US Airways Commits Suicide !!!

geo1004

Senior
Aug 22, 2002
288
0
With the latest announcement that US will no longer offer Preferred tier miles for all paid fares it has eliminated the ONLY thing that differentiated itself from the rest of the majors airlines.
US Airways assumption that its very frequent fliers ALWAYS buy the same fare class with each ticket purchase is wrong. As I have mentioned elsewhere, I''ve flown US on every fare from Z (free coach) to Full Fare First International! Can anyone tell me why I should stay with US Airways now that it has told me that it only appreciates my business when I''m on an M-fare or higher? Why would I book a full fare ticket today on US for a business trip when three weeks later US won''t recognize my loyalty when I go on a pleasure trip for the weekend and buy a discounted coach fare?
I just sent Mike Isom an email. This afternoon I was going to buy a ticket to attend a conference in San Antonio. Well he and I both know that US doesn''t even fly to SAT but I was going to buy a ticket to IAH and then DRIVE to San Antonio just to fly US. Not anymore. With this latest announcement I''ve booked on AA and will give up on the US Airways sinking ship. I''ll get comped elite status on AA or do one of their elite challenges and earn elite status with AA and be happy.
This is really sad because I have loved every minute of my relationship with US.
Starting in the mid-90''s I was a Priority, then a Priority Gold, then a Preferred Plus, then a Preferred Gold and I''m sure I was a couple of other things in there along the way. And that US Airways Club card ill get replaced with an AA Admirals Club card when it expires. More revenue lost.
Successful businesses like Nordstrom''s learned a long time ago that you treat the customer the same regardless if they are buying a pair of socks or a $2,000 suit. I guess US ought to be in the business of only selling $2,000 suits because the message they have just sent out is that those are the only repeat customers they care about...
[:knockout:]
 

USFlyer

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
2,084
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US is trying to correct a system that has long been abused. For example, I've stated many times on this board that I have co-workers who 90 percent of the time travel on V-class tickets and have earned US1. These same people upgrade 7 days in advance, yet when I book a last minute Y/B ticket on the same flight I get stuck in a middle seat in coach. We've done some informal analyses, and the amount of money they each spent in one QUARTER (i.e., 3 months) traveling every week is LESS than the amount I spent for ONE roundtrip Y-ticket to the west coast. Now, consider I book Y/B tickets almost every week...

This is just one of many such things I've seen. I've also seen people booking multiple weekend tickets on the Shuttle to bump themselves up when December rolls around and they're a little short. I miss that DCA-BWI flight. :)

Personally, the system needs to be corrected, but I think US may have gone too far. Preferred miles should be based solely on fare paid; exclude V (and lower) class fares. Excluding H and K fares is, to me, a bad idea, especially when WN-matched fares are usually not B-class fares but are still last minute tickets. Also, how in the heck do you pick the fare class when you book a ticket? Some B-class fares are not refundable yet will earn tier miles... most booking tools don't allow you to specify that much detail. It's usually either "restricted" or "unrestricted".

My guess... they're feeling the market/industry out. If no one matches, I have a feeling some of this will be rescinded.
 

TomBascom

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Aug 20, 2002
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On 8/27/2002 6:38:01 PM

US is trying to correct a system that has long been abused. For example, I've stated many times on this board that I have co-workers who 90 percent of the time travel on V-class tickets and have earned US1...

This isn't "abuse" -- this is simply following the rules as the airlines have established them. They've refused to face up to the fact that their pricing model is broken and have instead layered arcana upon arcana. Rather than produce a product which meets the markets needs they've tried to make it too complex to compare -- and ended up with consumers who only consider price.

That you cannot get an upgrade even though you're paying through the nose is a travesty that ought to be fixed. But this isn't the way to fix it.
 

trvlr64

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
725
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FLL
www.usaviation.com
USFLyer you're a hypocrit !!

But I'm also glad you can book your flights last mintue every week. I personally fly US every week of the year. I will reach 100 segments at the end of September. I know my schedule weeks ahead of time so I can book my flights to get the most reasonable price. If I booked my flights last minute every week my boss and company would have my head on a platter in a minute. They know there are exceptions and I have had to book last minute flights and the cost is outrageous. Oh I should inform you that I live in Pittsburgh and since I'm a hub city I am often paying much higher fares than non-hub cities.

