flyfresno
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:30 pm

So if United did return to JFK, what markets would they serve, if any, besides SFO and LAX? With the large number of international star alliance seats leaving JFK, is there enough connecting traffic to IAH or ORD, or are people already conditioned to go to LGA or EWR for connecting flights?
 
cledaybuck
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:38 pm

airzona11 wrote:
The biggest question is why is he saying this? There has to be a play, not just an F U to the out going guy, bc that guy is laughing all the way to the bank while Kirby still has a business to run.

Is AA the biggest benefactor or DL? DL has seen the most growth in NY, not AA. The high yield customers that they lost, anyone who was flying First class was already lost to AA.

Could it also be that is making an excuse for LAX not performing as it should? Didn't he mention a while back that they are remaining committed to LAX and they are going to compete there? Maybe he is realizing that is more difficult, and with his knowledge of AA he can point to the JFK change and be like here is the reason we are coming up short at LAX?
There is a lot of bragging in his statements that he was the one who pushed UA out. A lot of showing how smart he is and how dumb his predecessor (who does not seem to be liked by most UA employees that he was speaking to) was.
 
Flighty
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:38 pm

airzona11 wrote:
The biggest question is why is he saying this? There has to be a play, not just an F U to the out going guy, bc that guy is laughing all the way to the bank while Kirby still has a business to run.

Is AA the biggest benefactor or DL? DL has seen the most growth in NY, not AA. The high yield customers that they lost, anyone who was flying First class was already lost to AA.

Could it also be that is making an excuse for LAX not performing as it should? Didn't he mention a while back that they are remaining committed to LAX and they are going to compete there? Maybe he is realizing that is more difficult, and with his knowledge of AA he can point to the JFK change and be like here is the reason we are coming up short at LAX?



This is an interesting theory. I always believe LAX and JFK margins are generally poor. But, that does not mean they are optional markets. You have to have a presence there, because it is a business AND leisure need of your best customers. Kind of like, say, LHR. I don't know if UAL makes money there, but it is irrelevant.

I would bet UA returns to JFK.
 
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:43 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
MSPNWA wrote:
Where did I say I did?

Are you illiterate now, or just an amnesiac?
What part of "4% is DL's NYC margins" doesn't have that effect?


MSPNWA wrote:
Refute the 4% estimate from Kirby using DL's own statements.

EASY:
"Mr. Kirby, you don't have access to DL's income figures on a route-by-route basis, so tell us how you're arriving at 4% as anything other than generalized speculation?"

What part of that do you find difficult?


It is understood given his position that Kirby does not possess DL proprietary data, but the public data is pretty good, and Scott and his teams would be experts at analyzing that. They have (had with AA) the advantage of calibrating THEIR proprietary data from a similar airline to DL's known metrics. So they could make a good guess. Generalized speculation, no.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:44 pm

Flighty wrote:
I would bet UA returns to JFK.

I bet they're closely watching what AS does.

If AS decides not to stay in the LAX/SFO-JFK transcon once VX is completely out of the picture, it might be tough for UA to resist jumping back in. Who knows.


Flighty wrote:
a good guess. Generalized speculation, no.

The difference is ______?
....because "speculation" doesn't mean just pulling a number out of their bum. They can analyze until kingdom come, but without the actual numbers, any conclusion is still speculation.
Last edited by LAX772LR on Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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BN727227Ultra
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:47 pm

flyfresno wrote:
So if United did return to JFK, what markets would they serve, if any, besides SFO and LAX? With the large number of international star alliance seats leaving JFK, is there enough connecting traffic to IAH or ORD, or are people already conditioned to go to LGA or EWR for connecting flights?


Just spitballing, but token service to their fortress hubs at ORD and IAH. Even 2-class RJs would do (after all, no one cares what aircraft they're on, lol). Maybe 5-12 flights each per week.
 
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:48 pm

ty97 wrote:
tphuang wrote:
Could they try to trade with DL or B6 for slot space at JFK? CX is moving to T8. I'm sure they can get back some gate space in T7.


CX moving terminals doesn't impact slot availability. Terminal/gate space and JFK slots are not related. JFK could build an entirely new terminal with 50 gates, but there wouldn't be slots available for airlines to use that terminal.


I think I wasn't too clear there. But I was saying that they can trade for slot space with DL and/or B6. I assume that AA and UA won't trade at this point and no one else has significant # of slots. Once that's accomplished, they still need gate space and maybe they can move back into T7 now that CX is moving out.

