"Introducing US Airways FastPath for Boston-Philly commuters. Less walking, less waiting in line and no searching for gates or baggage carousels means you get from curb-to-plane-to-curb faster. Just follow the green US Airways FastPath signs at the airport."
The FastPath difference
Just for Boston-Philly commuters
•Dedicated curbside check-in and Web Check-in bag drop
•Dedicated check-in counters and kiosks
•Expedited priority security lane (shared with First Class, Envoy, Dividend Miles Preferred and Star Alliance Gold members)
•Departure gates closest to security
•Always the first baggage carousel
dartland From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 646 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 9966 times:
Quoting chrisair (Reply 3): How is someone on the BOS-PHL "shuttle" one of USAir's best customers?
We are! I used to commute BOS-PHL. It's a very high percentage business travelers -- every hour, all week long.
While this FastPath thing seems a little gimmicky (what real value is it driving?), it certainly can't hurt.
I used to travel this route weekly before there was any competition on it, but the US hourly flights were great. I'd frequently change flights on the way to the airport if I was running ahead or behind schedule. The flexibility was awesome. Sure, lots of delays, but almost never the fault of US.
The check-in, bag benefits seem low value since so many of the travelers have elite status anyways. The closest gate thing is quite nice, though. I could make it from my apartment in the South End of Boston to the gate in ~10 minutes (the beauty of Logan, and US has a great little terminal there!) for my usual 730am departure.
Well, it has been done before. TWA had their TWQ service offering a number of similar perks on flights to ORD, LGA, and oddly enough IIRC PHL from STL. Now, you can decide whether it was smart or not, and we know were TWA is today. But, I thought other airlines did have similar initiatives.
And remember, US had the Business Select moniker in use in the mid 90's, and WN thought that was a good enough service title to use. (I guess it wasn't trademarked)
My guess is that it is an acknowledgment that they needed to step up their game with WN now offering eight daily round-trips between BOS and PHL. WN actually has a pretty good location at Logan's Terminal E, with the checkpoint leading directly to their gates nearly adjacent to their check-in counter. And in PHL, there is something to be said for a predictable departure location when US spreads its mainline departures across three different concourses.
Actually, what I think is stupid is the decision to create a new brand ("FastPath") when they already have the Shuttle brand which is well-understood by travelers. The service is basically hourly, like the current Shuttles, and it uses the same equipment as the BOS-LGA Shuttle service. Extending the free wine/beer to BOS-PHL would give passengers additional incentive to book US, as would the 500-mile minimum Shuttle frequent flier credit.
Then again, they'd actually have to spend money on their customers to extend the Shuttle brand, so that will never happen. The basic expenditure here lies in putting up a few green signs.
There's probably some operational efficiency to be gained as well, since the baggage handlers in Philly should know that the BOS bags are always going to sent to the same three gates.
Quoting USAirALB (Reply 6): How is it a bad idea, its a great idea. Take care of your customers on one of your most profitable routes, and your customers will love you back.
It was one of their most profitable routes. With WN capping the one-way coach fare at $130, it's probably not so profitable these days. If I were a customer, I'd be a little miffed that I was only seeing some love when there was a new competitor in town.
Quoting USAirALB (Reply 6): A little trivia, US currently has hourly departures from 6 am to 2 pm on PHL-BOS on the :15 and hourly departures from 5 am to 1 pm on BOS-PHL on the :30.
airbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 9383 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 9157 times:
Quoting ScottB (Reply 8): It was one of their most profitable routes. With WN capping the one-way coach fare at $130, it's probably not so profitable these days. If I were a customer, I'd be a little miffed that I was only seeing some love when there was a new competitor in town.
I suspect most of the high yielding customers on this route, a) understand how the law of supply and demand works, and b) may not be paying for it out of their own pocket so they don't really care.
I don't thnk warning per say as much as US is instilling an additional convenience item or perk. I think US has since accepted the fact that WN's PHL-BOS service is here to stay; just like it's accepted that WN's PHL-PIT service isn't disappearing anytime soon either.
Quoting airbazar (Reply 4): Oh I don't know, maybe because until WN entered the market it was their most profitable route (or close to it)?
