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CNN: Majority Of Pax Too Cheap To Pay For Comfort  
User currently offlineplanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 5925 posts, RR: 34
Posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 20687 times:



Article on CNN, Airline squeeze: It's not you, 'it's the seat', presents this survey:

Airline comfort poll

1. What's the biggest improvement airlines could make?

--More legroom: 41%

--More comfortable seating: 30%

--More bin space, free snacks, seat outlets, fewer delays, better entertainment: 29%

2. On flights over 4 hours, would you pay $25 for more legroom?

--Yes: 35%

3. On domestic flights under 4 hours, would you pay for more legroom?

--No: 71%

Quote:
(CNN) -- If your coach airline seat is uncomfortable, it's your fault.

That's the gist of one of hundreds of responses to a CNN.com report about airline seat comfort, configuration and cost.

Coach fliers may complain about airline seats, but U.S. airlines are filling those seats pretty successfully. A commenter called withReason7 suggests that consumers are getting what they ask for.

"I will continue to blame the passengers that will sit in any crappy seat as long as it's a little bit cheaper. THAT IS WHY THE AIRLINES ARE DOING THIS. Not because they are mean, because that is what MOST travelers want..."

The Traveler's Psyche is a CNN five-week series focusing on travel scenarios that stir emotion. We're starting with frustration and will wind up on a happy note in June. This week, we'll take a closer look at air rage, the TSA and relationship travel.


Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
99 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAirCanadaA330 From Canada, joined Aug 2008, 276 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 20694 times:

makes sense....after all we are our own worst enemy...


Cheers;
User currently offlineikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21416 posts, RR: 60
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 20673 times:

Yep, and that's why Y+ seating only takes up like 20% of the cabin.


Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineplanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 5925 posts, RR: 34
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 20612 times:

Another oft A.net debated topic is discussed in this CNN article The golden days of air travel: How glorious were they?


Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20322 posts, RR: 63
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 20402 times:

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 2):
Yep, and that's why Y+ seating only takes up like 20% of the cabin.

In the late 1980s I was paying ~$800 for Coach round-trip from the US west coast to Europe. I generally sat in a marginally cushy seat that didn't leave me exhausted after 10-11 hours in the air.

$800 in 1988 is worth $1,455 in 2010 dollars. I'd happily pay a reasonable sum of miles or up to $700-800 more round-trip over today's airfares on the same routes for a REAL Y+ product to Europe such as BA's World Traveller Plus or AF's Premium Voyageur. (Last year I saw PV for ~$1,800 round-trip all-in after an online 10% coupon from AF, while plain Coach was ~$1,200.)

For Economy Plus on UA or Economy Comfort on DL, I'd value the extra legroom at about $100-150 each way to Europe or Asia. OTOH, I wouldn't book on AA at all if the risk was there to be placed in a row with 10 seats across without add'l legroom on the 777 due to a flight disruption of some kind after buying MCE.

While checking in a bag on a UA flight a couple of years ago, I asked the agent if there were any better seats available than what I'd been assigned. His reply was, "yes, but you'd have to pay extra," in a manner that suggested I wouldn't want to for the DEN-PDX flight, rather than stopping to look up the price to give me that option. Nowadays, I'd bet the same agent would have tried to sell me the upgrade, or it or a TOD offer would have come through a kiosk check-in or e-mail prior to the flight.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5958 posts, RR: 17
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 20333 times:

Based on uniforms, seats, etc.can someone tell me the airlines in the above pics?


Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
User currently offlineskycub From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 300 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 20326 times:

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 5):
Based on uniforms, seats, etc.can someone tell me the airlines in the above pics?

Southwest.



My opinions are my own. They are not representative of my employer, my union or my co-workers. They are all mine.
User currently offlinephatfarmlines From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1343 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 20292 times:

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 5):
Based on uniforms, seats, etc.can someone tell me the airlines in the above pics?

I think the 1st picture can be re-asked as: "Based on uniforms, seats, sleeveless man, business lady leaning away from sleeveless man, etc. can someone tell me the airlines in the above pics?" That pic brought a a good laugh to me.


User currently onlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12420 posts, RR: 100
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 20250 times:
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Quoting AirCanadaA330 (Reply 1):
makes sense....after all we are our own worst enemy...

With the help of internet enabled price transparency...

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 4):
I'd happily pay a reasonable sum of miles or up to $700-800 more round-trip over today's airfares on the same routes for a REAL Y+ product to Europe such as BA's World Traveller Plus or AF's Premium Voyageur.

The issue is how small the market is for a slight premium econ product. Most people are only willing to pay a *little* more for say a few inches more legroom or they are willing to pay the C/J premium. For US west coast to Europe, a seat that enables sleep is worth quite a bit.

While $7k might seem high, enough of the people willing to pay $1200 are going to consider a few grand more for the comfort. Its not that a better product couldn't be offered, it has to make sense from a yield management perspective.


Quoting ikramerica (Reply 2):
Yep, and that's why Y+ seating only takes up like 20% of the cabin.

But only a certain airlines. My employer will not pay for Y+. It is Y or, for long enough flights J. I've been given free upgrades to Y+ and that was nice, but not nice enough to pay for the little room.

Lightsaber



I've posted how many times?!?
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24325 posts, RR: 47
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 20244 times:

Nothing new -

For most consumers Price, Price & Price is what matters the most.


IATA along with other trade organizations have for ages done their own global surveys which mirror the results that for discretionary and leisure travel, pricing is by far the most important purchase factor for consumers.

Also its important to note that the leisure and discretionary travel segment makes up now 80% of all global demand and continues to rise as ever more people take to the skies, so the importance of pricing will only continue to grow over other factors.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20322 posts, RR: 63
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 20101 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 8):
The issue is how small the market is for a slight premium econ product. Most people are only willing to pay a *little* more for say a few inches more legroom or they are willing to pay the C/J premium. For US west coast to Europe, a seat that enables sleep is worth quite a bit.

For a business traveler, I'd agree with you, even though many companies have Y-only policies, even for long haul. For a leisure traveler, not so much.

BA configures their 744s with 10-11% of the entire plane with WT+, or about 15% of the total WT/WT+ seats combined. If there was no value to BA in that, I doubt if the floor space allocated to the WT+ product would have lasted this long. With more airlines going to a tighter Y cabin in terms of space, the premium for Y+ looks better and better all the time (which might not be a simple coincidence) for those who can afford a bit more, but not 3-4x more for Business.

I also think that passenger mix has a lot to do with it—most likely the reason why airlines such as EK, who carry a lot of the VFR and blue collar foreign worker trade, haven't introduced a true Y+ product.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineCapEd388 From United States of America, joined Feb 2011, 233 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 20010 times:

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 5):

Yeah its Southwest, I think they are shots from the "Airline" show that they had on A&E a few years ago.

Yeah I agree, with what the article says. If the majority of travelers are demanding low fares, then tight seating configurations is what they will get. Its about people being cheap, as the article said, the majority of people asked would not pay a measly $25 for more legroom on a 4hr+ flight. The airlines would be more than willing to add wider seats and more legroom at a higher price, but who would buy those seats ? No one, because people would think that it is too expensive.

Also as the article mentioned, Americans are getting bigger and bigger. Can the airlines really be blamed, that a lot of their customers are getting bigger and outgrowing their seats?

If more people demand more legroom and pay the upgrade to "Economy Plus" and it becomes a growing trend, the airlines would see that and they would increase the size of their "Economy Plus Class" and before you know it, "Economy" is a thing of the past and the new norm is "Economy Plus". Obviously Im reaching here, but it could happen.

[Edited 2012-06-02 11:59:56]


388 346 77W 787
User currently onlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12420 posts, RR: 100
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 19947 times:
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Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 10):
For a business traveler, I'd agree with you, even though many companies have Y-only policies, even for long haul. For a leisure traveler, not so much.

I fear my company will go Y-only soon.   However, at LAX, there is a growing 'silver set' group who will pay for J.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 10):
I also think that passenger mix has a lot to do with it—most likely the reason why airlines such as EK, who carry a lot of the VFR and blue collar foreign worker trade, haven't introduced a true Y+ product.

I 100% agree. Certain cities will be far more likely to support a Y+. The issue is a wider seat increases the cost 12% or more. More legroom by about 10%. But then, higher fare classes tend towards lower load factors (and are partially filled with upgrades). So the fare increase is greater than the cost increase.

I suspect some airlines also use Y+ to cut the 'free upgrades' from Y.

Quoting CapEd388 (Reply 11):
Its about people being cheap, as the article said, the majority of people asked would not pay a measly $25 for more legroom on a 4hr+ flight.

$25 won't pay for the legroom. Better to put in another row... About 3% more legroom requires a 10% higher fare. With internet search engines, how many people research the details of the seats to verify one airline is worth 10% more than another for leisure seats? For business, I know many who are loyal to an airline for seats and service. There is a reason FF miles are like crack...   Those who are hooked just have to have them.

Lightsaber



I've posted how many times?!?
User currently offlinevlad1971 From Netherlands, joined Jul 2005, 93 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 19906 times:

According to survey made by my airline most important for pax :
1) price for the ticket
2) on time arrival to destination
3) Schedules
4) arrival of their baggage on time and undamaged
5) ease to check-in online and get boarding pass via web
6) possibility to collect miles for the future travel and upgrades
7) Leg space
8) meals and drinks ( BOB or free service )
9) entertainment on board
10) use of pre departure or arrival lounge

As you all see leg space , meals and IFE are not that important for the passengers . They just want to fly cheap , on time with their baggage and possibility to choose convenient schedules .


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20322 posts, RR: 63
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 19836 times:

Quoting CapEd388 (Reply 11):
If more people demand more legroom and pay the upgrade to "Economy Plus" and it becomes a growing trend, the airlines would see that and they would increase the size of their "Economy Plus Class"

For UA's long-haul fleet of 777s, that's exactly what's happened.

IPTE-configured 777s now have a mix of 104 Y+/117 Y, vs. 77 Y+/114 Y on the WW1 configuration and 84 Y+/114 Y on the WW2 configuration.