So my question is whether or not UA is willing to trade the assets and spend the cash needed to get back into JFK? It seems like these days, UA has pretty bad reputation amongst people I know in New York (and EWR doesn't have great reputation either), so they do need to get back to JFK in some capacity if they want to get their market share up.
 
commavia
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:55 pm

LAXintl wrote:
For those dumping on Smisek, I doubt he had much to do with, or even involved in the JFK decision making.

The decision was likely driven between Jim Compton VP chief revenue officer and Brian Znotins VP Network, both no longer with the company.


It's inconceivable to me that United would have exited the JFK p.s. transcon franchise without Smisek being involved. This isn't pulling a few RJs out of a tiny city. Even just purely from an optics and branding standpoint, we're talking about arguably the two highest-profile routes in the entire U.S. airline industry. I get it that the people beneath him were doing the analysis and making the recommendations, but I cannot imagine how the CEO of United would not have weighed in on that decision.
 
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LAXintl
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:17 pm

commavia wrote:
It's inconceivable to me that United would have exited the JFK p.s. transcon franchise without Smisek being involved. This isn't pulling a few RJs out of a tiny city. Even just purely from an optics and branding standpoint, we're talking about arguably the two highest-profile routes in the entire U.S. airline industry. I get it that the people beneath him were doing the analysis and making the recommendations, but I cannot imagine how the CEO of United would not have weighed in on that decision.


The weighing in Smisek would have made was go along with whatever Compton decided to do.
Compton had pretty much carte-blanche with the network chess pieces to move them around. Smisek was hardly a network guy, and relied on Compton to run sales, alliances, pricing, revenue management and network planning as they had successfully done for many years going back to the 90s at CO.
Probably only big recent UA network decision Smisek was intimately involved in was closing the CLE hub imo.
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klwright69
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:44 pm

I mean if leaving JFK was a mistake, they can always go back. I fail to see the point. So now what?
 
Sightseer
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:46 pm

klwright69 wrote:
I mean if leaving JFK was a mistake, they can always go back. I fail to see the point. So now what?


The issue now would be getting enough prime-time JFK slots to run a competitive schedule, and, to a lesser extent, finding a suitable gate setup.
 
bkflyguy
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:57 pm

I wonder if DL's rebrand of Business Elite to Delta One was influenced by the competition for HVCs in the entertainment industry with First Class requirements in their contract and as a way to qualify the product to meet those terms?
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:01 pm

They could go back to T7 tomorrow if they wanted to. T7 is still in the same spot minus CX flights as a year ago. There have been token flights added here and there: Lot, Interjet, Qatar, Eastern.

The issue is slots in the morning rush and slots after 5pm...when people want to actually fly.

This was a rush job by a CO Newark mindset management team.

Shoud have leased the slots for a bit to keep them in their back pocket
 
commavia
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:05 pm

LAXintl wrote:
The weighing in Smisek would have made was go along with whatever Compton decided to do.
Compton had pretty much carte-blanche with the network chess pieces to move them around. Smisek was hardly a network guy, and relied on Compton to run sales, alliances, pricing, revenue management and network planning as they had successfully done for many years going back to the 90s at CO.
Probably only big recent UA network decision Smisek was intimately involved in was closing the CLE hub imo.


Right. Thus precisely my point - Smisek almost certainly did have "something to do with," and was "involved" in, the decision to leave JFK. I get it that he may well have just been deferring to his subordinates on the details but, alas, therein may actually lie the broader point here.

Kirby's premise, essentially, is that the overall economic contribution of JFK to United's global network may not have been fully and accurately captured by judging the station's individual P&L in isolation. In many instances, that is a point oft-repeated but also oft-forgotten around here - Delta spent years accepting losses and/or below-network profits at NYC and SEA, and AA is doing that now at LAX and across the Pacific, because of the broader, strategic contributions of those markets to the overall network - be they long-term market development, capturing high-value corporate contracts, etc. The aforementioned analogy to retail's concept of a "loss leader" seems apt.

If we are to believe Kirby's premise, and believe that he's correct, then this is precisely an example of a situation where a CEO should have stood up and said "wait a second, let's examine the broader economic and strategic consequences of doing this, beyond just what the spreadsheet says." Maybe he did that, and maybe his underlings successfully convinced him, and maybe Kirby is now coming in and conveniently Monday morning quarterbacking. Maybe. But on the flip side, I work in corporate finance for a living and know full well how anyone can pretty much make a spreadsheet say anything they want. In this instance, it would be remarkable if - as Kirby seems to be implying - AA's finance people made a spreadsheet that clearly demonstrated to them the broader economic contribution of those JFK transcons and yet United's people made their proverbial spreadsheet and didn't (or didn't want to) arrive at the same conclusion.

klwright69 wrote:
I mean if leaving JFK was a mistake, they can always go back.


