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NK, WN, G4, B6 Airlines Of The Future?  
User currently offlinedtwpilot225 From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 134 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 7609 times:
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Are low cost carriers like these the domestic airlines of the future? their flights are always full and people only want cheap tickets, they might complain when they don't get treated that well but they will always come back for the cheap ticket. I am starting to think Spirit might be a Major player in the US and South American markets in the next 10 years. And with a fleet of only 37 aircraft and only less than 5% of the us market share, the possibilities of growth for them are unlimited in my opinion.

29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSurfandSnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2865 posts, RR: 30
Reply 1, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 7397 times:

Quoting dtwpilot225 (Thread starter):
Are low cost carriers like these the domestic airlines of the future?

Perhaps, if you only fly between major cities and only like to vacation at the likes of MCO, LAS, and CUN.

However, lost cost carriers like these won't do you any good if:

1) Business takes you to Cincinnati

2) You value the convenience of nonstop service between MSP and SEA

3) Your honeymoon is in Tahiti

4) You want to go skiing in Jackson Hole

5) You enjoy perks like airport lounges and F class

Plenty of other examples...those were just a few that quickly came to mind.

Quoting dtwpilot225 (Thread starter):
their flights are always full

That metric does not indicate whether a specific route (let alone the entire airline) is profitable. It's easy to fill a plane to LAS if your fares are low enough, but that airline may very well end up making little or nothing off such routes, or even losing money. On the other hand, that half full RJ up to FAR in the dead of winter on a legacy carrier might be raking in the dough.

Quoting dtwpilot225 (Thread starter):
people only want cheap tickets

By and large that is true. But certain folks will pay a premium to fly nonstop, utilize their airport of choice (i.e. MIA instead of FLL), or patronize a particular carrier for FF benefits. Not everybody is willing to make 2 stops and the trek to/from cheap alternate airports just to save a few bucks.

Quoting dtwpilot225 (Thread starter):
they might complain when they don't get treated that well but they will always come back for the cheap ticket

In most cases, yes. But many of the most high yielding folks - road warrior businessmen, for instance - are less forgiving of poor service/experience than the average joe that travels once a year to see family or go on vacation. If the former type gets burned by NK on that special trip to STT during scarce vacation time, he or she could very well never fly them again.

Quoting dtwpilot225 (Thread starter):
I am starting to think Spirit might be a Major player in the US and South American markets in the next 10 years. And with a fleet of only 37 aircraft and only less than 5% of the us market share, the possibilities of growth for them are unlimited in my opinion.

I wouldn't be so sure. NK's overall network strategy seems to change on a dime. They started off in the 90s doing a lot of p2p flying between the Midwest and Northeast to Florida. In the early 2000s, they began to cut back on that stuff to develop a FLL hub. The rise of FLL saw a major expansion into Latin America and the Caribbean. In more recent years, they have largely stagnated - a few additions here and there have been overshadowed by slashed frequency in many markets and the complete withdrawal from others (such as POS). Even after service to small markets like SAT and CAE had failed, NK jumped into even smaller markets recently like CRW and LBE (it's a bit of a stretch to call Latrobe "Pittsburgh"). Now, they are rapidly expanding from competitive domestic markets like LAS, DFW, and ORD. I hear that NK does well financially, so I guess they should continue to do whatever works for them. But, I do think all of these major changes over a short period - with a seeming lack of core focus - is a sign that they face a lot of consumer backlash in many realms. Thus, they rapidly redeploy assets to new markets that have yet to endure the NK experience. Assuming history will continue to repeat itself, I wouldn't expect to see them stay on the same path of expansion for long...

Sorry for the long rant about NK. I have flown them on several occasions and have no issue with them whatsoever - I'd fly them again, keeping in mind that you get what you pay for. I simply think the ULCC concept has not been embraced here in America as it has in Europe. NK may call itself an LCC but it still offers far more amenities than Ryanair does. If Americans become more and more willing to adopt the true FR no frills approach, then NK stands to benefit. It seems we prefer the hip, chic LCCs like B6 and VX. Even WN has had to adopt some new amenities like wifi to keep customers happy. I think the future may be brighter for these types of airlines than the likes of NK. We'll see.



Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22983 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 7170 times:

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 1):
But many of the most high yielding folks - road warrior businessmen, for instance - are less forgiving of poor service/experience than the average joe that travels once a year to see family or go on vacation.

