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The Boyd Group On The Future Of WN...  
User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 12681 times:

WN has to make changes necessary for its future and those changes necessary are just not always going to be what may have helped WN get to the point it is today; I think Gary Kelly is just the right person who understands this and for WN’s sake, I’m glad he’s at the helm right now because this is undoubtedly going to turn out to be a significant point in WN’s history.

I think assigned seating is all but paramount and I would even venture to include IFE is as just as important, because while WiFi is a good place to start I think by ten years from now all new pax airliners will have them standard and carriers like VX will make WN's service look downright shabby – WN already admits that when it will be competing in markets alongside VX they will have to do more than just offer comparable pricing to be competitive. I personally despise the current cattle call boarding philosophy as I am one who does not enjoy sitting in traffic on the road home from work and so the last thing I want to do when I travel by air is wait in a long line when I'm boarding just so I don't have to sit in the middle seat!

I think WN has to go into MSP as its next destination - the market is very large as is and all indications point to it growing exponentially in the future as well evident by the MAC’s new runway at MSP that they recently opened 18 months ago. I think now is opportune for WN to enter the MSP area as the consumers have very little love for NW - it would be the epitome of the WN effect when they enter that market.

In regards to another aircraft type or size, I disagree that WN needs a slightly smaller sized aircraft to go into all the small markets, though. Typically those markets are just not terribly lucrative but than again, that's XE's mission statement right now. If anything, WN should simply form a subsidiary company like AMR and American Eagle, and operate and manage that company as a partner yet separate entity if anything.

Conversely, I believe that WN needs to go the opposite direction with regards to another size/type aircraft, rather I would recommend a 737-800 type/sized aircraft to supplement WN's fleet. For example, WN has like 30 flights a day in DAL-HOU where as they could operate the same numbers of people on 20 flights of a 738, still accomplish the frequency necessary for their business model in that important market, and save a lot of money operating an otherwise very similar aircraft to their 73G/W's. In that regard I say they WN should buy SY and put their 10 738's into immediate service while also utilizing all of SY's gates at the Humphrey terminal at MSP.

With aircraft like 739ER's, that would be an opportunity for WN to consider select international routes on it's own metal, but then again if they really wanted to go international on their own metal they may be better off starting their own separate subsidiary airline comprised of just 787's and use them to begin the inevitable US LCC long-haul industry. WN could place an order for say 20 787's and use them to launch an entirely separate company with WN still the parent; it is oft rumored that FR is already trying to do this with EI across the pond to the US should he eventually be able to acquire the company, and Gary Kelly has already specifically spoken about the benefit of having an international long haul product to help one's revenues when the domestic numbers aren't doing as well, evident by numerous US legacy carriers success overseas right now.

As for taking on F9 at DEN, if I were F9 I'd be looking for a merger with B6 as I think that would be a great combination and perhaps the only way either carrier is still in the air ten years from now. Once that happened, if I were FL I'd be open to a DL merger as well.

[Edited 2007-07-03 02:31:45]

95 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 12586 times:

Mostly, I agree with what Boyd says here. One thing he doesn't address is the how to cope with the increasing crew costs and fuel costs. I do agree that Southwest does need a second aircraft type. They will eventually run out of 737-sized markets.

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
f anything, WN should simply form a subsidary company like AMR and American Eagle, and operate and manage that company as a partner yet seperate entity.

I hope not. Wholly-owned regionals have not been terribly successful of late. Further, I really don't care to imagine what the working conditions at a low cost carrier's lower cost regional would look like. Also, no one has been able to successfully demonstrate to me how owning and operating two companys with two sets of infrastructure is cheaper than operating just one to do the same amount of work.

Good luck to Southwest, if the Skybus model succeeds, I think they will find themselves caught uncomfortably in the middle.



Proud OOTSK member
User currently offlineLightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13130 posts, RR: 100
Reply 2, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 12476 times:
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Boyd is always pointing out how WN's strategy isn't working... We've seen this before.

Yet WN keeps the cattle call... why? Customers will tolerate it for the low fares partially enabled by the fast turn times of the cattle call...  scratchchin 

I think the best thing for WN is to ignore the Boyd group.

Quoting Lowrider (Reply 1):

Good luck to Southwest, if the Skybus model succeeds, I think they will find themselves caught uncomfortably in the middle.

