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FL To Keep Fees Into 2014  
User currently offlinetoltommy From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3308 posts, RR: 5
Posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2540 times:

"Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV), the only major U.S. carrier without bag-check and rebooking fees, will keep those charges at its AirTran Airways unit into 2014, three years after the two combined.

That’s the target date to fully integrate AirTran into its Dallas-based parent, and the fees will stay in place until then, Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly said today in an interview"

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...years-after-merger.html?cmpid=yhoo

Interesting on a few fronts.

1. As others here have said, WN is using the fees to pay for the merger.
2. The media or consumer groups haven't made much stink about this.
3. That it's now going to be 2014 before the airlines are combined into a single carrier.
4. I wonder if WN is looking at the lack of backlash as a way to introduce fees at WN come 2014?

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineWNCrew From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1485 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2481 times:

It's a completely separate BRAND... regardless of who owns it. The networks aren't even linked. FL pax are FL pax and WN pax are WN pax... I don't see the problem. I don't see anyone saying that FL's Business Class should now be sold as Y product, or WN needs to abandon FREE drinks in FL Business Class since all WN pax have to pay...


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineenilria From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 7722 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2425 times:

Quoting toltommy (Thread starter):
4. I wonder if WN is looking at the lack of backlash as a way to introduce fees at WN come 2014?

Their RES system doesn't support the bag fees. Until they move the whole airline to the new Amadeus system they will be unable to charge bag fees. That's probably 2015.


User currently offlineenilria From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 7722 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2408 times:

“How do you recover the fees AirTran charges with the Southwest brand? During the transition, it’s with the code share,” Kelly said today, referring to the industry practice in which airlines put booking codes on each other’s flights.

Too bad the code share has been delayed several times and is now only planned for some time in 2013.


User currently offlinePHXA340 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 908 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2377 times:

Quoting WNCrew (Reply 1):
It's a completely separate BRAND... regardless of who owns it

Respectfully disagree. This was a merger that happened a while ago. If it is a completely seperate brand then WN needs to stop advertising international travel via FL on the WN website if I can't even earn RR points on the FL flight. WN could easily waive the FL bag fees but they don't.

Even if I were to bite that they are a separate brand , the "Bags fly Free Here' campaign is essentially attacking your own brand in FL that does charge them. I am a diehard WN flier but there is reality and there is company spin and kool-aid.

Quoting WNCrew (Reply 1):
The networks aren't even linked

Because WN can't do it via their own technology. Not because WN wants to have FL as a seperate brand.


User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5702 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2292 times:

Quoting PHXA340 (Reply 4):
If it is a completely seperate brand then WN needs to stop advertising international travel via FL on the WN website

Then you agree Southwest should also stop advertising Volaris and their International Flying too. Different Brand as well.

The reason WN is advertising both is because WN gets money anytime a customer books FL or Volaris through Southwest.com/Air Tran.com.

Quoting PHXA340 (Reply 4):
I can't even earn RR points on the FL flight.

Ahh but you can on the international segments. Not the way you're thinking but WN is offering 5,000 points per r/t for every FL Segment International ON TOP of the points earned in your FL Account too. Which in my opinion isn't bad because when they two accounts do merge you get double the points.

Keep an eye out soon...WN/FL will be announcing ways to redeem your points on both airlines.

As an FL/WN Customer it is entirely frustrating that the fees won't be dropped yet, but from a business stand point using the hotel analogy, WNCrew used in a different topic, it is two different companies brand wise under one ownership.

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlinePHXA340 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 908 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2266 times:

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 5):
As an FL/WN Customer it is entirely frustrating that the fees won't be dropped yet, but from a business stand point using the hotel analogy, WNCrew used in a different topic, it is two different companies brand wise under one ownership.

No problem with that, but then this can't be called a merger.

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 5):
Then you agree Southwest should also stop advertising Volaris and their International Flying too. Different Brand as well.

Naw, I agree with that but from a customers point of view , FL can't be compared with Volaris as we view them (WN and FL) as 1 company with no benefits from flying on FL. I did not know about the 5,000 points though ... that does make it a lot better.


User currently onlinestlgph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9521 posts, RR: 26
Reply 7, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2250 times:

You bet your bottoms Southwest is watching the books on how this one plays out.

If it plays out in favor of bag fees, I would suspect Southwest in the coming years will consider a bag fee policy similar to jetBlue.

