so the back compartments fill up almost immediately.
 
2013-01-15 11:41:13 AM  
Yes yes, absolutely terrible that you need to wait another 10 minutes to get onto a flying tin can where you will be sitting for several hours next to these same people that you're wailing about waiting behind.

Not like you're getting anywhere any faster, since upon boarding you will just have to wait for all those other people to get on the plane.

So shove your anger and outrage up your too-entitled backsides, sit down and shut the fark up already.
 
2013-01-15 11:43:52 AM  

cig-mkr: ...the unwashed masses can file by and blow farts on them?


Heh. I've actually done that.
 
2013-01-15 11:44:01 AM  
I put my back pack in the over head, I've occasionally been asked by the stewardess to store it under the seat on front of me because some one with a trundle bag needs the room in the over head. Not sure why I should get screwed on leg room because other people can't pack lite, give them a plane side check ticket or whatever instead.
 
2013-01-15 11:53:35 AM  

Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: Yes yes, absolutely terrible that you need to wait another 10 minutes to get onto a flying tin can where you will be sitting for several hours next to these same people that you're wailing about waiting behind.

Not like you're getting anywhere any faster, since upon boarding you will just have to wait for all those other people to get on the plane.

So shove your anger and outrage up your too-entitled backsides, sit down and shut the fark up already.



See my comment directly above yours...

I'm not sure what you mean by using 'entitled' in the perjorative, but frankly, when you're literally spending tens of thousands of dollars per year to put your ass in the seat, yeah, I get some more privileges. Stuff you're not even aware of...special phone numbers that never have wait times, access to better seats (they show up as 'occupied' for others) with no fees, priority check-in, free checked bags (3 checked bags up to 50kg each, 2 carry-ons plus a brief case), easy ticket changes with reduced (or waived fees), access to ticket agents with more discretionary authority in the lounge (no lines), pre-boarding, complimentary upgrades, fast lane at security, no fees for booking/making changes over the phone, priority luggage, lounge access (AC lounges have fully stocked self-serve bars, beer on-tap, meals including salad bar, 2 soups of the day, sandwiches, nachos, hummus & pita, pasta bar, ice cream & cookies, breakfast in the morning, free wifi & computers, private bathrooms with showers, TVs, magazines and newpapers you can take with you, meeting rooms, etc. Plus you can leave your bags etc. and walk around without worrying about them.

I spent arount $30,000 last year on plane tickets.
 
2013-01-15 11:53:42 AM  

Farkn Yaj Yenrac: SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Rapmaster2000: If I give you $10,000 a year for flying in your crappy tin cans over someone else's crappy tin can then it would be nice if I got a little perk for it like having room to stash my carryon.

You should have no problem finding space in the overhead as long as you're not in the back of the final group. Also, your carry-on is supposed to go under your seat if it will fit. Don't be that guy.
/air travel nazi

I last flew a month ago, I board in group 1 on Delta. I had to put my jacket 4 rows behind my seat because the 8 people who boarded before me were taking up all of the overhead space (I didn't have a seat in front of me).


fark your jacket. I will pull that shiat out and drop it in your lap if it's taking up the overhead space where my bag is going. Wear it or put it under the seat in front of you, overhead is for bags.
 
2013-01-15 11:57:20 AM  

squegeebooo: I put my back pack in the over head, I've occasionally been asked by the stewardess to store it under the seat on front of me because some one with a trundle bag needs the room in the over head. Not sure why I should get screwed on leg room because other people can't pack lite, give them a plane side check ticket or whatever instead.



Say no. For real..the FA is counting on you knuckling under due to social whatever. You can just say, with respect, I have as much right to that space as buddy, and I got here first.
 
2013-01-15 11:57:49 AM  
Tip from an old guy:
When you negotiate your retirement package, opt for the "use of corporate jet" carefully.
Don't settle for less then 300 hours of airtime.
You would be surprised how quickly the air time flies by! A couple of trips to Aspen and the Cayman's and you are almost done for the year.
And I usually send the Rolls ahead with the luggage and ship the Lamborghini a week or so prior to the trip.
Just thought you you could use the tip.
 
2013-01-15 11:59:18 AM  

Fear the Clam: cig-mkr: ...the unwashed masses can file by and blow farts on them?

Heh. I've actually done that.


I guess we've ALL done that. And will keep on doing it.
 
2013-01-15 12:00:54 PM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Rapmaster2000: If I give you $10,000 a year for flying in your crappy tin cans over someone else's crappy tin can then it would be nice if I got a little perk for it like having room to stash my carryon.

You should have no problem finding space in the overhead as long as you're not in the back of the final group. Also, your carry-on is supposed to go under your seat if it will fit. Don't be that guy.
/air travel nazi


The overhead is for my roll-away. The seat is for my laptop.
 
2013-01-15 12:03:18 PM  
I flew a lot on Continental during the late nineties and it was a good airline. I am still trying to figure out how United, which declared bankruptcy in 2003, was able to buy Continental, which didn't need Federal assistance after 9/11.
 
2013-01-15 12:04:48 PM  
Dammit, I was just a few thousand miles short of Platinum last year too. MileagePlus has gone downhill since the Continental merger - suddenly there were twice as many people in every category and I went from 3rd or 4th on the upgrade list to 10th or 11th every flight. Now the only real perks are the shorter security line and the priority phone number.
 
2013-01-15 12:15:00 PM  

H31N0US: I flew a lot on Continental during the late nineties and it was a good airline. I am still trying to figure out how United, which declared bankruptcy in 2003, was able to buy Continental, which didn't need Federal assistance after 9/11.


I had to fly Continental weekly during the 90's from Logan to Newark and it SUCKED! The horror stories I still tell.