When they (US) were charging anywhere from $600 to $1000 r/t COACH fare (especially for travel less than 2-weeks in advance) for a non-contested route that's just shy of 300 miles one-way; I would HOPE that it was a profitable route. There's a few other words that come to mind but they're not necessarily suitable for print.
Quoting dartland (Reply 5): While this FastPath thing seems a little gimmicky (what real value is it driving?), it certainly can't hurt.
As I stated earlier, US is attempting to offer a convenience feature in an attempt to make itself stand out from WN... in a positive manner.
Quoting dartland (Reply 5): The check-in, bag benefits seem low value since so many of the travelers have elite status anyways. The closest gate thing is quite nice, though.
According to US' website, FastPath is available to ALL customers regardless of status. US is clearly not adding this feature to preach to the choir so to speak. It's intent is to capture a non- or at least a not-too- frequent flyer who might otherwise opt for WN.
Quoting bdl2stl2pvg (Reply 7): US had the Business Select moniker in use in the mid 90's, and WN thought that was a good enough service title to use. (I guess it wasn't trademarked)
Really, I didn't know that (US using the moniker before, that is); very interesting.
chrisair From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 2296 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 8877 times:
Horizon Air has a similar setup in Portland, Seattle and Spokane. If you're on their shuttle flights between the three cities, you can use the express lines at security etc. Regulars on the shuttle routes know about it, but ma and pa kettle don't. Some of us regulars know about the other, much better short cuts at PDX and SEA. I digress....
Quoting ScottB (Reply 8): Actually, what I think is stupid is the decision to create a new brand ("FastPath") when they already have the Shuttle brand which is well-understood by travelers
This isn't a new brand, best I can tell. It's an "amenity" of sorts. Like the QX deal.
Quoting dartland (Reply 5): We are! I used to commute BOS-PHL. It's a very high percentage business travelers -- every hour, all week long.
I still don't know how the regulars on this route are any more important than the regulars who buy transcon F tickets every week or full Y every week. I've met a few over the years (granted not on US, but I'm sure they exist).
RL757PVD From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4856 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 8842 times:
Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 11): Why only this market? Why not BOS-DCA, too....among others?
Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 12): Besides, BOS-DCA is already a genuine Shuttle route (with all its perks) for US.
I bet that will change when B6 starts flying it
If US can get WN to back down to about 6x, then I think they will call that a win.
I was looking at my January 2005 OAG which was shortly after WN launched PVD-PHL... US had 10x mainline 5 of which were 757s or 321s... WN backed off from their peak of 5-6x (4x now) and US is down to 8x E175/190 A319 mix.
Experience is what you get when what you thought would work out didn't!
ScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 7238 posts, RR: 31
Reply 15, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 8796 times:
Quoting airbazar (Reply 9): I suspect most of the high yielding customers on this route, a) understand how the law of supply and demand works
That's very likely -- but they also understand how monopoly rents can be abused. They may also understand that failing to support the competition might lead to a reestablishment of monopoly pricing and a reduction in service quality on the part of the former monopolist.
Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 10): US is clearly not adding this feature to preach to the choir so to speak. It's intent is to capture a non- or at least a not-too- frequent flyer who might otherwise opt for WN.
My guess is that there's a bit of a customer retention motive as well -- predictable gate locations and baggage carousel assignments would appeal to commuters.
nutsaboutplanes From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 514 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7996 times:
I think that this is a pretty good idea and relatively low-cost. Some local advertising, web advertising, airport signage, etc and you have effectively "recognized" an important demographic of your frequent flyer base.
Even if the tickets are not high yielding (I actually suspect that they are, otherwise US wouldn't be doing this), it keeps people in your frequent flier pool and out of the grasp of WN. If they fly US more frequently for business on PHL-BOS, they are more likely to fly US in general....for business and leisure. If these customers go to WN and become loyal WN frequent fliers and decide to take a European vacation, we know that they cant take a "canyon blue" 737 so there is a very real likelihood that they will go to DL, CO, UA or AA for their international travel needs.
Its about more than just 1 market and I applaud them for thinking outside of the box and providing a consistent experience to a segment that US seems to think is worth fighting for.
