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Airlines Hiding Seats To Push Pax To Premium Seats  
User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 3075 posts, RR: 4
Posted (3 years 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 19043 times:

From the WSJ (fair use): "Seat fees are the latest iteration of the airline industry's new normal. Carriers are blocking more seats from advance-seat selection, especially for low-fare passengers. More crowded planes also make it tougher to get a desirable seat. As a result, more travelers are feeling pressured to pay a fee and reserve a seat rather settle for an assigned one—which could be a middle seat or not located next to their family members. Worse, those without assigned seats stand a higher chance of getting bumped from a flight."

80 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (3 years 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 18951 times:

Not surprised. I have one flight coming up with "no seats currently available for complimentary assignment" and a message suggesting that I can either receive an assignment at checkin or I should maybe pay for an "extra legroom" seat.

Don't care, not taking the bait. Would actually love to get bumped as I'm going to be arriving 26 hours before I need to anyhow, and I'd jump to grab the compensation voucher!

Wish they'd all just switch to open seating, then they could sell priority boarding and have it as an elite perk.


User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3596 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (3 years 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 18821 times:

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 1):

If you like that arrangement, just fly WN.

I prefer an assigned seat, so I do not fly WN.

That is the beauty of a market economy, different airlines can adjust their models to cater to different market segments.


User currently offlinegenybustrvlr From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 261 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 18736 times:

This goes beyond premium seat fees. With higher load factors, airlines need to prevent low-yielding advance purchasers from snapping up preferable seating. When I'm purchasing a last minute domestic coach ticket for work, I simply move on to another flight/airline if I can't pick a seat. Given that I'm paying 4-5x what the average traveler is paying, I certainly deserve my choice of seat...

User currently offlinespacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3650 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 18655 times:

Quoting genybustrvlr (Reply 3):
With higher load factors, airlines need to prevent low-yielding advance purchasers from snapping up preferable seating.

I understand that, but what's considered "preferred" seating is ridiculous these days. It's one thing to block off exit rows and bulkheads, but the last time I flew Delta, for example, every single aisle and window seat was blocked. Every one. I know this because my brother, who is Silver Medallion, tried to book the same flight just to see if that was the case, and sure enough, he could book any of those seats.

When you basically can't even book a seat unless you have status, something is wrong.

Also, I've basically given up on Delta, after thinking I was going to try to build up some miles with them. I'm flying JetBlue all the time now.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21801 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 18575 times:

Quoting genybustrvlr (Reply 3):
When I'm purchasing a last minute domestic coach ticket for work, I simply move on to another flight/airline if I can't pick a seat. Given that I'm paying 4-5x what the average traveler is paying, I certainly deserve my choice of seat...

So I don't deserve a choice of seat just because I know my travel plans several weeks ahead of you? The reason you're paying so much is simply supply and demand, not because you're getting anything extra.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinegenybustrvlr From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 261 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 18490 times:

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 4):
When you basically can't even book a seat unless you have status, something is wrong.
Quoting Mir (Reply 5):
So I don't deserve a choice of seat just because I know my travel plans several weeks ahead of you?

Nothing wrong IMO. You're not being penalized because you know your travel plans. It's because you're not a significant revenue generator for the airline . The reality is there are far less seats to go around (which means far more elites on each plane to please with a good seat) and airlines are going to make sure the good seats are available to loyal customers. This is good business. Airlines would be foolish not to implement this practice. If you want good seat, pay up or fly more.


User currently offlineDL747400 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 330 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 18407 times:

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 4):
I understand that, but what's considered "preferred" seating is ridiculous these days. It's one thing to block off exit rows and bulkheads, but the last time I flew Delta, for example, every single aisle and window seat was blocked. Every one. I know this because my brother, who is Silver Medallion, tried to book the same flight just to see if that was the case, and sure enough, he could book any of those seats.

It's not at all ridiculous if you understand that an elite-level frequent flyer (or anyone traveling on less restrictive or unrestricted coach fare) booking close to departure is likely to pay big $$$. It is very common for these customers to have elite status and similar perks in several airline loyalty programs. These customers vote with their Platinum credit cards and will purchase from the airline(s) which demonstrate the ability to provide the highly-desired aisle/window/exit seats, even to late-booking customers. Some airlines have finally awakened to the fact that preserving these valuable assets for these customers can translate into big revenue gains versus those carriers who are unable/unwilling to do so.

