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Topic: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: F9animal
Posted 2012-12-04 19:29:22 and read 12582 times.

I have tried my best to follow the Air Tran takeover by WN. I also have noticed that there is some reductions going on in ATL. Do you think WN might have been better off without Air Tran? Or do you think it is a good thing for WN?

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: zippyjet
Posted 2012-12-04 19:33:26 and read 12576 times.

Quoting F9animal (Thread starter):

From my standpoint as an FL crewmember I sure as hell hope WN made the right choice. Like any aquisition or airline merger the first couple of years could be the stuff of comedic movies. But, I hope and feel when the fod is cleared from the runway we will land on our feet and be "In Like Flint!"

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: usflyguy
Posted 2012-12-04 19:51:41 and read 12444 times.

Nope. LGA, DCA, ATL, CUN, MEX, SJD, SJU, MBJ, etc... and the leg work on dozens of other potential "near-international" destinations. Reduced competition that was forcing down yields.

On another note thats probably of interest to a fan of F9, DEN-SJD will be starting soon on FL.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2012-12-04 20:14:34 and read 12315 times.

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 2):
Nope. LGA, DCA, ATL, CUN, MEX, SJD, SJU, MBJ, etc... and the leg work on dozens of other potential "near-international" destinations. Reduced competition that was forcing down yields.

I tend to agree with usflyguy - they surely have run into more complicated hiccups than they hoped, but they got some nice things out of the deal that would have been very expensive and/or complicated to get otherwise. Whatever they don't like or want they can divest as they see fit, and then continue to soldier on as legacy WN + the good parts of FL they want to keep. As has been mentioned before, what we've seen to date indicates WN slowly digesting and assimilating FL bit by bit and then eventually they will confront the rump issues of international and the incompatible systems. But they'll get there and be a stronger carrier for it.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: ADent
Posted 2012-12-04 20:21:49 and read 12268 times.

The problems with the merger seem to be mostly WN - from my perspective. Whether they bought FL or not they would have to go thru the same pain to fly internationally, do real code shares, etc. So they got the immediate incentive to tackle these issues they had been avoiding for 5-10 years, at least.

On the other hand they could have done all this themselves (eventually) - are they listening to any FL people behind the scenes?

They also got a lot of gates at ATL and a bunch of 737s. And one less competitor.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: airliner371
Posted 2012-12-04 20:37:45 and read 12170 times.

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 3):
Quoting usflyguy (Reply 2):

I agree 100%.

Quoting ADent (Reply 4):
The problems with the merger seem to be mostly WN - from my perspective. Whether they bought FL or not they would have to go thru the same pain to fly internationally, do real code shares, etc. So they got the immediate incentive to tackle these issues they had been avoiding for 5-10 years, at least.

You are completely on par here. None of these problems are the acquisition, its just WN problems that would have come up anyway, they are just being emphasized and fixed because of the acquisition.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: B4REAL
Posted 2012-12-04 23:25:33 and read 11735 times.

One good thing here actually PRO-acquiring AirTran. Southwest only has 2 datacenters in Dallas, separated by not a far distance. They now have a datacenter in Atlanta, that's a big deal in regards to business technology resiliency; not directly air operations related. But, I am an IT pro - and for the size of their technology; that's really too close for my comfort!

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: wnflyguy
Posted 2012-12-04 23:47:46 and read 11688 times.

No I don't think WN has any remorse on buying FL.
The only real issue I think WN has had with FL merger so far is the IT issues with connection the networks with each other.
I think WN is getting everything it wanted from FL.
wnfg 

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: 737tdi
Posted 2012-12-05 00:43:00 and read 11579 times.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 1):
From my standpoint as an FL crewmember I sure as hell hope WN made the right choice.

Howdy Zippyjet: Welcome to WN, if ever in DAL look me up. I work Eve. line maintenance.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: diverdave
Posted 2012-12-05 05:36:50 and read 11268 times.

Quoting wnflyguy (Reply 7):
No I don't think WN has any remorse on buying FL.
The only real issue I think WN has had with FL merger so far is the IT issues with connection the networks with each other.
I think WN is getting everything it wanted from FL.
wnfg

Well said.

