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Disastrous Business Strategy

United pilots tell CEO to stop nickel and diming their passengers

eTN  Aug 20, 2008

CHICAGO, IL (August 20, 2008) - Pilots for United Airlines strongly oppose the airline's plans to drastically change its onboard meal service by raising prices for food and drink on most flights and by discontinuing complimentary meal service on many flights to and from Europe, affecting both economy and business class passengers.

The airline claims that rising fuel costs require these changes, although the real reason may be to enable the airline to further reduce flight attendant staffing, which would make onboard service noticeably worse. By any measure, the pilots believe, the proposed changes are a disastrous business strategy that would only drive away customers and encourage them to choose other airlines.

"Rather than taking the fundamental steps necessary to put our airline back on course, such as rationalizing the flight schedule or eliminating excessive perks and bonuses for executives, United's leadership is penalizing the one constituency that is critical to our airline's success: its loyal passengers," said Captain Steve Wallach, chairman of the United Chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association. "Instead of nickel-and-diming our passengers, United Airlines management should be demonstrating that despite today's challenges, our passengers still come first."

Captain Wallach said the proposed changes are just the latest of bad decisions made by United CEO Glenn Tilton.

"Glenn Tilton and his executives can be counted upon to select the path that inflicts the most misery on our passengers," he said. "We condemn this latest price scheme, and we call for its immediate rollback."

The United pilots have set up a petition on its website for United passengers to demand the airline to rollback these changes.

United pilots tell CEO to stop nickel and diming their passengers

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