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Retiree Summit  Chicago April 2017

On April 12, 2017 RAFA International President Martha Casne and Travel Benefits Committee Chair Kirk Moore attended the second quarterly retiree summit at Willis Tower.

The other retiree group leaders present were: RUPA President Cort DePeyster, RUAEA President Virgil Gooselaw, Golden Eagles President Bill Chambers, Golden Eagles President-Elect Tom Doherty, ARECA President Mary Hess and Clipped Wings President Dona Jennison.

    Top row L-R: Martha Casne (RAFA), Virgil Gooselaw (RUAEA), Kirk Moore (RAFA), Janet Tyse (UAL HR), Cort dePeyster (RUPA).  Bottom row L-R: Tom Doherty & Bill Chambers (Golden Eagles), Mary Hess (ARECA) and Dona Jennison (Clipped Wings).      

Through collaboration prior to the meeting, an agenda was set to discuss five pass travel items, volunteer opportunities and charitable partnerships with CEO Oscar Munoz. However, due to recent events (UA3411 incident), the meeting was changed and United’s new President, Scott Kirby, sat in for Oscar. Mr. Kirby told us about United's strategy for the future, which includes better aircraft utilization on domestic routes and continual improvement of employee relations. He impressed us as very smart, pragmatic, energetic and committed to Oscar’s people-focused philosophy.

Cort and Kirk (on left) making a Pass Travel point with United Airlines President, Scott Kirby            

Oscar Munoz then made a brief appearance (to a standing ovation by the retirees) and chatted with us before heading off on his busy schedule. It was very heartening and admirable that both Oscar and Scott took the time to spend with us; retiree issues could not have been high on their priority list that day. 

Although time did not allow us to complete all agenda items, Total Rewards VP Anthony Scattone heard all five of the pass travel items we presented and assured us his team would research them and, after cost-benefit analysis, he will get back to us sometime in June.

We asked for improvements on these items:

            1) Boarding priority / Vacation Passes

            2) Buddy Passes / Enrolled Friends

            3) Primary Friends

            4) Widow/Widowers of deceased UA retiree

            5) myUAdiscount

Mr. Scattone cautioned us that the impacts to employees, customers and United’s costs will be carefully weighed in determining whether any of our suggested improvements can be implemented. We were struck by his candor and fairness and look forward to hearing back in a couple of months.

The fact that retirees really have no bargaining position with the company and yet the President and CEO would still take the time to sit down and hear our concerns is a vast improvement over the prior management. RAFA truly appreciates Oscar Munoz’s inclusiveness of retirees and we look forward to future meetings to discuss the outcome of our Pass Travel considerations and other agenda items.

April 15, 2017  photos added 4/30/17

UPDATED September 2017:

The Company granted retirees a pass travel improvement re: Enrolled Friends effective in 2018. 

Read about it HERE: Retiree Pass Travel Improvements!


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Newark, CA 94560-0135

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