United Suspending Hong Kong & Buenos Aires Flights

Filed Under: United

In this weekend schedule update, United has quietly suspended two routes:

  • Chicago to Hong Kong is being suspended as of September 8, 2019
  • Newark to Buenos Aires is being suspended as of October 26, 2019

In both cases United is labeling these as route suspensions, though they are suspended through the end of the schedule, so I would expect this to be relatively long term.

It’s my understanding that in both cases these suspensions are a direct result of what’s going on at both of these destinations — business travel to Hong Kong has decreased greatly given everything they have going on there, while the economy in Buenos Aires isn’t great.

For context:

United 777-200

These cuts aren’t in any way related to this week’s international expansion announcement from United. They’re fueling that growth with all of the new planes that they’re taking delivery of in the next 12 months.

I have the utmost respect for United’s route planning division (I think it’s the most competent and on-point part of the company), and I trust the numbers support these cuts.

On the Hong Kong front, I do find it interesting that they’re still moving forward with the second daily San Francisco flight. No doubt New York and San Francisco have more origin & destination traffic for Hong Kong, though with what’s going on you’d think they’d be cutting capacity further. I guess we could still see that happen.

In general Chicago has become a much weaker market for Asia — American has cut all of their flights to Asia, including to Beijing, Shanghai, and Tokyo, while United is now suspending one of their routes (understandably).

What do you make of United Airlines’ route suspensions?

Comments
  1. Your headline made it sound like all flights were being dropped to these cities which would have been huge. Maybe just specify the routes involved?

  2. Lucky, do you know if they cancelled the HKG-GUM flight ahead of the announced Oct date?

    I was supposed to fly SFO-HKG-GUM-ROR on September 20th but they’ve switched my routing to SFO-HNL-GUM-ROR due to the fact that the HKG-GUM flight is “no longer opperating” even though the flights are still bookable online.

  3. I was scheduled for Nov 3 on the Buenos Aires-Newark flight. I just checked and they changed us to the Buenos Aires-Houston flight. They kept our business class reservation. Any difference in the hard product?

  4. Will we see a reduction in capacity out of EWR. Perhaps from 777-300 to 200 ?

    Also, what are your thoughts on United’s massive promotion to offer roundtrip tickets to India (ewr-bom/del) at $650 (rt)?
    I m sure Air India and other airlines might see the effect.

  5. A few errors that need to be corrected in this article. First, AA has not completely cut all ORD-Asia flights. It still operates 3 weekly flights to NRT. Second, UA flies a 767-300ER from EWR to EZE. The route transitioned to a 767-400ER during the Northern Hemisphere Winter in 2018.

  6. Lol… so much for their “big” international expansion. Just another two-bit US airline trying to make it internationally and failing.

  7. United’s east coast service to EZE has bounced around over the last two decades from JFK to IAD to EWR. And at one time they had an MIA-EZE flight as well. I’m thinking they have finally settled on IAH since that is their gateway to Latin America. Meanwhile AA has multiple flights to EZE, and I think Delta has one.

  8. There’s more demand from Asia to Chicago than the other way around. Enough to sustain the nonstops by Chinese, Japanese, and Korean carriers. Maybe US airlines are just reallocating their fleet to more profitable ventures

  9. @Ray, your comment doesn’t make sense because all the airlines offer return trips. As long as there is demand, airlines should be able to capitalise. I think it’s simply that the US3 can’t compete with the Asian carriers, as customers finally wake up to the fact that the Asian carriers offer far superior products.

  10. The UA IAH EZE route has been active for many years now, as I took it as far back as 2011.

    Just this past week, I took it again to do:

    LGA-IAH-EZE

    which was to be followed by

    EZE-IAH-EWR.

    with the IAHEZE segments on B777-200.

