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Topic: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: awacsooner
Posted 2013-08-26 00:57:41 and read 26977 times.

First of all, this thread is meant to discuss this article, not to start an all-out brawl at any specific airline (even though one is mentioned in the article):
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/24/wo...vel-is-not-what-it-used-to-be.html

I believe that it perfectly states both the economic state of affairs in the US airline industry post-bailout as well as the current mental state of the majority of customer service folks I have encountered over the past few years. The loss of services, the nickel and dime fees, the de-humanizing of customer service...to me, this is the proverbial "frog in the boiling water scenario." Ten years ago, if we would have been discussing all the changes that have come to the airlines with the fees and the diminishing services, most of us would have been completely and utterly enraged at any particular airline that would dare to take away such perks from us...akin to throwing the frog into boiling water to see him jump out. But instead, the airline industry has slowly "boiled us" with fuel fees, baggage fees, fees for credit cards, fees for phone tickets, fees for carry-ons, smaller planes, reduced frequencies, no more free snacks (or drinks on some carriers), etc.

I think the industry as a whole is a great case study in business ethics about how a business as a whole starts out by treating customers as friends and family and ends up treating them like a wallet with disposable income.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: jetblueguy22
Posted 2013-08-26 01:15:31 and read 26991 times.

Quoting awacsooner (Thread starter):
The loss of services, the nickel and dime fees, the de-humanizing of customer service...to me, this is the proverbial "frog in the boiling water scenario."

I disagree. Consumers can act and have. But they won't sacrifice price for perks.

Quoting awacsooner (Thread starter):
But instead, the airline industry has slowly "boiled us" with fuel fees, baggage fees, fees for credit cards, fees for phone tickets, fees for carry-ons, smaller planes, reduced frequencies, no more free snacks (or drinks on some carriers), etc.

The airlines have done most of this, which is pretty crazy. But I place a large part of the blame with the consumer. If Joe Schmo the business traveler would pay the 50 bucks extra to fly his airline of choice to PVD we wouldn't have this problem. Instead the consumer goes for the lowest fare they can find and books it. When they do that airlines need to find revenue from somewhere else. Baggage fees are great and mean they have less personnel and extra revenue. Credit card fees haven't been charged on the airlines I've flown recently. Phone charges make sense. This isn't 1984 anymore. Everybody has a link to the internet. I have three devices right now that can go and book a flight on any airline within reach. I think airlines should charge for phone ticketing because you are actually getting serviced by someone who is getting paid. Not a server in Idaho. That I don't blame them for. The carry on fees are limited to ULCCs who offer one way fares from 29 dollars. It's tough to complain about being charged another 30 bucks for carryon when your roundtrip ticket on Spirit was a third of what AA cost. Now the smaller planes I don't really buy. 5 years ago I would agree. But the 50 seat RJs are leaving in favor of larger regional jets. Frankly I'd rather take an E-170 over a 737 any day of the week. There is also no such thing as a free snack. You pay for it somewhere. If I have to forego my sip of coke and my 3 mini pretzels, so be it.

Quoting awacsooner (Thread starter):
I think the industry as a whole is a great case study in business ethics about how a business as a whole starts out by treating customers as friends and family and ends up treating them like a wallet with disposable income

So now the airlines are evil for treating everybody how every other business in the world treats people? Frankly we have to get the 1960s image of air travel out of our heads. It is gone. Yeah travel was hip and comfortable back in the day. But I'll take the safety we've gained in those decades along with the rudeness just fine. When you grow up in the northeast the rudeness becomes a part of daily life. The airlines are finally in a place where they are making money and doing well for themselves. They've matured and it was about time.
Pat

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-08-26 01:27:36 and read 26910 times.

Boo frickin hoo--passengers are getting exactly what they pay for. Everyone can start paying '60s era airfares, adjusted for inflation, and we'll go right back to those 'golden days' that were really never that golden to begin with.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: 777fan
Posted 2013-08-26 01:59:35 and read 26749 times.

Admittedly, I haven't yet read the article but would attribute some of the shift on passengers themselves. Flying used to be a "special" event during which people would dress appropriately, treat the crew with respect or even deference, and relish the opportunity to get from point A to point B in a comfortable, expedient manner. Step on a plane in the continental US these days and you'll often see just the opposite with passengers harboring an outwardly hostile attitude (i.e.: "I paid for this ticket, therefore you work for me") and an unrealistic expectations with regard to service. Part of it is no doubt the result of industry-wide pressures, but part is almost certainly (IMO) the result of the "dumbing-down" of American culture, and the erosion of basic manners, courtesy, and tact.

777fan

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: shufflemoomin
Posted 2013-08-26 02:33:17 and read 26610 times.

I find the process of flying in the US, and on US carriers, to be vastly different to that in Europe. An airport in the US, like a lot of other things there, has this culture of "fear". They're constantly reminding you of the "boogyman" and to be aware of it. Everyone is acting more like security guards than customer service agents. The border patrol with the black uniforms and the gun. Having your finger prints and picture taken by the man in the booth and and being asked serious questions and treated like you're under suspicion all the time. The TSA dressing (and acting) like police officers doesn't help. Even in the air, the flight attendants of taken on an air of superiority and are thinking and acting like they're the flying police force. Just about everyone I've dealt with in a US airport or in the air has forgotten that they're in the service industry. It's just not a nice experience. Last time I visited was from Copenhagen to Newark. The airport in CPH was a relaxed affair. The flight on SAS, despite being far from luxury, was also a relaxing experience. Then you arrive in Newark and the stress begins. I go out of my way to avoid US airlines and I look elsewhere for vacations now.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: usdcaguy
Posted 2013-08-26 03:17:31 and read 26428 times.

One of things that disappeared years ago was the opportunity to help the passenger directly when checking them in. Nowadays the passenger can do almost everything directly with the kiosk or the website. The fact that they have alternate flights at their fingertips puts them in charge. While I do not think the attitude of the flight attendants has changed significantly in the past 10-12 years, I find that many customer service agents are not courteous enough. They no longer defer to the passenger and instead brutally enforce airline policy no matter how it makes customers feel. There is no sense that rules are guidelines; everything is enforced, and if you get out line, you get yelled at. That's what happens when profit takes a seat above dignity.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: koruman
Posted 2013-08-26 03:44:51 and read 26286 times.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 1):
Consumers can act and have. But they won't sacrifice price for perks.

Yes and no.

The problem, to be frank, can be split into two halves:

1) The American consumer behaves like a European LCC consumer even if s/he is a legacy passenger. They are obsessed by lead-in price.

2) The legality of pseudo-monopoly practices in US aviation allows the legacy carriers to act in lockstep in terms of reducing amenities, so that no carrier is at a competitive disadvantage.

It is true that in Europe many passengers accept the no free bag / no free IFE / no catering product that American passengers do, but when they fly LCCs. The difference is that in the USA this appalling service level applies to even long-haul domestic flights (e.g. Hawaii) and is practised by legacy carriers.

In contrast, where I live in Australia the dominant domestic airline's tickets include luggage, AVOD, food and drink even in Economy Class, and the next competitor has elected to move upmarket to include more of these amenities so that it can raise its yields. As you would expect in any sane market, if the vendor reduces quality, the yield falls. Sadly this is not true in US aviation.

But most of the problem is the dysfunctional state of ticket sales. Instead of having four legacy carriers pitched at different market niches from full-service to no-frills, there are four legacy clones, differing only by the location of their hubs. And whereas in the rest of the world, First/Business class ticket sales are a massive profit driver (or else the cabins are removed), in the USA the legacy carriers have to comp access to their elites or else face a competitive disadvantage.

This absurd state of affairs has two sets of long-suffering victims. The first is the legacy airline passengers, who endure service standards beneath those offered by legacy carriers in places with similar sector lengths (Australia, South Africa, East Asia). Their lack of choice is evocative of consumers in the old Soviet Union. Again and again I hear "if you want a meal, buy a First Class ticket", which is like saying "no cars will have electric windows unless you buy a Mercedes". And the other victims are the shareholders, whose companies repeatedly sink into bankruptcy in this twisted, anti-competitive "market".

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-08-26 03:55:35 and read 26198 times.

Quoting koruman (Reply 6):
1) The American consumer behaves like a European LCC consumer even if s/he is a legacy passenger. They are obsessed by lead-in price.

It's not an American consumer behavior--it's a human behavior, and it is proven over, and over, all over the world.

Quoting koruman (Reply 6):
2) The legality of pseudo-monopoly practices in US aviation allows the legacy carriers to act in lockstep in terms of reducing amenities, so that no carrier is at a competitive disadvantage.

This is total nonsense. The most profitable carriers in the Americas now are G4, NK, and CM, all which have varying levels of amenties, down to zero.

Quoting koruman (Reply 6):
In contrast, where I live in Australia the dominant domestic airline's tickets include luggage, AVOD, food and drink even in Economy Class
JQ started serving meals for free? In any case Australian domestic capacity is largely controlled by two carriers; the QF group and VA control almost 90% of the domestic capacity, so competition isn't even within the same galaxy of the US. Do you know how many US carriers control 90% of the domestic capacity? At least eight. And QF continues to swap capacity out for JQ, probably because those darn Yankees are flooding the Australian market and demanding lower ticket prices right? 

[Edited 2013-08-26 04:04:24]

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: freakyrat
Posted 2013-08-26 04:44:02 and read 25996 times.

Airlines in the US also start routes and then sometimes do not charge the proper fares to make a decent yield even though they are filling the planes.

A LCC in the US which isn't so Low Cost anymore is WN. You buy your ticket and you know exactly what you are getting is basic transportation from point A to Point B. They are good at what they do and you are at least treated right.

I took two flights in Europe last year an BA and LH. Both were very good. One was on a Eurowings CRJ900 between AMS and HAM and back. Both flights they served light meals on.

The other flight on BA was between LHR and HAM and back and both flights on the A320 and A321 they served light meals on.

The BA crews were very attentive and the female flight attendants on BA were dressed in the retro look pillbox hats. I thought there whole look was very formal and very British. I actually liked it.

The Eurowings crews also were also very proper and formal.

I could just sense a direct contrast between the service in Europe as opposed to the US.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: swaluvfa
Posted 2013-08-26 05:51:30 and read 25721 times.

Quoting 777fan (Reply 3):

You so perfectly hit the nail on the head with that statement!


Another really simple reason for all of the change the last 15 years, is the dramatic shift in pricing power. Not saying that it was necessarily a bad thing, but very clear and apparent. Up until around 15 years ago, the airlines had the pricing power. The majority of consumers did not have access to internet booking, so they just had to go with the airline that they knew in their city, or call the different airlines to get the different fares. The airlines knew this, and could price the fares accordingly. As the internet boom took off in the late 90s and early 2000s, the pricing power VERY QUICKLY shifted from the airline to the consumer. The consumer consistently wanted the rock bottom, lowest fare, and the airlines HAD to be radical and drastic to meet this new reality of pricing. Again, was this a bad thing, NO, but you get what you ask for and pay for.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: Coronado
Posted 2013-08-26 06:07:26 and read 25631 times.

I think long haul flight is up.
What has changed is a the dramatic reduction in short haul flying.
Years ago it was common for a businessperson to fly from DTW to ORD or MDW, but the hassles of having to be at the airport so early for security, the grossly inflated block times because of ATC delays, and the cost of transportation at the Chicago end means I know a lot of people who used to fly but now drive 4 hours each way. Frankly I found myself often driving from Minneapolis to Chicago. The 7 hour drive time door to door especially when my first appointments were going to be in the far northern suburbs did not seem bad compared to an effective travel time of 4 1/2 hours by air (from time I had to leave the house to the time I checked into a hotel in Deerfield IL.

I had another friend who similarly stopped flying on his frequent trips to Indianapolis from DTW. He lives in Ann Arbor and found it just as fast or faster to just get in the car and drive.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: incitatus
Posted 2013-08-26 06:20:00 and read 25511 times.

Quoting koruman (Reply 6):
2) The legality of pseudo-monopoly practices in US aviation allows the legacy carriers to act in lockstep in terms of reducing amenities, so that no carrier is at a competitive disadvantage.

I would expect practices called "pseudo-monopoly" to lead to pseudo-monopoly profits. Where are they?

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: questions
Posted 2013-08-26 06:30:30 and read 25271 times.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 1):
But I place a large part of the blame with the consumer. If Joe Schmo the business traveler would pay the 50 bucks extra to fly his airline of choice to PVD we wouldn't have this problem. Instead the consumer goes for the lowest fare they can find and books it.
Quoting koruman (Reply 6):
The American consumer behaves like a European LCC consumer even if s/he is a legacy passenger. They are obsessed by lead-in price.
Quoting swaluvfa (Reply 9):
The majority of consumers did not have access to internet booking, so they just had to go with the airline that they knew in their city, or call the different airlines to get the different fares. The airlines knew this, and could price the fares accordingly. As the internet boom took off in the late 90s and early 2000s, the pricing power VERY QUICKLY shifted from the airline to the consumer. The consumer consistently wanted the rock bottom, lowest fare, and the airlines HAD to be radical and drastic to meet this new reality of pricing.

But who is the "consumer"... the flyers or the corporations purchasing the tickets for flyers. A lot of corporate travel policies require the employee to book the lowest fares and exception reports point out those who do not.

Quoting awacsooner (Thread starter):
the US airline industry... baggage fees, fees for credit cards, fees for phone tickets...

Didn't Air Canada go before US legacy carriers in implementing these pricing models... or "unbundling of services"?

Quoting 777fan (Reply 3):
Flying used to be a "special" event during which people would dress appropriately, treat the crew with respect or even deference, and relish the opportunity to get from point A to point B in a comfortable, expedient manner.

Air travel for a lot of folks today is about commuting to work and is therefore more of a necessity.

Quoting 777fan (Reply 3):
but part is almost certainly (IMO) the result of the "dumbing-down" of American culture, and the erosion of basic manners, courtesy, and tact.

Absolutely agree. Very me-me-me vs the rest of the world.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: DTW2HYD
Posted 2013-08-26 06:38:55 and read 25138 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 7):
The most profitable carriers in the Americas now are G4, NK, and CM, all which have varying levels of amenities, down to zero.

Agreed but why should legacies compare themselves with LCCs? Shouldn't they offer a better all inclusive Y class at a higher price to a segment of passengers who are ready to pay more for better product. Or else re-launch as LCC. They want to be called legacies, want to offer LCC product, yet cannot make profits.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-08-26 06:44:29 and read 25013 times.

Quoting DTW2HYD (Reply 13):
a segment of passengers who are ready to pay more for better product

If there was such an animal, it would have been discovered by now.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: ItalianFlyer
Posted 2013-08-26 06:58:02 and read 24746 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 14):
Quoting DTW2HYD (Reply 13):
a segment of passengers who are ready to pay more for better product

If there was such an animal, it would have been discovered by now.

Just look at Virgin America to see how well that has worked out lol.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: DTW2HYD
Posted 2013-08-26 07:03:35 and read 24598 times.

Quoting ItalianFlyer (Reply 15):
Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 14):
Quoting DTW2HYD (Reply 13):
a segment of passengers who are ready to pay more for better product

If there was such an animal, it would have been discovered by now.

Just look at Virgin America to see how well that has worked out lol.

I guess race to bottom is the only option.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: questions
Posted 2013-08-26 07:05:08 and read 24544 times.

But there are a lot of positive trade-offs that people would not want to give up to go back to those glamourous days of the golden age of flying.

1. Having to call several airlines or a travel agent who you may not know whether or not they are doing a thorough job in providing the best routing and pricing. I think most would prefer to have all the information at their finger tips to make a better ticket purchasing decision -- which contrary to popular belief can be driven by other things, such as better routing

2. Walking into an airline terminal and having to stand in line for 45 minutes to check-in and get a boarding pass. I think most would prefer to do this at home/office, on a mobile device, or at a kiosk

3. Limited food options in terminals past security. Hot dogs, popcorn anyone? While some may want to romanticize inflight meals they were never really that good. US airlines doing away with them has led to better options in most terminals to eat before hand or bring on board

4. Having to hold onto that paper ticket. Who would want to have to do that again?

Yes, we all miss 2-4-3 seating on the B747... the standard 34" seat pitch... young, thin, immaculate FA's in go go boots. But would we really want to go back to those days and give up the advances we have today??

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: airbazar
Posted 2013-08-26 07:15:34 and read 24355 times.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 1):
Instead the consumer goes for the lowest fare they can find and books it. When they do that airlines need to find revenue from somewhere else.

The "lowest fare" is supplied by the airline. The consumer does not dictate what the fare is. The airline does. So if the airline can't make a profit with X fare while providing a decent service, then they should raise it to the amount necessary. I always stated and will continue to state this: The race to the bottom affords only short term gains which benefit only the airline executives and Wallstreet. In the long run it will drive away passengers, destroy jobs, and invite more government regulation which in trerm will make things even worse. The fuel surcharge is a perfect example of this lunacy. The airfare is supposed to cover the cost of transporting the passenger. Does that not include fuel?

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: Mats
Posted 2013-08-26 07:19:01 and read 24287 times.

There are many aspects of American air travel that work:
1. It's safe; in fact, it's incredibly safe.

2. Although it's rarely a bargain, airfares in the US are often affordable, even if one tacks on ancillary fees. With the addition of Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, ITA, and others, the system is now more transparent than ever.

3. You can fly just about anywhere in the US. Some airports have monopolies, making them more expensive, but we have the country very well covered. International hubs are bigger and easier. If planned correctly, one no longer has to claim bags, recheck with another carrier, re-clear security, etc. to go from domestic to international flights.

4. There is variation among carriers, but we have web sites and mobile applications that make the process simpler. We no longer have to call and wait fora person to answer and tell us if a flight is on time.

5. Frequent flyer programs, despite their devaluation and other frustrations, are real. The airlines really do reward loyalty with free tickets every day. They're not "free" in the grand scheme of things, but it's a real and often useful system.

6. Legislators support the flying public in many ways. Delays and baggage fees have caught the attention of Congress.

And here's what isn't working:
1. It's packed. Planes are smaller, and there is little room for error. The agent might want to put you on the next flight, but it's full. So is the next flight. So is the next flight, and so is the next flight after that.

2. Delays at major hubs (La Guardia, Newark, San Francisco) are brutal. These delays have always been there, but now there isn't any "wiggle room." There is no other flight, no other airline, nothing to do but wait.

3. The TSA. The only thing that has improved has been the introduction of PreCheck and the removal of most full-body x-ray equipment. In my view, they are the greatest disruption to the flying experience.

4. Outsourcing. The agents at a desk might not be able to help because they don't work for the airline you're flying. These are often kind, helpful people, but they work for someone else.

5. Nickel-and-diming. I've only paid a baggage fee once in my life (on the defunct PLUNA), but I think it's unfair. Unfortunately, it's been a financial boon to airlines with low margins. Paying for add-ons really bothers customers, especially when it means that the airline over-promises and under-delivers. It's even more appalling when one has an expensive ticket. I was shocked that I bought a revenue first class domestic ticket on US Airways, and they wanted extra money for me to choose an aisle seat.

Savvy travelers can use credit cards to skip bag fees, but it's an imperfect system. Airline food has been a problem for decades, but I still struggle with the idea of "a la carte" pricing for flights from--say--Dulles to Honolulu. Kudos to Hawaiian Airlines for toughing it out and providing complimentary meals. First class suffers too. The food may be complimentary, but have you seen what and how US Airways serves on transcons?

6. The clubs are sad. Free WiFi and usually clean bathrooms make them worthwhile. But they're often over-crowded, over-priced, with weak coffee and nothing to eat. At $400-500 per year, the airlines can do a lot better.

My own advice to travelers is as follows:

1. Passengers should have low expectations. Delays happen. They're awful, and they're nothing new. Bags get lost, flights get overbooked. These are all familiar, they're just a really awful part of life. Anger doesn't solve the situation. If there is no plane or no crew, it's not helpful to scream at the gate agent. He or she is powerless too.

2. Plan as carefully as possible. Avoid very tight connections or a 5:00 pm out of a New York airport.

3. Pay up. It's hard to do this in tough economic times, but it can be really worth it to fork over money for premium economy, WiFi, or other amenities that might make the trip more bearable.

4. Loyalty matters, like it or not. The airlines really do stratify people based on their loyalty and credit card status. If one flies enough, it's worth sticking to a single carrier or alliance, getting the credit card (usually less than $100) to make life easier. It's helped me enormously. Sometimes I'm ticked off at United, but they tend to be a lot nicer to me when problems happen.

5. Look out the window. It's still amazing.

6. Wear your seatbelt. Everyone is so busy worrying about terrorism that they're in a rush to display their shoes to the TSA. If one looks at the data, the number one source of injury is an unfastened seatbelt. Yes, I know, sometimes the sign is illuminated for too long, sometimes it makes no sense, sometimes crews are overly vigilant or indifferent. Take some responsibility and buckle up.

7. Don't get drunk.

8. Get earplugs or noise-cancelling headsets. Babies are going to be crying; they cant help it (they're babies.) Parents can try every trick in the book, and the kids will still scream. So get a tablet or iPod, some noise-cancelling headsets, and drown them out.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: AT
Posted 2013-08-26 07:20:16 and read 24261 times.

I would also partly "blame" the internet for this. As more and more of the flying process becomes automated, the human contact progressively decreases.

A woman sitting next to me on a flight several years ago, whose calls on the flight attendant button went repeatedly unanswered said to me something I have not forgotten: when it comes to safety needs, it's the passenger's job to listen to the crew. But when it concerns comfort needs, it's equally the crew's job to listen to the passenger. By and large airlines seem to do this pretty well.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: Flighty
Posted 2013-08-26 07:40:00 and read 23961 times.

Outfits like the NYT and NPR are called "bleeding hearts" because it describes their mindset about all situations and all topics.

In 1999, tickets were "too expensive" which "hurt poor Americans."

In 2002-2008, airlines had over-capacity that "decimated blue collar airline worker pensions and jobs." (And had record affordable ticket prices... but never mind that).

In 2009-2013, one certainly struggles to locate bad news in the airline sector. Despite overall improved comfort, reliability and job security for workers... now BAG FEES result in "an ineffable, overall decline" and "malaise" in the minds of upper middle class, hyper literate airline travel journalists.

NYT/NPR are where sour puss things are discussed. Nothing new.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: rotating14
Posted 2013-08-26 07:41:47 and read 23934 times.

Quoting AT (Reply 20):
I would also partly "blame" the internet for this. As more and more of the flying process becomes automated, the human contact progressively decreases.

Internet, automation and the icing? Convenience. As the saying goes, we all like water and follow the path of least resistance. Those, like most, looking for the best possible price go to sites (Expedia, Orbitz, Hotwire, Cheaptickets, etc) where the work is already done and packaged for you, all one has to do is buy and fly. Who wants to go through the trouble of booking and shopping different airlines for the best deal?

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: questions
Posted 2013-08-26 07:52:42 and read 23705 times.

Quoting Mats (Reply 19):
My own advice to travelers is as follows:

9. Never expect an airline to take care of you when things go wrong.

10. ALWAYS have a Plan B. Educate yourself about where you are going, how you are getting there, and options. You can only depend on you.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: ATLTPA
Posted 2013-08-26 07:56:58 and read 23646 times.

I think it is reasonable for all fliers to expect courteous, friendly service at any price point paid, no matter the extras or upsells they've gone for.

That seems to be missing out there--or at least in my frequent travels. I run into a lot of rudeness towards passengers on the part of all-too-many airline employees. That shouldn't be (I don't even see that at McDonald's). Never mind the fact that I am a good and loyal customer of the airline I use.

I agree with the consensus here that most airline passengers book based on price alone, making this process of upselling almost compulsory if the airlines are to make profits. Interesting that the consumer is so hyper aware of pricing on gasoline and airline tickets like no other segments of retailing.

ATLTPA

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-26 07:57:45 and read 24284 times.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 1):
Phone charges make sense. This isn't 1984 anymore. Everybody has a link to the internet.

Until we have the same power and flexibility as a phone agent, this is a complete nonstarter.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 1):
But I'll take the safety we've gained in those decades along with the rudeness just fine. When you grow up in the northeast the rudeness becomes a part of daily life.

This is just sad. There is no excuse for rudeness ever. Rudeness is a personal failing on an individuals part, because they can't get over themselves. It's an outward manifestation of selfishness.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: DCA-ROCguy
Posted 2013-08-26 08:03:39 and read 24152 times.

This article is one person's musings on a few experiences with one airline. I wouldn't give it much credence.

Air travel gives me exactly what I want: reliable, safe access from point A to point B. Just a little planning effort makes it remarkably unlikely that you'll have a big delay or other problem. As noted above, don't book through a NYC-area airport at 5pm. I mostly fly WN, so I rarely have to deal with bag fees. And BWI and MDW are not, in my experience-congestion-prone hubs. Do delays happen sometimes, even there? Yes. But that's life.

I want terminals to work. It's great if they're beautiful, like YVR for instance, but function at reasonable cost matters most. So what if LAX is an ugly airport, for instance. It works extremely well, you're all just squeezed in tightly, that's all. Just like the planes on the apron there are.   And as long as there's decent food in the terminal, just give me something to drink on the plane. Most airports I visit have very good or at least acceptable food options nowadays.

Airline CSR's and FA's have been consistently professional and helpful in my many travels this year. Including a recent YVR-ORD-DCA on United, and ORD-ROC on UA last fall. The article writer's experiences with United aren't like mine.

I'm not convinced fares need to be as high as they are now for airlines to make money--there are always improvements that can be made. But the deregulated system has by and large produced much greater access and value for more travelers.

Jim

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: justloveplanes
Posted 2013-08-26 08:21:40 and read 24094 times.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 1):
Quoting awacsooner (Thread starter):
The loss of services, the nickel and dime fees, the de-humanizing of customer service...to me, this is the proverbial "frog in the boiling water scenario."

I disagree. Consumers can act and have. But they won't sacrifice price for perks.
Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 1):
The airlines have done most of this, which is pretty crazy. But I place a large part of the blame with the consumer. If Joe Schmo the business traveler would pay the 50 bucks extra to fly his airline of choice to PVD we wouldn't have this problem. Instead the consumer goes for the lowest fare they can find and books it.

Have to agree with this and all like sentiments. The race to the bottom for airlines are driven by Orbitz and Expedia and by the numbers pricing, vice a travel agent in person that can educate a consumer on why to pay a few bucks more for better service.

To be clear, I believe legacy airlines were brought kicking and screaming into this nickel and dime world by LCC's and web shopping. CO was the last holdout. The airline infrastructure to support the previous model now turned these same airlines towards bankruptcy.

Not that this is all bad. A business class ticket probably is cheaper today, adjusted for inflation, than a full fare economy ticket in years past. The nickel and diming and reduced service (with accompanying reduced pricing) has also opened the world to air travel and been an enormous social benefit.

If you miss the old days, buy a business class ticket.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: charlienorth
Posted 2013-08-26 08:24:37 and read 23998 times.

People wanted cheap seats and they got cheap seats...get over it people...shut off and fly

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: peanuts
Posted 2013-08-26 08:27:38 and read 24049 times.

Quoting awacsooner (Thread starter):
this thread is meant to discuss this article

Ok.Let's discuss:
What an elitist presumptuous load of you know what.
When done reading you ask yourself: ok, what did this accomplish?
Basically it boils down to this: certain people on a particular side of the political aisle want their cake and eat it too.

Let's talk about the banking industry and their shortcomings...  

[Edited 2013-08-26 08:28:45]

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: n505fx
Posted 2013-08-26 08:35:18 and read 23785 times.

There are a couple of things that are also being overlooked here - and it goes back to the consumer themselves, so people just have to own the outcome of their decisions:

1) The American public voted in the administration that gave us deregulation - you like pre-1978 levels of air service - tough, YOU America, voted the wrong people in to office - live with your choices

2) More that 20% of your airline ticket is comprised of taxes that the airline can't disclose to you - you don't like it America? Tough - you put an administration in place that wants to tax energy, security, and infrastructure use as quasi luxury, deal with your choice America.

3) You don't like surly union protected employees? Well, there are probably a good chunk of people complaining that are union members, and another good chunk that voted administrations in to office that strengthen unions at airlines - live with your choices America

4) AIrlines nickel and dimeing you so they can eek out couple % point profit? Well, get used to it America - costs kep on rising - Obamacare sounded like a fabulous idea until real adults, that run real companies started talking about the impact - like the $100,000,000 hit DL will take or the $60,000,000 hit UPS will take annually...it was your choice America...suck it up and live with your decision

5) Long disclaimers and legalese for destroyed bags and other service exemptions? Well, as the most litigious nation on earth, you get what you deserve, lazy, suing Americans. You reap what you sew.

