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Is United Airlines in financial trouble?

Old Jul 30th, 2008, 07:04 PM
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Is United Airlines in financial trouble?

I found a fare on United, DFW-MUC for next May at a rather astounding $805 (coach, of course). I was wondering if United is threatening bankruptcy and if I could count on them being around next May. I'd hate to have a ticket on a non-flying plane. I realize that nobody has a crystal ball, but does anyone have thoughts about this?
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Old Jul 31st, 2008, 03:03 AM
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I think there is minimal risk that United will actually shut down between now and May. You might have some schedule changes, but I wouldn't worry about them going out of business.

I would go ahead and book the ticket, provided you are certain of the dates, as that is a pretty good price.
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Old Jul 31st, 2008, 05:11 AM
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With the exception of Southwest and a few international carriers, all the airlines are in financial trouble. United, of course, just got out of bankruptcy. While absolutely no one can predict 10 mos out, it's unlikely that United will go completely out of business. Merger/alliance maybe, but not totally shut down. Possibly another chapter 11, but they'd likely keep flying. That is a very good fare. I assume that you'd change at ORD or IAD, or part of your trip is on someone else's metal since UA doesn't fly nonstop from DFW - MUC.
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Old Jul 31st, 2008, 05:30 AM
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Go ahead and buy

Major carriers will cover each other in case of a bk, its the discounters that might leave you empty in case of a bk. Further, United has their overseas partners to cover those too.
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Old Jul 31st, 2008, 07:15 AM
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Thanks to each of you. This gives me more confidence.
dfr4848 - yes, I'm looking at both ORD and IAD connections. Now, to make sure of my dates.
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Old Jul 31st, 2008, 10:07 AM
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I don't think it's possible for a major airline to cease running within a year, if they haven't declared bankruptcy yet. Some small ones do that, I guess, just shut down (like ATA and Skybus) but major ones don't. Besides, UAL was already in bankruptcy, remember? They are still here.

I wouldn't assume any airline is going to give you a free ride if United did shut down, unless you had a ticket written on them that was a UAL codeshare. But just any airline around to be nice? I think you'd have to try to get a refund through your CC or get in line with creditors.
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Old Jul 31st, 2008, 10:36 AM
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There are no guarantees. The industry is in shambles!!!!
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Old Aug 1st, 2008, 04:11 PM
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I'd go for it. I flew on United using a free award ticket while they were in their last bankruptcy. I'd be more concerned with making sure you allow generous connecting times just in case they change schedule times dramatically.
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Old Aug 1st, 2008, 06:52 PM
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I suggest avoiding IAD if you can. When we came from Europe in May, on United through IAD, it was a nightmare. Not that flying isn't usually awful these days, but the connections on United at IAD were about the biggest mess I have ever seen. Women crying everywhere and I was one of them.

No promise that ORD would be better, but 'twer me, I would try it just to avoid the United mess at IAD.
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Old Aug 1st, 2008, 09:08 PM
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Thanks, everyone. The $805 fare has just dropped to $755 and I don't think I can wait any longer. Haven't seen a fare like this in quite a while.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2008, 11:04 AM
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tuscanlifeedit -- Can you tell me exactly what kind of problems you had at IAD? We are looking at going through IAD outbound, but will go through ORD on the return.
Anyone else want to comment on IAD vs ORD?
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Old Aug 2nd, 2008, 12:02 PM
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We fly in and out of IAD all the time and find it to be much better than DCA or Houston or DFW. It does not nearly have as much of a bus station atmosphere.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2008, 12:14 PM
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How long are your connections at IAD and ORD?

I won't comment on IAD as I haven't connected there in awhile, but domestic to international shouldn't be too bad. A lot of the problems I've read about have been international arrivals.

On your return at ORD, you will need to go through immigration, claim your bags, go through customs and re-check your bags at the international terminal (T5). Then, you'll need to take the people mover/train to T1 and re-clear security. Depending on how many flights arrive at the same time, the international terminal can be a bit of a mess. When I went through in March and June of this year, the immigration lines for US citizens were pretty long, stretching all the way to the back and down the hall. Nevertheless, I think both times we were out of the arrivals area in less than 45 minutes from the time the plane reached the gate.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2008, 12:15 PM
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I'll take Chicago any day over Dulles. Just my personal preference.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2008, 12:20 PM
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I rank ORD just a little bit behind JFK & Boston, but Im bias. ORD is my home Intl airport, and most Hubs are easier to navigate with less potential for delays.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2008, 12:43 PM
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ms_go I will have 1-1/2 hours at both IAD and ORD. Do you think that's enough at ORD for luggage, immigration, re-checking luggage, etc.?

Thanks to each of you for your input -- wish me luck!
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