    However, while in the Polaris lounge at IAH on the way back, I decided to check to see whether I could fly back to LGA from IAH instead of taking my original return flight to EWR. I had a P-fare Polaris Business ticket for IAH-EWR, which I’d even tried to change to IAH-LGA before I started the trip by calling the 1K Desk, but I was told there would be a $300 change fee, which I was not willing to pay at the time.

    On this occasion in the Polaris lounge at IAH, it was suddenly more appealing for me to just return straight home (I live just 12-15min by taxi from LGA) instead of flying to EWR and then having to take a NJ Transit train to return to NYC. So, I was willing to pay the $300 change fee, which I planned to pay by splitting the charge between my AMEX Biz Plat & Aspire cards to take advantage of the cards’ $200 & $250 airline credit, respectively.

    To my surprise, not only did the agent succeed in transferring me to a flight that would take me from IAH to LGA fully 25min before my original IAH-EWR flight, but she also did so without charging me the $300 change fee a 1K Desk agent told me I would have to pay!!! And that was not all. When I was changed to the IAH-LGA flight, my original P-fare ticket to EWR became a J-fare ticket to LGA, with the consequence that instead of earning 150% PQM for the P-fare, I ended up earning 300% PQM for the J-fare, which was great because of part of my reason for taking the trip to EZE was as a mileage run that would get me closer to requalifiying for 1K.

    Mission accomplished and then some!

  11. Time will tell is second SFO flight ever operates.
    Long period still to see if things get even worse in Hong Kong further scaring business and leisure demand.

  12. @UA-NYC continues to make himself irrelevant: “A DCS story that again is unnecessary and adds zero to this thread.”

    Anyone with an ounce of grey matter between ears would see my comment as highly informative and on topic because it is about (a) UA routes to EZE — the topic of the thread — and (b) how it is possible to increase one’s earned PQMs by switching to a different flight and higher fare class ***without paying a change***, likely because (i) one is a top elite and (ii) the change occurs in a time window and to a destination that avoid a change fee.

    His comment, on the other hand, contributes ***absolutely*** zero to the thread, other than to inflame. There is an apt word for it: it is called ‘trolling.’

    G’day.

  13. @DCS. People will not pick on you as much if you tell much shorter stories. What you wrote could possibly have been stated in one or two sentences.

  14. @DCS. Wow. You’re awesome! “I did this, so I could get this…..split a payment to get the travel credit for this card and that….I earned 300% PQM. I’m great!” Yawn. You sound ridiculous.

  15. @CF Frost sez: “@DCS. People will not pick on you as much if you tell much shorter stories.”

    I see only one person who constantly picks on me regardless of the length of my comments, so you should probably speak for he and yourself, and avoid the clear ad populum fallacy to try to make to make like you jave a point, because you don’t. Moreover, I cannot help it if some folks are too lazy to read. What I do when I see a post I do not care about, I simply skip it. Others, like you, have the right to exercise the same freedom.

    @RL: “Yawn. Sounds ridiculous” — Has it ever occurred to you that a forum like this one might not be a good place for someone with your mentality?

    @lee — Outstanding question!

  16. @Lee – this Lucky post is about HKG/EZE suspensions. Nobody gives a crap about his decision to force his way to LGA vs. EWR, or splitting a charge between two credit cards that have airline credits.

    Save that stupid irrelevant trash for his non-trafficked blog. Good lord he is an egomaniac. He claims about “playing with a full deck” and his advice is to use credit cards with airline credits. Wow that’s unprecedented.

    @BillC – if you are reading this thread, you see it now, right?

  17. @NYC-UA sez: “@BillC – if you are reading this thread, you see it now, right?”

    LOL, what @BillC will see is the usual. On August 24, 2019 at 12:20 pm, none other than the one who is inviting @BillC to see “nasty DCS” at work, launched an unprovoked attack:

    “A DCS story that again is unnecessary and adds zero to this thread”

    See it right there? Then I responded. After that, a couple of posters I have never addressed and have no clue how long they’ve here, took gratuitous shots at me for what was a completely innocuous, on-topic and, in my view, informative comment, and I responded ***appropriately***.