I'm honestly surprised that DL was so conservative with their initial allocation of Economy Comfort seats on their international fleet. The cabins range from a low of 30 on some planes to a high of 42 of the 744s, according to seatguru.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5958 posts, RR: 17
Reply 15, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 19765 times:

Quoting phatfarmlines (Reply 7):

Its funny you say that. See, that lady in the next row in the middle seat is smiling because her row is full, so the guy can,t sit next to her. But the lady in the foreground is distressed looking because she,s got an empty seat next to her! 



Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
User currently offlineseabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5105 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 19719 times:

The headline of this thread is like "Water is wet."

And we treat it as regrettable here on A.net. But I'm one of these travelers! Up to a point -- and that point is almost exactly where AA's new 777 coach seats are coming out -- I'm happy to endure cramped conditions for a few hours if I can get a cheaper ticket. I have better things to spend my money on than a few extra inches that won't matter at all in the long run.



Most gorgeous aircraft: Tu-204-300, 757-200, A330-200, 777-200LR, 787-8
User currently offlineSSTeve From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 628 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 19722 times:

I think there is a reluctance to pay for upgrades after booking because there's a feeling like you're getting fleeced-- would any of those other airlines that matched the same fare have offered better comfort for free, or less? If the booking engines like kayak and expedia could make it clearer where you get a few inches more legroom and IFE and for exactly how much, some more people might take advantage at booking. "Oh, sure, I'll pay $50 for a seat farther up with more legroom versus a middle seat, that might be reasonable, but let me compare that to some other airlines. Maybe I can get it for $20..." Once booked though, it's more along the lines, of "no, I paid for the ticket, and that's it. They want *more* money for me to escape that middle seat? Screw 'em."

User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20322 posts, RR: 63
Reply 18, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 19516 times:

Quoting vlad1971 (Reply 13):
7) Leg space

If your airline is KLM, I'd be fairly shocked by this ranking, with the Dutch being the tallest population on Earth. 2" taller on average than Americans nowadays, the former record-holder.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlinevlad1971 From Netherlands, joined Jul 2005, 93 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 19437 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 18):
If your airline is KLM, I'd be fairly shocked by this ranking, with the Dutch being the tallest population on Earth. 2" taller on average than Americans nowadays, the former record-holder

No, my airline is not an European carrier  


User currently offline9252fly From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1381 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 18914 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 12):

I suspect some airlines also use Y+ to cut the 'free upgrades' from Y

...and many more to come! I suspect Y+ will take up some of the current J floor space on some airlines. The smaller J cabins with have a greater likelihood of being occupied by paying passengers. As someone mentioned,the internet created transparency in fares to allow consumers the ability to shop for the lowest fares where the purchase decision was sometimes decided by saving as few as $3 - $5. If one accepts that a seat is nothing more than a commodity,then it helps explain how we got to where we are today. Gone are the days when air travel seemed special and we wore our nicest clothes.


User currently offlinevatveng From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 920 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 18881 times:

Being someone of below-average height, my 5'6" frame (that's 1.67m for you metric folks) will easily fit into the smallest seat pitch in the sky. So, no, I will not pay extra for 2" of legroom I don't need.   

User currently offlinerikkus67 From Canada, joined Jun 2000, 1577 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 18725 times:

Quoting 9252fly (Reply 20):
If one accepts that a seat is nothing more than a commodity,then it helps explain how we got to where we are today. Gone are the days when air travel seemed special and we wore our nicest clothes.

Bottom line for North Americans: deregulation happened. LONG GONE are the "Glory Days". People have to make the realization that yesterdays busses are todays airliners, period.



AC.WA.CP.DL.RW.CO.WG.WJ.WN.KI.FL.SK.ACL.UA.US.F9
User currently offlinecrAAzy From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 733 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 18564 times:
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Nothing new here, and I personally see nothing wrong with this trend as long as airlines still provide a choice for people that want to travel with a higher class, more leg room, have a bigger seat, or have more amenities.

Heck they can squeeze 8 seats across in coach on a 737 as far as I'm concerned and hand out an ice cubes on a napikin for the people that want to pay less than what it actually takes to cover the costs of the flight. At the same time, you better make the experience worth the extra cost for those who are willing to pay for the better experience.

Now I certainly understand that some airlines choose not to do this (e.g. WN), some airlines choose to do a modified version of this (e.g. DL), and some airlines are still trying to keep a complete menu of options for their customers with F,J,Y+, and Y (e.g. UA. AA). Whether they can do it successfully is another question; however, as F cabins continue to shrink and become more exclusive - so should the level of service and amenities increase as well as the customer experience.


User currently offline9252fly From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1381 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 18543 times:

Quoting rikkus67 (Reply 22):
Bottom line for North Americans: deregulation happened.

Forgot that's where is started. It's not all bad though,considering more of us can afford to travel by air. Problem is that it's gotten too much like riding a bus. I remember traveling across the country on a Greyhound bus in my younger years and recall some of the unsavory types one would meet,guess how they travel today?


User currently offlineLAXDESI From United States of America, joined May 2005, 5086 posts, RR: 48
Reply 25, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 19029 times:

A 3 inch increase in legroom from 31"(Y) to 34"(Y+) takes up about 10% more cabin space(United 772 as per Seatguru). A 6 inch increase in legroom from Y to Y+, along with one less seat per row, takes up about 29% more space(Thai A345 as per Seatguru).

I for one would rather spend the money on a better hotel room and meal at destination than for the extra comfort in the air. On my VFR trips to MAA, I have taken 2-stop trips over 1-stop trip and invested the savings in a 2-3 day sightseeing trip at an intermediate stop.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24325 posts, RR: 47
Reply 26, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 18875 times:

Btw - I don't believe calling passengers "Too Cheap" is right.

Instead its simply the fact that people rightfully places a value on a product or service. Clearly many don't have the perception that the added space is good value and trumps the lower price.

Similar to how, I would not call the consumer "too cheap" since McDonald's, Subway and Starbucks happen to be the largest eating establishments Americas - they simply provide good value for what they do in the eyes of many consumers.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineturn720 From United States of America, joined May 2012, 25 posts, RR: 0
Reply 27, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks ago) and read 18517 times:
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Quoting rikkus67 (Reply 22):
Bottom line for North Americans: deregulation happened. LONG GONE are the "Glory Days".

I'm old enough to remember the glory days of pre-deregulation. Back then the if the average American wanted to travel they hopped on a Greyhound bus. Remember those?
I would rather sit on a cramped airline seat for two hours than sit on a bus for twelve.


User currently offlinesilentbob From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1962 posts, RR: 1
Reply 28, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks ago) and read 18337 times:

Quoting 9252fly (Reply 24):
Forgot that's where is started. It's not all bad though,considering more of us can afford to travel by air. Problem is that it's gotten too much like riding a bus. I remember traveling across the country on a Greyhound bus in my younger years and recall some of the unsavory types one would meet,guess how they travel today?

Greyhound is usually more expensive than airfare lately.


User currently offlineBD338 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 697 posts, RR: 0
Reply 29, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks ago) and read 18298 times:

Quoting planemaker (Thread starter):
2. On flights over 4 hours, would you pay $25 for more legroom?

--Yes: 35%

Count me in the 35%

Quoting planemaker (Thread starter):
3. On domestic flights under 4 hours, would you pay for more legroom?

--No: 71%

...and in the 29%

I'm glad I now have a choice. Many don't want it (but then complain about lack of room??) but some do and I'm glad airlines are now recognizing there is a group that can afford a little more than Y but that J is generally out of reach.


User currently offlinespacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3520 posts, RR: 12
Reply 30, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks ago) and read 18275 times:

The flipside to this thread is that a sizable percentage of people *will* pay extra for comfort. 35% is more than 1/3 of all passengers. Yet there are not a proportionate number of comfortable seats on most planes - I am one of that 35% and on most flights I *cannot* pay extra for more legroom. So there is a market that is not being tapped. I am actually a little surprised by how many people will pay extra, especially after all the threads here (including this one!) that suggest "no one" will pay extra for more legroom. Apparently, more than 1/3 of us would!

This is thankfully changing a *little* bit with airlines like JetBlue and now Delta with Economy Comfort. I'm about to book a trip to San Francisco and Portland (from JFK) and suddenly I now have an option other than JetBlue this summer. I won't fly a carrier that doesn't offer extra legroom for a reasonable fee.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlinem404 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2220 posts, RR: 5
Reply 31, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks ago) and read 17985 times:
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I dislike the word cheap. America and the rest of the world has had to learn to live with reduced expectations for so many reasons. News stories keep saying we are "feeling better" about the economy (if talking to the employed I'd guess). On the contrary. It has NOT improved. We are simply adapting to lower expectations and to allow it to happen carriers are selling at non-profitable prices and having to artificially limit seats to assure full planes while depending on ancilliary fees to make it work. Eating is the biggest re-assurance that "things are all right" that we do. Reality is seeing the folly of that in health costs.

The only way it could be changed is if fares are controlled to assure a "proper" return on investment. Along with the yew and cry for lower fares that would ensue who would believe the government controllers and who would agree to taxes for that departments creation?

I'd like to see a thread started on what passengers from both sides of the curtain would do to make it work and still be comfortible, economical, yet fulfill what seems to be the mandate for mass transportation that deregulation was supposed to inspire. Remember that most mass transit systems are very heavily tax supported when you give an answer.

I'll start that thread now with the above wording.



Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
User currently offlinefrmrCapCadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1690 posts, RR: 1
Reply 32, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 17910 times:

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 30):
This is thankfully changing a *little* bit with airlines like JetBlue and now Delta with Economy Comfort. I'm about to book a trip to San Francisco and Portland (from JFK) and suddenly I now have an option other than JetBlue this summer. I won't fly a carrier that doesn't offer extra legroom for a reasonable fee.

My position entirely, comfort, not luxury. I still suspect that many airlines want Y to be enough torture to move those who can afford it to an expensive higher class.



Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
User currently offlineANPlatinum From Australia, joined Jan 2012, 16 posts, RR: 0
Reply 33, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 17935 times:

I recently had to travel for 6 hours on a long distance bus to a town that had no air service. The bus seats were far worse than Y class on any airline. The pitch between seats was such that I could only fit my 191cm frame in sideways - thankfully there was a vacant seat alongside me. The seats were hard vinyl and cabin services were zero. Furthermore, the cost was about what a Y class fare would be for the same distance. The only saving grace was that the bus stopped every two hours for a driver rest at which time passengers could stretch their legs outside - a bit difficult for airlines to organise.

I don't see any bus companies offering J class seats.


User currently offline9252fly From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1381 posts, RR: 0
Reply 34, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 17671 times:

Quoting ANPlatinum (Reply 33):
I don't see any bus companies offering J class seats

They do have them in South America. Stewards to tuck you into seats that rival J with a blanket/pillow,serve you a meal/drink,turn on the entertainment system,etc,.


User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 6942 posts, RR: 18
Reply 35, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 17541 times:

For me personally, I've set a particular budget and restraint on when I will use Y+ or when I'll stay in Y.

1) If the flight is longer than 8 hours. (international- i find it easy to sleep in DL's seats)
2) if the flight is less than $500 and there is no chance of me getting upgraded to F (Usually, the upgrade happens on my CVG-PHX or MSP/MEM/ATL-PHX route)
3) If the flight is less than $500 and longer than 4 hours (cross-country flight)
Otherwise, I'm just fine with Y and the occasional upgrade the F.

[Edited 2012-06-02 16:07:28]


One of the FB admins for PHX Spotters. "Zach the Expat!"
User currently offlinespacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3520 posts, RR: 12
Reply 36, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 17435 times:

Quoting ANPlatinum (Reply 33):
I recently had to travel for 6 hours on a long distance bus to a town that had no air service. The bus seats were far worse than Y class on any airline. The pitch between seats was such that I could only fit my 191cm frame in sideways - thankfully there was a vacant seat alongside me. The seats were hard vinyl and cabin services were zero.

And now you know why it's considered an insult when people say "flying these days is like taking a bus"  

I see you're from Australia so this might not apply to you, but try taking a long distance and/or high speed train instead. (Actually, I'm pretty sure LD trains in Australia are pretty good, although probably about as small in number as in America.) The economics of train travel are a bit different - there's not quite as much pressure to just cram people in like sardines.

In countries where trains are actually widely available, they compete very well with airlines. And comfort is a big reason why. (The fares aren't usually much different.)



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 39
Reply 37, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 16705 times:

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 36):
but try taking a long distance and/or high speed train instead.

The schedules are terrible, the 'high speed' train goes faster in the metro area than in the country (rubbish tracks in the country areas - which might have changed now). And the high speed train is a relic from the 1970s in Britain.

So it's crammed in to economy class for most (hopefully on a jet), or more likely - everyone drives in their cars instead (faster than the train).

[Edited 2012-06-02 17:13:49]

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24075 posts, RR: 22
Reply 38, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 16485 times:

Quoting 9252fly (Reply 34):
Quoting ANPlatinum (Reply 33):
I don't see any bus companies offering J class seats

They do have them in South America. Stewards to tuck you into seats that rival J with a blanket/pillow,serve you a meal/drink,turn on the entertainment system,etc,.

Red Arrow, a Canadian bus company operating between Calgary and Edmonton and other points in Alberta does offer what is comparable to airline business class service, including spacious 3-abreast (2-1) seating and complimentary drinks, snacks etc. (Go to the "Experience" link and click "Overview" for details/photos...can't link to that page directly).
http://redarrow.ca/

Not quite business class, but at least more legroom and power outlets etc., now offered by Greyhound between YYC and YEG and a few other points in Alberta (previously introduced in certain U.S.markets).
http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/8693...reyhound-express-service-to-canada
http://www.greyhound.ca/en/buses/default.aspx


User currently offlinefiscal From Australia, joined Oct 2009, 315 posts, RR: 0
Reply 39, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 16432 times:

The CNN survey never asked me.....

I for one would pay extra for additional space, but some airlines like QF, and to a lesser degree BA, do take advantage of that desire and ask much more for a Y+ seat than it's true value based on additional space taken over a Y seat.

The reason they do it, is to avoid losing corporate dollars. They would rather keep the premium profits made from business class than see those dollars drift away to cheaper Y+ seats. So, they overprice Y+.

After running out of FF points and spending too much on travel the year before, I was forced to travel from Perth to London in economy. On short flights you can tolerate some inconvenience and discomfort, but on long haul I certainly cannot. So after a lot of research I settled for MAS. They offered extra legroom as standard (34in) and daytime flights (I overnighted in KL). I also secured two seaters on every leg, for extra comfort. To keep to daytime flights I could have returned from either Paris or Amsterdam, which I did.

That open jaw ticket cost AUD$1900, but I would have been prepared to pay more for such a relaxing and enjoyable trip. Comfort is the name of my game, but obviously not everybody's as the survey showed.


User currently offlinestrangr From Australia, joined Apr 2012, 110 posts, RR: 0
Reply 40, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 16229 times:

I normally travel with others and will commonly request an aisle seat, that way during the trip you can spread your legs straight out ahead, normally the other person i travel with will be on the other aisle, and during the flight we switch around so we get plenty of stretch time.

User currently onlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 6729 posts, RR: 8
Reply 41, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 16161 times:

Do we know who decided that 30" pitch between seats should be a "standard" or the 17" seat width?
Pricing today seems to be based on those two benchmarks if we can call them that, and other than WN and B6 somone somewhere decided that anything above those is premium and should come with extra cost, imagine if the standard leg room was 31" or 33", I know the bean counters would quickly let us know the lost revenue based on how many seats were removed to accomodate.


User currently offlinerikkus67 From Canada, joined Jun 2000, 1577 posts, RR: 1
Reply 42, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 15527 times:

Quoting 9252fly (Reply 24):
I remember traveling across the country on a Greyhound

I've done both Greyhounds...


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © John Yu



...........this was the more memorable trip. But other than going faster, not much else to enjoy (thank gosh I got/get a window seat)



AC.WA.CP.DL.RW.CO.WG.WJ.WN.KI.FL.SK.ACL.UA.US.F9
User currently offlinecloudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 793 posts, RR: 0
Reply 43, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 15390 times:

Yet another case of bad survey design leading to misleading or totally invalid (pending on one's point of view of the survey design) results.

How much space? how much would you pay? When you say additional legroom, what is the survayee thinking? A few extra inches (like an exit row) or moving up to international business legroom? Space comes lower than other items - in what relevance? What do you mean by schedule - a few minutes, or whether or not you get there today or tomorrow? What do you mean by on time arrival? Off half an hour, or arriving 3 hours late? And what makes a price difference? 10$ 20$ $150? $300? And who is surveyed - what kind of flyers?

Unfortunately it suffers from a common fault. People develop a theory ahead of time, and then they design a survey around it, but end up letting that theory influence the survey design. We have developed a mind set that says price above all else, and we are so convinced of that that we forget that people will interpret it differently. We assume people know what we mean by a price difference. We assume we know what we mean by more legroom. After all, everyone knows the seat pitch of most airlines, right?

more data with questionable basis, making big influences on decisions.



"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20322 posts, RR: 63
Reply 44, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 15396 times:

Quoting rikkus67 (Reply 42):
I've done both Greyhounds...

That 727 really makes my head hurt. I know I knew about it, but my brain had successfully wiped it from the gray matter. The first decade or so of deregulation sure wasn't kind to US commercial aviation in a number of ways.

I'm just happy that 33 years on now, First Class airfares are falling to reasonable levels (who would have thought, with all of the dire warnings about consolidation?), and that we have more options seating-wise in the main cabin, but low-to-medium frequency point-to-point service that doesn't touch a hub may never return except in limited cases—AS' new SAN-MCO flight being one example.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineSkydrol From Canada, joined Oct 2003, 932 posts, RR: 10
Reply 45, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 14880 times:

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 17):
If the booking engines like kayak and expedia could make it clearer where you get a few inches more legroom and IFE and for exactly how much, some more people might take advantage at booking.

Bingo!!!

This is exactly the problem. Imagine if online computer purchases were like this? You would have listings for HP, Dell, Acer, Toshiba, Sony, etc. with prices only, but no specifications. Sure the Acer might be 100$ less than the Toshiba, but maybe the HD, RAM, GPU, battery life are also of a lesser grade.

Using the "customers are cheap" theory, the Acer would outsell everything else anyway. But it doesn't. Why? Because customers are provided specifications to make computer purchase decisions based on their needs.

For some reason, this is not considered necessary for an airline ticket purchase which in many cases may cost more than a new computer. Now that is crazy!

Example...

Today

YVR - > YYZ (non-stop):

Airline A... 651 $
Airline B... 690 $
Airline B F/J... 2,267 $
Airline C... 572 $

Using Expedia, Kayak etc. likely most would choose Airline C, unless traveling F/J which is only offered by Airline B.


But with more information:

YVR - > YYZ (non-stop):

Airline A... 651 $ /// 31" pitch, 25 $ /checked bag, 1 free carry-on, 20 $ for 2nd carry-on, free soft drinks, no food or liquor available, no WiFi, free IFE, 1 lav for every 73 pax

Airline B... 690 $ /// 34" pitch, 2 checked bags free, 2 carry-ons free, free soft drinks, 5 $ beer/wine, free hot meal, 10 $ WiFi, free IFE, 1 lav for every 62 pax

Airline B F/J... 2,267 $ /// 40" pitch, 3 checked bags free, 2 carry-ons free, champagne, choice of 12 entrees, hot towels, free WiFi, free IFE/movies, 1 lav for 12 pax

Airline C... 572 $ /// 32" pitch, 25 $ /checked bag, 20 $ /carry-on, 3 $ soft drinks, 6 $ beer/wine, 7 $ cold, soggy sandwiches, no WiFi, no IFE, 1 lav for every 80 pax


... a better informed customer would make the choice that suits their situation the best, not just the lowest base price.