Now as to whether AirTran has seller's remorse, that's an entirely different question.  Wow!

David

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: brilondon
Posted 2012-12-05 05:43:01 and read 11229 times.

I don't think that they see any remorse in buying their competition. Sure, they have to reduce redundancies and not duplicate what they are doing, it is not like buying ketchup, when making a purchase of this magnitude there is so much study and discussion that when it comes to fruition, there has been much scrutiny on the effects of the purchase that they have gone way beyond buyers remorse.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: UnitedTristar
Posted 2012-12-05 05:58:57 and read 11080 times.

Instant international and remove a major east coast competitor, plus access to some major airports in the NE, I think they got exactly what they wanted, outside of that they were not interested in making major changes so their business model (ie no fortress hubs...ATL, no 717's and no very small cities with less than daily/critical mass flights)

In sort, no I would say they are quite happy!

-m

  

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: Alnicocunife
Posted 2012-12-05 05:59:39 and read 11079 times.

No remorse and the Airtran baggage fees are helping eek out some profits during the integration process.

Gain: international destinations, Hawaii and a fresh perspective on airlines with Airtran employees/management?
Loss: having to pay for Delta's 717's, and no longer a being a LCC but just one of the "legacy" carriers.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: bobloblaw
Posted 2012-12-05 06:33:29 and read 10582 times.

No...WN got rid of a competitor. ATL should certainly have remorse though.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: kgaiflyer
Posted 2012-12-05 07:04:58 and read 10121 times.

Quoting wnflyguy (Reply 7):
No I don't think WN has any remorse on buying FL.
The only real issue I think WN has had with FL merger so far is the IT issues with connection the networks with each other.
I think WN is getting everything it wanted from FL.

Perhaps more than they realized. FL's ability to do international runs is so useful. For instance, I was at SNA the first day of the new SNA-MEX run and saw the line out the terminal door. Additional runs to Mexico using FL might be interesting (from ABQ, ELP, AUS ?) .

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: Catiii
Posted 2012-12-05 07:24:54 and read 9841 times.

Quoting ADent (Reply 4):
They also got a lot of gates at ATL and a bunch of 737s. And one less competitor.

Exactly. I believe WN was able to grow by something like 20% in one move. When you look at the relative growth of the rest of the industry vis-a-vis consolidation (UA becoming much bigger, DL, becoming much bigger, AA/US likely hooking up), for them to achieve such growth organically would have taken years.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: RmTrice
Posted 2012-12-05 07:42:48 and read 9587 times.

I don't believe WN has buyers remorse at all. The regret comes in when you begin to look at the technology issues that have hindered this aquisition from the beginning: unable to book international flights, unable to code-share, etc... NW/DL's merger (one I went through as an NW employee) was very smooth because the airlines already shared a somewhat close relationship (codesharing, alliance partners). They were able to consolidate their operations very quickly. WN/F9 is a much more complicated situation because WN did not make the technology investments other airlines made so long ago. They didn't really need to according to their business strategy. The best strategy is to take their time, do their homework, and bring it all together. It's a shame it's taking so long, but it will be a positive thing for WN in the long run.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: jfklganyc
Posted 2012-12-05 07:43:00 and read 9587 times.

I dont know about remorse, but it has become painfully obvious that WN cut off a bit more than they can chew with this merger.

All these years later, they still have not been integrated and customers are still confused.

I think in the end, they will be fine...but this may be one of those mergers that you look back on and ask why

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 2):
Nope. LGA, DCA, ATL, CUN, MEX, SJD, SJU, MBJ, etc... and the leg work on dozens of other potential "near-international" destinations. Reduced

But realistically, that is a handful of flights when you take out ATL. DCA and LGA were and are small operations for both airlines.

It all comes down to ATL. That is AirTrans greatest asset. When we look at ATL 10 years from now, we will know if this merger was worth it to WN.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: tdscanuck
Posted 2012-12-05 07:47:59 and read 9525 times.

Quoting F9animal (Thread starter):
Do you think WN might have been better off without Air Tran?

No.

