Feedback from pax on day 3

ChairPrefRes

Member
Aug 19, 2002
89
0
On new ticketing policy for General sales type calls I recieved absolutely no complaints or questions regarding new policy...Most pax intended to travel on dates reserved and understood they would call to change before the scheduled flts...No big deal
For US 1 typecalls once they know you have to call in pryor to the flt change that was also no big deal either...If your running late for a flt the 2hr stanby rule kicks in if you miss or if your going to be later than that just call chairmans and we change it for u...also no big deal...More work for res but thats what were there for...
As far as teir status for next year,we were getting questions and some complaints on that but almost 3-1 US 1's were thanking us for improving the integrity of the program so they could get their upgrades...Many of the Chairman make their plans last minute pay the highest fare but find more often then not that 1st is always full...very discouraging for them...I do agree and have talked to many US 1 who have 100 to 200 segments or 140000 miles per year that something does need to be worked out because I think they're loyalty should be rewarded also...and I hope marketing comes up with a plan for them...Despite what you guys think right now we do value your business...the employees depend on it...Once again thanks for listening...[:)]
 

deelmakur

Advanced
Aug 26, 2002
203
0
Many of us aren't calling because we are leaving the program. We also don't want to hassle you people, who don't make the rules. I have had a number of calls with the company, but not the CP line. I want my money back for several thousand dollars worth of tickets I had purchased last week for trips to and from Florida next season. Oh, sorry, I did call to change a seat on my transcon upgrade next week. Wasn't too much trouble. There were 24 open on a Friday. I'm nearly 3 million lifetime miles, and buy tix for 5 people. Hasta la vista.
 

TomBascom

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
660
0
3A
www.greenfieldtech.com
In many of our most expensive markets F is very hard to come by...I work on Fri and Sun nights which is when the closein bookings happen...The transcons Phl-lax or sfo or san never have 1st left

That's an inventory problem. You can fix it by flying more flights, flying bigger planes or releasing fewer seats to G. (BTW -- you've got inventory out the wazoo for F from PHL -> SFO on 9/3... even more for the return flights on Friday.)

and when you pay 2500.00 for a round trip flt the following week you sure dont want to be sitting in the back in a middle seat

Funny thing -- that just might be a "non-refunable" $2,500 ticket (I can't tell if the one that I just priced out is or isn't -- but since so many other high priced tickets are non-refundable I'll assume that this one is too). Mr. Ben Baldanza has been quite clear about the value of customers who buy non-refundable tickets -- they should go elsewhere.

In any event, inventory problems in a few select markets that you make money hand over fist in are a long ways from a justification for the current measures.

BTW -- I agree with Deelmakur, I'm not going to call you guys and bug you about this. You didn't dream it up and it isn't your fault.
 

TomBascom

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
660
0
3A
www.greenfieldtech.com
----------------
On 8/30/2002 8:12:00 AM
...Many of the Chairman make their plans last minute pay the highest fare but find more often then not that 1st is always full...very discouraging for them...
----------------

You need to substantiate this.

There is absolutely no way that F is full at the last minute. There are always seats being held for sale and people who really do pay full fare are at the top of the list for an upgrade into those seats if they are not sold.

If what you are describing really is happening it isn't because of discount CPs -- it's because your inventory management is broken or someone at the airline isn't following the rules.

The rest of your report is also interesting. If true across the board then it's a shame that so many people are apparently drinking the kool-aid.
 

deelmakur

Advanced
Aug 26, 2002
203
0
ChairPrefRes, the situation you describe is exactly why you have yield management. I have access to the native version of a CRS. I can see what you see, and I observe when the G goes. Indeed, in some markets, especially Monday morning westbound transcons, they don't even put any in. If overall business is as good as you imply, the company wouldn't be insolvent. USAirways is not the airline of choice for non hub flyers. If it could subsist on captive customers, it would. Losing incremental revenue from discretionary travelers is counterintuitive to a business model like your company has. If I have to pay more, and there is no benefit to using you, I go elsewhere (which seeems to suit your managmenet just fine). USAirways needs to be more (not less) markleting competitive to cause the incremental passenger to endure connections, smaller aircraft, and hubs in bad weather areas. It is the battleground for that incremental revenue which will determine your fate. Good luck (and I really mean that).
 
OP
C

ChairPrefRes

Member
Aug 19, 2002
89
0
In many of our most expensive markets F is very hard to come by...I work on Fri and Sun nights which is when the closein bookings happen...The transcons Phl-lax or sfo or san never have 1st left and when you pay 2500.00 for a round trip flt the following week you sure dont want to be sitting in the back in a middle seat when you just forked over that kind of money...In addition to just the general pref upgrades on these flts there are pax that have used us20's or 1st class awards...and the compartment fills fast...Other markets like fla there isnt as much demand up front and it's a lot easier to get upgraded...
 