But the worst was last year when I had to fly the Monday morning after the merger. Wow, talk about not having their shiate together. Have no idea how that merger was approved.
 
2013-01-15 12:27:54 PM  
i never saw the need for getting on the plane first. Its dirty, smelly, cramped, noisy, and uncomfortable. my goal is to always spend as little time on one as possible. I usually hang out in the concourse till they call for the gate closing.
 
2013-01-15 12:30:59 PM  

LemSkroob: i never saw the need for getting on the plane first. Its dirty, smelly, cramped, noisy, and uncomfortable. my goal is to always spend as little time on one as possible. I usually hang out in the concourse till they call for the gate closing.


Well, maybe it's not dirty, smelly, cramped, noisy, or uncomfortable until you show up?

/I kid, I kid.
 
2013-01-15 12:33:17 PM  

LemSkroob: i never saw the need for getting on the plane first. Its dirty, smelly, cramped, noisy, and uncomfortable. my goal is to always spend as little time on one as possible. I usually hang out in the concourse till they call for the gate closing.


If you don't have a carry-on, you're 110% correct that it's not of much value to board first.
 
2013-01-15 12:36:25 PM  

digistil: LemSkroob: i never saw the need for getting on the plane first. Its dirty, smelly, cramped, noisy, and uncomfortable. my goal is to always spend as little time on one as possible. I usually hang out in the concourse till they call for the gate closing.

If you don't have a carry-on, you're 110% correct that it's not of much value to board first.


...unless you're in first, and then you down a Bloody Mary before takeoff.
 
2013-01-15 12:37:52 PM  

astro716: digistil: LemSkroob: i never saw the need for getting on the plane first. Its dirty, smelly, cramped, noisy, and uncomfortable. my goal is to always spend as little time on one as possible. I usually hang out in the concourse till they call for the gate closing.

If you don't have a carry-on, you're 110% correct that it's not of much value to board first.

...unless you're in first, and then you down a Bloody Mary before takeoff.


Or unless you're on Southwest and you actually want to sit with the rest of your party or just want a spot that might be comfortable. I'm not a small guy and the one time I ended up flying standby on Southwest I ended up in the last row between two guys even bigger than I am. Miserable farking flight that one was.
 
2013-01-15 12:39:26 PM  

digistil: LemSkroob: i never saw the need for getting on the plane first. Its dirty, smelly, cramped, noisy, and uncomfortable. my goal is to always spend as little time on one as possible. I usually hang out in the concourse till they call for the gate closing.

If you don't have a carry-on, you're 110% correct that it's not of much value to board first.


That's not exactly true. When there is an issue with duplicate seat assignments, whoever is in the seat already typically gets it, with the other person being sat wherever there is room (typically in the very back of the plane). This is a rare occurrence, but I've seen it happen more than a few times. I'm only Silver on Delta, but I take pre-boarding as one of the biggest benefits, as I often have a carry-on and the bins tend to be full halfway through Zone 2 if you're lucky.
 
2013-01-15 12:41:52 PM  

KWess: squegeebooo: I put my back pack in the over head, I've occasionally been asked by the stewardess to store it under the seat on front of me because some one with a trundle bag needs the room in the over head. Not sure why I should get screwed on leg room because other people can't pack lite, give them a plane side check ticket or whatever instead.


Say no. For real..the FA is counting on you knuckling under due to social whatever. You can just say, with respect, I have as much right to that space as buddy, and I got here first.


I've done the no thing before, sometimes it works out, other times the stewardess hours on a power trip.
 
2013-01-15 12:46:37 PM  
I almost never check a bag if I can avoid it. Too many instances of the airline misplacing it and me wearing the same clothes for an extra day while they get it back to me. I don't care about the cost to check a bag since I can expense it, I just want my farking bag to be there when I get to my destination. Plus waiting at the carousel generally sucks.

So if you travel with a laptop and a roller bag, getting aboard early is a must. Anyone who says otherwise either checks their bags or hasn't flown since airlines started charging for bags.

/used to be gold on American until our travel dept insisted on always getting the cheapest available flight
//although I don't really miss American all that much
 
2013-01-15 12:53:35 PM  

squegeebooo: KWess: squegeebooo: I put my back pack in the over head, I've occasionally been asked by the stewardess to store it under the seat on front of me because some one with a trundle bag needs the room in the over head. Not sure why I should get screwed on leg room because other people can't pack lite, give them a plane side check ticket or whatever instead.


Say no. For real..the FA is counting on you knuckling under due to social whatever. You can just say, with respect, I have as much right to that space as buddy, and I got here first.

I've done the no thing before, sometimes it works out, other times the stewardess hours on a power trip.


the preferred term is "sky-waitress"
 
2013-01-15 01:19:45 PM  

China White Tea: Isn't United assigned seating? If so, not really sure I understand why it matters. Open seating, it sort of makes sense if you're the kind of person who wants to jockey for a window/aisle at the front of the plane, but assigned? What I would consider a "perk" would be whatever gets the plane loaded and off the ground as soon as humanly possible.


Might run out of room in the overhead compartment.
 
2013-01-15 01:49:11 PM  

tricycleracer: 1.  Pack light.
2.  Stay in the bar until they almost close the doors.
3.  Board and stuff your backpack underneath the seat in front of you..
4.  Pass out.


Do all of those things and get bumped from the flight for being visibly intoxicated like what happened to me on a flight home from Vegas because my eyes were bloodshot, not like bloodshot eyes would have anything to do with all of the farking smoke in the casinos or anything. Hadn't had a drink all day and had 3 beers in the bar before take off and didn't want to board until it was about time to leave. My guess was the flight was overbooked and decided to bump us and used that as an excuse. Just saying, your cunning plan may have a flaw.
 
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