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LCC's In The U.S.- Which Ones Stand Out And Why?  
User currently offlineAirplaneBoy From United States of America, joined May 2004, 609 posts, RR: 8
Posted (12 years 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4254 times:

I am curious as to what the public thinks about LCC's in the U.S. We have so many now.....WN, HP, FL, F9, B6, TZ, Song, Independence (though we still have to wait for their debut), etc...

Which ones stand out to you? Who do you feel has a good product? Fares? Service?

What about branding? Whose do you find the most appealling or interesting?

Personally, I have to say that I'm an F9 fan all the way. Of course, my working for them may have me biased. But before I started training with them a few weeks ago, I had never flown with them. I've also never worked for an airline before, but I have to say they always had me intrigued with their creative branding with the different animals. I truly feel their branding stands out from the rest because it actually represents something more than an airline.

But everyone is entitled to their opinion and I am curious to learn more about other carriers. So, what do you think?

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineMark777300 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 388 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (12 years 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4229 times:

I think that Southwest was always in the spot light, everyone knows of them. B6 has gained a lot of publicity over the past few years. They have come out in newspapers, on TV, you name it, they seem to be the talk of the town. But I truly feel that the region where the LCC's serve will determine their popularity, for example: Frontier is very much unknown up here in NYC even though they fly into LGA. TED? TED who?? AirTran is known for the folks who fly a lot to ATL as an alternative to DL. Spirit is quite popular in NY as well, so it really matters where you fly to and from.

I personally love B6, they provide great service, comfortable planes, and the Direct TV is a god send. Southwest is also quite good in service (minus the TV) and so was Spirit. I have yet to fly on AirTran, but that might change by next month since I have to go to ATL to visit my sister. Would like to try Frontier one day soon.

User currently offlineModesto2 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2898 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (12 years 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4183 times:

B6 has certainly received much attention. Living in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, I know many folks that fly B6 and hold it in high regard. They've done a PR campaign with their DirecTV and leather seats. Of all the LCCs, B6 seems to have the most enthusiasm and a great corporate culture. HP is somewhat stagnant even though they've recently announced a whole slew of transcon service. FL and F9 are still too regional to gain popularity among the entire country.

User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (12 years 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4121 times:

In the Atlanta area, AirTran really does stand out because it is the alternative to flying Delta in many markets. It also gives a good alternative to having to fly on a Delta Connection turboprop or RJ into some markets. Other than the two flights a day to DEN on F9, the 5 flights a day on HP (4 to PHX and a morning flight to LAS), and the impending July service to IAD by Independence Air (Honestly, they'll probably be in and out of ATL within 3-6 months. Between AirTran, Air Wisconsin (UAX), and Delta, there is a total of 21 flights ATL-IAD and 22 flights IAD-ATL on the route already.). A few years ago, AirTran's marketshare in Atlanta was in the single digits; today they have a 13% marketshare in Atlanta, and just about all of it at the expense of Delta, which now has a 67% marketshare out in Atlanta.

User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3813 posts, RR: 26
Reply 4, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4077 times:

Southwest is the only LCC in the U.S. that stands out IMO. They have proved that they have what it takes to survive and thrive over the longterm (32 years). No other U.S. LCC past or present comes close to matching WN's longevity. Frankly, I'm not impressed with any of the other U.S. LCCs for this reason. It is relatively easy to start a new airline given a large pile of money and keep it going for several years on emotion and low costs that will evaporate all too soon -- it does take exceptional management to keep an airline in business, much less profitable, for 10 years or longer.

When I see one (or more) of the U.S. LCCs remain in business and be reasonably profitable for at least 10 years, I will then be impressed with said airline(s).

User currently offlineAa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3350 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4059 times:

I think HP does. I never flew on them, but they have a varied fleet structure, two hubs, international operations, first class, elite programs and lounges, which give them a major like look and feel but they still have low costs and are profitable.


User currently offlineDia77 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 711 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4061 times:

I'm a big F9 fan. I live in Chicago and commute weekly to Denver for work and I try to fly them when I can. I'm kind of disappointed they switched the A319s back to 737s, but hopefully it's temporary. F9 has great service and the DirectTV is great. In Chicago, lots of people fly ATA too. They're a very good airline in my opinion too.

User currently offlineMSYtristar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4061 times:

Frontier (in its current reincarnation) has been flying since 1994. Aside from some bad quarters here and there (mostly due to 9/11), they have, in my opinion, been a fairly profitable company, especially in this day in age.

ANC was destination #44 for F9, and with PHL,BIL,GEG,and BNA all coming online shortly, it won't be long before we see destination #50. Not too shabby for a ten year old. Certainly, F9 is more of a "national" carrier than jetBlue is at the current time.


User currently offlineCoTXDFW777AA From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 321 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4018 times:

I think Frontier and Southwest stand out the most. They are both great companies and are great success stories. F9 went into the most expensive airport to operate out of in the US and has made it work. And WN well that is a whole different story, they really are the LCC king.....


