Fri, Jul 02, 2004
Says Service Will Be Unaffected By ATSB Refusal On Loan
Hustling to make sure its most
valued customers don't jump ship, United Airlines this week sent
out emails to its 40 million frequent fliers, promising that their
service won't be affected by the government's refusal to provide
$1.1 billion in loan guarantees.
"The... decision will have no effect on our service to you,"
said the email. "We are now moving forward to secure [bankruptcy]
exit financing and emerge as a stronger, more competitive
But given past performance, the email blast was hardly
reassuring. The last time UAL sent out such a mass email, saying
basically the same thing, was on December 5th, 2002, after the
first time the Air Transport Stabilization Board turned United down
for $1.8 billion in guarantees. Less than a week after that, UAL
They don't want their customers to
worry," said Helane Becker, an analyst with Benchmark Company. "But
on the other hand, they will have to make adjustments over time to
their route structure. If they want to attract outside investors,
they're going to have to make adjustments." Becker was quoted by
the Washington Post.
Is the email working? Ask Michael Kurtz, an Oak Hill (VA)
psychologist who has some 800,000 frequent flier miles.
"They're trying to make people feel better," he told the Post,
"but I don't think things will get better there."
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