A Classic Example of Oversegmentation and the Cost of Complexity


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Recently, I had to fly United Airlines mainly due to schedule constraints and I hope I don’t need to again anytime soon.

The Boarding Process for someone that is a frequent traveler was a lot of unnecessary chaos. What precipitated most of the chaos was all of their different customer segments.

Global Services
United First
United 100K
United Business
Executive Premier

I was probably most amazed at how many people went up to the gate attendant who had no idea when to board and how far they were down the process and thus it held people up, disrupted the flow and then they had to be sent back and DON’T YOU DARE WALK ON OUR RED CARPET.

Okay, I get it reward loyal customers, but guess what? We all take off at the same time and there is probably a better way than to have 10 segments especially if you only have 22 passengers. My one flight had 330 passengers, so 10 segments may not have been as bad, but the sequence is not intuitive or predictable and again, many people came up out of turn.

I had more experiences on my flight, but I wanted to bring focus to the impression that this made and how even for people that fly United often, this isn’t a great experience.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

John Corrigan
J.C. Corrigan has been an operational and analytical leader in every endeavor throughout his career. J.C. has served as a Mission Commander in the United States Navy, flying the P-3C Orion aircraft during the Cold War. He has mentored several associates while working for General Electric as a Black Belt and Capital One in several operational leadership roles.


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