Do you think companies wake up in the morning and say "hey there is growth in driving customers away"? No, they wake up and say "how do we provide a service to as many people as possible with all of this crap that has put on us, by the same people we are supposed to serve?"

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: yellowtail
Posted 2013-08-26 08:40:17 and read 23700 times.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 1):
Phone charges make sense. This isn't 1984 anymore. Everybody has a link to the internet.

Except that sometimes a problem takes 30 seconds to solve via the phone, yet days of back and forth via email. Less personnel time if the customer uses the phone.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: frmrCapCadet
Posted 2013-08-26 08:56:30 and read 23405 times.

A single thing that would make the most improvement is assigning bins to seats. I understand that there may not be enough bins, those passengers either get lower price seats, free gate check or check-in of a carryon size bag. This would end a lot of hassle and might even speed up loading and unloading. Another advantage is that it would be self policing. People bringing in oversize carryon(s) would infringe in someone else's assigned place - and be invited to pay for another baggage check.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: airbazar
Posted 2013-08-26 09:29:03 and read 22833 times.

Quoting Mats (Reply 19):
2. Although it's rarely a bargain, airfares in the US are often affordable, even if one tacks on ancillary fees. With the addition of Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, ITA, and others, the system is now more transparent than ever.

None sense. Those web sites can only sell the tickets at the fares the airlines make available, or they lose money on it. So it starts with the airlines making available unrealisticly cheap fares which they then compensate for with ancilary fees. And that's to say nothing about the fact that Orbitz was created by legacy carriers: Continental, United, Delta, Northwest.

Quoting charlienorth (Reply 28):
People wanted cheap seats and they got cheap seats...get over it people...shut off and fly

Can you prove that the fares inclusive of ancilary fees, at legacy carriers are lower today than they were 10 years ago? I think you will be surprised by the results.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: chrisnh
Posted 2013-08-26 09:38:36 and read 22669 times.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 1):
I disagree. Consumers can act and have. But they won't sacrifice price for perks.

I agree. I'm not looking at the air-fare choices for my October trip to London from Boston, wondering whether the steak and chicken will be better if I go with BA versus Aer Lingus through Dublin.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: DTWPurserBoy
Posted 2013-08-26 09:42:44 and read 22622 times.

Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 32):
A single thing that would make the most improvement is assigning bins to seats.

This is a non-starter from a technical point of view. It would be totally unenforceable. We would have fist fights in the aisles, flight attendants coming totally unhinged and huge delays.

IMHO what it all boils down to is that we are the victims of our own success. We have perfected air travel to the point that it is the everyman method of movement instead of the family car (GOD how I hated those car trips in the late 50's and early 60's with no a/c and 4 fighting siblings!). It would help if people were just a tad more patient, treated each other with respect (like when I ask you to move from one aisle seat to the same seat on the other side so a parent and child can sit together and you tell me "NO!"). All it takes is one person--passenger, crew or agent--to screw up the whole transaction.

We have to come together in some sort of compromise to make what is already a bad system that is going to get worse continue to work. Everyone complains that airports are overcrowded but then they vote down the bond money to build new terminals. Municipalities hesitate to use eminent domain to expand existing facilities because it is politically unpopular. Several American cities need whole new airports--Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, Boston, Atlanta and New York come to mind. But then the "NIMBY" thing sets in--"Not In MY Backyard."

What we need is a blue-ribbon panel to examine the problems and come up with a realistic master plan for air transportation that will take us to the end of the century. We need an updated ATC system, new airports that can sustain growth for decades to come and a better system for handling 21st century security concerns. It is a tough order. But what choice do we have? We cannot continue on as we are right now for very much longer. We are rapidly approaching total gridlock.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: n505fx
Posted 2013-08-26 09:46:23 and read 22507 times.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 33):
lower today than they were 10 years ago?

10 years ago in certain markets, adjusted for inflation...iffy....but everyone seems to be comparing service today to service pre-deregulation...in that case, absolutely.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: osubuckeyes
Posted 2013-08-26 09:54:52 and read 22373 times.

I think this article is kind of pointless, but I would say here are my thoughts on the subject.

Legacy carriers generally do not put the customer first unless there is an elite status attached to their name or that has definitely been my experience.

If all people want just price then the current proliferation of ULCCs will have a major impact on legacy carriers.

I think that people want value over price to a large degree. For me I am 6'4" and I find 29" pitch completely unacceptable at any price. Add to that, I'm paying for every little thing it gives me the impression of feeling cheated as a customer.

I think if airlines could get people from A to B with little hassle, on time, and decent service 95% of people would be more than happy with a reasonable fare.

Recently in the industry passengers have to pay a fee for everything even on the legacies, and as record profits are ensuing along with major base fare increases. I think there have to be some questions asked to the airlines as to whether treating the customers as a dollar sign is the right move.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: kgaiflyer
Posted 2013-08-26 09:59:50 and read 22275 times.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 1):
But I place a large part of the blame with the consumer. If Joe Schmo the business traveler would pay the 50 bucks extra to fly his airline of choice to PVD we wouldn't have this problem. Instead the consumer goes for the lowest fare they can find and books it.

In what textbook is capitalism described as an economic system in which the consumer demands
higher prices than asked by the seller?

Reductionist thinking never solved a problem.   

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: kgaiflyer
Posted 2013-08-26 10:13:15 and read 21996 times.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 33):
None sense. Those web sites can only sell the tickets at the fares the airlines make available, or they lose money on it. So it starts with the airlines making available unrealisticly cheap fares which they then compensate for with ancilary fees. And that's to say nothing about the fact that Orbitz was created by legacy carriers: Continental, United, Delta, Northwest.

It helps solve the problem when one admits that the airlines themselves are actually part of the problem.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-08-26 10:19:30 and read 21924 times.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 21):

In 1999, tickets were "too expensive" which "hurt poor Americans."

Quite frankly, even back that far, I doubt if very many "poor" Americans were travelling by air.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 25):
This is just sad. There is no excuse for rudeness ever. Rudeness is a personal failing on an individuals part, because they can't get over themselves. It's an outward manifestation of selfishness.

Of course, the door swings both ways.........the rudeness and attitude of pax needs to be rectified, too. Yes, we know it's a "service" economy, now, but the consumer doesn't need to bludgeon the employees with that fact to get a better attitude out of them.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: hohd
Posted 2013-08-26 10:32:46 and read 21694 times.

Someone mentioned credit card fees. I predict this will be next thing in US among major carriers (except Southwest ofcourse) where they will begin adding surcharges, especially to non preferred credit cards. It is already happening, Spirit and Allegiant charge extra for credit card processing.

Now come to think of it, why should a cash/check or debit card paying customers "subsidize" a non-preferred credit card customer ?? This is the same line of thinking for those who want free baggage allowance.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: airbazar
Posted 2013-08-26 10:39:06 and read 21596 times.

Quoting n505fx (Reply 36):
10 years ago in certain markets, adjusted for inflation...iffy....but everyone seems to be comparing service today to service pre-deregulation...in that case, absolutely.

But that's and apples and oranges comparison and and absolutely ridiculos comparison for anyone with at least some basic inteligence. You can't compare a government regulated industry with a non-regulated industry. A fair comparison is within the post deregulation era only, and there is no doubt that post deregulation the cost or air travel has been going up and continues to go up. There's a reason why the government wants to prevent the US-AA merger. It's significantly more expensive to fly today than it was 10 or 20 years ago. Heck, 15 years ago I flew from BOS to London for $99 all inclusive (I have the ticket receipt to prove it). Today it will cost you no less than $350 in the off season. Heck, the fuel surcharge alone will cost more than that today. That's a 250%(?) increase. Where I live that is not the cost of inflation.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-26 10:40:27 and read 21554 times.

Quoting chrisnh (Reply 34):
I'm not looking at the air-fare choices for my October trip to London from Boston, wondering whether the steak and chicken will be better if I go with BA versus Aer Lingus through Dublin.

Yeah, but I would. Which is just the same anecdotal evidence you just gave.

Sidenote, who would actively choose Aer Lingus + a stop? Yikes.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: catiii
Posted 2013-08-26 11:02:14 and read 21230 times.

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 35):
We would have fist fights in the aisles, flight attendants coming totally unhinged and huge delays.

We have 2 out of the 3 now, and you think assigning overhead space is going to be the tipping point? Come on...

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: ozark1
Posted 2013-08-26 11:12:23 and read 21163 times.

Quoting 777fan (Reply 3):
Admittedly, I haven't yet read the article but would attribute some of the shift on passengers themselves. Flying used to be a "special" event during which people would dress appropriately, treat the crew with respect or even deference, and relish the opportunity to get from point A to point B in a comfortable, expedient manner. Step on a plane in the continental US these days and you'll often see just the opposite with passengers harboring an outwardly hostile attitude (i.e.: "I paid for this ticket, therefore you work for me") and an unrealistic expectations with regard to service. Part of it is no doubt the result of industry-wide pressures, but part is almost certainly (IMO) the result of the "dumbing-down" of American culture, and the erosion of basic manners, courtesy, and tact.

Oh my goodness you have got it DOWN! You are completely spot on. It is the decline of our culture as a whole, due to the fact that there are just so many people!!! Everyone is self-absorbed in their electronic device. It's about manners, it's about "please" and "thank you". I really feel sorry for any agent with any airline. I don't know how they continually put up with the stuff they have to deal with. I understand why they become unsmiling and robotic. Anyone would after awhile.
I'm lucky, as a flight attendant, I at least get them after they have had to deal with all the chaos in the terminal.
People treat you a bit better once they get on the plane and we are in the air. But, then, I am the one who deals with delays on the ground, diversions due to weather, etc.
I'm from the old school. I'm courteous and try to be as empathetic as I possibly can. This sounds corny but it's the Golden Rule thing.
I blame a lot of it on social media. Cell Phones, in my opinion, began a kind of etiquette plunge. I greet people upon boarding and I have to determine if they are talking loudly to me, or usually as it turns out, to whoever is on the other end of the phone, which is hidden in their ear.
I remember one time I was working a trip from OMA to DFW. We had to divert to GGG due to not enough fuel with thunderstorms in the area.. On the ground in GGG, I went through the cabin and offered my cell phone for anyone to make a call who didn't have one. A female passenger motioned me over and yelled "I am on the phone with my friend and she says it is clear in Dallas! Stop lying to us!" It was, indeed, clear in Dallas, but storms along the route had caused us to go low on fuel due to the re-routing we were required to take. I tried to explain, but she wasn't having any of it.
I think the article is completely accurate. It's a very sad result of a once proud and highly respected industry.
I do not blame the passengers (as the large majority are still very nice), and I do not blame the airlines. I blame society as a whole.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: 01pewterz28
Posted 2013-08-26 11:46:44 and read 20643 times.

Really what has changed for the airlines we know they are making money, we know costs are lower than they were back before 9/11 how do me know simple employee wages are far less than they were before 9/11 and they have not gotten any better, sure fuel might be up so we never had so many fees.

What did we get and have before 9/11

-No checked bag fees
-Free Meals
-no fees to upgrade to a window seat or aisle seat
-Much lower fees to change a ticket
-We had paper tickets
-Employee pay was much higher than today and at most carriers 30% -40% less
-More flights, and less fuel efficient aircraft.
-Fares were lower
-More airlines to serve passengers

What we get now and have after 9/11
- Employees making 30-40% less than before 9/11
- Pay for a Window/aisle seat
- Pay for Priority boarding
- Pay for a bag, 1, 2, 3, 4, ect…..
- No free meals
- Pay for BOB meals
- Pay for a paper ticket
- Less flights, smaller aircraft, and MORE fuel efficient aircraft
- -Fares are higher
- Fewer airlines to serve passengers

Bottom line is the airlines used 9/11 as a scape goat and they continue to say they still suffer from 9/11 saying the cost of operating are much higher even though they are making more money on top of the fees they charge that we never had before. The way the airlines see it “Less is More”.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: manny
Posted 2013-08-26 11:50:59 and read 20611 times.

Not surprised. I know a lot of people who would rather drive 6-7 hours whereas before they would fly. Even for trips from Denver-Chicago(12-15 hours) i know people with families who prefer to drive. Most of the gripes are about the hassle of traveling like the TSA which i know is not the airlines' fault. But the nickel diming by the airlines every part of the way plays a huge role as well.

Now i know this is anecdotal evidence but if a lot of people are doing this then it adds up!

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: catiii
Posted 2013-08-26 12:12:00 and read 20339 times.

Quoting 01pewterz28 (Reply 47):
- -Fares are highe

They are? What data are you using to back that up?

Quoting 01pewterz28 (Reply 47):
Bottom line is the airlines used 9/11 as a scape goat and they continue to say they still suffer from 9/11 saying the cost of operating are much higher even though they are making more money on top of the fees they charge that we never had before. The way the airlines see it “Less is More”.

Hold on, your contention is that an event that shook the industry to its core and fundamentally changed the way not only airlines, but the country, acts is a "scape goat?" Really? Wow...

With regards to costs being higher, the simple fact is that they are. Go look at the price of oil from that time frame vs. now. Look at the costs related to security, including additional government imposes taxes on airline tickets post 9/11 that hinder an airline's pricing power in a certain market.

[Edited 2013-08-26 13:00:32]

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: ozark1
Posted 2013-08-26 13:12:56 and read 19499 times.

Quoting manny (Reply 48):
Not surprised. I know a lot of people who would rather drive 6-7 hours whereas before they would fly. Even for trips from Denver-Chicago(12-15 hours)

Yeah, and what are they paying for gas on a trip like that? About $3.75 a gallon. So I would guess that is why people don't do more of that. So, the last time I looked, oil was $107 a barrel. Yet , IMHO, the majority of people don't grasp how much this affects an airline. How the heck are they supposed to be able to stay in business unless they charge for a lot of things?
A BARREL OF OIL COST $2 TO $3 in 1970!

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: n505fx
Posted 2013-08-26 13:14:23 and read 19476 times.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 42):
It's significantly more expensive to fly today than it was 10 or 20 years ago. Heck, 15 years ago I flew from BOS to London for $99 all inclusive (I have the ticket receipt to prove it). Today it will cost you no less than $350 in the off season.

Yep - and every single airline that sold you that $99 ticket, went bankrupt...so there you have it.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: seeburg220
Posted 2013-08-26 13:27:56 and read 19203 times.

I'm through flying. Both the airlines and consumers ruined it for me. The airlines ruined it by cutting each other's throats since de-regulation. That has resulted in more fees, less pay for workers, smaller (read fuel-efficient) and uncomfortable aircraft. The consumer has ruined it by buying the cheapest ticket and continually accepting the consequences of that action: a degradation in overall service and experience. Along with that, as mentioned earlier, people wearing nasty clothing, unkempt appearances (nice tramp stamp, lady), rude behavior and the desire to fly way more often now, than in the 60's and 70's - mainly due to the affordability of it today.

Of course, fuel prices are the main expense today for operating an airline - something that is different than from the Golden Age of flying. That's the one variable that is slow-to-impossible to change for the better, so perhaps it is the main reason for it all.

In any case, it's just no longer something I want to put myself through. At least I have good memories as a kid in the 70's, when Mom and Dad made us boys put on our Sears Best and douse our hair with Vitalis, before stepping onto a brand new Delta 747 at DFW bound for LAX (and a spanking-new L-1011 on the way back). Or the many trips on Braniff Flying Colors 727's, when the Captain would let my brother and I take photos of the cockpit (at the gate of course) with our Kodak Instamatic cameras. Yep, just a memory now...

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: ozark1
Posted 2013-08-26 13:28:03 and read 19136 times.

I forgot to add something I just read. Jet fuel is currently $127.95 a barrel. Ok, time for an expert again. How many gallons in a barrel? Approximately how many gallons does it take to fill an MD-80 going from DFW-ORD, for example?

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: catiii
Posted 2013-08-26 13:45:48 and read 18875 times.

Quoting seeburg220 (Reply 52):
Or the many trips on Braniff Flying Colors 727's, when the Captain would let my brother and I take photos of the cockpit (at the gate of course) with our Kodak Instamatic cameras. Yep, just a memory now...

Pretty much any Captain will do the same with any kid now...

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: manny
Posted 2013-08-26 13:50:42 and read 18773 times.

Quoting ozark1 (Reply 50):
Yeah, and what are they paying for gas on a trip like that? About $3.75 a gallon. So I would guess that is why people don't do more of that. So, the last time I looked, oil was $107 a barrel. Yet , IMHO, the majority of people don't grasp how much this affects an airline. How the heck are they supposed to be able to stay in business unless they charge for a lot of things?
A BARREL OF OIL COST $2 TO $3 in 1970!

Its not the entirely the matter of cost but the amount of hassle once has to go through.

And airlines have made HUGE revenue gains will all kinds of fees and charges that did not exist a decade ago which has translated to HUGE profits!

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mariner
Posted 2013-08-26 13:57:07 and read 18701 times.

Quoting peanuts (Reply 29):
What an elitist presumptuous load of you know what.

Best line in the whole thread.

Quoting ozark1 (Reply 46):
A female passenger motioned me over and yelled "I am on the phone with my friend and she says it is clear in Dallas! Stop lying to us!"

Hate to break it to you but I've been flying decades longer than most of you have been alive and there were always a**hole passengers.

Anyone these days can have what we had, the the same way that we got it then - by paying for it.

mariner

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: kgaiflyer
Posted 2013-08-26 14:00:29 and read 18665 times.

Quoting catiii (Reply 54):
Pretty much any Captain will do the same with any kid now...

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the Pre-TSA line at DCA. The person in front of me was a DL captain. He chatted me up, asking where I was going. I told him, "To Miami by way of Houston." He chuckled and asked if I got a good fare (which I did). He then--off the top of his head--gave me some tip and routings that would match that fare on his airline.

It reminded me that everyone -- even down to the secretarial pool -- is responsible for company revenue.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-08-26 14:01:55 and read 18661 times.

Quoting seeburg220 (Reply 52):
before stepping onto a brand new Delta 747 at DFW bound for LAX (and a spanking-new L-1011 on the way back).

Just an FYI......if you were on a brand new DL 747, it would have been '70 or '71........DL didn't take delivery of any Tristars until '74, at least.

Quoting ozark1 (Reply 53):
How many gallons in a barrel?

Probably, but don't forget, that amount is different once it's refined.

Quoting manny (Reply 55):
And airlines have made HUGE revenue gains will all kinds of fees and charges that did not exist a decade ago which has translated to HUGE profits!

Yes, finally the airlines are making profits more in line with other corporations. Before, if they had a 2% profit margin, they were happy.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: TheRedBaron
Posted 2013-08-26 14:06:07 and read 18537 times.

Quoting koruman (Reply 6):
there are four legacy clones, differing only by the location of their hubs.

So choice is minimal and the product the same.

Quoting koruman (Reply 6):
Their lack of choice is evocative of consumers in the old Soviet Union.

I was thinking the same, you could repaint all them in 70 era aeroflot color and we would be set to go.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 14):
If there was such an animal, it would have been discovered by now.

Non cheapo consumers exist, but the system now is designed to catter to the lowest bidder.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 18):
The fuel surcharge is a perfect example of this lunacy. The airfare is supposed to cover the cost of transporting the passenger. Does that not include fuel?

If this continue, and you fly in a 787 they will announce " Since you are all cheapos, we won't bring cabin humidity and altitude to a confortable level, please enjoy the sardine can. LOL

Quoting Mats (Reply 19):
1. It's packed. Planes are smaller, and there is little room for error. The agent might want to put you on the next flight, but it's full. So is the next flight. So is the next flight, and so is the next flight after that.

My last 4 domestic flights within the USA have been completely FULL.... and they sell the tickets very cheap, if there are people enough to fill a plane (high load factors) why dont they price up the tickets a bit and offer a better product? Because other airlines will offer cheap seats and consumers will fly in a sardine can with a lower level of service or non existant so a loop is created..... I pay almost nothing..YOU SHOULD EXPECT NOTHING.

Quoting Mats (Reply 19):
5. Nickel-and-diming. I've only paid a baggage fee once in my life (on the defunct PLUNA), but I think it's unfair. Unfortunately, it's been a financial boon to airlines with low margins. Paying for add-ons really bothers customers, especially when it means that the airline over-promises and under-delivers. It's even more appalling when one has an expensive ticket. I was shocked that I bought a revenue first class domestic ticket on US Airways, and they wanted extra money for me to choose an aisle seat.

When I bought my ticket on US air, I saw the business class price, it was 322 extra, since my wife and sons were flying the difference was around 1400 extra, for a 2 hour 24 minute flight I did not upgrade. checked on the day of the flight and after I did mycheck and had my tickets, the flight was about to close, and the agen announced that they had 3 free bussines class seats for 130 extra each..... With the money I paid for bag check the difference was even lower, I was pissed, if they have offered bussines class for 200 extra I would have bought them.... crazy policies, and even crazier pricing!

Quoting Mats (Reply 19):
5. Look out the window. It's still amazing.

The best thing there is after Skiing....

Quoting Mats (Reply 19):
8. Get earplugs or noise-cancelling headsets. Babies are going to be crying; they cant help it (they're babies.) Parents can try every trick in the book, and the kids will still scream. So get a tablet or iPod, some noise-cancelling headsets, and drown them out.

100% agree, also bring your CLOSED water (if the TSA lets you and eat well).

Quoting justloveplanes (Reply 27):
If you miss the old days, buy a business class ticket.

Even business class is a shadow of what they were.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 33):
None sense. Those web sites can only sell the tickets at the fares the airlines make available, or they lose money on it. So it starts with the airlines making available unrealisticly cheap fares which they then compensate for with ancilary fees. And that's to say nothing about the fact that Orbitz was created by legacy carriers: Continental, United, Delta, Northwest.

As I said before its a loop, the consumer ask for a SUPER cheap ticket , the airlines provide it, and they dont give you any kind of service. Even using a ground bus is more comfortable and spacious than a business class seat.... sad state of affairs. also the consumer has a lot to blame. I would prefer them to make the ticket higher and forgo the stupidity of charging for chequed luggage, that is why now overhead bins are so full, because Joe Average, is a CHEAPO and uses a big carryon that barely fits, than using proper luggage.

ITS going to get WORSE.... so brace yourselves.

Regards TRB

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: jayunited
Posted 2013-08-26 14:16:10 and read 18467 times.

Quoting manny (Reply 55):
Its not the entirely the matter of cost but the amount of hassle once has to go through.

And airlines have made HUGE revenue gains will all kinds of fees and charges that did not exist a decade ago which has translated to HUGE profits!

Do you honestly believe that a round trip ticket from ORD-SFO in coach at a cost of $278 dollars really covers the entire cost of both flights? I think both the airlines and the passengers are responsible for what has happened in the US industry. When people are buying discounted coach tickets but receiving free upgrades in to first class, just so legacy carriers can continue to try and one up each other and now airlines are afraid of what might happen if they take this benefit away from their FF and force them to actually buy a domestic first class ticket or make them stay in the seat they actually paid for.
Years ago when a passenger called a reservation agent they quoted you a price you either paid the price quoted or went to another airliner which probably quoted you the same price. Now days with the internet if you don't like the price quoted on AA, DL, or UA website you can go to priceline or kayak to try and find a lower price and chanced are you will find a lower price on whatever your airline of preference is. I wonder when was the last time anyone went to AA, DL or UA website and deliberately chose the full fare option for coach? Most of us look at the full fare option and then choose the lowest fare available because we feel like why should we pay full fare when we can have the exact same seat for more than half off.

You can't blame one without blaming the other and it will take a fundamental shift to make flying fun again for everyone.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: awacsooner
Posted 2013-08-26 14:19:40 and read 18405 times.

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 59):

ITS going to get WORSE.... so brace yourselves.

That's what I am afraid of...because of the idiots who frequent airlines like NK and whatnot who don't care about being nickled and dimed to death...just cause they saw a base fare of $9 and were too stupid to figure out that all the ancillary fees added up to more than what airline B was charging all-in.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2013-08-26 14:23:51 and read 18339 times.

Quoting questions (Reply 12):
Quoting awacsooner (Thread starter):
the US airline industry... baggage fees, fees for credit cards, fees for phone tickets...

Didn't Air Canada go before US legacy carriers in implementing these pricing models... or "unbundling of services"?

AC was also the first major North American carrier (not counting LCCs like Southwest) to switch to one-way pricing on North American routes, replacing the confusion where one way fares were often several times as high as the lowest round trip fare, and it was cheaper to buy a round trip ticket and throw away the return portion if you wanted to fly one way.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 43):
Sidenote, who would actively choose Aer Lingus + a stop? Yikes.

I think quite a few people would, if only to take advantage of U.S. customs/immigration pre-clearance at DUB/SNN on the westbound trip and avoid often very long waits to clear U.S. formalities on arrival in the U.S. if your flight happens land at the same time as a dozen other widebodies.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: ozark1
Posted 2013-08-26 14:51:20 and read 17996 times.

Quoting manny (Reply 55):
And airlines have made HUGE revenue gains will all kinds of fees and charges that did not exist a decade ago which has translated to HUGE profits

Oh ok, is that why they have all be in bankruptcy?

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: kgaiflyer
Posted 2013-08-26 14:56:47 and read 17928 times.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 62):
AC was also the first major North American carrier (not counting LCCs like Southwest) to switch to one-way pricing on North American routes, replacing the confusion where one way fares were often several times as high as the lowest round trip fare, and it was cheaper to buy a round trip ticket and throw away the return portion if you wanted to fly one way.

One unintended consequence -- this also makes it possible to fly outbound AC and return WS -- or the vice versa -- depending on fare displays.

For instance, I flew LAS-YYC-YVR on AC last March rather than nonstop LAS-YVR on WS because AC actually had the lower fare. Btw, neither airline considers LAS an international destination (in the true sense of international) so there are no bells and whistles in the back.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: awacsooner
Posted 2013-08-26 14:58:38 and read 17954 times.

Quoting ozark1 (Reply 63):

Oh ok, is that why they have all be in bankruptcy?

DING DING DING...we have the great (unfair) equalizer...the airlines who have done it right are now being crushed because other airlines mismanaged themselves into Ch 11 and can now claim lower overhead costs.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: BoeingGuy
Posted 2013-08-26 15:09:35 and read 17791 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 2):
Boo frickin hoo--passengers are getting exactly what they pay for. Everyone can start paying '60s era airfares, adjusted for inflation, and we'll go right back to those 'golden days' that were really never that golden to begin with.

And don't forget the crashes every few weeks back in the 60s. Not to mention far FEWER choices back then. How many non-stops were there back then from SEA to FLL, MCO, AUS, CDG, TPE, SNA, BEJ, DXB, KEF...and the list goes on.

Sure you can't fly a 737 SFO-MOD anymore, but you can fly non-stop to AKL now.

First Bag Fees anger the h*ll out of me, but I'll take the good days now.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: G-CIVP
Posted 2013-08-26 15:16:10 and read 17676 times.

Quoting n505fx (Reply 30):
Do you think companies wake up in the morning and say "hey there is growth in driving customers away"? No, they wake up and say "how do we provide a service to as many people as possible with all of this crap that has put on us, by the same people we are supposed to serve?"

I would have thought it's 'what margin we can get away with charging the customer without turning customers away, given all the regs the airline is supposed to adhere to as well as acting as unofficial Tax Collector for the State (read government)'.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: Flighty
Posted 2013-08-26 15:21:01 and read 17635 times.

People have such a crisis mentality. Sheesh. The airlines right now are reliable, cabins are fairly well kept, companies are stable and paying employees. Unfortunately, it's not a dramatic story this year.

That's the problem -- few clicks, declining readership for the journos. They're the ones having a crisis.

Airlines are some of the most cost-efficient service deliveries ever, along with Wal-Mart and Amazon.com. You just don't run a 500-airplane fleet based on touchy-feely hopes and dreams. You run it professionally and safely, using math and science. The bills due each month are cosmic. An amateur airline exec could never figure out how to pay them.

