December 27 Airline News

tom..2 points...[BR][BR]1st.[BR]the metro jets to florida from bos were packed...full all the time...in fact because the 732 was not the a/c to use...they were forced many times to leave off cargo(bags) for weight and balance.[BR][BR]2nd.[BR]in your earlier post regarding using mileage to travel to florida...say a family of 4 or some friends,[BR]unless you cash in enough miles for f/c tickets...you cant upgrade freebies unless you pay $$$ and then it is usually sb... so maybe by adding 20 seats there may a few more"Z' seats to book.[BR][BR]
 
[blockquote]
----------------
On 12/28/2002 7:55:20 AM Biffeman wrote:

Also next August the 757 with 24/158 configuration will be converted over to 8/193 and run on high density low yield routes, ie. northeast to FL markets.
----------------
[/blockquote]

Hmmm.... 8+193=201.... Did any thought go into the implication of the revenue generated by the two additional seats vs the cost of the additional staffing (5 F/A's instead of 4)?
 
[blockquote]
----------------
On 12/29/2002 6:31:17 PM sdavis29 wrote:

[/P]could it possibly be 8/182....taking out 16 f/c adding 35 coach does not seem right....16 to 24 maybe
----------------
[/blockquote]


http://www.boeing.com/commercial/757family.../technical.html

Actually, it works just fine. According to Boeing the 757-200 will do 12/188 with 4 lavs and 36" pitch in FC, 32" pitch in coach.
 
[blockquote]
----------------
On 12/29/2002 5:08:59 PM PineyBob wrote:

Would US Airways consider a Customer Advisory Council, consisting of say 15 PAX who fly regularly to participate in quarterly roundtables to improve response to customer requirements? That is something else that would be unique and could be marketed?
----------------
[/blockquote]

US Airways already does this. I remember receiving a letter from Gangwal several years back indicating the group existed and that select Preferred members would be on the panel. I'm not sure whatever happened to it or how they chose folks to be members, but this is definitely something that either does exist or used to exist at one point.
 
[blockquote]
----------------
On 12/29/2002 5:43:49 PM sdavis29 wrote:

tom..2 points...

1st.
the metro jets to florida from bos were packed...full all the time...in fact because the 732 was not the a/c to use...they were forced many times to leave off cargo(bags) for weight and balance.
[/blockquote]

Full with what sort of customer? And at what profit?

I fully agree that the 732 was not the aircraft to use but that's hardly all that was wrong with the MJ model.

[blockquote]
2nd.
in your earlier post regarding using mileage to travel to florida...say a family of 4 or some friends,
unless you cash in enough miles for f/c tickets...
[/blockquote]

Trust me. That isn't a problem.

[blockquote]
you cant upgrade freebies unless you pay $$$ and then it is usually sb... so maybe by adding 20 seats there may a few more"Z' seats to book.
[/blockquote]

Premium awards are booked in Y (literally) and are upgradeable following the usual rules for Y.

Another point -- I rarely burn miles for my own travel. When on vacation I [b]purchase[/b] my tickets in order to earn the tier miles. And if the price is right I'll do that for the whole family.

I agree that Mr. & Mrs. Neverfly don't care (much) about an F cabin and so forth. But as I said -- if they're the target customer then you're in deep trouble.
 
The shuttle aircraft change is a good thing. Local reports say that DCA business remains DOWN 21% and shows no signs of recovery with the LGA/EWR markets showing a greater loss than the average market.
 
I'm sure traffic numbers are down from DCA to LGA and EWR because the Acela does the same trip in three hours; with security hassles, travel time to DCA/LGA/EWR from city centers and the premium price for the Shuttles, it's no surprise that Amtrak has grabbed significant market share from the US and DL Shuttles. AA's RJ shuttle hasn't helped matters, either.

I'm not sure I see how transitioning from A319's to 737's (-300's?) in the shuttle markets will help, given that the A319 and 737-300 are nearly identical in passenger capacity. Does the Airbus not provide much additional efficiency versus the 2nd generation 737 on short-haul routes? (are pay rates a factor over fuel savings?) I can understand Delta moving its 737-300's over to its Shuttle, given, as DLFlyer31 mentioned, the limited number in the fleet and the need to replace some of the flying done by 757's (with ex-Shuttle 738's) which will go over to the LCC.

