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US Introduces The "FastPath"  
User currently offlineUSAirALB From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 3147 posts, RR: 2
Posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 10731 times:

In looks like they are trying to make the PHL-BOS route, like a shuttle service, without the shuttle service.

http://www.usairways.com/en-US/traveltools/intheair/fastpath.html

It looks like its availiable to all pax.

From usairways.com:

"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


Interesting. Could this be a warning to WN?

-USAirALB


E135/E140/E145/E70/E75/E90/CR2/CR7/CR9/717/732/733/734/735/73G/738/739/752/753/762/772/319/320/321/333
36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinegaystudpilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 457 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 10604 times:

Another stupid idea from US.

No "warning" to WN. This marketing gimmick is not a competitive threat to WN.

[Edited 2010-08-19 23:00:57]

User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5716 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 10331 times:

Quoting gaystudpilot (Reply 1):
Another stupid idea from US.

Oh, yes. God forbid a business actually tries to take care of it's best customers  
Quoting gaystudpilot (Reply 1):
This marketing gimmick

You mean like the tacky "Bags Fly Free Here" stickers on the WN planes? Or the SI Swimsuit Edition airplane? (Don't get me wrong, I liked looking at it, but it screamed Trailer Park Trash).

Quoting USAirALB (Thread starter):
In looks like they are trying to make the PHL-BOS route, like a shuttle service, without the shuttle service.

Only because DL doesn't fly BOS-PHL nonstop.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlinechrisair From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 2167 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 9688 times:

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 2):
God forbid a business actually tries to take care of it's best customers

How is someone on the BOS-PHL "shuttle" one of USAir's best customers?


User currently offlineairbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8577 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 9599 times:

Quoting chrisair (Reply 3):
How is someone on the BOS-PHL "shuttle" one of USAir's best customers?

Oh I don't know, maybe because until WN entered the market it was their most profitable route (or close to it)?


User currently offlinedartland From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 644 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 9590 times:
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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.


User currently offlineUSAirALB From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 3147 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 9529 times:

Quoting gaystudpilot (Reply 1):
Another stupid idea from US.

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.

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.



E135/E140/E145/E70/E75/E90/CR2/CR7/CR9/717/732/733/734/735/73G/738/739/752/753/762/772/319/320/321/333
User currently offlinebdl2stl2pvg From China, joined Jun 2006, 151 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 9360 times:

Quoting gaystudpilot (Reply 1):
Another stupid idea from US.

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)


User currently offlineScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6808 posts, RR: 32
Reply 8, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 9038 times:

Quoting USAirALB (Thread starter):
Interesting. Could this be a warning to WN?

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.

Quoting gaystudpilot (Reply 1):
Another stupid idea from US.

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.

Another reason to brand as "Shuttle."


User currently offlineairbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8577 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 8781 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.


User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7554 posts, RR: 23
Reply 10, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 8667 times:

Quoting USAirALB (Thread starter):
Could this be a warning to WN?

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.   

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 2):
Quoting gaystudpilot (Reply 1):
This marketing gimmick

You mean like the tacky "Bags Fly Free Here" stickers on the WN planes?

FastPath aside, that's one thing in play here that wasn't previously (when FL, Nations Air, ML offered the route at different times)... checked bag fees.

While US will match WN's fare; if one's checking bags (unless they have elite status of sorts), the overall price advantage automatically favors WN.

OTOH, someone wanting the greater flexibility of frequency (of flights) regardless of fees and so forth; US will still have the advantage.

That said, I have to give US kudos for at least trying to offer an added convenience such as FastPath.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 11, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 8634 times:

Quoting USAirALB (Thread starter):
The FastPath difference
Just for Boston-Philly commuters

Why only this market? Why not BOS-DCA, too....among others?



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7554 posts, RR: 23
Reply 12, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 8609 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 11):
Why only this market? Why not BOS-DCA, too....among others?

2-word answer: WN competition.

Besides, BOS-DCA is already a genuine Shuttle route (with all its perks) for US.

[Edited 2010-08-20 13:00:12]


"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlinechrisair From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 2167 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 8501 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).


User currently offlineRL757PVD From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4707 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 8466 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!
User currently offlineScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6808 posts, RR: 32
Reply 15, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 8420 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.


User currently offlineScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6808 posts, RR: 32
Reply 16, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 8365 times:

Quoting chrisair (Reply 13):
This isn't a new brand, best I can tell. It's an "amenity" of sorts. Like the QX deal.

It's an amenity with its own logo and color chosen for quick identification -- looks like a branding exercise to me.


User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5716 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 8262 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 11):

Why only this market? Why not BOS-DCA, too....among others?

US has a section of the B concourse in BOS reserved for the Shuttle service, complete with it's own check-in counter and it's own security checkpoint (not merely just the same lane that FFs use).



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineUSAirALB From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 3147 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 7929 times:

I'd like to see US extend this on LGA-CLT to cater to the Bank of America travellers.


E135/E140/E145/E70/E75/E90/CR2/CR7/CR9/717/732/733/734/735/73G/738/739/752/753/762/772/319/320/321/333
User currently offlinenutsaboutplanes From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 510 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 7620 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
User currently offlineKingFriday013 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1303 posts, RR: 10
Reply 20, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6614 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.

-J.

(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  Sad )

[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!
User currently offlinesmoot4208 From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1322 posts, RR: 12
Reply 21, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6324 times:

While I like this strategy, and think that it should have done a long time ago, Making this route a "Shuttle" route would have been better.

User currently offlineSlcDeltaRUmd11 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 3607 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5232 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


User currently offlineChopChop767 From Italy, joined Aug 2010, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 4897 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.

At any rate, good on US!



this year: nap, lgw, fra, dub, fco, add, jib, muc, iad, sea, dca, bos, cdg, ist, bah, prg, ord, hsv, cmn
User currently offlinenutsaboutplanes From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 510 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4657 times:

Quoting ChopChop767 (Reply 23):




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
25 PHLBOS : 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
26 dartland : 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
27 PHLBOS : 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
28 Post contains images WesternA318 : 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
29 USAirALB : I know. I was looking at the schedules the other day, and thought to myself: "Where did thy rest of the flights go?"
30 SNLH : What's the definition of a shuttle service in the airline industry ?
31 smoot4208 : 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
32 Post contains links USAirALB : Looks like they are having a special sale as well: http://www.usairways.com/en-US/specials/promotions/fastpath.html
33 cofannyc : 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
34 Post contains images FutureUScapt : 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
35 PHLBOS : 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
36 WesternA318 : 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
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