So now since I am being financially responsible to my company and being a VERY good cusomer on my favorite airline, I am going to be punished!!?? In the last 6 years of living on this airline I have accumulated over 700,000 frequent flyer miles. Most through the normal flying miles and some from promotions for more miles. If US decides to continue with this ludicrious plan of not keeping their frequent flyers coming back and HAPPY, I think DELTA or UNITED will be glad to have me as a customer. And both of these airlines give me lower fares for a lot of my traveling but I find a way to purposely fly only USAIRWAYS.


Guess Dave wants concessions from his customers now!! What percentage should I give back??
 

1ab

Advanced
Aug 21, 2002
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Even though this new program does not go into effect until January of 2003 ,,,,between now and then is the time to communicate your displeasure with the program..

Some time ago W&G told the story of how they contacted all the DM members who left and asked them what U would have to do to get them back..

I think Siegel is very tired seeing he is working so hard to save U and I do not think he thought this through..
 

N513AU

Advanced
Aug 20, 2002
219
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This has to rate as one of the stupidest things ever done by US Airways. Business Select, MetroJet, shutting down the west coast, running out of Florida, now this.

Crystal City must have access to a fine and wide assortment of narcotics to think up an idea like this! Let's just kick the customers where it "counts" who fly us the most. There is a novel concept. I think marketing must have forgot that many who fly us, do not have to fly us. Many do, because DM was always rated as one of the best FQTV programs out there. We are doing our best to make sure that the business traveler, who Dave said was our bread and butter in his roadshows, goes away.

Perhaps with the new "target" clientel of our company we can stop the Carribean vacation contests and start giving away mobile homes, pickups and trips to GatorLand. Perhaps put the Stars and Bars on our tail. Maybe paint the planes up like NASCAR race cars for the "suburban" CLT crowd ;). Maybe adding "steerage" class to our planes (no seats, no meals, no windows, no restrooms) might be a good business decision. I can just see the spindoctors working up ads now, "In the tradition of the luxury liners of old, US Airways is pleased to bring you steerage class for the budget minded traveler."


Strangely enough, for an airline perpetually managed by morons, our frequent fliers are fiercely brand loyal. Some of our best cusomers, even when the weather was crappy, the flights were cancelling and crews were dropping dead were our Chairman and Preferred Plus. Back in my tour of duty as an CSA, I saw them stick up and defend us time and time again, even when the crowds were sharpening their sticks, noosing their ropes and lighting the torches.

I'm hoping this is a "test" and when the rest of the majors don't play ball, it goes away. If not, Benny B. and crew need to be committed.
 

whlinder

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
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If you want to keep $200 fares out of F, then you can restrict the upgrade system like Delta has done. Or you can upgrade folks closer to departure. But I don't buy for a second the claim that passengers upgrading cheap fares in advance is severely hurting the airline. Alaska will upgrade its top level elites (who only have to fly 35000 miles a year, mind you) at the time of BOOKING on any fare. And they even tell you in advance (before purchase) whether or not the flight has upgrade availability.

This is the stupidest move I have seen in a while. There a few benefits (except to non-revs) and the loss of revenue will be significant.
 

AtlanticBeach

Senior
Aug 20, 2002
341
2
N513AU- Excellent post.

One minor suggestion. Due to cutbacks in Florida service, there may not be sufficient seats for GatorLand.
 

USFlyer

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
2,084
292
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On 8/27/2002 7:33:06 PM

But I'm also glad you can book your flights last mintue every week. I personally fly US every week of the year. I will reach 100 segments at the end of September. I know my schedule weeks ahead of time so I can book my flights to get the most reasonable price. If I booked my flights last minute

I try to book in advance, but over the past year that has not worked out. I'm on a project now that is on again off again travel, presumably due to the cost. What they're not realizing is that if we just travel every week, the cost would go down. Whatever... I have no control over that!

I agree, though, this is not the way to go about it. I doubt there would be such a fuss if this only applied to V-class fares, which they should have done to phase it in. I'm not defending the company... this is stupid (all of the policies) and could very well end up costing them more than they think it will save. But, I go back to my original statement... they're testing the waters. If no one matches this stuff, watch at least some of it be pulled back.