It's not a Daniel restaurant and it's not a W Hotel with someone else paying the bills. Sorry guys... let's all cry about it.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-26 15:24:09 and read 17587 times.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 62):
I think quite a few people would, if only to take advantage of U.S. customs/immigration pre-clearance at DUB/SNN on the westbound trip and avoid often very long waits to clear U.S. formalities on arrival in the U.S. if your flight happens land at the same time as a dozen other widebodies.

I'm aware, and think that's totally ridiculous. For starters you are on Aer Lingus instead of BA, and second, it's always longer regardless of the wait line at the destination. I've done it on the LCY-JFK flight, and the only reason is the plane needs the technical stop. Customs clearance is just a perk for passengers killing time anyway. Having an extra connection expressly for clearance however is absurd.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: PPVRA
Posted 2013-08-26 15:27:26 and read 17563 times.

Things are getting better, not worse. Including for the passenger.

As for the article, some people always complain. It's too hot, now it's too cold, if it's in the middle, they find people who think "differently" and show how they are still not happy with the temperature.

Thoroughly pointless.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-08-26 15:47:10 and read 17376 times.

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 66):
And don't forget the crashes every few weeks back in the 60s.

C'mon! That was part of the golden age charm! Pay a zillion dollars for that weekly five stop flight to Rancho Cucamonga that decreased your life span by 10%. But the meals were delish! And who knows, on two of those legs you might get hijacked if you're lucky 

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mariner
Posted 2013-08-26 15:51:41 and read 17338 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 71):
But the meals were delish!

In first class, perhaps. Or - sometimes.

You could have been unlucky, in say, 1990, and cop the (first class) Black Bean Soup on American which was as "delish" as dishwater.  

mariner

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: questions
Posted 2013-08-26 15:52:36 and read 17313 times.

What?? I can't believe you said that. The decline in US airline service standards did not begin when FA weigh-ins stopped. That's just crazy.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2013-08-26 15:56:34 and read 17232 times.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 69):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 62):
I think quite a few people would, if only to take advantage of U.S. customs/immigration pre-clearance at DUB/SNN on the westbound trip and avoid often very long waits to clear U.S. formalities on arrival in the U.S. if your flight happens land at the same time as a dozen other widebodies.

I'm aware, and think that's totally ridiculous. For starters you are on Aer Lingus instead of BA, and second, it's always longer regardless of the wait line at the destination. I've done it on the LCY-JFK flight, and the only reason is the plane needs the technical stop. Customs clearance is just a perk for passengers killing time anyway. Having an extra connection expressly for clearance however is absurd.

But some people may prefer to avoid the long wait to clear customs on arrival when they're jet-lagged and exhausted and just want to get out of the airport. Doing it near the start of the trip is easier. And arriving as a domestic passenger also reduces the minimum connecting time if you're making another connection to a U.S. domestic flight. Fares are also a factor. EI's fares are usually lower than BA's.

[Edited 2013-08-26 16:09:40]

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: airbazar
Posted 2013-08-26 16:04:15 and read 17164 times.

Quoting manny (Reply 48):
Not surprised. I know a lot of people who would rather drive 6-7 hours whereas before they would fly. Even for trips from Denver-Chicago(12-15 hours) i know people with families who prefer to drive.

If you know any school teachers they will tell you that families are taking kids out school to go on vacation, more often than they ever did before. That's not surprising. As a parent of a school aged child I do the same because flying during the condensed vacation periods is both ridiculously expensive and a nightmare. Add a snow storm in the northeast and your entire vacation is now ruined.

Quoting n505fx (Reply 51):

Yep - and every single airline that sold you that $99 ticket, went bankrupt...so there you have it.

Nope. Did it twice, once on VS and once on BA. Last I checked neither has gone bankrupt.

Quoting jayunited (Reply 60):
Do you honestly believe that a round trip ticket from ORD-SFO in coach at a cost of $278 dollars really covers the entire cost of both flights?

Then they should raise the fare to what it really costs.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 70):
Things are getting better, not worse. Including for the passenger.

But things were so bad for so long that "getting better" is not really saying much  

Again, I don't think the cost of flying is the issue here. If fares were $5 or $10 more the same people would still fly. Heck, fares have been going up every year and more and more people are flying. Basically what happened was that legacy carriers started following the same model as LC/LF carriers while at the same time trying to uphold a higher standard. So passengers expect more even though the service is the same or worse.

This articleshows that:
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/...ars-and-why-nobody-noticed/273506/
You have a significant drop for about 10 years, following deregulation. That makes sense. Regulation was bad.
Then you have the introduction of LCC's in the 90's which creates another drop. But since about 2005 fares have done nothing but go up. And I bet that if we were to exclude the Low Fare/Low Cost carriers from these statistics, that it would show that fares at legacy carriers did not drop so much after 2000, as the chart indicates. I wish there was one of these charts for each airline because I think the introduction of LLC's and LFC's distorts the truth a bit.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: psa188
Posted 2013-08-26 16:12:56 and read 17092 times.

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 8):
A LCC in the US which isn't so Low Cost anymore is WN. You buy your ticket and you know exactly what you are getting is basic transportation from point A to Point B. They are good at what they do and you are at least treated right.

Not only does WN treat customers properly, they don't nickel and dime like most other airlines. I use them whenever possible, even if the specific base fare is slightly higher. You should support an airline that behaves honestly.

Quoting awacsooner (Thread starter):
The loss of services, the nickel and dime fees, the de-humanizing of customer service...to me, this is the proverbial "frog in the boiling water scenario."

You're right, and I can understand why people drive, or take the bus, on short distance trips. It's worth looking into these guys:
http://us.megabus.com/Default.aspx

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: n505fx
Posted 2013-08-26 16:19:13 and read 16937 times.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 75):
Nope. Did it twice, once on VS and once on BA. Last I checked neither has gone bankrupt.

Well...I would hardly say VS is the darling of airline profitability...anyways, weren't we talking about the state of the U.S. airline industry, not the state of the U.K. industry?

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-26 16:32:17 and read 16783 times.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 74):
But some people may prefer to avoid the long wait to clear customs on arrival when they're jet-lagged and exhausted and just want to get out of the airport. Doing it near the start of the trip is easier. And arriving as a domestic passenger also reduces the minimum connecting time if you're making another connection to a U.S. domestic flight. Fares are also a factor. EI's fares are usually lower than BA's.

I've heard all the arguments. I maintain it's ludicrous to purposely put an extra stop in your trip and make it longer.

There's a reason why EI fares cost less than BA as well.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2013-08-26 16:41:46 and read 16688 times.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 78):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 74):
But some people may prefer to avoid the long wait to clear customs on arrival when they're jet-lagged and exhausted and just want to get out of the airport. Doing it near the start of the trip is easier. And arriving as a domestic passenger also reduces the minimum connecting time if you're making another connection to a U.S. domestic flight. Fares are also a factor. EI's fares are usually lower than BA's.

I've heard all the arguments. I maintain it's ludicrous to purposely put an extra stop in your trip and make it longer.

There's a reason why EI fares cost less than BA as well.

Many thousands of people use connecting routings every day between points where nonstop service exists, for many reasons (price, frequent flyer loyalty, preference for certain carriers, corporate travel policies, etc. etc.)

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: rwy04lga
Posted 2013-08-26 17:11:19 and read 16382 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 7):
The most profitable carriers in the Americas now are G4, NK, and CM, all which have varying levels of amenties, down to zero.

How do they compare to Delta's $1.6B 2012 profit?

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-26 17:12:29 and read 16327 times.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 79):
Many thousands of people use connecting routings every day between points where nonstop service exists, for many reasons (price, frequent flyer loyalty, preference for certain carriers, corporate travel policies, etc. etc.)

And that all makes sense.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: ckfred
Posted 2013-08-26 17:48:19 and read 15984 times.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 1):
The airlines have done most of this, which is pretty crazy. But I place a large part of the blame with the consumer. If Joe Schmo the business traveler would pay the 50 bucks extra to fly his airline of choice to PVD we wouldn't have this problem. Instead the consumer goes for the lowest fare they can find and books it. When they do that airlines need to find revenue from somewhere else. Baggage fees are great and mean they have less personnel and extra revenue. Credit card fees haven't been charged on the airlines I've flown recently. Phone charges make sense. This isn't 1984 anymore. Everybody has a link to the internet. I have three devices right now that can go and book a flight on any airline within reach. I think airlines should charge for phone ticketing because you are actually getting serviced by someone who is getting paid. Not a server in Idaho. That I don't blame them for. The carry on fees are limited to ULCCs who offer one way fares from 29 dollars. It's tough to complain about being charged another 30 bucks for carryon when your roundtrip ticket on Spirit was a third of what AA cost. Now the smaller planes I don't really buy. 5 years ago I would agree. But the 50 seat RJs are leaving in favor of larger regional jets. Frankly I'd rather take an E-170 over a 737 any day of the week. There is also no such thing as a free snack. You pay for it somewhere. If I have to forego my sip of coke and my 3 mini pretzels, so be it.

Quoting awacsooner (Thread starter):I think the industry as a whole is a great case study in business ethics about how a business as a whole starts out by treating customers as friends and family and ends up treating them like a wallet with disposable income
So now the airlines are evil for treating everybody how every other business in the world treats people? Frankly we have to get the 1960s image of air travel out of our heads. It is gone. Yeah travel was hip and comfortable back in the day. But I'll take the safety we've gained in those decades along with the rudeness just fine. When you grow up in the northeast the rudeness becomes a part of daily life. The airlines are finally in a place where they are making money and doing well for themselves. They've matured and it was about time.
Pat

You make some great points. However, while just about any business would prefer using the internet to talking to a live person, no one charges extra for dealing with a live person. It isn't the case in other travel industries (hotels, rental cars, cruises). It isn't true in retail. You can still call L.L. Bean or Lands' End and get the same price as mailing the order form or using the internet. My bank would prefer that I used a computer or phone app, but I can also go to the bank and use a teller, either in the buiding or in my car.

By the same token, it's not the 737 being replaced with an RJ. It's the widebody being replaced with a narrowbody, or even an RJ. Years ago, UA used to have widebodies on ORD-LGA. Now, it's a mix of narrowbodies and E-Jets. There was a time when DL had 757s, 767s, and L-1011s on ORD-ATL. Now, the largest plane is a 737-800, and a while back, I think they had Canadairs on the route.

What bothers us is that the hotels and rental cars have tried to improve the product, and airlines have degraded theirs. I can remember when hotels didn't have irons and ironing boards, coffeemakers, shampoos and other toiletries, or work-out rooms. And while rental cars are often base models (normally with most of the options), I've had cars with leather interiors, sunroofs, Sirius or XM, and other luxury features. It wasn't that many years ago, when you still got assigned a car, even if you were a member of the frequent renters club.

Why is it that an airline now charges for food on domestic service, while the "limited service" chains have a free breakfast, and many times, a manager's reception with some rather hearty food? My wife used to stay at a Residence Inn in Pittsburgh. If the Steelers were on MNF, the manager's reception was a regualar tailgate spread.

Think about cruise ships. If you want 2 appetizers or 2 desserts with dinner, no problem, even for those in the tiny inside cabin.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: HomSar
Posted 2013-08-26 18:05:44 and read 15839 times.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 82):

Why is it that an airline now charges for food on domestic service, while the "limited service" chains have a free breakfast, and many times, a manager's reception with some rather hearty food? My wife used to stay at a Residence Inn in Pittsburgh. If the Steelers were on MNF, the manager's reception was a regualar tailgate spread.

Think about cruise ships. If you want 2 appetizers or 2 desserts with dinner, no problem, even for those in the tiny inside cabin.

Comparing food availability in hotels or on cruise ships to food availability on a plane is an apples-oranges comparison.

For the cruise ship case, the absolute only reason for someone to buy a ticket on a cruise ship is for the "experience" (well, with very few exceptions). Cruises have to offer that level of service because otherwise, why would anyone book a cruise? Airlines actually provide you with a practical service (i.e. getting you to your destination fairly quickly).

The other key difference for both cruise ships (which are very large) and hotels (which can also be very large) is that space (and associated weight) is at a premium on a plane. In some cases, by removing galleys, carriers can get an extra row of seats in. Planes flying around with a lot of "dead" weight not generating revenue is very expensive for airlines, because that weight translates into fuel burn. While technically, the same is true to some extent for cruise ships (and for energy consumption in hotels), it is nowhere near the same level of cost penalty as it is on an airplane. So, by eliminating meals, airlines are able to reduce the amount of food they need to store on board, which means less space taken up by food storage, which means more space to put passenger seats in.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: superjeff
Posted 2013-08-26 18:15:49 and read 15746 times.

Quoting shufflemoomin (Reply 4):
The flight on SAS, despite being far from luxury, was also a relaxing experience. Then you arrive in Newark and the stress begins. I go out of my way to avoid US airlines and I look elsewhere for vacations now.

Compare apples to apples and you'll find that intra-European travel is often as bad or worse than intra-U.S. Charges for everything on airlines like Iberia, Brussels, Aer Lingus, etc. in economy, for example, and even less legroom.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 80):
How do they compare to Delta's $1.6B 2012 profit?

Actually (and, IMHO, unfortunately), NK is seeing a return on investment substantially higher than any of the legacies, Delta included!

Jeff

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: airportugal310
Posted 2013-08-26 18:50:02 and read 15375 times.

Quoting ozark1 (Reply 53):
How many gallons in a barrel?

In the jet fuel industry, we use 42 gallons per barrel (roughly)

That said, jet fuel is only calculated in barrels for large bulk deliveries and storage purposes mostly

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: macsog6
Posted 2013-08-26 19:06:16 and read 15198 times.

Quoting mariner (Reply 56):
Anyone these days can have what we had, the the same way that we got it then - by paying for it.

Frankly, being one of those few whose second flight was on a plane with piston engines and which floated (Shorts Sunderland), I will take today's travel over anything we had in the "golden age". The rules listed in this thread about being prepared for the unforeseen events are quite helpful and represent things we all should do. But to pay more for a plane that was often unpressurized, slow, extremely expensive, and many times risky, I'll stick with today's crowded aircraft which are more comfortable (albeit crowded), fast (though not fast enough), reasonably priced (though not low enough), and safe.

I travel ready for any eventuality, roll with the punches (does anyone really want to fly into DFW in a Texas summer storm?), and enjoy what we now have.

BTW, the first flight was on a C-69 Lockheed Connie about three weeks before the Sunderland flight.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mariner
Posted 2013-08-26 19:31:12 and read 14969 times.

Quoting macsog6 (Reply 86):
Frankly, being one of those few whose second flight was on a plane with piston engines and which floated (Shorts Sunderland), I will take today's travel over anything we had in the "golden age".

I agree. My first flight was a Solent but I was year old and I don't remember it. The flights I do remember were a bit later, on Hermes and Argonauts.

I wrote about it in yet another of the so-called golden age of flying threads:

And with the noise came endless vibration, and turbulence could be a real issue. The use of sick bags was not uncommon, especially in tropical weather and I remember, more than once, hearing a passenger crying in pain during descent, from earache. That's why we were all given lollies to suck on.

There was a lot more. I remember, when I was eleven, being off-loaded in Cairo for four days - on my own. So what those flights did do, of course, was prepare me for this:

Quoting macsog6 (Reply 86):
I travel ready for any eventuality, roll with the punches (does anyone really want to fly into DFW in a Texas summer storm?), and enjoy what we now have.

  

mariner

[Edited 2013-08-26 19:32:36]

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: n505fx
Posted 2013-08-26 20:16:38 and read 14541 times.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 82):
What bothers us is that the hotels and rental cars have tried to improve the product, and airlines have degraded theirs.

I'm not sure I agree - I can recall a time when when there were no self service apps, no full lie flat seats, no E+ seating, no satellite TV or internet, no nearly hourly service to almost anywhere you would want to fly in the U.S., no globally linked frequent flyer programs...should I go on?

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: flyingclrs727
Posted 2013-08-26 20:22:50 and read 14479 times.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 82):
What bothers us is that the hotels and rental cars have tried to improve the product, and airlines have degraded theirs. I can remember when hotels didn't have irons and ironing boards, coffeemakers, shampoos and other toiletries, or work-out rooms.

It would be harder to travel with bags under the 50 lb baggage limit if hotels didn't have irons and other amenities.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-08-26 20:48:40 and read 14291 times.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 82):
There was a time when DL had 757s, 767s, and L-1011s on ORD-ATL.

And even the 747, too.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 78):
I've heard all the arguments. I maintain it's ludicrous to purposely put an extra stop in your trip and make it longer.

Then you don't understand. What they're getting at is pre-clearing U.S. customs at the point of departure instead of your first arrival port in the U.S. If you do, then you're considered the same as any other domestic pax and that makes it easier to connect, instead of trying to clear, later, along with several other flights from overseas.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 69):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 62):
I think quite a few people would, if only to take advantage of U.S. customs/immigration pre-clearance at DUB/SNN on the westbound trip and avoid often very long waits to clear U.S. formalities on arrival in the U.S. if your flight happens land at the same time as a dozen other widebodies.

I'm aware, and think that's totally ridiculous. For starters you are on Aer Lingus instead of BA, and second, it's always longer regardless of the wait line at the destination. I've done it on the LCY-JFK flight, and the only reason is the plane needs the technical stop. Customs clearance is just a perk for passengers killing time anyway. Having an extra connection expressly for clearance however is absurd.

Sorry, but as I mentioned above, I don't think anyone is talking about putting an extra stop in the routing just to pre-clear. Pre-clearance is done at the point of departure, so it doesn't have to be done at the U.S. gateway.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 75):

Nope. Did it twice, once on VS and once on BA. Last I checked neither has gone bankrupt.

Then they were subsidizing those flights by raising the fares on another.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 75):

Then they should raise the fare to what it really costs.

Then you'll just bitch about that.

Quoting ozark1 (Reply 63):
Oh ok, is that why they have all be in bankruptcy?

No, they're making record profits (for the most part) because they "re-organized" under bankruptcy. They didn't, as you imply, go into bankruptcy BECAUSE they were profitable.

Quoting awacsooner (Reply 65):
.the airlines who have done it right are now being crushed because other airlines mismanaged themselves into Ch 11 and can now claim lower overhead costs.

The "AIRLINES" (plural)? Who are these multitudes of airlines that have "done it right"? I know this is the mantra that comes down from WN corporate HQ to all the employees out there, but the "unfair" thing is getting a little old. You've got to admit, that, although WN hasn't gone into BK, it's not the same airline that it was, 5 years ago. Things have changed and all those fuel hedges aren't going to help, anymore. DL used to be one of the most, if not the most, profitable airlines in the U.S., even when we were smaller. Well, the world has changed and the ways of making money in the airline industry have changed with it. Most of those at DL, at the time, and those of us that were retired, were sad to see our company go into BK, but, we also realized it was about all that could be done. We went on for awhile, bleeding money, before they actually filed and I, for one, am glad they did.


It's funny, I can remember when DL was flush with money and doing well (previously) that we used to look at the other airlines , who were in trouble, and shake our heads. Well, I don't anymore and I doubt if the active employees do, either. They've now been there, done that. It could happen to you one day, too.......remember that the next time you trot out that tired old mantra. It won't seem so applicable, anymore.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: brilondon
Posted 2013-08-26 21:09:33 and read 14099 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 2):
Boo frickin hoo--passengers are getting exactly what they pay for. Everyone can start paying '60s era airfares, adjusted for inflation, and we'll go right back to those 'golden days' that were really never that golden to begin with.

This is exactly what I think. If you want the service you have to pay for it. If you want to fly cheaply, then you can fly and pay what we are paying for now.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: BD338
Posted 2013-08-26 21:22:31 and read 13962 times.

I don't really have a problem with fees and extra's for everything when I am truly paying a cheap fare, those less than cost "5 cent a mile type" T fares but when airlines charge me 30+ cents a mile for a "cheap" LUT fare (thank you DL SLC-BZN) and then stick me with $200 change fees, $25 for a bag etc. then I start to feel robbed. I willingly pay for economy plus/comfort etc., for me it is generally good value but what I really want from US airlines is something truly different and affordable between economy and business class, certainly on international flights. J is just too far out of reach (and there's a definite feeling in my mind that most US airlines only really care about the 10-15% up front and the rest of us potential future J fliers are a pain they sometimes tolerate, but secretly wish we weren't there) Y on long haul has become a low ball commodity experience, an experience I see as been over in 8-10 hours, I tolerate it and can't wait to get off. I'm glad that my trans pacific trips offer me CX, SQ, NZ, QF etc. as alternates (and I really couldn't care less about the FF miles) and with that said I am really looking forward to flying NZ Pacific Premium economy later this year, I didn't even look at any US airline alternative, I knew they couldn't compete.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-08-26 21:39:15 and read 13873 times.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 80):
How do they compare to Delta's $1.6B 2012 profit?

DL's margin is impressive, relatively speaking, but CM's is double DL's, and NK/G4 are somewhere between DL and CM.

Quoting macsog6 (Reply 86):
Frankly, being one of those few whose second flight was on a plane with piston engines and which floated (Shorts Sunderland), I will take today's travel over anything we had in the "golden age". The rules listed in this thread about being prepared for the unforeseen events are quite helpful and represent things we all should do. But to pay more for a plane that was often unpressurized, slow, extremely expensive, and many times risky, I'll stick with today's crowded aircraft which are more comfortable (albeit crowded), fast (though not fast enough), reasonably priced (though not low enough), and safe.

You are the winner of the 20/20 vision rose colored glasses award 2013

Quoting mayor (Reply 90):
No, they're making record profits (for the most part) because they "re-organized" under bankruptcy. They didn't, as you imply, go into bankruptcy BECAUSE they were profitable.

   As if putting all the legacies out of business would *improve* service. If all the bankrupt carriers went the way of the dinosaur, we'd be left with WN, B6, G4, NK, maybe a legacy carrier or two, and none of them would be thinking that adding more meals would be the solution to anything.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: lightsaber
Posted 2013-08-26 22:17:59 and read 13609 times.

I'm not getting the link. I can buy full lie flat J from LAX to certain cities that is a *far* better experience every step of the way than 1970s pre-regulation Y. And that fare is less than the same fares, adjusted for inflation, as paid back then.

Do I buy those tickets?    I'm to cheap, but that doesn't mean I couldn't have the experience if I wanted it.

And I'm with the others above, I do not miss earaches, common turbulence (I'm thankful for the latest weather radars), and uncertainty during delays thanks to the lack of computers.

Quoting questions (Reply 17):

But there are a lot of positive trade-offs that people would not want to give up to go back to those glamourous days of the golden age of flying.

   You don't want to go back. If you want really nice, charter a jet. That provides the experience of the 'old days' if not better.

Quoting questions (Reply 17):
While some may want to romanticize inflight meals they were never really that good.

So true. I was always allowed to bake, as long as I cleaned up, the night/morning before a flight. I usually carried a coffee cake (remember Tupperware?) as a 'supplement' to airline food. I haven't had that bad of chicken in two decades...

Quoting n505fx (Reply 30):
2) More that 20% of your airline ticket is comprised of taxes that the airline can't disclose to you -

That is another issue...  
Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 35):
GOD how I hated those car trips in the late 50's and early 60's with no a/c and 4 fighting siblings!)

I'm not old enough, but I remember into the 1980's air fares were often too expensive and one often had to turn off the A/C in hot weather or going up hills for otherwise the car would overheat. Nothing like vinyl and sweat... I still remember how my legs stuck to the seat in the New Mexico desert.

Lightsaber

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mariner
Posted 2013-08-26 22:26:52 and read 13542 times.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 95):
I still remember how my legs stuck to the seat in the New Mexico desert.

Back in the piston days, you didn't want to be in an aircraft on the ground in hot weather, either.

The f/a's used to keep smelling salts - ammonium carbonate - for people overcome by the heat.

mariner

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: caleb1
Posted 2013-08-26 22:38:45 and read 13447 times.

Quoting ozark1 (Reply 63):
How many non-stops were there back then from SEA to FLL, MCO, AUS, CDG, TPE, SNA, BEJ, DXB, KEF...and the list goes on.

True, but flying was such a pleasant experience back then that most people didn't mind making a connection or two. It was still a thrill and a privilege to be on an airplane at all.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: awacsooner
Posted 2013-08-26 23:15:20 and read 13220 times.

Quoting superjeff (Reply 84):
Compare apples to apples and you'll find that intra-European travel is often as bad or worse than intra-U.S. Charges for everything on airlines like Iberia, Brussels, Aer Lingus, etc. in economy, for example, and even less legroom.

I've flown BA, AB, LX, DY, KL, LH and SAS over here...and I'd gladly take any of them over all the US carriers save WN any day of the week.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: LTC8K6
Posted 2013-08-26 23:30:10 and read 13098 times.

If I can get there in 6-8 hours or so, I'd rather just drive than deal with the airport and the airplane passengers.

For a while there it seemed like it was just as quick for me to drive from NC to PA as it was to fly. I think it's still a close contest today.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: PlanesNTrains
Posted 2013-08-26 23:56:47 and read 12940 times.

Quoting DTW2HYD (Reply 13):
Agreed but why should legacies compare themselves with LCCs? Shouldn't they offer a better all inclusive Y class at a higher price to a segment of passengers who are ready to pay more for better product. Or else re-launch as LCC. They want to be called legacies, want to offer LCC product, yet cannot make profits.

1. Legacies compete directly with LCC's for the majority of passengers domestically. They can't just pretend that the LCC's don't exist.

2. Economy Plus et al is available on several legacies now, and is being expanded. From what I can tell, it is a higher price for those looking for a better product. All-inclusive is somewhat elusive, though.

3. "They want to be called legacies..." I don't think they give a rat's patooty what they are called as long as they make money.

Quoting Mats (Reply 19):
I was shocked that I bought a revenue first class domestic ticket on US Airways, and they wanted extra money for me to choose an aisle seat.
Quoting Mats (Reply 19):
e food may be complimentary, but have you seen what and how US Airways serves on transcons?

You mean the US Airways whose stock symbol is LCC?

Quoting psa188 (Reply 76):

Not only does WN treat customers properly, they don't nickel and dime like most other airlines. I use them whenever possible, even if the specific base fare is slightly higher. You should support an airline that behaves honestly.

I can't wait for my trip on WN to SoCal next month. $177 RT from SEA to ONT, free checked bag, and - for me - the enjoyment of passing through OAK (sb) and SMF (nb). The rental car will be more than my flights.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 82):
What bothers us is that the hotels and rental cars have tried to improve the product, and airlines have degraded theirs.

The worst customer service experiences - by far - that I've had are with rental car companies. I don't know how you can point to them as something above an airline when they hire lousy people, have some pretty lame policies a times, make you stand in long lines to get a car that may or may not be available ("free" upgrade to a gas-guzzler - no thanks!). Seriously, some of THE WORST experiences. I have yet to experience anything even remotely close to that in all of my years of flying.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 82):
Think about cruise ships. If you want 2 appetizers or 2 desserts with dinner, no problem, even for those in the tiny inside cabin.

There really is not direct comparison between cruising and flying, except that cruising - like flying - is gradually morphing into a lower service, lower quality, pay for the extras experience. Actually quite similar to the airlines in some respects.

-Dave

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: rwy04lga
Posted 2013-08-27 01:31:17 and read 12545 times.

Quoting superjeff (Reply 84):
How do they compare to Delta's $1.6B 2012 profit?

Actually (and, IMHO, unfortunately), NK is seeing a return on investment substantially higher than any of the legacies, Delta included!
Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 94):
DL's margin is impressive, relatively speaking, but CM's is double DL's, and NK/G4 are somewhere between DL and CM.

You didn't say 'which airline had the largest margin', you said 'which airline was most profitable'. And ROI is not the same as 'profitable'.

As a property owner, my ROI is pretty nice....but Trump's profit is a bit higher than mine. He doesn't care that I might have a higher ROI than he.

So, to reiterate, how does CM, NK, and any other airline in the world compare to Delta's $1.6B profit last year?

In other words....which airline was 'most profitable' last year?

Thank you

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: slinky09
Posted 2013-08-27 01:44:43 and read 12516 times.

The best way to approach flying on US carriers and the whole experience from arriving at one airport to leaving another is to lower one's expectations to the minimum. In doing so, occasionally there's a pleasant surprise!

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-08-27 01:48:54 and read 12507 times.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 101):
You didn't say 'which airline had the largest margin', you said 'which airline was most profitable'.
Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 101):

In other words....which airline was 'most profitable' last year?

