United has a long way to go to catch up with U.S. legacy airline peers such as Delta. Munoz is under pressure from investors and likely his newly constituted board to make things happen -- fast.
Airlines like to strike a delicate balance with on-time performance. They want to be reliable, but they don't necessarily want sky-high on-time rates. An always-punctual operation is expensive.
With American Airlines capitulating, in-flight entertainment on all three legacy carriers is now completely free. The next phase of competition will likely revolve around the quality of that content with each airline trying to out-do the other.
It was a squeaker — only 53 percent of voters approved the contract — but it passed, which is all that matters. This will help United operate much more efficiently.
A good operational meltdown like Delta's should make travelers nostalgic for the good old days, when carriers regularly cooperated to help each other's passengers.
United is refining how it defines a stopover and cranking up fees for award ticket changes -- but we get a better award booking tool in the process.
Can we now say that the radical evolution of loyalty and premium upgrade is nearly complete?
Airlines and Wall Street analysts are complaining about lower revenues, but that has been great news for consumers, who can take advantage of historically low ticket prices.
United, American and Delta realize that a better security experience leads to happier passengers boarding their planes, and we certainly need all of those we can get.
In real terms, United made a lot of money last quarter. But there are some signs that business is not as strong as it was a year ago.