[P]Lesson to the flying public: if you want flexibility you will have to pay for it. Otherwise it is going to be just like riding on a train or taking a bus: Buy ticket for specific trip, take trip. Miss trip, too bad so sad, unless you bought the flexibility option. It's a new world out there now. The only thing that is really happening is that rules that where there in the begining are now being enforced now.[/P]
[P]This is the price to make sure that the airline you bought your ticket on for a trip next week will still be flying the week after when you are ready to go home. Rest assured, if an airline goes out of business these days, NO OTHER AIRLINE will honor the defunct ones tickets.[/P]
[P]Things are going to get very desperate in the near future. I can't see the bottom of this hill yet, and I'm in a front row seat![/P]
I have been a regular passenger on European intercity rail, and I regularly travel by bus between Cape Cod and Boston, MA or Logan Airport.
In both cases my tickets tend to be for specific city pairs (this determines the fare), but the operators give me flexibility to choose the trip. This is the case whether I buy single trip round-trips or a discount commuter book. The single trips are good for a year, and the commuter tickets are good for 30 days.
I have occasionally missed a bus and raced it to the next stop, thus boarding at a stop for which I am not ticketed. No problem there, either.
What you don't get is your customers are not going to pay for the flexibility option. Paying $100 to get on an hour earlier flight just builds resentment with your most frequent flyers. As the fight attendents state You have a choice of airlines and your customers are choosing WN and NW over this issue
[P]You're right they aren't paying for it. Look at the restrictions and rules that apply to 90% of the discount fares that you get over the internet and you will see that what most customers ar buying have sevre restrictions on the travel window associated with the fare. NW and WN have the restrictions as well but because most travelers flying today have their itneraries set in stone from the start it doesn't matter to them. It is only the business traveler that used to get the perks of the their more expensive fares that are complaining about the fees and inflexibility of the lower fares that their companies' travel departments are now buying, not the more common leaisure traveler of today's airline world.[/P]
[P]The world is a-changin, adapt or die.[/P]
This is just a view from one of your Ex Plat customers. I love American by the way. However, I can go to WN website, EASILY choose a fare with or without restrictions. The price difference may be $50. No fare is over $299 oneway. The WN coach service is better (free drinks, no Eagle, happy customer touchpoints (fly attendants, gate agenets)). Hell even the food is better in coach now on WN.
You guys want me to buy an unresticted fare. I can't do this on the web without spending a bunch of time searching for the fare. Even when I do the fare is $300 to $1000 more one way. Again WN does not have a fare over $299.
Then to make matters worse, you tell me to make a legal hour and half connection in ORD, but there is a flight home to Dallas every 30 minutes. So in Jan when I standby to get home early to see the family its going to cost me $100. Or I watch the flight with empty seats leave and I wait. You guys loose potential revenue to sell the seat in the future and you alienate one of your better customers.
This does not make sense.
Again, just looking from a customers point of view. You want us to use the web, you want us to buy unrestricted, you don't make this easy. I challenge you to go to AA.com and try to book an unrestricted ticket. Things are just not passing the 'smell test.
Oh and don't think WN has no business travelers. Go over to Love Field on Monday morning and the flight is full of suits going to Houston, Austin and beyond
I must agree with the above post. As one of those business flyers, I am not in a position to simply buy the unrestricted fare at will. I have to guess the only people that do are able to expense costs to their clients (lawyers, etc.) For probably 90% of business travlers out there, its hard cash for the company, so they want the cheapest tickets - not my choice, and change fees only are reimbursable *if* is saves at least as much in hotel charges (ie cut a trip short a day - yeah right.)
However, flying the better part of 100,000 miles a year leaves me to desire *some* level of recognition by the airline, namely some grace, at least periodically, for flexibility.
I would suggest follow TWA's old policy, and CO/NW's current upgrade policy, make them free based on FF seniority and issue those damn 10,000 miles upgrade credits for complimentary stand-by and changes and not simply for a larger seat.
If I could stash some free change fees and get home earlier after a meeting (since like most, I often fly home late on Friday night from business and always need to plan for last flight out), then I become a much happier and content customer if it doesn't cost me $100 to be able to tuck my children in that night, and a lot less likely to use WN where such changes are basically mindless.