N7371f From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 1693 posts, RR: 12 Posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5632 times:
I have a hard time believing this F9 operating as YX and YX/RP operating as F9 will be successful...from a marketing and branding standpoint. Operationally, we'll see. However I believe operations and branding are tied to one another.
How can you protect the brand if you're Frontier and you have a Midwest Connect painted plane operating as Frontier operated by Republic Airways? And on the Midwest side you walk up to the gate and see Frontier in bold letters across the plane? It defies the essential argument Brian Bedford made when he announced both purchases: the brand is the most valuable asset.
Sure the savvy flier will know what's going on but the majority of the customers won't. Frontier has built its brand around new Airbus', extra legroom, DirecTV and other items. The first three items don't fly with YX-colored Embraers flying around F9's system operated by a third entity, RP. Midwest built its entity around other elements, some of which don't connect to a F9-operated plane (although I would argue there's a far greater upside for YX routes being flown by F9 than there is for E190's flying F9).
And, sure, F9 has routes operated by Lynx on Q400's. But that is a Frontier branded aircraft and the plane flies generally regional routes. Take a look at the F9 schedule for November...E190's fly alongside A318/A319/A320 routes like SEA,LAX,SAN and so forth...that can only dilute the F9 brand unless the E90 is pimped out in F9 colors and DirecTV. And even then, operated by RP crews, I argue you're still diluting the F9 brand.
Remember all of the comments made during the rush to save Frontier. It was what Frontier is that has given it a league of dedicated customers. There's an expectation when you make a reservation. The greater the chance the customer will fly on something that's not core Frontier - the more you risk losing the dedicated relationship.
Also you wonder if F9 will come under some sort of ire of the DOT by selling flights that are operated under one name but by a different airline for another airline. Recall the fines several years ago when the majors were not fully disclosing who was operating what. What does F9 do to fairly list the RP flight? Frontier flight #1400 operated by Republic Airways under Midwest Connect name? Frontier flight #1400 operating as Midwest Connect operated by Republic Airways? How confusing is that or any other combination?
By January 1, Midwest will be nothing more than a marketing name. It's operating certificate will be dormant. Heck there won't be a single YX pilot or flight attendant in the air (unless a sudden agreement is reached with unions). Frontier will still be a full operating airline. Is it really worth the risk of muddying two brands to keep a virtual brand afloat?
At some point this whole separate branding is going to come to a head...
BMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 1, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5625 times:
Here is my take on it from another thread:
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 30): The thing is, in my estimation, one of the strongest things about both Midwest and Frontier is the brands. In both cases there is a brand that is known and loved by the local market, but doesn't have the same recognition outside of their hometown. This is more of a problem with Midwest than Frontier. I live in a place that is unquestionably part of the Midwest, but I'd be willing to bet that less than half (probably way less) of the people around there know what Midwest Airlines is. They will most likely blend together, but they need to be careful and probably slow about it.
Overall, we are just seeing the beginning. Things will get more seamless as time goes on. Maybe some plane will get reconfigured, maybe YX will get TV, etc. Right now everything is in a state of constant change and some of it is kind of ad hoc, but that is okay. After all, it isn't like F9 can reconfigure however many A319s just like that before sending them to MKE. These things take time. If you don't believe me, just look in the photo database for all of the various transition schemes planes have worn during mergers.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
N7371f From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 1693 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5371 times:
Quoting Luv08 (Reply 4):
Don't let Marnier see you write this about his beloved F9! LOL!
Oh believe me...the moment I hit submit I was wondering how long it would take for him to respond.
Thing is...I'm a F9 fan. Been a stock owner. Met several of the current and former execs. Want them to succeed and thrilled F9 beat WN. I think the Frontier name has a ton of history to it with its ties to the original. I just don't see how this is going to work in the end...
Enilria From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 7046 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5373 times:
Quoting N7371f (Thread starter): Also you wonder if F9 will come under some sort of ire of the DOT by selling flights that are operated under one name but by a different airline for another airline.
Actually, you know what has just come to mind? Has DOJ/DOT blessed this whole mess? I haven't seen a peep and they are already doing schedule coordination. That would seem to be a major boo-boo. They are already acting like there is a de facto merger in the wings and REP hasn't even completed the purchase of F9 yet.
Regardless, I agree that this is a branding mess. Operationally it will be fine, but how do you define whether the branding is confusing customers...you just lose traffic and don't really know why?
LAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24884 posts, RR: 46
Reply 10, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5323 times:
In the long run to make this cross fleet flying more cost efficient things need to be done under a single roof. Single work group, single seniority, single operating cert and suppose a cleaner single product onboard etc.
Just the cost of TDY crews out of base for the month quickly adds cost such as perdiem (which is paid based on time away from base), hotels etc.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
Airport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 5233 times:
My 2 cents...
It's too early to tell. Sure it may be confusing for F9/YX customers who don't give a rip about aviation and don't follow the airline industry to find themselves on a plane painted as YX but flying as F9, but I don't think it's as if there will be scores of people checking in and then deciding to miss their flight out of fear of boarding the wrong aircraft. Considering the booking process, which isn't changing so far as I know, and considering all the steps taken by a customer from buying a ticket to walking through the jetway, the paint on the outside of the aircraft will matter fairly little.
Especially if F9/YX agents make it clear to the customer the situation.
Now if it stays like this for 5-10 years, which I highly doubt it will, then yes, there could be a potential problem, but for the short term I don't think it'll affect business in a disasterous way. If it does, then what RP needs to focus on is awareness of the situation to the customer. I don't think that'd be too difficult a task.
