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Rocky Mountain News article qusetions Ted

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  • Morganwerk@aol.com
    Up and Down 17th Street: Ted would rather not fly on first date November 25, 2003 I ll admit it: I thought the marketing campaign was tricky and the ads were
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 3, 2003
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      Up and Down 17th Street: Ted would rather not fly on first date

      November 25, 2003

      pictureI'll admit it: I thought the marketing campaign was tricky and the ads were cute. I even liked the color scheme and I not-so-secretly wished he'd bought me a burrito or a slice of cheesecake.

      I'd been lured in and I was hooked: I wanted to fly Ted.

       

       

      So, on the day tickets went on sale last week, I confidently pointed my Internet browser at www.flyted.com, the home page of bankrupt United Airlines' new low-cost carrier.

      Ted, which will have Denver as its hub, is supposed to compete with the likes of Frontier Airlines, the Denver carrier that touts its cheap chic image.

      Ted was not very cooperative at first. There were a few missteps - such as a Web page error that meant I couldn't pick flights - before I finally got a quote for my imaginary four-day trip to visit my in-laws in Phoenix.

      Then came the sticker shock. Ted, apparently, wasn't available, and United wanted to charge me between $358 and $419 for the pleasure of my company on the March 5-9 round-trip flight.

      Frontier, by contrast, was willing to get me there and back for $298.

      It turns out Ted doesn't start flying to Phoenix until March 13. So I tried a later date - March 19-23 - and did get Ted flights, but the price was still $358. Frontier's price was still $298.

      I decided to take an imaginary March trip to visit my grandfather in Southern California, via the Los Angeles airport. Ted apparently didn't want to take me to see my grandpa, either - although United was willing to do it for the same price as Frontier, $298.

      Ted was, it turns out, willing to take me to see Grandpa via the airport in nearby Ontario, Calif. - but for $316.50.

      The new low-cost airline does fly to the Los Angeles airport but not directly from Denver, and the system therefore appears to have decided that a cheaper, direct United flight was better.

      That's obviously true, but it begs the question: Just how independent is Ted from the proverbial mother ship?

      United spokesman Jason Schechter said Ted uses the same reservation system as United and that - in the early stages, at least - there is the possibility for overlap. He also noted that United may currently be offering promotional fares that match discount carriers such as Frontier. But with Ted and United, he assured me, "It is our No. 1 priority to be competitive in the marketplace when it comes to pricing."

      Schechter also added that, although he's been hearing that things are going pretty well with Ted's reservation system, it was the first week in the service. That's fair enough - I expect a few kinks in the system on a new product.

      Still, it wasn't until I planned an imaginary March 5-9 ski trip to Reno that I finally got Ted to offer to give me a ride on the first shot. He was willing to charge $318 - exactly the same as Frontier.

      But by then I felt a little annoyed. So far at least, Ted appeared to be like a lot of men I've known: He says he's going to show, but then he doesn't. Only here's what's worse: Instead, he sometimes sends his annoying friend, United.

      I've gotten to know United pretty well over the yearsand he's fine for a stodgy, middle-aged guy.

      But there are reasons I don't hang out with him so much anymore. Ted was supposed to be younger, easier to deal with, cheaper - in short, everything I've liked about Ted's arch-rivals like Frontier, Southwest and JetBlue.

      I e-mailed my friend about Ted, and she responded with a worse story: She'd tried to take Ted to Tampa on March 1-8, and he'd stood her up completely, telling her he wasn't available.

      I looked at Ted's promotional materials and found out that, despite the carrier's mid-February launch, Ted wasn't scheduled to fly to Tampa until March 4. Ted would fly me to Tampa and back March 5-7, but at a hefty $448, compared with Frontier's offer of $368.

      It's fair that a carrier will launch flights in stages, but my friend's story still had me a little concerned. Come on, Ted, you send burritos, cheesecake, even flowers - but then it turns out you're not really ready to commit? It would've been better if the system had simply told my friend he wasn't available until March 4 - and offered up his buddy United instead - rather than leaving her wondering why she couldn't get a flight at all.