As a passenger, you may not like that, especially if you are one who consistently buys the least expensive and most restrictive fare tickets. But the leisure traveler buying the $99 fare does not have the same value to the airline as the big-spending corporate/elite customer buying the $1000+ ticket, or the customer who buys-up into the Premium cabin. Don't get me wrong, every set of revenue-producing cheeks filling an airline seat is important. But not every set of revenue-producing cheeks brings the same value to the business. Value is increasingly a two-way street. Imagine yourself as an airline CEO, CFO, COO, etc. Your goal is to make a profit. Why would you not want to manage your most valuable business assets as wisely as possible in order to protect and maximize your revenue?


User currently offlinesmoot4208 From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1322 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 18235 times:

Quoting DL747400 (Reply 7):
As a passenger, you may not like that, especially if you are one who consistently buys the least expensive and most restrictive fare tickets. But the leisure traveler buying the $99 fare does not have the same value to the airline as the big-spending corporate/elite customer buying the $1000+ ticket, or the customer who buys-up into the Premium cabin. Don't get me wrong, every set of revenue-producing cheeks filling an airline seat is important. But not every set of revenue-producing cheeks brings the same value to the business. Value is increasingly a two-way street. Imagine yourself as an airline CEO, CFO, COO, etc. Your goal is to make a profit. Why would you not want to manage your most valuable business assets as wisely as possible in order to protect and maximize your revenue?

              

That is a spot on analysis. I really hope everyone reads your comment before they post if they disagreement with why airlines are doing this.


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5737 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 17939 times:

Quoting DL747400 (Reply 7):
It's not at all ridiculous if you understand that an elite-level frequent flyer (or anyone traveling on less restrictive or unrestricted coach fare) booking close to departure is likely to pay big $$$. It is very common for these customers to have elite status and similar perks in several airline loyalty programs. These customers vote with their Platinum credit cards and will purchase from the airline(s) which demonstrate the ability to provide the highly-desired aisle/window/exit seats, even to late-booking customers. Some airlines have finally awakened to the fact that preserving these valuable assets for these customers can translate into big revenue gains versus those carriers who are unable/unwilling to do so.

As a passenger, you may not like that, especially if you are one who consistently buys the least expensive and most restrictive fare tickets. But the leisure traveler buying the $99 fare does not have the same value to the airline as the big-spending corporate/elite customer buying the $1000 ticket, or the customer who buys-up into the Premium cabin. Don't get me wrong, every set of revenue-producing cheeks filling an airline seat is important. But not every set of revenue-producing cheeks brings the same value to the business. Value is increasingly a two-way street. Imagine yourself as an airline CEO, CFO, COO, etc. Your goal is to make a profit. Why would you not want to manage your most valuable business assets as wisely as possible in order to protect and maximize your revenue?
Quoting smoot4208 (Reply 8):
That is a spot on analysis. I really hope everyone reads your comment before they post if they disagreement with why airlines are doing this.

Actually he is wrong.

The $99.00 traveler is very much worth just as much as the $1,000.00 corporate elite customer. If he was right then that would mean that airlines are being stupid in selling those low priced seats and all airlines should be selling high priced, high-margin seats only instead. He try's to claim that "every set of revenue producing cheeks is important" but then goes on to state that they are not. And of course that is why so many people think First class pays for a flight or that FF's are "better than" non FF's. All the passengers are important, equally, for different reasons.

Advanced sale seats are vital for an airline to be able to plan their flights, as they say "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush". The simple fact is this is a business and the airlines manage their inventory very carefully and preslales and Y passengers are critically important to an airline and flight, just as are the last minute and corporate flying passengers. They are all BALANCED out within the airlines planning and management systems to work to make a profitable flight and airline. But it is the $99.00, non-refundable ticket money that is in the bank and can be counted on two-three weeks before the flight, while the high cost, last minute tickets are still part of the "risk-value assessment" calculation that the airlines rely on (something they relay on to "plan" for overselling a flight knowing via analysis of historic data that a reliable percentage of passengers likely won't show up for any given flight).