Uh ok. It doesn't make much sense to compare them on net profit when their sizes are so different, particularly when I was talking about individual passenger behavior as it translates into profitability. CM, G4, NK, even US were all able to extract much more profit per dollar than DL, so comparing the net numbers is silly. DL's net profit is dwarfed by Walmart's, though DL's profit margin is much higher than Walmart--which do you think is a more meaningful metric?

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: TheRedBaron
Posted 2013-08-27 05:28:16 and read 12196 times.

Quoting slinky09 (Reply 102):
The best way to approach flying on US carriers and the whole experience from arriving at one airport to leaving another is to lower one's expectations to the minimum. In doing so, occasionally there's a pleasant surprise!

agree....expect nothing but getting there (somehow) and with all your belongings ....

TRB

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: DTWPurserBoy
Posted 2013-08-27 05:30:15 and read 12216 times.

Quoting 01pewterz28 (Reply 47):

Bottom line is the airlines used 9/11 as a scape goat and they continue to say they still suffer from 9/11 saying the cost of operating are much higher even though they are making more money on top of the fees they charge that we never had before. The way the airlines see it “Less is More”.

I respectfully disagree. 9/11 is not being used as an "excuse." In fact, passengers told the airlines they were tired of subsidizing others that checked 5 bags when all they had was a carryon. They complained bitterly about the food and said they would rather eat nothing. Jet A went from .27 a gallon to $3.00--levels that were simply not sustainable without some creative thinking.

The whole industry underwent a metamorphosis when the legacies started to disappear--TWA, Pan Am, Eastern, Braniff--we had to come up with a different way to do business or die. I put part of the blame on the frequent flyer programs which encourage passengers to stay with one airline at any cost. Prior to these everyone was equal. No one had a special sense of entitlement because they had flown a gazillion miles on Air Bozo--there was no jockeying for "free" upgrades to FC, agents and crews were able to do their jobs in relative peace and everyone got served the same thing. No special "breezeway" carpets for HVC's, no elite levels, no hoarding of air miles. The airlines created the monster that has grown exponentially out of control.

Quoting catiii (Reply 45):
Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 35):We would have fist fights in the aisles, flight attendants coming totally unhinged and huge delays.

We have 2 out of the 3 now, and you think assigning overhead space is going to be the tipping point? Come on...

Actually, we have all three now. I never said it would be the tipping point--your choice of words, not mine. I merely extrapolated that as one example of a "service" that would be unworkable. I have taken many delays (and gotten phone calls in the middle of the night to explain them) because of carryon that would not fit into the overhead bins and had to be checked--sometimes by force. We try to request people just to put the roller bags overhead and small things like purses and computers under the seat and for people sitting in row 44 not to put your bag above row 6 but they just ignore us. My point is (and was) that it is ugly out there and is going to get uglier.


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Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: OzGlobal
Posted 2013-08-27 05:53:08 and read 12150 times.

Quoting koruman (Reply 6):

      I agree.

I fly domestic in the US at least once per year, I fly multiple sectors domestic in Australia every year and I live and travel in Europe. I see all three systems continually.

The only thing that is clear is that the American system is the least pleasant and the worst value.

We will now have a few hundred posts form US residents explaining why the US system, through some convoluted logic, is not only good, but better than the others, although it is not cheaper and it offers virtually no included service.

For the same price that I pay in the US, in Oz and EU I get full service on new planes with a smile. The same ticket price in the US get me something amounting to a mild experience of abuse and if I have luggage, take a meal, a drink and a movie, I pay considerably more that my Oz or EU ticket. But I am told that this is misteriously more "advanced", more "evolved." I try to remember that when I see the bitter aging flight attendants, whose 401Ks were consumed by unethical management and who are now condemed to 'serve' me.

The only way I can understand these arguments from people in the US is that they are only reflecting on the question from inside the 'bubble' of their purely US aviation experience, and wanting to hold on to the belief that the glory of US aviation experience has not been lost. No other explanation makes sense.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: incitatus
Posted 2013-08-27 06:20:53 and read 12097 times.

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 106):
For the same price that I pay in the US, in Oz and EU I get full service on new planes with a smile. The same ticket price in the US get me something amounting to a mild experience of abuse and if I have luggage, take a meal, a drink and a movie, I pay considerably more that my Oz or EU ticket. But I am told that this is misteriously more "advanced", more "evolved." I try to remember that when I see the bitter aging flight attendants, whose 401Ks were consumed by unethical management and who are now condemed to 'serve' me.

The only way I can understand these arguments from people in the US is that they are only reflecting on the question from inside the 'bubble' of their purely US aviation experience, and wanting to hold on to the belief that the glory of US aviation experience has not been lost. No other explanation makes sense.

Although I think you have a point, you are being a bit selective on the distinction among regions. In Europe, do you fly Rynair? EZjet? Even Iberia? Probably not. A few airlines in Europe have mantained some standard of amenities included in the ticket, but some have not. In the US there is no de-luxe airline - one who wants that flies first class. Also the US government takes an active role in promoting competition in an industry that is already is very competitive. Europe still shields some traditional airlines from competition.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-08-27 06:22:22 and read 12107 times.

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 106):

For the same price that I pay in the US, in Oz and EU I get full service on new planes with a smile.

Bull hockey--no you don't. Just to give you an example, NYCLAX nonstop in the next month or so starts at $292 roundtrip all in. That's about 6 cents/mlie. SYDPER, by comparison, starts at $331rt all in, or 8 cents/mile. That's 37% *more* than something comparable in the US. LONIST? $405, or 13cents/mile. You're still paying a lot more in Australia or EU, or just about anywhere else (everywhere?) vs the US. When fares fall to a similar level, then we can talk about all that wonderful service you're (probably not) getting.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: OzGlobal
Posted 2013-08-27 06:44:59 and read 12053 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 108):
Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 106):

For the same price that I pay in the US, in Oz and EU I get full service on new planes with a smile.

Bull hockey--no you don't. Just to give you an example, NYCLAX nonstop in the next month or so starts at $292 roundtrip all in. That's about 6 cents/mlie. SYDPER, by comparison, starts at $331rt all in, or 8 cents/mile. That's 37% *more* than something comparable in the US. LONIST? $405, or 13cents/mile. You're still paying a lot more in Australia or EU, or just about anywhere else (everywhere?) vs the US. When fares fall to a similar level, then we can talk about all that wonderful service you're (probably not) getting.

You should get better comparitor sites to use!

Your exampe: LON-IST, LCC 201, Full Service: Austrian 234, Swiss 248, LH 260

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-27 06:57:51 and read 12016 times.

Quoting HomSar (Reply 83):
Comparing food availability in hotels or on cruise ships to food availability on a plane is an apples-oranges comparison.

For the cruise ship case, the absolute only reason for someone to buy a ticket on a cruise ship is for the "experience" (well, with very few exceptions). Cruises have to offer that level of service because otherwise, why would anyone book a cruise? Airlines actually provide you with a practical service (i.e. getting you to your destination fairly quickly).

The other key difference for both cruise ships (which are very large) and hotels (which can also be very large) is that space (and associated weight) is at a premium on a plane. In some cases, by removing galleys, carriers can get an extra row of seats in. Planes flying around with a lot of "dead" weight not generating revenue is very expensive for airlines, because that weight translates into fuel burn. While technically, the same is true to some extent for cruise ships (and for energy consumption in hotels), it is nowhere near the same level of cost penalty as it is on an airplane. So, by eliminating meals, airlines are able to reduce the amount of food they need to store on board, which means less space taken up by food storage, which means more space to put passenger seats in.

You are missing the forest for the trees. The point is other sectors are advancing the product. The airlines are regressing.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-27 07:01:30 and read 12004 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 90):

Sorry, but as I mentioned above, I don't think anyone is talking about putting an extra stop in the routing just to pre-clear. Pre-clearance is done at the point of departure, so it doesn't have to be done at the U.S. gateway.

So you are just going to skip quoting my response where I said I have done it at SNN on the BA LCY-JFK flight?

Oh right, you wouldn't be able to say I didn't understand then...

They were actually talking about exactly putting another stop in. Specifically taking EI instead of a BA direct.

[Edited 2013-08-27 07:03:04]

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-08-27 07:05:34 and read 11999 times.

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 109):
Your exampe: LON-IST, LCC 201, Full Service: Austrian 234, Swiss 248, LH 260

Newp, I said nonstop, where carriers have the most pricing power. Incidentally you can fly ORDLAX nonstop for $198rt all in, which is 12% longer than LONIST.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-27 07:06:27 and read 12004 times.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 95):
You don't want to go back. If you want really nice, charter a jet. That provides the experience of the 'old days' if not better.

This is probably the most accurate post of the thread.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: airbazar
Posted 2013-08-27 07:11:09 and read 11973 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 90):
Then you'll just bitch about that.

No I won't. I hardly ever pick the cheapest fare. Schedule is more important to me. For example, I'm 44 years old and I have never flown a Low Fare carrier and my only experience with a LCC was the grand total of 2 trips on WN. And no one else will either. If you look at all airline complaints, they're not about fares beeing to high. They're about crappy service and a miserable experience. People will continue to fly if airlines were to raise fares to more realistic values.

Quoting n505fx (Reply 77):

Well...I would hardly say VS is the darling of airline profitability...anyways, weren't we talking about the state of the U.S. airline industry, not the state of the U.K. industry?

That would be a fare assesment if all other airlines did not match the fares but they did back then and they do today, hence the so called race to the bottom. I just happened to pick those 2.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-27 07:11:39 and read 11986 times.

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 106):
The only thing that is clear is that the American system is the least pleasant and the worst value.

We will now have a few hundred posts form US residents explaining why the US system, through some convoluted logic, is not only good, but better than the others, although it is not cheaper and it offers virtually no included service.

Not from this American, you won't.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: catiii
Posted 2013-08-27 07:19:39 and read 11941 times.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 82):
What bothers us is that the hotels and rental cars have tried to improve the product, and airlines have degraded theirs.

Define "us." It doesn't bother me at all. Because fares, relatively speaking, have remained stagnant or gone down when indexed to "the good old days."

Quoting ckfred (Reply 82):
I can remember when hotels didn't have irons and ironing boards, coffeemakers, shampoos and other toiletries, or work-out rooms.

First off, no reputable hotel chain in the last 40 years hasn't offered shampoo. But you're making the airlines' case for them with this example. Airlines have unbundled their product. Why build in food, checked luggage, etc into a higher fare if I can unbundle those functions, offer you a lower fare, and should you choose to then use these other amenities charge you for them. I'm in hotels 100 nights a year, and I can't remember the last time I used a coffee maker in my room. Or the iron.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 82):
And while rental cars are often base models (normally with most of the options), I've had cars with leather interiors, sunroofs, Sirius or XM, and other luxury features

And you've probably either backed into them at the counter because the car you reserved was not available, or you paid an upcharge for them. Most every rental car company charges additional fees for those amenities.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 82):
Why is it that an airline now charges for food on domestic service, while the "limited service" chains have a free breakfast, and many times, a manager's reception with some rather hearty food? My wife used to stay at a Residence Inn in Pittsburgh. If the Steelers were on MNF, the manager's reception was a regualar tailgate spread.

That's like asking "why is it that a restaurant gives me free water, but at the dry cleaners they don't offer me free water when I walk in." It's two completely different industries.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 110):
You are missing the forest for the trees. The point is other sectors are advancing the product. The airlines are regressing.

Respectfully, you're missing the forest for the trees. Airfares are, when indexed against the past, at historical lows according to A4A. Airlines are meeting the product demands that the free market and its consumers are asking them to meet. Regression is in the eye of the beholder. I think the Y product on B6 or DL is much better than anything ever seen in the past.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: catiii
Posted 2013-08-27 07:20:59 and read 11935 times.

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 106):
For the same price that I pay in the US, in Oz and EU I get full service on new planes with a smile.

On which airlines specifically please. . .

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: brilondon
Posted 2013-08-27 07:23:54 and read 11921 times.

Quoting manny (Reply 55):
Its not the entirely the matter of cost but the amount of hassle once has to go through.

And airlines have made HUGE revenue gains will all kinds of fees and charges that did not exist a decade ago which has translated to HUGE profits!

Yes, but you have to realize that a decade ago the airlines were still adapting to the reality of today's air travel. The public demands cheapest air travel. They are giving you what you want. If you don't want the hassle of travelling by air than by all means don't travel by air. The reason the airline have, as you put it, huge revenue gains it they are for a business, and have identified a method by which they charge those who want the service and not you who would like to find the lowest possible fare and whine and complain about all the charges. Look at FR. They charge hardly anything for their flights but if you want anything you pay extra. NK has seen the light and charge for you carry on. Most airlines charge for food and for checked luggage. You can save you money by not eating what they offer. You save by only bringing minimal luggage and do not order alcoholic beverages (personally I don't find the need to drink alcohol when I fly) or the crappy food from the airline. There are ways of travelling cheaply, but if you do please don't complain about YOUR choice to travel that way. You can what you want but be prepared to pay for it.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-27 07:25:11 and read 11911 times.

Quoting catiii (Reply 116):
Respectfully, you're missing the forest for the trees. Airfares are, when indexed against the past, at historical lows according to A4A. Airlines are meeting the product demands that the free market and its consumers are asking them to meet. Regression is in the eye of the beholder. I think the Y product on B6 or DL is much better than anything ever seen in the past.

Again, relative airfare costs(the trees) is not the issue (the forest). And given everyone's been bankrupt, I don't think you can say they met market demands at all.

The product is measurably worse in Y, I'm not sure how anyone could posit other wise. Now, I personally wouldn't trade back to the old days for modern safety and convenience, no question. But it's possible to have both.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: catiii
Posted 2013-08-27 07:51:22 and read 11824 times.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 119):
The product is measurably worse in Y, I'm not sure how anyone could posit other wise. Now, I personally wouldn't trade back to the old days for modern safety and convenience, no question. But it's possible to have both.

"Measurably" worse how? By what metric? In addition to historically low fares, which like it or not IS part of the product, Y offers wifi, seatback AVOD, increased legroom options, and leather seats. Just because someone doesn't put a rubber chicken on my tray table doesn't mean it's worse.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 118):
The public demands cheapest air travel. They are giving you what you want.

Bingo. And this is what the detractors of the airline industry can't wrap their minds around. People don't want the amenities of year's gone past. No one cared about that. It was nice, for sure, but most of the traveling public would gladly take $100 off their r/t ticket if it meant not having food on their flight.

[Edited 2013-08-27 07:53:15]

[Edited 2013-08-27 08:02:49]

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: awacsooner
Posted 2013-08-27 07:57:31 and read 11821 times.

Quoting catiii (Reply 117):
On which airlines specifically please. . .

LH, LX, KL, BA...I'd fly all of them over just about any US carrier save WN...I paid the same price as a comparable stage length in the US and got better service.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 118):
NK has seen the light and charge for you carry on.

No, they have not seen the light, they have sold their soul to the devil.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-27 07:57:42 and read 11804 times.

Quoting catiii (Reply 120):
"Measurably" worse how? By what metric? In addition to historically low fares, which like it or not IS part of the product, Y offers wifi, seatback AVOD, increased legroom options, and leather seats. Just because someone doesn't put a rubber chicken on my tray table doesn't mean it's worse.

The seats themselves smaller and closer together. Increased legroom? That was what used to be standard.

Anyway, I'm not into some pissing contest over what was what. There were much better hard and soft products flying 30 years ago. There are much safer and more technologically seamless products flying now. It's not a binary argument, they both can coexist.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-27 07:59:39 and read 11795 times.

Quoting catiii (Reply 120):
No one cared about that. It was nice, for sure, but most of the traveling public would gladly take $100 of their r/t ticket if it meant not having food on their flight.

You just contradicted yourself in two consecutive sentences. "No one" and "most" are not opposites. Some people do care about it, and pay for it. A lot don't.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: catiii
Posted 2013-08-27 08:00:53 and read 11788 times.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 122):
The seats themselves smaller and closer together. Increased legroom? That was what used to be standard.

Anyway, I'm not into some pissing contest over what was what. There were much better hard and soft products flying 30 years ago. There are much safer and more technologically seamless products flying now. It's not a binary argument, they both can coexist.

But you said it is "measurably" worse. I'm trying to understand the metric you're using. As far as better hard and soft products flying 30 years ago, that's a subjective statement.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: catiii
Posted 2013-08-27 08:03:54 and read 11781 times.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 123):
You just contradicted yourself in two consecutive sentences. "No one" and "most" are not opposites. Some people do care about it, and pay for it. A lot don't.

How did I contradict myself? The market has shown pretty definitively that people would rather pay a lower fare than have the amenities of years gone past. That's what the airlines are responding to.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-27 08:06:48 and read 11761 times.

Quoting catiii (Reply 124):

But you said it is "measurably" worse. I'm trying to understand the metric you're using. As far as better hard and soft products flying 30 years ago, that's a subjective statement.

The seats are smaller and closer together now, hard to get more measurable than that.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-08-27 08:18:08 and read 11730 times.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 114):

No I won't. I hardly ever pick the cheapest fare. Schedule is more important to me. For example, I'm 44 years old and I have never flown a Low Fare carrier and my only experience with a LCC was the grand total of 2 trips on WN. And no one else will either. If you look at all airline complaints, they're not about fares beeing to high. They're about crappy service and a miserable experience. People will continue to fly if airlines were to raise fares to more realistic values.

Then we must be reading the complaints of a whole other sector of consumers. Whenever I see a comment, anywhere, about DL (and it doesn't even have to be about airfares), several people will come up with the comment about why doesn't DL drop their airfares or that airfares are too high and it really has nothing to do with the subject at hand. The fact is, there are, no doubt many people that buy because of the schedule and others that buy because of price.

Maybe YOU won't bitch about raising airfares, but there are certainly those out there that will.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 111):
Quoting mayor (Reply 90):

Sorry, but as I mentioned above, I don't think anyone is talking about putting an extra stop in the routing just to pre-clear. Pre-clearance is done at the point of departure, so it doesn't have to be done at the U.S. gateway.

So you are just going to skip quoting my response where I said I have done it at SNN on the BA LCY-JFK flight?

Oh right, you wouldn't be able to say I didn't understand then...

They were actually talking about exactly putting another stop in. Specifically taking EI instead of a BA direct.

Sorry, I did miss that......blame it on late night, old age, whatever.......  

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-27 08:39:40 and read 11680 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 127):
Sorry, I did miss that......blame it on late night, old age, whatever.......

  Ha, I usually just go for all the above so I'm covered!

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: ckfred
Posted 2013-08-27 08:52:03 and read 11644 times.

Quoting HomSar (Reply 83):
Comparing food availability in hotels or on cruise ships to food availability on a plane is an apples-oranges comparison.

For the cruise ship case, the absolute only reason for someone to buy a ticket on a cruise ship is for the "experience" (well, with very few exceptions). Cruises have to offer that level of service because otherwise, why would anyone book a cruise? Airlines actually provide you with a practical service (i.e. getting you to your destination fairly quickly).

The other key difference for both cruise ships (which are very large) and hotels (which can also be very large) is that space (and associated weight) is at a premium on a plane. In some cases, by removing galleys, carriers can get an extra row of seats in. Planes flying around with a lot of "dead" weight not generating revenue is very expensive for airlines, because that weight translates into fuel burn. While technically, the same is true to some extent for cruise ships (and for energy consumption in hotels), it is nowhere near the same level of cost penalty as it is on an airplane. So, by eliminating meals, airlines are able to reduce the amount of food they need to store on board, which means less space taken up by food storage, which means more space to put passenger seats in.

Go to cruisecritic.com and see all the complaints about bad food, whether in the main dining room or the buffet and the laments about how cruise food used to be 5-star both in quality presentation and now are barely a step above Friday's or Applebee's.

Yet, there are people who don't care about about the food. It's all about the destinatios, the excursions, the shopping, and everything but the food.

By the same token, hotels don't always make money on the restaurants, and the lose money on room service, a lot of money. The money is made on bars and food and beverage service for receptions and meetings.

Quoting n505fx (Reply 88):
I'm not sure I agree - I can recall a time when when there were no self service apps, no full lie flat seats, no E+ seating, no satellite TV or internet, no nearly hourly service to almost anywhere you would want to fly in the U.S., no globally linked frequent flyer programs...should I go on?

All the seating used to be E+. When AA got it's first 727-100, it was 22 seats in First and 66 seats in coach. When the -100 was retired, it was 12 seats in coach and 113 seats in coach. You don't get lie flat seats on any flight out of ORD that isn't going to Europe, Asia, and South America. A lot of routes have lost hourly service. In the 90s, AA had 16 roundtrips between ORD and LAX. Now, it's 10. DL used to have hourly service between ORD and ATL, from 6am to 9pm. I think it's somewhere between 8 and 11 roundtrips now. And certainly, there is no hourly service between ORD and any destination in Florida, with the possible exception of Miami.

By the same token, globally linked F/F programs were coming into existance in the 1990s, before the airlines went fee happy. And frankly, I don't use the internet, if I have to pay for it, other than my home service. When my son wanted to connect his iPod to the wi-fi at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, it was more than $10 a day. I told him no and let him play games on my smartphone with the cellular connection.

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 100):
There really is not direct comparison between cruising and flying, except that cruising - like flying - is gradually morphing into a lower service, lower quality, pay for the extras experience. Actually quite similar to the airlines in some respects.

Some will argue that while the main dining room isn't what it was 20 years ago, the rest of the ship is usually much better. Certainly, cruise food isn't 5-stars. It's probably more along the lines of what you get at restaurants in the Lettuce Entertain You chain.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: manny
Posted 2013-08-27 09:23:18 and read 11560 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 58):
Yes, finally the airlines are making profits more in line with other corporations. Before, if they had a 2% profit margin, they were happy.

Its not that they are making profits. Its how they do it nickel and diming their way to revenue. Right or worng. that's ONE of the factors that pushed people away from flying. That was my point.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: PlanesNTrains
Posted 2013-08-27 09:32:24 and read 11543 times.

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 106):
We will now have a few hundred posts form US residents explaining why the US system, through some convoluted logic, is not only good, but better than the others, although it is not cheaper and it offers virtually no included service.

I won't argue with you. However, having been flying since the 70's I can say that it doesn't seem all that bad to me these days overall. Do I miss flying DC-10's on 3 hour segments? Sure. Was it fun as a kid to get a meal on a short flight? Sure. Do either of them really matter? Not in the least. I regularly go hour without eating, and virtually anywhere else in my life it is ME who is responsible for feeding my body.

As far as not cheaper, I have no idea as I've only flown in North America. However, I have always found bargains and rarely felt like I paid too much for what I got.

Ultimately, I think it is as much as anything a cultural thing. The fact that I can fly to so many places with so many options and do it safely and reliably and for the most part cheaply really is all that matters to me. I can certainly understand why getting a meal service is still an expectation in other places and that's fine. I'm not clear on why it makes the US aviation scene "bad"?

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 112):
Newp

Love it. Not sure why, but I do.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 114):
People will continue to fly if airlines were to raise fares to more realistic values.

Of course many people will still fly, but not as frequently and certainly more selectively. I can think of two trips I just booked recently for August and September travel that wouldn't have happened if the airfares were $100 more RT. And I'm ok with that. If the airlines priced higher and I couldn't fly as often, so be it. I'm actually getting off on seeing them finally stabilize as an industry.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 129):
Go to cruisecritic.com and see all the complaints about bad food, whether in the main dining room or the buffet and the laments about how cruise food used to be 5-star both in quality presentation and now are barely a step above Friday's or Applebee's.

True.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 129):
Some will argue that while the main dining room isn't what it was 20 years ago, the rest of the ship is usually much better.

True.

-Dave

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: airbazar
Posted 2013-08-27 09:55:07 and read 11515 times.

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 131):
Of course many people will still fly, but not as frequently and certainly more selectively. I can think of two trips I just booked recently for August and September travel that wouldn't have happened if the airfares were $100 more RT.

Right, but we're talking $5-$10 more, not $100. According to studies that I've seen, that's all the average airfare would have to go up in order to eliminate the "nickle-and-diming" and make customers happy. Most people aren't complaining about the prices. It's how the money is collected that seems to be a sore spot with most travelers.

Quoting mayor (Reply 127):
Then we must be reading the complaints of a whole other sector of consumers.

Here's one analysis:
http://www.boston.com/business/gallery/airline_passenger_complaints/

Generaly speaking passengers don't complain about fares.

Quoting mayor (Reply 127):
Maybe YOU won't bitch about raising airfares, but there are certainly those out there that will.

You will find complaints about everything. I personaly hate that it costs a lot to fly today although I understand that a huge percentage of the cost are taxes and fees that don't go towards the airline. Especially on international flights. Your average consumer doesn't know that. There is also a huge segment of the flying public that is young and wasn't even born pre-deregulation so for them, airfares have done nothing but go up while service went down. That's what they see. A college senior was born in 1994   There is a huge part of our population for whom B6 has always exists, and LBJ stands for LeBron James. They don't care and don't know that flying used to be a privilege for a few rich people.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-08-27 10:08:04 and read 11463 times.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 132):
They don't care and don't know that flying used to be a privilege for a few rich people.

And that's why some of us come on here and give a brief (or not so brief) history lesson, once in a while.  



If they don't understand how things were, in the past, they won't understand why things are as they are, now.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-27 10:19:45 and read 11420 times.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 132):
A college senior was born in 1994

And that's just frightening!  

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: WesternDC6B
Posted 2013-08-27 10:59:59 and read 11342 times.

All this talk of unbundling brings to mind a "great" idea.   

Let the hotels unbundle their products as well. Let me adopt the personna of a A.net reader who complains about free baggage he is paying for because he does not pack a bag.

"Why should I pay for the cable television I never watch?" (I do not watch television; the last time I tuned in a TV station in a hotel room was 9/11/01)

"Why do I pay for a fitness center I do not use?" (I do not use them; I go to the Y, or take a walk after my evening meal.)

"Swimming pool? I'm PAYING for it so OTHER people can swim?!?" (I do not use the pools at hotels.)

As for the shampoo etc, I DO use those, and I use the coffee makers when they are present, I will admit to that much.   

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: catiii
Posted 2013-08-27 11:11:18 and read 11300 times.

Quoting WesternDC6B (Reply 135):
Let the hotels unbundle their products as well.

I wish they would unbundle. I fully support this.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: AirCalSNA
Posted 2013-08-27 11:25:35 and read 11281 times.

I think it is telling that the author's bad experience was with United. In my years of flying with many different airlines, United stands out as having the worst customer service, by far. I would not lump Southwest, Virgin America or Jetblue in with United, and I think that American's employees have a professional demeanor, even if the actual product isn't great. United's corporate culture, however, seems to be built on barely disguised hostility toward its customers. I am willing to pay less for my fare if it means having to pay separately for food, but I am not willing to be treated with the disregard that United exhibits everyday.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: WesternDC6B
Posted 2013-08-27 11:25:39 and read 11289 times.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 132):
Right, but we're talking $5-$10 more, not $100. According to studies that I've seen, that's all the average airfare would have to go up in order to eliminate the "nickle-and-diming" and make customers happy. Most people aren't complaining about the prices. It's how the money is collected that seems to be a sore spot with most travelers.


When I travel on business, I find the airline that is going where I am going, at the time I wish to go, and which goes through airports I can tolerate if it is a multi-stop flight. Example: I will NOT fly internationally on itineraries using Atlanta as the port of entry on my return. Their transit TSA is overflowing with those who make up their own rules depending on their mood and who have other issues that make transit FAR less pleasant than in, say, DTW or MSP.

I then compare seat pitch and other things, then pick my fare. If the fares are all within a certain percentage of each other, I am good to go. If the price difference is drastic, I readjust my priorities.

I would like to see another study: how much are the airlines saving by moving the weight of baggage from the cargo holds up into a higher location in the aircraft. I am not too good with physics, so maybe someone can explain the fuel savings they achieve with this method. Yes, yes, I know about needing more ground crew to handle what they used to handle, but can it be THAT much more?

Furthermore, how many flights are delayed while folks are dancing in the aisles doing the "Find-a-Bin Fandango"?

Someone above expressed a beef about having no bag but paying for those who brought five. In my somewhat limited travel experience I have never heard of an airline that would allow ANYONE to take five bags without paying a surcharge, regardless of their class of ticket. I would love an example. Dredging one up from 1955 and the passenger's name being Juan Trippe does not count.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: TheRedBaron
Posted 2013-08-27 12:35:31 and read 11149 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 133):
And that's why some of us come on here and give a brief (or not so brief) history lesson, once in a while.  