I'd be curious to know why you say this. I hear a lot of grousing from business passengers who keep going back to the carrier they whine about for the schedule and/or frequent flier benefits. If you need to go to NGO (from the eastern two thirds of the country), you are flying DL no matter how many times DL has screwed you over or how badly DL treats you.

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 1):
Perhaps, if you only fly between major cities and only like to vacation at the likes of MCO, LAS, and CUN.

I wonder whether fragmentation is the way of the future. Fewer and fewer passengers have one good option anymore, and sometimes an LFC is the best option - either because of fare, because of schedule, or both. I just bought a BNA-MSP-BNA ticket. The DL schedules didn't work for the outbound, and I wound up going one way on WN and the other on DL. My DL leg (booked in B - I needed refundable tickets) cost more than twice as much as my WN leg (Business Select).

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 1):
But certain folks will pay a premium to fly nonstop,

Yeah, and sometimes the LFC has the nonstop. I'm not going to connect in DFW or IAH to fly to MSY just so that I can avoid WN.

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 1):
utilize their airport of choice (i.e. MIA instead of FLL),

WN is in most primary airports (ORD, MIA, IAH and DFW are about the only exceptions anymore).

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 1):
Not everybody is willing to make 2 stops and the trek to/from cheap alternate airports just to save a few bucks.

No, but again, that's not really what you get on B6 or WN.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinejetblueguy22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 2796 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 7142 times:
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Although they do well in the market's they serve it's tough to attract a strong business crowd. Sure WN might be an exception but most business traveler's want to be rewarded for their business. The people that I work with that travel often don't care about price. They want the upgrades, they want the lounge access and they want to redeem their miles to places other than Florida. Although a 99 dollar transcon ticket is nice, for people like my stepfather it doesn't get him miles to fly to ND to visit me. LCCs are great for leasure traveler's because they're affordable (although in the end they probably end up paying the same) but when you need a last minute ticket to Albany for tomorrow morning an LCC that runs 3 times weekly isn't gonna work.
Blue



You push down on that yoke, the houses get bigger, you pull back on the yoke, the houses get bigger- Ken Foltz
User currently offlinePezySPU From Croatia, joined Dec 2011, 283 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6840 times:

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 1):
Now, they are rapidly expanding from competitive domestic markets like LAS, DFW, and ORD. I hear that NK does well financially, so I guess they should continue to do whatever works for them. But, I do think all of these major changes over a short period - with a seeming lack of core focus - is a sign that they face a lot of consumer backlash in many realms.

Those are the very same arguments I hear about FR. But you have to understand that constantly closing and opening new bases is just part of their strategy. They have a period of time when they close a few bases and axe routes so everyone thinks the end is near for them, poor FR. Then the next thing you know, they open like dozens of new routes and a few bases. It's just how things work for them.
In an interview I read with an executive from FR, he stated that they are well-aware that at least 10% of all routes they start are not going to work and will need to be closed soon. When they identify those routes, they won't wait for years to see if it just needs time, they just close the route and move on.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 3):
Although they do well in the market's they serve it's tough to attract a strong business crowd.

U2, for example, never tried to be attractive to business travelers, they thought their model would simply never attract them. Then they started realizing that business travelers are already accounting for a nice share of total passengers. They rolled out "Flexi Fares" and made themselves more appealing to that kind of travel which is now one of the key elements of U2's strategy.

http://www.centreforaviation.com/ana...-airline-annual-results-show-62977


User currently offlinemichman From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 505 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6584 times:

Quoting dtwpilot225 (Thread starter):
I am starting to think Spirit might be a Major player in the US and South American markets in the next 10 years. And with a fleet of only 37 aircraft and only less than 5% of the us market share, the possibilities of growth for them are unlimited in my opinion.

Given that they are taking deliveries of 31 aircraft over the next 3 years to expand their fleet to 68 aircraft, it's pretty clear they believe they can grow significantly. I think there will still be at least 2 or 3 large legacies around for the foreseeable future.


User currently offlineBobLoblaw From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1725 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6482 times:

As much as I hate to say it, NK is probably the airline with the future. 28 inch pitch and paying $45 for carry-ons is likely the trend for Y class. The industry has a tendency to devolve to the lowest common denominator. IS say NK rather than G4 because as of now, G4 is a niche carrier not playing in Legacies' backyards

User currently offlineBobLoblaw From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1725 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6465 times:

What will be telling if NK is going to be a bigger player will be how successful their new markets will be like DFW-Mesa. This will determine whether or not they can breakout of their current niche

User currently offlineiaddca From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 286 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6024 times:

NK has the highest op margins in the industry and no debt. It's also growing 40% a year. As a business person, I have huge respect for what they're doing. As a business person, I won't fly them.