Right now airlines are working out the "new" flying situation, where new fees are being created and applied, capacity is tighter, new regulations have been imposed. and for some costs have been tempered due to bankruptcy related procedures. But ultimately any airline spurning the "lower class" flying customer does so at their own risk. Airlines do not want to lose any customers, even lower margin ones, to competitors. For flying, volume is everything.

We'll have to see how these new sales tactics and seat fees work out. Right now it is great,profits arelooking good. But things can change if careful attention is not paid. You are only as profitable as your last quarter.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineghifty From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 891 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 17851 times:

If you don't want to buy a premium seat, then don't. The airline is not forcing you to. This is nothing new either. Last summer when I flew into SEA on AS, my flight (at date of ticket purchase) had no window seats available for booking. This remained the case, until midnight the day of the flight. Suddenly a large number of window (and other) seats opened up. All the while, during this entire fiasco the Business cabin was entirely unbooked.. until midnight, at which half the seats "disappeared."

Translation: AS's booking system hid economy seats that weren't purchased (available) making them not available (not for sale). Business seats were all available, though some may have been purchased.

I don't see how they're in the wrong. The seat-map(s) that show the "Available" seats do just that, show the available seats. Available doesn't have to mean "unpurchased seats" or "seats that have been purchased, but still being sold because the original purchaser might not show up." It can mean anything.. in such a case, "available" merely means that they're selling that seat. "Unavailable" means that they're not selling that seat--regardless of whether or not it is already purchased.

And, of course, some of these "available" seats might be "unavailable" based on your membership with the airline. Once someone has taken the bait and invested a few $$$'s into the airline, the airline wants that person to get what they want.. making available seats unavailable would be a good way to do so.. and, IMO, these members are the people who are the most likely to actually care about where they sit.

One of these days I want to verify this theory by purchasing a seat, say 10A, on my laptop. And then going to my friend's house and trying to purchase seat 10A. It'll probably sell... twice.



Quoting DL747400 (Reply 7):
As a passenger, you may not like that, especially if you are one who consistently buys the least expensive and most restrictive fare tickets. But the leisure traveler buying the $99 fare does not have the same value to the airline as the big-spending corporate/elite customer buying the $1000+ ticket, or the customer who buys-up into the Premium cabin. Don't get me wrong, every set of revenue-producing cheeks filling an airline seat is important. But not every set of revenue-producing cheeks brings the same value to the business. Value is increasingly a two-way street. Imagine yourself as an airline CEO, CFO, COO, etc. Your goal is to make a profit. Why would you not want to manage your most valuable business assets as wisely as possible in order to protect and maximize your revenue?

Exactly! An airline, in a contemporary context, is nothing more than a corporation designed to get their passengers from A to B, while maximising their own profit. Too bad, so sad.

[Edited 2011-11-02 23:54:22]


Fly Delta Jets
User currently offlinebos2laf From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 375 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 17381 times:

One thing that some here are overlooking is the Air Carrier Access Act.

Airlines are required to designate a certain number of seats as a kind of specially reserved seating for passengers with disabilities who request these seats. If no one requests these seats, they get released at the gate (at least thats how it works at the carrier I work for). This is why you might not get a seat assignment at checkin if everyone else has preselected the available seats, and you opt not to pay for a premium seat.

Airlines are also required to offer onboard wheelchair stowage upon request, and in the cases of aircraft without a large enough closet, this means stowing the wheelchair in passenger seats. On a full flight, this means denied boardings. These seats are also only released at the gate, that way if a passenger has requested onboard stowage, you don't have the ugly task of bumping people from their seats, as those seats won't have been assigned yet.

Again, I'm basing most of this on the way it works at the company I work for; the actual requirements under the ACAA may be different.

Another thing to consider is crew rest seats. At the foreign carrier that I formerly worked for, the f/a contract designated certain seats as crew rest that were not to be given out under any circumstances unless the flight was fully booked. These seats were also not released until the passenger got to the departure gate.