Not quite. JFK is one of the busiest and most constrained airports in the U.S. - in particular at peak times. At this point, the cost of buying back in - which is what would be required to rebuild a relevant slot portfolio to operate LAX and SFO at competitive frequencies - would almost certainly be prohibitive, and undermine any financial gain from the routes. Even as United's presence at JFK diminished over the last fifteen years, United still had a fairly enviable slot portfolio with a not-insignificant amount of peak slots. Those are now gone.

klwright69 wrote:
So now what?


It seems like Kirby pretty clearly articulated the "now what." He'd rather be fighting a two-front battle against AA and Delta with JFK, but if that isn't possible (see above), United's best - only - option is to make the most it can of EWR. And that's not exactly a bad hand to have to play. EWR in and of itself is a massive business/premium travel market, and unlike anything AA or Delta can or ever will enjoy at JFK, United absolutely dominates EWR.
 
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IslandRob
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:08 pm

UALFAson wrote:
The word many of you are looking for is "losing" with 1 O. "Loosing" is not a word.

This public service announcement brought to you by a former journalist who is about to pull his hair out. The more you know... (insert shooting star GIF)

You're right on your first point, but, in fact, "loosing" is a perfectly valid word (just the wrong word in this instance).

Back on topic, UA abandoning JFK was a piss poor decision, in my opinion, which they will regret more and more in the coming years. -ir
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Flighty
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:14 pm

commavia wrote:
Right. Thus precisely my point - Smisek almost certainly did have "something to do with," and was "involved" in, the decision to leave JFK. I get it that he may well have just been deferring to his subordinates on the details but, alas, therein may actually lie the broader point here.


Do you think Smisek cut JFK transcons in favor of EWR out of a "CO pride" mindset... as if he was trying to show the value of CO's network over UA's...
 
commavia
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:19 pm

Flighty wrote:
Do you think Smisek cut JFK transcons in favor of EWR out of a "CO pride" mindset... as if he was trying to show the value of CO's network over UA's...


No, I don't. Personally, I think the decision to exit JFK was part of the same broader mindsight that Kirby alluded to more diplomatically on the last United earnings call - the constant focus was cutting capacity, cutting capacity, cutting capacity. And that had a logic to it, given that, at the time of the United merger, the U.S. domestic airline industry likely did, indeed, have too much capacity to support better margins at United.

The problem is that the relentless focus on capacity constraint (and reduction) led to certain decisions that, in hindsight, seem questionable. Some - like transitioning major, high-profile and highly-competitive business markets like EWR-ATL to 50-seat RJs - are pretty much universally seen as idiotic. Others - like this example, exiting JFK - are debatable. There were likely reasonable judgments either way. Finally, still others - like closing the CLE hub - were probably pretty clear-cut and likely did make clear sense.

But I think it was all driven by that mentality - which overall, looking back today, seems a bit short-sighted.
 
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:36 pm

IPFreely wrote:
So UA is #1 in most passengers to/from NYC,.


You mean the New York City area, yes?
How come I can't upload an avatar photo to my profile?
 
LAXdude1023
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:54 pm

If Smisek had nothing what to do whatsoever with the decision to leave JFK and didnt give his input as a CEO, that would make him one of the most impotent CEO's of all time.

I also think its unlikely any sort of decision was driven by CO pride. I would imagine the lower overhead costs at EWR and the lower costs by consolidation at one airport drove the margins up.
It is what it is...
 
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:09 pm

klwright69 wrote:
I mean if leaving JFK was a mistake, they can always go back. I fail to see the point. So now what?


I don't think anyone is actually suggesting that UA will return. He is saying they made a mistake to leave that's all. United has said those routes both were loosing money for like seven straight years or something and with mint entering fares only went down. It would be impossible now to rebuild he was just saying they should have stayed and fought or kept for network and fliers. They ain't going back now.
 
tpaewr
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:32 pm

Given that AA is keeping limited 3 cabin service I wonder if such would have been the case with UA if he had come along earlier?


The idea that JFK was dropped due to "CO pride" is equal parts hilarious and absurd. Companies don't work like that! Maybe the pull back in IAH was the "Revenge of the Tulip!" ?
 