      I decided to try again, and asked Ted to book me on a round-trip, June 7-10 trip to New Orleans. This time, Ted seemed happy to escort me, for $338.

      Frontier had less user-friendly flight times for a long weekend getaway, but it was willing to get me to the Big Easy and back again for the same price.

      Now I had a dilemma: Go with Ted or stick with Frontier?

      Ted had certainly gotten to me with his charm and good looks, and even though Frontier's talking animal commercials never fail to amuse my husband, I think they're a little annoying.

      But still, looks aren't everything and - as many of us have learned the hard way - first impressions can be deceiving. As for Ted, he may have gotten off to a good start, but it's going to take more than cute ads to persuade us to commit for the long term.

      News finance reporters Allison Linn and David Milstead write Up and Down 17th Street. Linn can be reached at 303-892-2544, linna@..., or Milstead at 303-892-2648, milsteadd@...

    • michael
      Anyone in Customer Svc with access to a tariff could have told you Ted is no bargain. I was looking at the restrictions, 21day 14day and 7day adv fares.
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 3, 2003
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        Anyone in Customer Svc with access to a tariff could have told you Ted is no bargain.  I was looking at the restrictions,  21day 14day and 7day adv fares.  Just like AA did 6 years ago to simplify the tariff structure, then rescinded.  Like shuttle (YShutle) someone in pricing had to put TED into the fare basis.  ve14tednr  -(something like this).
         
        F9 on the other hand has walk up RT fares that are lower than our 21day adv purchase.  Shame, the lady at the rocky mountain news did not put that into the article.
         
        A direct qoute from her article....
        "United spokesman Jason Schechter said  "It is our No. 1 priority to be competitive in the marketplace when it comes to pricing." "
         
        I will let you come to your own conclusion about that statement.
         
        M. Casey
        LAXCS
         
         
      • FullTimeMan@webtv.net
        OK. so WHQ says tey want to be competative in the pricing market. Well while they were getting creative naming fares, someone at WHQ forgot to put in the work
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 4, 2003
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          OK. so WHQ says tey want to be competative in the pricing market.
          Well while they were getting creative naming fares, someone at WHQ
          forgot to put in the work order for the TED aircraft. They need at least
          19 planes to make their fleet, but they will only have 5 when TED starts
          up. I bet they never did a press release to announce this one.
          uniTED at its best.
        • G.abaunza
          Hi everyone. Who knows about the rumor that UA is about to open a reservations office in India. We had passengers saying someone in India answered their call
          Message 4 of 4 , Dec 5, 2003
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            Hi everyone. Who knows about the rumor that UA is about to open a reservations office in India. We had passengers saying someone in India answered their call is this true or is just another rumor? what are we going to do if they send our jobs to India I don`t speak Hindu,can UA transfer Reservations to India? what is going on?

            OK. so WHQ says tey want to be competative in the pricing market.
            Well while they were getting creative naming fares, someone at WHQ
            forgot to put in the work order for the TED aircraft. They need at least
            19 planes to make their fleet, but they will only have 5 when TED starts
            up. I bet they never did a press release to announce this one.
            uniTED at its best.



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            Check out your Union Webpage at http://local1782.org



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            > ATTACHMENT part 2 message/rfc822
            To:
            From: "michael"
            Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2003 20:17:09 -0800
            Subject: Re: [sfocs] Rocky Mountain News article qusetions Ted

            Anyone in Customer Svc with access to a tariff could have told you Ted is no bargain.  I was looking at the restrictions,  21day 14day and 7day adv fares.  Just like AA did 6 years ago to simplify the tariff structure, then rescinded.  Like shuttle (YShutle) someone in pricing had to put TED into the fare basis.  ve14tednr  -(something like this).
             
            F9 on the other hand has walk up RT fares that are lower than our 21day adv purchase.  Shame, the lady at the rocky mountain news did not put that into the article.
             
            A direct qoute from her article....
            "United spokesman Jason Schechter said  "It is our No. 1 priority to be competitive in the marketplace when it comes to pricing." "
             
            I will let you come to your own conclusion about that statement.
             
            M. Casey
            LAXCS
             
             


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