So before everyone starts going on about this evil conspiracy to force you to buy a premium seat, consider that there are other factors at play here. Have I seen people pay for a premium seat on a 6 hour flight to guarantee an aisle or window rather than get the luck of the draw? Sure, but that's their choice. When a flight is full, somebody's gotta sit in that middle seat, like it or not.


User currently offlinerising From United States of America, joined May 2010, 278 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 17142 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 9):

  

Excellent analysis. As you said, "all passengers are important, equally, for different reasons."

Quoting bos2laf (Reply 11):
So before everyone starts going on about this evil conspiracy to force you to buy a premium seat, consider that there are other factors at play here.

Another excellent post.

The media loves these types of stories because they excite the general public and, to be frank, sell. To prove it, we're even talking about it.



If it doesn't make sense, it's because it's not true.
User currently offlineEDICHC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 16357 times:

Quoting smoot4208 (Reply 8):
That is a spot on analysis. I really hope everyone reads your comment before they post if they disagreement with why airlines are doing this.

So if I fly with my family (all 6 of us) and happen to book in advance and get a relatively cheap fare, we should be separated throughout the cabin to accommodate the last minute FF? We might not have the status of some of these business travellers but we are still potentially returning customers. Fortunately I only regularly fly NZ and SQ and they have more respect for ALL their customers....oh and they are profitable.


User currently offlineaajfksjubklyn From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 912 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 16225 times:

I got news for you, AA is doing it. As an Exec. Plat for 5 years now, suddenly seats that would normally be available are considered Preferred Plus something. The first two rows of coach are always blocked out, except on a 757. MD80 and 737's have these rows blocked off even for premium customers, as they are being sold as a premium to everyone.

User currently offlinexdlx From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 682 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 16146 times:

JAX had the highest % of "medallions" in the DL system a few years back.
It is so funny to go to the airport on Monday AM and see the boarding call for "medallions" on the
first 2 or 3 flights.
I counted 107 "medallions" boarding on a morning MD88 departure ??? WTF is that 85% of capacity?

So the boarding call should be ... Medallions and others.....

Can anyone tell me if they arrive any earlier to destination? More rested? ....
Free Upgrades has destroyed the F/C offerings in this country, I agree on the marketing value of recognizing
the High Rollers. But when it is given out for free.... Nothing for free is appreciated!


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23222 posts, RR: 20
Reply 16, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 15767 times:

Quoting genybustrvlr (Reply 6):
It's because you're not a significant revenue generator for the airline .

Hang on. When I buy an $800 H or M class ticket on ATL-BNA (~50 cents/mile), I'm not a "significant revenue generator?" If I do that 3 or 4 days before departure, I frequently cannot select a seat.

I think your thesis is right, but at least at Delta, the implementation of it isn't.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineincitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 4050 posts, RR: 13
Reply 17, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 15475 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 9):
The $99.00 traveler is very much worth just as much as the $1,000.00 corporate elite customer


  
That goes as joke of the day.



Stop pop up ads
User currently offlinehorstroad From Germany, joined Apr 2010, 277 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 15114 times:

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 4):
When you basically can't even book a seat unless you have status, something is wrong.

no it´s not. you just payed for the fare. so the carrier can place you whereever he wants. if you wan´t a specific seat, buy it. that´s how the great capitalism works. as an airline CEO you would do the same


User currently offlineEmSeeEye From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 508 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 14904 times:

Quoting DL747400 (Reply 7):

As a passenger, you may not like that, especially if you are one who consistently buys the least expensive and most restrictive fare tickets. But the leisure traveler buying the $99 fare does not have the same value to the airline as the big-spending corporate/elite customer buying the $1000+ ticket, or the customer who buys-up into the Premium cabin.

I don't necessarily agree with this. I know in my own case, I'm the pee-on employee who buys the cheapest ticket or else I hear about it. Calling someone who buys a lowest fare ticket a "leisure" traveler isn't a correct assumption.

Buying the lowest fare seat (especially in this economy) is "good business." If the airline doesn't like me purchasing a lowest / cheapest fare then they shouldn't be selling it.