Texas- it's like a whole different country!
User currently offlineAeroflot777 From Austria, joined Mar 2004, 3477 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (12 years 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 3973 times:

I think now jetBlue stands out. They have great service!!! I can't wait until June 12th, cause thats my next flight with them.

User currently offline4jaded From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 248 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (12 years 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3967 times:

Southwest stands out because it makes money is starting to go just about everywhere and has little issues. It is a stright up front product and they deliver what they promise I'll be it they promise little.

JetBlue stand out for the service and the guts they have shown to jump into the big markets and slug it out.

Airtran for me stands out as an airline I have chosen Never to fly again.
Long story i have covered in other threads sorry all you airtran fans.

Spirit stands out to me as the most unremarkable airline to every fly. There seems nothing special about them in any way shape or form yet the planes keep taking off. I guess being unremarkable has its place too.

Song and TED just seem like passing fancies. Although they are raising the bar for the "traditional" mainline flights to hopefully expand the IFE and Southwest is feeling it also.

There is my two cents...on the subject.

User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3813 posts, RR: 26
Reply 11, posted (12 years 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3954 times:

MSYtristar: Good points about Frontier. After writing my reply to this topic F9 came to mind as the next LCC airline who meets the criteria for my "which ones stand out" list. They seem to have a winning strategy which is neither particularly aimed at provoking other airlines, nor does it miss sensible growth opportunities. F9 also impresses me as a LCC that has a business plan that is altogether sustainable for many years to come and they have proven they can successfully adjust as needed.

And they have been in business for more than 10 years and have been generally profitable for most of the decade they have been in existence. In fact, I think I have talked myself into adding Frontier, along with Southwest, to my list of "which ones (LCCs) stand out."

User currently offlineTZSFO From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 207 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (12 years 13 hours ago) and read 3933 times:
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As far as no other LCC having staying power - TZ is over 30 years old as well.

I admit that we have not done the best job in marketing ourselves over those 30 years - but think where ATA was just 5 years ago in the national marketplace and where they are now - we have grown leaps and bounds!

With a young fleet - possible major expansion on the horizon and the promise of Europe flights coming I think TZ deserves a flag waiver in this forum!

OK...I am a bit biased - but we are still a good airline offering a great product at an awesome price.


It takes nerves of steel to stay neurotic. — Herb Kelleher
User currently offlineFL1TPA From United States of America, joined May 2004, 258 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (12 years 5 hours ago) and read 3929 times:


AirTran (if you count the pre-merger Valujet years) has been in business just over 10 years. Profitability dropped off in '98 and '99 but we've really bounced back over the last 3 years. That counts for more that consistent profitability to me because it shows the airline can adapt and change to overcome challenges. Our road hasn't been easy, but we're poised for major growth in the next 3-4 years.

Just my opinion as an FL TPA employee.

"Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffin' glue."
User currently offlineUsatoeze From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 358 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (11 years 12 months 20 hours ago) and read 3913 times:

Everyone of them(AirTran, Southwest, Frontier, JetBlue) with the exception of ATA. Boring name, poor marketing, no specific niches, and an average route system. ATA is the only LCC that could enter a new market and have very few people buzzing. I didnt include Spirit because it is still too small for a fair examination, and HP is too large and often thought of as a legacy carrier, albeit incorrectly.

War is a very poor political tool
User currently offlineJBLUA320 From United States of America, joined May 2002, 3185 posts, RR: 18
Reply 15, posted (11 years 12 months 5 hours ago) and read 3899 times:
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I think jetBlue stands out the most for shaking up the entire US airline industry!!

However, I think any airline that falls into the "LCC" category stands out and should be equally recognized-- the reasoning is to prove to legacy carriers that low fares CAN come with friendly service and good maintenence.

Long live the LCC!

User currently offlineAirbus3801 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1089 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (11 years 12 months 5 hours ago) and read 3899 times:

I am surprised to see that not many people are giving Song the attention it deserves. Song has brought many new inovations and style to the growing LCC market for customers while still making it affordable and enjoyable unlike other airlines. I believe Song will continue to expand and become profitable for Delta.

Also up there, if not beyond Song, is Jet Blue, excellent service, aircraft (mostly airbus I might say), seating, DIRECTtv, and so many other things give Jet Blue a high standing in the LCC market.

User currently offlineCarbHeatIn From Ireland, joined Jun 2004, 212 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (11 years 12 months 2 hours ago) and read 3891 times:

I'm good mates with TED. Gotta love that Channel 9 and Y+ as well as TED lemonade Smile

User currently offlineUsairways16bwi From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1004 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (11 years 12 months 1 hour ago) and read 3888 times:

I think that WN stands out pretty well. I mean, they got that show, airline on a&e, I always see their commercials, and people that fly them, obviously like it. Then they tell their friends and family about how much they like WN, and they fly them too. I think that's how they get their money. LOL. Also, from what I see on Airline, their employees are nice( then again, I don't know what goes on behind the scenes) LOL!

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