    So, yeah, BillC, come on in and “see it now” for yourself. What you will see is, in response to an innocuous comment, a real troll spewing this garbage:

    “Nobody gives a crap about his decision to force his way to LGA vs. EWR, or splitting a charge between two credit cards that have airline credits.

    Save that stupid irrelevant trash for his non-trafficked blog. Good lord he is an egomaniac. He claims about “playing with a full deck” and his advice is to use credit cards with airline credits. ”

    I guess, before anyone can comment here, we must ask this buffoon’s permission or, at least, the comment must be about something that he approves because, you see, this happens to he his fiefdom, his own blog!!!

    The notion that using credit card airline credits to cover an incidental charge is a terrible advice, when some people are having a hard time using up the credit, leaves me speechless, as does the whole surreal tone in here just because of a comment that did not target anyone and was posted in a **public** forum.

    Can anyone be less self-aware?

    I am done here, and with @UA-NYC. The soapbox is yours, yet again. From now on it will be: “le chien aboie, la caravane passe.”

    Knock yourself out.

    G’day.

  18. @DCS

    I’m not picking on you for posting off topic stuff.

    But this part is messed up.

    “(I live just 12-15min by taxi from LGA) instead of flying to EWR and then having to take a NJ Transit”

    WTF, go fly Delta.
    WTF, you made it to 1K taking NJ Transit.

  19. @Eskimo — You lost me.

    But guessing what I think you meant, let me just say I have been flying almost exclusively with UA since circa 2002 and am now a UA 1K/1MM/Lifetime *G. I got there by flying out of LGA or JFK when UA still had a presence there.

    Now, why again should I fly Delta as a UA 1K/1MM/*G, living just 12-15min from LGA, from where UA has hourly flights to all its hubs? I sometimes fly out of EWR (15 min from Penn Station, but I must get there) if I am traveling to Europe, otherwise it is invariably out of LGA.

    Am I forgiven now, considering my circumstances? And, thanks for reading the comment and posing a question on its content! 😉

    [BTW, the comment was very much on topic: UA NYC/EWR routes to EZE; and then I added an interesting development that happened during my recent travel on that route. There are considerably more non sequitur comments here daily, so I hope thinking folks will avoid becoming “OT policemen” here, when we already have one 😉 !]

  20. @UA-NYC — “@BillC – if you are reading this thread, you see it now, right?”

    @DCS — “So, yeah, BillC, come on in and ‘see it now’ for yourself. What you will see is, in response to an innocuous comment, a real troll spewing this garbage: …”

    Well … I just want to say that I dp personally enjoy reading about everyone’s experiences on multiple issues, and from multiple perspectives, on this blog! As such, I’m hoping that all of the recent back-and-forth attacks on each other can be kept at a minimum, since those kinda detract from the main topics-of-the-day! I will engage in posts to share some of my own opinions and experiences (where hopefully relevant) or to correct factual inaccuracies (when those occasionally occur)!

    What say we just call a Peace Truce on ad hominems going forward? I can consider both of your perspectives on *issues* and *topics-of-the-day* as being your personal opinions, with all rights thereof to get expressed as such! 🙂

  21. @BillC sez: “What say we just call a Peace Truce on ad hominems going forward?”

    I love you, man! Such an optimist in the middle of the savagery that just happened because of a mild and on-topic comment! My response is: I hope your call for civility is heeded, but I must also add “Good luck with that.”

    The only way peace returns here, at least for me, is by completely avoiding to engage the UA-NYC entity. So, I am giving it the “silence treatment”, yet again but maybe forever this time, regardless of how outrageous it gets…

    G’day.

  22. Where are we going with this thread?

    To roll it back on topic… United will be canceling their 2nd SFO-HKG fight if things get worse in HK.

