December 27 Airline News

MarkMyWords

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
1,900
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PITOCC - You are incorrect. The Shuttle A320's are all overwater equipped. The A319's are not. Given the expansion to the Caribbean, we will need these addtional overwater airplanes, especially on the weekends, for fleet reliability and spares. Not meaning spares in the sense the aircraft don't fly, but spares in the sense that they are scheduled on domestic routes at the same time as the Caribbean departures. This provides swapping opportunities in the event of restrictive MEL's and other MTC issues. Moving theses aircraft to the mainline fleet is a definite positive.

Tom - I have read your posts and feel that YOU do not have a real grip on the demand for first class seats to Florida. I checked flight deaprtures out of PHL, PIT and CLT to various Florida cities for today (Jan 1) and there were only a handful of departures that were booked to more then 8-10 people in First Class, while the coach cabin on ALL the flights were oversold by nearly 10-12%. During peak travel to Florida (such as spring break) it is not unusual for inventory to block 12-16 seats in the first class cabin and bump the coach authorization levels up 12-16 people. This ensures that the ENTIRE airplane goes out full and the premium customers, like yourself, are assured of a first class seat when you check in.

And since today is a holiday, I check flights from PIT, PHL and CLT to Florida on the 10th of Jan. There is not one single departure that is booked to more then 8 customers in first class, yet the coach cabins are booked from 92-105% of capacity. First class is only booked to 15-30% of capacity. This should prove that cutting the first class seats on the 757's to 8-12 while increasing coach seating to 188-193 will increase revenues.

MetroJet was a great product. It offered the MAJORITY of customers what they wanted, cheap fares and convenient schedules to Florida. I took the cheap fare customers off the hub bound flights and providd them with the non-stop service they desired. It improved the profitiablity of the hub bound flights in the process too. But our premium customers, like yourself, were very upset that there were no premium seats on those airplanes. I think the company was listening then and is listening now, and will provide you with the service you expect and prefer. DL is going to that all coach configuration on their 757's to Florida. We have chosen to reduce the number of premium seats on our planes to retain your business, but need to be more realistic in the number of seats in that cabin. 8-12 seats seems like it is much more aligned to the demand then 24. As it is now, most of the 757's fly in the leisure markets. The majority of the 757 flying is to Florida and there are some caribbean routes too. If we didicated this fleet to fly strictly to those destinations, I believe marketing has finally gotten their head on straight. If we return to such markets as BOS and LGA to MCO, TPA, FLL, etc...we can recapture some of the revenue that we are losing to the likes of DL and WN.

Believe it or not, these are very positive steps in the right direction. In years prior, the 757 fleet was primarily used to the west coast. With the introduction of the A321, those planes were redirected to Florida. They need to be reconifigured to more accurately align capacity with demand.
 

Heinrich

Senior
Dec 20, 2002
338
0
[/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.
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[/blockquote]

Seattle - PHL was A319, PHL to Tampa was 757 with about 6 in FC including me. On Monday. Connection time was around 2pm.
 

Dea Certe

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
889
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I'd heard that the AB321 had problems during the winter going coast to coast because of the weight and on ocassion would have to divert to PHX or LAS to refuel. I haven't had that experience but heard others have. Is this true?

I work a lot of transcons and commute from LAX. Lately I've seen more 321's being used. It has 26 F/C seats, which is nice and they're usually full or close to full. So are they planning to use only Airbus transcon now?

Happy New Year to you all!

Dea
 

TomBascom

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
660
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3A
www.greenfieldtech.com
[blockquote]
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On 1/1/2003 1:34:01 AM MarkMyWords wrote:

Tom - I have read your posts and feel that YOU do not have a real grip on the demand for first class seats to Florida.
[/blockquote]

Actually I haven't made any particular claims about actual demand (other than it being non-zero) -- I've just expressed concern that a knee-jerk reaction without a real understanding of the needs will be counter-productive.

[blockquote]
... I checked flight deaprtures out of PHL, PIT and CLT to various Florida cities for today (Jan 1) and there were only a handful of departures that were booked to more then 8-10 people in First Class, while the coach cabin on ALL the flights were oversold by nearly 10-12%. During peak travel to Florida (such as spring break) it is not unusual for inventory to block 12-16 seats in the first class cabin and bump the coach authorization levels up 12-16 people. This ensures that the ENTIRE airplane goes out full and the premium customers, like yourself, are assured of a first class seat when you check in.

And since today is a holiday, I check flights from PIT, PHL and CLT to Florida on the 10th of Jan. There is not one single departure that is booked to more then 8 customers in first class, yet the coach cabins are booked from 92-105% of capacity. First class is only booked to 15-30% of capacity.
[/blockquote]

It's great to see some real data! But wouldn't the evening of the 5th and the morning of the 6th be more indicative of the demand for F to FL? Also -- the 10th is well outside the upgrade windows so won't really show demand for G seats.

[blockquote]
This should prove that cutting the first class seats on the 757's to 8-12 while increasing coach seating to 188-193 will increase revenues.
[/blockquote]

I'm not saying that it's impossible -- but it's not cut & dried either.