Quoting DL747400 (Reply 7):
Imagine yourself as an airline CEO, CFO, COO, etc. Your goal is to make a profit. Why would you not want to manage your most valuable business assets as wisely as possible in order to protect and maximize your revenue?

Imagine yourself as the CEO, CFO, COO, etc. trying to contain costs for your business. Wouldn't you want to maximize your savings by having your employee's buy the lowest fare tickets?

Quoting tugger (Reply 9):
The $99.00 traveler is very much worth just as much as the $1,000.00 corporate elite customer.

B.S.


User currently offlineMcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1477 posts, RR: 17
Reply 20, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 14749 times:

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 4):
When you basically can't even book a seat unless you have status, something is wrong.

But YOU can select a seat. It is just that will cost you $$$ for the privilege. The airlines are created to generate revenue. If you absolutely want that seat you can PAY for it.

Quoting tugger (Reply 9):
The $99.00 traveler is very much worth just as much as the $1,000.00 corporate elite customer.

The 99.00 traveler is a much less a bit player. They are the reason for fees and other ancillary revenue. They want all the perks of a FF and big contributor but don't want to pay or give loyalty to the carrier. If the passenger wants those seats they can become a LOYAL flyer, use the credit card program and reap the rewards. Otherwise they can continue to shop Orbitz from the far left column of fares. You are not without options.

Quoting EDICHC (Reply 13):
So if I fly with my family (all 6 of us) and happen to book in advance and get a relatively cheap fare, we should be separated throughout the cabin to accommodate the last minute FF?

See above. Those seats can be yours if you really want them. If it is not important to you then don't pay the fees and just complain about them.


User currently offlineairbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8577 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 14714 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 9):
The $99.00 traveler is very much worth just as much as the $1,000.00 corporate elite customer.
Quoting incitatus (Reply 18):
That goes as joke of the day.

Why? How many all-business class airlines do you know that are around?
You can't fly a route without those $99 fare customers. The only reason the airline is even getting that $1,000.00 customer is because the $99 customers exist to make the route viable. The loads of LCC's have proven that you can have a viable and successful airline without charging $1,000 fares so I agree with his statement.


User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4121 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 14640 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting tugger (Reply 9):
The $99.00 traveler is very much worth just as much as the $1,000.00 corporate elite customer.

I understand your reasoning, but you are wrong. The $99 traveler may have a much higher importance than the face value of the ticket lets on as you explained, but he isn't worth as much. The $99 passenger will primarily shop based on price, with convenience a secondary concern, and availability of choice seat way down the line (unless he reads this). Airlines will make some efforts, mostly through targeted advertising, to attract this passenger if only because its seat might remain empty thanks to yield management, but they'll do more efforts to attract the bigger ticket passengers because they don't shop merely on price, but put convenience and/or schedule much higher up the list of factors, which makes them more fickle.

With that said, airlines can go ahead and seat all their $99 passengers in the back next to the lavatories, most of them won't notice, care, or even know ahead of time (again, unless they read this), and give the big ticket customer the better seat in the house because he expects more for his ticket (he knows there are people who paid $99 in the back and he wants to believe he is getting more than they are) and because he will switch to another airline that will give him all that he wants even if he pays a little more.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23222 posts, RR: 20
Reply 23, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 14539 times:

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 23):
and give the big ticket customer the better seat in the house because he expects more for his ticket (he knows there are people who paid $99 in the back and he wants to believe he is getting more than they are) and because he will switch to another airline that will give him all that he wants even if he pays a little more.

I think this is wrong in most cases. On bundled carriers (i.e. legacies), I - and I think many if not most business travelers - buy the cheapest ticket I can in view of when I'm buying and what flexibility I need. I'd gladly pay $10 or $25 or probably even $50 for a good seat (I do it on WN routinely via business select). But most legacies don't give me that option, as by the time I'm buying, the "choice" seats are often full of elites. That's the beauty of WN. No matter how late you buy, you can still pay for a better seat. That's not true a lot of times on legacies.