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:43 pm

tpaewr wrote:
Given that AA is keeping limited 3 cabin service I wonder if such would have been the case with UA if he had come along earlier?


The idea that JFK was dropped due to "CO pride" is equal parts hilarious and absurd. Companies don't work like that! Maybe the pull back in IAH was the "Revenge of the Tulip!" ?


Yeah. That is a silly idea. Unless your company is suffering from ridiculously incompetent leadership, you dont cut profitable routes for revenge.
It is what it is...
 
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:45 pm

UALFAson wrote:
The word many of you are looking for is "losing" with 1 O. "Loosing" is not a word.

This public service announcement brought to you by a former journalist who is about to pull his hair out. The more you know... (insert shooting star GIF)

Thank you — the guy who kept saying "loosing" was doing my head in.
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:12 pm

tpaewr wrote:
Given that AA is keeping limited 3 cabin service I wonder if such would have been the case with UA if he had come along earlier?


The idea that JFK was dropped due to "CO pride" is equal parts hilarious and absurd. Companies don't work like that! Maybe the pull back in IAH was the "Revenge of the Tulip!" ?


Sure, if anything, keeping a money losing route was a sentimental act, an act of UA pride, to the extent of losing money. I could maybe see a CO-sourced CEO, proud of his profitable CO transcons, maybe a little bit hasty to cut the UA side. After all, mergers are supposed to have synergies. This was just excessive, I won't second guess Kirby on it. Anyway, it was a cheap laugh, mayyybe a little bit of truth, but no takers today I guess.
 
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:40 pm

EWR p.s. has done well for UA because p.s. has gone from a standalone product (unless you connected to say LH at JFK) to being the backbone of transcons now that EWR results in new connections via EWR to/from Europe and westbound mostly through SFO en route to/from Asia.

Where UA at first ran lousy 738/9s all day to connect premium passengers, it's now seeing 752 and even 777s, all lie flat seating, in the post JFK era.

Bad for people who loved JFK or used it for connections to *A, but most of that is also available at EWR now and for UA itself it's really helped to boost the West Coast - Asia and East Coast - Europe routes. EWR still offers plenty of convenience for say Manhattan, aka high yield business traffic.
2017: CVG | DEN | EWR | FRA | HKG | LAX | ORD | SFO | SIN | TLV | TXL | VIE
 
commavia
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:42 pm

ua900 wrote:
EWR p.s. has done well for UA because p.s. has gone from a standalone product (unless you connected to say LH at JFK) to being the backbone of transcons now that EWR results in new connections via EWR to/from Europe and westbound mostly through SFO en route to/from Asia.


I understand the point above, and don't necessarily disagree with it in general - except for this: the JFK transcons were not "standalone" in the context of United's overall network. They may have catered to some, but not much, connecting traffic over JFK - but besides that, they certainly catered to plenty of connecting traffic on the other end(s) - SFO and LAX.
 
CobaltScar
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:54 pm

If UA acquired JetBlue, their respective hubs would fit together like hand in gloves. Just saying.
 
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ua900
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:57 pm

commavia wrote:
ua900 wrote:
EWR p.s. has done well for UA because p.s. has gone from a standalone product (unless you connected to say LH at JFK) to being the backbone of transcons now that EWR results in new connections via EWR to/from Europe and westbound mostly through SFO en route to/from Asia.


I understand the point above, and don't necessarily disagree with it in general - except for this: the JFK transcons were not "standalone" in the context of United's overall network. They may have catered to some, but not much, connecting traffic over JFK - but besides that, they certainly catered to plenty of connecting traffic on the other end(s) - SFO and LAX.


Sure, before the merger, if you were on a routing between UA and *A, JFK was great. Global First Lounge and Lufthansa First Lounge, shorter transfer than EWR, JFKs traditional reputation in general, certainly grander than EWR.

My trips back then were either SFO/LAX-ORD-Europe or SFO/LAX-IAD-Europe on something like a 320 if on UA metal and occasionally SFO/LAX-JFK-Europe on LH or LX metal with the old UA ps 752s. I loved those trips to JFK because I got the 3 class service with the "almost beds" (around 160 degree Westin Heavenly and H2O products I think) in First or the old barcaloungers in row 9, which quite frankly were the best domestic product before flat beds became the new gold standard. I loved the old p.s. service, it was very classy, it reminded me of PanAm in the 80s, especially in hindsight where memories merge anyway. Same for SFO, the First Class lounge there for Asia connections was outstanding too, as was any p.s. service eastbound or westbound.