[blockquote]
MetroJet was a great product. It offered the MAJORITY of customers what they wanted, cheap fares and convenient schedules to Florida. It took the cheap fare customers off the hub bound flights and provided them with the non-stop service they desired. It improved the profitiablity of the hub bound flights in the process too.
[/blockquote]

How did it improve hub profitability? I quickly learned that I could take mainline everywhere that MJ flew for the same $$$ and get my upgrade so long as I paid attention to which "airline" I was booking. I might have to take a connection to do it though and the schedule wasn't always good -- but it seems to me would cost U more and hurt profitability when I did that.

[blockquote]
... But our premium customers, like yourself, were very upset that there were no premium seats on those airplanes. I think the company was listening then and is listening now, and will provide you with the service you expect and prefer. DL is going to that all coach configuration on their 757's to Florida. We have chosen to reduce the number of premium seats on our planes to retain your business, but need to be more realistic in the number of seats in that cabin. 8-12 seats seems like it is much more aligned to the demand then 24. As it is now, most of the 757's fly in the leisure markets. The majority of the 757 flying is to Florida and there are some caribbean routes too. If we didicated this fleet to fly strictly to those destinations, I believe marketing has finally gotten their head on straight. If we return to such markets as BOS and LGA to MCO, TPA, FLL, etc...we can recapture some of the revenue that we are losing to the likes of DL and WN.

Believe it or not, these are very positive steps in the right direction. In years prior, the 757 fleet was primarily used to the west coast. With the introduction of the A321, those planes were redirected to Florida. They need to be reconifigured to more accurately align capacity with demand.
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[/blockquote]

I did acknowledge that it's a smarter move than Delta's. But I'm having a hard time having any faith at all in marketing knowing the customers. The track record is abysmal.

Anyhow -- thanks for the insights! Those were interesting points.
 

pk45cu

Member
Aug 26, 2002
25
0
[blockquote]
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On 12/30/2002 5:29:04 PM sfb wrote:

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?)
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[/blockquote]
The Shuttle A320-family planes have much longer range than 737s, and can be better deployed in thin-long routes than the short Shuttle hops. It was ludicrous to use them on such small stages.

Even though the capacities may be similar, the range performance of the Airbus will bring in more revenues.

Poor gauge assignment has been the problem with US for the past few years. As a result of by poor management decisions and restrictive scope clauses, they don’t put the right plane on a route. The wave of new RJs should free up some 737s, which in turn will free up the Airbus fleet for longer routes.
 

lowfareair

Advanced
Aug 20, 2002
109
0
US needs to lower the price to get into F in order to raise the yield of the plane. People aren't going to pay $1666 r/t to fly in First from PHL-TPA when FL offers the same service in full fare biz for almost $1000 less, and will upgrade any fare at checkin for $35/segment.

If US wants to act more like WN, they should also do more positive features that WN has, like no capacity controls on tickets, no standby fee, no cancellation fee, simple fare rules, no Sat. night stay, no domestic coach fare over $600 r/t, customer service you would write home about(in a good way), etc.
 

cat 111

Advanced
Aug 25, 2002
230
0
Business flyers like the airbus.Put that old a/c on the shuttle and business flyers flock over to delta.Typical mgt.move.Another bone head decision !!!
 

MarkMyWords

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
1,900
1
Tom,

With all due respect I don't think that this is a knee jerk reaction, I actually think that someone in the Crystal Palace really gets it ths time. Redeploying the Shuttle A320's, great idea. Reconfiguring the fleet of 757's to better meet demand, while continuing to offer the premium seats that or most frequent fliers want, great idea!

I will check the 5th and 6th to see what the demand is, but I think your statement proves a point. There are so few first class seats that are actually sold at a first class fare, they have really become glorified coach seats with perks. How many of our premium customers are booked on each Florida flight on an average basis? I will have to check that later today. The idea of a premium seat is to get a premium price for the seat. What first class has become is a perk for our most frequrnt fliers. Not that that is a bad thing. We want to keep you happy and keep your business with us. Look at our Florida service prior to the 757 fleet being introduced as an almost exclusive fleet type to Florida. Most Florida flights were run with 734 and 733 equipment. Both of these airplanes had no more then 12 first class seats. The difference between coach on a 734 and a 757 is 26 seats. Does that warrant the need for double the first class seats?

As for increased revenue think about it this way. If we remove 12-16 first class seats, and as 20-26 coach seats we increase the amount of revenue booed on the airplane without additional expenses. If we weren't booking those 12-16 seats in first class, and not compensating for themin coach overbookings, then the revenue increases significantly, with no increase in expenses (as long as we dont' go over 200 seats).