American Airlines, US Airways, Alaska Airlines, Northwest Airlines, America West Airlines, USAFR
KingFriday013 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1307 posts, RR: 10
Reply 20, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 6990 times:
It does indeed sound shuttle-esque to me. Sort of like how DL expanded their shuttle service to include flights to ORD...direct competition to AA. It would have cost US a bit more to add this to their shuttle system, but I think this is a good starting point. If it works, perhaps we'll see "Operated by US Airways Shuttle" next to these flight numbers in the future.
(P.S.... this is my first post back up in the big ROC. My room this year has barely any view of the approaches to the airport... I was totally spoiled last year. Lookin forward to HEARING the 727 I guess. I miss New York )
[Edited 2010-08-20 16:46:52]
Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you, By the livin' Gawd that made you, You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
SlcDeltaRUmd11 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 4196 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 5608 times:
I think this is just US being desperate and not knowing how else to respond to WN 8x daily mainline competition on the route. It has a few little perks but seriously nothing that significant at all. I don't think this offers much and will sway many people to fly US over WN. The nearest baggage carousel? What does that save like 15 seconds in walking time and my luggage never beats me to the carousel so who cares.
Most importantly if i were a "commuter" on the route the no change fee on WN would be the main selling point to get me to fly them over US so i could fly home sooner or later when needed. US still even with all of these "perks" still delivers an inferior product to WN since they have to pay a change fee and pay for luggage. US is simply desperate and this was the best response they could come up with that costs them literally almost nothing and offers customers almost nothing. I think we will quickly see WN pass US in O&D in the market PHL-BOS
ChopChop767 From Italy, joined Aug 2010, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5273 times:
Hello all, long time reader, first time poster
It's certainly great to see US actively trying to make travel easier and more convenient, but this isn't exactly a novel idea. It's been a while since I called ORD home, but UAL had a similar product: 'BusinessOne', was the name if I'm not mistaken. United earmarked the B Concourse gates at ORD for the flights to East Coast Business Hubs, such as BOS, LGA, EWR, PHL and DCA. It was great for travelers departing ORD to these destinations, but coming back, the flights just often went to C as they did B. I don't recall dedicated check in counters, or fast passes through security, but the gate idea was there.
I remember "Business One".....I never used it but I remember seeing the posters and signage at ORD when I traveled through. I am sure that most airlines, or companies for that matter have tried similar tactics in "critical markets" to either keep or attract customers. Even if it doesn't work, its good to see them try.....I hate seeing airlines surrender to WN just because they are WN. They are a great airline but they are not untouchable.
You need to worry about a company when it doesn't try new marketing tactics.....that means they have given up. Like you chopchop767, I am glad to see them try.
GOOD LUCK US
American Airlines, US Airways, Alaska Airlines, Northwest Airlines, America West Airlines, USAFR
: IIRC, before US picked up its current Shuttle routes from Trump in the 1990s; I did remember seeing some Trump Shuttle 727s at PHL (although there ar
: Not so much. "Commuters" don't check bags. And many of us worked for companies who didn't care if we had a change fee, or we booked last-minute refun
: At present, US is indeed matching WN on last minute fares. Pricing a r/t PHL-BOS itinerary that departs today and returns tomorrow from either carrie
: In my opinion (and everyone has one) this is how ALL of WN looks to me. I've done the flight a good many times, and within the next few months will n
: I know. I was looking at the schedules the other day, and thought to myself: "Where did thy rest of the flights go?"
: What's the definition of a shuttle service in the airline industry ?
: That just depends on the business. I know several businesses here in CLT, that want/prefer or require their employees to take non-stop flights instea
: Looks like they are having a special sale as well: http://www.usairways.com/en-US/specials/promotions/fastpath.html
: If I remember correctly, US' agreements with their pilots requires that anything under the Shuttle brand be operated 100% of the time by mainline equ
: US looked at branding this route as Shuttle, but this is exactly why in the end they didn't. It has nothing to do with US not wanting to spend money
: If time that you speak of is either billable to the client or on-the-clock, so to speak; you would be correct. OTHO, if the time is considered commut
: Makes sense to me. Could this be a precursor to gettid rid of the Shuttle brand name and turning the Shuttle routes over to this, then adding the ame