But those days are gone now, pretty soon the First Class lounge at SFO will disappear too, just like the others. But Centurion lounge is way better than that, things just changed over time, that's all. p.s. has become a lot more bland from a branding perspective, but now we get flat beds (with Saks and Cowshed) throughout and soft product became better December 1st. And with the Polaris hard product, there seems to be less of a need for first on either p.s. or GF once the 773 cabins make it into other types.

Between 2007-2010 UA ps to JFK was far better than EWR in 2011-2015, which I think was the toughest time for EWR. Since JFK got discontinued, EWR has profited from that by having a touch of class transferred to EWR, which was a dump through very recently, before the hip ipad restaurants and fresh food stores came in to replace the dated and tired offerings.
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:53 pm

CobaltScar wrote:
If UA acquired JetBlue, their respective hubs would fit together like hand in gloves. Just saying.


That has been rumored for a while. But then, that is a different topic that I could give all kinds of reason's why it makes sense.
 
11725Flyer
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:04 pm

CobaltScar wrote:
If UA acquired JetBlue, their respective hubs would fit together like hand in gloves. Just saying.


Interesting idea, but I doubt even the current administration would allow further consolidation in the airline industry.
 
Sightseer
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:13 pm

CobaltScar wrote:
If UA acquired JetBlue, their respective hubs would fit together like hand in gloves. Just saying.


Personally, I don't see how the JFK and MCO hubs survive in the long run in that scenario. I'm sure they would try to keep FLL going, but the competitive dynamics would, I think, be challenging. That leaves BOS, which could probably survive as a focus city of sorts, but at that point it may be more feasible to grow organically than by trying to buy out a competitor.
 
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:24 pm

jetbluefan1 wrote:
Wow. His admission that AA was actively trying to push UA out is pretty astonishing.


If that's true, why did AA (with Kirby) not buy United's JFK slots?

If I remember correctly, United told the DOT that it offered the slots first to American, but American was not interested.
 
commavia
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:29 pm

ldvaviation wrote:
If that's true, why did AA (with Kirby) not buy United's JFK slots?

If I remember correctly, United told the DOT that it offered the slots first to American, but American was not interested.


The asking price may have been too high. Plus, the two aren't necessarily linked. AA may well have been trying to get United to exit the JFK transcon market, but then once that actually happened, AA obviously concluded - separately - that it wasn't worth paying for United's peak JFK slots.
 
caljn
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:11 am

ua900 wrote:
commavia wrote:
ua900 wrote:
EWR p.s. has done well for UA because p.s. has gone from a standalone product (unless you connected to say LH at JFK) to being the backbone of transcons now that EWR results in new connections via EWR to/from Europe and westbound mostly through SFO en route to/from Asia.


I understand the point above, and don't necessarily disagree with it in general - except for this: the JFK transcons were not "standalone" in the context of United's overall network. They may have catered to some, but not much, connecting traffic over JFK - but besides that, they certainly catered to plenty of connecting traffic on the other end(s) - SFO and LAX.


Sure, before the merger, if you were on a routing between UA and *A, JFK was great. Global First Lounge and Lufthansa First Lounge, shorter transfer than EWR, JFKs traditional reputation in general, certainly grander than EWR.

My trips back then were either SFO/LAX-ORD-Europe or SFO/LAX-IAD-Europe on something like a 320 if on UA metal and occasionally SFO/LAX-JFK-Europe on LH or LX metal with the old UA ps 752s. I loved those trips to JFK because I got the 3 class service with the "almost beds" (around 160 degree Westin Heavenly and H2O products I think) in First or the old barcaloungers in row 9, which quite frankly were the best domestic product before flat beds became the new gold standard. I loved the old p.s. service, it was very classy, it reminded me of PanAm in the 80s, especially in hindsight where memories merge anyway. Same for SFO, the First Class lounge there for Asia connections was outstanding too, as was any p.s. service eastbound or westbound.

But those days are gone now, pretty soon the First Class lounge at SFO will disappear too, just like the others. But Centurion lounge is way better than that, things just changed over time, that's all. p.s. has become a lot more bland from a branding perspective, but now we get flat beds (with Saks and Cowshed) throughout and soft product became better December 1st. And with the Polaris hard product, there seems to be less of a need for first on either p.s. or GF once the 773 cabins make it into other types.

