This is why pax are not flying!

[P]While some of the drop in passengers is due to fear, experts say many others are choosing ground transportation over planes to avoid airport hassles.
[P][STRONG]A 250-mile trip over interstate highways takes about 4 1/2 hours by car. A plane makes the trip in under an hour. But if a passenger has a 30-minute ride to and from the airports and must arrive two hours early, the time savings is minimal[/STRONG].
[P]Then there are other air travel headaches: restricted parking, vehicle searches, $80 extra for a third bag, security fees, security checkpoint lines, random searches at the gate and more.
[P]Daniel Stillman, an operations contractor for Verizon Global Solutions, recently sat in the waiting area at Washington''s main train station, Union Station, and ticked off the reasons he was not flying back to his home in Edison, N.J.
[P]The train is faster because he does not have to leave time to wait in security lines, he said, and he can book a trip at the last minute without paying more. He can use his time better on a train. And, he added, We all know the terrorists could attack in a train station, but people feel a bit more safe when they''re on the ground.
[P]It''s open season on passengers, said Boyd, who plans to drive the 925 miles from Denver to Phoenix this Christmas.[/P]
 

KCFlyer

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
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[P]
[BLOCKQUOTE]
[P]I've highlighted below what I feel to be the key reason many are not flying more.[/P]
[P][BR]----------------[BR]On 10/21/2002 8:35:07 AM Blueskies/400 UpperDeck wrote:[/P]
[P][BR]While some of the drop in passengers is due to fear, experts say many others are choosing ground transportation over planes to avoid airport hassles. [BR][BR]A 250-mile trip over interstate highways takes about 4 1/2 hours by car. A plane makes the trip in under an hour. But if a passenger has a 30-minute ride to and from the airports and must arrive two hours early, the time savings is minimal. [BR][BR]Then there are other air travel headaches: restricted parking, vehicle searches, $80 extra for a third bag, security fees, security checkpoint lines, random searches at the gate and more. [BR][BR]Daniel Stillman, an operations contractor for Verizon Global Solutions, recently sat in the waiting area at Washington's main train station, Union Station, and ticked off the reasons he was not flying back to his home in Edison, N.J. [BR][BR]The train is faster because he does not have to leave time to wait in security lines, he said, and[STRONG] he can book a trip at the last minute without paying more[/STRONG]. He can use his time better on a train. And, he added, We all know the terrorists could attack in a train station, but people feel a bit more safe when they're on the ground. [BR][BR]It's open season on passengers, said Boyd, who plans to drive the 925 miles from Denver to Phoenix this Christmas.[/P]----------------[/BLOCKQUOTE]
[P]As far as Mr. Boyd driving 925 miles at Christmas - it's a rare person who will admit to being a fool in a publication. If he could average 60 mph, it would take him almost 16 hours to drive. And that's assuming that it will be clear sailing thru the Rocky Mountains in December. Perhaps they will have a dry winter, and little things like winter snow won't be a problem. Besides, my butt starts getting tired around the 8 hour mark. While I think the change fees and use it or lose it policies are driving away many customers, and while security can sometimes be a hassle, about the time the FA asks me to bring my seatback into it's full upright and locked position, I would be thinking - gee, I'd just about be crossing the Arizona border by now. And I'd consider the hassles to be worth it. [/P]
 

Tango-Bravo

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Aug 29, 2002
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There is no doubt that security hassles are at least partly to blame for pax flying less than they may have otherwise -- myself for one. Nontheless, the airlines themselves have contributed even more the equation -- fewer flights with historically high load factors, which coupled with understaffing, all but guarantees unpredictable service.

Even more, Michael O'Leary (Ryanair CEO) may have identified a main underlying reason for why pax are not flying IMO with his succinct comment about the practices of the full-service majors: (it's all about) how do you screw the poor customer for more money? People are just fed up with it, which is why you have huge migration to JetBlue and Southwest in the U.S. and Ryanair and easyJet in Europe. (boldface added by yours truly)

There's another thought I came across to explain why pax are not flying, from an article titled Airlines expected to get hit hard again in quarter by Matthew Brelis, Boston Globe, 10/16/2002, where Kevin Mitchell of the Business Travel Coalition gives his opinion of the full-service majors: the only other industry industry where there is such a level of hostility and mistrust between customers and companies is the managed health care industry. That is an altogether valid point IMO; and there is a very direct comparison that can be made bewteen these industries: both attempt to sell the myth of more for the same or even more for less. Customers are quick to see through the sham, thus the level of cynicism and other negative feelings toward the airlines and why more and more pax (including business travellers) will fly only when they can beat the airlines soundly at their own games -- especially their pricing games.

