Ord From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 1398 posts, RR: 1 Posted (12 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2229 times:
The Boyd Group, an aviation consulting company in Colorado, has been heavily criticized in the past for not knowing as much about the airlines as they think they do. In addition, they always criticize United whether it's justified or not.
Well, I was checking their thoughts on 2003. They start talking about what would happen to United's hubs in the event of a shutdown, and say American would most likely take over much of United's SFO hub.
Here's where they show their stupidity. They say "Remember, right after American bought Air California in the mid-1980s, they instantly became the largest carrier at San Francisco."
First of all, the airline purchased was AirCal, not Air California (the name was changed years earlier). Second, United was still the dominant carrier at SFO even after AA merged with AirCal - by a wide margin.
The AA-AirCal schedules were merged as one on July 1, 1987. At that time, AA had 68 nonstops out of SFO (and another 54 out of San Jose). United, meanwhile, had 150 nonstops out of SFO (and 7 at San Jose). A look at timetables in the fall of 1987 reveals the same situation.
Yeah, The Boyd Group really knows what they're talking about. If they were such experts they would have their facts straight. In my opinion, the company is a farce.
SegmentKing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (12 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 1952 times:
If myself or Sean (B747-437B) had a USA Today reporter or CNN reporter right in front of us, we'd probably say just as credible statements as Mr. Boyd. He speaks from intelligence and common sense, for the most part, while adding some humour and personality to the quotes...
Most of the things he says are factual and are all public knowledge..... although opinionated...
Cloudy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 1923 times:
As for Boyd's web design, he is following industry trends. What matters is not how many people first go to your website, it is how many go again and again and again. And for that content matters more than flash. Take a look at the most popular sites and you will see what I mean. Amazon and Yahoo don't take nearly as long to load as some of our personal sites - they are carefull not to put to much stuff on the first page. And they use mainly text based navigation - the graphics they do use merely serves to aid your understanding of the site and make navigation easier.
When the web was new, people were impressed with animation, etc. Now they just want good content and a site that is easy to navigate. For the most part, Boyd delivers on both. His archives of older postings are a bit disorganized and hard to follow, however. He could improve on that.
Ord From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 1398 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (12 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1878 times:
When I said Boyd unfairly criticizes United, it was not in reference to the web site. It applies to his comments in general.
But criticizing United has nothing to do with putting completely false data on his web site.
I can't understand how you can say "...it's the content that counts." As I mentioned above, he doesn't even know how many flights AA and UA had at SFO! A child could look this up! If this is his area of expertise I would hope he would know some simple facts like UA has been the dominant carrier at SFO since deregulation (and before that).
When you're a consultant, regardless of industry, you better know the facts or else your credibility is worthless.
EA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 14463 posts, RR: 60
Reply 11, posted (12 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1864 times:
I nominate David Stempler for being the most useless self-appointed 'expert' on aviation.
I have to disagree with you on that one. The person who is clearly the biggest waste of skin and would serve no better purpose than that of a human doorstop or paperweight would be Peter Greenberg, the self-appointed "travel expert" from NBC.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
N79969 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (12 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1850 times:
I don't know...I have not seen Greenberg though. Stempler has no qualifications in anything substantive whatsoever. He rivals Boyd in the number of television appearances. I think clips newspaper articles and shows up to interviews. I actually spoke to the guy once. I am not impressed.
UA744Flagship From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (12 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1827 times:
Ord - I totally know what you mean. Which is why airliners.net is love/hate for me... people stating things matter of factly without getting their facts straight. But that's OK here -- this is a public forum after all.
Facts are integral in consulting. There should be no 'fuzzy math' or simple guesstimation.
Flashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2917 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (12 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1827 times:
Michael Boyd and his 'group' are famous for this: make a bold, overwhelming statement, and then back it off and 'tune' it with a series of disclaimers and backpedaling. For instance, if challenged on the issue, I'm sure he'd say:
"I didn't say THE dominant carrier, I said A dominant carrier"
"I didn't say American Airlines, I said AN american airline"
"Well, that depends on what the definition of 'is' is."
