The Idiocy that is Yield Management

Art at ISP

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
2,457
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Dix Hills NY
www.ffocus.org
I just wanted to share my thoughts with my good friends here. This week is a perfect example of what''s wrong with the pricing system.
Yesterday I drove to Philadelphia and back because to fly on a Dash 8 from ISP-PHL and back priced out at over $700 for same day travel!!!!
Today I flew AA Eagle (sorry) ISP-BOS to catch a US flight BOS-PHL then PHL-MIA. Why you say? Because to do so was $300 less expensive than taking the ISP-PHL flight and connecting with the SAME airplane. Go figure.
I just booked another trip for a couple of weeks from now---LGA-FLL via PIT, returning via DCA. Why? Because ISP was expensive (also didn''t meet schedule with the cuts to FL). Price for the entire trip?? $150!!!!
Is it me, or is something wrong with this picture?????????
For what it''s worth, the Eagle RJ was REAL nice.. (hint hint).......
 

USFlyer

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
2,084
292
It gets even better in the DC area. US likes to match WN fares out of BWI, yet we cannot book WN fares through our corporate travel office. So, I price out DCA-SEA-DCA through our corporate travel booking tool, only to have it suggest BWI as an alternative. DCA is $1715 (approx.) while BWI is $240 (approx.). Why even bother matching WN on < 7 day fares? If US had not matched the fare, BWI would not have come up as an alternative (since WN tickets cannot be booked via agents) and US would have gotten another $1475 in revenue.

I would gladly have paid $1715 (well, I would gladly have booked it, the company would have grudgingly paid for it), yet it's hard to justify when BWI is SO MUCH cheaper. My personal policy is BWI must be at least $350 cheaper to make up for the hassle in getting there (we're talking 15 mins to DCA/IAD vs. 60 mins to BWI, assuming no traffic) and the longer airport movement times. DCA is parking garage to gate in 15 mins.; BWI is remote parking lot (supposedly "express" parking) to gate in about 60 mins.

Oh, and don't forget than when you get to your connecting point, the agents in PIT/CLT usually let you fly standby into one of the other DC area airports. I've been booked into BWI and flown into DCA/IAD many times (and similarly with being booked into IAD and flown into DCA).

Anyway... just my two cents.
 

RealityCheck

Senior
Aug 20, 2002
289
0
www.usaviation.com
Folks you've only touched the tip of the fare insanity iceberg..last week U filed fares valid only if purchased via rez, ato, cto, not tr agt, not online,US air agts only!..these are mainly business fares like 3 day adv. Ba3us or A4coach3 and also their walk up counterparts.But they are LESS,I repeat,LESS, than the tr agt or internet business fares using the exact same fare code..example LGAGSO ba3us 429 OW via res,,via travl agt 451 OW..they are listed one on top of the other in SABRE and reading the rules shows only a who can ticket versus who cannot difference..I kid you not..in 1000's of markets its like this...where's the sanity there?/Do they want more bookings via res for lower fares? Isnt that counter productive to what management has been screaming for the last 2 years of reducing the public's reliance on res?..secondly, if you buy a higher bizness fare via an agency and you call rez to rebook/reissue, we use our lower fares if their available and applicable..so we end up doing a partial refund..wheres the logic there??

In house supers and trainers never knew any of this until it was brought to their attention today.Neither do the agents selling.No word on when or if this idiocy will be addressed.
 

AtlanticBeach

Senior
Aug 20, 2002
341
2
The city being used for connection also seems to make a significant difference. JAX-LGW is typically 15% less through PHL than CLT.
 

phillyguy

Advanced
Aug 20, 2002
140
0
same situation here. I can jump down to BWI and fly through Philly saves a bunch many times.

Sunday I booked on orbitz for $250 less than USAirways.com exact same flights

Go figure
 

ClueByFour

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
3,566
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www.usaviation.com
I don't think anybody wants to see the industry re-regulated--this type of stuff just kills US as a bad business practice, but allows those who can work the opposite way to thrive.

My peeves from just today:

Friday night transcon is maxed out PIT-SFO in G (this almost a month out). But, I can leave the car in CLE, connect in PHL, save almost a hundred bucks (on a cheap fare-sale fare) _and_ sit upfront to the coast (hey, after the double miles, transcon miles, and all the booking bonuses, I end up burning about 3k total miles on a US20). For personal travel (where I'm just going to have to pack extra stuff and eat 2.5 days of parking in CLE), this is a no brainer--except that US just hauled my fat butt another thousand miles. This instead of driving home to PIT for a change of clothes and a visit with my favorite folks in the club

My TA found a fare next week to/from MEM that saves almost $250 if I'm willing to go PIT-GSO-CLT-MEM. What? Now, my large behind is being hauled by US mainline and Mesa all over the southeast--for less revenue.

Peeve from this past weekend:
Upgrades really ought to be electronic. Does it strike anybody else as somewhat odd that if I call for a US20 on short notice, I have to call res (1 agent's time), the DM service center (2), and then check in with somebody instead of hitting a kiosk--who has to hand-write the US20 cert (3.5xagents time)?