LD4



∙ ---{--« ∙ ----{--« ∙ --{-« ∙ ---{--« ∙ --{--« ∙ --{-« ∙ ----{--« ∙
User currently offlinestratosphere From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1647 posts, RR: 4
Reply 46, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 14779 times:

Well I pay the extra for the upgrade on AirTran and actually I fly them enough to get free upgrades but now of course SWA f'd that up for me. So I don't know I don't fly too much anymore anyway it is too much of a pain. I long for the old times when you could fly an L1011 or DC-10 even on short hops. Thanks to 9/11 and the TSA and barbie jets everywhere I can truthfully say flying today totally sucks.


NWA THE TRUE EVIL EMPIRE
User currently offlineANPlatinum From Australia, joined Jan 2012, 16 posts, RR: 0
Reply 47, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 14617 times:

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 36):

I see you're from Australia so this might not apply to you, but try taking a long distance and/or high speed train instead.

Unfortunately, passenger trains no longer run to smaller towns. To rub it in, the bus is contracted to the railways who are obliged to provide a service to the town after they ripped up the tracks about 30 years ago.

In the past there were air services to quite small towns often on a "milk run" basis. I can remember traveling from Cairns to Melbourne on a milk run with 5 stops in a 727. Passengers could stretch their legs at each stop but the whole trip took 9 hours. The cost was the same as a one stop flight. Now-days landing and fuel charges make these runs uneconomic.


User currently offlinemanny From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 467 posts, RR: 0
Reply 48, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 12962 times:

Wow...its really us. All this time I was thinking it was mismanagement of airline management that got the airlines to this shape!

User currently offlinevegas005 From Switzerland, joined Mar 2005, 315 posts, RR: 0
Reply 49, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 12278 times:

My former company was acquired and the new company had a coach only policy...as a very frequent traveller including numerous 10+ hour flights I lasted 2 years at the new company and then quit and moved to a company with a business class flying policy. I have flown AA, Delta, Swiss, Lufthansa, Singapore, Jet Air, United and most of the rest of them and quite frankly coach sucks in all of them. Some more than others.

Often I would pay the upgrade to economy plus on United and would have an open seat next to me only to have the flight attendent "decide" to move a sniffling brat or an old couple into economy plus. The system is completely unstructured and with the exception of a few inches of legroom the service is exactly the same. On Swiss A340 when the person in front of you reclines their seat you can't work on your pc, but you can easily examine the top of the persons scalp for any skin diseases. Lufthansa 747 coach class is also probably the worst of the bunch. Singapore A380 in the upper deck is a pretty good coach product but my company also had a "best" price policy so in addition to being crammed into coach I was also forced to take the cheapest price (and this was as a VP btw).

So I made a personal decision to move to a company with a more generous policy (after all I am travelling for the company not for my personal gain). I now fly business class 95 percent of the time and coach on short trips.

Bottom line is coach class is tolerable for a few hours or if you only fly occasionally, but having to do it numerous weeks a year long haul is borderline torcher.


User currently offlineRWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2880 posts, RR: 5
Reply 50, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 10982 times:

All I can say is most people today can't afford extras, and in many cases we have learned to do with less in some way or another. Since most people don't travel that frequently, of course this poll or survey will reflect our current culture which is about making due with less. Not for all of course, but even wealthy folks have felt the impact of our current economy.

When things start working better around the globe I think more folks, will revert back to the decadent 70's and 80's, and demand more from their airlines. For now the privileged few get to enjoy the luxuries of F & J or even Y+, and the rest of us are for now delegated to the back of the bus.



Rule number One, NEVER underestimate the other guys greed
User currently offline4tet From Spain, joined Sep 2007, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 51, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 10861 times:

What do you consider 'Seat Pitch', A or B?



( I know the image is poorly drawn, but enough to understand... lol)

Cheers,
R.


User currently offlineStarGuy From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 328 posts, RR: 0
Reply 52, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 10244 times:

Quoting 4tet (Reply 51):

B


User currently onlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12420 posts, RR: 100
Reply 53, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 9169 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting 9252fly (Reply 20):
I suspect Y will take up some of the current J floor space on some airlines. The smaller J cabins with have a greater likelihood of being occupied by paying passengers.

  

Quoting 9252fly (Reply 20):
As someone mentioned

That would be me.  
Quoting 9252fly (Reply 20):
If one accepts that a seat is nothing more than a commodity,then it helps explain how we got to where we are today.

Unless something breaks the commodity selling, that is what it will be.

Quoting turn720 (Reply 27):
Back then the if the average American wanted to travel they hopped on a Greyhound bus. Remember those?
I would rather sit on a cramped airline seat for two hours than sit on a bus for twelve.
Quoting spacecadet (Reply 30):
The flipside to this thread is that a sizable percentage of people *will* pay extra for comfort.
Quoting fiscal (Reply 39):
I for one would pay extra for additional space, but some airlines like QF, and to a lesser degree BA, do take advantage of that desire and ask much more for a Y seat than it's true value based on additional space taken over a Y seat
Quoting Skydrol (Reply 45):
Using Expedia, Kayak etc. likely most would choose Airline C, unless traveling F/J which is only offered by Airline B.


But with more information:

I would love more information on an airline search service. I would also desire to put in my preferences that I'd have to pay for anyway (e.g., with kids, we're not escaping a checked bag for any length of trip).

Quoting 4tet (Reply 51):
What do you consider 'Seat Pitch', A or B?

B is the industry standard.

Lightsaber



I've posted how many times?!?
User currently offline4tet From Spain, joined Sep 2007, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 54, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 8790 times:

Obviously what really matters to the passenger is the 'A' distance, not the 'B' one.

I've seen seats that may be around 10cm thick on older airplanes, and newer seats like the Recaro ones, which VY has in their newer planes that maybe are half the thick...

So all in all, the seat pitch doesn't give too much of information (specially on Y)

R.


User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5067 posts, RR: 1
Reply 55, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 8527 times:

My father-in-law is a retired business professor, and he used to teach classes in and around Atlanta. So he would have Delta employees working on their MBAs.

He believes that the legacy carriers screwed up in the 1980s and 1990s, when they tried to match fares with Southwest, Air Tran, Valu Jet, and every other LCC, especially on andvance purchase fares.

When the airlines could charge outrageous walk-up fares and fill planes beyond break-even load factors, they could afford to offer a superior product at the same fares as the LCCs.

In the post 9/11 world, that model doesn't work.

What the airlines should have done was market their superior product and explain that it costs more. After all, hotels market themselves at various levels of service. Yet, you don't find Hyatt competing with Motel 6, despite the fact that both offer rooms with a bed, a bathroom, towels, linens, and similar amounts of floor space.

Before the current recession, hotels were in an all-out war to improve their rooms, including better mattresses, better bed linens, higher-speed internet access, better toiletries, better coffees and teas, and flat-screen TVs. Westin came out with the Heavenly Bed, and Sheraton had the Sweet Sleeper. One lodging company said that after a room makeover, a hotel could reasonably expect to charge an additional $20 a night, whether it was a bargain chain (Red Roof Inn, Fairfield, Holiday Inn Express) or a higher-end chain (Marriott, Hilton, Westin, or Hyatt).

Hertz is usually more expensive than its competitors, including National, Avis, Budget, and Enterprise, even though most of them are either located on an adjacent lot at the airport, or within the same rental car building, and often rents the same brands of cars. Hertz has marketed itself as having superior service, and car renters have generally bought into that marketing theme.

To a certain extent, the legacy carriers decided to make air travel a commodity, and passengers have bought into that. So, if an airline tries to add something extra, at a higher fare, people balk. The best evidence of this is AA's More Room Throughout Coach. Granted, AA screwed up by not launching a national ad campaign, choosing instead to market in its strong markets (Boston, New York, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, and L.A.).


User currently offlineAwysBSB From Brazil, joined Sep 2005, 561 posts, RR: 0
Reply 56, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 7736 times:

Quoting rikkus67 (Reply 22):
Bottom line for North Americans: deregulation happened. LONG GONE are the "Glory Days".


Long gone indeed, as today these EA's mid 70's advertisements look like jokes:


"All airlines fly at the same speed, but bad service can make a flight seem longer."


"There's nothing special about a pillow unless it's not offered."


"A cold cup of coffee does exactly the same thing as a frown."


"Baggage claim is an airlines's last chance to disappoint a customer."


User currently offlineAVLAirlineFreq From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 970 posts, RR: 0
Reply 57, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 7556 times:

Sometimes it's not as much about being willing to pay extra as much as being able.

Many companies have become brutal in scrutinizing what they consider to be excess travel expenses and/or not even giving their employees an option of upgrading to Y+ or anything resembling a perk. Yes, it's still an option for many employees to spend their own money to upgrade, but I also know a lot of really cheap business travelers who won't spend a dime extra while traveling for business unless they can be reimbursed for it.


User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 6942 posts, RR: 18
Reply 58, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 7522 times:

Quoting 4tet (Reply 51):

the most ghetto drawing ever    but to answer your question, definitely B.



One of the FB admins for PHX Spotters. "Zach the Expat!"
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20322 posts, RR: 63
Reply 59, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 7397 times:

Quoting ckfred (Reply 55):
To a certain extent, the legacy carriers decided to make air travel a commodity, and passengers have bought into that.

It was actually Alfred Kahn's idea to make airline travel a commodity, and Carter bought into it, ushering in the deregulated era. Kahn felt that the flying public knew better than the government, through the reaction of market forces, how to influence route structures and fare pricing by deciding with their wallets.