Quoting F9animal (Thread starter):
Or do you think it is a good thing for WN?

It's a great thing...Atlanta was one of the last areas WN had available to expand domestically. They could have bought AirTran, shut it down for a total loss the next day, and it would still have been good for WN. I like AirTran though, so I'm glad they didn't do that.

Tom.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: Antoniemey
Posted 2012-12-05 07:49:26 and read 9498 times.

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 17):
All these years later, they still have not been integrated and customers are still confused.

You make it sound like it's been a decade. We're talking about less than 2 years here...

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: frmrcapcadet
Posted 2012-12-05 08:38:17 and read 8821 times.

I think WN is smart to take as much time to get the IT right. As has been pointed out their current one was out of date, but served well. Passengers will appreciate a seamless transition or at least seamless compared to a rush job with repeated failures. Adding ETOPS, code share, (dreaded fees for extras), travel to other countries, etc. is a IT big project. From limited understanding with professionals three or four years to do a good job is not all that bad.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: 0NEWAIR0
Posted 2012-12-05 08:38:27 and read 8822 times.

Quoting F9animal (Thread starter):
I have tried my best to follow the Air Tran takeover by WN. I also have noticed that there is some reductions going on in ATL. Do you think WN might have been better off without Air Tran? Or do you think it is a good thing for WN?

The ATL reduction was planned from the beginning. SWA is dismanteling AirTran and using the equipment and people as they see fit. We all knew that the merged AirTran/SWA would have a significantly smaller presence at Atlanta. That being said, I SWA does not have buyers remose and certainly would not have better off had they chose to not purchase AirTran.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: FLALEFTY
Posted 2012-12-05 10:05:32 and read 7737 times.

From my my vantage point, WN is pretty much getting what they were after in this deal:

1) They picked up FL's sweetheart deal for 737NGs.
2) They finally got reasonable access to Atlanta - an important business destination.
3) As others have pointed out, they were able to strengthen their IT, thanks to FL.
4) FL provided WN a nifty little portfolio of medium-haul international routes.
5) FL's corporate culture was as efficiency-minded as WN's corporate culture, so the integration of union contracts was much less painful.
6) WN picked up hard-to-get slots at LGA & DCA.

However,

1) WN's attempt to "wall-off" the 717s at FL rates so they could replace 735s, was not successful.
2) The jury is still out if WN's de-hubbing ATL will be in their long-term best interest.

Like all mergers, there are issues to deal with, some of which WN did not accurately anticipate (such as the proposed, 717 integration). But overall, I think WN emerges from this merger a much stronger and more competitive airline.

[Edited 2012-12-05 10:07:18]

[Edited 2012-12-05 10:09:01]

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: luvfa
Posted 2012-12-05 10:54:37 and read 7120 times.

Quoting FLALEFTY (Reply 22):
) The jury is still out if WN's de-hubbing ATL will be in their long-term best interest.

I question the term de-hubbing ATL as a WN strategy! Airtran had ATL as basically its only hub, so all flying had to connect via ATL. WN, on the other hand, has MDW, BWI etc. in the east so making ATL a little smaller was inevitable!

That said, ATL will still be important in the future once this acquisition becomes finished, (2014 and beyond), some sign I see:

-The de-emphasis of PHL as an east coast focus city, we would still have BWI, ATL

-Closing of short haul Florida service i.e. FLL-MCO, most of this was connecting traffic north. I see ATL as a connector from FL-NEand Midwest to supplement Nstop service in FLL, RSW.

-The planned opening of ATL as a crew base for pilots/FAs by 1-1-15 at the latest, per contracts, (although Im betting it opens by 2nd qtr. 2014)

As far as buyers remorse goes, this is the equivalence of buyers remorse as buying a car and having second thoughts before you even drive it home! If we re talking about regrets, lets wait 5-10 years from now until we make that decisions!

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2012-12-05 11:15:13 and read 6864 times.

Quoting Alnicocunife (Reply 12):
Loss: having to pay for Delta's 717's, and no longer a being a LCC but just one of the "legacy" carriers.