The plan to put 201 seats in a high-density 757 sounds like either a miscommunication or a monumental screw-up. It seems crazy to require an extra flight attendant for those few flights where one extra paying passenger will add revenue. Using the 757's on low-yield routes does make sense, though -- as long as the company can fill them consistently without having to sell the extra seats at fire-sale prices. Reducing the number of F seats probably will have little impact on the low-yield routes, given that DL will be running 757's with NO first class on comparable routes and given that there will still likely be enough seats for passengers paying for First with real money or miles (like TomBascom), though not enough for passengers using their free upgrades.
 
[blockquote]
----------------
On 12/30/2002 5:29:04 PM sfb wrote:

The plan to put 201 seats in a high-density 757 sounds like either a miscommunication or a monumental screw-up.
[/blockquote]

One can always hope that it's the former. But then there is the track record to consider...

[blockquote]
It seems crazy to require an extra flight attendant for those few flights where one extra paying passenger will add revenue.
[/blockquote]

Yup. That's nuts all right. Maybe they'll just keep a seat
or two empty?

[blockquote]
Using the 757's on low-yield routes does make sense, though -- as long as the company can fill them consistently without having to sell the extra seats at fire-sale prices.
[/blockquote]

The company shows very little sign of making the needed changes in thinking about the fare structure. Prepare for fire sales.
(If it were a real fire there would be an arson investigation due to the obviously pre-planned nature of the fire sale...)

[blockquote]
Reducing the number of F seats probably will have little impact on the low-yield routes, given that DL will be running 757's with NO first class on comparable routes and given that there will still likely be enough seats for passengers paying for First with real money or miles (like TomBascom), though not enough for passengers using their free upgrades.
----------------
[/blockquote]

a) Aping DL is not a good idea. One small point in U's favor is that F isn't being completely eliminated.

B) Are flights to these destinations currently departing with unfilled F seats? Unless there is truly a persistent surplus of F seats then any reduction in them is asking for a kick in the crotch from your frequent fliers.

c) When I say paying I mean I pay for a coach seat. I would never pay what U asks for F. I don't know a single person who would. It would be a completely irresponsible waste of my money or my clients money. But if I pay for a seat I expect to be able to reasonably upgrade it following the standard rules and procedure just as I would on any other route -- regardless of whether or not I'm on business this week or taking a vacation to someplace sunny. It's what the company has been selling me for years with the Dividend Miles program and it is a major reason why I spend tens of thousands of dollars a year with the airline.

d) Who is going to be on these flights? "Leisure travelers" who happen to be carrying briefcases and laptops? That mistake has been going on for years. Business travelers who are taking a week off? Do you really think that either category is looking forward to a cattle car?

You need to get to know your customers. This whole concept is doomed unless that happens. The fantasies of Fort Fumble notwithstanding it takes a little more than "follow the leader" to successfully do this. Differentiation is key -- if you look just like some other guy then price is all that will matter. And then you lose.
 
In a same vein, I saw the future this week. Took a little trip from the SE to the Midwest. Coming back, had to check some of the Christmas goodies. Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Had to stand in line to check the bags, stand in line again to have the checked bags CTX scanned (and the TSA were perfect little bureaucrats), and stand in line again for personal and carry on screening, then got tagged again at the gate! I work for the airline, and if it's inside a 4 hour drive, I'm freakin' driving. Of course, the way U is going, driving may be my only option !

Airports, now with the added charm of the DMV!
 
[blockquote]
----------------
On 12/30/2002 10:04:59 PM Heinrich wrote:
---You say you "would never pay" but you might have to if your schedule changes late...
----------------
[/blockquote]

Still wouldn't pay what they ask for F. If it came to it I'd hand over 80k miles for a premium F ticket first.
 
[blockquote]
----------------
On 12/30/2002 10:04:59 PM Heinrich wrote:

B) Are flights to these destinations currently departing with unfilled F seats? Unless there is truly a persistent surplus of F seats then any reduction in them is asking for a kick in the crotch from your frequent fliers.