Did the legacy carriers over-react to the new discounters that were chasing all of the low-hanging fruit? Perhaps. It's just taken a few decades for them to realize that not everyone wants to ride a Greyhound in the skies, and are offering an alternate for a reasonable price.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlinefrmrCapCadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1690 posts, RR: 1
Reply 60, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 7025 times:

Actually the travel guides and even the hotel/motel do fairly accurate advertising. We generally can rely on the 1-5 star ratings to describe what we get. And know where my comfort and pocketbook are on these. Flying is more of a crap shoot. Simply too many of my Y class trips rate a one or two star. I would call WN a low three star, but reliable. I have not flown JetBlue but understand they may be as much of a full star better.


Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5067 posts, RR: 1
Reply 61, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 6982 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 59):
It was actually Alfred Kahn's idea to make airline travel a commodity, and Carter bought into it, ushering in the deregulated era. Kahn felt that the flying public knew better than the government, through the reaction of market forces, how to influence route structures and fare pricing by deciding with their wallets.

Actually, Kahn thought airlines would create service levels akin to what hotels had done, and what the Big 3 had done. GM was the epitome this, offering a car for every price level, ranging from the full-size, entry-level Chevy Impala to the top-of-the-line Cadillac DeVille. Lodging ranged from bare bones Red Roof Inn, Motel 6, and Travel Lodge to the midscale Ramada Inn and Holiday Inn, to the luxury brands of Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, and then Western International (now Westin).

Kahn predicted that some carriers would offer high levels of service, at higher fares, (a Cadillac carrier). Others would offer a moderate amount of service for moderate fares (an Oldsmobile carrier). Still other would be more spartan on their service, more akin to Chevy or even VW, with very cheap fares.

The problem is that most carriers are either VW, back when the Beetle was a spartan vehicle that ran well (no power windows, door locks, or even carpeting, but the flat 4 engine ran forever), or Yugo, which was a cheap car that broke down constantly. No one is a nicely equiped Chevy Malibu, let alone a BMW 5-Series, a Cadillac CTS-V, or a Mercedes S-Class.

Yet, if a Hyatt or Hilton isn't good enough for you, there are such ultra-luxury chains as Mandarin Oriental and Pennisula, as well as the ultra hip W Hotels.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22304 posts, RR: 20
Reply 62, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 6971 times:

Quoting AVLAirlineFreq (Reply 57):
Many companies have become brutal in scrutinizing what they consider to be excess travel expenses and/or not even giving their employees an option of upgrading to Y+ or anything resembling a perk.

True. But time is money, so a carrier that was able to offer superior schedules PLUS a better product could likely get some of these folks' money. And remember that most Americans don't work for huge companies with really tough travel policies, and those of us that don't have a lot more flexibility.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 55):
Hertz has marketed itself as having superior service, and car renters have generally bought into that marketing theme.

But Hertz plows a lot of that money back in to customers. At least at medium-sized and larger airports, Hertz now offers an experience for "elites" that is head and shoulders above other companies. There's no need to interact with anyone at either end of the journey but, of course, there's usually plenty of staff around. I arrived at ATL not too long ago to find my assigned space empty. Two minutes later, I was driving off the lot in a Mustang. That simply doesn't happen at most companies.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5067 posts, RR: 1
Reply 63, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 6927 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 62):
But Hertz plows a lot of that money back in to customers. At least at medium-sized and larger airports, Hertz now offers an experience for "elites" that is head and shoulders above other companies. There's no need to interact with anyone at either end of the journey but, of course, there's usually plenty of staff around. I arrived at ATL not too long ago to find my assigned space empty. Two minutes later, I was driving off the lot in a Mustang. That simply doesn't happen at most companies.

You're right, and that proves my father-in-law's point. People will pay for higher prices, if they believe they get value that outweighs the price difference. Even though Hertz rents many of the same brands as other companies, it offers better service for the higher price, and it markets that higher service very well.

When the legacies had the advantage with better schedules, pre-reserved seating, broader networks, upgrades, more legroom, plenty of airlines staff, lounges, free food (hot food on longer flights) and such, it didn't market those extras. They just offered those extras for the same advance purchase prices as the LCCs.

So, when the business model changed (the outrageous walk-up fares for business flyers), the legacies couldn't offer the extras for the same fares. Thus, the service extras dropped.


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20322 posts, RR: 63
Reply 64, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 6882 times:

Quoting ckfred (Reply 61):
Actually, Kahn thought airlines would create service levels akin to what hotels had done, and what the Big 3 had done.

Hmm, not saying you're wrong, but I've always understood that Kahn believed that declining service was an indication that deregulation was a success.

http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc1/AirlineDeregulation.html

" ... travelers have endured an undeniable increase in congestion, delays, and discomfort. But these are not, in themselves, a sign of failure. After deregulation, low-cost, aggressively competing airlines, such as People Express, offered the public low fares, with correspondingly lower-cost service—narrower seating, longer lines, and fewer amenities. The incumbents responded with very deep discounts, accompanied by similarly poorer service. The enormous response of travelers to the availability of these new options is a vindication of deregulation, not a condemnation, even though the quality of the air travel experience has deteriorated as a result."



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7073 posts, RR: 12
Reply 65, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 6868 times:

Quoting vlad1971 (Reply 13):
According to survey made by my airline most important for pax :
1) price for the ticket
2) on time arrival to destination
3) Schedules

Funny you say that, where I am it goes:

1) On time performance/Reliability
2) Scheduling
3) Price of ticket

Thats what i'm told by the higher ups anyway (for doemstic operations).


User currently offlineCompensateMe From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 904 posts, RR: 0
Reply 66, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 6853 times:

[

Quoting ckfred (Reply 55):
He believes that the legacy carriers screwed up in the 1980s and 1990s, when they tried to match fares with Southwest, Air Tran, Valu Jet, and every other LCC, especially on andvance purchase fares. ...What the airlines should have done was market their superior product and explain that it costs more.

Consumers tend to purchase the lowest-price ticket matching their needs; the legacies matched LCC pricing because they had to. The analogy to the hotel industry is poor: people are on airplanes for a relatively short time period, but spend days or longer in a hotel room. An individual booking a week-long stay at a 5* all-inclusive resort will often be open to spending a quick overnight at a motorlodge. Thus, there's no comparison.

What astounds me in reading through this thread is that the a.net community (remember, we're a group of enthusiastic) is adamant that the flying population as a whole wants & is willing to pay for a premium economy product, despite consumer purchasing trends and marking research that suggests otherwise. Meals, entertainment and added comfort are conveniences. Everybody wants free food and roomy bulkhead/exit row seat, but few are willing to pay for it. A perfect illustration of this is my recent DTW-PHX flight on an oversold US 320: the gate agents dropped the price of a First Class upgrade to $75, plus offered credit to those who checked bags, and yet there were only two takers.

There's a small, niche market that is willing to pay for these conveniences and I'm glad the legacies have found ways to cater to them (e.g. catering meals with extended shelf lives, incorporating bulkhead/exit row seating into a premium seating arrangement, etc.). But I think it's silly to argue the survey's incorrect when purchase trends suggest otherwise.
.



Hypocrisy: "US airlines should only buy Boeing... BTW, check out my new Hyundai!"
User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15474 posts, RR: 26
Reply 67, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 6817 times:

Quoting ckfred (Reply 55):
What the airlines should have done was market their superior product and explain that it costs more.

That's exactly what they do, just not in coach class. They put Motel 6, Holiday Inn, and Hilton all on the same plane at the same time in many cases.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 55):
To a certain extent, the legacy carriers decided to make air travel a commodity, and passengers have bought into that.

The passengers are the ones that have demanded it and airlines have had no choice but to offer that. Coach class travel has become like gasoline: everybody tries to convince you that theirs is better and there are some changes in formula from one brand to the next, but your car still runs the same and 99% of people just fill up at the cheapest gas station.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 59):
Kahn felt that the flying public knew better than the government, through the reaction of market forces, how to influence route structures and fare pricing by deciding with their wallets.

He was right. Carter didn't screw up everything.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 61):
No one is a nicely equiped Chevy Malibu, let alone a BMW 5-Series, a Cadillac CTS-V, or a Mercedes S-Class.

Sure there are. What do you think first class is? Or Netjets? There are better, more expensive options out there, but aren't as common (in terms of the number of seats) as cheaper options. And, let's not forget the spectacular failures of Eos, Legend, et. al.

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 66):
What astounds me in reading through this thread is that the a.net community (remember, we're a group of enthusiastic) is adamant that the flying population as a whole wants & is willing to pay for a premium economy product, despite consumer purchasing trends and marking research that suggests otherwise.

That's the way these threads seem to go time and time again. I always feel kind of like Elliot Gould's character in Ocean's Eleven.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently onlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 16939 posts, RR: 48
Reply 68, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 6801 times:

Quoting ckfred (Reply 61):
Actually, Kahn thought airlines would create service levels akin to what hotels had done, and what the Big 3 had done.

They have done this to an extent with first, business, and economy. And just as there may not be a Four Seasons in PIT, there is often no demand for premium service.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 59):
Did the legacy carriers over-react to the new discounters that were chasing all of the low-hanging fruit? Perhaps. It's just taken a few decades for them to realize that not everyone wants to ride a Greyhound in the skies, and are offering an alternate for a reasonable price.

The decline in service significantly lagged the decline/ lack of demand for "frills". The uptake on wifi, meals, and livetv is dreadful, so much so that companies have been shut down because of the total lack of demand.

Quoting manny (Reply 48):
Wow...its really us. All this time I was thinking it was mismanagement of airline management that got the airlines to this shape!
Always has been, always will be
Quoting AwysBSB (Reply 56):
Quoting rikkus67 (Reply 22):
Bottom line for North Americans: deregulation happened. LONG GONE are the "Glory Days".

This is my favorite because the glory days really were crap compared to now. Sparse schedules with nosebleed fares and premium hardware that would make domestic F look opulent. Oh but there was roast beef carved seat side! Totally worth obscene fare 



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinespacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3520 posts, RR: 12
Reply 69, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 6679 times:

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 66):
What astounds me in reading through this thread is that the a.net community (remember, we're a group of enthusiastic) is adamant that the flying population as a whole wants & is willing to pay for a premium economy product, despite consumer purchasing trends and marking research that suggests otherwise.