I am thinking of switching my business for the remainder of the year, just to spread out my exposure. I've already renewed US1 this year (currently at 135,000 miles), and I'll be doing enough transcon travel to actually earn 1k on United as well. Plus, United offers nonstops from DC. I have to admit, I'm getting sick and tired of being stuck in PIT during thunderstorm season... the only reason I put up with it was becasue US's program was so generous.
 

upsilon

Senior
Aug 20, 2002
372
2
Dave is just another in a long line of management that has been successful in wrecking every previous airline in the genealogy of US Airways for as long as I can remember.

My first business flights in the late 40's were on the original Piedmont in its Mid-atlantic home area. Then it successfully expanded to the central Mid-west with a hub at DAY. But some aviation hot-shots from an airline based in PIT named Allegheny Air (but universally referred to by paxs as ‘Agony’ Air) bought out Piedmont and proceeded to make sure the Agony name stuck.

Then ‘Agony’ purchased PSA, another successful regional carrier on the West Coast; and then presumptuously gave it the name "U.S.Air". After inflicting the ‘Agony‘ culture on the revolting PSA paxs, it abandoned the routes and crawled back to the East coast.

But US then conned the airport authorities at PIT, CLT and PHL into allowing it to become a hub in their expanded facilities. The hometown pax have paid the price!

It is difficult to remember, without choking up, the beloved and respected aviator Tom Davis (who founded Piedmont). Then came the airline management cowboys of USAir (nee Allegheny) up to the coyote (aptly named Wolfe - seeking his own carnivorous options rewards), all of whom collectively brought the airline down to its knees.

This is nothing new; but this time it is suicidal!
 

TomBascom

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
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www.greenfieldtech.com
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On 8/27/2002 10:28:47 PM

I think this was a very good move all though it may have been too much too fast ! This airline and others are finding out what the traveling public wants . Basically a south west type of flying ! Hate to say it but its true ! Now our preferred will disagree but according to stats in fact south west is prof without our high buisness fares . They must be trying to lower the line and and do what works . Our rules have been far to easy and way to many give aways.... Again maybe too much too fast but the end result? Its supply and demand![;)]
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You aren't making sense -- you say that customers want low fares and that SW is the model. But US didn't lower fares. What they've done is try to force wayward elites that are taking advantage of SW type fares back towards the traditional business fares. This is being executed by means of punitive restrictions -- a stick with no carrott.

This is the opposite of what makes SW attractive. SW is attractive to the business traveler because SW is reasonably priced, flexible and sensible. You never feel like SW is pulling a fast one on you.

"Stats" are no way to find out what customers want -- all they tell you is what customers are doing in response to the environment. Yes, people buy low fares. Yes, people are flocking to SW. So US' answer is to hold Y fares at sky high levels and take away benefits from customers who buy lower priced tickets? Because they've studied buying patterns and determined that people don't want to stand by, don't want unused tickets to be worth anything and that they don't want elite status? Huh?

You have to talk to your target customers if you want to know what they need and value. If you don't know what is of value to them then you have no hope of fulfilling their needs.

The pricing model is broken and needs to be fixed. This is the wrong solution -- actually it isn't even a solution it's just duct tape and bubblegum.
 

Bear96

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
2,926
122
Oh the drama. Cry me a river. When will it end... If you don't like it, take your business elsewhere (though hopefully the other airlines will soon follow suit-- the frequent flyer entitlement mentality gravy train may soon finally be over).

If y'all really want the perks you seem to think you are entitled to for bringing the airline high revenue...

...then bring the airline high revenue.

I thought unions were bad about whining when management does something they don't like. The frequent flyer reaction to this announcement takes the cake.
 

ClueByFour

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
3,566
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www.usaviation.com
I thought unions were bad about whining when management does something they don't like. The frequent flyer reaction to this announcement takes the cake.
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The difference being, of course, that we pay the bills.

As I mentioned in another thread, if it makes you feel any better, U is down about ($3k - $300) or so. From me. Today. It has nothing to do with the US employees. as I think that most of the frontliners absolutely rock (except those who want to head back to the regulation gravy-train--mirror check).

It's said on every flight "We know you have a choice in air travel."

Indeed.

I suppose that the only nice thing about being a consumer of airline product is that it is somewhat easier in today's economic climate to change "service providers" if you will than it is for an airline employee to change "paycheck providers."

Cheers!
 

autofixer

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
1,804
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www.usaviation.com
I have been all along saying it is price! It is NOT service! Years and years ago, Crandell (competent management) said, "revenue is the key." Dag-on-it, talk about burning bridges. Makes you think that management is not really interested in the survival of U or UAWGQ!