---I flew from Seattle to Tampa via PHL 2 weeks ago on MONDAY. First Flight at 6:20AM out of Seattle...I don't feel like looking up the connection time in PHL right now, but it was a 757 with 6 FC passengers, including me, and 18 empty...

----------------
[/blockquote]

Leaving SEA @ 6:20 would put you on a mid to late afternoon departure for TPA -- hardly peak time. Which is important. They have to size this stuff for the peaks -- that's why load factors in the 80s & 90s aren't going to happen.

Your points about there being plenty of business travel to Florida is right on the money -- I see a lot of people on their way to FL for business while I'm hanging out waiting for my flights. It's a hopping destination for business travel.
 
B) Are flights to these destinations currently departing with unfilled F seats? Unless there is truly a persistent surplus of F seats then any reduction in them is asking for a kick in the crotch from your frequent fliers.

---I flew from Seattle to Tampa via PHL 2 weeks ago on MONDAY. First Flight at 6:20AM out of Seattle...I don't feel like looking up the connection time in PHL right now, but it was a 757 with 6 FC passengers, including me, and 18 empty...


c) When I say paying I mean I pay for a coach seat. I would never pay what U asks for F. I don't know a single person who would. It would be a completely irresponsible waste of my money or my clients money. But if I pay for a seat I expect to be able to reasonably upgrade it following the standard rules and procedure just as I would on any other route -- regardless of whether or not I'm on business this week or taking a vacation to someplace sunny. It's what the company has been selling me for years with the Dividend Miles program and it is a major reason why I spend tens of thousands of dollars a year with the airline.

---You say you "would never pay" but you might have to if your schedule changes late...

d) Who is going to be on these flights? "Leisure travelers" who happen to be carrying briefcases and laptops? That mistake has been going on for years. Business travelers who are taking a week off? Do you really think that either category is looking forward to a cattle car?


You need to get to know your customers. This whole concept is doomed unless that happens. The fantasies of Fort Fumble notwithstanding it takes a little more than "follow the leader" to successfully do this. Differentiation is key -- if you look just like some other guy then price is all that will matter. And then you lose.

---- LOTS of business people fly to Florida, and never see the beach...for instance there are LOTS of hospitals in Florida and insurance companies, colon irrigators and bedside commode distributors taking care of all those old folks.



-----I realize that my comments are not a scientific study but I have flown back and forth various cities to Tampa and/or RSW all year long. I say "various cities" because flying out of Tampa is really super cheap if it's your originating point. It's often cheaper for my company to fly me to Seattle or Toronto or SFO or SAN than it is to fly me home to ORF.
 
[blockquote]
----------------
On 12/29/2002 6:16:44 AM chipmunn wrote:

Biff's information is correct and both of these strategic moves have been previously discussed by the company in different employee forums. In my opinion, the transition to the B-737 in Shuttle markets will reduce loses and better match capacity with demand.

US Airways currently operates eight A320 Shuttle aircraft with 150 seats and seven A319 Shuttle aircraft. These markets have to much capacity with DL & AA Eagle and the transition to the B737 will help US bottom line.

The current Airbus Shuttle aircraft are Extended Over Water (EOW) aircraft and could provide greater Caribbean lift with their re-deployment.

The B757 cabin reconfiguration will add 19 seats and be used on routes that are primarily for leisure traffic, including Las Vegas and Florida. This transition to a higher seating capacity will provide greater revenue and improve profitability in these low yield markets.

Chip
----------------
[/blockquote]
FYI....None of the shuttle aircraft are EOW.
 
[blockquote]
----------------
On 12/30/2002 10:04:59 PM Heinrich wrote:

---I flew from Seattle to Tampa via PHL 2 weeks ago on MONDAY. First Flight at 6:20AM out of Seattle...I don't feel like looking up the connection time in PHL right now, but it was a 757 with 6 FC passengers, including me, and 18 empty...
----------------
[/blockquote]

Did you mean to say Seattle? I've been commuting weekly DCA-SEA, and US has downsized all routes to A319s and dropped BWI and CLT (causing G/I seats to be nearly non-existent). If you had a 757, it was a pleasant surprise.
 

Latest posts