I think we need a topic dedicated exclusively to this...........

geo1004

Senior
Aug 22, 2002
288
0
I'll bite.

No other major has matched US's "only earn elite status with non-discouted fares" policy. If that holds true, and even if every major adopts the new policy on non-refundable tickets, then the number of airlines to defect to is only limited by the number of airlines that serve your local airport. In US's backyard (the east coast) most of us will be able to choose CO, AA, or DL (and to a lesser degree UA and NW).


If ALL the majors adopt both the non-refundable fare policy AND institute a policy where elite status is only earned on the top fares then you will see the majority of the "flying middle class" become bargain shoppers. And the reality is that if you are going to play the discount airline game you have a lot of catching up to do.


What has happened is that US Airways has assumed that they can neatly catagorize all of its passengers. They think that passengers are either FC OR full fare economy OR discount fare passengers at all times.

That is NOT the case. I am SOMETIMES a full fare FC passenger, SOMETIMES a full fare Y passenger and SOMETIMES a discount coach passenger. The insinuation that I am appreciated as a customer on some days but am pond scum on others is just insulting.

Where, or if, I'll defect is yet to be determined. But as has been stated by others so well, if ALL OF THE AIRLINES categorize me as a "discount passenger" then I am going to choose the airline that treats its discount passengers the best. If that's the case, US Airways will not be in the running for my business. And, if my situation changes and I end up flying on full fare Y and full fare FC tickets ALL the time, you can bet you bottom dollar that US won't be my choice. There are too may other (larger route map, more extensive alliances, better FC service) airlines that will win that battle. What remains to be seen is if there will be an airline that recognizes that all frequent fliers do not purchase the same fare class day in and day out.... and THAT is the airline you find me on.
 

RealityCheck

Senior
Aug 20, 2002
289
0
www.usaviation.com
Running outta places to defect to?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?Maybe U can tweak the stdby policy a little and its back to almost an even playing field.
AA Changes Fare Rules
American Airlines changed rules overnight on nonrefundable tickets to eliminate the one-year grace period on missed flights after Oct. 1, and to charge a $100 fee beginning next year for standby flight changes, Dow Jones News Service reported Aug. 30.
The moves follow similar action announced earlier this week by US Airways.
American's changes were made in fare rules listed in computer reservation systems, but the company had no announcement or comment, Dow Jones said.
Customers on both American and US Airways are still able to make changes to itineraries on nonrefundable tickets prior to departure, subject to $100 change fees and several restrictions. But tickets for no-shows can't be reused.
Both American and US Airways had previously given customers one year to apply the value of unused nonrefundable tickets to another ticket, less change fees.
Meanwhile, United Airlines said it's tightening rules on upgrades and fare discounts and is raising the fee for issuing paper tickets to $20 as part of cost-cutting efforts.
United said it will strictly enforce fare rules and minimum and maximum stay requirements for domestic and international flights. United also said it will eliminate additional reductions on already discounted fares when negotiating prices with corporate customers and would increase the purchase price and the accumulated frequent flier miles needed to buy upgrades as of Oct. 1.
 

RealityCheck

Senior
Aug 20, 2002
289
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www.usaviation.com
No sweat..

Several items I cannot surmise is how AA plans to handle collecting the 100 standby fee..1-is it paid upfront at the counter..2-can you pay at the gate,cash ,ck, cred card only at gate?/3-do you wait to pay it until you are definitely cleared stdby or is it a last minute scramble to pay it as the door of the plane is closing? 4-If you pay up front and stdby all day long with no luck, and you end up taking your original PM flight, do you forfeit the 100?

Any good answers? Sounds like more time and effort on understaffed employees part that would offset the benefits of chrging in some cases on a busy day in a busy airport.
 

TomBascom

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
660
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3A
www.greenfieldtech.com
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Several items I cannot surmise is how AA plans to handle collecting the 100 standby fee...

Any good answers? Sounds like more time and effort on understaffed employees part that would offset the benefits of chrging in some cases on a busy day in a busy airport.
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It's a setup. They're doing this to entice you into holding the line. They know that it's a bad idea and they're hoping that you stick to it long enough for them to get the opportunity to pick up the pieces at a fire sale.

That's why they've been very careful not to inflame their elites or actually commit to doing this (note the phased approach). Essentially all they've done is say "Hey that sounds good! Sign us up if it works."
 

RealityCheck

Senior
Aug 20, 2002
289
0
www.usaviation.com
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On 8/30/2002 4:47:12 PM

I'll bite.

No other major has matched US's "only earn elite status with non-discouted fares" policy. If that holds true, and even if every major adopts the new policy on non-refundable tickets, then the number of airlines to defect to is only limited by the number of airlines that serve your local airport. In US's backyard (the east coast) most of us will be able to choose CO, AA, or DL (and to a lesser degree UA and NW).