Most numbers show the 717 transaction will be a wash. The cost more so comes down to the time spent taking care of it all.

Also LCC is subjective. WN still has the lowest CASM out of all the big guys. Keep in mind too, there are a lot fewer big guys than their use to be. NW, CO, HP, etc are all gone. Many envisioned that we would see 3 large major airlines plus WN in the US. We are just one more transaction away from that being reality (for the most part, yes I know all the other little guys are still there and B6).

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 17):
All these years later, they still have not been integrated and customers are still confused.
Quoting Antoniemey (Reply 19):
You make it sound like it's been a decade. We're talking about less than 2 years here...

This. However, I blame this on our society turning to a sense of instant gratification to be satisfied.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: Triple7LR
Posted 2012-12-05 11:26:28 and read 6878 times.

I think the big question that no one is asking is " Will the FL side of the merger still be profitable after they drop the bag fees?" I think there's a reason they continue to charge for bags at FL and its not an IT issue. Think about it. They increased the labor cost substantially and will eventually eliminate a huge revenue source, doesn't sound like good business to me.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: luvfa
Posted 2012-12-05 12:00:38 and read 6388 times.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 24):
This. However, I blame this on our society turning to a sense of instant gratification to be satisfied.


I guess that was the main point of my previous post!

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: silentbob
Posted 2012-12-05 12:01:58 and read 6469 times.

Quoting Triple7LR (Reply 25):
I think the big question that no one is asking is " Will the FL side of the merger still be profitable after they drop the bag fees?" I think there's a reason they continue to charge for bags at FL and its not an IT issue. Think about it. They increased the labor cost substantially and will eventually eliminate a huge revenue source, doesn't sound like good business to me.

FL generally had much lower fares than WN. If they can generate WN level revenue from ticket prices, they won't need to have the ancillary fees.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: DeltaMD90
Posted 2012-12-05 12:06:31 and read 6382 times.

Quoting 0NEWAIR0 (Reply 21):
The ATL reduction was planned from the beginning. SWA is dismanteling AirTran and using the equipment and people as they see fit. We all knew that the merged AirTran/SWA would have a significantly smaller presence at Atlanta.

   Just look back at the pre-merger threads. Most of us thought/knew that FL's business plan was much different than WN's and ATL didn't quite fit into WN... the reduction of many smaller markets and the buffing up of WN's usual markets was predicted and only a few thought that WN was going to expand/give DL a run for their money. I don't claim to be a business expert, but just looking at WN's business plan, the reduction of ATL was pretty much a given. I don't see how anyone is surprised about that

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: airliner371
Posted 2012-12-05 12:10:51 and read 6339 times.

Quoting Triple7LR (Reply 25):
I think there's a reason they continue to charge for bags at FL and its not an IT issue.

WN can charge for bag fees when ever they want. They choose to charge at FL because FL has always charged and FL isn't known for free bags and they won't advertise enough to warrant that.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: usairways787
Posted 2012-12-05 15:25:30 and read 4219 times.

It'd be a little late to say "Hey, you know what, we really shouldn't have bought you" airTran brought more to the table than Southwest ever could have. As a result of the "Acquisition" a lot of airTran people lost their jobs (myself included) so they can suck it up. The way a lot of folks at FL have been treated through out the merger is just enough in itself, and believe me a lot of folks at WN are going to be receiving a wake up call. Your gravy train is over.

US787

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: usflyguy
Posted 2012-12-05 15:33:33 and read 4164 times.

Quoting usairways787 (Reply 30):
As a result of the "Acquisition" a lot of airTran people lost their jobs (myself included) so they can suck it up.

What department did you work in? Were you not offered something else?

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: JayBird
Posted 2012-12-05 15:44:04 and read 4064 times.

No, Southwest doesn't have buyers remorse ..

Pan Am - yes, after they purchased National
USAir - yes, after they purchased PSA
American - yes, after they purchased everyone they've purchased except for Trans Caribbean

but Southwest, i don't think so ..

my 2cents  

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2012-12-05 16:12:55 and read 3814 times.