  23. I think it would be better if we stopped picking on DCS…I sometimes wonder if he might be in a dissociative fugue state when writing comments. The somewhat manic, grandiose tone is tell-tale. Let’s not be schoolyard bullies and just understand that “it is what it is” when it comes to his comments. No offense, DCS…really.

  24. @ORDGUY773 — How is this for “grandiose”: I happen to be studying “affective” (i.e., psychotic, mood and anxiety, personality) disorders using advanced brain imaging, with a long list of peer-reviewed publications and millions of $$ in NIH funding. Where does your expertise in such disorders derive from, or are you simply ‘projecting’ in perceiving my purported “grandiose tone” in a comment that simply related, factually, a real event.

    Inquiring minds wanna know, but this is why I wished @BillC good luck with his call for civility. Here’s a person I have never addressed, who crawls out of the woodwork to launch an unprovoked attack. Can’t make this up!

    We’re done here ORD man.

    G’day.

  25. The IAH-EZE 772 Polaris flight is joke! The Polaris deal is entirely absent as soon as you walk onto that tired old aircraft. Crappy seats, reading lights not working, some overhead strip lighting that would not turn off or dim for entire trip (crew tried unsuccessfully), cranky middle age male FA, very poor service generally, and disgusting food. Worst UA J flight I’ve ever done, and never to be repeated.
    Maybe this is the flight which should have been ‘suspended’ !

  26. @glenn t — If I were in the mood, I would debunk each and every one of your claims with pictures I took last week in an IAH-EZE 772 Polaris, starting with the Polaris lounge, all the way to my seat in J.

    The thread is already full of tall tales, so I will resist the urge to go there. Suffice it to say that your claims are bogus or your are simply a very unlucky a chap who managed to catch the worst possible Polaris flight…

    If you substantiate your claims with pictures and I will do the same…

    G’day.

  27. @ORDGUY773 – couldn’t agree more. He hijacked the thread to give himself a pat on the back for something that nobody cares about or yields any learning. It’s just bizarre.

    (The similarities to 45 are actually pretty telling if you think about it…)

  28. For Voldoo only:

    I suggest you work hard to get a schedule change resembling your previous far more comfortable flight.

    The HNL-GUM-HNL flight is the only GUM flight that meets the cabotage requirements for the considerable number of military and federal government personnel on Guam. It is always full and crowded with families and their mountains of luggage. Often it is flown with a US domestic plane and seems interminable even in first class.

    One time was enough for me.

    There are many, many flights to GUM from Japan — last I remember 27 cities in Japan. There are non-stop flights also from Seoul, Taipei, and Manila, though how many and on what airlines I’ve lost track of.

    Then again anyone going to Palau may well already know ALL the ins and outs.

    Hafaday, C.

  29. @DCS

    Hey I’m just trying to point out (possibly) a better alternative for people not living in South Jersey.

    If you can get 1k you can get Diamond.

    Being member since xxxx, doesn’t get you far these days. Having lifetime status already guarantee you retirement safety net status, good for you.

    This is the funny part. Which Penn?? EWR is 15 mins from NWK not NYP.

    Personally, UA’s saving grace is redeeming miles. DL would get you better experience but extort you over miles. Polaris roll out is too slow. How can you tolerate 2-4-2 in 2019.

    But hey your choice your butt in the seat.

  30. I was booked on a reward flight from EWR to EZE in business and now rescheduled via IAH ? I assume I am not entitled to any compensation for it now being a connecting flight ? A little disappointing

  31. @Eskimo — I am **very** happy with MileagePlus. For me, it has remained the program that it always was, and you exactly put the finger on one of the reasons why when you said “UA’s saving grace is redeeming miles”. Redeeming miles to crisscross the Asian continent for a month at the end of every year is my primary reason for playing the mile/point game, and, as you know, UA has great *A partners in Asia (OZ, CA, TG, NH, SQ) and *A miles are always of the ‘saver’ kind so that it relatively inexpensive to get premium cabin awards (stay tuned for the ‘anatomy’ of my 2019 Year-end Asian Escapade(tm), which I have already fully booked and will post on in the coming months when I have some time).