If ALL the majors adopt both the non-refundable fare policy AND institute a policy where elite status is only earned on the top fares then you will see the majority of the "flying middle class" become bargain shoppers. And the reality is that if you are going to play the discount airline game you have a lot of catching up to do.


What has happened is that US Airways has assumed that they can neatly catagorize all of its passengers. They think that passengers are either FC OR full fare economy OR discount fare passengers at all times.

That is NOT the case. I am SOMETIMES a full fare FC passenger, SOMETIMES a full fare Y passenger and SOMETIMES a discount coach passenger. The insinuation that I am appreciated as a customer on some days but am pond scum on others is just insulting.

Where, or if, I'll defect is yet to be determined. But as has been stated by others so well, if ALL OF THE AIRLINES categorize me as a "discount passenger" then I am going to choose the airline that treats its discount passengers the best. If that's the case, US Airways will not be in the running for my business. And, if my situation changes and I end up flying on full fare Y and full fare FC tickets ALL the time, you can bet you bottom dollar that US won't be my choice. There are too may other (larger route map, more extensive alliances, better FC service) airlines that will win that battle. What remains to be seen is if there will be an airline that recognizes that all frequent fliers do not purchase the same fare class day in and day out.... and THAT is the airline you find me on.
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How different is the AA program accrual below to U? Isnt it very similar?

From AA.COM>>>>>>>>>>>

Purchased Fares Points Earned Per Mile Flown
First Class 1.50
Business Class 1.25
Full-fare Economy Class* 1.00
Discount Economy Class** .50
* Includes fares booked in Y or B on American Airlines and American Eagle (and equivalent booking codes on participating carriers). Ticket must reflect an American Airlines coded flight number.
** Excludes consolidator fares.
 

usfliboi

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
2,070
270
I say get rid of all first class seats on domestic routes, have 2 fares one last minute walk up and one advanced! No perks no meals Just get you there safely and on time. Theres nothing wrong with that is there? sounds like a plan to me !
 
OP
G

geo1004

Senior
Aug 22, 2002
288
0
I say get rid of all first class seats on domestic routes, have 2 fares one last minute walk up and one advanced! No perks no meals Just get you there safely and on time. Theres nothing wrong with that is there? sounds like a plan to me !


You forget that this is America and a capitalist economy. As soon as the playing field is (eutopia) completely level, someone will come along and offer Pixie Sticks for every third flight flown.


[:bigsmile:]
 
OP
G

geo1004

Senior
Aug 22, 2002
288
0
It is not similar at all. What you reference on the AA site is how many Q POINTS you earn depending on fare class. First Class, Business Class fares earn bonus POINTS. Discount fares earn fewer points.

HOWEVER, on AA, ALL fares earn MILES that will allow you to qualify for their elite program (gold, platinum and executive platinum).

The AA progarm allows you to qualify with miles OR Q points:

ALL PAID fares earn qualifying miles. The number of qualifying POINTS is fare dependent. This system allows high fare passengers to earn elite status faster yet still rewards the very frequent flier who might fly on a mix of fares by allowing them to get elite status with miles.

{edited due to error}
 

USFlyer

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
2,084
292
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On 8/30/2002 5:44:39 PM

How different is the AA program accrual below to U? Isnt it very similar?

From AA.COM>>>>>>>>>>>

Purchased Fares Points Earned Per Mile Flown
First Class 1.50
Business Class 1.25
Full-fare Economy Class* 1.00
Discount Economy Class** .50
* Includes fares booked in Y or B on American Airlines and American Eagle (and equivalent booking codes on participating carriers). Ticket must reflect an American Airlines coded flight number.
** Excludes consolidator fares.

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As I recall, this really only affects the ability to earn Executive Platinum, the equivalent of US1. The other two AA levels (I'm a Platinum on AA as well) are earned the same as US currently. Executive Platinum can only be earned by flying 100,000 "full fare" or higher miles or 200,000 discount miles or a mix of two somewhere in between.
 

JS

Veteran
Aug 24, 2002
2,004
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How different is the AA program accrual below to U? Isnt it very similar?

From AA.COM

Purchased Fares Points Earned Per Mile Flown
First Class 1.50
Business Class 1.25
Full-fare Economy Class* 1.00
Discount Economy Class** .50

The equivalent multiplier for U in discount economy would be 0.


My thoughts --

I don't see anything wrong with excluding status miles from discount fares IF U lowers the First Class fares (and presumably the full coach fares) to fill the seats that will otherwise go empty. Pick some flights at random and see how often First Class is sold out but not coach. Does that really make any sense? Why would you sell out the premium cabin but not coach? That would be like selling out Y but not W in the seat inventory.