User currently offlinecloudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 828 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5852 times:

I think there are a couple of false assumptions here. First, that passengers only care about ticket price and this has been proven out in the market, and that the LCCs have a nice easy chance to grow extensively.

The second point first - it takes a lot of money and planning to expand. It's harder for a smaller airline to fund new equipment, flight interruptions can cause greater headaches, and an equipment failure can be disastrous. Legacy carriers also have an easy time keeping up as they already have the infrastructure in place. They also have the marketing and brand recognition in place as well.

As for the second point, you have to look at it from the average passenger point of view, not the business analysts. Your typical passenger does not sit down and think about whether an airline has connections to Tulsa when they want to buy a ticket from Buffalo to Miami. They look at who has flights from Buffalo to Miami. They also don't evaluate who has the cheapest published fares - they look only at what fares are available to them when they buy their ticket. This is where the legacies do better - they tie their ticket prices in with demand better than the LCCs. So while the LCC scoops up the cheaper airfares, they are also making less on those flights. And the reality is that LCC is a misnomer - their operating costs are often not significantly lower than the legacies now. The trade off is that they are keeping the LCCs in business, and when you are an analyst looking only at the number of seats filled, that number looks wrong.

The other point is that passengers ARE choosing service and product over price. Again you need to look at it from the passenger point of view. The average passenger is flying in coach, often on a very fixed route. They don't care about what happens in first class, they don't care about the lounges or how difficult it is to reroute. They only care about the coach experience between point A and point B. So to them, JetBlue's increased legroom, better snacks and a full can of soda beats Delta's plastic cup of soda, biscoff, and 32" pitch. The friendliness of Southwests agents and not having to pay for luggage beats rude agents and luggage charges from another legacy.

Spirit has some chance. They hit a precise market - the most price driven customers, especially those who haven't flown for so long and don't know that they have lower seat pitch. Likewise they can attract those who are dissatisfied with other carriers and want to try something different. But that will only last so long. Like most of the other ultra-cheap airlines that have come and gone in the US, their rise may very likely end turning into a big fall as passengers seek out the next cheap airline to come along.



"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
User currently offlineluvfa From United States of America, joined May 2005, 446 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5715 times:

As far as these LCC's go, you can put NK and G4 in one category and B6 and WN in another. The G4/NK being the ULCC is strictly leisure carriers to vacation markets. NK has tried many different approaches in their 20+ year history but their current business plan has had the most success! G4 has had this plan since their start in late 90s/early 2000s; small cities to Vegas and Florida, (Hawaii in the future).

B6 and WN are LCC that attract both leisure and business travelers. WNs strong point is the largest domestic network , ( even larger than legacy carriers), while B6 is Boston/New York to Florida/West Coast/Carribean. WN has a bigger network as far as business travelers domestically, while B6 is starting to focus on Intra Carribean points to get the International business. What will be interesting in the future is WN vs. B6 in those Carribean markets in the mid 2010s and beyond, (when the FL aquisition is complete). Also B6 is trying to gain a foothold in business travel domestically. They are strong in some key markets like NYC/BOS/LGB.

As far as the legacy carriers, they aren't going away! Some business travelers need a vaster global network and first class. That isn't going away! However providing first class isn't the be all/end all! How many carriers have tried the all first-class and failed!

The point is, no airline is everything to everybody, The carriers that can please most people will be most successful! Forgive me for stating the obvious!


User currently offlineEricR From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1904 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5662 times:

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 1):
However, lost cost carriers like these won't do you any good if:

1) Business takes you to Cincinnati

2) You value the convenience of nonstop service between MSP and SEA

3) Your honeymoon is in Tahiti

4) You want to go skiing in Jackson Hole

5) You enjoy perks like airport lounges and F class

Yet what you've outlined above describes WN perfectly (they do not fly to CVG, Tahiti, Jackson Hole, no perks or F class, etc.). Even without all of these items, WN was still able to became the largest domestic carrier (in terms of domestic passengers carried) in the United States prior to the recent round of mergers. I think this says a lot in terms of where demand is and where the future is headed for air travel.

Domestic F class is mostly filled with upgrade passengers these days. Most companies are not willing to pay for domestic F class fares, so the lack of F class on LCCs is somewhat overblown in my opinion.

It is amazing how LCCs have overtaken legacies on many routes. The only benefit legacies have over LCCs these days are slots at certain airports, overwhelming market share at fortress hubs, and international routes (which are slowly being invaded by LCCs).