    Being member since xxxx with UA gets me very far **these days**. You picked up on one of the reasons: It made me a lifetime *G, with free access to *A lounges around the world and luggage allowances for the rest of my life, assuming I won’t outlive airline alliances. And, until recently when I started to pay for premium cabins upfront because I do not fly as much as I used to and am relying on flying in Z-J to earn the PQMs and PQDs that I need to requalify for 1K, I used to clear all my 6 GPUs and my 2-4 RPUs. Now, I have been using them to sponsor upgrades for family members (one of my bros who travels a lot is a UA Gold) and doing well. I would say that is a great use of those upgrade instruments, wouldn’t you.

    I seldom get inconvenienced by things like ‘2-4-2’ because I consider my flying as primarily **transportation** that gets me from point A to point B in relative comfort and **not** a status symbol, which is why I seldom read or comment on @Lucky’s usually well-done and elaborate reports on various “best” airline premium cabins.

    I believe UA moved suitably to try to keep its soft product competitive when it launched its Polaris program. I am satisfied, especially now that the airline has, at long last, pulled its operation together and made its service more consistent and reliable thanks to Munoz (…and… Kirby!). Gone is the failing airline that $mi$ek left behind.

    RE: EWR to NYP on NJ transit in about 15min. It seems that I was off by 5 min. Here’s the FAQ:
    “Getting To & From Newark Airport. Take a NJ Transit train from New York Penn Station to Newark Liberty Airport Station (20 minutes); from 5-2 am; trains run to Newark Liberty Airport 3 or 4 times every hour during peak morning times, and 7 to 10 times every hour during peak evening times.”

    So, thank you for the suggestions, but it’s “no, thank you”. I actually did not believe that anyone who plays the game (with “a full deck”) would advise dumping UA M+ for DL ‘Skypeso’, but, hey, there is always the first time… 🙂

    G’day!

  32. @DCS — “I have been flying almost exclusively with UA since circa 2002 and am now a UA 1K/1MM/Lifetime *G”

    Well … what a coincidence — howdy to a fellow member of UA 1K/MM/Life *G! 😛

    @DCS — “… UA has great *A partners in Asia (OZ, CA, TG, NH, SQ) …”

    Oops — did you accidentally leave out BR from this list? By the way — if you like to drink whiskey, BR serves Taiwan’s domestically produced Kavalan Single Malt Whiskey, which has recently won multiple World’s Best Single Malt Whiskey awards for consecutive years! 🙂

  33. Some appropriate moderation could have reduced these comments by a third…

    Also, I found the initial post by DCS to be interesting despite none of it being relevant to my circumstances

  34. @BillC: “howdy to a fellow member of UA 1K/MM/Life *G!”

    Howdy back! 😉

    “Oops — did you accidentally leave out BR from this list?”

    Not at all. I just listed *A carriers that came to mind at the time; was not trying to be exhaustive. I would also add AI to be exhaustive.

    But, yeah, BR is yet another nice Asian *A carrier, which I have taken several times from MNL through TPE to PVG, once as the only first- or business-class passenger!

  35. @ J Dee: “Also, I found the initial post by DCS to be interesting despite none of it being relevant to my circumstances”.

    Much appreciated.

    It’s why, in a *public* forum, it should not be up to readers or commenters to decide which comments are or are not on topic: different strokes for different folks. One has to be truly **unhinged** to presume to regulate speech in a forum like this, and yet, one commenter tried and the result is the ugliness you see upthread.

    G’day!

  36. Not a true statement —> : “In general Chicago has become a much weaker market for Asia — American has cut all of their flights to Asia, including to Beijing, Shanghai, and Tokyo, while United is now suspending one of their routes (understandably).”
    J
    Chicago has the following carriers that operate intl flights directly. No single Asian carrier has dropped flights yet except Asiana because they are doing poorly in general. EVA is adding more flights to Chicago – heard from internal. It comes down to service.. and the Chicago based crews that fly these routes are horrendous. LA and SFO crews much more polished.

