A Study in Brand Dissonance

Have any of you had to suffer dealing with the United Airlines/US Airways of code share deal?

I’ve had a couple of run-ins with this—you show up for a US Airways flight and find out you’re on United in another terminal, or vice versa. Or, you have one leg of a connecting itinerary on US Airways, and another on United, but neither airline can print a boarding pass for the other.

I’ve dealt with the service problems brought on by this partnership a few times now, and in each case the employees of both airlines have said to me, verbatim, “it doesn’t work.” One US Airways employee put it this way: “Some guys upstairs might be making money on this. But the passengers and we who work here have to deal with all the problems.” Employees of both airlines have related customer service horror stories to me.

The problem is execution. I’m sure the idea sounded great on paper and in meetings. But, apparently, work was never done to properly implement the program. Customers and front line employees of both airlines are suffering. Do you think the top brass at United and US Airways are focused on fixing these problems, or are they only looking as far superficial performance stats in evaluating this program?

Steve Yastrow posted this on March 6, 2005, in Execution.
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