I think the LCCs are positioned well in this tough economy and will most likely gain more traction as time goes on. You just need to look at the trend. All new airlines are LCCs. I cannot think of the last time we had a new, SUCCESSFUL full service carrier.

[Edited 2012-01-22 09:03:47]

User currently offlineFLALEFTY From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 468 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4127 times:

Quoting luvfa (Reply 10):
As far as these LCC's go, you can put NK and G4 in one category and B6 and WN in another.
Quoting luvfa (Reply 10):
B6 and WN are LCC that attract both leisure and business travelers.

Both excellent points.

Both B6 and WN both probably carry more business class passengers than leisure class passengers. This is because they serve major business markets with good frequencies. The G4 and NK passengers don't fly frequently and aren't laden with FF miles. G4 and NK are geared to move the leisure class passenger who wants to get to their vacation destination at the lowest possible cost.

And this thought - when WN took over FL, they could have easily adopted FL's business class systemwide if they thought it was a competitive benefit. But as another poster pointed out, domestic business and "first" class sections are almost the exclusive domain of frequent fliers, who use cashed-in miles rather than more fare to upgrade.

[Edited 2012-01-22 14:22:37]

User currently offlinecloudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 828 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3841 times:

Quoting FLALEFTY (Reply 12):

Both excellent points.

Both B6 and WN both probably carry more business class passengers than leisure class passengers. This is because they serve major business markets with good frequencies. The G4 and NK passengers don't fly frequently and aren't laden with FF miles. G4 and NK are geared to move the leisure class passenger who wants to get to their vacation destination at the lowest possible cost.

And this thought - when WN took over FL, they could have easily adopted FL's business class systemwide if they thought it was a competitive benefit. But as another poster pointed out, domestic business and "first" class sections are almost the exclusive domain of frequent fliers, who use cashed-in miles rather than more fare to upgrade.

Perhaps one of the areas where we do see some though being put into product offerings. The legacy carriers see the business traveler as supremely important - they usually pay higher fares than the leisure travelers on their airline. To entice business travelers, they offer a better product - based in part on how much money you spend (both over time and on a particular ticket). Single class airlines like B6 and WN don't value the business travelers so much. They dont have as gradiated a fare structure, and so the last minute traveler usually ends up paying less on those airlines compared to the legacies. For them, offering first class upgrades has a lower return. B6 in particular markets themselves as a "non exclusive" airline, and in fact uses the lack of a business class as a selling point.

As an aside, I think this is an area where a B6/AA merger would make a lot of sense. B6 could keep the "everyone is equal" marketing strategy, while still capitalizing on the heavy-hitting business travel market by positioning AA as the premium product with B6 as the more price driven product.

Oh, and can we come up with a better term for B6 and WN than LCC? That is really not accurate, and kind of lumps them in with the discount carriers.



"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
User currently offlinePezySPU From Croatia, joined Dec 2011, 283 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3724 times:

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 13):

Oh, and can we come up with a better term for B6 and WN than LCC? That is really not accurate, and kind of lumps them in with the discount carriers.

They are LCCs. If you want to make a difference between, for example, WN and NK, then you can call NK ULCC (Ultra Low Cost Carrier).


User currently offlinedtwpilot225 From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 134 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3538 times:
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Ok then, what will NK look like in 15 years? Will they be over 100 aircraft and where are they going to put all these birds?

User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22983 posts, RR: 20
Reply 16, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3498 times:

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 13):
Single class airlines like B6 and WN don't value the business travelers so much. They dont have as gradiated a fare structure, and so the last minute traveler usually ends up paying less on those airlines compared to the legacies.

I'm lost. Isn't lower last minute fares something that appeals to business travelers? For me, it is a reason to fly WN, not a reason to book away from them.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinedtwpilot225 From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 134 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3413 times:
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business travelers often do not pay for their own ticket, their employers do and that is why they fly delta american ect. They want to be as comfortable as possible and have wifi. If travelers paid for their own, it would be spirit, lol

By the way, rumor alert, i heard spirit was possibly looking into having another maintenance hanger in DTW. they closed the one they had 2 years ago i think.


User currently offlineEWRandMDW From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 416 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3360 times:

Quoting dtwpilot225 (Reply 18):
business travelers often do not pay for their own ticket, their employers do and that is why they fly delta american ect. They want to be as comfortable as possible and have wifi. If travelers paid for their own, it would be spirit, lol

I own a small business and periodically travel to the East and West coasts. When I pay my own way, I'll almost always choose WN because they usually fly where I need to go and I can expect good legroom and consistently decent service. If my client pays, I may have to take AA or UA from O'Hare. In the case of UA, depending on where I'm going, I may pay for the upgrade to economy plus and pass the cost back to my client. With luck, they'll refund that cost.