(example -- LGA-PIT Sept 3: every US flight has coach seats, but one is sold out in First)

If you were getting First Class fares (at today's F prices) for every First Class seat, that would be one thing -- of course, U wouldn't be in Chapter 11, either. Most of those people in F are upgrades, and some (many?) were upgraded from cheap coach tickets.

Of all the pricing insanity in the airline business, giving a First Class seat on a 1000 mile flight to someone who paid $98 for the ticket must be the dumbest idea. The airline product is already differentiated on many factors (advance purchase, minimum/maximum stay, etc.). If you can't differentiate your product based on class of service, then what on Earth is going on?

Delta does a similar thing, and I think Delta's makes a little more sense. You can attain elite status from any published fare, but once you are elite (damn I hate that term), you can't upgrade from a cheap published fare.

Southwest is often touted as having a very good frequent flyer program, and it is -- buy four roundtrips on southwest.com, get one free (buy eight get one free by phone). But WN doesn't have a First Class, and that is the issue here with the new U rules. You still get miles on cheap tickets on U that can be used for free tickets (coach or First), you just don't get free upgrades on purchased cheap coach tickets. Makes sense to me.
 

rawbert

Newbie
Aug 30, 2002
4
0
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On 8/30/2002 5:14:58 PM

I say get rid of all first class seats on domestic routes, have 2 fares one last minute walk up and one advanced! No perks no meals Just get you there safely and on time. Theres nothing wrong with that is there? sounds like a plan to me !
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Nothings wrong with that if you don't mind everyone driving the same car, living in the same type of house, wearing the same type of cloths as everyone else.
 

ClueByFour

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
3,566
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www.usaviation.com
Here is the fundatmental difference:

AA entices you to earn status at a faster rate by Q-points, which, as has been pointed out, are earned at different rates via fare basis.

Q-miles are earned on a miles-flown basis, with a 500 mile/segment minimum.

As such, 100k miles will earn you Executive Platinum on UA. 50k for Platinum, 25k for gold. However, you could earn any of them on Q-points (same thresholds) more quickly by buying full-J/F fares.

Personally, I'm platinum on AA. On miles, but with a lot of help from class of service bonusues (full-Y upgrades, and the rare full-F fare).

Despite all these changes, AA is still going to give me full credit for status regardless of fare flown.

Let's assume for the second that every major adopts a similar "use it or lose it" stance, and the same BS on standby (and it is, truly BS for reasons that have been beat to death here in the last few days).

Between that and MRTC, who do you think somebody with a choice would fly?

To put it another way, I live in PIT, and after today, I still have a choice.

On a completely unrelated note, I'm going to be taking what might be my second to last trip on US for the year this weekend. If any of ya'll are in PIT, CLT, or MEM I'd be happy to lift a glass on Sunday or Monday. For a US employee, it's on me--you guys have more than earned it.
 

TomBascom

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
660
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www.greenfieldtech.com
... IF U lowers the First Class fares (and presumably the full coach fares) to fill the seats that will otherwise go empty.

Getting them down in the range where people will buy them in appreciabe numbers is a great idea! Go for it! (Just don't complain when you find out how low that number really is.)

Pick some flights at random and see how often First Class is sold out but not coach. Does that really make any sense? Why would you sell out the premium cabin but not coach? That would be like selling out Y but not W in the seat inventory.
(example -- LGA-PIT Sept 3: every US flight has coach seats, but one is sold out in First)

That's a yield management problem. Too many seats were released for upgrades. It might be because you're experiencing runoff in the ranks of people who have the skills to figure it out. Something about bonus money springs to mind.

Here's a quick fix for you. As a US1 who is pretty darned used to being upgraded and who likes it -- I would happily vacate my confirmed upgrade in favor of a paying F passenger who buys the seat out from under me at the last minute under three simple conditions. Publish and follow a set of rules about how such a thing will be handled. Treat me with respect and dignity when it happens. Make it up to me (there are several ways you could do this none of which need to cost anything).

If you were getting First Class fares (at today's F prices) for every First Class seat, that would be one thing -- of course, U wouldn't be in Chapter 11, either. Most of those people in F are upgrades, and some (many?) were upgraded from cheap coach tickets.

The fact that you aren't selling them at those prices ought to tell you something about the value of the seat.

Of all the pricing insanity in the airline business, giving a First Class seat on a 1000 mile flight to someone who paid $98 for the ticket must be the dumbest idea.

Actually it's a hugely smart idea that has brought a ton business to the airlines. They really need to spend some time educating their employees on how and why FF programs work and what the costs and benefits really are. Of course they also have some VPs who could benefit from that primer...