    Daily or close to daily
    ANA – Haneda and Narita
    Japan Airlines – Narita
    EVA Airlines – Taipei – adding more frequency
    China Eastern – Shanghai
    Hainan – Beijing
    Korean Air – Seoul
    Asiana (cutting service as Asiana is struggling overall as an airline)
    Cathay Pacific – HK

  37. I wish I had booked a planned trip to BA before this change as the fares seem to have gone up quite a bit (to the point that I have almost decided against going at all).

  38. @DCS

    I don’t think 2-4-2 has anything to do about status symbol. I see it as you paid a good chunk of money but comparing to other airline which likely charges you similar fare it feels like you literally got half of 1-2-1.
    I do think part of reason 2-4-2 is still here was the (lack of) vision of Smisek. But also remember Kirby is Doug Parker’s clone. Worse times have yet to come.

    And you cheated on NYP times again :). You gotta count the AirTrain time too, close to 10 mins right? LOL, Did you ever missed you flight because you were sure you can get from NYP to EWR in 15 mins.

    For MP I don’t think full deck is applicable since you did achieve the 1M milestone. For others I actually think they should stick to at least 1M. For you a good chunk is done. Here’s how I see it, unless you are at 1.8M+. Your lifetime status isn’t going to change much. Nor does your benefit even if you get Plat. Since you are still paying and flying your way to the top tier, you could have earn the status on either airline, so reaching isn’t an issue. If flying is getting from A to B and you actually don’t mind flying coach. DL cards can help you ‘cheat’ your way to status.

    For MP your risk is, if UA decides to devalue you MM. Say now 1M will only get you silver. Sure, they probably grandfather you in but then it could take you to 3M just to get Plat which doesn’t make much difference to Gold these days. So I think your cost of switching is much lower than most people already.

    But hey, one less Diamond in NYC is one better chance for upgrades.

    Personally I see the 4 tier status like this.
    Lowest is just get a credit card instead tier.
    The next two are when loyalty starts to matter but both are still almost like twins just one gets first dibs. <— Most foreseeable lifetime ends around here.
    Then you get the top tier where being loyal does pay off.

    Then the secret tier where you have to be a sugar daddy.

  39. @Eskimo –

    1. About 2-4-2, etc: To want me to care about something I would never waste time worrying about is a non-starter. I just hop on a plane, get to a seat I likely selected when I booked and I am ready to go. Period. I will leave the concerns about seat configuration to you and others (e.g., self-anointed ‘travel gurus’ who believe such things are important). Life is too short for me to worry about something I do not care about, much less consider a valid basis for switching to flying DL.

    2. Re: 5 min difference in time estimate to get from NYP to EWR: Are you freaking serious! I bet the travel time could well be 15min or 25min and it would make no difference in the scheme of things to a savvy traveler who would give himself plenty of time to ensure that he does not miss a flight. In fact, to get to EWR I usually take a car service (Carmel Limo). It’s only upon returning that I take the train back to NYC. After all, I have been doing this for a while…

    3. Regarding my airline status: I believe I already indicated that I am *very* satisfied with MP. I am not looking to achieve status in any other program. Thank you. I joined SQ KrisFlyer just so that, using Chase UR points, I can book their awards directly as that is generally more advantageous, especially if one is a UA MP member. However, I do not need to have KrisFlyer elite status for that.

    4. UA devalues MM: Hmmmm… Now we are entering the twilight zone. I will worry about that now theoretical devaluation if it happens, but I suspect that if UA devalues MM, DL would likely already have canceled its FF program…

    Lastly, I have top tier status that pays off because I play the game with a “full deck” and know how to make the most of it. DL is not for me or for anyone who plays the game with a “full deck.”

    G’day.