If Skybus works, WN will have to adapt fast... but so will every other airline. There won't be much middle... there will be a bunch of airlines imitating skybus and far fewer with "premium" service that just doesn't deserve the name.

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
Can you imagine how exciting it would be for WN to place an order for say 20 787's and use them to launch an entirely seperate company with WN the parent

Umm... what exactly is WN doing with TZ if not pursuing longer haul flights via their partnership? (e.g., Hawaii). WN's a step ahead. They have their 2nd airline already. If WN wants TZ to order twenty 787's... TZ will get the funds and order them.  Wink

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
As for taking on F9 at DEN, if I were F9 I'd be looking for a merger with B6 as I think that would be a great combination and perhaps the only way either carrier is still in the air ten years from now. Once that happened, if I were FL I'd be open to a DL merger as well.

It would work... except for F9's unions... B6 crew would in no way support a merger due to their non-union preference. (Talk to the B6 crews... they're happy as is.)  Sad I'm sad, as it would be a great merger from an equipment and route standpoint. (DEN for B6, A320's for F9 with A319's for other routes. And the synergy of the two networks would be great... but the merging of the crews will probably kill the deal)

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineTornado82 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 12465 times:

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
With aircraft like 739ER's, that would be an opportunity for WN to consider select international routes on it's own metal,

I don't understand this when the 73G already has more range than the 9ER's.


User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 12357 times:

Those who can DO. Those who can't consult.

User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5822 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 12285 times:

Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 2):
Customers will tolerate it for the low fares partially enabled by the fast turn times of the cattle call...

What low fares?
Sometimes, WN is cheap. Other times, not. Booking tickets for my parents, Dallas-ABQ. AA, a legacy carrier with all that goes with it, is over $20 cheaper per person. Also, WN only allows their lowest fares on this route in the wee hours of the morning or evening... while American's fares are consistent (in this case) for all flights offered.

That's just one example, and I'd say it's fifty-fifty, but the point is, don't be so quick to assume Southwest is cheaper, because, more often than not, they're par for the course.


User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 977 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 12156 times:

AirRyan, it's typically a good idea to provide a link and some introductory context when quoting someone:

http://www.aviationplanning.com/asrc1.htm


User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 12104 times:

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 6):
AirRyan, it's typically a good idea to provide a link and some introductory context when quoting someone:

http://www.aviationplanning.com/asrc1.htm

I had a link originally but I guess I lost it when I was editing my post for grammar; thanks for the link.


User currently offlineAlexPorter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 11984 times:

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
In that regard I say they WN should buy SY and put their 10 738's into immediate service while also utilizing all of SY's gates at the Humphrey terminal at MSP.

I hope not. While I otherwise wouldn't mind WN coming to MSP, SY offers generally low fares like SY, but a better product, including assigned seats (although open seating is nice if you can get on first - on Ryanair I was able to get an excellent exit row seat, which are often hard to get with assigned seating) and a hot sandwich, for example. Last I checked, WN wasn't big into food. Of course, WN exceeds SY in some regards, including network reach and a mileage program.

Not to mention that SY has a first-class section, whereas WN does not.

Personally, I think WN should go to CLT first - US Airways is probably hated more in CLT than NW is in MSP, and CLT doesn't have an LCC hub or focus city operation (like ATL and MSP do). WN should be able to do fine in CLT if they grow fast enough. Of course, CLT is a smaller market than MSP, but I suppose SLC would be a good comparison here - Charlotte and Salt Lake City have relatively small metro areas to be supporting major legacy hubs, but WN does fine at SLC, so I imagine it would do fine at CLT.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23021 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 11973 times:

Quoting AlexPorter (Reply 8):
Personally, I think WN should go to CLT first - US Airways is probably hated more in CLT than NW is in MSP, and CLT doesn't have an LCC hub or focus city operation (like ATL and MSP do). WN should be able to do fine in CLT if they grow fast enough.

There's no space at CLT for WN.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineSCCutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5520 posts, RR: 28
Reply 10, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 11791 times:

IFE, yes, and soon. Expect it.

Assigned seating? For each person you find craving it, you'll find three or four who oppose it and prefer Southwest's open seating model. It is especially popular with Southwest's core travelers, full-fare business travelers who often book on only a day's notice or so. It may come, likely as a necessary accommodation of connecting passengers from whatever international deal is made, but it is by no means universally sought.