FWIW my math tells me that the time savings to fly 250 miles vs. driving is not minimal; it's non-existent. When I add up the altogether realistic times given by Blueskies in comparing the two modes of transport, I find the 250-mile trip to be 5.5 hours overall by air, 4.5 hours by interstate.
 

BOBO BENKINS

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Don't forget the horrible service. I rode NWA from MSP to SEA last night. 3 1/2 hour flight and the flight attendants came through one time! One glass of water on a flight of this lengh is a joke. The gate agents were rude and so were the flight attendants. It was sad.
BOBO
 

LAHobo

Newbie
Aug 20, 2002
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[blockquote]
----------------
On 10/21/2002 3:09:26 PM Tango-Bravo wrote:

FWIW my math tells me that the time savings to fly 250 miles vs. driving is not minimal; it's non-existent. When I add up the altogether realistic times given by Blueskies in comparing the two modes of transport, I find the 250-mile trip to be 5.5 hours overall by air, 4.5 hours by interstate.

----------------
[/blockquote]

Not sure how your math works but using those numbers I get 3.5 hours by air.

Transport to Airport .5
Security/Waiting 2.0
Flight Time 1.0

Total 3.5 each way

Personally, I never get to the airport more than an hour before flight time (which would result in a total of 4 hour savings on the RT) and have never had any difficulty making a flight. Things can get dicey when traveling during peak periods and having to check luggage. However, the peak period travel will usually mean that the drive would take much longer than 4.5 hours and I don't think many passengers on the short-haul flights check luggage.

The biggest deterrent to flying short trips IMO is the high price of last-minute fares and itinerary changes. It is for that reason that virtually all of my short-haul air travel is done on WN.
 

Tango-Bravo

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[blockquote]
----------------
On 10/21/2002 4:16:24 PM LAHobo wrote:

[blockquote]

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

On 10/21/2002 3:09:26 PM Tango-Bravo wrote:


FWIW my math tells me that the time savings to fly 250 miles vs. driving is not minimal; it's non-existent. When I add up the altogether realistic times given by Blueskies in comparing the two modes of transport, I find the 250-mile trip to be 5.5 hours overall by air, 4.5 hours by interstate.



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

[/blockquote]


Not sure how your math works but using those numbers I get 3.5 hours by air.


Transport to Airport .5

Security/Waiting 2.0

Flight Time 1.0


Total 3.5 each way


----------------
[/blockquote]


Ooops -- I flunked the math test today! I was adding 2 hours security/waiting plus .5 hr driving to/from the airport both ways for the trip by air, which is how I arrived at the incorrect figure for overall time required for a one-way trip of 250-miles by air. I stand corrected.
 
OP
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Aug 22, 2002
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Southwest operates on a formula that is FAR different than the large majors. SW primarily flies from non-congested airports, low freq. in number of flights- EXCEPT in California. If this was the format of flying that America wanted...we would have been out of business long ago. Why is it that when paxs pay the EXACT same fare on a major that they would on SW they expect MORE? I posted this because of the HUGE problem that the new security ordeals are costing. Most of SW flights are under 1000 miles..with over HALF under 500 miles. That means far least likelyhood of lost luggage...cause there is NONE. On time...cause they're NOT flying out of major airports freq. They are great at what they do, but it is very different from the kind of far flung world wide operations that majors successfully operate on a daily bases. The RPK's of the major's speak for themselves. Flying just is not what it used to be....for ANYONE!
 

mrman

Senior
Sep 10, 2002
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Blue Skys,

You got it close, however I feel you got one thing wrong. One of the big draws for business travelers WN has is high frequency between non hub cities. For example high frequency LAX-San Diego-Oakland-Las Vegas, Also HOU-DAL-AUS-San Antonio-ELP and ABQ-Phoenix-LAS and BWI-MDW-ISP-Nashville-STL. They pride themselves on just get to the airport and there is a flight within an hour. In Texas flights are every half hour