If they don't understand how things were, in the past, they won't understand why things are as they are, now.

Exactly, newer model humans dont know what was lost...for good and bad...

I remember those guys at midwwest express like 10 years ago they had decent space on their aircraft made fresh cookies and offered pretty good service, they went the way of the DODO because people will not pay for it.

Let say that Jet Blue has 10 flights a day to LAX from JFK and one of its Aircraft with a good schedule has: 34 inch pitch, free wifi, IFE, meal service and 2 checked bags included and costs 100 more than the standard fare (the other 9 frequencies), do you think it would work? It would be a good experiment, even offer faster disembark and priority baggage handling... I would certanly pay for it....then again most public will not!

TRB

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: osubuckeyes
Posted 2013-08-27 12:44:58 and read 11128 times.

Quoting WesternDC6B (Reply 138):
I have never heard of an airline that would allow ANYONE to take five bags without paying a surcharge, regardless of their class of ticket. I would love an example.

While I did not miss all charges. Back in 2008 as a DL Silver when they allowed 3 checked bags, I checked 4 bags carried a board a bag, and a backpack. So that was six total bags with only one of them being charged at $50 if I recall correctly. To top it off all 4 checked bags were at the 49.5 lb mark as I had to resdistribute some of my stuff there in the check in area. I was probably a pain in the a** for the agents, but they were composed and helpful.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-27 12:59:53 and read 11087 times.

Quoting osubuckeyes (Reply 140):
While I did not miss all charges. Back in 2008 as a DL Silver when they allowed 3 checked bags, I checked 4 bags carried a board a bag, and a backpack. So that was six total bags with only one of them being charged at $50 if I recall correctly. To top it off all 4 checked bags were at the 49.5 lb mark as I had to resdistribute some of my stuff there in the check in area. I was probably a pain in the a** for the agents, but they were composed and helpful.

What on earth were you carrying!?

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: kgaiflyer
Posted 2013-08-27 13:06:47 and read 11096 times.

Quoting osubuckeyes (Reply 140):
While I did not miss all charges. Back in 2008 as a DL Silver when they allowed 3 checked bags, I checked 4 bags carried a board a bag, and a backpack. So that was six total bags with only one of them being charged at $50 if I recall correctly. To top it off all 4 checked bags were at the 49.5 lb mark as I had to resdistribute some of my stuff there in the check in area. I was probably a pain in the a** for the agents, but they were composed and helpful.

That's quite remarkable. My last DL flight was in 2008 flying DEN-SLC-IAD. They charged me a $90 penalty because my 26 inch rollerbag was 55 pounds rather than 50 pounds.

Did I say that was the last time I ever flew DL?

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: osubuckeyes
Posted 2013-08-27 13:19:40 and read 11040 times.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 141):
What on earth were you carrying!?

Moving to college so basically my whole wardrobe, printer, and a bunch of other computer equipment. I wanted to drive, but it was not really an option logistically. Flew PHX-SLC-PDX had to move all 6 bags across Portland to the train to get to Eugene, it was fun times. Lets just put it this way, when I moved up there for sophomore year I drove.

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 142):
55 pounds rather than 50 pounds.

I had a similar situation. Two of my bags were over, but I was lucky to be able to redistribute some stuff.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-27 13:27:35 and read 11016 times.

Quoting osubuckeyes (Reply 143):
Lets just put it this way, when I moved up there for sophomore year I drove.

I bet!

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: planemaker
Posted 2013-08-27 13:40:19 and read 11014 times.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 132):
They don't care and don't know that flying used to be a privilege for a few rich people.

The "rich people" have moved onto private jets, fractional ownership or charters. Face it, airlines are now aerial bus lines.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: brilondon
Posted 2013-08-27 14:10:55 and read 10935 times.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 145):

Quoting airbazar (Reply 132):
They don't care and don't know that flying used to be a privilege for a few rich people.

The "rich people" have moved onto private jets, fractional ownership or charters. Face it, airlines are now aerial bus lines.

No we haven't. We just move up to the front and pay for that privilege.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: manny
Posted 2013-08-27 14:26:18 and read 10893 times.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 118):
Yes, but you have to realize that a decade ago the airlines were still adapting to the reality of today's air travel. The public demands cheapest air travel. They are giving you what you want. If you don't want the hassle of travelling by air than by all means don't travel by air. The reason the airline have, as you put it, huge revenue gains it they are for a business, and have identified a method by which they charge those who want the service and not you who would like to find the lowest possible fare and whine and complain about all the charges. Look at FR. They charge hardly anything for their flights but if you want anything you pay extra. NK has seen the light and charge for you carry on. Most airlines charge for food and for checked luggage. You can save you money by not eating what they offer. You save by only bringing minimal luggage and do not order alcoholic beverages (personally I don't find the need to drink alcohol when I fly) or the crappy food from the airline. There are ways of travelling cheaply, but if you do please don't complain about YOUR choice to travel that way. You can what you want but be prepared to pay for it.

We are going off tangent here.

The thread is about decline of airline travel and i presented the causes for it from my viewpoint. The effect is clear in that there is a decline in air travel. People are rejecting airlines as means of transportation.

All i have got is responses that are trying to justify why airlines are charging more which does not have to do much with the topic at hand.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: awacsooner
Posted 2013-08-27 14:34:45 and read 10866 times.

It has everything to do with the topic...ultimately...it's about folks' opinions on whether or not the US airline industry is in a decline from the customer service/relations/atmosphere perspective.

This thread has gone a bit different than I wanted it to...but I really enjoy reading everyone's perspectives on it.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: rwy04lga
Posted 2013-08-27 14:41:03 and read 10856 times.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 129):
When my son wanted to connect his iPod to the wi-fi at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, it was more than $10 a day. I told him no and let him play games on my smartphone with the cellular connection.

That always pissed me off..that the hotel charges for wifi and parking.

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 142):
My last DL flight was in 2008 flying DEN-SLC-IAD. They charged me a $90 penalty because my 26 inch rollerbag was 55 pounds rather than 50 pounds.

Did I say that was the last time I ever flew DL?

And would the same scenario on other airlines be without cost? Will you not fly them, also? What would UA have charged you on their nonstop? That's like not ever visiting Atlanta again because you got caught running a red light there. But having run red lights in Newark, Charlotte, and Dallas....and not having been caught....those cities you still vist.

I'm curious...why DIDN'T you fly UA direct instead of backtracking to SLC on DL?

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: manny
Posted 2013-08-27 14:49:18 and read 10825 times.

Quoting ozark1 (Reply 63):
Oh ok, is that why they have all be in bankruptcy?

Most of those bankruptcies happen because of mismanagement. Period.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: frmrCapCadet
Posted 2013-08-27 14:49:47 and read 10832 times.

I think the decline in flying is somewhat along the line of "I fly when I want to" to "I fly when I have to". I have moved considerably to the 'have to' end of things. I do three or four trips a year, and driving and train typically win out. I don't expect first class service, just polite and as hassle-free as they can make it. Which is why I promote connecting the bin with the seat, this is often a big hassle. Southwest offering baggage fries free greatly reduces the hassle with carryons, and I have always found the trips pleasant, so even if it costs more I choose them.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-27 15:53:07 and read 10760 times.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 146):
No we haven't. We just move up to the front and pay for that privilege.

Some do, some don't. Categorizing any group is ridiculous.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: brilondon
Posted 2013-08-27 16:26:32 and read 10701 times.

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 142):
They charged me a $90 penalty because my 26 inch rollerbag was 55 pounds rather than 50 pounds.

Why did you fly to SLC instead of directly? Also your bag was over weight, what did you expect?

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: PHX787
Posted 2013-08-27 17:32:48 and read 10576 times.

Pick my post to threads as usual, but I've heard so much over the last few months, from frequent fliers, first time fliers, and fliers who have not flown in such a long time. I'll post their thoughts below, as I've taken notes to prove my points:

The customer service industry ads a whole in the USA is in a state of total disarray. Because of the general state of the economy, and people taking jobs simply to get a job, and not because they have a psssion for their job, the state of customer- employee relations is absolutely outrageous. You have people working the checkin and bag service, as well as gate agents, who got the job because it was the only job available. I know that's not everyone, but it's what seems to be the case in the continental USA for a number of people i've talked to. Not to mention call centers. I won't go into details; we all know what goes on there: I believe that airlines, if they wanna improve their customer service reputation- bring in the Japanese. If anyone's been into Japan, even if they use an Airline like DL, they see the major difference in how you're treated vs in America. The Japanese gate agents and checkin people are extremely respectful and very helpful, and use very polite language. It's indicative of their culture. I say bring it here to the US. Train people to be polite and respectful.

Flying is such a hassle because of mergers. It is extremely difficult for people to actually fly hassle-free anymore. You have airlines like NK gouging unsuspecting customers, you have outrageous prices in the midwest, and you have very few direct flights per airport in comparison to pre-2001 Aviation industry. An example: I was talking to someone at DTW a while ago about how often they fly. This person was living in DEN and had to go to CVG every week for work before the merger. He told me because of the merger, flights to CVG were pared significantly, and while F9 and UA have upticked a bit, this guy has been a loyal skymiles customer for years. He says he has to fly less to CVG because it costs too much to fly here, on top of having to waste multiple days flying there, wheras in the past he could've made the trip a day trip. Businesses as well have to fly less and less because of the prices involved, which directly effects their bottom line. Plain and simple. Mergers are not good for other businesses.

Tear this post apart, especially those of you who are defending your megahubs, because I wanna know why you guys have never ever gave the rest of America a decent excuse.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: HomSar
Posted 2013-08-27 19:04:17 and read 10427 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 154):
I believe that airlines, if they wanna improve their customer service reputation- bring in the Japanese. If anyone's been into Japan, even if they use an Airline like DL, they see the major difference in how you're treated vs in America. The Japanese gate agents and checkin people are extremely respectful and very helpful, and use very polite language. It's indicative of their culture. I say bring it here to the US. Train people to be polite and respectful.

I understand what you're suggesting, but I honestly think that in order for this to work, we would also need the Japanese to train the American public.

Respect is a two-way street. Many people start out trying to give the best of service, but having to deal with the BS of a public with an overblown sense of entitlement (which is a very big problem in US culture) wears you down over time, to the point where many simply can't help but become disillusioned and detached as a necessity to prevent from going crazy.

I can't claim to know what life is like in Japan, having never been there, but I have a number of friends who have lived in Japan at some point in their lives, and one of the things that I gather is that Japanese culture is very much one of respect and avoiding confrontation. US culture, on the other hand, is one of being loud, acting as if you're the only person in the room, and screaming and threatening lawsuits when you don't get what you want, and finding every excuse in the book to avoid any responsibility when things go wrong.

Given all of that, simply having Japanese customer service at the ticket counter isn't going to do much of anything. I figure it would last a few weeks or months, then fade away as most employees realize that some people out there are going to be jerks no matter what, and the vast majority couldn't be bothered to look up from their cell phones long enough to realize someone is being nice to them.

Just as the traveling public doesn't value extra legroom and nice meals enough to entice them to spend the extra dollars required to support that kind of service, the typical member of the public doesn't value kindness or respect enough to reciprocate, at the expense of whatever text message they're sending at the moment. Everything is about values, whether they're financial, personal, or social. People, ultimately, get what they ask for.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: PHX787
Posted 2013-08-27 19:12:37 and read 10405 times.

Quoting HomSar (Reply 155):
Respect is a two-way street. Many people start out trying to give the best of service, but having to deal with the BS of a public with an overblown sense of entitlement (which is a very big problem in US culture) wears you down over time, to the point where many simply can't help but become disillusioned and detached as a necessity to prevent from going crazy.

It happens too in Japan.....but not nearly as much...but when it happens, it's usually dealing with the spoiled children born in the late 80s who were products of the asset bubble. These people are reaching the age of having kids, and because of that, some people in Japanese media have claimed a degredation of society because of those "lost decaders" attitude.

Surprisingly enough, people born around my era, 1991 onwards, are showing some more hope and courteousness...

Quoting HomSar (Reply 155):
US culture, on the other hand, is one of being loud, acting as if you're the only person in the room, and screaming and threatening lawsuits when you don't get what you want, and finding every excuse in the book to avoid any responsibility when things go wrong.

You know maybe the decline of the US Aviation industry may be a societal issue as well....

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: alfa164
Posted 2013-08-27 19:37:17 and read 10344 times.

Quoting peanuts (Reply 29):
Ok.Let's discuss:What an elitist presumptuous load of you know what.When done reading you ask yourself: ok, what did this accomplish? Basically it boils down to this: certain people on a particular side of the political aisle want their cake and eat it too.Let's talk about the banking industry and their shortcomings...

So... only "certain people on a particular side of the political aisle..." are tired of being squeezed into a space whose legroom is getting smaller and smaller every year? Only "certain people on a particular side of the political aisle..." are tired of being ignored or - worse - demeaned by an airline "customer service" agent when the passenger has a legitimate complaint (and oft times, that agent speaks a barely decipherable version of "English")? Only "certain people on a particular side of the political aisle..." are tired of being bumped from overbooked flights; unhappy with numerous delays and missed connections, getting no information as to why or what can be done; disgusted with the impersonalization of airline travel in general... well, you should get the idea by now.

Sorry, I don't buy it. Airlines are fair in one respect; they don't discriminate on the basis of which side of the aisle you politics comes from. Everyone - every passenger - is a commodity, not a human being. Maybe you wish only "certain people on a particular side of the political aisle..." got the shaft.

That ain't the way it happens.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: PlanesNTrains
Posted 2013-08-27 20:51:05 and read 10259 times.

Tonight my son is preparing to fly home from Anchorage to Seattle. He is on a RT itinerary that cost $218. He has a free checked bag. He has a seat assignment. He's on a relatively young aircraft. He's almost assuredly going to be on time based on my review of FlightAware history (including tonight's Seattle-Anchorage flight). He's going to have unlimited snacks and beverages. He's going to have free movies. He's going to have adequate legroom, but if so desired an extra 6" is still available for $40 extra. And I'm not concerned about him having a seat because this airline doesn't overbook.

Sorry - I'm just not going to complain a whole heckuva lot about the industry. I know there are problems and I know it can be a lousy experience at times, but by and large it's a decent value for what you get. Heck, if I wanted my son to visit his grandpa I could have driven the Alaska Highway (which I've done before) and spent a fortune on gas, endured two border crossings each way, hotels, meals, wear and tear, yada yada yada.

Nope, I'm pretty darn content. YMMV.

-Dave

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: questions
Posted 2013-08-27 20:59:55 and read 10236 times.

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 158):
an extra 6"

Dave- which airline? B6?

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: PlanesNTrains
Posted 2013-08-27 22:51:37 and read 10153 times.

Quoting questions (Reply 159):
Dave- which airline? B6?

Yes. Now, don't misunderstand, I'm not a big JetBlue fanboy. I've flown one roundtrip on them a few years ago SEA-LGB-SEA and it was enjoyable. I usually fly WN or AS on the west coast, and have flown CO and DL on longer itineraries over the past 10 years. Regardless, I've generally been quite happy with most of my flights and hardly feel like I'm being abused or punished.

But that's just me.

-Dave

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: planemaker
Posted 2013-08-27 22:51:59 and read 10153 times.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 146):
No we haven't. We just move up to the front and pay for that privilege.

Then you are not rich. Truly rich people do NOT pay for the privilege of being patted down by the TSA, nor having to arrive an hour or two before flight, nor mingling with the hoi polio on the trek to the departure gate, nor having to wait for their golf bag, etc, etc, etc.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: beechtobus
Posted 2013-08-28 00:54:12 and read 10047 times.

------

Quoting awacsooner (Thread starter):

"I believe that it perfectly states both the economic state of affairs in the US airline industry post-bailout as well as the current mental state of the majority of customer service folks I have encountered over the past few years. The loss of services, the nickel and dime fees, the de-humanizing of customer service...to me, this is the proverbial "frog in the boiling water scenario." Ten years ago, if we would have been discussing all the changes that have come to the airlines with the fees and the diminishing services, most of us would have been completely and utterly enraged at any particular airline that would dare to take away such perks from us...akin to throwing the frog into boiling water to see him jump out. But instead, the airline industry has slowly "boiled us" with fuel fees, baggage fees, fees for credit cards, fees for phone tickets, fees for carry-ons, smaller planes, reduced frequencies, no more free snacks (or drinks on some carriers), etc.

I think the industry as a whole is a great case study in business ethics about how a business as a whole starts out by treating customers as friends and family and ends up treating them like a wallet with disposable income."------------------------------------------------------

I am not going to say that I disagree for a minute that customer service standards in the airlines has dwindled over the past several decades. And yes, if someone from 20, 30, 40 years ago fast forwarded into the present and stepped onto a plane today, they would probably be very taken back if not shocked by the differences and overall lack of amenities and inclusions.

But then you go on this tangent talking about how the airlines are wronging us and unfairly taking away from us I.E. slowly boiling us. This is where I have to raise the nonsense flag. This may be believable if there was a true monopoly or duopoly in the industry, but there absolutely is not. Save some EAS routes and some other smaller airports that are within reasonable driving distance to other airports, there is some kind of completion between virtually every city pair served by airlines in the USA. The simple fact is that THE PUBLIC HAS CHOSEN PRICE AS THE NUMBER ONE DETERMINANT WHEN BUYING AN AIRLINE TICKET. This is what it boils down to and thus this is what the airlines must compete on and have to trim as much as possible in order to do so.

A little history lesson for you-- pre deregulation (1978) airlines could not compete on price, they effectively had to compete by service, perks, inclusions, and sometimes gifts, but, the Civil Aeronautics Board set airfare between cities. Come deregulation and now airlines could set their own airfares. What then happens? The current legacies basically operate status quo and hold out as long as possible while at the same time little Southwest, which offered very few perks grows and grows through the 80s, 90s, and 00s to become what would undoubtedly be the largest domestic airline today if not for the mega mergers of NWA/DAL and UAL/CAL. Why did they become so big and profitable? Simple, their relative lack of perks and their relative high efficiency made their tickets cheaper than the legacies. that's it. Nowadays as virtually everyone else has shaved their perks and labor costs (through bankruptcy, which we both agree is BS) and Southwest has remained largely the same as its been for the last 40 or so years, now has a relative large amount of perks and they no longer have the pricing power they once had and are losing ground to the likes of Spirit, and Allegiant and more and more, many of the legacies. It's no coincidence that the airlines that offer the very least (Spirit and Allegiant) are the most profitable as of late. The base fares for them are the cheapest, and this is what people want, and they know this.

Now, post 1978, had passengers largely chosen the United's and Eastern's, and Americans over the Southwests, and America West's, and Allegiant's, we would probably be arguing right now about which domestic airline has the better steak, which ones blankets are comfyer, or why airline XYZ just went from 34 to 33 inches of seat pitch.

The notion that the "big bad profiteering" airlines has imposed this lack of service on us is nonsense. The public at large imposed this lack of service and comfort on its self by valuing low price over all else. The airlines have to trim somewhere and more and more they trim everywhere in order to compete to offer the lowest price. Personally, I thoroughly appreciated the fact that I got my girlfriend and I from LA to Billings round trip with a carryon each this past July for $318. So what if a coke was $3, there wasn't much legroom in a non reclining seat? I guarantee that 20 years ago we wouldn't have been able to do this for $318 2013 dollars. But if I wanted a 1960s experience ( save the 25 year old stewardess in a mini skirt), I had the choice of buying a first class ticket through SLC for probably less than I would have payed in the 60s ( in real dollars of course)

And lastly, touchy feely commercials of the past do not mean airlines or and other business were your "friends" or "family". They may have told you this, and hell, may have even acted like friends or family to keep you coming back. Airlines, however, are businesses, like Walmart, like Discount Tires, like my housekeeper. They provide a service that I need or simply want and in exchange I give them money so they can cover their costs, pay their creditors or investors, expand their business, or just live their lives. That's how business works. They are not friends, they are not family, just an entity that provides something, that I cannot, or chose not to and otherwise value.

[Edited 2013-08-28 01:02:42]

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-28 04:39:02 and read 9928 times.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 152):
Some do, some don't. Categorizing any group is ridiculous.
Quoting planemaker (Reply 161):
Then you are not rich. Truly rich people do NOT pay for the privilege of being patted down by the TSA, nor having to arrive an hour or two before flight, nor mingling with the hoi polio on the trek to the departure gate, nor having to wait for their golf bag, etc, etc, etc.

Dude, see above.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-28 04:44:20 and read 9923 times.

Quoting HomSar (Reply 155):
I understand what you're suggesting, but I honestly think that in order for this to work, we would also need the Japanese to train the American public.

I would honestly say that's the last thing you should do. All the good qualities you listed are absolutely true, but in the context of airport etiquette, their inability to form the most basic queue would make it all for naught.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: brilondon
Posted 2013-08-28 04:54:49 and read 9893 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 154):
Tear this post apart, especially those of you who are defending your megahubs, because I wanna know why you guys have never ever gave the rest of America a decent excuse.
Quoting PHX787 (Reply 156):
Quoting HomSar (Reply 155):
Respect is a two-way street. Many people start out trying to give the best of service, but having to deal with the BS of a public with an overblown sense of entitlement (which is a very big problem in US culture) wears you down over time, to the point where many simply can't help but become disillusioned and detached as a necessity to prevent from going crazy.

It happens too in Japan.....but not nearly as much...but when it happens, it's usually dealing with the spoiled children born in the late 80s who were products of the asset bubble. These people are reaching the age of having kids, and because of that, some people in Japanese media have claimed a degredation of society because of those "lost decaders" attitude.

Unfortunately, entitlement is a cultural thing not easily changed. It is usually just a couple of real jerks though that you remember and not the thousands that you serve that have just said "Thank you" and gone about their business with out a hassle.

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 160):

Quoting questions (Reply 159):
Dave- which airline? B6?

Yes. Now, don't misunderstand, I'm not a big JetBlue fanboy. I've flown one roundtrip on them a few years ago SEA-LGB-SEA and it was enjoyable. I usually fly WN or AS on the west coast, and have flown CO and DL on longer itineraries over the past 10 years. Regardless, I've generally been quite happy with most of my flights and hardly feel like I'm being abused or punished.

Try UA or US and then get back to me, I have flown on all the airlines you have mentioned and agree with you but you failed to give you opinion on US or UA.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: PHX787
Posted 2013-08-28 06:39:47 and read 9763 times.

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 158):
Tonight my son is preparing to fly home from Anchorage to Seattle. He is on a RT itinerary that cost $218. He has a free checked bag. He has a seat assignment. He's on a relatively young aircraft. He's almost assuredly going to be on time based on my review of FlightAware history (including tonight's Seattle-Anchorage flight). He's going to have unlimited snacks and beverages. He's going to have free movies. He's going to have adequate legroom, but if so desired an extra 6" is still available for $40 extra. And I'm not concerned about him having a seat because this airline doesn't overbook.

Maybe AS is the shining beacon in the industry. I enjoyed my flight wiith AS....even though the plane was quite dirty

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 164):
Quoting HomSar (Reply 155):
I understand what you're suggesting, but I honestly think that in order for this to work, we would also need the Japanese to train the American public.

I would honestly say that's the last thing you should do. All the good qualities you listed are absolutely true, but in the context of airport etiquette, their inability to form the most basic queue would make it all for naught.

I disagree, I actually think that the Japanese, if they wanna beef up their exports, as per Abenomics, they should export their societal values to America. We all can agree that America has some issues, and Japan has some issues too.

My dream actually is to introduce the good points of Japan and America to America and Japan   

But in order to do that, well, I gotta start somewhere....which means start with one industry.......  

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-28 06:42:31 and read 9735 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 166):
I disagree, I actually think that the Japanese, if they wanna beef up their exports, as per Abenomics, they should export their societal values to America. We all can agree that America has some issues, and Japan has some issues too.

No, I was agreeing with that! But the total sum will be completely negated by the utter lack of queueing skills, which is the one thing they need to import. Desperately.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 166):
My dream actually is to introduce the good points of Japan and America to America and Japan

I support this 100%!  

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: DTWPurserBoy
Posted 2013-08-28 07:41:51 and read 9674 times.

Quoting manny (Reply 150):
Most of those bankruptcies happen because of mismanagement. Period.

Mismanagement was a partial cause of the bankruptcies but you can add in asset stripping, 9/11, the Gulf War, SARS, oil prices and a whole variety of issues beyond the airlines' control.

A lot of what you would call "decline" in air travel has more to do with the fact that people are hassled and frustrated by the time they get on board. They had to either stand in a long line at the ticket counter to check bags, work with sometimes balky boarding pass printers, do a striptease for the TSA as they paw through your personal belongings and when you get to the gate the place is packed. All I have to do is stand in the doorway of the aircraft and say "good afternoon" and I get ripped a new one.

All of the excess capacity has been removed--the chances of you having an empty seat next to you are little to none so there goes your personal space. The guy in front of you slams his seatback so far back you can count his nose hairs as you try to extract your possibly broken legs. Free food has gone the way of propellers and a drink costs a whopping $7.00. Add in another ten for a dry sandwich. It is no wonder that so many people feel that the industry is in decline--all the norms have been changed and you got no input into those changes.

And to be totally honest, I don't see things changing much in the foreseeable future. The system is stretched as far as it can go.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: Pe@rson
Posted 2013-08-28 07:53:18 and read 9644 times.

Quoting WesternDC6B (Reply 135):
Let the hotels unbundle their products as well

Already happens, e.g. with Tune and easyHotels.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: Flighty
Posted 2013-08-28 08:12:05 and read 9605 times.

Quoting beechtobus (Reply 162):
The simple fact is that THE PUBLIC HAS CHOSEN PRICE AS THE NUMBER ONE DETERMINANT WHEN BUYING AN AIRLINE TICKET. This is what it boils down to and thus this is what the airlines must compete on and have to trim as much as possible in order to do so.

Exactly so. This is about freedom -- right now the airline industry is set up almost perfectly to give Americans what they want. Safe travel at a low (ish) price. They're not going bankrupt either.

All that other stuff -- people aren't willing to pay for. It's one of the best-established marketing facts on Earth - with billions of data points, and direct comparisons.

It's very common that people think airlines are different, and somehow worse than other businesses. Then, other businesses copy them. Why... because airlines were ahead, not behind, the curve.

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 168):
A lot of what you would call "decline" in air travel has more to do with the fact that people are hassled and frustrated by the time they get on board.

   State of mind. People need to chill out and enjoy themselves more.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-28 08:26:27 and read 9579 times.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 170):
It's very common that people think airlines are different, and somehow worse than other businesses. Then, other businesses copy them. Why... because airlines were ahead, not behind, the curve.

That may be the funniest thing I have read.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-08-28 08:46:33 and read 9553 times.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 164):
. All the good qualities you listed are absolutely true, but in the context of airport etiquette, their inability to form the most basic queue would make it all for naught.

They're not the only ones......I noticed in Greece, even though they have a boarding pass with a confirmed seat, they still do what they can to butt in line as though it's open seating.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: PlanesNTrains
Posted 2013-08-28 09:14:24 and read 9497 times.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 164):
All the good qualities you listed are absolutely true, but in the context of airport etiquette, their inability to form the most basic queue would make it all for naught.
Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 152):
Some do, some don't. Categorizing any group is ridiculous.

Dude, see above.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 165):
Try UA or US and then get back to me, I have flown on all the airlines you have mentioned and agree with you but you failed to give you opinion on US or UA.

Well, the last time I flew UA was on a 727-200 RNO-SEA in August 1984. I've never flown on US/HP. However, like any industry, there will be quality leaders, price leaders, bottom feeders, etc. I'm not saying that I am describing the entire industry, but if people prioritize amenities then I'd think B6 would be more successful than they have been.

But again, I can only speak of my experiences. Next month, I'm flying to SoCal for $177 RT. I'll have my bag travel free. The flights will very likely be on time as always. I'll have a comfy leather seat. I won't have a seat assignment but am traveling alone on short flights and can check in on line and get a window if I choose. I won't be served a meal so have already planned for this. To be honest, I'm WAY more concerned about the rental car experience.

-Dave

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-28 09:36:11 and read 9427 times.

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 173):
Dude, see above.