Between 2007-2010 UA ps to JFK was far better than EWR in 2011-2015, which I think was the toughest time for EWR. Since JFK got discontinued, EWR has profited from that by having a touch of class transferred to EWR, which was a dump through very recently, before the hip ipad restaurants and fresh food stores came in to replace the dated and tired offerings.



Uh, no. EWR Terminal C not a dump even before those "hip Ipad restaurants". It was and continues to be superior to MANY terminals at JFK.
 
jfk777
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:12 am

Kirby's statement has lots of merit but my next question would be, " how did moving the PS service to Newark help Newark ? " There has to be some gain by upping frequency to LAX and SFO . United main reasons for anything in New York has to be what helps Newark is better for UA.
 
jayunited
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:15 am

ldvaviation wrote:
jetbluefan1 wrote:
Wow. His admission that AA was actively trying to push UA out is pretty astonishing.


If that's true, why did AA (with Kirby) not buy United's JFK slots?

If I remember correctly, United told the DOT that it offered the slots first to American, but American was not interested.


When you listen to Kirby and read what he said in this article you will see that AA didn't really want UA slots they couldn't afford them. What AA wanted was UA's corporate contracts which they got when UA closed JFK. DL ended up with the slots but it seems as if the AA scored a win win at both JFK and LAX.
 
ldvaviation
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:18 am

commavia wrote:
ldvaviation wrote:
If that's true, why did AA (with Kirby) not buy United's JFK slots?

If I remember correctly, United told the DOT that it offered the slots first to American, but American was not interested.


The asking price may have been too high. Plus, the two aren't necessarily linked. AA may well have been trying to get United to exit the JFK transcon market, but then once that actually happened, AA obviously concluded - separately - that it wasn't worth paying for United's peak JFK slots.


UA wanted a trade for slots at EWR. At the time, AA wasn't using some of its EWR slots. It's been leasing some to Virgin America. That's how VX gained entry, competing directly with UA to LAX/SFO. There was room to negotiate if AA (with Kirby) really wanted to push United out of JFK.

Whatever the case, Kirby has a history of not being completely truthful. He says UA wants to be dominant at LAX again, that they have talked to LAWA about Terminal 9, but following his comments there was no domestic expansion at LAX. There was at ORD, but not LAX. Furthermore, the presentation of the T9 concept plan took place while he was working for AA.

He told AA employees that there was a deal pending for all the gates in T5 (LAX), but there wasn't any deal it turns out. In his comments to employees, he didn't even acknowledge how his virtual deal might be preempted by Delta's real deal for T2/T3.

And, wasn't Kirby at US Airways when US sold their LGA slot portfolio to Delta? I suppose tomorrow Parker could speak to AA employees and say something like this: "Selling the LGA slots was a mistake. At the time, I followed the bad advice of someone who is no longer here." Wouldn't that be rich?

In short, if Kirby while at US Airways did not see the big picture, he is hardly in a position now at UA to see the big picture.
 
grbauc
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:27 am

airzona11 wrote:
The biggest question is why is he saying this? There has to be a play, not just an F U to the out going guy, bc that guy is laughing all the way to the bank while Kirby still has a business to run.

Is AA the biggest benefactor or DL? DL has seen the most growth in NY, not AA. The high yield customers that they lost, anyone who was flying First class was already lost to AA.

Could it also be that is making an excuse for LAX not performing as it should? Didn't he mention a while back that they are remaining committed to LAX and they are going to compete there? Maybe he is realizing that is more difficult, and with his knowledge of AA he can point to the JFK change and be like here is the reason we are coming up short at LAX?



I think he's been and continues to spread the message that the narrative is changing and UA is not shrinking at LAX and Consolidating at EWR in the NYC area. Chicago is another narrative that's changing. The narrative that UA is running shrinking needed to change and scott/UA is doing just that. Toyota for years kept saying how great there gas mileage is and on a few models it is great. Many Tundra etc were awful but that's not the message that we would hear. Ford has been with some success getting the message out that there resale value is good that there cars hold value. Shacking old tag lines is important. The Japanese auto makers have master this area and it took the US manufactures way to long to figure that out. Scott and company seem to get that Technique.
 
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jaybird
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:39 am

LAXintl wrote:
Let's not forget big part of the impetus to leave JFK was driven by fact that UA's T-7 sublease was about to expire and BA did not plan on renewing.

UA was to be left homeless at JFK and atleast would face higher cost. As rumors at the time stated only option was T4 but with high likelihood of portion of remote ops due gating constraints. Far from ideal.