MrMan
 
OP
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Aug 22, 2002
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10 of the cites that you named are Hubs. That's called a Shuttle service. Most large carriers have fliights every half hour all doy long from their hubs to certain cities. We have FIVE a day from DTW to AMS. Over 100 a week from the US to Tokyo. One every half hour from 6:eek:o am between MSP/DTW. And many, many other city pairs. Cleary, because of your location, SW works for you. That's a good thing. My point is that they are two different models of operation. We have thousands of customers that NW's network works beautifully for them. Same is true for every other large carrier. I just don't see the industry going the way of SW. Frankly, with a few exceptions their fares are not that much cheaper than the majors. They work that subliminal low fare moniker well!
 

KCFlyer

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Aug 20, 2002
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[BR][BR]
[BLOCKQUOTE][BR]----------------[BR]On 10/22/2002 9:22:35 PM Blueskies/400 UpperDeck wrote:[BR][BR]Frankly, with a few exceptions their fares are not that much cheaper than the majors. They work that subliminal low fare moniker well! ----------------[/BLOCKQUOTE][BR][BR]That would be called competition. I maintain that the fares are the reason a lot of folks aren't flying. Let's disregard the 21 day in advance, fly on an odd numbered Tuesday, stay over a Saturday and use it or lose it or pay a hundred bucks to change it tickets. And lets not focus on the walk up fare. Instead, lets focus on the difference between the lowest restricted and unrestricted fares. Since I live in KC, I'll use MCI-MDW for SWA fares and MCI-MSP for NWA fares. All fares are round trip:[BR]
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[P class=MsoNormal style=MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: center align=center][b][FONT face=Times New Roman]Lowest Fare[o:p][/o:p][/FONT][/b][/P][/TD]
[TD style=BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid; PADDING-RIGHT: 5.4pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext 0.5pt solid; PADDING-LEFT: 5.4pt; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0in; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; WIDTH: 115.55pt; PADDING-TOP: 0in; BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; mso-border-left-alt: solid windowtext .5pt vAlign=top width=154]
[P class=MsoNormal style=MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: center align=center][b][FONT face=Times New Roman]Unrestricted Fare[o:p][/o:p][/FONT][/b][/P][/TD]
[TD style=BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid; PADDING-RIGHT: 5.4pt; BORDER-TOP: windowtext 0.5pt solid; PADDING-LEFT: 5.4pt; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0in; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; WIDTH: 98.6pt; PADDING-TOP: 0in; BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; mso-border-left-alt: solid windowtext .5pt vAlign=top width=131]
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[TR]
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[P class=MsoNormal style=MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: center align=center][FONT face=Times New Roman]Northwest[o:p][/o:p][/FONT][/P][/TD]
[TD style=BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid; PADDING-RIGHT: 5.4pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; PADDING-LEFT: 5.4pt; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0in; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; WIDTH: 112.3pt; PADDING-TOP: 0in; BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; mso-border-left-alt: solid windowtext .5pt; mso-border-top-alt: solid windowtext .5pt vAlign=top width=150]
[P class=MsoNormal style=MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: center align=center][FONT face=Times New Roman]$205.50[o:p][/o:p][/FONT][/P][/TD]
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[P class=MsoNormal style=MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: center align=center][FONT face=Times New Roman]$1,028.29[o:p][/o:p][/FONT][/P][/TD]
[TD style=BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid; PADDING-RIGHT: 5.4pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; PADDING-LEFT: 5.4pt; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0in; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; WIDTH: 98.6pt; PADDING-TOP: 0in; BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; mso-border-left-alt: solid windowtext .5pt; mso-border-top-alt: solid windowtext .5pt vAlign=top width=131]
[P class=MsoNormal style=MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: center align=center][FONT face=Times New Roman]$822.79[o:p][/o:p][/FONT][/P][/TD][/TR]
[TR]
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[P class=MsoNormal style=MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: center align=center][FONT face=Times New Roman]Southwest[o:p][/o:p][/FONT][/P][/TD]
[TD style=BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid; PADDING-RIGHT: 5.4pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; PADDING-LEFT: 5.4pt; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0in; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; WIDTH: 112.3pt; PADDING-TOP: 0in; BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; mso-border-left-alt: solid windowtext .5pt; mso-border-top-alt: solid windowtext .5pt vAlign=top width=150]
[P class=MsoNormal style=MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: center align=center][FONT face=Times New Roman]$95[o:p][/o:p][/FONT][/P][/TD]
[TD style=BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid; PADDING-RIGHT: 5.4pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; PADDING-LEFT: 5.4pt; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0in; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; WIDTH: 115.55pt; PADDING-TOP: 0in; BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; mso-border-left-alt: solid windowtext .5pt; mso-border-top-alt: solid windowtext .5pt vAlign=top width=154]
[P class=MsoNormal style=MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: center align=center][FONT face=Times New Roman]$221[o:p][/o:p][/FONT][/P][/TD]
[TD style=BORDER-RIGHT: windowtext 0.5pt solid; PADDING-RIGHT: 5.4pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; PADDING-LEFT: 5.4pt; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0in; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; WIDTH: 98.6pt; PADDING-TOP: 0in; BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; mso-border-left-alt: solid windowtext .5pt; mso-border-top-alt: solid windowtext .5pt vAlign=top width=131]
[P class=MsoNormal style=MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: center align=center][FONT face=Times New Roman]$126[o:p][/o:p][/FONT][/P][/TD][/TR][/TBODY][/TABLE][BR][BR][BR]How subliminal is that? Any idea why a business might hesitate to send a rep to MSP at the last minute versus the same company sending someone to Chicago?
 