Quoting usairways787 (Reply 30):

It'd be a little late to say "Hey, you know what, we really shouldn't have bought you" airTran brought more to the table than Southwest ever could have. As a result of the "Acquisition" a lot of airTran people lost their jobs (myself included) so they can suck it up.

What position did you hold? Only fair that you provide those details as well so it can properly considered. Nearly everyone has been offered a position elsewhere in the company, even those at the GA call centers that are closing. Now it can come down to having to relocate to a new city to take advantage of that opportunity, but that happens with any company. Better to have an option than none at all.

Quoting usairways787 (Reply 30):
The way a lot of folks at FL have been treated through out the merger is just enough in itself,

My experience has been nothing but positive when seeing people interact with FL employees. From flying, at FLY class at HQ, and with my friends that work in res. I'm sure there are some isolated issues here and there, but nothing nearly as messed as US/HP or UA/CO.

Quoting usairways787 (Reply 30):
and believe me a lot of folks at WN are going to be receiving a wake up call. Your gravy train is over.

I'm going to frank with this response and this is my own opinion. With the attitude I'm getting from this line, isolated from the rest of your post, your personality and negatively is definitely not something that is selected when hiring new hires in from off the street. Hopefully this is just frustration on your part for whatever you situation is, but if this is the attitude that was present every day then I don't see your future being outside of WN a bad thing. Many will say a merger like this is risky by transferring employees over without vetting them properly for the traits WN looks for. However, in every interaction I've had with an ex-FL employee I have been shown there is nothing to worry about. Of course there will be bad eggs in every batch and they all eventually work themselves out of a job.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: srbmod
Posted 2012-12-05 16:45:29 and read 3460 times.

One thing to note is that when WN entered ATL, there really wasn't the "Southwest Effect" in terms of airfares that many markets that WN entered has. FL had already gotten the fares down on routes they competed with DL (and other airlines) so there wasn't much meat on that bone other than those cities FL didn't serve.

The integration of FL into WN is atypical for an airline merger in regards to the length of time before the acquired brand is phased out. The typical merger sees the acquired brand wiped away as quick as possible. Then again, the merger that created AirTran was unusual in that ValuJet changed their name to AirTran Airlines while in the process of acquiring AirTran Airways (not to mention retaining the name of the acquired airline instead of the other way around).

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: delimit
Posted 2012-12-05 17:06:30 and read 3235 times.

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 13):
ATL should certainly have remorse though.

Why would ATL care?

The airport is still getting its money. I guess that Chick-Fil-A might miss the people changing planes.

If you're talking about the city, however, they're losing some jobs, but that's about it. The major part of FL's traffic was connecting.

The city may lose a destination or two, and DL's fares may bounce around a bit as WN rationalizes ATL into its network, but honestly, not much is changing in the greater scheme of things.

I don't think WN is having buyer's remorse. I think, rather, that the merger simply isn't living up to the fairly unrealistic expectations some people here had. Pretty much anyone who has watched DL and FL had told them that very little would change when the merger was discussed here. WN was never going to come into ATL and cause a major impact.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: usflyguy
Posted 2012-12-05 17:35:41 and read 2946 times.

Quoting srbmod (Reply 34):
The integration of FL into WN is atypical for an airline merger in regards to the length of time before the acquired brand is phased out.

Previous integrations have been between 2 carriers that are basically the same but with a different name and different logo. With FL/WN, you have two totally different carriers in what is offered from fees to onboard.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2012-12-05 17:42:38 and read 2858 times.

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 36):
With FL/WN, you have two totally different carriers in what is offered from fees to onboard.

How is it more different than UA and CO?

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: wjcandee
Posted 2012-12-05 18:35:20 and read 2381 times.

They did the deal to take out a lower-cost, lower-price competitor. Anything else they said is window-dressing. So it's a success.

Topic: RE: Do You Think WN Has Buyers Remorse?
Username: usflyguy
Posted 2012-12-05 18:39:46 and read 2338 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 37):

To start, UA/CO both have premium cabins, WN/FL do not. UA/CO had similar route networks, WN/FL did not. Assigned seating vs no assigned seating. Bag fees vs no bag fees. Contracted stations vs all WN employees.


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