Umm, yeah? Queuing is an issue in many societies. I never posited tat any particular Japanese wouldn't do it.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: DTWPurserBoy
Posted 2013-08-28 10:10:42 and read 9396 times.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 174):
Umm, yeah? Queuing is an issue in many societies. I never posited tat any particular Japanese wouldn't do it.

This made me smile. As Americans, we usually queue patiently on line waiting our turn but in Japan people will just jump right in front of you. It makes us Americans crazy but the Japanese seem to accept it as the norm. If you politely say something to them they look genuinely confused.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: Flighty
Posted 2013-08-28 10:13:49 and read 9374 times.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 171):
That may be the funniest thing I have read.

Sure -- well, it is funny that most businesses are just learning about "big data" and loyalty programs today. And customer segmentation... quant marketing... network logistics algorithms. At airlines, "big data" was a revolution that happened 20+ years ago. Then Wal-Mart followed up, and finally Amazon and Google finished the job.

Now, you could definitely argue that airlines made no money with their inventions, so they must be stupid. Long story short, I'd say other businesses just have greater profit potential (patent protection, etc). Best-practices are well distributed now, so airlines have little ability to make money, unless they are engaging in monopoly. This is because of free entry.

[Edited 2013-08-28 10:16:22]

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-28 10:27:18 and read 9368 times.

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 175):
This made me smile. As Americans, we usually queue patiently on line waiting our turn but in Japan people will just jump right in front of you. It makes us Americans crazy but the Japanese seem to accept it as the norm. If you politely say something to them they look genuinely confused.

I know. Such an interesting culture divide. I think we Westerners could learn a lot from Eastern non reactionism though.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 176):
Sure -- well, it is funny that most businesses are just learning about "big data" and loyalty programs today. And customer segmentation... quant marketing... network logistics algorithms. At airlines, "big data" was a revolution that happened 20+ years ago. Then Wal-Mart followed up, and finally Amazon and Google finished the job.

It's an insult to compare what Amazon and Google do to the airlines. Big data has been around since long before someone in DFW thought to use it.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: manny
Posted 2013-08-28 11:04:42 and read 9280 times.

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 168):
Mismanagement was a partial cause of the bankruptcies but you can add in asset stripping, 9/11, the Gulf War, SARS, oil prices and a whole variety of issues beyond the airlines' control.

That's where good management comes in. As a top manager the job is too ensure the business is able to withstand the unexpected. If you are strong before a crisis if at all you are impacted then you are the last one to be impacted and you are least impacted.

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 168):
A lot of what you would call "decline" in air travel has more to do with the fact that people are hassled and frustrated by the time they get on board. They had to either stand in a long line at the ticket counter to check bags, work with sometimes balky boarding pass printers, do a striptease for the TSA as they paw through your personal belongings and when you get to the gate the place is packed. All I have to do is stand in the doorway of the aircraft and say "good afternoon" and I get ripped a new one.

Agreed. That's what i was talking about when i said the hassles of traveling by air.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2013-08-28 16:29:11 and read 9046 times.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 177):
Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 175):
This made me smile. As Americans, we usually queue patiently on line waiting our turn but in Japan people will just jump right in front of you. It makes us Americans crazy but the Japanese seem to accept it as the norm. If you politely say something to them they look genuinely confused.

I know. Such an interesting culture divide.

Also true in much of Europe (other than the UK). The concept of queueing is almost unknown. Board a train (or a ski lift) in Switzerland, for example, and you will see what I mean.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-28 16:30:56 and read 9039 times.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 179):

Also true in much of Europe (other than the UK). The concept of queueing is almost unknown. Board a train (or a ski lift) in Switzerland, for example, and you will see what I mean.

I have and I do!  

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: ECAMActions
Posted 2013-08-28 16:35:54 and read 9038 times.

This is the same NYT that cried foul at the us/aa merger. Now they complain that airlines don't offer anything.
Well how can airlines enhance their product if they aren't allowed to grow their businesses and gain more revenue to reinvest in their business?

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: FlyPNS1
Posted 2013-08-28 16:58:17 and read 8997 times.

Quoting ECAMActions (Reply 181):
Well how can airlines enhance their product if they aren't allowed to grow their businesses and gain more revenue to reinvest in their business?

What does the merger of US/AA have to do with growth? Parker has already said the merged company will shrink. In fact, one of the prime goals of the merger is to remove more capacity from the system. I'd also note, there's been no growth from the DL/NW, FL/WN or UA/CO mergers. Every merger has been about getting rid of capacity.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: ECAMActions
Posted 2013-08-28 17:01:55 and read 8992 times.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 182):
What does the merger of US/AA have to do with growth? Parker has already said the merged company will shrink. In fact, one of the prime goals of the merger is to remove more capacity from the system. I'd also note, there's been no growth from the DL/NW, FL/WN or UA/CO mergers. Every merger has been about getting rid of capacity.

Talking about revenue growth and parker has not said they would shrink the company. If anything they said they want to grow it internationally in asia and africa.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: zippyjet
Posted 2013-08-28 17:41:23 and read 8949 times.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 1):
When you grow up in the northeast the rudeness becomes a part of daily life.

You hit the nail on the head, as they say spot on. I'm not saying we are angels in Maryland on south but that NYC, BOS attitude gets old real fast. For whatever it's worth you get what you give. Of course we have to smile and put on our nice faces.

It's not just our industry that's changed. Try getting A TV repaired or God forbid a plumber, or air conditioning repaired. Before you can even fart, you are going to pony up some bucks just for the privelidge of them visiting. And dealing with government workers? I'm not going there. That's the stuff for a Non-Rev thread and our politicians?

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: dfambro
Posted 2013-08-28 17:44:40 and read 8934 times.

Quoting ECAMActions (Reply 181):
This is the same NYT that cried foul at the us/aa merger. Now they complain that airlines don't offer anything.

It's different writers making different points in different sections with different section editors.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: PHX787
Posted 2013-08-28 17:56:57 and read 8923 times.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 167):
I support this 100%!

   Hahaha sorry for being confused!

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 174):
Umm, yeah? Queuing is an issue in many societies. I never posited tat any particular Japanese wouldn't do it.

I read somewhere that societies which queue properly have more organized structures too. In Business as well.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: zippyjet
Posted 2013-08-28 18:05:41 and read 8909 times.

Quoting 777fan (Reply 3):

Sounds like you took that statement right from the "zippyjet" playbook   

Quoting questions (Reply 17):

Paper work and paper tickets are time aggrevation and money. In my early days at FL 11 years ago we had tons of lost paper ticket forms especially from the "Summer People." And the cost to the passengers were enormous. I feel sorry for travel agents, it's a dying breed except for the wealthy and aged.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-08-28 20:39:04 and read 8795 times.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 182):
I'd also note, there's been no growth from the DL/NW, FL/WN or UA/CO mergers. Every merger has been about getting rid of capacity.

I suppose you heard about the recession of '08?......it was in all the papers.  

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: awacsooner
Posted 2013-08-29 02:08:43 and read 8652 times.

I really enjoy the discussion this thread has provoked...both defending and detracting. However, there is absolutely ZERO need for some posters to be patronizing or condescending towards other posters regarding their opinion of a lack of subject knowledge. This thread is about opinion based upon an article...thus there is no right or wrong answer. With that in mind...   

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: OzGlobal
Posted 2013-08-29 04:49:52 and read 8576 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 154):
If anyone's been into Japan, even if they use an Airline like DL, they see the major difference in how you're treated vs in America. The Japanese gate agents and checkin people are extremely respectful and very helpful, and use very polite language. It's indicative of their culture. I say bring it here to the US. Train people to be polite and respectful.

Ive been a dozen times to Japan and am experienced with airline service out of Narita with Japanese agents with CX, JL and AF.

Observations:

- all that you say is true in terms of politeness and language (very nice)

- what you leave out is that efficiency and dealing with problems is diabolically bad:

- Japanese in service roles will mindlessly follow 'the process, which is good when things go smoothly, but when there is a problem, the last thing that will be shown is initiative. Improvision, even to solve a problem is seen as extremely dangerous, and could result in falure and loss of face. Therefore, follow the process, slavishly, even when it is laughably pointless and takes you into the wall.

I can give lots of examples: insisting you as a business or F passenger queue behind 10 people in the J and F queue even though there are zero people in the Y queue for checkin or baggage scanners.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: Tango-Bravo
Posted 2013-08-29 12:50:40 and read 8301 times.

Quoting koruman (Reply 6):
It is true that in Europe many passengers accept the no free bag / no free IFE / no catering product that American passengers do, but when they fly LCCs. The difference is that in the USA this appalling service level applies to even long-haul domestic flights (e.g. Hawaii) and is practised by legacy carriers.

Which largely sums up the reasons for which I typically choose to fly with a particular ULCC (within the U.S.) who rival Spirit when it comes to add-on fees. Unlike the legacies, said ULCC makes no pretense of being a full-service airline...while at the same time handling the customer service side of the business at least as well as the legacies; and unlike the legacies, there is no caste system.

My other reason for choosing to go with the ULCC is flight schedules. Whereas with the ULCC I can fly non-stop to/from a regional/semi-rural airport 100 miles from my VFF destination, the legacy-served airport just 35 miles away has seen schedules to/from the congested pre-requisite hub airport slashed to the point where layover times are unrealistically short (37 minutes between distant gates) or unduly long (~3.5 hours -- more than the gate-to-gate time of the longest flight segment).

Had the layover time between flights at the legacy hub airport been more like 1-2 hours, I would not hesitate to pay $100-150 more (overall, inclusive of all taxes & fees) per person, as I could have, for the convenience of flying with the legacy from the closer airport...even if their full-sevice coach/economy product overall has little to differentiate it from that offered by the ULCC.

Bottom line... if asked the question, What is the difference between ULCC/LCCs and legacy airlines in the U.S.? ...my reply would be "what difference?" (to non-"elite" economy/coach pax) ...other than the ULCC/LCCs choosing to not masquerade as full-service carriers.

[Edited 2013-08-29 13:07:02]

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: catiii
Posted 2013-08-29 13:14:07 and read 8262 times.

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 192):
Which largely sums up the reasons for which I typically choose to fly with a particular ULCC (within the U.S.) who rival Spirit when it comes to add-on fees.

Any particular reason why you're keeping said ULCC's name a secret?  

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: hh65man
Posted 2013-08-29 13:41:28 and read 8220 times.

The only decline I've noticed is that Grey Hound busses have sprouted wings and taken to the skies..... 

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: Tango-Bravo
Posted 2013-08-29 14:46:56 and read 8145 times.

Quoting catiii (Reply 193):
Any particular reason why you're keeping said ULCC's name a secret?

No particular reason... "said ULCC" referred to (in Reply 192) is Allegiant Air. They bill themselves as a vacation/leisure airline, a niche they fill very well in my experience.  

[Edited 2013-08-29 14:52:07]

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: TheRedBaron
Posted 2013-08-29 15:30:34 and read 8087 times.

Quoting hh65man (Reply 194):
The only decline I've noticed is that Grey Hound busses have sprouted wings and taken to the skies..... 

LOL good one!

In México Busses have higher level of service than business class, (big seat with massage, a "bus" attendant, some food served and other for buy, free wifi, a big monitor with 5 movie choices... so maybe even some LCC have gone too far!

I wonder what will happen if oil gets to 150 a barrel.... we will fly in the cargo hold?

TRB

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2013-08-29 16:21:25 and read 8037 times.

Quoting hh65man (Reply 194):
The only decline I've noticed is that Greyhound buses have sprouted wings and taken to the skies.....

Greyhound buses did take to the skies in Canada briefly in 1996-97. Greyhound Air was very unprofitable and the service was dropped after 14 months.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8GP3PdvjB8


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Photo © Lyndon Thorley

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: VS11
Posted 2013-08-29 17:25:50 and read 7954 times.

Sorry but this article is a lot of drivel. Not even sure why it got published. If the author just realized that air travel has changed, s/he is way too late to the game. Air travel has been changing for decades, maybe the change has been more pronounced in the last decade but the process has been going on for some time. If the author wants to focus on the idea that money can buy stuff including service, again not a new idea.

This article is just a pseudo-intellectual way of complaining about United service. Next time fly another airline until you find one that meets your standards or just pay for service. Good service costs money - typically between 15-20% on top of the items purchased/consumed - that's what in the USA is an acceptable tip at bars, restaurants and other service industries.
The word "tip" comes from "To Insure Promptness" used in the 17th-century London coffeehouses, and it started for a good reason.

The original thought would have been to suggest that airline employees be allowed to get tipped for their good customer service. If it is acceptable almost everywhere else, why not in aviation? Airlines are trying to make money by offering options for customers to pay for what customers want/need. Pretty simple.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: PlanesNTrains
Posted 2013-08-29 18:45:07 and read 7873 times.

Quoting VS11 (Reply 198):
The original thought would have been to suggest that airline employees be allowed to get tipped for their good customer service. If it is acceptable almost everywhere else, why not in aviation? Airlines are trying to make money by offering options for customers to pay for what customers want/need. Pretty simple.

About 10 years ago, weren't there US Airways pilots announcing that tips were welcome?

-Dave

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: rwy04lga
Posted 2013-08-29 18:50:47 and read 7861 times.

The best occupation for making tips is as a mohel.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: psa188
Posted 2013-08-30 08:29:46 and read 7617 times.

The New York Times article that started this thread just got quoted by David Rowell, who writes the Travel Insider blog and who recently figured out that airlines and many of their employees hate the customers. Exhibit A in his discussion is this trip report from a recent Air Fiji trip from New Zealand to the USA, where he was booked, space available, in business class but where the airline's employees took perverse delight in not helping him upgrade despite there being seats available. The trip report's here:
http://blog.thetravelinsider.info/20...o-have-the-seats-you-paid-for.html

The more general article, the one citing the thread-starting NY Times article, is here:
http://blog.thetravelinsider.info/20...ne-art-of-customer-disservice.html

After presenting his thesis, backed up by true-but-obvious quotes like "The outrageousness of almost all airline fees, which bear no relationship to the cost of the services provided and massively exceed the amount which could be fairly accepted, show the airlines to be flipping us the bird every chance they get," Rowell presents a tongue-in-cheek example of a bar operated like a modern airline. It's funny because it's true.

Meanwhile, for those who can afford it, alternatives to the airlines are springing up. In California, membership-based Surf Air seems to be doing well with its PC-12 operation between SQL/BUR/SBA. They operate Part 135 so can fly into non-139 airports like SQL. Of course, you have to be able to justify $1,650/month membership fee but if you're a frequent Bay Area-SoCal flyer it's worth it.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-08-30 08:47:48 and read 7604 times.

Quoting psa188 (Reply 201):
After presenting his thesis, backed up by true-but-obvious quotes like "The outrageousness of almost all airline fees, which bear no relationship to the cost of the services provided and massively exceed the amount which could be fairly accepted, show the airlines to be flipping us the bird every chance they get," Rowell presents a tongue-in-cheek example of a bar operated like a modern airline. It's funny because it's true.

I see this kind of crap all the time. Plenty of complaints but no one has any "solutions". The airlines are finally profitable again, so now they're fair game.....AGAIN.  




I really doubt if there's a concerted or hidden company policy to deliberately screw the customer. The airlines spend millions every year on facilities, new a/c, new programs, etc., specifically to benefit the customer.

Quoting psa188 (Reply 201):
Exhibit A in his discussion is this trip report from a recent Air Fiji trip from New Zealand to the USA, where he was booked, space available, in business class but where the airline's employees took perverse delight in not helping him upgrade despite there being seats available.

It's always a shame that we never get to hear the airlines' side of the story, because you know there IS one.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: psa188
Posted 2013-08-30 09:01:48 and read 7579 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 202):
I see this kind of crap all the time. Plenty of complaints but no one has any "solutions". The airlines are finally profitable again, so now they're fair game.....AGAIN.

The sad thing is that you would not "see this kind of crap all the time" if there was not a basis of truth in it. That's why the articles get written and why they strike a positive response from readers. Fact is, as Greg Lindsay points out, "As the experience for passengers has worsened, profits have swelled. U.S. carriers effectively break even on airfares while earning nearly all of their profits from nickel-and-diming passengers; in the first half of 2012, ticket and baggage fees totaled more than $3 billion. These are a textbook example of what Bain & Co.'s Fred Reichheld has labeled "bad profits"--the kind earned from abusing customers rather than creating value for them. The upside of bad profits, Reichheld writes, is that sooner or later they will inspire someone to disrupt them--consider how Blockbuster's punitive late fees created an opening for Netflix. Yet few entrepreneurs are trying to take advantage of the pent-up frustration with air travel."
http://www.fastcompany.com/3002963/i...travel-without-hassle-surf-air-can

Until airlines knock it off with the "bad profits," you'll continue to "see this kind of crap all the time." You'll also see those who can afford it to switch to upscale outfits like Surf Air, and those at the bottom of the scale will learn to love us.megabus.com/ .

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: brilondon
Posted 2013-08-30 09:05:41 and read 7569 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 202):

Quoting psa188 (Reply 201):
After presenting his thesis, backed up by true-but-obvious quotes like "The outrageousness of almost all airline fees, which bear no relationship to the cost of the services provided and massively exceed the amount which could be fairly accepted, show the airlines to be flipping us the bird every chance they get," Rowell presents a tongue-in-cheek example of a bar operated like a modern airline. It's funny because it's true.

I see this kind of crap all the time. Plenty of complaints but no one has any "solutions". The airlines are finally profitable again, so now they're fair game.....AGAIN.  




I really doubt if there's a concerted or hidden company policy to deliberately screw the customer. The airlines spend millions every year on facilities, new a/c, new programs, etc., specifically to benefit the customer.

Quoting psa188 (Reply 201):
Exhibit A in his discussion is this trip report from a recent Air Fiji trip from New Zealand to the USA, where he was booked, space available, in business class but where the airline's employees took perverse delight in not helping him upgrade despite there being seats available.

It's always a shame that we never get to hear the airlines' side of the story, because you know there IS one.

I completely agree with you, the airlines or anybody do not get up in the morning and say to themselves "Let us find new ways to screw everyone that uses our services."

There is always plenty of unsubstantiated blogs on the internet where opinion becomes fact and the main news media picks it up because it gooses their sagging ratings to where they don't check on the facts or get a balanced report from the other side.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: awacsooner
Posted 2013-08-30 09:11:33 and read 7571 times.

Quoting psa188 (Reply 201):

Wow...that blog article perfectly puts into perspective just how slimeball those ancillary fees really are...I LOVE IT!

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-30 09:16:54 and read 7555 times.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 204):
I completely agree with you, the airlines or anybody do not get up in the morning and say to themselves "Let us find new ways to screw everyone that uses our services."

This kind of posting basically illustrates how we are incapable of having a normal conversation anymore. The flip side is the people who write about how the airlines are the most evil thing ever. Neither is remotely true, and completely wipes the rational discussion off the map. The airline are bad at customer service. This is reality. It's why their esteem is so low. It doesn't mean they are actively trying to piss off customers, or they have sinister intentions, or even that they don't try and be good at service. They fail at it a lot, and that is basically it. The conversation should be about how they could do better given the current business climate, but instead we get a ton of finger pointing between customer and industry. Ridiculous.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: catiii
Posted 2013-08-30 09:35:47 and read 7529 times.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 206):
The airline are bad at customer service. This is reality. It's why their esteem is so low. It doesn't mean they are actively trying to piss off customers, or they have sinister intentions, or even that they don't try and be good at service. They fail at it a lot, and that is basically it. The conversation should be about how they could do better given the current business climate, but instead we get a ton of finger pointing between customer and industry. Ridiculous.

I would argue the opposite: in my experiences, the two airlines I regularly fly are exceptional in the customer service area. Saying the industry "fail at it a lot" is purely subjective, as is my statement for that matter. In any event, I would argue that given the current business climate in the United States, the customer value proposition offered by my two carriers of choice is satisfied. That's all I can ask for my travel dollar.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: PlanesNTrains
Posted 2013-08-30 09:35:48 and read 7530 times.

Quoting psa188 (Reply 203):
As the experience for passengers has worsened, profits have swelled. U.S. carriers effectively break even on airfares while earning nearly all of their profits from nickel-and-diming passengers;

I don't get it. People use the internet to find that absolute lowest fare. This has forced airlines to turn to a la carte pricing in order to display the lowest fare and remain competitive. This means that they are essentially not making money on the base airfare but instead are getting it off the ancillaries. The ancillaries, though, are sometimes completely optional or value-added services. Buy on Board, Checked Bag Fees, Change Fees, Preferred Seating Fees - stuff that not everyone needs or cares about, but if they do, they pay.

I won't defent the service-side of the business because, frankly, that'd be futile. However, from a revenue point of view, I don't understand the problem when the industry has been broken for so long and they finally seem to be finding a forumula that works. Do we want a healthy industry or not?

-Dave

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-30 09:45:10 and read 7499 times.

Quoting catiii (Reply 207):
I would argue the opposite: in my experiences, the two airlines I regularly fly are exceptional in the customer service area. Saying the industry "fail at it a lot" is purely subjective, as is my statement for that matter. In any event, I would argue that given the current business climate in the United States, the customer value proposition offered by my two carriers of choice is satisfied. That's all I can ask for my travel dollar.

Your experiences are one data point of millions. This is anecdotal evidence, and doesn't really mean anything. Surveys cover an actual statistically meaningful range. The airlines are bad at satisfying the public, regardless of how you feel.

AA treats me awesome as an EXP. That's not a data point to say they are good at customer service as a whole.

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 208):

I won't defent the service-side of the business because, frankly, that'd be futile. However, from a revenue point of view, I don't understand the problem when the industry has been broken for so long and they finally seem to be finding a forumula that works. Do we want a healthy industry or not?

Certainly.

[Edited 2013-08-30 09:47:38]

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-08-30 09:49:53 and read 7502 times.

Quoting awacsooner (Reply 205):

Wow...that blog article perfectly puts into perspective just how slimeball those ancillary fees really are...I LOVE IT!

HOW are they "slimeball"? They're published for everyone to see and if you don't want them, you can still pay the air fare and fly, you just have to adjust, depending on whether you want to use any of those services. Don't want to pay a bag fee?? Then, just pack a carryon. Don't want to pay for Buy on Board? Then pack your own or buy it at the airport. For every fee, there is an option, but for some reason, the flying public seems to think that just because they're flying, they need to pay all those fees, as though they are mandatory.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: PlanesNTrains
Posted 2013-08-30 10:01:13 and read 7474 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 210):
For every fee, there is an option, but for some reason, the flying public seems to think that just because they're flying, they need to pay all those fees, as though they are mandatory.

Well, and for now, there are even options as to carriers that charge or don't charge. Southwest - two bags free, basic nuts&sodas free but nothing else available, no seat assignments but the ability to pay extra to board earlier. JetBlue - one bag free, unlimited snacks&sodas, you can get a seat assignment but if you want to pay more you can get much more legroom or a preferred seating location, onboard entertainment. Etc. I think Frontier has - or had - the option of buying a la carte and adding what you want OR going "Classic" and getting the basics included.

Regardless, if someone REALLY wants it all-inclusive, they can buy the Frontier ticket or pick the airline that offers the most options included, but the problem is too many people are NOT choosing that route, but instead are going with the lowest fare and then hating the charges. Ultimately, they are both a means to the same end - for the consumer, the lowest possible out-of-pocket expense; for the airline, earning a profit.

-Dave

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: brilondon
Posted 2013-08-30 10:04:21 and read 7467 times.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 206):
The airline are bad at customer service. This is reality. It's why their esteem is so low. It doesn't mean they are actively trying to piss off customers, or they have sinister intentions, or even that they don't try and be good at service. They fail at it a lot, and that is basically it. The conversation should be about how they could do better given the current business climate, but instead we get a ton of finger pointing between customer and industry. Ridiculous.

I don't see your point as you just stated in response to my post that we can't have a "normal conversation" and then you go and state the above. If you want to have a normal conversation then give me a call and we can converse, other wise we will just be going back and forth on these boards.

Back to the topic at hand. Not all airlines are bad at customer service and nor are all the employees who work for them. As in most companies there are good people and there are bad people, except in my company as there are only two people working here and they are both very good people.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-08-30 10:11:08 and read 7469 times.

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 211):

I always get the feeling that the customers don't see the connection between airfares (and fees) and the airline's profitablility. They seem to think that profits just happen or (an even scarier thought) they know, but DON'T care if the airline is profitable or not.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: catiii
Posted 2013-08-30 10:28:35 and read 7446 times.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 209):
Your experiences are one data point of millions. This is anecdotal evidence, and doesn't really mean anything. Surveys cover an actual statistically meaningful range. The airlines are bad at satisfying the public, regardless of how you feel.

And, as someone who used to rely on polling data for a living, polls and surveys are meaningless without knowing what the sample set is. I'd like to see the sample set of the surveys you're citing, because I would wager that they do not include the garden variety business traveler.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: psa188
Posted 2013-08-30 11:20:27 and read 7397 times.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 212):
Back to the topic at hand. Not all airlines are bad at customer service and nor are all the employees who work for them. As in most companies there are good people and there are bad people, except in my company as there are only two people working here and they are both very good people.

True, and as someone else pointed out you can always fly WN or B6 if you don't like bag fees. I do, if they serve the route I'm flying. It's worth paying a bit more up front not to be nickel and dimed later.

All this notwithstanding, the airline industry, as a whole, has an image problem. You can deny that it exists but the frequency of articles such as the OP cited prove my point. The legacies, who were once full-service carriers, are now little better than Spirit and that irritates people. On bottom-feeders like Spirit and Ryanair you get what you pay for but the legacies still try to act like "full service" airlines even though they nickel and dime everyone but the high rollers.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: TheRedBaron
Posted 2013-08-30 11:35:56 and read 7386 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 210):
Don't want to pay a bag fee?? Then, just pack a carryon.

In my case I flew internationally and the TSA ask you how long will you stay, so they know you are going on a tourism trip, so MOST probably you will carry luggage...

I felt Robbed by Us Air and and Alaska when they charged me for each of the luggage I checked (4 pieces each way!).

I guess they have gone too far, I would have prefered a 50 dollar hike on the fare and have the OLD luxury of checking 2 for each pax, and maybe (MAYBE) free WIFI.
TRB

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: psa188
Posted 2013-08-30 12:14:22 and read 7347 times.

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 217):
I guess they have gone too far, I would have preferred a 50 dollar hike on the fare and have the OLD luxury of checking 2 for each pax, and maybe (MAYBE) free WIFI.

I agree with you. Just charge an honest fare and don't nickel and dime. WN has figured this out.

And now we have "fee creep" where the fees keep going up, as David Rowell explained, so the fees "bear no relationship to the cost of the services provided and massively exceed the amount which could be fairly accepted."

This is why the airline industry, as a whole, continues to have an image problem. Prediction: they'll profit in the short term but over the longer term people will find reasons to fly less. Of course, that will make them raise fees more so we'll be in a race to the bottom.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: rwy04lga
Posted 2013-08-30 12:41:49 and read 7303 times.

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 217):
In my case I flew internationally

Most international flights include at least one free checked bag.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: Tango-Bravo
Posted 2013-08-30 13:08:50 and read 7267 times.

Quoting psa188 (Reply 201):
The New York Times article that started this thread just got quoted by David Rowell, who writes the Travel Insider blog and who recently figured out that airlines and many of their employees hate the customers.

Rowell's article, while reasonably on-point overall, begins to unravel with the naive assumption that negative customer exerience = loss of customer loyalty. Which misses the reality that customer "loyalty" in the airline world is mostly (if not ~entirely) bought rather than earned. If airlines sense that customer "loyalty" is slipping, all they need to do to regain "loyalty" lost is to offer a round of loss-leader fares to bring customers who would "never fly with [said airline] again" back into 'the fold.' Airlines can also depend on a large 'army' of customers so addicted to their FF programs that the airline to which they are addicted could not chase them away with poor service if they tried to.

And, if all of the above is not enough to retain customer "loyalty," the U.S. airline oligopoly and legalized collusion leave customers with very limited alternatives, if any, to take their $ elsewhere. Like it or not, legacy airlines in the U.S. have little to no incentive to provide a more customer-friendly experience to the masses -- a reality of which the airlines seem to be all-too-aware in spite of all their rhetoric to the contrary. Front-line airline staff who allegedly "hate" customers are, if anything, reflecting airline management's subtle, carefully concealed cynicism toward customers, whose "loyalty" can easily be bought if/when deemed necessary.