First of all, where precisely does Mr. Boyd suppose that the money for such an expansion by AA would come from? AA is literally on life support. They have a $5.5m/day cash burn rate. They posted the single highest yearly loss for an airline in history in 2002. They did raise $600m in financing in Q4, true, but analysts belive that American has no unencumbered assets left, or precious few. AMR management has stated that they do not believe a yearly profit or even cash-positive status is likely.
Secondly, AMR management has no bandwidth remaining to deal with a rapid expansion at SFO. They're still digesting TWA and trying to retool themselves to compete with LCCs. Even if they wanted to swoop into SFO, the LCCs would beat them to it. Don't fool yourselves: Alaska, Frontier, Southwest, and jetBlue all have contingency plans ready and waiting for action if UA exits SFO. My bet is that jetBlue's little hub in LGB would be moved overnight if necessary to have them set up shop at SFO, a page taken right out of Herb's book after Midway part 1 collapsed.
Finally, why would AA want SFO right now? They're in deep, deep doo. If UA, also deep in the pooper, couldn't justify their longtime presence there, what makes AA think they could? I think Carty & Co. are smarter than this.
Sounds to me like Boyd is doing planning for one of those virtual airlines with 8 hubs in each time zone and hourly service to London and Tokyo. I shudder to think what his hourly rate is to his clients. Every industry has its quacks, and Mr. Boyd loves to flap his bill.
Cloudy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (12 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1764 times:
I was speaking of the website, but it was originally asked where
Boyd's credibility comes from.
The two things that come to mind are...
1. His success as a consultant for smaller airports. He has assited BMI in rising to its present status, for example.
2. His success in predicting events in the industry. For example, he predicted the invention and rise of modern regional jets. He also predicted United's present financial troubles when it was by no means certain that they were in worse shape then other carriers. He also came up with the concept of continuous hubbing and predicted its eventual adoption.
3. His willingness to tell the truth about matters that others are afraid to speak out on because they have to much to lose. The state of the Air Traffic Control system and the failure of the TSA come to minds. These problems are obvious to any intelligent observer but most others in the industry have to work closely with the FAA and the TSA. They can't afford to offend them. Boyd is under no such constraints.
As to his factual errors....he does make them. He makes more than someone with his position and audience ought to. But we all make these errors from time to time. The key question to ask is - are his opinions and generalized observations dependent on these factual errors? From what I can tell, usually, the answer is "no" when it comes to Michael Boyd.
His opponents many times will make worse errors.
One such error is touting low cost carriers as being "point-to-point". Airtran, Frontier, America West, and even JetBlue are largely hub based. Only Southwest is point-to-point in the sense of the word that most use (that is...not requiring that banks of flights be used at a city for it to be counted as a hub).
What I don't like about Boyd's tone is his characterization of just about anybody who disagrees with him as being an ignorant stooge. He also blithely and angrily dismisses very serious questions as being irrelevant - apparently
without a second thought. The impact of the low-cost carriers is one of these. He says things like (paraphrase) "Oh..pulease...Southwest and its ilk will always serve only a limited niche anyway. They wont save us, don't give me any more prattle about them. Now, about United...." Perhaps there is some serious thought behind these angry dismissals but if there is he is unwilling to show it. Also, I have read a great deal of his website and have yet to see him admit to a single mistake. All in all, his attitude strikes me as being very condescending and rude.
When you insist on acting like a god, people will either worship you or they will hate you. Your tone leaves no easy middle ground. But I'm going to take that middle ground even though Mr. Boyd has made it tough for me. You are smart Mr. Boyd. You are brave. You are right more often than most of us and you work hard at being right. But you aren't going to be right all the time. You don't have to do the kind of work the people you have at do every single day. You should add a tad of humility to your lectures. Than perhaps the people who need to hear will actually listen to you rather than angrily turn away.