By the way, I have yet to see a boarding line for a carrier with assigned seating that was not a cattle call.

Skybus and its ilk are not competition for Southwest; WN's bread and butter are business travelers who require and receive premium air transportation service from Southwest. Skybus is exclusively focused on leisure travelers. Utterly different targets.

As for fares, rather than comparing AA's limited-availability long-lead fares on a city pair with competition, compare low-competition pairs of similar length. Some airlines resist the urge to jack up fares just because they dominate a pair, others do not; the ones which do not are showing respect for their customers, and earning loyalty in the bargain.



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlinePavlovsDog From Norway, joined Sep 2005, 658 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 11621 times:

I agree that WN should be looking at smaller aircraft for smaller markets. Right now the best candidate is the Q-400.

If I were WN I would approach a manufacturer, Bombardier and ATR lead the list, and ask them to develop a turbo-prop specifically for their needs.

A three-member family of turbo-props with 75-100-125 seats and low operating costs would be ideal not only for new smaller markets but also many of WN's current shorter routes. I can see such an aircraft having a significant cost advantage not only over WN's own jets but over competitors. They could lock-up the first 150 production slots and rake in the cash.


User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 11613 times:

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
I think WN has to go into MSP as its next destination - the market is very large as is and all indications point to it growing exponentially in the future as well evident by the MAC’s new runway at MSP that they recently opened 18 months ago. I think now is opportune for WN to enter the MSP area as the consumers have very little love for NW - it would be the epitome of the WN effect when they enter that market.

So NW will look were competition would be most damaging for WN & start cheap full service A321 flights there ?


User currently offlineSWALoveField From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 179 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 11254 times:

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
For example, WN has like 30 flights a day in DAL-HOU where as they could operate the same numbers of people on 20 flights of a 738, still accomplish the frequency necessary for their business model in that important market,

I don't think the Boyd Group gets it (WN).

I'm a business traveler with business in both Dallas and Houston (Not to mention Austin, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, etc). I live less than 2 miles from DAL. WN's frequencies, ease of everything (and I mean everything from parking to check in, etc.) and cost make it the ONLY choice for me.

WN gets me. The Boyd Group does not.

Robb
Dallas, TX


User currently offlineBohlman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 11053 times:

Shows a fundamental lack of understanding for the WN model.

The most egregious error would be talking about larger A/C. Any additions to the fleet will be drastic additions, not simply a headache like a 738, which will only cause huge scheduling issues.


User currently offlinePVD757 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3413 posts, RR: 16
Reply 15, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 10944 times:

If (big if) WN ever decides to introduce another aircraft type, it would almost have to be smaller. Today's industry is one of high fuel (and other) costs putting enormous pressure on all airlines to raise revenue regardless of overall cost structure. WN misses out on many, many strong market pairs that can't support multiple 737s. Many of these markets are business orientated markets which make it a requirement to have at least 2 frequencies. O&D pairs with 100-200 passengers are too small for 2 137 seat 737s, but would be perfect for somethinbg like the E90 or E95. Since I know my local market the best, I can think of several, unserved markets that would be great for this type of service:

PVD-RDU (2)
PVD-ORF (2)
PVD-JAX (1)
PVD-IND (2)

I'm sure every medium (and some small) hub airport has a similar list...


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 10883 times:

Quoting Bohlman (Reply 14):
The most egregious error would be talking about larger A/C. Any additions to the fleet will be drastic additions, not simply a headache like a 738, which will only cause huge scheduling issues.

Why is this a "huge" scheduling issue? SWA already deals with aircraft with dissimilar seating capacities (122, 128 (4), and 137), so how would a larger 738 be fundamentally different in its scheduling/routing?


User currently offlineNKMCO From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 10594 times:

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 16):
larger 738 be fundamentally different in its scheduling/routing

Most probably referred to as adding additional flight attendant(s) into the cost (and scheduling) structure.


User currently offlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7591 posts, RR: 27
Reply 18, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 10300 times:

Quoting SWALoveField (Reply 13):
WN gets me. The Boyd Group does not.



Quoting Bohlman (Reply 14):
Shows a fundamental lack of understanding for the WN model.

Boyd's article illustrates several key points that shows how WN needs to continue to evolve over time. Contrary to popular believe, the "WN model" has drastically changed over the past few years. Everyone speaks of this "WN Model" that has existed for 30 years, when it has changed signficantly in the past 5-6 years.