Quoting mayor (Reply 202):
The airlines spend millions every year on facilities, new a/c, new programs, etc., specifically to benefit the customer.

More specifically, airlines spend million$ to benefit their bottom lines (and upper managements' wallets)... and if $ spent also happens to benefit customers, so be it. Not that I have an issue with this...the million$ spent nearly always benefit customer... just a reality check to remind us that airlines' motivation behind the million$ they spend on facilities, new a/c, etc. is far from entirely altruistic.

Quoting psa188 (Reply 203):
Yet few entrepreneurs are trying to take advantage of the pent-up frustration with air travel."

Having witnessed the legalized predatory practices the U.S. legacies put in place whenever challenged in any meaningful way, who would seriously consider risking many million$, if not billion$, to take advantage of pent-up frustration with air travel in the U.S.?

Quoting mayor (Reply 210):
Don't want to pay a bag fee?? Then, just pack a carryon

How much longer will it take for the U.S. legacies to "discover" how many million$ they're "leaving on the table" and come up with a spin to sell charging for carry-on bags as a fee they "have no choice" but to implement?

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-08-30 14:50:53 and read 7189 times.

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 220):
Quoting mayor (Reply 202):
The airlines spend millions every year on facilities, new a/c, new programs, etc., specifically to benefit the customer.

More specifically, airlines spend million$ to benefit their bottom lines (and upper managements' wallets)... and if $ spent also happens to benefit customers, so be it. Not that I have an issue with this...the million$ spent nearly always benefit customer... just a reality check to remind us that airlines' motivation behind the million$ they spend on facilities, new a/c, etc. is far from entirely altruistic.

I'd say that would be just reversed........the spending of money for such things benefits the customer and, in turn the side benefit is that it helps the bottom line and everybody's happy..........except customers like you, of course........you want luxury service but don't want to pay for it.

Don't forget, the airlines ARE a business, after all.......they need to make money......they are NOT, as some thing, a public utility.

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 220):

Quoting mayor (Reply 202):
The airlines spend millions every year on facilities, new a/c, new programs, etc., specifically to benefit the customer.

More specifically, airlines spend million$ to benefit their bottom lines (and upper managements' wallets)

Don't forget the benefit to the employees' wallets in the form of profit sharing.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: psa188
Posted 2013-08-30 15:14:57 and read 7164 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 221):
Don't forget, the airlines ARE a business, after all.......they need to make money......they are NOT, as some thing, a public utility.

That's rather obvious, but there are such a thing as "bad profits." These include profits that are generated in ways that do not add value for the customer. They are the principal reason for customer dissatisfaction usually resulting in so-called "Detractors." Bad profits include those generated by reducing customer service, by imposing restrictive conditions on customers, by overcharging and unjustified charges, and so on. Nickel-and-dime airline fees certainly qualify. As far as I can tell, the concept was developed by Fred Reichheld. As "neilbendle" explains, "Here he means fees that irritate consumers, and fines that punish minor consumer infractions. (Think of your cell phone provider). This is a useful debate to have. Unfortunately “bad profits” is poorly defined. There are two things it could cover."

"Firstly, annoying fees that customers swallow because the market is uncompetitive. Some irritating fees probably benefit companies. The customers may hate them but what option does the customer have but to pay up? This sets up an interesting discussion over the marketing concept — what if irritating your customers is profit maximizing because you have them trapped?"

"I think that Reichheld mostly means something else by bad profits. You annoy customers so much with petty fees that in the long run you lose money. Basically you collect cash off your customers now at the expense of the long run relationship. The theoretical problem with this conception is that these bad profits aren’t really profits."
- See more at: http://neilbendle.com/good-and-bad-profits/#sthash.Kb3A4HYf.dpuf

Airlines are seeing fee profits roll in, which reinforces the decision to charge the fees in the first place. Customers hate getting nickel and dimed, however, so over time they will adjust their behavior to fly less.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: zippyjet
Posted 2013-08-30 18:06:11 and read 7072 times.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 197):

Was this upstart airline related in anyway to the chic intercity bus company. The doggy logo looks the same.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 200):

   I think he got the point!

Couldn't resist!

Again, as I mentioned before the writer is singeling out our industry. Sure we have stuff that needs improvement but why doesn't this Northeastener write about government agencies and their service or lack of. Oops, that me tredding on his buds.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: seeburg220
Posted 2013-08-30 18:25:51 and read 7051 times.

When a certain company decided to use the word "bus" in their name, that was the beginning of the end of great air travel. Are bus rides enjoyable ? None I've been on. Today's flights are often reminiscent of a packed school bus full of screaming, boisterous kids.

They should have at least gone for "train" in their name, or "liner"...lol.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2013-08-30 18:40:34 and read 7033 times.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 223):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 197):

Was this upstart airline related in anyway to the chic intercity bus company. The doggy logo looks the same.

Yes it was part of Greyhound Canada. Ironically, several of their senior executives, including the CEO at the time, were former CP Air marketing executives. Their CEO had been CP's senior VP of marketing who took a few of his people with him when he moved to Greyhound.

I always found it amusing that the same people responsible for CP's very high service standards were now involved with a slightly less upscale means of travel.

Their ex-CP CEO was Dutch and had worked for Marriott Hotels before moving to Canada in the late '70s and joining CP. If memory correct he started at CP's hotel division before moving to the airline. He was the first manager of the first Marriott hotel in Europe (in Amsterdam) which opened in 1975.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: TheRedBaron
Posted 2013-08-30 19:26:18 and read 6992 times.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 219):
Most international flights include at least one free checked bag.

Mine did not on 2 different carriers, also all flights were delayed 10 to 20 minutes because overhead compartments were packed and some Pax had to take them to the front and check them to go under.... another problem from this stupid policy of charging OPTIONALLY for what used to be included.

Also its idiotic to charge a flat fee for luggage on flights of different lengths....the same for a 45 minute hop than a 5 hour one, COME ON!

TRB

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: timpdx
Posted 2013-08-30 19:50:50 and read 7006 times.

At least in Europe, bus can often be better than flying. My bus ride in Latvia a couple of years ago had first class, which I tried out of curiosity. Free wifi, snacks and priority seats, all for 24 euro. The comparable airfare was a couple hundred euro. Busses have come a long way in some parts of the world.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-08-30 21:34:35 and read 6957 times.

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 226):
another problem from this stupid policy of charging OPTIONALLY for what used to be included.

Are you not familiar with the term "unbundling"? Trust me, you always paid for the luggage, it was just included in the fare, the same as meal service. The airlines "unbundled", trying to make their fares more competitive and only charging those people that needed to check baggage or needed to eat. If you can get by with a carryon or buy something to eat at the airport, no fees for you.

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 226):
Also its idiotic to charge a flat fee for luggage on flights of different lengths....the same for a 45 minute hop than a 5 hour one, COME ON!

No matter how long the flight is, the handling is the same and trust me, even though part of that fee is because of higher fuel costs, it is also to cover the costs of handling.....i.e. overweight (medical costs), etc. Years ago, they realized that more and more agents, both above and below wing, were incurring more back, etc. injuries than they had and those costs were going up.


Nobody is forcing the American public to fly.....there are other options out there. We'd love to have you, but if you're not happy with what we're doing, maybe it's best if we part ways.

And those of you that talk about the "golden" age of commerical travel, I can remember one comedian, in the 50s, 60s and 70s that made a career out of tearing into the airlines, every chance he could. His name was Alan King and what he said could be applied to commercial aviation SINCE de-regulation as well as before. There were any number of young comedians that took up his act after he was gone and after de-regulation. Matter of fact, I think that maybe the American public, whether they fly or not, probably have heard this drivel, most of their lives and even if they don't fly, they believe it without actually experiencing it, themselves.

There seems to be an entire cottage industry out there, on the internet, that does nothing but slam the airline industry, without any facts to corroborate what they are saying and then the big time media picks up on it and we know how well they do with research (or not).

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: DCA-ROCguy
Posted 2013-08-30 22:06:40 and read 6921 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 228):
There seems to be an entire cottage industry out there, on the internet, that does nothing but slam the airline industry, without any facts to corroborate what they are saying and then the big time media picks up on it and we know how well they do with research (or not).

As I said above, a lot of what one gets out of air travel, in 2013 as in any other time, is what one brings to it. Do some homework before booking. Avoid the most congestion-prone hubs if you must connect. Allow sufficient time to get to the airport, for security, for baggage claim, for customs if international. I still love air travel, having started flying in the 70's as a child, and having flown through deregulation and two eras of consolidation. Most airline employees I deal with are very professional, at both mainline and regional carriers. I pray for the grace to make their day *less* stressful by my presence, even if (as in all things in life) delays or difficulties arise. Most of my travel is amazingly smooth, and either on-time or close to it.

Air travel is a great value....the traveler simply has to learn about it beforehand, talk with others who have traveled, and be prepared for the fact that no human enterprise is absolutely perfect. I'm still not convinced all the fees or their high amount is necessary, and I remain unconvinced that fares need to be as high as they've become. But those are items for discussion. Overall, air travel is a great thing, and whatever improvements it needs, *lots* is right with it.

Jim

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: PlanesNTrains
Posted 2013-08-30 22:15:49 and read 6917 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 213):
They seem to think that profits just happen or (an even scarier thought) they know, but DON'T care if the airline is profitable or not.

To be fair, I personally don't care if they are making money or not (as a customer) - if they are willing to sell me a seat to Los Angeles for $85 that's their problem. As an enthusiast and business supporter, though, I certainly believe that they need to be charging enough to earn a fair and decent profit.

Quoting psa188 (Reply 215):
It's worth paying a bit more up front not to be nickel and dimed later.

Are you referring to the end cost or the annoyance factor? Personally, if at the end of the day it saves me money to fly on an unbundled carrier, then it's worth it. However, if you are irritated by the various ancillary fees, it might be worth it to you to pay a "convenience fee" which is built into the price of a ticket at a carrier without ancillaries. It might cost more than the overall base+fees at NK, but you wouldn't have to deal with the "nickel and diming".

Quoting psa188 (Reply 215):
All this notwithstanding, the airline industry, as a whole, has an image problem.

I'm 46 years old and I honestly can't remember a time in my life when the airline industry DIDN'T have an image problem.

Quoting psa188 (Reply 218):
I agree with you. Just charge an honest fare and don't nickel and dime. WN has figured this out.

People_look_for_the_lowest_fare. WN is not always the lowest fare, and WN does not always get my business. Sometimes it's a better value to fly Alaska and pay a bag fee - or make due with carry-on's - rather than fly Southwest with no bag fee. Heck, next month when I fly WN to LA I could probably get by with a carryon but because there is no bag fee I'm gonna check it instead of carrying it on. However, if the fare were higher I would have been happy to make due with a carryon and fly Alaska.

I don't see what the problem is? I like having the different choices and being able to decide what's best for my personal situation.

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 220):
More specifically, airlines spend million$ to benefit their bottom lines (and upper managements' wallets)... and if $ spent also happens to benefit customers, so be it. Not that I have an issue with this...the million$ spent nearly always benefit customer... just a reality check to remind us that airlines' motivation behind the million$ they spend on facilities, new a/c, etc. is far from entirely altruistic.

I love it. They need to improve their service to avoid all the criticism, but when they do... well, just remember, it's all for selfish greed and not in any way to benefit the customer. As my mom would say, "They can't win for losing".  
Quoting psa188 (Reply 222):
That's rather obvious, but there are such a thing as "bad profits." These include profits that are generated in ways that do not add value for the customer.

How are they "bad profits" if it's the only way they can get the revenue needed to make a profit in the first place? Look, if every airline was required to list a fare that was all-inclusive, then we wouldn't have this problem. But there isn't a law, so you have some airlines unbundling. Once you get enough of that, there is simply no way for the rest of the pack to avoid it because the majority of people are going to look at one thing only - the cost of the ticket on Orbitz et al. If NK lists $129 and UA lists $169, that gets people's attention.

I think some even mentally think "I got the lowest fare - look how smart I am" and then write off the other costs as just part of traveling. Like people who will drive 5 miles out of their way to save $1 on a gallon of milk. The fuel cost may negate the savings, but since many of us just mentally write-off fuel as a part of life, it doesn't compute at part of the equation.

Anyhow, again, at the end of the day they need to make money. If they are going to lose money trying to sell fares at $169 inclusive against NK's $129 unbundled, something's got to give. Enter legacy unbundling.

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 226):
Also its idiotic to charge a flat fee for luggage on flights of different lengths....the same for a 45 minute hop than a 5 hour one, COME ON!

Handling?

-Dave

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-08-30 22:22:56 and read 6906 times.

Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 229):
and I remain unconvinced that fares need to be as high as they've become.

Well, any normal expense that the airlines incur, i.e. labor, fuel, facilities, equipment, etc. is not going to get cheaper but will almost certainly get more expensive. How would you expect fares to drop with that happening?

Airlines used to be happy when their profit margin was 2 or 3 percent. Today, with it certainly higher than that, finally, people want them to charge less. Go figure. Flights are fuller than before.......where is any extra revenue going to come from unless fares go up......I never took economics, but even an old ramp rat like me can figure that if there's no room to put any extra pax on a flight, then, the only way to make money on the flight (if the LF is 80% or above) is raise the fares.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-08-30 22:27:32 and read 6902 times.

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 230):
As an enthusiast and business supporter, though, I certainly believe that they need to be charging enough to earn a fair and decent profit.

I know they don't, but I would think a customer should think this way, also..........

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-08-30 23:38:08 and read 6850 times.

As always with these types of articles, the BS has reached epic proportions.

Quoting psa188 (Reply 201):
Exhibit A in his discussion is this trip report from a recent Air Fiji trip from New Zealand to the USA,

I've spotted his problem before he says another word.

Quoting psa188 (Reply 201):
"The outrageousness of almost all airline fees, which bear no relationship to the cost of the services provided and massively exceed the amount which could be fairly accepted, show the airlines to be flipping us the bird every chance they get,"

You know what also bares no relationship to the cost of services? Airfares. They've collapsed since deregulation while labor, fuel, and infrastructure has gone nowhere but up. People ALWAYS forget that those "good old days," when they got that sh!tty meal "for free" included in the fare, were funded by airfares that were MULTIPLES of today's fares. I just saw a Pan Am ad from the 60s extolling their bargains on NYCSJU for only $122 one way. Sounds like a deal right? That is over $900 today. You know how many NYCSJUs you can buy today for $900? Probably 6 one ways.

Quoting psa188 (Reply 203):
The sad thing is that you would not "see this kind of crap all the time" if there was not a basis of truth in it.

The only truth is that passengers say they want lots of things, until they have to pay for them; they never put their money where their mouth is. Once there is a price attached to a meal, IFE, Wifi, checked baggage, passengers vote with their wallets. This is why there's the constant torrent of nonsense articles like this thread, because passengers are trying to find ways to explain why the humongous bargain flying today has become is 'so awful' compared to yesteryear when it was such an (exorbitant, unsafe, uncomfortable, inconvenient, rich-white-only) pleasure. 
Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 208):
People use the internet to find that absolute lowest fare. This has forced airlines to turn to a la carte pricing in order to display the lowest fare and remain competitive

  

Quoting psa188 (Reply 215):
True, and as someone else pointed out you can always fly WN or B6 if you don't like bag fees. I do, if they serve the route I'm flying. It's worth paying a bit more up front not to be nickel and dimed later.

Is it really? Based on what data? G4 and NK are making far more money than WN and B6, and they nickle and dime everything. Even legacy carriers are starting to have higher margins than WN consistently; granted they went through bankruptcy but they also went through deregulation. Moreover WN and B6 will nickle and dime you for plenty of things, just not bags. Are those other things ok?

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 220):
all they need to do to regain "loyalty" lost is to offer a round of loss-leader fares to bring customers who would "never fly with [said airline] again" back into 'the fold.'

This again points more to a problem with customers never synching their money and mouth. Airlines can not afford to run afould of what customer behavior, at least not for long. And as long as the customers' complaints are diametrically opposed to their behavior, airlines (or any company) doesn't really need to give a hoot about what they say, only what they do.

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 220):
Having witnessed the legalized predatory practices the U.S. legacies put in place whenever challenged in any meaningful way

What predatory pricing? The intro fares that LCCs launch, undercutting legacies, which legacies then match? I know the legacy carriers can do no right, and the LCCs no wrong, but you have to recognize the double standard that when a LCC enteres a market with new low fares it's "stimulating the market", but when a legacy carrier matches it's "predatory pricing". Are legacy carriers just supposed to roll over and die? Do you honestly think that if legacy carriers just let LCCs take over (and went the way of the dodo instead of bankruptcy) it'd usher in a utopian era of air travel where people can fly across the country for next to nothing and not have to pay extra for bags/meals/IFE/etc?

Quoting seeburg220 (Reply 224):
When a certain company decided to use the word "bus" in their name, that was the beginning of the end of great air travel.

The beginning of the end of great air travel, that never really was that great, was when airlines had to start competing for passengers, rather than for government slot/route/etc handouts.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-08-31 05:49:01 and read 6720 times.

It never ends.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: TheRedBaron
Posted 2013-08-31 08:08:20 and read 6633 times.

You are the owner of a LCC and your flight is almost always full, loads 95% for example.

You operate 3 times daily between city pairs with great efficiency and said loads.

But your pricing sucks, because is way too low, in the end if loads are lower than 92% you lose money, if there is a go around or hold and waste 2 tons extra of fuel, you lose money, they flight is delayed for MX or not meeting the MEL you lose money...

But the plane is almost full...mmm HOW DO I MAKE MONEY?????

Lets charge for luggage, lets charge for any amenity, heck if we can lets put silver dollar coin to enter the toilet ! lets charge for choosing your seat, choosing window and even if you seat will include a reclining position!

This is the problem, for me its better if they tell me your MEX LAX ticket will be 550USD RT, than saying 318 USD RT, and it includes nothing, what it really includes is a crew underpaid and with a bad attitude, ramp agent that will break your guitar or belongings because this work sucks etc...

The world has cahnged and not for the good, if I sound like a pompous bygone era complainer so be it, but I AM NOT guilty that carriers have become sardine cans with said problems. The whole economics are wrng and in the long run, there will be another round of mergers,...just like the banks they will be too big to fail, and we the will suffer from it...

Then again I do my research and try to get the best experience not the best fare but in my case my flights 3 weeks ago were imposible to do it any other way... (MEX SEA).

TRB

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-08-31 08:38:01 and read 6596 times.

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 235):
what it really includes is a crew underpaid and with a bad attitude, ramp agent that will break your guitar or belongings because this work sucks etc...

I see that you've bought into that myth. The vast majority of ramp workers, that I know, are hard working, energetic and do their best to get you and your bag on the same flight and to the same destination, at the same time. Maybe if you showed more respect to them, you'd understand.

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 235):
if I sound like a pompous bygone era complainer so be it,

If it swims like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck......................................



BTW, if I use your age on your profile as a guide, that means you were still in diapers when de-regulation went into effect and certainly weren't around, before that. So, have you gotten your attitude of how things were and how things are, simply from reading the opinions on A.net or what?

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: PHX787
Posted 2013-08-31 10:22:46 and read 6517 times.

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 191):
- what you leave out is that efficiency and dealing with problems is diabolically bad:

When was the last time you were in Japan? I haven't ever had that issue, and I've had some interesting goings-on occur while traveling in Japan. My dad as well had an issue leaving Japan to go back to the states back in March.

Everything was dealt with quite smoothly and of course they were using very apologetic speech (moshiwakegozaimasen) and handled my dad's rebooking very smoothly.

When My flight was delayed to get to America they offered some people empty seats on the SFO flight, and even offered to expedite the security for those passengers because that flight was leaving on time, and was scheduled before the SEA flight that I was on (I flew to SEA)

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: psa188
Posted 2013-08-31 12:53:44 and read 6436 times.

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 230):
Personally, if at the end of the day it saves me money to fly on an unbundled carrier, then it's worth it. However, if you are irritated by the various ancillary fees, it might be worth it to you to pay a "convenience fee" which is built into the price of a ticket at a carrier without ancillaries.

Yes, I thought I made that point above when I mentioned my preference for WN and B6.

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 230):
How are they "bad profits" if it's the only way they can get the revenue needed to make a profit in the first place?

It's not my concept, it comes from someone named Fred Reichheld who defines bad profits as earnings at the expense of customer relationships--whenever a customer feels misled, mistreated, coerced or abused; profits from that customer are bad. I nominate airlines, cell phone and cable companies as some of the worst offenders.

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 235):
This is the problem, for me its better if they tell me your MEX LAX ticket will be 550USD RT, than saying 318 USD RT, and it includes nothing, what it really includes is a crew underpaid and with a bad attitude, ramp agent that will break your guitar or belongings because this work sucks etc...

Yes, charge an upfront, honest fare and cut out the nickel and diming.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-08-31 14:54:11 and read 6354 times.

Quoting psa188 (Reply 238):
It's not my concept, it comes from someone named Fred Reichheld who defines bad profits as earnings at the expense of customer relationships--whenever a customer feels misled, mistreated, coerced or abused; profits from that customer are bad. I nominate airlines, cell phone and cable companies as some of the worst offenders.

Ah........another myth begins. Who EXACTLY is Fred Reicheld and what makes him an expert?


If so many customers are "misled, mistreated, coerced or abused" why are there so many repeat customers? Using your logic (flawed as it is), eventually, you are bound to run out of customers and the LCCs have more than they can handle. I don't believe, considering how many flights are chock a block full, that there is a shortage of loyal, repeat customers, do you? Oh, of course you do, otherwise your theory goes down the toilet.  

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: ozark1
Posted 2013-08-31 14:55:23 and read 6347 times.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 212):
Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 206):The airline are bad at customer service. This is reality. It's why their esteem is so low. It doesn't mean they are actively trying to piss off customers, or they have sinister intentions, or even that they don't try and be good at service. They fail at it a lot, and that is basically it. The conversation should be about how they could do better given the current business climate, but instead we get a ton of finger pointing between customer and industry. Ridiculous.

The problem is, from an onboard perspective, we aren't given the tools to do a satisfactory job for the customers. Sending planes out with an inoperative f/c lavatory, an inoperative f/c oven, the removal of pillows and blankets, visible duct tape on different items, etc., dispatching a 767 to GRU with no IFE---zip, zilch, zero. The airlines need to continually ensure that these products are in excellent working condition or our credibility is shot.
Since all of the airlines are now outsourcing their maintenance, I would expect the duct tape to eventually be on an engine cowling. In all seriousness though, I wonder how this has/will change the time frame in which items are repaired.
Have a great evening everyone!

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: sankaps
Posted 2013-08-31 15:56:34 and read 6288 times.

Quoting psa188 (Reply 203):
These are a textbook example of what Bain & Co.'s Fred Reichheld has labeled "bad profits"--the kind earned from abusing customers rather than creating value for them.

I don't think this is a good example of "bad profits" at all. This is unbundling, and it creates value for customers who don't need these services ad therefore are not forced to pay for them, as well as customers who want these services as they have the option to buy them ala carte.

Bain and Company, incidentally, is on the forefront of pushing unbundling in the airline industry. I once attended a sales presentation by them, and they were quite solidly in favour of the concept of unbundling airline fares, and in fact claimed credit for helping come up with the concept when working for a large US major!

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: zippyjet
Posted 2013-08-31 16:27:07 and read 6263 times.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 225):

It's ashame Greyhound never got out of the doghouse. I liked the livery. Believe it or not, I remember as a kid and young adult Greyhound (USA) had an active rental car division at least in South Florida. It seemed they did a brisk business especially out of MIA. I even remember the big billboards adorned along 163rd. Street as you headed away from Sunny Isles/North Miami Beach and towards the Golden Glades junction which linked to I 95 and the Palmetto to name a few

Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 229):

Still, even 12 years after "911" we stll get passengers that:

  • neglect to have their names on their checked bags.
  • bring chemical concoctions and hazmat stuff with them in their hernia bags.
  • even some women packing away their "special friend." But, forget to take the batteries out of their special friend/toy so it won't go off 36,000 feet over the East Coast or it going offf while the plane is still gateside.
  • passengers who feel arriving at the ticket counter at 1855 for a 1900 flight is cool and we will hold the plane for them or bring it back. Not to pick on passengers from other lands but, some from countries in Africa, Jamaica, French Canadian seem to have a lackadasical attitude toward punctuality as evidenced by a family of four that waltzed up to the gate at 1452 for a flight departing at 1455! The ramp was finishing up and the plane was delayed four minutes because, they had to get their baby and it's things situated on board. Oh well!
Quoting ozark1 (Reply 240):
Quoting mayor (Reply 228):

Nobody is forcing the American public to fly.....there are other options out there. We'd love to have you, but if you're not happy with what we're doing, maybe it's best if we part ways.

And those of you that talk about the "golden" age of commerical travel, I can remember one comedian, in the 50s, 60s and 70s that made a career out of tearing into the airlines, every chance he could. His name was Alan King and what he said could be applied to commercial aviation SINCE de-regulation as well as before. There were any number of young comedians that took up his act after he was gone and after de-regulation. Matter of fact, I think that maybe the American public, whether they fly or not, probably have heard this drivel, most of their lives and even if they don't fly, they believe it without actually experiencing it, themselves.

There seems to be an entire cottage industry out there, on the internet, that does nothing but slam the airline industry, without any facts to corroborate what they are saying and then the big time media picks up on it and we know how well they do with research (or not).

Couldn't have said it better had I said it myself. Maybe our industry needs to slip some "Boodle" to our press and governmental agencies. Other industries such as fast food, insurance, banks and lawyers seem to skate free relatively compared to our industry when it comes to their service issues or lack thereof.

And, the airline industry swims against the tide; we are one of the last bastions of the anti-nanny state mentality. You are a responsible adult and should be able to make your flight in a timely manner and hopefully learn the lesson that even if a flight is delayed that time is not etched in stone. Flights can make up time and goodbye delay. I believe our text messages state this when one receives it.

As the every kid gets a trophy/ribbon generation matures and hits the real world chances are we'll se more of these wah wah articles bemoaning the decline of whatever service, product or business becomes the doormat to be stepped on.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: PlanesNTrains
Posted 2013-08-31 19:02:13 and read 6143 times.

Quoting psa188 (Reply 238):
Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 230):Personally, if at the end of the day it saves me money to fly on an unbundled carrier, then it's worth it. However, if you are irritated by the various ancillary fees, it might be worth it to you to pay a "convenience fee" which is built into the price of a ticket at a carrier without ancillaries.
Yes, I thought I made that point above when I mentioned my preference for WN and B6.

Yes - I get that. I just restated it as an acknowledgement of your point.

Quoting psa188 (Reply 238):
Yes, charge an upfront, honest fare and cut out the nickel and diming.

Oye...until you make it a LAW, it isn't going to change because all it takes is one carrier to do it and the house of cards comes crumbling down for everyone else.

Cars. When I buy a car, there is a base price plus options.
Cruise. When I go on a cruise, there are different categories, different extras I can buy or not buy, etc. I get emails all the time from cruise lines and travel companies listing "Fares as low as...".
Amtrak. When I go on Amtrak, I can sit in coach or business class or have a sleeper. I can bring my own food, buy snacks in the lounge car, or go to the dining car. Or get the meal included depending on the class of service.
When I get my car serviced, there are packages availlable but you can also just buy the service that you need.
When we bought our home, it was a new build and we had the options to take the base level of furnishings or do "upgrades".

With all of these things, and more, are they being dishonest in their pricing? Frankly I like the options, being able to pick and choose what's best for me and my family. And you know what? Sometimes, I buy the all-inclusive package deal and sometimes I pick only the things I'm interested in. It works for me, but YMMV.

I will say this: Were I to run my own ULCC, I would drive as many of the transactions to my website where it would lay it out pretty clearly. You can choose "All Included" at X price or you can start at the base fare and build your itinerary. BUT - at some point, when the base+extras fare approaches the All-Included X price fare, I would have it do a pop-up that said I might be better off just doing the all-inclusive fare. Maybe there are carriers that have it built this way but regardless, I think that would eliminate the objections by some of the unbundling.

-Dave

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: TheRedBaron
Posted 2013-08-31 19:38:13 and read 6119 times.

Quoting psa188 (Reply 238):
Yes, charge an upfront, honest fare and cut out the nickel and diming.

I agree completely!

Weird I am being criticized because I want honest fares better wages for ramp workers and somehow I am not showing respect.... I am all for a healthy industry and a better product.