Overall, I think the benefits will far outweigh the setbacks in the long run. F9 will have E-170s and E-190s at their disposal (perhaps even the E-135/E-145?), and YX will have the 319s and 320s if they need them. There is a strong variety of new and efficient aircraft that well covers the spectrum of capacity from 37 seats to 160, allowing for optimal capacity on routes with low CASMs. If this fails, I don't think it'll be by a lack of fleet variety.
Indy From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 4537 posts, RR: 18
Reply 14, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 5211 times:
My opinion is that in time YX and F9 will operate under the Frontier brand. I would like to see the incorporate the best of the two airlines. I think if they do that the finished product will be something special. And we'd have an airline that would go against the industry norm which is to lower the service bar as far as possible. The new product would raise the bar as high as possible.
Does this word have to be used? A pimp is nothing more than a slaveholder who keeps prostitutes in line by violence or the threat of violence. It's beyond comprehension why this is glorified in any way.
Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 2): Maybe Midwest can start painting dairy cows, white-tailed deer, and squirrels on the tails of their Embraer's. At least those are the animals I've seen in Wisconsin....
A cow jumping over the Mars Cheese Factory perhaps (only for those who have driven I-55).
Quoting Airport (Reply 13): Considering the booking process, which isn't changing so far as I know, and considering all the steps taken by a customer from buying a ticket to walking through the jetway, the paint on the outside of the aircraft will matter fairly little.
The customers will hopefully be pleasantly surprised when they get on an F9 plane.
Quoting Indy (Reply 14): I would like to see the incorporate the best of the two airlines.
Cookies in Colorado?!?! My wife and kids would be thrilled.
This has nothing to do with this thread, but I am stunned the number of threads and posts concerning F9. This little airline really attracts attention and posts far in excess of it's size, passenger carry, fleet size, and other measures. I can't think of another carrier that gets anywhere near this level of attention. F9 is right up there with Boeing and Airbus in terms of posts and passions it seems.
Airport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 5142 times:
Quoting Indy (Reply 14): My opinion is that in time YX and F9 will operate under the Frontier brand. I would like to see the incorporate the best of the two airlines. I think if they do that the finished product will be something special. And we'd have an airline that would go against the industry norm which is to lower the service bar as far as possible. The new product would raise the bar as high as possible.
Ahh, just imagine...
-PTVs in every seat
-Fresh Onboard Cookies
-All leather seats
-A merging of Best Care Cuisine and Grizwald's Gourmet Cafe
-The friendly crews of both carriers (that I've experienced anyway)
-Service to almost every major city from coast to coast
And then imagine if they implented such amenities like...
-Complimentary beer and wine
-Complimentary copies of the Wall Street journal at the gate
-Complimentary coffee and beverages at the gate
(yes at this point I'm following the old QX model)
-No checked bag fees
-Complimentary pastries and delicacies on long flights
(yes I understand such drastic measures would raise CASMs by a probably high amount and completely not yield results, but keep in mind I'm only dreamin' here! )
NorCal From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2459 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 5121 times:
Quoting Indy (Reply 14): My opinion is that in time YX and F9 will operate under the Frontier brand. I would like to see the incorporate the best of the two airlines. I think if they do that the finished product will be something special.
That's easy, serve warm cookies in a cabin with no middle seats, provide TV, and paint cute animals on the tail. All done
DCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4490 posts, RR: 33
Reply 20, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 5026 times:
There are the people too.
Are you kidding? The people are the best part of Wisconsin. The state is one of my favorite place to visit, for friends and its beautiful places. A nice change of pace from DC, too.
On the topic....I agree with those who think the two carriers will at some point be merged, as Frontier with some YX features added, like the cookies. I'm not as pessimistic as the OP; history suggests that Bedford, et. al. know what they're doing--though they'll face some challenges integrating the carriers.
Msntriathlete From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 5004 times:
I do agree with the OP's concern about diluting brand identity, especially after Bedford's comments about how important the identity of each niche brand is.
The strategy, at least on the Midwest side (where I live), seems to be to restore as many of the former Midwest routes as possible, even if at the expense of brand identity. Assuming the brand-identity issue is somehow resolved in a year or so, and no one knows yet how, this would be a temporary problem. Having that critical mass of flights and routes out of MKE is a high priority, though. I can't tell you the number of times my coworkers and I have found in the last year that Midwest doesn't fly where we want or when we want. When we end up on Delta or even Airtran enough times, we stop thinking about Midwest. I therefore think Bedford's sacrificing some of that brand identity to build up the necessary critical mass.
Alphascan From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 937 posts, RR: 13
Reply 22, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 4920 times:
The strengths of both Frontier and Midwest are their employees and the service they provide . Their cultures to put it in a nutshell. Paint isn't an issue unless you are an airline nerd. This thread is much ado about absolutely nothing.
"To he who only has a hammer in his toolbelt, every problem looks like a nail."
MASTYC From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 144 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4798 times:
It's gonna be a big ole jumbled mess for a bit. I am choosing to look at it in the same way as Alamo and National car rental. Same colors too. I am figuring that five years from now you will either have a dual branded airline with no differences in on board product, or you will have Frontier that serves cookies.
Airport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4768 times:
Quoting Alphascan (Reply 22): The strengths of both Frontier and Midwest are their employees and the service they provide . Their cultures to put it in a nutshell. Paint isn't an issue unless you are an airline nerd. This thread is much ado about absolutely nothing.
I agree, though I don't think this thread is much ado about nothing. It's just harmless speculation, and that's what a.net was made for!
: The OP used it as a verb, not a noun. In this context, referring to painting planes in a colorful manner, I don't find it offensive in the least. It'