As for taking NK, no thanks! I've read enough of their very low fare to which all sorts of fees are added and their poor legroom to make me avoid them.


User currently offlinedelta2ual From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 620 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3178 times:

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 9):
I think there are a couple of false assumptions here. First, that passengers only care about ticket price and this has been proven out in the market, and that the LCCs have a nice easy chance to grow extensively.

According to a study by the Wharton School of Business, the internet has greatly influenced how consumers choose their ticket purchases. Still, some interesting points:
"Even though many consumers do not limit their search, they still limit their choice.
• Today, leisure travelers rate price even more important than safety and loyalty programs are no longer a top priority."

This is exemplified each time an airline announces even a $10 fare increase. If other carriers don't match, the airline quickly rescinds the increase. We have been told in every training program that I've attended over 17 years that for leisure travelers, it is A) Price B) Schedule. For business travelers, something like 80% choose their flights according to FF programs.

The Wharton study can be found here:
http://finance.wharton.upenn.edu/~we...ple%20Solution%20-%20Marketing.pdf



From the world's largest airline-to the world's largest airline. Delta2ual
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22983 posts, RR: 20
Reply 20, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3157 times:

Quoting delta2ual (Reply 19):
For business travelers, something like 80% choose their flights according to FF programs.

I have a hard time believing that. For many business travelers, time is money. Period. Nothing else matters.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinecloudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 828 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3068 times:

Quoting delta2ual (Reply 19):
According to a study by the Wharton School of Business, the internet has greatly influenced how consumers choose their ticket purchases. Still, some interesting points:
"Even though many consumers do not limit their search, they still limit their choice.
• Today, leisure travelers rate price even more important than safety and loyalty programs are no longer a top priority."

This is exemplified each time an airline announces even a $10 fare increase. If other carriers don't match, the airline quickly rescinds the increase. We have been told in every training program that I've attended over 17 years that for leisure travelers, it is A) Price B) Schedule. For business travelers, something like 80% choose their flights according to FF programs.

The Wharton study can be found here:
http://finance.wharton.upenn.edu/~we...g.pdf

Maybe I am missing something here, but from what I read in that sample presentation, it pointed out more that airlines are not doing a good job differentiating themselves, and so passengers are defaulting to price as the price differences are not outweighed by the product differences. I am not going to pick away at this particular classroom document ( I hope the professor is comfortable with his work being shared out like this!), but I think it is important to note that this shows a lot of the conclusions being made are not truly supported by the data gathered - the data in question is based on very specific conditional situations that really are not analogous to the overall situation.



"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
User currently offlineSurfandSnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2865 posts, RR: 30
Reply 22, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3045 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):
I'd be curious to know why you say this. I hear a lot of grousing from business passengers who keep going back to the carrier they whine about for the schedule and/or frequent flier benefits. If you need to go to NGO (from the eastern two thirds of the country), you are flying DL no matter how many times DL has screwed you over or how badly DL treats you.

There are always other options. If you need to go to NGO from the eastern two thirds of the country, you should opt for the superior service of KE or OZ instead of DL. The connection via ICN is extremely easy and well worth the slight detour since the entire experience is much more enjoyable. Alternatively, you could travel to Nagoya over land (by train or bus) from Japan's more accessible aviation gateways of Tokyo or Osaka.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):
I wonder whether fragmentation is the way of the future. Fewer and fewer passengers have one good option anymore, and sometimes an LFC is the best option - either because of fare, because of schedule, or both. I just bought a BNA-MSP-BNA ticket. The DL schedules didn't work for the outbound, and I wound up going one way on WN and the other on DL. My DL leg (booked in B - I needed refundable tickets) cost more than twice as much as my WN leg (Business Select).

It all depends where you live. Sounds like you live in Nashville, in which case WN would often be the best option because they offer so much nonstop service (and access to many more cities with a quick stop or painless connection via smaller less congested airports). Due to the abundance of convenient service it would make sense to be loyal to them, as you are avoiding constant transits via ORD, DFW, or ATL that other carriers would always require.