Regarding corporate contracts, I agree with Kirby and have seen it with my own eyes as very loyal UA passengers shifted to entirely new airlines with loss of JFK. The routes closure had effects far broader across network.


AH .. this to me is new news .. wasn't aware that BA was "kicking them out" and the were going to be busing at T4 .. not an ideal situation at all .. especially since AA, DL and B6 all have their own homes at JFK.
 
Taco2sDay
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:48 am

flyfresno wrote:
So if United did return to JFK, what markets would they serve, if any, besides SFO and LAX? With the large number of international star alliance seats leaving JFK, is there enough connecting traffic to IAH or ORD, or are people already conditioned to go to LGA or EWR for connecting flights?


No need for JFK-ORD/IAH. Those markets are for business and frequency, and LGA offers that on the NY side of the Hudson.

Look at ORD-LGA/EWR and even HPN. There must be over 50 flights a day. A token JFK doesn't do much.
 
grbauc
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:16 am

klwright69 wrote:
I mean if leaving JFK was a mistake, they can always go back. I fail to see the point. So now what?


Might be possible sometime but It will have added costs and the ground they lost will also make it a huge uphill battle. Also where will they get the slots and gates/ terminal to run there operation from?

To me the biggest question Id like to A-net discuss is what now and how far will UA go towards making EWR into a a proper HUB airport? To change the Narrative on EWR is building new terminals possible? Last time I went to EWR was when HP and CO had a code share partnership. Is it possible with money of course to even do it? build a Nice functional terminals and infrastructure with a reasonable amount of money? Nice has maybe TBIT at LAX something that would be the talk and story in its self?
 
N62NA
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:40 am

grbauc wrote:
To me the biggest question Id like to A-net discuss is what now and how far will UA go towards making EWR into a a proper HUB airport? To change the Narrative on EWR is building new terminals possible?


They are supposed to be reconstructing and expanding Terminal A.

As for being a "proper" hub. It seems quite hubby to me. UA is concentrated in C but also has operations from A and B. Same kind of situation that we have with AA at DFW, no?
How come I can't upload an avatar photo to my profile?
 
Cointrin330
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:49 am

The problem wasn't JFK, it was the UA "PS" product. When it was launched, in 2002, it matched and probably exceeded what AA was offering on the three class 767-200ER and Delta had not yet fully launched its JFK buildup. The food and the small sized cabin (757, with First, Business, and all Economy Plus) was a niche that worked very well. As AA transitioned to the A321T, Delta put internationally configured 757 and 767 aircraft on the LAX/SFO route, and Jet Blue launched "Mint", UA's product, even with the cabin refresh to the UA international business standard just didn't cut it. It looked tired. Still, giving up on JFK was probably a mistake. UA could compete with a better product and an improved lounge at JFK. The entire product there though was staid, stuck in the 1990s and no longer competitive.
 
United1
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:51 am

grbauc wrote:
klwright69 wrote:
I mean if leaving JFK was a mistake, they can always go back. I fail to see the point. So now what?



To me the biggest question Id like to A-net discuss is what now and how far will UA go towards making EWR into a a proper HUB airport? To change the Narrative on EWR is building new terminals possible? Last time I went to EWR was when HP and CO had a code share partnership. Is it possible with money of course to even do it? build a Nice functional terminals and infrastructure with a reasonable amount of money? Nice has maybe TBIT at LAX something that would be the talk and story in its self?


I'm not sure what more you think they need to do to turn EWR into a hub as by any definition it is one. As the CO/HP partnership ended in 2002 I'm going to guess you were there before CO built the global gateway at EWR which modernized and expanded T-C at EWR in the early 2000s. T-C has 59 gates alone (on top of the gates UA uses in T-A and T-B.) and UA operates the largest single hub operation in the NYC area.

UA has continued to invest in EWR since the merger with a new security checkpoint, revamping the check-in areas and concourses, updating the concessions and has even built a new hangar. T-C is actually a very user-friendly and easy to navigate terminal.
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
Beatyair
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:55 am

Could United simply fly a 757 or a 767 from LAX to LGA.
 