Things such as:
1) Flying into major airports (PHL, DEN, SFO, IAD)
2) Flying Trans-cons (some are being cut now)
3) Scheduling 30-40+ minute turn times (the 20 minute turn in most places is a thing of the past)
4) Codesharing (ATA)

Boyd mentions things that may or may not be done to address WN's key business issues. After all, WN is a publicly held company that needs to operate for-profit and generate sufficient shareholder returns. WN needs to ensure that revenue exceeds costs, plan and simple. Also, investors generally don't like when when a company just stays at the status-quo. Increasing profits - whether it be through growth, and altering the operation to increase the spread between revenue and costs, are needed to raise shareholder value.

Staying the same is also a recipe for disaster if your competition is constantly evolving. WN needs to be aware of their competitors, or they will be left behind. The most well-run companies are constantly changing how they operate.

WN is beyond the point where they have saturated their original and core markets. Like every airline, there is a base of passengers that will always fly them, no matter what. The difference between a profit and a loss in this business is so razor thin, they need to capture that large portion of the general public who doesn't have a preference in airline, those who solely make their selection on the basis of price, and those who value some level of service for their money.

What works on the short hop flights down in Texas may or may not be appropriate on larger/longer routes with other competition. Many domestic markets are rather stagnant in passenger growth, with everyone fighting for each other's share of the pie. Particularly leisure & discretionary travel is stagnant in many markets.


User currently offlineXbraniffone From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 80 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 10135 times:

I don't think WN will come to MSP.

NW and probably SY will match all fares of WN and WN is not in the position to lose money for a long period of time. IT will be a huge battle and I just don't think they will be willing to take that on right now.

It's a Texan carrier and the midwest residents (most of them) will be suppportive of hometown carriers. NW because of FF miles and SY because it's the underdog. SY is great to fly by the way. It's flies out of the HHH terminal and is so much easier than going through the hell at the main terminal.

But this being said...who the heck knows anymore about this business? I mean, who would have thought that SY could make it against the big carriers, but they are able to.



DC3 8 9 10, 1011, BAC111, 707 720 727 737 747 757 767 777 A319 320 330 340
User currently offlineChrisNH From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 4116 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 10135 times:

The Boyd Group states that they expect big changes at Southwest Airlines over the next eighteen months...and we've seen the first effects with that re-shuffling of flights for the fall.

Among several observations, Boyd notes that the carrier may have designs on Boston. And the natural by-product of that, he says, would be a draw-down at Manchester (MHT). How likely do you think it is that Southwest would enter Boston? I realize the carrier has been entering big-city airports, and Logan is an easier place to get to now that the 'Big Dig' is done (well, except for the lawsuits...but I digress). The Bos-Wash air corridor is exceptionally congested, and the Manchester departure/arrival patterns nicely by-pass that mess. And since jetBlue is one of the incumbent LCCs at Logan, they would certainly go to Massport and try to 'make life difficult' for WN. Indeed, is there enough available room at Logan to service Southwest?

Do you personally think that Boyd is onto something here, or is he wildly off-base? Obviously, no Southwest executives sat down with Boyd to have an 'Exclusive Interview,' so what Boyd is essentially saying amounts to guesswork on his part. It was my feeling that MHT and PVD (which would also stand to lose here) are among the stronger stations in this part of the country for Southwest.

Chris in NH


User currently offlineDvk From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1058 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 10135 times:

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 5):
Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 2):
Customers will tolerate it for the low fares partially enabled by the fast turn times of the cattle call...

What low fares?

How true. It has been at least four years since I found a fare on WN that wasn't matched or beaten by a fare on another carrier.



I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.
User currently offlineTornado82 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 9967 times:

Quoting NKMCO (Reply 17):
Most probably referred to as adding additional flight attendant(s) into the cost (and scheduling) structure.

Computers could figure out the flight attendant problem quite simply. This is 2007, nobody is still making the flight attendants schedule on pen and paper. If every other airline in the country can figure it out, WN could.

Quoting SWALoveField (Reply 13):
I'm a business traveler with business in both Dallas and Houston (Not to mention Austin, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, etc). I live less than 2 miles from DAL. WN's frequencies, ease of everything (and I mean everything from parking to check in, etc.) and cost make it the ONLY choice for me.

