Inside United’s Global Services Welcome Kit and United’s Pilots Make a Plea to the President

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Competition is good. If United wants to beat Norwegian then they should do it with better service and more convenient flight schedules. Consumers need more choices not less choices. It’s United’s own fault if people prefer to fly a budget airline like Norwegian over United. What does that say about United?

  2. Huh; I would have expected a bit more out of the GS kit — it looks only slightly upgraded from the 1K.

    This year we got all 4 of the standard tier kits due to UA not thinking we were going to meet tier requirements (even though we had a trip to Asia booked). So, my partner got a Silver kit, later replaced with a Gold kit and I got a Platinum kit, later replaced with 1K.

    Silver/Gold/Platinum kits are basically identical except (I think, going from memory now):
    Silver: No card, 1 luggage tag
    Gold: Card, 1 luggage tag
    Platinum, Card, 2 luggage tags, 5 drink vouchers

    1K comes in an registered mail box with a card, 2 tags, 10 drink vouchers, and that destination guide booklet (which is a cute touch).

  3. Interesting that Gary’s post says the pilots made a “plea”, whereas the original article says “put pressure on President Trump”. 😉

    I’d say compared to Schumer, Pelosi, Judge Robart, and virtually the entire MSM, Trump’s not going to be phased at all by “pressure” from the UA pilots union. Especially after that anti-Trump speech Munoz gave yesterday. 🙂

  4. The argument against Norwegian Air Shuttle is less clear cut than the argument against the Middle East airlines, because Norwegian is a real “for profit” enterprise while the Middle East airlines are sinkholes for astonishing and endless government subsidies. In other words, the US airlines can (and will) compete fairly against Norwegian.

    That said, I have some sympathy for the United pilots. Norway isn’t in the EU and their Irish subsidiary is plainly a flag of convenience. There would be nothing wrong with the USA saying “no” to such nonsense. I would certainly expect the EU to say “no” if Southwest suddenly opened an Irish subsidiary and started flying between Paris and Frankfurt.

    At the end of the day, I don’t think it will matter. Norwegian’s transatlantic business plan is at least as illogical and uneconomic as the Middle East airlines’ strategy, and without billions in subsidies to prop it up, it will almost certainly fail. And that will be the end of this “problem” for ALPA.

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