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How Is The New UA 752 Service Bwt. JFK And LAX/SFO  
User currently offlineJdwfloyd From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 837 posts, RR: 4
Posted (9 years 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 7182 times:

Is UA making any $ on the new premium service on the JFK to LAX and JFK to SFO doing. Is it holding it's own against AA's widebody service. Or has any flown it and has anything to report on it? Thanks.

24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAvek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4282 posts, RR: 20
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 7168 times:

UA's p.s. was designed to prevent further yield/load erosion in premium traffic. While the loads have been good, the bottom line is that a 110-seat 757 has God-awful costs, period, and the heavy discounting on Economy fares isn't helping things at all.


Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlineLaxintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24325 posts, RR: 47
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 7132 times:

Actually, the product has started to do exactly what is was designed to do.

Yields have increased in both F and especially C classes. Economy transcon yields continue to be weak despite recent fare increases. Just for this reason the economy product is quite small on the p.s. service. UA thus by design is allowing the low yield econ traffic make use of Jetblue, Song, America West, AA etc..
Lastly the operating cost and margins are much improved on the B757 then the B762s they replaced.

p.s. is a winner both from product point of view and financial performance.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineFA4UA From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 812 posts, RR: 20
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 7051 times:

It's such a winner that we're adding another frequency between SFO and JFK.

It's a fabulous product (he said totally biased). Check for ride reports in the other forum.

We've added WiFi onboard one of the aircraft and are waiting FAA approval for total roll-out. That combined with real power plugs, more space per passenger then any other carrier in this market, and international levels of service... why would any business traveller fly AA, B6, or DL?

FA4UA



The debate continues... Starwood or Hyatt... which is better
User currently offlineDaron4000 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 712 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 7027 times:

I'm so glad that UA is doing well. They needed to revamp their product, and they did. I hope they continue to prosper on this route!

User currently offlineJdwfloyd From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 837 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 6977 times:

so there will be free wireless internet on these flts

[Edited 2005-04-06 06:04:00]

User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 6932 times:

free? i doubt it.....but if AA offered that service, it would be quite nice!


"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineAvek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4282 posts, RR: 20
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 6882 times:

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 2):
Lastly the operating cost and margins are much improved on the B757 then the B762s they replaced.

Not quite - a 110-seat 757 will not have better operating economics than a "normally" configured, well, anything (except perhaps RJs).



Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlineCRJ900 From Norway, joined Jun 2004, 2152 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 weeks ago) and read 6778 times:
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Quoting Avek00 (Reply 7):
Not quite - a 110-seat 757 will not have better operating economics than a "normally" configured, well, anything (except perhaps RJs).

Why not? 110 seats vs 180 seats means lower MTOW which means less fuel burn, right (even though the biz seats weigh more than Y seats)? And 50 pax paying lots of $$$ for biz vs 80 pax paying rock-bottom fares would make it more profitable, right?

If not, why not?



Come, fly the prevailing winds with me
User currently offlineAvek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4282 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 weeks ago) and read 6769 times:

"Why not? 110 seats vs 180 seats means lower MTOW which means less fuel burn, right (even though the biz seats weigh more than Y seats)? And 50 pax paying lots of $$$ for biz vs 80 pax paying rock-bottom fares would make it more profitable, right?

If not, why not?"

Because with the partial exception of fuel, the same costs of a 180-seat 757 are now spread over 110 seats. Instead of 180 people paying for the crew, baggage handlers, and ultimately the airplane's lease payment, you have 110 people per flight doing so. United would have to command an approx. SIXTY PERCENT premium on EVERY p.s. vs. a seat on a normal 757 to cover its cost - there's no chance in hell of that happening in the badly-depressed transcon market.



Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlineRmenon From Trinidad and Tobago, joined Jun 2001, 116 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 weeks ago) and read 6745 times:

Quoting Avek00 (Reply 9):

Because with the partial exception of fuel, the same costs of a 180-seat 757 are now spread over 110 seats. Instead of 180 people paying for the crew, baggage handlers, and ultimately the airplane's lease payment, you have 110 people per flight doing so. United would have to command an approx. SIXTY PERCENT premium on EVERY p.s. vs. a seat on a normal 757 to cover its cost - there's no chance in hell of that happening in the badly-depressed transcon market.

No - you are using fuzzy math - compare the costs of a 110 seat 757 with a high proportion of premium cabin, corporate-contract fares to a ~170 seat 767-200. Avg yield is higher too because of lower Econ seats - 69% vs 75%. Comparing a normal 757 to a p.s 757 is just as stupid as comparing a normal 737 to the LH/PrivatAir 737 operating EWR-DUS.


User currently offlineExFATboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2974 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (9 years 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6716 times:

Quoting FA4UA (Reply 3):
why would any business traveller fly AA, B6, or DL?

Because B6 is cheaper, and not all business travelers are made of money. And because if you're going anywhere in the East Bay, OAK is more convenient than SFO.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Having said that, "p.s." is an interesting experiment and if the fare premium offsets the reduction in seats (and that's a big "if"), could be a winner for UA. I'm curious, though, as to how many other markets they think could support it, and how the economy product would stand up against Primaris' proposed all-business-class format. IIRC, SF- and LA-NY are going to be Primaris' first markets.