No... you are exactly the type of person I was talking about earlier. Nobody is saying what you're suggesting we're saying. But what *you* are saying is just incorrect, and here's a survey right here that's telling you that. There's no such thing as what the "flying population as a whole" wants - we all want different things, and the *fact* is that a sizable percentage of us are willing to pay extra for more space. That fact is staring you right in the face at the top of this thread.

The fact that the airlines have not figured out how to take advantage of this yet is not indicative of anything other than their own stupidity. The fact that they keep trying, though, *is* indicative that they know the market is there if they can just tap it. From American Airlines with their "more legroom throughout coach" to JetBlue's "even more legroom/space" to Delta's Economy Comfort, various airlines have tried to tap into this obviously-existent market with varying degrees of success. The question is *not* whether the market is there, as people like you constantly ask - it is! The question is *how* can an airline tap into that market and make more money off those people than they would from regular coach passengers. It should be possible.

JetBlue has shown that you can actually run an entire airline based on offering more legroom than most, and still upsell extra legroom too. I'm not holding them up as a standard-bearer because they have problems like any other airline, but they certainly aren't doing any *worse*, on average, than other airlines since they've been in existence, and it's pretty easy to argue that a sizable number of their regular customers fly them because their planes are more comfortable than other airlines (34" seat pitch standard; 38" in the EMS seats). So it's definitely possible to do on a smaller scale than they have, and maybe even to be more profitable at it.

As many of us have pointed out, it's often not even clear whether extra legroom seats exist on a flight, how much they cost and how to purchase them. On many flights, they just don't exist at all unless you want to pay triple the price for business class (and while I *would* pay for extra legroom, I don't really care about paying even more money for things like free champagne or even priority boarding). On flights where they do exist, it's hard to know in advance. For example, even booking through Delta.com, you need to buy your ticket before you can even see if EC seats are available and how much they cost on your flight. I think JetBlue is the same. And forget about Kayak or any of the other online travel agencies.

I agree with whoever said airlines would have a lot easier time selling these seats if they just made them easily available at the time of booking. Heck, just call it another class of service. Who *wouldn't* book the next higher class of service on a cross-country flight if it only cost $50 more? That's what JetBlue charges, but still they often end up having to try to sell these seats at the gate because a lot of people don't even know they exist. By then, I feel like most people have probably settled into whatever their notion of their currently assigned seats is... even I have passed up the opportunity of upgrading at that point (usually because I've talked the airline into giving me a good seat somewhere else, but I probably would have just bought the extra legroom seat to begin with if I could have just done it at booking).



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20322 posts, RR: 63
Reply 70, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 6677 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 68):
Totally worth obscene fare

If airfares tracked the inflation rate between 1979, when fares were deregulated, until 2010, according to an online inflation calculator I used, a walk-up ticket in F w/o any restrictions or penalties between LAX and JFK should cost no more than $868 one-way (including the roast beef).  



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlinecloudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 793 posts, RR: 0
Reply 71, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6520 times:

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 66):
Consumers tend to purchase the lowest-price ticket matching their needs; the legacies matched LCC pricing because they had to. The analogy to the hotel industry is poor: people are on airplanes for a relatively short time period, but spend days or longer in a hotel room. An individual booking a week-long stay at a 5* all-inclusive resort will often be open to spending a quick overnight at a motorlodge. Thus, there's no comparison.

What astounds me in reading through this thread is that the a.net community (remember, we're a group of enthusiastic) is adamant that the flying population as a whole wants & is willing to pay for a premium economy product, despite consumer purchasing trends and marking research that suggests otherwise. Meals, entertainment and added comfort are conveniences. Everybody wants free food and roomy bulkhead/exit row seat, but few are willing to pay for it. A perfect illustration of this is my recent DTW-PHX flight on an oversold US 320: the gate agents dropped the price of a First Class upgrade to $75, plus offered credit to those who checked bags, and yet there were only two takers.

Correct. Matching their needs. That's where the airlines muddled things up. I am a passenger. Like most, I dont know all the gory details about legroom and specific seats and upgrade chances and ticket classes. All I know is that when I plugged my trip details into Kayak, I got three airlines with prices. When purchasing my tickets, seat on airline A is going to look just like seat on airline B or C. So I get a meal on airline B. How much of a price difference is there? Is it $10? $50? I can't say any meal I have had on a domestic flight in either class has realistically been any more than what I would spend $10 for on the ground. So what am I paying more for? Even if I priced out a first class seat - that would likely be 3 times the lowest available budget flight price. Am I getting three times more room? Three times better a meal? Not really. The price difference does not justify the service difference. I havn't gained enough to make that price better cost wise.

That fits your example of the upsell as well. Great - someone with a higher class ticket could upgrade. how many people booked a higher class fare? Probably not many. And if you were looking ta it as a cost benefit situation - would you pay $75 to get a seat upgrade, or would you hold out for a bump and get your ticket for free?

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 67):
The passengers are the ones that have demanded it and airlines have had no choice but to offer that. Coach class travel has become like gasoline: everybody tries to convince you that theirs is better and there are some changes in formula from one brand to the next, but your car still runs the same and 99% of people just fill up at the cheapest gas station.
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 67):

Sure there are. What do you think first class is? Or Netjets? There are better, more expensive options out there, but aren't as common (in terms of the number of seats) as cheaper options. And, let's not forget the spectacular failures of Eos, Legend, et. al.

Were they, or was it the airlines which only offered it? Did any airline offer a wider seat than the standard without charging first class prices? Has any airline provided a meal choice? Heck, the big three domestic airlines in the US all offer an leg room uprgade. The problem is that many airlines (and many gas stations, for that matter) tried to up sell notions that either didn't prove important to the customer, or that didn't really prove out in the end. Using your example - have you really noticed any real performance difference in your car using a premium gasoline versus the cheap stuff? Unless it was a performance car, was that enough to justify an extra $.20 a gallon? Same with the airline. How much is that pillow really worth to the customer - how much difference is that going to make in the flight?

Airlines need to market their hard product. Nobody knows what an extra 2 inches of legroom means on an airliner. They don't even know if they got it or not. Hold up 2 paperclips. That is what you are trying to up sell. you have to show them what they gain. Make them understand it.



"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
User currently offlinecloudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 793 posts, RR: 0
Reply 72, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6492 times:

Actually, here's a way of looking at it.

Take a standard iPhone. hold it flat in front of you. That is the difference in legroom you are trying to sell between a cheapest discount coach ticket and a US domestic first class ticket which is going to be at least twice that cost, and likely three or four times that price.

Now hold the phone beside you. That's an inch MORE than you get seat wise, you also get about a phone's width (not length, width) more space between you and the person next to you than you do in coach. That the extra you get. If you drink, yeah you get free booze. IF you drink. On SOME flights you get a meal. Not all, mind you, just some. And, that might likely be the same as the salad you picked up at the fast food place across the hall.

That leaves the question - is that a realistic value for the flier? Balance that against some of the other things you could get for that money - a meal when you arrive at your next airport in a REAL restaurant. A hotel room upgrade. Pay for your gas for the trip? Parking money?

It's not just that airlines offer a product, but that they offer it at a realistic price.



"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
User currently offlineaklrno From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 871 posts, RR: 0
Reply 73, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6435 times:

Quoting strangr (Reply 40):

Do we know who decided that 30" pitch between seats should be a "standard" or the 17" seat width?

I often hear complaints that they keep making the seats in economy narrower, but IIRC all Boeing single aisle aircraft have had the same cabin width and six across seating, hence the same seat width, since the late 1950's. Their wide-bodies then adopted the same seat width. Is that correct?

Perhaps the width problem is just that people were narrower in the 1950's. Having a 30 inch waist I can sit in one comfortably with a book and jacket wedged in next to me. Being also short I can work with just about any seat pitch. Sometimes I find first class uncomfortable because I can't reach the seat pocket with the belt on and the seat back is too far back so I can't bend my legs without slouching in the seat. I guess I'm one of the 70 percent or so, but not because I am cheap.


User currently offlineSkydrol From Canada, joined Oct 2003, 932 posts, RR: 10
Reply 74, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6101 times:

A funnier version of the photo at the top of this thread:




  



∙ ---{--« ∙ ----{--« ∙ --{-« ∙ ---{--« ∙ --{--« ∙ --{-« ∙ ----{--« ∙
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11929 posts, RR: 25
Reply 75, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5554 times:

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 69):
JetBlue has shown that you can actually run an entire airline based on offering more legroom than most, and still upsell extra legroom too. I'm not holding them up as a standard-bearer because they have problems like any other airline, but they certainly aren't doing any *worse*, on average, than other airlines since they've been in existence, and it's pretty easy to argue that a sizable number of their regular customers fly them because their planes are more comfortable than other airlines (34" seat pitch standard; 38" in the EMS seats).

Indeed.

Interestingly enough, that extra room makes it more feasible for me to not spend the extra $50 per leg for four more inches, and I'm 6' 3" tall.

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 69):
Who *wouldn't* book the next higher class of service on a cross-country flight if it only cost $50 more?

Me.

I just looked at B6 flights BOS-SEA three weeks out from now and the choices are roughly $400 - $550 each way.

The difference in price is due to direct vs 1 or 2 stops, and a return red-eye or not.

Me, I'm going with the non-stop, non-redeye, and not spending the extra $50 for more leg room.

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 71):
Like most, I dont know all the gory details about legroom and specific seats and upgrade chances and ticket classes. All I know is that when I plugged my trip details into Kayak, I got three airlines with prices.

If you are tall like me, you also take a few minutes at seatguru.com figuring out how much legroom you get.

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 72):
That leaves the question - is that a realistic value for the flier? Balance that against some of the other things you could get for that money - a meal when you arrive at your next airport in a REAL restaurant. A hotel room upgrade. Pay for your gas for the trip? Parking money?

It's not just that airlines offer a product, but that they offer it at a realistic price.

Agreed, see above.