Here in L.A., WN is far less appealing. They aren't a practical option for those headed to New York or Miami, let alone other major destinations from here like Hawaii, London, Tokyo, and Sydney. It makes much more sense to develop loyalty with UA or AA, which can best meet all of an Angeleno traveler's practical business and leisure travel needs.

Of course, there are the Nissan execs in Nashville that need to get to Yokohama HQ several times per year (might as well try to be loyal to UA, AA, or DL) or the territory manager in L.A. that just does frequent regional hops to the Bay, Vegas, Phoenix, etc. for which WN is by far the most practical option. It all depends on what your travel needs are, and I doubt any frequent traveler in any city can ever utilize the same airline 100% of the time.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):

Yeah, and sometimes the LFC has the nonstop. I'm not going to connect in DFW or IAH to fly to MSY just so that I can avoid WN.

Absolutely. This is why WN does so well from the medium-sized cities that it dominates like ABQ, BHM, BNA, MCI, AUS, SAT, SMF, SAN, MSY, STL, etc. This is why B6 is doing so well from BOS. This is why G4 is so popular in the small markets that would otherwise have to endure a connection. On the flip side, this is why LCCs can't gain much traction in fortress hub markets like CLT, MSP, CVG, etc. The dominant hub legacy carrier is so much more attractive thanks to the nonstop options...

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):
WN is in most primary airports (ORD, MIA, IAH and DFW are about the only exceptions anymore).

That's true. But in most cases when reaching the primary airports the legacy still has the only nonstop option or a much better schedule vs. WN (or another LCC).

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):
No, but again, that's not really what you get on B6 or WN.

B6 mostly serves p2p nonstop traffic, relatively few connections through JFK, LGB, BOS, MCO, and FLL. But WN still does A LOT of one stop/connecting stuff on key routes. Whether its SEA/PDX-SoCal, California-Northeast, or anything into Dallas (though that isn't WN's fault, of course).



Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22983 posts, RR: 20
Reply 23, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3000 times:

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 22):
It makes much more sense to develop loyalty with UA or AA, which can best meet all of an Angeleno traveler's practical business and leisure travel needs.

But I don't see how either one could meet all of any typical traveler's needs. UA can't get an Angelino to STL or MIA. AA can't get an Angelino to SEA or SYD. That's why I mentioned fragmentation - both among legacies and between legacies and LFCs, and you apparently agree that that occurs.

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 22):
On the flip side, this is why LCCs can't gain much traction in fortress hub markets like CLT, MSP, CVG, etc.

But the vast majority of Americans do not live in the Charlotte and Salt Lake Cities of the world.

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 22):
The connection via ICN is extremely easy and well worth the slight detour since the entire experience is much more enjoyable.

What is unacceptable about DL's J offering on DTWNGO?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinedelta2ual From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 620 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2861 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 20):
I have a hard time believing that. For many business travelers, time is money. Period. Nothing else matters.

You can believe anything you want. If you don't think FF allegiance has anything to do with purchasing decisions for a gold or platinum FF or million miler-then we'll just agree to disagree.

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 21):
Maybe I am missing something here, but from what I read in that sample presentation, it pointed out more that airlines are not doing a good job differentiating themselves, and so passengers are defaulting to price as the price differences are not outweighed by the product differences. I am not going to pick away at this particular classroom document ( I hope the professor is comfortable with his work being shared out like this!), but I think it is important to note that this shows a lot of the conclusions being made are not truly supported by the data gathered - the data in question is based on very specific conditional situations that really are not analogous to the overall situation.

Study aside, as I said, what we were told every year in our customer service training by DL (and now UA) says differently. The 2 things that stick out the most to me are: Decisions are made by 1) price 2) schedule for leisure fliers and every good experience generates word-of mouth to 1-2 other people, whereas after a bad experience that passenger will tell 10 people ( or hundreds on A-net). LOL



From the world's largest airline-to the world's largest airline. Delta2ual
25 Cubsrule : If UA and AA offer the same schedule, of course the million miler will pick the one on which he is elite. But if the UA itinerary is 4 or 5 or 6 hour
26 jetblueguy22 : I bet most of them. Sounds crazy but every Platinum/Million miler I know would take the later flight. Why fly AA, not get ur miles and sit in back wh
27 Cubsrule : It is crazy. Most people who travel any decent amount of business value time at home with their families more than their miles, at least after a poin
28 cloudboy : And there you go. Particularly among the majors, old habits die real hard. They still keep the mantra of low prices. It is going to take someone who
29 hatbutton : There are lots of frequent fliers at AS who will spend the last couple weeks of the year flying "mileage" flights just to get enough miles to keep th
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