(silly rant begins)
They do need to come up with a better name for it, though! I hate cutsie lower-case names. HATE, I say! I loathe "p.s.", "bmi", "oneworld" and yes, even though I love JetBlue, I hate the "jetBlue" logo. Actually, B6 isn't that bad - while the logo has a lower-case "j", they always write it "JetBlue" everywhere else. Unlike friggin' "bmi" - and what, exactly, was wrong with "British Midland" anyway? And don't even get me STARTED on "bmibaby", the stupidest name for an airline in history. Well, except maybe for "Wizz Air"...I'd like to know what drugs the people who came up with THAT winner were on, and where I could score some. And speaking of drugs, I'm swigging some more NyQuil and going back to sleep before I wander any further off topic...  fever 
(silly rant ends)


User currently offlinePadcrasher From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6677 times:

Yes the 757 will have lower operating costs than the 767-200 and that would make up for some of the CASM gap but UA still has the highest CASM in this market. AA has had the highest yields in the market for many years, so I would be suprised if UA can obtain a RASM high enough to make this work.

Not to mention the comparison to Song. UA needs a 80% RASM premium over Song to make the math work.


User currently offlineAvek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4282 posts, RR: 20
Reply 13, posted (9 years 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6657 times:

Quoting Rmenon (Reply 10):
No - you are using fuzzy math - compare the costs of a 110 seat 757 with a high proportion of premium cabin, corporate-contract fares to a ~170 seat 767-200. Avg yield is higher too because of lower Econ seats - 69% vs 75%. Comparing a normal 757 to a p.s 757 is just as stupid as comparing a normal 737 to the LH/PrivatAir 737 operating EWR-DUS

With respect, it is YOU who is using the fuzzy math here.

Most of the costs of operating a 757 will be fixed whether in a p.s. or normal config - the crew and infrastructure required to support the flights are identical or otherwise comparable (e.g., fewer but more elaborate meals served on a p.s. flight, meaning that the catering is likely a wash), with fuel potentially being the largest variable cost between the two.

Additionally, you base your assertion on the idea that UA is no longer selling deeply-discounted tickets on p.s. flights. That is simply not the case - as before, UA is being forced to sell some deeply-discounted tickets to match its competitors' offerings. The p.s. configuration thus puts UA into a dilemma - it either sells the ticket sans premium or else loses out on marginal revenue from the deeply-dicounted tickets in the hopes of high-fare tickets that may or may not materialize. Every legacy airline deals with this dilemma, but it is magnified when your operation has far less inventory and yield flexibility to begin with.



Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlinePadcrasher From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6626 times:

Well it's not lost cause but still very tough for UA to pull off.

The lowest yielding carrier between LAX and JFK last year was HP who obtained an average fare of $157 per ticket. AA the largest carrier in this market obtained an average fare of $309 per ticket. The average ticket price for all carriers was $258.


User currently offlineExFATboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2974 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (9 years 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6572 times:

Actually, I just tried running a couple of itineraries from JFK to SFO on AA and UA, and substituting OAK for B6.

(disclaimer - I'm not sure the B6 prices are fully tax-loaded, I didn't go that far into the booking process.)

Leaving early tomorrow morning and returning Friday afternoon (a short, last-minute trip):
UA "p.s." $1,017
AA $ 587
B6 $ 518

Leaving Monday, April 20th early AM and returning Friday, April 25th late afternoon (a longer, pre-planned business trip):
UA "p.s." $374
AA $ 341
B6 $ 303

If UA is selling a lot of tickets at the last-minute prices, they might be getting enough additional revenue to cover the increased cost per pasenger of "p.s." service. OTOH, if they're selling a lot of those tickets on advance-purchase pricing, I don't see how they can cover it - the spread between UA and AA on the April 20th trip was only $33.

Admittedly, this is a very small and extremely unscientific test. And this is just Economy pricing. But at first glance (and that's all this is) it doesn't bode well for UA.

Anyone have any information as to how many of the Business and First seats UA is actually selling on these flights, as opposed to free higher-tier FF upgrades? I just priced the April 20-25 itinerary in First ($4,499) and Business ($1,147), and if they're actually selling any of those seats, that could make a big difference.

(BTW, UA needs to do some work on their website...the fare quote function is ridiculously slow, and when I requested Business and First Class options, it still came back with schedules offering connections on one- or two-class aircraft. If the customer asks for B/F, don't waste their time with quotes they're not interested in.)


User currently offlineMikephotos From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 2923 posts, RR: 54
Reply 16, posted (9 years 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 6498 times:

Quoting ExFATboy (Reply 15):
I just priced the April 20-25 itinerary in First ($4,499) and Business ($1,147), and if they're actually selling any of those seats, that could make a big difference

They are. I issue several UA transcon P and C roundtrip tickets a week.