Something else I've always wondered is how many people are on the midnight shift in res, since I know that as a current US3 (former US2, will be again whenever Sunday's flights post) there are flights where I literally stay up until midnight when my window opens to call, and I know that I've beat out lazy US1s and US2s.... This kind of time could be spent selling somebody something, instead of upgrading my aforementioned large butt to a very cushy seat on a very cheap fare.....

These types of things could be fixed to streamline the operation, generate more revenue (or lose less, depending upon your point of view) and allow folks to be freed up to provide better service, and most importantly, sell more seats.
 

US2

Member
Aug 20, 2002
43
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www.usaviation.com
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On 8/20/2002 10:32:00 PM

Seems that a lot of folks would like to see the airline industry REGULATED once again. [;)]
----------------

There are some economists that question the wisdom of deregulation:


http://www.prospect.org/print/V13/16/kuttner-r.html

While I'm not sure reregulation is the answer, the article does raise some interesting points, despite the unfortunate "Useless Airways" title.
 

USFlyer

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
2,084
292
This is somewhat off topic but still idiotic... It never ceases to amaze me how many people have "issues" upon check-in. I've seen people stand at the check-in counter with an agent for minutes on end for a process that really should take a few seconds. I've also seen agents type and type and type and type away only to type some more. I mean NO disrepect here, but what the heck takes so long?! :)

I realize a lot of this is probably IT stuff (I'm in IT and know first hand how hard it is to modify/enhance systems), but it still amazes me.

Also, is US ever going to get the boarding pass readers at the gates (like AA has)? I realize we'll need electronic upgrades and stuff, but why is that so difficult?! Why do I consistently see two people in first booked in the same seat?! Why can't everyone have the same benefit as US1s where all of a person's itineraries appear simply by searching on DM number (or even last name)? When I earned my US1 status and realized you guys had this feature, I was dumbfounded why no one else can have it. I was also surprised you could waitlist for G even before the 7 day window (so you don't need to stay up waiting for midnight to roll around).

Anyway... I realize this isn't any agent's fault, but in many cases tadjr's point is right on: Why is there so much manual work still involved with simply booking a ticket and boarding a plane?!
 

tadjr

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
3,511
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TPA
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Regarding the electronic upgrades- there was to be a class later this year regarding limited electronic upgrading starting in Dec. Not sure now what is still planned and I havent heard any more talk of it.
It would be nice if you could use one of the MISC masks to reissue the US20 into certificates instead of having to hand validate and write them and then hand enter them into your sales report. Same goes for nonrev upgrades. Why are we still handwriting things anyway?
 

ResNoMore

Member
Aug 20, 2002
29
0
LAS
www.usaviation.com
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On 8/20/2002 11:23:04 PM

Something else I've always wondered is how many people are on the midnight shift in res, since I know that as a current US3 (former US2, will be again whenever Sunday's flights post) there are flights where I literally stay up until midnight when my window opens to call, and I know that I've beat out lazy US1s and US2s.... This kind of time could be spent selling somebody something, instead of upgrading my aforementioned large butt to a very cushy seat on a very cheap fare.....

----------------

No matter how slow it ever got in res at 11:59pm the light went on. Many set their alarms...an inconvience to DM Pref Members. Upgrading is a great benefit, but sometimes the hoops to do/get it is too much..it needs revision. Congrats on DM2, that "upgrade" will help you have more opportunity to upgrade!

And back to the midnight calls, every once in a while, there's the DM'er who calls at 11:50pm and wants to chat till midnight.[:praise:] And toilet flushing! [:0]
 

Hope777

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
2,053
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www.usaviation.com
The Typing by the ATO agents is normally looking for the porcedures to follow. Everything is listed but it takes several steps to find the correct entries. It normally happens hen you have a situation that does not happen very often. One thing I think the ATO employees can do increase revenue is charge the excess baggage fees, something that is often overlooked.
 
Aug 20, 2002
1,423
90
Valhalla
www.usaviation.com
Now the non-rev types are beginning to understand the reluctance of revenue pax to deal with a confusing, overpriced commodity product....

Go ahead, start throwing around more statistics to justify your existence. You know who you are.
 

PSALUS

Newbie
Aug 21, 2002
14
0
Unfortunately, a lot of the extra typing that the ATO folks have to do is because the US version of SABRE is not as user friendly as it could be.

Did anyone ever think that they would really miss PACER?
 

tadjr

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
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TPA
www.airlineforums.com
The bar code readers at the gate are coming slowly but surely. In Tampa, a couple of the gates have them and they are in use. We were a test city and they had been set up for testing prior to last Sept, but were put on hold. I believe we currently have 2 or 3 gates using the system, however, once again the cart before the horse scenario arises. The current eticket stock was not designed to be able to use the bar code reader so, that is now planned for testing to try to be able to get kiosk checkins included. Right now the agent at the door has to keep "scanner boarded" tickets separate from ones that need to still be manually entered at the podium. That could of course be solved by computers at the door, but that isnt planned either.
We have so many ways we could actually INCREASE productivity and streamline procedures with the systems we have or could easily have, but for some reason, it doesnt seem high on anyones list to implement. I still dont see the big picture.
 

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