Defending AA market place

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Aug 21, 2002
A side from going head to head with B6 on the trans-cons AA has done little to keep the discount carriers out of AA strong holds. If AA is goint to compete with the low fare carriers wouldn''t it be wise to enter the fight where the low fare carriers are making their money. IE FLL-JFK, LAS to about anywhere..... B6 has been able to dominate the FLL-JFK market and is positioning itself to bleed pax from MIA. The new service between MSY and LGA seems to being doing very well. On the other hand the MCI-LGA loads are somewhat slim. Why not move the resources to areas that are doing well now? With the closing of National Airlines LAS is a developed market that now has a void. If AA moves quickly they can also keep the discount carriers in check. If we are going to have to compete with the likes of B6, HP or WN we better start doing it soon. If I were a pax and the fares were the same, I know I would rather fly AA than a discount carrier just for the miles alone. None of the Discount carriers can get you to Europe, Asia, S America etc. We need to keep in pax minds that the payoff for flying AA is that in the long run our rewards are better. Retaining our customers is only one part of the equation. The AA I know can be very aggressive if it wants to.
Who says the fares even have to be the same? Someone at AA should really think long and hard about retrying the value pricing concept from several years ago. And while they are at it, get rid of the damn change penalties. Offer your passengers a decent advance fare that makes you money, should they change, simply bump them up to the next fare bucket - no penalties. And cut the difference between full fare and advance fare prices to something that wouldn't cause a business to try to cheat with hidden city or back to back ticketing.
On 11/12/2002 10:50:51 AM MiAAmi wrote:

.... With the closing of National Airlines LAS is a developed market that now has a void.

Don't forget that Vegas is a hub for America West, and they do rather dominate at that airport as far as scheduled flights

We need to keep in pax minds that the payoff for flying AA is that in the long run our rewards are better.

People are traveling for the moment, instant low fares is the only reward they are looking for. Travelers are not looking at what you might offer them 5 years from now, which is what it takes most leisure travelers to save up enough frequent flyer miles to do anything with. The FF programs and hub lounges just aren't worth the extra fares anymore.
You really want it to work? Then AA has to ease it's HEAVY restrictions on it's own FF program. Get rid of the black out dates and make all seating confirmed without having to cough up extra miles. itself...will get you some customer loyalty. I can't tell you the FF program members I've seen stranded due to oversales (and we all know how AA yield SUCKS when it comes to oversales) and it leaves a bitter taste in the customer's mouth about the carrier.

Right now as it is, a FF program is a FF program, most airlines have them and they are all the same where those that don't are pretty much attracting the traffic that could care less about a FF program. If they are just flying to see Auntie Toodles once a year for thanksgiving or something, a FF program doesn't mean much to them and those types of travelers are your B&B right now because the business bunch told the airlines to schmegg off 2-3 years ago.
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Your right. But if your already a FF of AA wouldn't you save your miles to use on more expensive tickets and thus spend your actual dollars on a discount fare no matter who its on? If AA matches the fare and the pax can also earn miles I bet they would stay with AA. At this point in time we need to keep all our pax whether they are our business pax or our leisure pax.
And don't forget Aunt Toodles would be flying WN, because she can get a free ticket after 4 roundtrips instead of waiting 5 years.
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