Despite snow, US Airways bankruptcy plan still on track

C

chipmunn

Guest
Despite snow, US Airways bankruptcy plan still on track
The carrier canceled 42% of flights from Saturday to Monday as the storm hit hard at its three hubs, including Philadelphia.
PHILADELPHIA (The Inquirer) - Winter storms are expensive for airlines, but the most recent one is unlikely to derail US Airways'' plans to come out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy-court protection in another six weeks, airline officials and industry consultants said yesterday.
Our plans are still to emerge from Chapter 11 by March 31, airline spokesman David Castelveter said.
The storm forced US Airways to cancel about 1,500 jet flights over three days, or 42 percent of the 1,200 a day it operates across its system. US Airways serves two-thirds of the 25 million passengers a year who use Philadelphia International Airport.
Each of the airline''s three hubs - in Philadelphia; Charlotte, N.C.; and Pittsburgh - was walloped by the storm between Saturday afternoon and Monday.
The airline does not plan to reveal precisely how much the recent snowstorm cost it in lost revenue or in extra expense, Castelveter said.
The storm touched virtually every carrier. American Airlines canceled more than one-fourth of its schedule on Monday: 627 flights of about 2,400. United Airlines canceled about 380 flights Monday and about 90 flights yesterday morning out of more than 1,700 daily flights. Low-cost carrier JetBlue Airways Corp., which has a large operation at New York''s Kennedy International Airport, canceled all but one flight on Monday.
Major snowstorms pack a financial one-two punch, said Robert Hazel, vice president of GCW Consulting Inc. in Arlington, Va., and a former US Airways vice president. These things are very costly, Hazel said. Bad things happen to both revenue and cost.
When storms hit, most airline passengers still make their trips, delayed by a day or two. But some customers, mostly business travelers who pay higher average fares than vacationers, cancel their trips altogether, Hazel said.
In addition, he said the airlines pay for plowing snow around airport gates, de-icing airplanes, employee overtime at airports and in reservation centers, and disruption to its flight schedule, which can strand pilots and flight attendants away from home base.
Airports pay for clearing snow and ice from runways and taxiways. But most airports divide the annual cost of their operations among airlines and other tenants, based on each company''s use of the facilities.
The last major winter storm, in January 1996, cost US Airways millions of dollars in that year''s first quarter, according to a regular quarterly financial filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company said revenue for the quarter was $55 million lower than anticipated because of the storm and a shutdown of most of the federal government that lasted from Dec. 16, 1995, to Jan. 5, 1996. US Airways, which is based in Arlington, Va., near Washington Reagan National Airport, is a major transporter of government employees and contractors.
But industry officials and consultants said the 1996 cost should not be used to estimate the extra expense of this one. Since 1996, the airline has sharply cut its service at two major airports, Washington Dulles and Baltimore/Washington International.
While it has been reorganizing in bankruptcy court, US Airways has reduced its labor costs and pared other expenses.
I don''t think [the snow] is going to impact their emergence from bankruptcy, Hazel said.
 

OldGuyinPA

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
700
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www.usaviation.com
The customers just loved us. Most couldn't get thru on the web site and res couldn't handle the call volume. It shouldn't take long to lose what little customer base we have left. Way to go " Just call me Dave ". We should all be proud of this company...not. Out of bankruptcy by Mar 31, is that a joke.
 

av8orwife

Member
Aug 20, 2002
58
0
Pittsburgh
www.usaviation.com
I just wanted to say Thank you to all of the USAirways employees at Chicago over the weekend. I traveled on Monday from ORD to PIT and was one of the lucky ones whose plans were not impacted by the storm.

Although understaffed, every gate agent and ticket counter (customer service agent) was kind and pleasant. Although very stressed at the number of people they had to reschedule with flights constantly changing, They did a great job.

I also was able to get through to reservations to day to book my boss's vacation to Orlando in July. New revenue and only had to hold a few minutes. The res agent was great.

Thanks, So even if customers had a hard time getting though, the end result was positive.... I don't think any one holds U responsible for the storm or the delays. That's just winter.

KJB
 

usfliboi

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
2,070
270
With all due respect, there is no perfect world when it comes to handling pax during this typr of storm. Regardless of how many people we had on duty, the result would have been the same . No one was going anywhere quickly. It may have taken alot longer but the question is, was there quality people manning the phones and desks once the pax got a hold of one. Plain and simple. Im not one to pat dave and company on the back, but there was and will never be a perfect solution to dealing with an event like this ...
 

CLTBWIDAYSYR

Senior
Aug 20, 2002
499
9
[blockquote]
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On 2/19/2003 2:55:38 PM usfliboi wrote:

With all due respect, there is no perfect world when it comes to handling pax during this typr of storm. Regardless of how many people we had on duty, the result would have been the same . No one was going anywhere quickly. It may have taken alot longer but the question is, was there quality people manning the phones and desks once the pax got a hold of one. Plain and simple. Im not one to pat dave and company on the back, but there was and will never be a perfect solution to dealing with an event like this ...
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[/blockquote]
I agree that there would have been problems with any amount of employees, but there is absolutely NO EXCUSE for not updating the website as to the status of the system. On Monday afternoon, the "specail weather statement" was still the one from Sunday. If the 800 number is going to tell me to check usairways.com, then someone should be updating the site hourly and give me info there in a timely manner. It's not a big thing to ask or to accomplish...I update my neighborhood website every week.
 

PITbull

Veteran
Dec 29, 2002
7,784
456
www.usaviation.com
Quote from the Philadephia Inquirer:

The last major winter storm, in January 1996, cost US Airways millions of dollars in that year's first quarter, according to a regular quarterly financial filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


While it has been reorganizing in bankruptcy court, US Airways has reduced its labor costs and pared other expenses.

"I don't think is going to impact their emergence from bankruptcy," Hazel said.

PITbull writes:

No joke,Hazel. U took so much from their employees as their cushion, we can have many snow days and screw ups to boot, and still emerge from bankruptcy without effecting the bottom line.

"Just living out loud", again.


 

OldGuyinPA

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
700
8
www.usaviation.com
Itrade

I think the point was...

The customers hung up because the phone was never answered or if it was, the customer would be promptly disconneted after hearing Dave's " I'm sorry but were busy line..." They were fit to be tied.

At the ticket counters, the customers could look forward to long lines and few agents...

Juat remember ...Our customers do have choices and aren't as dumb as USAirways thinks. It's just a sad continuing situation. There seems to be no end in sight. Have a Happy Day...
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