  40. @DCS

    Point 1 probably makes UA love you more, a customer who doesn’t care what trash the airline throws at them, they will duly hop on a plane, get to the seat they selected.

    While point 1 2 3 is personal preference. I need to point out point 4. AA DL both gives 1M ‘silver’ status. So if anything UA can very much match AA DL. And DL is probably making most money having FFP out of all US3.

  41. @Eskimo — Now the underlying ‘beast’ suddenly comes out of the igloo! Point 1 is individual preference as well. You have just drunk too much of the kool-aid served up by self-anointed ‘travel gurus’ who presume to know what is “best” and make up standards that their sycophants peddle mindlessly, just as you are doing: 2-4-2 configurations did take and still take people to where they want to go, *safely*, your elitism and condescension notwithstanding. See my exchange with @glenn t on August 24, 2019 at 8:21 pm for what I mean and where such a mentality leads: unjustified irreverence.

    I am not bothered by 2-4-2 or any such fluff. Can you just respect that?

    UA has not matched AA or DL in giving their 1MM ‘silver’ status in this universe. That is the reality we now live in. Conjectures or suppositions about what might happen is of no interest to me.

    It seems that we are done here.

    G’day.

  42. @Eskimo — “I need to point out point 4. AA DL both gives 1M ‘silver’ status. So if anything UA can very much match AA DL.”

    So let me get this straight — you’re suggesting that UA should *downgrade* its 1MM status level to match that of (seemingly) *inferior* status levels on AA and DL? Really? Seriously? Why?

    Furthermore — *A gives Life *G status to UA 1MM status holders — are you suggesting that *A should, therefore, *also* downgrade its Life *G status level policy to Life *S? Really? Seriously? Why?

    Are you just envious that UA treats their 1MM status holders *better* than AA and DL?

  43. @BillC: “So let me get this straight — you’re suggesting that UA should *downgrade* its 1MM status level to match that of (seemingly) *inferior* status levels on AA and DL? Really? Seriously? Why?”

    I did wonder the same thing, except than I connected it with what he’d written in his prior comment:
    @Eskimo: “For MP your risk is, if UA decides to devalue you MM. Say now 1M will only get you silver. Sure, they probably grandfather you in but then it could take you to 3M just to get Plat which doesn’t make much difference to Gold these days. So I think your cost of switching is much lower than most people already.”

    He’s not saying UA should devalue its 1MM status to match AA/DL’s less rewarding 1MM status. He is saying that we (UA 1MMs) should not get too comfortable being UA 1MMs with the nice perk of lifetime UA Gold/*Gold status because, *** for some unspecified reason***, UA might suddenly decide to devalue its 1MM to be just like AA’s or DL’s.

    ‘Devaluation’ is a “risk factor” when one is a UA 1MM.

    It is why I said that we’d entered the “twilight zone.” It made no sense, so I just said that I would worry about it if/when it happens.

    His whole thesis was that I should drop UA MP for DL Skypeso, except that he could not get around the fact that I was already a UA 1MM, enjoying better perks that I would if I joined DL and made 1MM. So, he came up with the ‘UA devaluing its 1MM’ risk scenario.

    Bottom line: he tried to turn me, found out that I already had it better, and got envious.

  44. @DCS — @Eskimo said “… they probably grandfather you in but then it could take you to 3M just to get Plat …”

    Let’s compare the 2019 USA Top-3 Million Miles (MM) programs —

    AA: 1MM = Life AA Gold … 2MM = Life AA Plat … 3+MM = +4 AA Upgrades/1MM
    DL: 1MM = Life DL Silver … 2MM/3MM = Life DL Gold … 4+MM = Life DL Plat
    UA: 1MM = Life UA Gold … 2MM = Life UA Plat … 3MM = Life UA 1K … 4+MM = Life UA GS

    On AA you need to fly 2MM to graduate from Life Gold to Life Plat
    On DL you need to fly 4MM to graduate from Life Gold to Life Plat (3MM is *still only* Gold)
    On UA you need to fly 2MM to graduate from Life Gold to Life Plat (DL has no equiv UA 1K or UA GS levels)

    So how is DL’s MM program anywhere close to being a “winner” against AA’s/UA’s? I would say that UA’s MM program actually appears to be the best, given the added incremental benefits at each higher MM level!