OP
C

ChairPrefRes

Member
Aug 19, 2002
89
0
Tom actually the 2500 would be like a b8us because charman dont need to book Y or F unless the flight was sold out...
There are non-refund fares that will count toward tier status next year...if the fare structure stays the same these would be M or B class non ref...they count toward tier...The problem with the web is it's hard to discern which your booking...You could book a be101.. type fare or an me7 type fare and these would count toward your tier status...Take a look at the markets you fly in and see if the price on these is more reasonble...Steve
 

TomBascom

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
660
0
3A
www.greenfieldtech.com
----------------
On 8/30/2002 10:08:57 AM

Tom actually the 2500 would be like a b8us because charman dont need to book Y or F unless the flight was sold out...

That's right -- if I want you to use my CP status as the basis to que for an upgrade. If that's what I choose to do and I'm buying a last minute fare from PHL to SFO on a Monday morning then I know what I'm in for.

If I want you to consider that I'm paying a lot of money then I can jump to the head of the line by buying a Y or an F.

If I whine that I paid a lot of money but didn't get an upgrade it's because I bought a very expensive discount ticket (of which there are many to choose from). And Mr Baldanza as been very clear about that.

There are non-refund fares that will count toward tier status next year...if the fare structure stays the same these would be M or B class non ref...they count toward tier...

I understand that. I also understand that today there is no link between refundability and fare class and that the two major features of tickets purchased on US Airways which differentiate US Airways from some of the low fare carriers and identify US Airways as a "business" airline have been eliminated. I cannot stand-by and I do not retain the value of unused discount tickets -- even very expensive "discount" tickets. To regain these features I'm being told that I must purchase a "refundable" ticket. This constitutes a substantial price hike. Thus the title of the press release "Pricing Changes" is, in fact, very accurate.

The problem with the web is it's hard to discern which your booking...You could book a be101.. type fare or an me7 type fare and these would count toward your tier status...Take a look at the markets you fly in and see if the price on these is more reasonble...Steve

I have. They aren't. They aren't reasonable because they lack the flexibility that they had last week. They're also way too expensive to even begin to consider.

BTW -- given how hard it is to tell what you're getting and the enormous penalties for making a mistake I wouldn't be too surprised to find more than a few Attorney General types looking into this.
 

rawbert

Newbie
Aug 30, 2002
4
0
I have read a ton of posts on this issue at various boards. The issues we are displeased with seem so simple to me that I just can't understand why the defenders of this new policy (primarily US employees), don't understand.

I am also in a customer serviced related field and my success depends on the satisfaction of my customers. Without them I might as well be pandering for coins on the street.

Yes sometimes we must make business decisions that may not sit well with our customers, but never and I repeat never have I ever told a customer their business was not important to me because of they weren't spending enough money.

In my line of work we sell products across the spectrum, Good-Better-Best, we does this by differentiating or presenting the features and benefits of all products, yes there are differences in the products, and yes you do generally get more for features and benefits for a higher price. What we don't/can't do is to tell a customer his low dollar business is not welcome and could you please shop elsewhere. Oh but hey, if you ever want to spend 8-10 times the money on a product you can get elsewhere easier and cheaper please come back, we will treat you real special then. IMHO this is in effetely what US has done.

Arguing this with US employees and management is not going to do much good. We are going to have as much luck changing their minds, as they would have trying to change mine. The best way to get your point across is to hit them where it counts, in the wallet by buying comparable products from their competitors at less money. One of two things will transpire, their strategy will work or it won't, the problem with the latter is it is going to take far greater resources to earn us back then it would have to keep us. Business 101 - It is far easier and less expensive to keep the customers you have then to have to cultivate new customers.

I guess US new motto should be "I have already made up my mind, please do not confuse me with the facts".

Good Luck to all and see you in the air…
[:sun:]
 

geo1004

Senior
Aug 22, 2002
288
0
"In many of our most expensive markets F is very hard to come by...I work on Fri and Sun nights which is when the closein bookings happen...The transcons Phl-lax or sfo or san never have 1st left and when you pay 2500.00 for a round trip flt the following week you sure dont want to be sitting in the back in a middle seat..."


I'm not sure I buy the story about a lot of CP's buying last minute tix (full fare) and then not getting the upgrades. Inventory control should hold enough FC seats for the last minute walk-up full F fares and the last minute full Y or B purchases. Is it possible that there are a bunch of CP's out there who don't know that they need to actually request an upgrade before it will be granted??? Will the system automatically plug a CP into FC when they buy a full Y fare for a PHL-LAX about six hours before takeoff???

Also, if these transcons are so profitable with the full fare passengers that you say (and that Ben Baldanza says US Airways loves) then why would the new schedule for Nov. show that US is dropping 5 flights to LAX, 3 flights to SFO, 5 flights to SEA, and 2 flights to SAN ????

None of this makes sense.
 

