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Justin Lucas
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I had a meeting with an SEM firm on Monday. My host made the same observation. The problem solver in me wonders if the blames lies with Verizon, Sprint or the other carriers for being too aggressive in their negotiations with Apple over who would end up being their provider or too complacent and expecting to win the exclusive because they have superior networks. Either way, the end-users who would love to have an iPhone are the ultimate losers, particularly if they are in the Second St./New Montgomery corridor or SoMA.
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I fly United whenever possible. United will win over alternative airlines even if their price is 20% higher than a non-United carrier. I've had this rule since '00. I've enjoyed economy plus since its debut. I don't purchase business class seats for flights lasting <6 hours. I've had dozens of occasions where business required that I alter the departure time on a daytrip from SFO to LAX, SNA and SAN. United got me to each of those cities on time for meetings. When I realized that I mistakenly booked my return from SAN for the next day, the lady at United called Southwest and sent me to them to book a reasonably priced ticket back to SFO. This was a seminal experience, which validated my allegiance to United. RevPASM Revenue Per Available Seat Mile has plunged below the level it was at following 9-11. The airline industry is doing whatever it can to boost profits following the double whammy of high fuel prices and the subsequent evaporation of air travel, particularly amongst business travelers. With unemployment so high and brokerage accounts so battered, many people have dispensed with air travel for pleasure as well. Air Mile Upgrade It's possible that United is willing to bug you at booking, because 0.001% of people seeing the option to purchase miles or an upgrade will do so. Times are hard and that's a significant boost to revenue, when drawn out over the millions of passengers booking. Lastly, I agree with you about the volume. My wife and I just flew to LA for the day on Saturday. I was blasted by the safety announcement. It's unpleasant, but hardly anyone pays attention to these announcements. I chided my wife over the rapt attention she was paying to the monitors advising of what to do in an emergency. But, it worked. I paid more attention to it, in order add color commentary. She was watching it to learn. Incidentally, as a rule, I count the number of rows between my row and the nearest exit. This coupled with the fact that I get an exit row on ~30% of my flights means, that we're widening our edge as much as possible whenever flying. Assuming that we are able to get out, we're in good shape.
Toggle Commented Aug 7, 2009 on Some thoughts on flying United at Summation
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