[Edited 2011-11-03 07:18:17]


I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineHiFlyerAS From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 1011 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 14719 times:

I saw the same recently with AA...bought a ticket with the seats to be assigned at the airport. Checked in at the kiosk and it gave me a lousy middle seat. When I requested to change the seat it charged me extra for an aisle or a middle seat. That fee now added to the checked luggage fee and I was handing over an extra $100. I didn't realize I was flying Spirit!


Next trip...DL RJ SEA-LAX/AM LAX-MEX Dec 23
25 mogandoCI : if i were in that situation, i'd check-in later the worse case scenario is that i'll get a middle seat - same outcome as early check-in best case scen
26 Flighty : At check-in time hopefully these seats are not blocked. Seems like it is more during advance bookings that this occurs. Your best bet is to check-in e
27 Post contains images mayor : They won't, specifically those that think the airlines are a public utility rather than a profit making enterprise
28 ADent : UA's policy was to release the E+ seats 1 hour before departure. On many trips I have gotten a departure management card at the ticket counter, then
29 rising : The "like it or leave it" type views expressed above - basically saying the airlines only exist to profit by pampering high-roller Elite members, all
30 ScottB : The danger of schemes like this is that the marketing value of an assigned seat is diminished if the only assigned seat you can get is a poor one. Fo
31 Flighty : Great to know. Of course if everybody checked in before you, there would be nothing good left. But when people do not know this, there are still good
32 CODCAIAH : Ha! Profit making enterprises that are heavily subsidized by all levels of government and which have access to wonderful bankruptcy arrangements when
33 frmrCapCadet : Of course this all amounts to a huge hidden increase in prices, and one that is hard to pin down. 'Bags fly Free' is not the only way WN and JetBlue a
34 mayor : Also heavily taxed by all levels of government. As far as bankruptcy is concerned, they are in no different a situation than ANY corporations in this
35 RamblinMan : Book me a WN ticket to SJO, or anywhere within a 3 hour drive for that matter, and I'll give you $1000. See... I can write smart*ss one-liners too! E
36 mayor : But someone on WN and B6 is sitting in those middle seats, correct?
37 Post contains images NWAROOSTER : The $99.00 seat is of value to any airline when the aircraft leaves the gate. The airline would really like to sell the seat than see it go empty. Th
38 RamblinMan : Oddly enough, pax on WN don't seem to care as much about seating... on many occasions I've seen a woman with kid(s) board in C group, only middle sea
39 spacecadet : When did I say I didn't want to "pay up"? A lot of people here are making an utterly false assumption. I can absolutely guarantee that I would have b
40 incitatus : Let's go back to second grade: $99 * 10 = $990 $1000 * 1 = $1000 So ten $99 customers pay about the same as one $1000. No reason to think they are "v
41 RamblinMan : What he's saying is that it's not as simple as a multiplication problem. If it were, yield management would not be almost an entire science in itself
42 Post contains images lightsaber : Search engines have forever changed the airline model. The value of being the 1st (lowest priced) ticket shown is immense. Thus everything that can be
43 airbazar : Fortunately it takes more than 2nd grade to run an airline. Your over-simplistic approach does not equal reality. You need those 10x $99 passengers j
44 boilerla : Not sure I'd agree. The legacies have unbundled even more than WN. If the average WN ticket is $20-$40 more (which it is many times these days), fine
45 RamblinMan : They're also the ones who can't get their money back...good for the airline, have to pony up $150 to change their ticket...good for the airline, buy
46 pnqiad : Absolutely. I have time and again heard the theory from arm-chair pundits how premium fare pax (let's assume full Y + F and J collectively are the sa
47 airbazar : That's shortsighted. I was referring to losing the customer even before the ticket is bought. That's not good for any airline. Price sensitive custom
48 EDICHC : But we're not looking for specific seats, just to be able to sit together. Not an unreasonable expectation when you book early and check-in early. Th
49 catiii : I agree with Mayor. Show me how they are "heavily subsidized by all levels of government?"
50 Mir : By booking several weeks in advance, I've guaranteed the airline revenue before you even thought of looking for a flight. I'd say that's pretty impor