You asked how did MetroJet increase hub profitabilty, lt me see if I can explain this properly. MetroJet was never really created to be a profit making entity. The hope was there, but reality was, it wasn't going to make money unless every employee group took the same pay rate cuts as the Pilots did. But it was tough to dedicate a workforce (other then Pilots) to the MetroJet product. Agents were more prductive if they worked mainline and MetroJet flghts, especially in cites with only a few departures. Stations like BWI, MCO, TPA, LGA, etc would have been able to possibly benefit from having a MetroJet dedicated ground crew, but it was never exlored as an option. How did MetroJet improve the profitablity of the hub bound flights? Think of it this way. On average a LGA or BOS to CLT flight would have huge numbers of connecting customers to Florida. So lets say fight XXX from BOS to CLT had 80 connections to the FL cities of TPA, MCO and FLL. We now offer non-stop service for the value minded consumer, that doesn't want a first class seat. Instead of having 80 customers connecting to FL off of flight XXX, we have 30. We have now opened up 50 additional seats on the flight to sell to higher fare paying customers to destintions like SAV, ILM, CHS, etc. So we have taken 50 of the 200.00 round trip FL pax off the hub flight and put them on a non-stop flight, while being able to add 50 customers paying 350.00 round trip to other higher revenue markets. MetroJet wasn't going to make money, but it was going to reduce the losses in those markets and generating additional revenue on the hub bound flights, hopefully making more money then we were losing on the MetroJet flights. Make sense? As a premium customer, if you prefered a first class seat, you could still have it, but it would be on a connecting flight. That is why I think that the reconfigured 757's are a better idea. You are offering the premium product to the customers that want it, will adding additional seats to the coach cabin to try and generate additonal revenue. Again, supply and demand. I honestly think that what they are doing is aligning the two at what is more realistic in the market place.
 
Jan 1, 2003
6
0
You are wrong we have A319EOW's they even require a differant emergency card, there are also A320EOWs. They have life rafts equiped with EPRs and the A320 family had the HF radios replaced with new ones, the same one that the A330 is equpied with.
 

PITOCC

Newbie
Dec 31, 2002
8
0
www.usaviation.com
[blockquote]
----------------
On 1/1/2003 1:34:01 AM MarkMyWords wrote:

PITOCC - You are incorrect. The Shuttle A320's are all overwater equipped. The A319's are not. Given the expansion to the Caribbean, we will need these addtional overwater airplanes, especially on the weekends, for fleet reliability and spares. Not meaning spares in the sense the aircraft don't fly, but spares in the sense that they are scheduled on domestic routes at the same time as the Caribbean departures. This provides swapping opportunities in the event of restrictive MEL's and other MTC issues. Moving theses aircraft to the mainline fleet is a definite positive.

[/blockquote]
Neither the shuttle 319 or 320 aircraft are equipped with HF radios and are not classified as OW aircraft. Feel free to check the aircraft data record to verify. The 319's are authorized to fly 162nm offshore. Non-OW 320,s are restricted to 50nm offshore. Ref Flt Ops 4.3.4. Any routes that exceed this 50nm restriction are blocked in th CFP system. Neither aircraft can take advantage of the deep water routes.
 

PITOCC

Newbie
Dec 31, 2002
8
0
www.usaviation.com
[blockquote]
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On 1/1/2003 4:22:12 PM libertyordeath wrote:

You are wrong we have A319EOW's they even require a differant emergency card, there are also A320EOWs. They have life rafts equiped with EPRs and the A320 family had the HF radios replaced with new ones, the same one that the A330 is equpied with.
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[/blockquote]
Yes we do have OW 319 and 320's....just not in the shuttle fleet. The shuttle acft have the rafts, no HF.
 

MarkMyWords

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
1,900
1
If the Shuttle A320's do not have HF radio's then I stand corrected. It was my understanding that the entire A320 fleet was OW equipped. Guess we will have to spring for a few radios.
 

nycbusdriver

Veteran
Dec 19, 2002
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[blockquote]
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On 1/1/2003 5:54:57 PM ITRADE wrote:




Interesting. The seat card on the Shuttle flight I took on Saturday said A320EOW.[/P]
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[/blockquote]


The seat card is there because of the cabin EOW equipment and its usage by the passengers. Whether or not the airplane had an HF radio in the cockpit is irrelevant to the passenger procedures. The shuttle airplane had the EOW equipment in the cabin for your use, but without the HF radio it would not have been dispatched outside of VHF radio range.
 

ITRADE

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
2,860
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DCA/IAD US2
www.geocities.com
[P]
[BLOCKQUOTE][BR]----------------[BR]On 1/1/2003 4:50:58 PM PITOCC wrote:
[P]
[BLOCKQUOTE][BR]----------------[BR]On 1/1/2003 4:22:12 PM libertyordeath wrote: [BR][BR]You are wrong we have A319EOW's they even require a differant emergency card, there are also A320EOWs. They have life rafts equiped with EPRs and the A320 family had the HF radios replaced with new ones, the same one that the A330 is equpied with.[BR]----------------[BR][/BLOCKQUOTE][BR]Yes we do have OW 319 and 320's....just not in the shuttle fleet. The shuttle acft have the rafts, no HF.
[P][/P]----------------[/BLOCKQUOTE]
[P]Interesting. The seat card on the Shuttle flight I took on Saturday said A320EOW.[/P]
 

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