United Airline's new livery and logo (does it look familiar?)
While I was out of town last week I was trying to keep up on the United Airlines and Continental Airlines merger. The news is pretty old right now, so I am not going re-hash all the talk about it [check Google News for the stories if you haven’t heard]. When hearing about the merger one of the things I thought about was the combined livery.
I have not been a fan of United’s most recent livery. The blue and white looked aged when it first came out. They have also been very slow to change over from their last livery (which I like better) to the newest one. While flying Continental recently, I realized how clean their livery looks. The blue and gold. Simple, classy and timeless.
I was really happy to see that with the merger, the United name will survive, but so will the Continental livery. The “Continental” name will be replaced with “United”, but the golden globe will stick around. I will miss the “U” from United Airlines, but overall, I think this is a very wise idea. Not only will part of Continental still survive the merger, but United will end up with a better livery.
My main fear is it will take forever for United and Continental to share the same livery, I just hope that is not the case.
Check out their merger website for the most up-to-date information.
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To the moon! Or maybe just to Jersey.
Letâ€™s start out with the obvious: itâ€™s been a rough few yearsÂ for United Airlines. Amidst a choppy merger, a CEO ouster scandal (then the new replacement CEO having health issues), and an awful economic climate for the industry during most of theÂ decade, the Chicago-based airlineâ€™s public perception took a big hit. It has become pretty clear that majorÂ change is needed to win over the hearts and minds of the American flying public.
Over the past year, United has unveiled a number of updates, including the return of free snacks in economy, beerÂ and wine in long-haul international economy, the continued rollout of WiFi, increased direct-to-device streaming entertainment, refreshed menus in premium cabins, and improved United Clubs. Some updates have gone into effect already, while others will be rolled out gradually during this year.
p.s. BusinessFirst – Photo: United
One major structural change in 2015 was Unitedâ€™s withdrawal from JFK Airport, which had previously served as the New York terminus of the flagship domestic Premier Service (p.s.) routes from San Francisco and Los Angeles. As of October 2014, those flights now land at Unitedâ€™s massive and ever-expanding hub at Newark Liberty International (EWR). On the other coast, United has also been investing in its Terminal 3 hub at SFO.
Other airlines have been upping their transcontinental game, with American flying three-class A321Ts, JetBlue expanding its ever-popular Mint service, and Delta offering its Delta One long-haul product between JFK and LAX/SFO.
Over the course of a few trips between San Francisco and New York on the p.s. route, I had a great chance to test drive some of the latest changes at United. Read on as I share some of my insights from putting the new United through its paces.
Frontier Airlines’ new livery in 2014 – Photo: Blaine Nickeson | AirlineReporter
Looking at the market today, and lots of talk about additional airline mergers, it seems that Frontier and Spirit joining forces would make sense.
With the recent completion of the American Airlines and US Airways merger, there are officially four major U.S. airlines that control over three-quarters of the domestic air travel market. The four airlines are: Southwest, United, American, and Delta. All of them have been through mergers in the last decade. The remaining twenty-five percent of the market is divided up amongst carriers such as JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines, amongst a few others. There is a very small likelihood that another merger would occur amongst the major four airlines due to antitrust regulations. Therefore, any airline consolidation would most likely happenÂ among the smaller carriers that control the remaining twenty-five percent of the market, in an effort to better compete with the four mega-carriers.
One potential merger that appears to be the most promising is a deal between Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Spirit and Denver, Colorado-based Frontier. Spirit operates around 250 daily domestic departures, while Frontier operates at somewhere around 230 departures daily. The merger would combine two companies positioning themselves fighting to be the top ultra discount airline in the United States.
In part one of this series I provided an overview of my airline sampler trip (5 airlines over 4 days) and offered my thoughts on my very first flight with Virgin America, from Dallas to San Francisco. Here we pick back up at SFO for a quick journey down to LAX in the first class cabin aboard a United 787-8.
This leg of myÂ airline sampler was actually the catalyst for the entire trip. I happened to stumble upon an announcementÂ that United would be briefly returning the 787 to domestic service for once weekly (Friday) service from SFO-LAX.Â I didn’t get the opportunity to check out the DreamlinerÂ when United had them on domestic runs when they were first introduced. After a number of friends booked their own 787 experiences only to be disappointed by the wrong plane at the gate,Â due to operational issues,Â I decided to hold off. I was skeptic for too long and wound up missing my opportunity. Some time had passedÂ and UnitedÂ now had a number of 787s in service, so I figured that the time was right.
The economy fare was very attractively priced at a meager $72.10 — what a bargain! When United.com solicited me to pay an extra $29 for economy plus I jumped atÂ it.
As a Boeing fan-boy, I was excited, but that joy would soon evaporate like spilled Jet A on a hot day.Â It pains me to report that problems began before I everÂ stepped foot on the planeâ€¦