Quoting mayor (Reply 236):
I see that you've bought into that myth. The vast majority of ramp workers, that I know, are hard working, energetic and do their best to get you and your bag on the same flight and to the same destination, at the same time. Maybe if you showed more respect to them, you'd understand.

So If I want better wages for those workers and better job security, I am somehow not showing respect? I think you have a problem with Understanding pal, Do you know how little some pilots make ? or I am adding to the "myth". When you transport an instrument that SHOULD go In the cabin and pre 2001 you could do it perfectly, then afterwards you paid another ticket it was ok, nowadays its a problem because in international flights you need to put all the names of PAX and buying another ticket for your instrument is not possible so you have to go very early and pray they will have availiable seats, and that is not always the case, you want to talk to somebody mmm you cant because you have to register and do your own tickets... basically a nightmare. But hey surely its a Myth and I disrespect all airline workers when in fact some of my closest friends work in the airline industry and I know their problems from their side of the fence.

Quoting mayor (Reply 236):
BTW, if I use your age on your profile as a guide, that means you were still in diapers when de-regulation went into effect and certainly weren't around, before that. So, have you gotten your attitude of how things were and how things are, simply from reading the opinions on A.net or what?

Deregulation, happened when I was 17, so sorry to destroy your assumptions and your ad hominem attacks, By the time I was 17 I had flown in more than 10 aircraft types and a lot in the jumpseat (see my signature) I have been very close to the airline industry, and if you took a little more time than just to read my profile you would know my stance in a lot of OLD airlines and thing that happened in the 80´s. Then again you can make any assumption to make you happy, or believe that you are right.

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 243):
I will say this: Were I to run my own ULCC, I would drive as many of the transactions to my website where it would lay it out pretty clearly. You can choose "All Included" at X price or you can start at the base fare and build your itinerary. BUT - at some point, when the base+extras fare approaches the All-Included X price fare, I would have it do a pop-up that said I might be better off just doing the all-inclusive fare. Maybe there are carriers that have it built this way but regardless, I think that would eliminate the objections by some of the unbundling.

Agree in fact Volaris in Mexico has that exactly, there are 3 levels of unbundling and you choose the one you think is best. Its refreshing that they have done that, unfortunately their network (for my needs) is very limited.

And to keep on the topic, now that a possible war is looming and the price of oil will surely go up, what they will do? they already charge for the fuel cost, will we have a SUR SURcharge for extra fuel?, would not it be easier just to hike the fares to reflect the price of fuel....

TRB

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: PlanesNTrains
Posted 2013-08-31 19:57:08 and read 6092 times.

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 244):
So If I want better wages for those workers and better job security, I am somehow not showing respect?

I think he took issue with this statement:

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 235):
what it really includes is a crew underpaid and with a bad attitude, ramp agent that will break your guitar or belongings because this work sucks etc...

You characterizing these employees as having "a bad attitude", "...will break your guitar or belongings..." - basically badmouthing the very people that you say you're respecting. I'm sorry, but if someone breaks my guitar or belongings because they don't like their job, they are a criminal and deserve anything but respect. I've had items stolen out of my luggage before - sorry, but if you can't keep your hands off my stuff, get an education and a better job, or quit. After having my home broken into twice this year with about $7000 in items stolen, I'm fed up with the "what's yours is mine because I'm poor" mindset. I was poor, too, but worked my butt off to not be poor.

And please - don't start with the "they are poorly paid so it's understandable" crap. There are millions of people out there who go to work everyday making at or a little above minimum wage and are able to do it with a great attitude and a smile on their face.

-Dave

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: TheRedBaron
Posted 2013-08-31 21:11:34 and read 6018 times.

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 245):

Dont get me wrong, I am all for a better attitude from all parts, flying customers, and workers, In fact my whole point in this thread is about the cheapening of the industry and the ridiculous conditions some people have. Example: I never complained about the maximum weight on luggage because in yesteryears lugagge could weight a Ton and people would bring incredibly heavy stuff on airplanes, when they put a top on weight I though it was a good idea and a better way to treat workers who had to endure injuries and back problems because of it. Problems arising from that are prompted AS to put the 20 minute tops you will have your luggage .... it speaks volumes.

I congratulate on people who adhere to a higher standard even if work conditions have gone south, but I think also that is very difficult to keep a top notch team, when working conditions and wages are not up to par. You just have to see what has happened at AA and other big legacies on the retirement and job security etc in the last 2 decades. Some months ago if memory serves right there was a mass "sick day" on AA causing havoc?

In my opinion, its a downward spiral, where PAX want everything free, for no $$$, a perfect system, but are not willing to pay for it, and the airlines going for the lowest bidder, so margins suffer... who wins?

I dont think stealing doing a bad job or destroying other people belongings is justified because you are frustrated with your job conditions, go find another job then, but seeing the sorry state of affair in the economy, I bet some people keep heir jobs while being frustrated, two of the four flights I took last month within the USA I was surprised by the coldness and lack of understanding , the flight from LAX to MEX in AS was just the opposite, in fact the main FA, gave a good morning welcome to Mexico city, conditions, hours and thanks for flying with us (along with some tourist tips) that simply blew me away, I wanted to kiss that woman !!! I would love to have these experiences like I used to have 25 years ago, but at least in my case, that has not been the norm.

TRB

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-08-31 21:15:31 and read 6025 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 236):
I see that you've bought into that myth. The vast majority of ramp workers, that I know, are hard working, energetic and do their best to get you and your bag on the same flight and to the same destination, at the same time. Maybe if you showed more respect to them, you'd understand.

  . I think the US Airlines employees = bad ummkay is way overblown at this point and has become just a reflex. I regularly fly up to 100k miles/year in every class on US and foreign carriers and frankly I can't remember the last bad experience I've had. In fact some of the domestic F FAs are more friendly than some of the Gulf Carriers' F FAs. The only truly horrendous experience I can remember was SU ground staff at SVO....but I know that doesn't fit the popular narrative where US carriers must induce tantrums and thrashing of disgust. 
Quoting psa188 (Reply 238):
Yes, charge an upfront, honest fare and cut out the nickel and diming.

Airlines DO do that, whether it's a full fare in Y or F, or bundled fares ala AC Tango Fares, or any number of other combinations. Betcha never guess what customers choose.... 
Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 235):
but I AM NOT guilty that carriers have become sardine cans with said problems.

You're not gulity so much as an enormous beneficiary of those sardine cans. LAXMEX regularly runs about $340rt all in, which after taxes means the airline gets about $120 each way, for a four hour flight. That's insane and an incredible deal to millions of passengers/sardines that wouldn't normally travel. Want to continue to SEA? $460rt all in, or $180 each way that the airlines get for a four hour flight plus a 2-3 hour flight. Passengers don't realize what an insane value air travel is these days, so they complain about the lack of frackin' meals that they hated back in the day anyway.

The bottom line is, fares can go back up to the "golden age" levels, but that means the vast majority of you would cease flying period. Because you couldn't afford it...

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: PlanesNTrains
Posted 2013-08-31 21:26:12 and read 5993 times.

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 246):
In my opinion, its a downward spiral, where PAX want everything free, for no $$$, a perfect system, but are not willing to pay for it, and the airlines going for the lowest bidder, so margins suffer... who wins?

Well, that's a good question. For me, I "win" by having realistic expectations, an appreciation for the value, and the realization that the people serving/flying me are generally doing an admiral to stellar job. While I really enjoy flying, the reality is that it constitutes a fairly small amount of the overall duration of a trip. I don't need my 3 hour flight to be remarkable - I just need to get there without someone making my life miserable. That expectation - very basic - allows me to "win". If I went into my flight expecting it to be something more than that (for whatever reason), I would surely be unhappy and likely even hate the experience. I just choose to approach it differently.

For the employees, they have to decide what's best for them and their families, and then accept whatever decision they make and move forward. If they hate their job, they either need to change their attitude about it or move on. Staying and being bitter is just not a healthy option, primarily for them. I'm not saying it's good that their pay is lower or that their work hours are longer or anything else, but it is what it is. If you're going to be miserable doing it, either change your attitude or leave. And honestly, I think an attitude adjustment for "some" of the people might be all it takes to make their situation and outlook better.

Anyhow, I appreciate everything you said and will let you have the last word as I feel I'm no longer addiing anything really new to what I've already said.

-Dave

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: TheRedBaron
Posted 2013-09-01 10:28:45 and read 5788 times.

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 248):
For the employees, they have to decide what's best for them and their families, and then accept whatever decision they make and move forward. If they hate their job, they either need to change their attitude about it or move on. Staying and being bitter is just not a healthy option, primarily for them. I'm not saying it's good that their pay is lower or that their work hours are longer or anything else, but it is what it is. If you're going to be miserable doing it, either change your attitude or leave. And honestly, I think an attitude adjustment for "some" of the people might be all it takes to make their situation and outlook better.

Anyhow, I appreciate everything you said and will let you have the last word as I feel I'm no longer addiing anything really new to what I've already said.

Thanks, I agree that if your work is a non fulfilling activity, you are suffering and nothing good comes from it in the long run...

TRB

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-09-01 10:52:21 and read 5766 times.

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 249):
Thanks, I agree that if your work is a non fulfilling activity, you are suffering and nothing good comes from it in the long run...

But isn't that up to each individual worker, to decide if they are fulfilled or not? Some jobs are fulfilling, some are not (maybe), but it depends on that worker if they are fulfilled or not. I can honestly say, in my 33 years at Delta, that I thought my job was fulfilling, almost all the time. Perhaps I didn't think so, those times when I was working the freighter, in 20 below temps at ORD, but that's an exception. Most of the time I enjoyed the fact that we did what we could to get someone's freight or pets to their destination in a timely manner or that we got the flights out on time. I would hope that my co-workers thought the same way (I realize that there were some that didn't) and I would hope that the current employees do. I think it has more to do with the mindset someone has, coming in, rather than whether the job is fulfilling or not.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: awacsooner
Posted 2013-09-01 14:53:47 and read 5625 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 228):
Nobody is forcing the American public to fly.....there are other options out there. We'd love to have you, but if you're not happy with what we're doing, maybe it's best if we part ways.

Really? And just how else can they travel across the country except drive? After all, the US is world famous for their extensive rail network...   

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2013-09-01 16:18:00 and read 5561 times.

Quoting awacsooner (Reply 251):
Quoting mayor (Reply 228):
Nobody is forcing the American public to fly.....there are other options out there. We'd love to have you, but if you're not happy with what we're doing, maybe it's best if we part ways.

Really? And just how else can they travel across the country except drive? After all, the US is world famous for their extensive rail network...

Or you can take the bus. Fastest Greyhound schedule NYC-LAX a little over 63 hours with 3 changes of bus. Lowest one way fare $226.40.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: rwy04lga
Posted 2013-09-01 18:29:27 and read 5464 times.

Quoting awacsooner (Reply 251):
After all, the US is world famous for their extensive rail network.

Yes they are!!

More than twice the rail mileage of the country in second place.

US...almost 225,000 km. China...98,000 km.

Both countries are of similar size.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: PHX787
Posted 2013-09-01 19:53:39 and read 5392 times.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 249):
es they are!!

More than twice the rail mileage of the country in second place.

Indeed, the heavily subsidized, bankrupt-if-privatized Amtrak offers a very long train ride from NYC to LAX. One could take the Cardinal to Chicago and that really long cross-country ride to Los Angeles  

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-09-01 20:47:19 and read 5346 times.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 248):

Or you can take the bus. Fastest Greyhound schedule NYC-LAX a little over 63 hours with 3 changes of bus. Lowest one way fare $226.40.

Which is still more expensive than flying...

Quoting awacsooner (Reply 247):

Really? And just how else can they travel across the country except drive?

What do you think they were doing in the "golden age"?

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: 777ord
Posted 2013-09-01 21:37:43 and read 5321 times.

Aviation is for some reason this mystical unknown for the vast majority of Americans. I will use American's as we're obsessed with paying nothing for everything, and cry when we don't get everything. However, I have spent 12 years abroad between Europe and Asia very recently, so I comparing between our industries is something I know.

Traveling in the US is more of cattle car status than it was 5 years ago, or 10 years ago etc... When consumers want to pay rock bottom fares. They're going to get rock bottom service(s). When was the last time you went to Mc Donalds and bought cheeseburger off their value menu and was so amazed by the service received? Same thing goes with air travel. If I pay 260US to fly LA-Belize as one of my customers did tonight, how on earth is any segment they fly making money? Airlines are a business, and to survive they need to not just break even, but post profits. You can't when 130 people pay pennies above the forecasted break even price. So you pay fee's.

When I lived in Japan, it cost me quite a bit to fly FUK-NRT and I was ok with it. I got excellent service and saw more agents than I think passengers at times. Why? Because the charges the pax paid came with the idea you'll get a quality product.

Next time you pay next to nothing, don't expect everything. Everyone wants the lowest price, doesn't mean you're gonna get it. You want the lowest price, work for an airline and fly for free.. Or, fly standby....

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-09-01 21:38:24 and read 5313 times.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 249):
Yes they are!!

More than twice the rail mileage of the country in second place.

US...almost 225,000 km. China...98,000 km.

Both countries are of similar size.

Little misleading, isn't it? Rather than comparing it using the length of the trackage, which is used mostly by freight trains, shouldn't the comparison be by number of passengers carried or number of passenger trains operating in any one day (or week, month, etc)?

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-09-01 21:55:55 and read 5301 times.

Quoting 777ord (Reply 252):
When I lived in Japan, it cost me quite a bit to fly FUK-NRT and I was ok with it. I got excellent service and saw more agents than I think passengers at times. Why? Because the charges the pax paid came with the idea you'll get a quality product.

The cheapest fare I see for FUKTYO is $746rt all in--is that correct?    No wonder Japanese carriers make all their money domestically. CHIWAS by comparison--a little longer--starts around $292 all in.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-09-01 22:48:12 and read 5253 times.

Quoting awacsooner (Reply 247):
Quoting mayor (Reply 228):
Nobody is forcing the American public to fly.....there are other options out there. We'd love to have you, but if you're not happy with what we're doing, maybe it's best if we part ways.

Really? And just how else can they travel across the country except drive? After all, the US is world famous for their extensive rail network...
Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 251):
Quoting awacsooner (Reply 247):

Really? And just how else can they travel across the country except drive?

What do you think they were doing in the "golden age"?

Well, I just figured that so many on A.net were so bent on getting back to the "golden age" that it wouldn't be a problem.  

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: hh65man
Posted 2013-09-02 02:46:52 and read 5158 times.

According to Wiki the golden age of aviation was from the end of WW1 to the beginning of WW2........ I am amazed there are that many oldies who are still alive to remember it, much less bang on about how great it was.....

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: awacsooner
Posted 2013-09-02 05:43:16 and read 5052 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 251):

What do you think they were doing in the "golden age"?

When there were a LOT more passenger rail routes? Other than between Washington and Boston, how many real rail routes are there in the USA anymore?

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-09-02 07:51:59 and read 4970 times.

Quoting awacsooner (Reply 257):
When there were a LOT more passenger rail routes? Other than between Washington and Boston, how many real rail routes are there in the USA anymore?

You think the same passengers whinging and moaning about not getting a meal or paying $5 for wifi are going to climb back on a train for the same (or likely higher) price? 

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: FlyPNS1
Posted 2013-09-02 08:02:41 and read 4941 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 258):
You think the same passengers whinging and moaning about not getting a meal or paying $5 for wifi are going to climb back on a train for the same (or likely higher) price? 

We've seen exactly that in the Washington-NYC corridor where people pay more for the train than the plane.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: awacsooner
Posted 2013-09-02 08:11:56 and read 4934 times.

The WAS-NYC-BOS corridor is a statistical outlier for the US...and coincidentally is the only section of Amtrak that is routinely profitable.
Unless rail travel becomes faster and a LOT cheaper, it will never be more than a minimal travel option in the US.

My point is that most folks don't have any other options but to fly around the US...it isn't like a lot of Europe where you have the train option too.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: planemaker
Posted 2013-09-02 08:21:02 and read 4915 times.

Quoting hh65man (Reply 256):
According to Wiki the golden age of aviation was from the end of WW1 to the beginning of WW2........ I am amazed there are that many oldies who are still alive to remember it, much less bang on about how great it was.....

So true, so true!!

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-09-02 08:30:24 and read 4888 times.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 259):

We've seen exactly that in the Washington-NYC corridor where people pay more for the train than the plane.

It's also remotely competive in terms of time; anything much longer and it would look like rest of the American passenger rail network

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-09-02 08:39:34 and read 4871 times.

Quoting hh65man (Reply 256):
According to Wiki the golden age of aviation was from the end of WW1 to the beginning of WW2........ I am amazed there are that many oldies who are still alive to remember it, much less bang on about how great it was.....

According to some, on here, the "golden age" of "commercial" aviation was from the beginning of the jet age to the beginning of de-regulation. I prefer to go by Wiki's definition and, no.....I'm not old enough to remember back to WWI.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: FlyPNS1
Posted 2013-09-02 09:31:26 and read 4814 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 262):
It's also remotely competive in terms of time; anything much longer and it would look like rest of the American passenger rail network

True and all the more reason that the airline industry shouldn't be struggling and needing consolidation. Here we have an industry that has ZERO other competitors in medium/long-haul travel, has slashed costs in bankruptcy and slashed service, yet they still complain they can't make money.

Quoting mayor (Reply 263):
I prefer to go by Wiki's definition and, no.....I'm not old enough to remember back to WWI.

Not sure why WW1 to WW2 would be the golden age. It was a highly chaotic start-up industry with a dubious safety record, erratic service (often couldn't even fly at night) and flights were so rough that airlines used nurses because so many passengers got sick. That doesn't sound so golden to me!

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-09-02 09:59:23 and read 4762 times.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 264):
Not sure why WW1 to WW2 would be the golden age. It was a highly chaotic start-up industry with a dubious safety record, erratic service (often couldn't even fly at night) and flights were so rough that airlines used nurses because so many passengers got sick. That doesn't sound so golden to me!

It's probably because people are confusing commercial aviation's "golden age" with AVIATION's golden age. I would say that WWI to WWII is the golden age for aviation, in general........that for commercial aviation probably didn't start until after that.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-09-02 10:17:29 and read 4748 times.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 264):
Here we have an industry that has ZERO other competitors in medium/long-haul travel, has slashed costs in bankruptcy and slashed service, yet they still complain they can't make money.

  I don't think anyone has ever complained about land based competition--it has always been a case of too many airlines chasing too little demand with too much capacity. That is what consolidation is for--to balance the supply and demand. Rail/boat/land transport has been totally irrelevant to the equation for decades, until the advent of the TSA.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 264):
It was a highly chaotic start-up industry with a dubious safety record, erratic service (often couldn't even fly at night) and flights were so rough that airlines used nurses because so many passengers got sick. That doesn't sound so golden to me!

You could be talking about the WWII-Deregulation period as well.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-09-02 10:26:20 and read 4742 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 266):
-it has always been a case of too many airlines chasing too little demand with too much capacity.

I can remember that when I worked at ORD in the 70s, at least 4 airlines, AA/EA/TW/UA, had flights every hour to NYC from 7am to 7pm.........tell me THAT was necessary.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: PlanesNTrains
Posted 2013-09-02 10:54:37 and read 4703 times.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 259):
Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 258):You think the same passengers whinging and moaning about not getting a meal or paying $5 for wifi are going to climb back on a train for the same (or likely higher) price?
We've seen exactly that in the Washington-NYC corridor where people pay more for the train than the plane.

As long as the travel time is comparable or less than air, the train is a decent option. There are a variety of corridors around the US - outside of the Northeast Corridor - that provide a decent alternative: SEA-PDX, Bay Ariea-Bakersfield, Los Angeles-San Diego, etc. Long distance, though, is really for those with time, those with money, those with a fear of flying, those with an intermediate rural destination on the rail line, or perhaps those physically uncomfortable or incapable of doing the airplane thing.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 264):
True and all the more reason that the airline industry shouldn't be struggling and needing consolidation. Here we have an industry that has ZERO other competitors in medium/long-haul travel, has slashed costs in bankruptcy and slashed service, yet they still complain they can't make money.

Until the industry is reregulated or they are allowed to collude legally, the situation will continue. How can you expect them to make money when there is little pricing control, the demand is very elastic, the price of fuel is so volitile, and the economy is so unreliable?

-Dave

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: planemaker
Posted 2013-09-02 10:56:34 and read 4705 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 258):
You think the same passengers whinging and moaning about not getting a meal or paying $5 for wifi are going to climb back on a train for the same (or likely higher) price?

One of the contributing factors to the so called "decline" is that fewer companies are "subsidizing" coach pax services because many businesses no longer allow their staff to book J. As well, one only has to look at the substantial increase in the biz jet fleet and fractionals to see that a segment of the high fare paying pax has gone away. I know a couple of business people that find it roughly the same cost (let alone one heck of a lot more convenient and enjoyable) to charter a jet for family holidays than fly commercial.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 264):
True and all the more reason that the airline industry shouldn't be struggling and needing consolidation. Here we have an industry that has ZERO other competitors in medium/long-haul travel, has slashed costs in bankruptcy and slashed service, yet they still complain they can't make money.

Even though DayJet failed, I think that we will have increasing numbers of "affordable" air taxis (mix of piston and turbine) starting around 2020 which will "steal" higher fare paying pax making life more difficult for Legacies. We just might end up with one (or maybe two) legacy carrier with the rest being LCC and ULCC.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-09-02 10:58:48 and read 4694 times.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 269):
I know a couple of business people that find it roughly the same cost (let alone one heck of a lot more convenient and enjoyable) to charter a jet for family holidays than fly commercial.

Unquestionably.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: FlyPNS1
Posted 2013-09-02 13:51:18 and read 4565 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 266):
That is what consolidation is for--to balance the supply and demand.

But how much further will it go? Within the next decade, I wouldn't at all be surprised to see UA back in bankruptcy...so what happens when they want to merge with DL or AA?

UA has spent years now shrinking, yet still isn't seeing any return on their strategy. While UA thinks the cuts are only chasing away the leisure travelers, the cuts are also chasing away many business travelers. This will be the fundamental undoing of this consolidation strategy, you'll cut so much that even business travelers won't want you.

Airlines already chased away the very high yield rollers who mostly went to private jets. Now, if you chop into the middle management road warriors who will increasingly use technology to replace air travel, you're back to chasing the Disney crowd.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 266):
You could be talking about the WWII-Deregulation period as well.

Not really. Commercial aviation in the 1960's was far ahead of commercial aviation in the 1960's. By the 60's, you had some level of safety standards in place (albeit far from perfect), you had regular service to virtually every major and secondary market and you had reasonable levels of in-flight service.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: planemaker
Posted 2013-09-02 14:05:29 and read 4553 times.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 271):
Airlines already chased away the very high yield rollers who mostly went to private jets. Now, if you chop into the middle management road warriors who will increasingly use technology to replace air travel, you're back to chasing the Disney crowd.

I concur on both counts. We're going to see more biz jet/fractional/charter/air taxi ops on the one hand. On the other, I still get a chuckle (specifically what finances the technology) whenever I read Burt Rutan's quote about the future of biz travel... that there really won't be much of a requirement because of technology.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: rwy04lga
Posted 2013-09-02 16:29:15 and read 4470 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 253):
Little misleading, isn't it? Rather than comparing it using the length of the trackage, which is used mostly by freight trains, shouldn't the comparison be by number of passengers carried or number of passenger trains operating in any one day (or week, month, etc)?

Yes it is, however awacsooner said 'rail network' and made no mention to passengers. I answered sarcasm with substantiated fact.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: dfambro
Posted 2013-09-02 18:45:55 and read 4422 times.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 270):
Quoting planemaker (Reply 269):
I know a couple of business people that find it roughly the same cost (let alone one heck of a lot more convenient and enjoyable) to charter a jet for family holidays than fly commercial.

Unquestionably.

Having priced out a few trips for my family in the past, I can unquestionably say that families where it is "roughly the same cost" are very big families!

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: rwy04lga
Posted 2013-09-02 20:01:06 and read 4352 times.

Quoting 777ord (Reply 252):
You want the lowest price, work for an airline and fly for free..

I did and I do!

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-09-02 20:38:17 and read 4322 times.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 275):
Quoting 777ord (Reply 252):
You want the lowest price, work for an airline and fly for free..

I did and I do!

The only drawback to that, anymore, is that it's so damn difficult to get a seat, flying standby. But that's a discussion for another thread.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-09-02 20:51:44 and read 4327 times.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 271):

Not really. Commercial aviation in the 1960's was far ahead of commercial aviation in the 1960's. By the 60's, you had some level of safety standards in place (albeit far from perfect), you had regular service to virtually every major and secondary market and you had reasonable levels of in-flight service.

Compared to now the 60s were unsafe, hijacks were common, 'regular service' meant regularly sparse, and those reasonable inflight service levels came at ENORMOUS expense compared to today. In fact you can generally buy a first class seat anywhere in the US for the price of an economy seat in the 60s, adjusted for inflation. And guess what? Everything is included.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 271):
Now, if you chop into the middle management road warriors who will increasingly use technology to replace air travel

We've been hearing about technology replacing air travel for decades. I'm not saying it won't *ever* happen but let's just say it and inflight wifi have a lot in common. Neither has yet to be much of any success and frankly just not worth it.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-09-02 22:28:57 and read 4254 times.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 264):
yet they still complain they can't make money.

I don't think it's so much that they complain that they can't "make money", it's that they can't seem to get profits to improve.....all the airlines, at the moment seem to be making money, but I imagine that they'd like to have some sort of a cushion available for when the next downturn comes.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: FlyPNS1
Posted 2013-09-03 05:25:45 and read 4127 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 277):
We've been hearing about technology replacing air travel for decades. I'm not saying it won't *ever* happen but let's just say it and inflight wifi have a lot in common. Neither has yet to be much of any success and frankly just not worth it.

Actually, we've seen lots of business travelers disappear. Domestic business traffic is way off of where it was in the 80's and 90's when you adjust for economic/population growth. International is a different story, but domestic is in the toilet and will continue to decline.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-09-03 07:10:00 and read 4058 times.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 279):
Actually, we've seen lots of business travelers disappear. Domestic business traffic is way off of where it was in the 80's and 90's when you adjust for economic/population growth

I think that has less to do with technology than cost and/or trading down to lower fares

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-09-03 07:12:02 and read 4058 times.

Quoting dfambro (Reply 274):
Having priced out a few trips for my family in the past, I can unquestionably say that families where it is "roughly the same cost" are very big families!

I'm not sure where you were trying to go and with how many, but mid and transcons rates in the states are roughly equal to F tickets for 6-7 people.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: gegarrenton
Posted 2013-09-03 07:12:52 and read 4052 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 277):
hijacks were common

lol.  

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: YQBexYHZBGM
Posted 2013-09-03 07:20:15 and read 4049 times.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 279):
Actually, we've seen lots of business travelers disappear. Domestic business traffic is way off of where it was in the 80's and 90's when you adjust for economic/population growth. International is a different story, but domestic is in the toilet and will continue to decline.

Agreed. Increased time to go through security and increased cutoff times for check-in have made true "commuter" flights impractical. In the northeast corridor one can take Amtrak, but elsewhere, one is pretty much stuck having to drive 5 hours rather than take a 250 mile flight.

Every time a merger occurs, the predecessors' hubs are eliminated, along with the regional flights they once served. For example, flying between cities within New York State now requires a detour via DTW or PHL. Not worth it.

In addition, replacing jets with props on regional routes is a significant downgrade in passenger amenities that results in loss of passengers. (The case is even worse on AC... you think I'm gonna fly YYZ-DTW on a B1900D? No way)! Entire fleets of E135s and CRJ100/200s are no longer considered profitable. As I read in a magazine article some years ago, rising fuel prices have brought an early end to the jet age. It's sad.

-Al YQBexYHZBGM

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: awacsooner
Posted 2013-09-03 13:56:58 and read 3915 times.

I think this thread has run its course...so I will ask that the mods please lock it.
I thank you all for your responses...and I am sure this topic will be brought back up from time to time.

Topic: RE: Decline Of Airline Travel In The US (NYT Article)
Username: luvfa
Posted 2013-09-03 19:42:22 and read 3785 times.

I still remember the 70s when people complained about how bad airline food was! People forget about this detail during the so called, "golden age of travel".


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