OP
B
Aug 22, 2002
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So subliminal that you couldn't come up with a matching city pair. LOL I believe SW doesn't serve MSP or lots of other cities that those big carriers do. That kind of service doesn't come cheap. Try finding a matching city pair to compare prices. Like LGA to DTW? Most business travelers I know prefer ORD over MDW anyday. SW serves it niche well. That niche is NOT the average business traveler. Traffic is down because of security problems...pricing as the primary problem. I don't think that is the where with all. All one needs to do is visit the SW gates to see who their paxs are. Biz traffic is DOWN. It has not left the majors for low fares. Otherwise they would be raking in a windfall. Last time I checked, SW traffic was down as well.
 

KCFlyer

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
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That's my point blueskies....On a matching route (MCI-DTW), the unrestricted fare on NWA is $448. That's still more than SWA, but is it worth the extra $$ for a nonstop flight....YES. So..if I can fly to Detroit on Northwest for $448 unrestricted, why must they charge me [STRONG]twice[/STRONG] that amount to fly to MSP (a city with no low fare competition)? THAT'S why people aren't flying...they are subsidizing the money losing fares accross the rest of your system. Ask anybody who lives in MSP if they would consider NWA prices fair. Ask some folks in Memphis how come they drive to Little Rock to catch a flight that connects in MEMPHIS to get to their final destination.
 

RDU Jetblast

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
819
91
North Carolina
I think it all boils down to, as usual, money. Some routes are affordable but others are insanely expensive. This weekend, we'll be flying RDu-LGA-RDU. The last three trips in the past year averaged $240.00. This one is gonna cost $450.00 RT! That's with six weeks advanced purchase. It's almost like the airline is subsidizing its entire operation with this city pair.

Obviously, we not going to be able to afford to visit family four times a year at these rates. We're going to have to settle for more phone and e-mail communications. This will be our loss but also commercial aviation's.

Using imaginary numbers: If an F-100 uses 10,000 gallons of fuel to fly RDU-LGA @$1.00/gallon to fly 50 business/pleasure passengers whose average ticket price is $350.00, the airline will profit $7,500.00 to pay landing fee's and ground/flight crews. That's slightly better than breaking even. I know an F-100 won't use 10,000 gallons of fuel to fly RDU-LGA; And, I also know there will be a lot more than 50 passengers, so the profit margin in this market is huge. When this market begins to dry up, the fares will plummet. You folks are on a horrible see-saw ride!
 
OP
B
Aug 22, 2002
87
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I don't know...the complexity of it all is well beyond my realm. I do know that the airline industry should be treated jlike any other industry, and NOT be over whelmed by taxes. It will AlWAYS be passed on to the customers. So, I think that is one area that paxs should be looking at. When one looks at the percentage of taxes of the total coast of the ticket it is unbelievable.