US Airways message to employees regarding pricing reaction



Pricing Reaction
US Airways’ announcement on Aug. 27 of changes in pricing policies, particularly those applying to non-refundable fares, was covered heavily in the national media and in hub cities.
Most of the stories keyed on the theme that the changes will make clearer the distinctions between unrestricted fares favored by business travelers and non-refundable leisure fares.
“The moves were part of a you-get-what-you-pay-for pricing program geared to appease business travelers who have long complained that they are paying top dollar while those who pay much less get virtually the same privileges and service,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
Under the new policy, non-refundable advance-purchase fares must be used for a specifically ticketed flight and will have no value once the flight has departed. Changes to itineraries, however, may be made in advance subject to certain restrictions and fees.
Some observers voiced criticism. Kevin Mitchell, director of the Business Travel Coalition, said the changes would do little to woo business travelers because they don’t deal with the “sky-high rise in business fares” over the last few years, nor do they address the “hassle factor” of increased security procedures in airports.
Others quoted by the media, however, said the changes are necessary. “It looks like the airlines are in the preliminary stages of really reconfiguring their prices,” Cheryl Hutchinson, president of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Hal Rosenbluth, chairman of Rosenbluth International travel agency, told the newspaper the rule changes were going to cost businesses money, but were probably necessary. “They need a business plan that shows what they’re doing on the revenue side to get back to profitability,” he said.
And Tom Parson of, told the Post-Gazette the ticketing changes show US Airways has “awakened to the realities of the marketplace.” He said the new rules “are not outrageous, just smart business. They’re taking care of the guys who’ve taken care of them.”


Aug 20, 2002
This pricing initiative is so sad. This has got to rank right up there with MetroJet, Business Select, lack of fuel hedging, not scheduling 757s for heavy maintanence, Sabre and the list goes on and on into infinitum.


Aug 20, 2002
I'd suggest that quoting travel agents who claim this is necessary is somewhat of a red herring on U's part--these folks make more money as higher ticket prices are charged.

I'd also like to ask the question: what makes U's marketing/pricing folks think that businesses and their flying employees are going to pay more money for less product on a bankrupt airline? Any corporate travel planner worth his/her salt got on the phone to their U rep today and demanded 80 points off Y. And then got right on the phone with AA/UA/CO/NW. Especially in the age of _declining_ full fare business travel, U needs to realize that it is the business traveler who has the majors by the short hairs, and not the other way around.

That said, I'm glad to know that U does not consider somebody who has averaged a tad over 1 flight a week with them for the better part of 4 years to be "taking care of them."


Aug 22, 2002
In the not too distant future, Journalism 101 classes at colleges and universities across the nation will be using this "press release" to employees as a perfect example of how one can cut-and-paste quotes from numerous sources and spin a situation in ANY direction one chooses.

It does amaze me that on aviation internet boards such as FlyerTalk, MoreMiles and USaviation I have NEVER heard of a full fare passenger "complain" that they were paying high fares and being robbed of benefits by the low fare paying passengers who happen to be elite/preferred. Never. I've heard the full fare first class passenger complain about paying a full fare and then sharing those benefits with non-revenue or low-revenue employees, but NEVER a fellow fare paying passenger.

This is bunk. Pure and simple bunk. US is trying to find a way, ANY WAY, to get passengers to pay full-fare coach and full fare first class fares. They've presented this scheme wrapped in a "hey, we are trying to save the benefits" call to glory but the frequent flying public and thier corporate travel departments are simply NOT that stupid.


Aug 26, 2002
This is getting like the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. Now we have travel agents praising the airlines, who, by eliminating commissions, and creating their own alternate online distribution (replete with mileage and pricing incentives), have done eveything in their power to destroy them. Its Newton's Law in reverse. Apples falling up.