If WN dropped DAL-HOU from let's say 30x to 23x on 739ER's, you'd hardly notice the difference. Their bottom line would notice the difference, but your schedule would hardly notice a thing. You'd be talking flights tweaked by 20 minutes one way or another, hardly noticable in the big picture. You can lose 20 minutes on the highway driving to/from the airport and hardly notice it even. If you need a schedule down to the minute that perfectly that a 20 minute interval will kill you, I think you need to fly your last flight on WN on a route of DAL-ABQ and visit a company called Eclipse. They can help that problem.


User currently offlineLightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13130 posts, RR: 100
Reply 23, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 9938 times:
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Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 5):
That's just one example, and I'd say it's fifty-fifty, but the point is, don't be so quick to assume Southwest is cheaper, because, more often than not, they're par for the course.

Ok, I miss typed checkmark  However, their CASM is low... and in the long run that gives them a huge competitive advantage. But there is no arguing that its the other airlines are matching WN fares... (I've yet to see a route where WN charges, even after inflation, what the price was before they entered.)

Quoting SCCutler (Reply 10):
Assigned seating? For each person you find craving it, you'll find three or four who oppose it and prefer Southwest's open seating model.

True. How many threads do we see that "airline XX won't let me select a seat..." On WN I know I'll find a stranger who will move to let me sit next to my wife. While HA accommodated us, it didn't exactly make me happy after buying tickets to find out that during our honeymoon I had to select two seats well apart from each other on an inter-island flight. So there is a point to it...

Quoting SWALoveField (Reply 13):

I'm a business traveler with business in both Dallas and Houston (Not to mention Austin, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, etc). I live less than 2 miles from DAL. WN's frequencies, ease of everything (and I mean everything from parking to check in, etc.) and cost make it the ONLY choice for me.

And this is why WN thrives. They deliver what the business customer demands. Most business travelers in "trapped markets" hate their hometown airline. But not for WN in Dallas, Pheonix, or Las Vegas. Hmmm...  scratchchin 

Now the interesting thing is would WN buy another size airframe? 739ER? E190? That depends on if the models show that they could use 150+ of that airframe. Anything number less and they would have to dramatically change their aircraft utilization strategy. The Boyd group themselves have pointed out the RASM benefit of through flights (e.g., LAX-LAS-DEN-MCO vs. LAX-LAS-LAX (rinse and repeat). So any new airframe would need to be able to be utilized nationally, not regionally.

Quoting Xbraniffone (Reply 19):
But this being said...who the heck knows anymore about this business? I mean, who would have thought that SY could make it against the big carriers, but they are able to.

I'm impressed on how SY has held on. Who is to say where they'll be in 10 years? But WN must keep adding cities, and MSP is a definitive hole in the system.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 9830 times:

Quoting NKMCO (Reply 17):
Most probably referred to as adding additional flight attendant(s) into the cost (and scheduling) structure.

A non-issue, and one that (curiously) seems to keep popping up only in the minds of folks that don't work here. We have the ability to schedule/track a 3rd pilot and 4th F/A (both for IOE purposes) along with our aircraft, and I'm at a loss to understand why some folks don't seem to think we have the computer horsepower, resources, or expertise to theoretically do something "different" in the operation.