United1
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:56 am

Cointrin330 wrote:
The problem wasn't JFK, it was the UA "PS" product. When it was launched, in 2002, it matched and probably exceeded what AA was offering on the three class 767-200ER and Delta had not yet fully launched its JFK buildup. The food and the small sized cabin (757, with First, Business, and all Economy Plus) was a niche that worked very well. As AA transitioned to the A321T, Delta put internationally configured 757 and 767 aircraft on the LAX/SFO route, and Jet Blue launched "Mint", UA's product, even with the cabin refresh to the UA international business standard just didn't cut it. It looked tired. Still, giving up on JFK was probably a mistake. UA could compete with a better product and an improved lounge at JFK. The entire product there though was staid, stuck in the 1990s and no longer competitive.


The ground infrastructure at JFK did need an update (the UC while comfortable was straight out of the 90's.) I'm not sure what you think UA could have done differently with the hard product onboard however. UA refurbished the 15 P.S. 752s with lie flats up front, new seats in Y, nose to tail AVOD/Power and of course WiFi it matched quite nicely with what B6, DL and AA offered on the route.
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
United1
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:59 am

Beatyair wrote:
Could United simply fly a 757 or a 767 from LAX to LGA.


Only on Saturdays as LGA has a perimeter rule in effect the other days of the week that prevents any airline from flying routes that far. If the perimeter rule were ever to be removed however that might actually be UAs best shot at adding P.S. flights back to an airport east of the Hudson.
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
flyfresno
Posts: 204
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:03 am

Taco2sDay wrote:
flyfresno wrote:
So if United did return to JFK, what markets would they serve, if any, besides SFO and LAX? With the large number of international star alliance seats leaving JFK, is there enough connecting traffic to IAH or ORD, or are people already conditioned to go to LGA or EWR for connecting flights?


No need for JFK-ORD/IAH. Those markets are for business and frequency, and LGA offers that on the NY side of the Hudson.

Look at ORD-LGA/EWR and even HPN. There must be over 50 flights a day. A token JFK doesn't do much.


Well, the flights would not be "token." They would be to provide connections for star alliance carriers that fly into JFK. I believe there are at least a few destinations that are only served out of JFK (i.e. not EWR) such as Johannesburg on South African and Cairo on Egypt Air in addition to quite a few redundant routes with EWR such as Delhi, Frankfurt, Munich, and Vienna. I realize that UA doesn't rely as much on their partner airlines as, say, DL, but are you saying that such feed is so un-important that UA wouldn't even use an RJ on such routes should they choose to return to JFK?
 
grbauc
Posts: 656
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Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:57 am

N62NA wrote:
grbauc wrote:
To me the biggest question Id like to A-net discuss is what now and how far will UA go towards making EWR into a a proper HUB airport? To change the Narrative on EWR is building new terminals possible?


They are supposed to be reconstructing and expanding Terminal A.

As for being a "proper" hub. It seems quite hubby to me. UA is concentrated in C but also has operations from A and B. Same kind of situation that we have with AA at DFW, no?


Yea wrong wording. A hub that's talked about like DFW International terminal hell Singapore / you know up the game Make a facility that is more of the talk. Anytime I talk to people and we mention Singapore Airlines There amazing Hub Facility is mentioned. That kind of thing.
 
grbauc
Posts: 656
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:05 pm

Re: Scott Kirby: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’

Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:08 am

United1 wrote:
grbauc wrote:
klwright69 wrote:
I mean if leaving JFK was a mistake, they can always go back. I fail to see the point. So now what?



To me the biggest question Id like to A-net discuss is what now and how far will UA go towards making EWR into a a proper HUB airport? To change the Narrative on EWR is building new terminals possible? Last time I went to EWR was when HP and CO had a code share partnership. Is it possible with money of course to even do it? build a Nice functional terminals and infrastructure with a reasonable amount of money? Nice has maybe TBIT at LAX something that would be the talk and story in its self?


I'm not sure what more you think they need to do to turn EWR into a hub as by any definition it is one. As the CO/HP partnership ended in 2002 I'm going to guess you were there before CO built the global gateway at EWR which modernized and expanded T-C at EWR in the early 2000s. T-C has 59 gates alone (on top of the gates UA uses in T-A and T-B.) and UA operates the largest single hub operation in the NYC area.

UA has continued to invest in EWR since the merger with a new security checkpoint, revamping the check-in areas and concourses, updating the concessions and has even built a new hangar. T-C is actually a very user-friendly and easy to navigate terminal.


Thanks I do plead ignorance on the facility someone up tread said EWR was not a very nice place. I remember Low ceilings and it being dark inside. I also Used wrong wording in saying proper hub. I meant a 5 star facility hub. My thinking is can they build a over the top facility that would draw the attention and talk envy of NYC flyers and those flying to and through it.

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