  45. @BillC — Agreed. You and I are on the same page. It’s @Eskimo, DL’s apparent ‘recruiter’, who came up with all kinds of weird or implausible scenarios to try to support his thesis that I should switch from UA MP to DL Medallion, despite my making it absolutely clear to him that MP was working for me, especially since I’d already attained the UA MM status and lifetime *G that comes with it. Then he got all condescending about UA’s 2-4-2 seating configuration in its legacy 777 or 767, whose days are numbered and I have not encountered in any of my primarily int’l flights in a very good while.

  46. I’m really upset about the suspension of UA’s EWR-EZE flights 978 & 979. It may be due to the Argentine economy, but certainly NOT because of decreased demand. In the past year, I’ve made three round trips; and on all 6 flights on the 767’s have been full. I am American, fluent in English and Spanish; and have noticed approximately the same percentage of South Americans as well as United States citizens utilizing customs and immigration lines at both Newark and Ezeiza.
    In fact, in checking the seat maps on each US flag airline, the flights on American from JFK, Dallas, Miami and now Los Angeles have also been at near capacity. United’s other flight from Houston even utilizes a bigger jet- the 777 and that flight is running at near capacity. It’s only Delta’s A330 flights to/from Atlanta that are flying at less capacity.
    If UA had studied the market better, the bulk of the EWR passengers would be coming from a rather bigger geographical and population area–ALL of NYC except for Brooklyn and Queens, is closer to EWR. In addition, the ENTIRE state of NJ, Southeast Pennsylvania, northern Delaware are closer to EWR than New York’s JFK (cheaper, too!)
    UA thus had a “gold mine monopoly” on utilizing EWR. Sadly, the New York area is now only served by Aerolineas Argentinas and American, nonstop! And, for me, living in Central New Jersey, the Newark non stops were very convenient!
    My next flights were to be from October 9 to October 30 to Buenos Aires. The 11 hour flight going down was quite enjoyable. Now, I’ll have two flights to take with total time of close to 15 hours with a stop in Houston!
    I think I’m going to pressure American to consider a non stop from Philadelphia. Now, THAT would capture United’s slot!

  47. @ETHAN SCHLAMM

    a full flight does not mean a profitable flight !

    if the average ticket price on a UA flight is currently half what it was a year ago, then you can’t complain about UA cutting the flight.

  48. I don’t really understand.
    Yes, a full plane doesn’t mean it’s a profitable flight…BUT…
    You really can’t say that EWR-EZE-EWR round trips did NOT have enough “demand” in one of the most profitable demographic and geographical markets for Latin Americans.
    In fact, I wonder why LATAM or AVIANCA haven’t considered flights to South America from EWR?

  49. @ADS — “a full flight does not mean a profitable flight !

    if the average ticket price on a UA flight is currently half what it was a year ago, then you can’t complain about UA cutting the flight.”

    I don’t understand what you mean — why would United cut its ticket price by 50% so that it can then subsequently cut that flight? Are you suggesting that the competition on that route is so astronomical as to precipitate such a huge ticket price drop? @ETHAN SCHLAMM said that “Sadly, the New York area is now only served by Aerolineas Argentinas and American, nonstop!”

  50. without seeing the underlying figures from UA, we’ve no idea if the deteriorating Argentine economy resulted in UA having to gradually reduce the average ticket price on this route to keep the plane full … to the point where it is no longer commercially viable … especially with two other airlines connecting the cities.

    my “half” comment was meant to bang home the point that a full plane doesn’t necessarily mean a profitable plane !

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