If US Airways takes over American, I suspect we'll see a lot of changes a lot quicker with this "merger."



if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5702 posts, RR: 52
Reply 8, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2250 times:

Quoting PHXA340 (Reply 6):

No problem with that, but then this can't be called a merger.

It never was. Southwest ACQUIRED Air Tran, and I don't think WN themselves have ever said "merge". Media may have used that wording, but from the heart of WN they use integrate, and acquire, the only time merge was used was in terms of stations and people and whatnot, but even then, I think integrate was used.

Quoting PHXA340 (Reply 6):
I did not know about the 5,000 points though ... that does make it a lot better.

Here is the link for it...

http://luv.southwest.com/servlet/formlink/f?kOHpjQWUAS

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently onlinestlgph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9521 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2228 times:

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 8):

uh .... a merger and integration are the same thing.



if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
User currently offlinePHXA340 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 908 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2210 times:

Quoting stlgph (Reply 9):
uh .... a merger and integration are the same thing.

Eh , I was mistaken , your right Atrude777 , WN never called it a merger. However, they did say that they want to integrate the FL brand into WN so this is definitely not like Unilever buying Axe hair gel where they meant to keep it a seperate brand. Because they said they want to integrate into the WN brand with 1 brand surviving... it is frustrating from a customers perspective that they have to pay bag fees, can't connect, etc ...


User currently offlinetoltommy From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3308 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2194 times:

Quoting stlgph (Reply 7):
If US Airways takes over American, I suspect we'll see a lot of changes a lot quicker with this "merger."

Even if US makes a play for AA, I don't think you'll see anything faster simply because WN does not have the I.T. structure in place to support this merger/acquisition/whatever. The costs are obviously much much much higher than planned. So WN leadership, who believes that "bags fly free", only believes 'bags fly free" on canyon blue airplanes. The same FL customer, whom they hope to keep as a customer once the merger/acquisition/whatever is completed, gets charged.


User currently offlineouboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4616 posts, RR: 23
Reply 12, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2181 times:

Quoting PHXA340 (Reply 4):
Because WN can't do it via their own technology. Not because WN wants to have FL as a seperate brand.

Well, if the brands were similar...like UA/CO or DL/NW...this would have been done already. The problem is not only the res system but the aircraft configuration as well. You can't (well I guess you could) put the FL configured aircraft into the WN system immediately without causing issues. Business class creates and issue and the completely different passenger experience on those aircraft causes a clash between brands. WN loves their brand and are dedicated to it. It is more likely for WN, at this point in my opinion, transition what they can to the WN brand and leave the FL brand isolated...or create a new "Southwest International" like brand on a temp basis.

From there they might be able to do something that would allow connections between the two similar to Volaris in a way.


User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7719 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2167 times:

Quoting enilria (Reply 2):
Their RES system doesn't support the bag fees.

If WN RES System can charge for the third, fourth, fifth etc. etc. bag why on earth can it not charge for bag 1? A WN staff can confirm or deny but I think their res system can also charge if your bag is overweight.

Personally I have always believed this is a red herring, before electronic tickets airlines used excess baggage tickets, if WN wanted to charge for bags they could do so manually even if the system could not handle it.

It almost seems as if we refuse to believe that an airline out there would actually not charge for the first two bags.


User currently onlinestlgph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9521 posts, RR: 26
Reply 14, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2167 times:

Quoting toltommy (Reply 11):

Southwest will spend a crapton to position themselves if US Airways gets American.



if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
User currently offlineMountainFlyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 477 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2158 times:

Quoting PHXA340 (Reply 4):
Respectfully disagree. This was a merger that happened a while ago. If it is a completely seperate brand then WN needs to stop advertising international travel via FL on the WN website if I can't even earn RR points on the FL flight. WN could easily waive the FL bag fees but they don't.

Merger, integration, takeover, acquisition, call it what you want, for the moment FL is still a separate brand and will remain that way until WN gets everything figured out. Sure, WN may do some advertising for FL because at the end of the day they still get $1 whether it's spent at FL or WN. It's no different than walking into a Ford dealership and being sold a Lincoln.

Because it is a still separate brand, as far as the general public is concerned (at least a good portion of them) they are still separate airlines, and WN appears to be capitalizing on that fact by keeping the bag fee for now. Why kill it if it's still working and bringing in extra revenue?

I mentioned this in another thread, but one has to wonder if FL will ever lose the bag fee. By that, I mean by 2014, perhaps WN themselves will have a bag fee. Who knows.