ITRADE

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
2,860
0
DCA/IAD US2
www.geocities.com
Folks need to realize that us FFs are not talking about it to the regular res people - there is no need to and there is no point. We're sending faxes/e-mails/customer cards/letters directly to Consumer Affairs, Balbozo, Isom, and Siegel.

We're also busy calling up US's partners (BofA, MCI, etc.) and cancelling or switching our affinity partners away from US.

I spoke to a number of FFs on my flight last night - many of them were keenly aware of the debacle and planned to leave for greener pastures if this plan sticks.
 

deelmakur

Advanced
Aug 26, 2002
203
0
GEO, they do a good business about 2 days a week, and usually only in one direction (the brand has no recognitiion on the West Coast). You are right on. Anytime I fly, I sneak a look at the FC manifest, which the F/A's normally tape to the bulkhead with the meal and drink choices written on them. In addition to name, they list status (US1,2,3, or 4). It's generally a few US1's and 2's, lots of awards (probably US20), and from just looking and listening, people who have missed connections, non revs (not too many of those, actually), cruise upgrades in season, and often large family groups, which is suspicious, because they board last and aren't seated together. Since no DM award permits more than two people to upgrade together, I am at a loss to figure that one out. A number of times I have sat with someone using a Buddy Pass, which employees get, and apparently sell to other people. Not sure if they are supposed to do that. Bottom line, on larger aircraft I'd be surprised if even a third of the compartment is paying full whack. Hell, industrywide, it's only 10% of all fares, and US has lower average yields than the other majors. I'm thinking the Crystal City Kool Aid is flowing into the res centers. PS: nice to see you active again. We miss you over on FT.
 

US2

Member
Aug 20, 2002
43
0
www.usaviation.com
If the problem is upgrades, and I'm not convinced how valid that argument is, then revamp the system and I'll learn to cope. What gets me is that this is overkill -- any 50K a year flier -- who does have choices -- losing ALL Preferred benefits is too much, regardless of what fares they pay. If there really are US1s on full fares losing seats in F because of people like me (who, by the way, often do pay for upgrades), then change the system. Make the window shorter for all elite flyers on discount fares and change the rules on the use of US20s. I have no problem with making the distribution of upgrades equitable for the higher fare passenger. I do have a problem with the concept that I will get no status at all even if I fly 100000 a year on US on discounted fares. One can generate more revenue than someone who makes Silver on full Y, and wind up with NO status. That's unfair.

I'm by no means the most lucrative customer you've got, but I am loyal and have the lifetime miles to back it up...and by the way, when I'm looking for the lowest fare, it's always the lowest US fare...which is often not the lowest overall. As for fares, the restrictions on non-refundable tickets are another incentive to find the cheapest fare possible just in case you do miss a flight, which is something they've not considered here...
 

geo1004

Senior
Aug 22, 2002
288
0
In a separate comment to US2:

I really do not think the issue here is upgrades.

It is not upgrades at all. It is ALL about REVENUE and where it comes from.

I think the issue here is business travelers (with elite status) realizing that it less expensive to buy non-refundable fares and then pay the $100 change fee (perhaps even several times) to get to and from their desired destination as compared to "simply" buying the FULL FARE fully flexible economy ticket that the airline touts as the business travelers best friend.

And in an attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff, US Airways has failed to realize that its frequent fliers, be they US 1, 2 or even 3's, do not always buy the same fare ticket each and every time they fly.

American Airlines has a mile AND point system that rewards the big dollar passenger with a fast track to ever higher elite statuses (stati ?) and ALSO provides recognition to the passenger who logs the miles as well, even if they do so on discounted fares. Basically AA has said they respect the passenger who coughs up the cash (a rabbit?) and they also respect the passenger who books every flight with AA over the long haul (the tortuga?).

US Airways new policy of NOT recognizing the long time, long term, loyal customer who does not provide their revenue in big chunks all at once is short sighted. I does nothing to build brand loyalty. It does nothing to make the low fare passenger choose US over the other, often less expensive options. And it does nothing to position US Airways as THE airline of choice for high dollar travelers by offering such a superior product vs. the competition that they are a standout. Again, I just don't get it.
 

geo1004

Senior
Aug 22, 2002
288
0
Maker o' Deals, thanks for the comments.

ITRADE, you are right. I have spoken with the US2 Prefered desk 4 times since we heard the announcement of the US Airways new policies. There is no point venting or addressing these issues with the customer service agents (who are tops in the industry I might add) who do not write the rules but only do as they are instructed. Venting to someone who is neither responsible for (or able to correct) the attrocity is a waste of time and not productive IMO. Yelling at the gas station attendant about the price of gasoline does nothing to help the $30 worth of gas you just downloaded to your Honda Accord.

And as anaside, regarding my US2 desk calls, I was polite and thanked the reservation agent for asisting me. In each case they could not have been nicer (two upgrade requests, one flight change on a full fare and one seat assignment).