25 MaverickM11 : Boyd doesn't make any mention of a smaller aircraft, in fact that's the last thing WN needs when their average LF starts with a 6. If anything they n
26 Cloudy : I've always been intrigued by this possibility. Now that we have Horizon's successful operations in Seattle as a model, it looks even more interestin
27 Drgmobile : I think the best thing for WN is to ignore the Boyd group. Agreed. All I see here is a lot of baseless assertions -- none of it grounded in any data o
28 SkyyMaster : Thank you. I've been flamed on this site for supporting WN and pointing out how different it is than Skybus. SX is not a threat to WN now and it's un
29 Post contains images ScottB : I also disagree with Boyd here, but I think his position basically stems from what his consulting business does for a living -- help smaller airports
30 717-200 : Didn't WN try assigned seating not too long ago as a test out of certain markets? How did that go over?
31 Post contains images OPNLguy : True, but I think some of the others here need to keep in mind that "increased complexity" is not synonymous with "insurmountable obstacle..."
32 Post contains images OPNLguy : Out of SAN on some flights, for 30-60 days (can't recall which) back some months ago.. Results? You'll have to wait like the rest of us to find out..
33 PHLBOS : Fares only tell part of the story. While a legacy carrier can certainly match or beat an LCC fare; if one has to make a change to their reservation,
34 Hoya : One thing many here are overlooking is that WN is finally starting to pay market prices for fuel. Their fuel hedges are running out, so they are no l
35 Tornado82 : But so what? The computers can easily compensate for that. It's not as if the FA's are an inseparable 3-person "team" that ALWAYS fly together on eve
36 OPNLguy : My response to the other poster as to why this was a "scheduling" issue wasn't in the context of how many FAs it would take to operate a 738, but rat
37 PHLBOS : Who said ANYTHING about the same 3 people flying every single same flight? Whether one of the 3 F/As from one completed flight separate to serve as p
38 Cubsrule : It's really not too hard. If WN wanted to do it really simply, they could schedule 3 f/as on every flight and a fourth f/a who simply followed the 73
39 Flighty : Other airlines schedule multi-size fleets with different FA counts all day long. It is slightly tricky, but solutions exist to make it work extremely
40 TeamAmerica : The legacy carriers tend to discount some seats on some flights for advance purchase, and those seats often match or undercut WN. I just bought ticke
41 Sllevin : My guess would be that Southwest might ask Boeing for a -750 before ordering a -800; they could stretch it just enough to add two more rows and not ha
42 CitrusCritter : I definitely don't associate it with the days of regulation. My #1 reason for avoiding WN is that I have a habit of being sure I am early (to ensure
43 Jmc1975 : With any subsidiary they may start, I always thought it would be appropriate to include their ticker symbol within their name in some way (i.e. AirLu
44 XT6Wagon : There would be no reason they would have to have an additional FA as they would configure them with 149 seats. The real reason the 738 is not an opti
45 Post contains images Iwok : most customers think not, especially the core full fare business traveller. Why? When was this startling admission? Then go online and check-in in ad
46 5mileBob : Amen...amen!
47 PSU.DTW.SCE : Correct, they are major airports, however not delay prone and/or do not have suitable secondary airports. However if you read these boards 4-5 years
48 Luvfa : The Boyd group has always criticized the Southwest Model and has always been wrong. This criticism should be of no surprise. Michael Boyd should not c
49 MaverickM11 : Such as....?
50 PSU.DTW.SCE : The Boyd group has not always critized the WN model. What he does critize is those analysts & writers who claim that the WN model is the only model t
51 Cloudy : That is true. Southwest's BUSINESS MODEL is not universally applicable, and Boyd likes to point out that fact. However, Southwest's primary strength
52 BrazilExPat : In our scheduling system right now we 3 flight attendants (FAA, FAB, and FAC). FAD is currently used for flight attendants performing there operating
53 Cubsrule : I think this is the big reason we won't see WN in MSP for the time being. The question that must be asked is what markets they would serve. Keep two
54 Boeing7E7 : A 137 seat 737-700 requires just as many FA's as a 150 seat 737-800. What's the point? Depends on how much they need to grow. You mean ya'll finally
55 Cubsrule : I count one airport on that list that has capacity issues, and I wouldn't classify them as 'major.'
56 Boeing7E7 : LAX, LAS, PHX, and SAN all have capacity issues that will have a major impact on Southwest in the next 10 years. These are huge markets for them, SAN
57 Cubsrule : Aside from LAX-LAS, what market involving those airports could possibly benefit from a 738?
58 Tornado82 : PHX-LAS has a ton of frequency as well.
59 Cubsrule : Quite true, but I still think the 738 would be at best a niche aircraft for WN. There are only a handful of routes where it would be useful.
60 Post contains images UA_727 : -UA-