Quoting Skydrol (Reply 74):
A funnier version of the photo at the top of this thread:

No words for the woman standing in the aisle? By all the badges hanging off her, I'd think she was a FA, but that doesn't look like a FA uniform to me.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24075 posts, RR: 22
Reply 76, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 5119 times:

Quoting aklrno (Reply 73):
Quoting strangr (Reply 40):

Do we know who decided that 30" pitch between seats should be a "standard" or the 17" seat width?

I often hear complaints that they keep making the seats in economy narrower, but IIRC all Boeing single aisle aircraft have had the same cabin width and six across seating, hence the same seat width, since the late 1950's. Their wide-bodies then adopted the same seat width. Is that correct?

The early widebodies had wider seats, with 9-abreast (3-4-2) 747s and 8-abreast (2-4-2) DC-10s and L-1011s. However, by the mid to late 1970s when when traffic started to pick up again, carriers quickly began switching to 10-abreast (3-4-3) on 747s and 9-abreast (2-5-2) on DC-10s/L-1011s which brought the seat width back to about the same as on the 6-abreast narrowbody 707s and DC-8s.

Some DC-10s and L-1011s, mainly those operated by charter carriers, had 10-abreast (3-4-3) seating. The early L-1011s operated by BA within Europe were also 10-abreast, as were Pan Am's L-1011-500s. I remember one BA L-1011 flight during that period with the cramped 10-abreast Y class seating, during the same period when many other L-1011s/DC-10s still had the very spacious 8-abreast configuration.


User currently offlineYULWinterSkies From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2169 posts, RR: 5
Reply 77, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4998 times:

Quoting aklrno (Reply 73):
I often hear complaints that they keep making the seats in economy narrower, but IIRC all Boeing single aisle aircraft have had the same cabin width and six across seating, hence the same seat width, since the late 1950's. Their wide-bodies then adopted the same seat width. Is that correct?

Correct. Yet, less legroom makes these seats feel narrower too, as there is more need for one's legs to be at times folded into some sort of uncomfortable position that takes room laterally.
And it is likely that there are also increasing numbers of people of size, though I haven't seen any numbers.



When I doubt... go running!
User currently onlineSonomaFlyer From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1558 posts, RR: 0
Reply 78, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4958 times:
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The seats seem narrower to the average American because the average American is getting fat. http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

You couple that with less legroom and you have a cramped flight. Its why I happily pay for Y+ and have happily paid for J on some flights depending on time of departure and length of flight.


User currently offlineCompensateMe From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 904 posts, RR: 0
Reply 79, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4888 times:

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 69):
No... you are exactly the type of person I was talking about earlier. Nobody is saying what you're suggesting we're saying. But what *you* are saying is just incorrect, and here's a survey right here that's telling you that. There's no such thing as what the "flying population as a whole" wants - we all want different things, and the *fact* is that a sizable percentage of us are willing to pay extra for more space. That fact is staring you right in the face at the top of this thread.

Nothing I said was incorrect; I was very clear that premium economy appeals only to a niche market. Purchase trends and market research supports this.

Quote:
The fact that the airlines have not figured out how to take advantage of this yet is not indicative of anything other than their own stupidity. The fact that they keep trying, though, *is* indicative that they know the market is there if they can just tap it. From American Airlines with their "more legroom throughout coach" to JetBlue's "even more legroom/space" to Delta's Economy Comfort, various airlines have tried to tap into this obviously-existent market with varying degrees of success. The question is *not* whether the market is there, as people like you constantly ask - it is! The question is *how* can an airline tap into that market and make more money off those people than they would from regular coach passengers. It should be possible.

Is Delta's Economy Comfort product designed primarily to seize additional revenue from passengers willing to pay additional monies for extra leg room? Or is it primarily a response to an increasingly larger number of high-value consumers sitting in the back?

Nonetheless, there's no question a market exists. But it's a very small market, and the challenge is attracting enough persons on most flights who are willing to pay for the product.

Quote:
JetBlue has shown that you can actually run an entire airline based on offering more legroom than most, and still upsell extra legroom too.
B6's primary selling point is price; in its beginnings, it garnered big market share because it offered low fares. Notice how in recent years, as its price advantage has eroded, B6 has had problems developing new routes & markets. If the assertions on a.net were true, B6 would be flourishing. But it's not.

Quote:
Who *wouldn't* book the next higher class of service on a cross-country flight if it only cost $50 more?

According to the survey, most people wouldn't. For many people, $50 is a lot of money - especially with soaring airfares. For families, it adds up quickly. How many households have reluctantly cut cable/satellite TV? And yes, many of these families are still traveling for various reasons.

Quote:
That's what JetBlue charges, but still they often end up having to try to sell these seats at the gate because a lot of people don't even know they exist.

More logical fallacies. "Even More Space" is presented very clearly during the booking process; the heading takes up a sizable portion of the seat selection page, the seating sections are tagged very clearly and if you try to select one it presents the information yet again. Select a non-"Even More Space" seat and it'll remind you of the benefits once again on the following page.

People primarily aren't booking the seats because they're not interested, not because they don't know about them.

[Edited 2012-06-04 21:17:44]


Hypocrisy: "US airlines should only buy Boeing... BTW, check out my new Hyundai!"
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11929 posts, RR: 25
Reply 80, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4540 times:

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 79):
According to the survey, most people wouldn't. For many people, $50 is a lot of money - especially with soaring airfares. For families, it adds up quickly. How many households have reluctantly cut cable/satellite TV? And yes, many of these families are still traveling for various reasons.

One point is that VFR travellers will be a lot more likely to save the $50, yet people who travel a lot more often will be more likely to spring for the extra money just because they are so sick of being crammed in.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineCompensateMe From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 904 posts, RR: 0
Reply 81, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4495 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 80):
One point is that VFR travellers will be a lot more likely to save the $50, yet people who travel a lot more often will be more likely to spring for the extra money just because they are so sick of being crammed in.

VFR traffic is increasingly dominating the market. And frequent flyers are either seated in First Class or have complimentary access to the "premium" economy seating on UA, DL and AA.



Hypocrisy: "US airlines should only buy Boeing... BTW, check out my new Hyundai!"
User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5067 posts, RR: 1
Reply 82, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4389 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 64):
Hmm, not saying you're wrong, but I've always understood that Kahn believed that declining service was an indication that deregulation was a success.



I looked for an article date and couldn't find one, but there is data going through 1992. So, I'm guessing that the article was written in the mid 1990s. Kahn's talking about varying levels of service was back in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 66):

Consumers tend to purchase the lowest-price ticket matching their needs; the legacies matched LCC pricing because they had to. The analogy to the hotel industry is poor: people are on airplanes for a relatively short time period, but spend days or longer in a hotel room. An individual booking a week-long stay at a 5* all-inclusive resort will often be open to spending a quick overnight at a motorlodge. Thus, there's no comparison.

And I would rather spend more on the air travel and less on the hotel. After all, a hotel room is basically a hotel room. But, getting stuck at an airport with a delay and no staff to handle rebooking, then enduring a miserable flight can simply ruin a trip, even if you have booked at a Pennisula.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 67):
Sure there are. What do you think first class is? Or Netjets? There are better, more expensive options out there, but aren't as common (in terms of the number of seats) as cheaper options. And, let's not forget the spectacular failures of Eos, Legend, et. al.

But coach shouldn't be the same, regardless of carrier. Back in the days of regulation, a 2-class carrier (AA, UA, NW, DL, etc. always had a better coach product than carriers like North Central, Ozark, Southern, and Hugher Air West. By the same token, I knew a lot of people who would go out of their way to fly Delta, because the meal service had a decidedly Southern twist (grits for breakfast on a lot of flights). Others avoided Eastern like the plague, becuase it would run late, even when the weather was good.

Look at cruise lines. I know a lot of people who won't sail Carnival, because it goes after the young crowd that don't have a lot of money to spend. Friends of ours recently sailed on Princess and felt far more nickeled and dimed than on Royal Caribbean. Then, there are my wealthy friends who think Royal Caribbean and Norwegian and too pedestrian and only sail Holland-America.

Yet, they all do the same thing. They take you from A to B to C to D and back to A, with some entertainment, some free food, and shopping on the ship and in port.

Look at hotels. Twenty five years ago, hotel rooms were pretty spartan. They didn't have irons and ironing boards. They generally didn't have coffeemakers. The only personal care items were soap and the cloth using for shining shoes. Now, hotels brag about their mattresses and bedding, the TVs, the choice of movies, the free breakfasts, the brands of toiletries, and so on.


User currently offlineYTZ From Canada, joined Jun 2009, 1832 posts, RR: 23
Reply 83, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4269 times:

This is obvious news. And it's all why I've said that airlines should be deploying Y+ more often. It makes no sense not to have a product to offer passengers willing to pay a little more, while you aren't able to squeeze any more from the most price-sensitive of passengers who would just as easily fly another airline anyway.

I hope that when AC gets its 787s, it does just that. For an AC 787, I could easily envision a 9 abreast Y with 32in pitch, a 6 or 7 abreast Y+ with 36in pitch, and a 4 abreast J with lie-flats. That makes much more sense than the 2 class setups they have now on the 777s.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24075 posts, RR: 22
Reply 84, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 3983 times:

Quoting YTZ (Reply 83):
I hope that when AC gets its 787s, it does just that. For an AC 787, I could easily envision a 9 abreast Y with 32in pitch, a 6 or 7 abreast Y+ with 36in pitch, and a 4 abreast J with lie-flats. That makes much more sense than the 2 class setups they have now on the 777s.

That'd debatable and depends on the markets involved. Any type of Y+ product means reducing Y capacity, even if only by one row of seats. And you can't always assume those Y+ seats will be sold, when you probably could have sold the missing row of Y seats. That's especially true during times of the year when there's little business traffic (e.g. the summer) but demand is very high for Y seats. With Y+ you may be forced to upgrade Y passengers to the otherwise empty Y+ seats in addition to having fewer Y seats to sell.

I've been on a few BA flights where J and Y were almost full but premium Y (World Traveller Plus) had many empty seats.