51 RamblinMan : Did you bother to actually finish reading my post before deciding to argue? Because I was most definitely agreeing with you. Bingo.
52 klkla : They have just as much of a chance ending up in the middle seat on those airlines. At least on DL or UA they can choose an aisle or window in the bac
53 redtag501 : Air Animal Farm--"all passengers are equal, but some are more equal than others." I hate all of the class envy inspiring programs the airlines are pur
54 Post contains images catiii : Unless you're smart enough to game the system
55 Mir : And someone who books last minute isn't motivated by price? Sure, they're not going to have the option of as low a fare as someone who booked well ah
56 RVV2011 : I'm all for seats being auctioned off...name your price type of deal. Actually, this isn't as far fetched as it sounds, and it closely resembles what
57 Post contains images RamblinMan : I'm not sure what happened to you but individuals who pre-board are not permitted to sit in emergency exit rows. I don't prefer exits but I've always
58 mayor : Good grief....the airlines have ALWAYS promoted the "class" or "class envy" system.......just take a look at any advertising from the '50s or later.
59 Post contains images genybustrvlr : Short answer, yes. It's amazing to me how many people in this thread are arguing that the $99 customer is important. Simply put he/she is not importa
60 mayor : And has no particular loyalty to any one airline.....all they're looking at is price.
61 Mir : If you're loyal to a particular airline, then you should absolutely get something back for that. But if you just look for the cheapest available fare
62 genybustrvlr : Agree with the loyalty part, but you're off base on the later part. You need to treat that non-loyal $699 customer well too as you may be able to tur
63 frmrCapCadet : So we should assume that unless we pay a good deal more than listed prices the seat will be lousey and likely the bins will be full. Now if that was n
64 Mir : And the person who books weeks in advance has no chance of becoming a loyal customer? -Mir
65 Cubsrule : If you are booking less than, say, a week out, they don't, because they've filled up all of the "choice" seats with elites and those who pay more. AF
66 Post contains images lightsaber : The issue for many legacies is their RASM is too high to expand and thus have a fractionally lower load factor helping all customers... Part of what
67 Post contains links Revo1059 : This is ridiculous. Just raise the rates a little and let me pick a damn seat. This nickle and dimeing is getting out of control. Don't show a ticket
68 777STL : UA is doing it too. I flew FRA-ORD-STL last week and I couldn't get a seat on the ORD-STL leg that wasn't a non-premium seat because they were all bl
69 varsity : I fly B6 domestically whenever I can. There are two products in the cabin, coach and "Even more" and the config is static across all planes of a parti
70 Post contains images SonomaFlyer : What I find absurd is that families traveling with smaller kids (mine are 7 and 4) stand a decent chance on being separated on many of these airlines
71 bluewhale18210 : Has anyone thought of pre-assigned seating as a privilige, not a entitlement? Remember a ticket is a contract to transport you from A to B (as so many
72 SonomaFlyer : blue I think the outcry (at least here) is that picking a seat at the time of booking is something which was the norm for years at many of the airline
73 frmrCapCadet : And some airlines seem to think they have an entitlement to my $$$ while providing steerage class service (if it happens to be convenient - otherwise
74 n92r03 : Agree 100%. As a Platinum Elite on CO, I recently sat in 16D (aisle bulkhead) on a 772 to HKG. It was brutal, the bulkhead is so close that there is
75 Revo1059 : So if I can't pick a seat because the airline is blocking it for someone who might buy a seat and the flight fills up and I don't have an assigned se
76 Post contains images SonomaFlyer : If they do that, the ticket will wind up a few dollars more than the competing airfares on the same route and their bookings suffer because most lemm
77 Mir : The whole air travel industry is a privilege, not a right. That doesn't mean people aren't allowed to get pissed when services that were once include
78 boilerla : Beginning in 2012 UA will no longer let silvers select a premium seat at the time of booking, only at checkin. It's ticking a lot of silvers off, at
79 Cubsrule : I don't have a single client that squawks about Business Select because the marginal cost is so low.
80 xdlx : 99*10= 990 + 30per bag times 20(2bags per person) 600 =1590 Sure that is more important than 1000 + free bags because you are elite! Right reasoning
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