SA-227; B1900; Q200; Q400; CRJ-2,7,9; 717; 727-2; 737-3,4,5,7,8,9; 747-2; 757-2,3; 767-3,4; MD-90; A319, 320; DC-9; DC-1
User currently offlinePHXA340 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 908 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2129 times:

Quoting MountainFlyer (Reply 15):
It's no different than walking into a Ford dealership and being sold a Lincoln.

Yup , but thats why Ford shut down Mercury , because customers didn't feel the need to pay extra for a souped up Ford. Hey, I get why WN is doing all of this , my only argument is that this isn't going to WN's plan and from the customers perspective it is a little confusing.


User currently offlinetoltommy From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3308 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2126 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 13):
It almost seems as if we refuse to believe that an airline out there would actually not charge for the first two bags.

No I believe it, but they own the "bags fly free" brand. Why wouldn't they include their AirTran subsidiary? It would be extremely easier to stop collecting 1st and 2nd bags fees at FL today than it would be to start charging at WN.

Lets say they get past the technical hurdle tomorrow and can start codesharing. Passenger purchases a ticket with mixed metal. Do you charge? Do you not? Do you only charge those who purchased via FL? At some point theres an unhappy customer. WN (and their shareholders) know EXACTLY how much money is being left on the counter. It's paying for AirTran, and that's just on the FL side. Customers, in general, accept bags fees today. by leaving them in place at FL and getting no blowback from media or customers, WN is laying the groundwork to introduce them once the system is merged.


User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7719 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 2035 times:

Quoting toltommy (Reply 17):
It's paying for AirTran, and that's just on the FL side.

If bags fees were the primary thing at FL they would probably not have sold out to WN or may have had an even higher asking price.

Quoting toltommy (Reply 17):
WN is laying the groundwork to introduce them once the system is merged.

FL is what size compared to WN? If it's less than 50% will anybody really believe them if they say integrating FL into their operations means that they now have to charge for bags?

If WN starts charging for bags they are going to get hammered, that is not something they can avoid, duck, hide behind FL, there is zero chance that they can avoid the hammer, so why try?
Not saying they are not but if they are in my opinion it's dumb.


User currently offlineMountainFlyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 477 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 1993 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 18):
FL is what size compared to WN? If it's less than 50% will anybody really believe them if they say integrating FL into their operations means that they now have to charge for bags?

That's kind of a moot point IMHO. Perhaps I'm wrong and off base, but I believe it's a bit naive to think that WN will never charge for bags. Don't think they wouldn't now if they could get away with it easily.

Quoting par13del (Reply 18):
If WN starts charging for bags they are going to get hammered, that is not something they can avoid, duck, hide behind FL, there is zero chance that they can avoid the hammer, so why try?

You're probably right, but considering what I said above why take them out of FL for the time being and (re)condition even more people to free bags only to reintroduce them at some point in the future, especially when they're bringing in more revenue for the time being?



SA-227; B1900; Q200; Q400; CRJ-2,7,9; 717; 727-2; 737-3,4,5,7,8,9; 747-2; 757-2,3; 767-3,4; MD-90; A319, 320; DC-9; DC-1
User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7719 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 1830 times:

Quoting MountainFlyer (Reply 19):
but considering what I said above why take them out of FL for the time being and (re)condition even more people to free bags only to reintroduce them at some point in the future, especially when they're bringing in more revenue for the time being?

Then rather than cutting FL routes and transferring to WN they would be better off financially building FL network to increase fee collection, this is a golden chance to charge for fees while not changing the bags fly free campaign, even if they maintained the FL network as is for more months it is still increased revenues.


User currently offlineMountainFlyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 477 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1624 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 20):
Then rather than cutting FL routes and transferring to WN they would be better off financially building FL network to increase fee collection, this is a golden chance to charge for fees while not changing the bags fly free campaign, even if they maintained the FL network as is for more months it is still increased revenues.

Ultimately, though, the WN brand equity is far more valuable than any ancillary revenue they can get by keeping FLs bag fees around. There's no reason to hang on to the FL brand just for bag fees, but while they're sorting out their IT issues so they can get code share going and truly integrate FL, might as well take advantage of it and keep the bag fees and get a little extra revenue out of them.



SA-227; B1900; Q200; Q400; CRJ-2,7,9; 717; 727-2; 737-3,4,5,7,8,9; 747-2; 757-2,3; 767-3,4; MD-90; A319, 320; DC-9; DC-1
User currently offlineusflyguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1079 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1555 times:

How does JetBlue and AA do it on the flights they code share on? Aachen should align their policies since they code share.


My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
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