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20322 posts, RR: 63
Reply 85, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 3944 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 84):
I've been on a few BA flights where J and Y were almost full but premium Y (World Traveller Plus) had many empty seats.

WT+ is a popular class for using mileage upgrades to J using Avios. There are some scenarios that with the right distance of flight combined with high enough BAEC status, one could almost run a perpetual "no mileage required" circle of upgrades using Y+ to fly Club. Not saying that that was the case for your flights in particular, but it could account for some seats remaining empty in Y+ if Y wasn't oversold.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlinefiscal From Australia, joined Oct 2009, 315 posts, RR: 0
Reply 86, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3861 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 84):
That'd debatable and depends on the markets involved. Any type of Y+ product means reducing Y capacity, even if only by one row of seats. And you can't always assume those Y+ seats will be sold, when you probably could have sold the missing row of Y seats. That's especially true during times of the year when there's little business traffic (e.g. the summer) but demand is very high for Y seats. With Y+ you may be forced to upgrade Y passengers to the otherwise empty Y+ seats in addition to having fewer Y seats to sell.

That may be true on some routes, but it does not hold true on most long haul flights. My experience is that the load factors are always high.

You make a point about lost income from Y seats, not being met by Y+. On a 31in v 38in pitch you only need an 80% load in Y+ to return the same revenue, due to "overpricing" If you reduce the pitch to 36in then you only need to sell 66% to get the same result. Obviously, with a reduced pitch should come a reduced fare, so the 66% load is not really accurate, but you get the idea.

QF add a premium of roughly 50% on the cost of the equivalent space taken over an above an economy seat. Why the premium? simply because they concern themselves with losing business class income, if they make Y+ too attractive.


User currently offlineipodguy7 From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 312 posts, RR: 0
Reply 87, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3847 times:

Have never tried Premuim Economy Before, but am excited to try it out on Virgin America and Qantas coming up in August (DFW-LAX-SYD-MEL, SYD-DFW) on VX A320 and QF A380/B744. At the time of booking it was about 2x the cost of base economy fare.


God Bless America
User currently onlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12420 posts, RR: 100
Reply 88, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3629 times:
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Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 79):
Nothing I said was incorrect; I was very clear that premium economy appeals only to a niche market. Purchase trends and market research supports this.

   Too many buy off internet fares which, as already noted, do not detail the product.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 82):
Then, there are my wealthy friends who think Royal Caribbean and Norwegian and too pedestrian and only sail Holland-America.

Holland-America does some really nice things for service from everyone I've heard who sailed with them. They are the SQ of the cruise industry.

Quoting fiscal (Reply 86):
QF add a premium of roughly 50% on the cost of the equivalent space taken over an above an economy seat. Why the premium? simply because they concern themselves with losing business class income, if they make Y+ too attractive.

Pricier seats also have a lower load factor. Y+ will also be used for overflow if Y is oversold. (Who would complain about a free upgrade?) The Y+ also needs to be priced to justify OW miles spent on a Y to Y+ upgrade. I personally do not see the value of Y+ in longhaul due to the lack of the ability to really sleep. But for those wanting the legroom, the option is there.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 83):
And it's all why I've said that airlines should be deploying Y+ more often.

I would skip Y+ and offer higher density J. The profit per floor space will be higher.

Lightsaber



I've posted how many times?!?
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11929 posts, RR: 25
Reply 89, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3484 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 88):
Too many buy off internet fares which, as already noted, do not detail the product.

There was a radio ad in CT that would say "an educated consumer is our best customer". Maybe you remember it back in your Nutmeg State days? Interestingly enough, CT got that nickname because traders from CT used to rip off their customers by substituting nutmeg for more expensive spices, and I presume the company with the radio ad is gone because I havent heard the ad in a very long time. If you can pardon one more old expression, no one has ever lost money betting on the stupidity of the average person.

In the BOS-SEA example above, both B6 and AS have similarly priced non stop, non redeye flights, but a quick trip to seatguru.com fills in the key details: B6 offers 34" pitch, AS is 32". No brainer, B6 gets my business.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinecloudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 793 posts, RR: 0
Reply 90, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3421 times:

It looks like some people are getting confused again about Y+ versus Premium Y. Y+ (usually called Economy Comfort or something like that) refers to a regular Y product with just a bit of gain in things like legroom, and in some cases (but not most) free drinks. There is nothing significant in difference in product and it often is very close to exit row seating.

Permium Economy, such as World traveler Plus, is a different class altogether. It includes not only different and wider seats, but increased service and amenities. In many cases there is a steep, if not drastic, increase in price, rivaling other airlines business products.

i am not saying either of them is a bad idea, just to be careful about comparissons.



"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
User currently offlineCompensateMe From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 904 posts, RR: 0
Reply 91, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3394 times:

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 90):
i am not saying either of them is a bad idea, just to be careful about comparissons.

But Economy Comfort, etc are variations of premium economy. Yes, the "perks" are generally limited to additional legroom and priority boarding (although AA is including wider seats/fewer per row in its 77W) & the product isn't as fancy as World Traveler Plus, but they're still variations of premium economy.



Hypocrisy: "US airlines should only buy Boeing... BTW, check out my new Hyundai!"
User currently onlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 16939 posts, RR: 48
Reply 92, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3354 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 88):
Too many buy off internet fares which, as already noted, do not detail the product.

Even if it did, and it's increasingly doing so, people wouldn't pay more.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineplanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 5925 posts, RR: 34
Reply 93, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3231 times:

At the other end of the spectrum on CNN we have...

In-flight wish list: How would you make air travel fun?
If you could wish for anything on a flight, what would it be? Here are our 10; now give us yours

Quote:
CNN in-flight wish list

1. Massage/manicure/pedicure/spa services.
2. Children’s cabin.
3. Boot the beverage cart.
4. Singles’ seats.
5. Free Wi-Fi.
6. Allow movies to finish.
7. Wet room.
8. Proper child facilities.
9. Decline the recline.
10. Viewing section.

And while we are on CNN's air travel coverage, there is yet another article about wider seats being offered to compensate for our expanding "frames"...

Airlines to tempt travelers with wider seats
Airbus offers two extra inches for overweight passengers, and one Asian airline launches the world's widest first class seats



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently offlinecloudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 793 posts, RR: 0
Reply 94, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 3087 times:

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 91):
But Economy Comfort, etc are variations of premium economy. Yes, the "perks" are generally limited to additional legroom and priority boarding (although AA is including wider seats/fewer per row in its 77W) & the product isn't as fancy as World Traveler Plus, but they're still variations of premium economy.

That's like saying both a Chevy Cruze 4 door and a BMW are upgrades to a 2 door Chevy Cruze. Yes, technically they are both upgrades, but one is a smaller upgrade with a small price difference, while the other is a whole different product with a big differential. You can make judgements about demand based on how many people choose the BMW over the 4 door.



"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 95, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 3022 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 92):
Even if it did, and it's increasingly doing so, people wouldn't pay more.

Guess it is time for this discussion again.

Some people will buy lowest price no matter what. Most people will buy best value. It is something that happens in every other sector. People are not only buying the cheapest burger. Are not staying at the cheapest hotel. Are not buying the cheapest brand of bread. Are not driving the cheapest available car.

There is nothing to suggest aviation is the one exemption. Only question is if airlines are smart enough to target the different groups correctly.


User currently offlineCompensateMe From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 904 posts, RR: 0
Reply 96, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3011 times:

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 94):
That's like saying both a Chevy Cruze 4 door and a BMW are upgrades to a 2 door Chevy Cruze. Yes, technically they are both upgrades, but one is a smaller upgrade with a small price difference, while the other is a whole different product with a big differential. You can make judgements about demand based on how many people choose the BMW over the 4 door.

Your analogy is too vague. A better analogy is comparing Delta's J cabin on the ex-NW WBC-configured 757 to the J cabin on SQ. The ex-NW is heavily inferior, but it's still a J cabin. Likewise, Economy Comfort/etc. are heavily inferior to WT+ but they're still variations of premium economy. These products will likely evolve, anyway; AA's variation will feature wider seats / one less seat per row on its 77W for example.



Hypocrisy: "US airlines should only buy Boeing... BTW, check out my new Hyundai!"
User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2715 posts, RR: 2
Reply 97, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3000 times:

Quoting vatveng (Reply 21):
Being someone of below-average height, my 5'6" frame (that's 1.67m for you metric folks) will easily fit into the smallest seat pitch in the sky. So, no, I will not pay extra for 2" of legroom I don't need.

I'm the same. Leg room is not a big problem for me in coach. I'm not really interested in paying more for a couple inches of leg room.

What I would be interested in is a few more inches of shoulder room. That's where it really hurts for me. We've all been there, stuck in a middle seat for four hours with your shoulders hunched forward because your two obese neighbors are encroaching on your seat. Take an A320 or 737 and make it a 3-2 seating configuration and I'd pay a little extra for it.



It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlineplanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 5925 posts, RR: 34
Reply 98, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2966 times:

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 97):
Take an A320 or 737 and make it a 3-2 seating configuration and I'd pay a little extra for it.

Great idea but airlines have tried that in the past. The issue for airlines with these good ideas is that they don't know if and when people would pay for these kinds of upgrades. I remember about 12 years ago that an LCC in northern Europe had 4 different pitch levels in Y and priced them accordingly. Eventually they went back to a standard pitch.



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently offlinefiscal From Australia, joined Oct 2009, 315 posts, RR: 0
Reply 99, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2927 times:

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 97):
What I would be interested in is a few more inches of shoulder room. That's where it really hurts for me. We've all been there, stuck in a middle seat for four hours with your shoulders hunched forward because your two obese neighbors are encroaching on your seat. Take an A320 or 737 and make it a 3-2 seating configuration and I'd pay a little extra for it.

I feel your pain   and as a result I pick the aircraft rather than the schedule. I never fly in a 3 seater for any flight over 2 hours.

You mention 4 hours, but how about a 15 hour long haul. I would be in a catatonic state by the time I arrived.


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