61 ATLAaron : and analysts COUGH COUGH Jamie Baker from JPMC COUGH COUGH
62 Boeing7E7 : All of them. More capacity on the same frequency. I think you need to read up on the capacity issues of the airports I mentioned. They are all proble
63 Chase : When WN and TZ started code-sharing, WN dictated that no routes involving service on TZ's subsidiary C8's Saab 340Bs would be eligible for the codesh
64 Jeffinbwi : A 737-800 with WN configuration would seat 175 pax. Same as ATA' -800s.
65 Boeing7E7 : . It won't be an ATA config. Try 150 exaclty.
66 BN727flyr : Agreed. I, too, think he is a smart guy. Let me elaborate on the point about Boyd's audience and who pays for Boyd's services. According to their web
67 Cubsrule : What do WN's load factors look like at these aiports? Because if they're anything like most WN stations, loads are likely in the 70-80% range. Lots o
68 Freshlove1 : You can do the same thing with assigned seats. When you make your reservation you get the seat you want, no need to wait until departure time and hop
69 Hoya : The point of Boyd's arguments is that other airlines are offering the same thing (convenience, price, culture - think of B6, F9, FL), so WN no longer
70 Indy : Isn't that the truth. And all consultants know is change. They get paid to change things no matter how good the current system is. Who would pay a co
71 Post contains images Atrude777 : But....what if the seat I wanted when I booked is taken?! Then what? I have to grab what is open online and on the day of departure hope for the best
72 Bond007 : Well, as much as I disagree with Boyd, he is running his own business and he probably sees more profit in his own pocket with a company a tiny fracti
73 Post contains images Indy : Good point. You win that one We all should be so lucky as Boyd.[Edited 2007-07-10 14:20:34]
74 Boeing7E7 : Those airports have a net airport capacity problem that will hamper the 20-30 minute turn. They will have to use bigger planes or bug out. The loads
75 Post contains images Iflyswa :          Is it unfortunate or ironic if you're the guy that winds up being FAG?    Well, guess I'll be going to hell... iflyswa[Edited 2007-0
76 Tornado82 : As if having that A-card guarantees your seat on WN. What if you're connecting? If you're connecting there is a good chance that those people are alr
77 Atrude777 : So far it has, when I check in for A, and it has a connecting leg, I get A card for BOTH legs, so even if my flight lands when my 2nd flight is getti
78 Bond007 : Trust me, for those who prefer assigned seating it's very different. The argument is not so much getting your perfect seat, but knowing in advance wh
79 Cubsrule : And a larger aircraft requires a longer turn, right? If the planes aren't full, what's the capacity issue? Through passengers select seats (any seats
80 Boeing7E7 : They can turn a -800 in 30 minutes which is what they will be doing at busy airports with a -700. Ths issue is moot. The airport itself and its abili
81 Jeffinbwi : I'm sorry, I meant ATA -800 in one class configuration. Try 175 exactly.
82 XT6Wagon : Wrong, WN right now if it was to operate a 800 would have 149 seats. This makes it 1:1 interchangeable with a 700 as far as the crew goes. likely the
83 Cubsrule : I agree. That's why I am confused about why you brought up turn times at all. Short of the implementation of slot restrictions at these airports (an
84 Boeing743 : I always try to get seat behind wings when I go anywhere because I enjoy the view of wings during taking and landing. Yes it is sometimes hard to get
85 Boeing7E7 : Because someone made the argument they wouldn't use a larger aircraft due to turn times. The net average delay at the airport will be the driver, not
86 PHLBOS : IIRC, the group assignments are done on a first-check/first-serve basis. For WN's 137 passenger 737s; the cut-off number between Group A & B is eithe
87 ScottB : I guess the problem with Southwest acting alone as you suggest is related to the commons paradox. If WN were to reduce frequency and use larger aircr
88 WNCrew : You are correct, we board PRE-board first, and NO person in the preboard group may occupy an Exit Seat, then we start with the A Group which is the f
89 Cubsrule : How would WN reducing frequency a little bit help delays? A 150 seat 738 would allow them to cut approximately... 2 OAK flights 1 SJC flight 1 LAS fl
90 Boeing7E7 : There has to be some capacity for them to soak up. Goign to be interesting to see what happens with WN in SAN if that city doesn't get their you know
91 Cloudy : That sums up why it does not pay for airlines to help overcrowded airfields by using larger aircraft. The only real solution is congestion based pric
92 737tanker : Actually you are wrong. I remember being told by WN management during my upgrade class that if SWA ever got the 800 it would hold about 185 passenger
93 Propilotjw : Unfortunately, It's not up to B6 Crews when it comes to merger time. It's all about the shareholders
94 XT6Wagon : Might want to do some math on that. As in seat pitch vs number of seats. The number 185 is important for the 737-800 as thats the MAX passengers allo
95 Cubsrule : It's in the neighborhood of 29-30 inches.
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