Mike


User currently offlineSean-SAN- From United States of America, joined Aug 2002, 764 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6312 times:

Also, $33 extra x 110 seats would pretty much pay for all the fuel cost of the flight. Or it would more than pay for the pilots. You get the idea.

User currently offlineAF022 From France, joined Dec 2003, 2135 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6265 times:

I have flown "ps" three times - 2x in economy and 1x in business - and I think it is a great concept. Flights have all been full.

Quoting FA4UA (Reply 3):
It's such a winner that we're adding another frequency between SFO and JFK

There is, however, a HUGE capacity cut on the route using the B75s. I'm glad UA is adding more flights transcon, but would like to see more flights to make up for the lost capacity. AA has twelve! JFK-LAX nonstops. Is UA going to increase frequencies here? Any plans to convert more B757s?

I can't imagine any other markets that would demand "ps" service.


User currently offlineFA4UA From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 812 posts, RR: 20
Reply 19, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6212 times:

Quoting AF022 (Reply 18):
I can't imagine any other markets that would demand "ps" service.

What about EWR-SFO/LAX? Any chance?

FA4UA



The debate continues... Starwood or Hyatt... which is better
User currently offlineUAL777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 1519 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6193 times:

Arrghhh!!! You people are missing the point!

You cannot compare UA and Jetblue's ticket prices because UA is NOT targeting the economy passenger. They are targeting the high-yield customer, hence the name Premium Service. These customers do not search by price. They search by convienience. And 1 business-class P.S. ticket RT can be $2,400 or more. if they sell just 13 C-class tickets in this manner, it will bring in $31,000. That is just from selling half of the tickets in Business.

In addition, if they sold just 2(out of 12 avialable) First Class tickets, it would bring in an additional $9,000. that is already $40,000 dollars just from half of business class and 2 first class seats. Economy class isn't even included, and neither is cargo.

Not only is UA saving on fuel, they also do not need as many cabin attendants so they are saving on labor. In addition because the weight is lower, the landing and take-off fees are lower as well.

Rant over.



It is always darkest before the sun comes up.
User currently offlineAvek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4282 posts, RR: 20
Reply 21, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6176 times:

Quoting Sean-SAN- (Reply 17):
Also, $33 extra x 110 seats would pretty much pay for all the fuel cost of the flight. Or it would more than pay for the pilots. You get the idea.

And UA would still incur heavy losses- as shown above earlier, UA needs to command a hefty premium to support the CASMs of p.s. flights vs. those operated by a regular 757.

Quoting UAL777 (Reply 20):
You cannot compare UA and Jetblue's ticket prices because UA is NOT targeting the economy passenger. They are targeting the high-yield customer, hence the name Premium Service.

Oh yes, I can make comparisons between the two. The bottom line is that United IS competing for Economy customers in addition to full-fare C/F clientele - if this was not the case, the p.s. 757s would not possess an Economy cabin of any kind. However, due to the low capacity and thus high CASMs of p.s. service, UA lacks meaningful pricing flexibility vs. B6 and the other players in the market. Put another way, UA cannot aggressively discount their seats in any cabin and hope to break even on p.s., yet the transcon market dynamics (in all cabins) have been moving in that direction, even as air travel recovers.



Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlineZrs70 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 3011 posts, RR: 9
Reply 22, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6142 times:

JFK connections should also be figured in

A couple of weeks ago I needed a last minute one way fare LAX-BOS.

The UA ticket LAX-JFK/LGA-BOS was only $221 one way. Had I taken the same UA flight only to JFK, it would have cost $550.



14 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2013
User currently offlineAF022 From France, joined Dec 2003, 2135 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5992 times:

Quoting Avek00 (Reply 21):
Oh yes, I can make comparisons between the two

I respectfully disagree. When I worked for an international airline it was standard knowledge that if F and J sold out and there was good cargo, Y could go EMPTY and it would still make money. Look at EK. They fill the back of their planes with garbage fares but they still do well because the front is packed.

UAps has config of 12F/26J/96Y. Certainly UA is competitive for fares in the back because it can be, but because F&J are the focus, Y can just be a giveaway.

Let's say B6 sells 90% of transcon seats for $250 average each way. Total revenue per transcon flight would be $35,000

Let's say UAps sells 75% of transcon seats, and that economy is sold at $250 each way (same as B6), and business and first (first just being full of people who upgraded from business) are sold at $1000 each way. Total revenue per UAps flight would be $47,000.

The A320 is certainly less expensive to operate, but as an alternative to the B767 I think UA made an excellent decision with UAps.


User currently offlineCRJ900 From Norway, joined Jun 2004, 2152 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5968 times:
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How realistic is it to say that the UA p.s. Y+ cashes in on the fact that people get more leg room for their money, and thus opts to fly p.s. instead of a cramped Y cabin on another carrier?

1000s of American A.netters complain here every month of US carriers offering only cramped seating, so p.s. should be a great alternative, even if it costs a little more.

BTW, doesn't p.s. have the same amount of FAs as "normal" 757 services to ensure that F and Biz pax get excellent service?



Come, fly the prevailing winds with me
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