There’s a thread on FlyerTalk discussing a comment United Airlines CFO John Rainey made during the 2012 Bank of America-Merrill Lynch Global Transportation Conference that caught my eye earlier today. I was highly intrigued, so had to take a listen to the presentation myself and here’s exactly what he said:
That statement was made while he was noting the benefits of SHARES from this slide:
First, he noted how SHARES, unlike Apollo, has the ability to revenue manage ancillary products, like Economy Plus. United can now charge different prices for an E+ upgrade depending on the day of week, time of day, type of seat (aisle, middle, window), etc. Then he mentioned how SHARES allows United to better manage the MileagePlus program.
This is when he dropped the comment, which has many on FlyerTalk pissed off beyond belief. While I’m not outraged by it, it does sting quite a bit and I’m surprised he’d say such a thing at a time when sooo many elites are already questioning a switch in loyalty, if they haven’t already jumped ship. I know that what he said is management’s attitude, but to say “over entitled” out loud… just ridiculous. Even if I’m not in the “certain” group he’s referring to (I know I am), it still stung.
Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised… the guy who introduced him said he prefers to be viewed as, “a finance guy more than an airline guy.”
So much for loyalty. A revenue-based elite program (vs. mileage-based) is looking more likely sooner rather than later.