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Lufthansa's New Policy To Oversell First Class  
User currently offlineLondonCity From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 1448 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 19386 times:

At the moment it is only a trial on a select number of long distance routes. But Lufthansa has confirmed that since last July it has been overbooking first class by two seats per flight.

The idea is to better utilise the number of seats in the first class cabin by allowing for the no-show factor.

Lufthansa is saying that the overbooking is made up until 30 days before the flight. If the flight is overbooked it then gives staff 30 days to find an alternative airline or routing for the passenger. Until now, claims the airline, there have not been cases where it has had to downgrade any passengers.

But there is no mention of whether or not Lufthansa staff have had to rebook overbooked passengers with another carrier.

Do you not think this is a risky strategy for Lufthansa to adopt ? After all, first class passengers tend to be not just important but influential too.


http://www.businesstraveller.com/new...nsa-trials-first-class-overbooking

48 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinedowntown273 From Spain, joined Aug 2005, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 19307 times:

I'd be rather pissed off if I paid LH First Class product and had to fly on an alternative airline that might have a lower product. If it's superior product, then good news!

Say you're booked on a separate airline - would you still get the miles for it? (I.e. LH rebooked you in DL or AA)


User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3696 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 19140 times:
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Usually when a carrier rebooks you on another airline, you can still claim miles as if you had flown your original booking, irrespective of class flown (or booked).


I've got $h*t to do
User currently onlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3473 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 19017 times:

This sounds awfully risky, some of the people who fly 1st class are notoriously demanding, I wouldn't like to have to explain to the likes of Naomi Campbell that their seat had been double booked. Passengers who are apt to demand that all their jelly beans are the same colour are used to either themselves or their employers paying lots of money in order to ensure their demands are met.

User currently offlineFCAFLYBOY From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2006, 582 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 19013 times:

while overbooking is standard procedure still at a number of scheduled airlines, this particular policy seems
A little redundant to me? Is it increasing revenue? Perhaps not as seemingly no overbooking have occurred? According to LH anyway. But what really strikes me is this...

A - why overbook a cabin with an already very limited number of seats
B - why do so when said seats and passengers are your most profitable and important

Just seems odd to me...


User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3696 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 18828 times:
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Quoting FCAFLYBOY (Reply 4):
Just seems odd to me...

I don't think Lufthansa does anything without a reason. It may seem perplexing, but perhaps their yield management department noticed the no-show rate in first class was high enough that some degree of overbooking is warranted for some destinations.

Quoting FCAFLYBOY (Reply 4):
Is it increasing revenue?

I suppose that is the point. If it allows them to sell a seat that would otherwise have gone empty, it does increase revenue.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineroseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9375 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 18718 times:

This makes sense for certain routes. The rebooking factor is extremely high in some markets and it is almost guaranteed that there will be some passengers rebooking, changing dates, cancelling trips, etc. I remember seeing the DXB bookings and some airlines will overbook by 50 seats because of such a high no show/cancellations/date change factor. 30 days is plenty of time to address any problems associated with overbooking. It’s much different than overbooking 24 hours ahead and hoping someone doesn’t arrive at the airport for a first class international flight.


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinewashingtonflyer From United States of America, joined Sep 2013, 253 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 18479 times:

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 2):
Usually when a carrier rebooks you on another airline, you can still claim miles as if you had flown your original booking, irrespective of class flown (or booked).

Depends on the carrier. On US, if you are booked on another * Alliance carrier, you will get the mileage for the segments flown on that carrier. So, if you are due to fly IAD-CLT-MCO and get rebooked to United and fly IAD-MCO, you will only get credit for IAD-MCO.


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12413 posts, RR: 100
Reply 8, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 18229 times:
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Quoting blueflyer (Reply 5):
It may seem perplexing, but perhaps their yield management department noticed the no-show rate in first class was high enough that some degree of overbooking is warranted for some destinations.

Or plans switch. I noticed LH will only overbook until 30 days out. Plans change... How many LH F class passengers change their flight day within 30 days of a flight? I imagine the fraction is high.

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 6):
This makes sense for certain routes. The rebooking factor is extremely high in some markets and it is almost guaranteed that there will be some passengers rebooking, changing dates, cancelling trips, etc.

   Not missing that sale 30+ days out is well worth it.

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 6):
30 days is plenty of time to address any problems associated with overbooking. It’s much different than overbooking 24 hours ahead and hoping someone doesn’t arrive at the airport for a first class international flight.

   This is almost the opposite of traditional overbooking. A wise policy.

Quoting FCAFLYBOY (Reply 4):
A - why overbook a cabin with an already very limited number of seats

Due to the high rate of no shows LH has been turning away passengers they could carry. I'm certain this is a net positive. And this is done with 30 days for passengers to change flights. I don't know many who fly first, but of them *most* change their flight day within 30 days of the flight. This just locks in a sale that much earlier.

I'd be surprised if there is much worry with only 2 oversales... All airlines who fill a F class cabin should look into this on routes with high cancellation rates.

Lightsaber



I've posted how many times?!?
User currently offlineroseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9375 posts, RR: 52
Reply 9, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 17926 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 8):

I'd be surprised if there is much worry with only 2 oversales... All airlines who fill a F class cabin should look into this on routes with high cancellation rates.

Many already have such policies in place. Airlines are more cautious about overbooking in first or business class, but it happens. Usually upgrade waiting lists are supposed to solve this problem, but sometimes revenue premium cabin demand is high enough.

[Edited 2013-09-30 10:43:29]


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinestylo777 From Turkey, joined Feb 2006, 2902 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 17815 times:

don't forget the amount of mileage upgrades; those in many cases account for half of the F cabin.

User currently offlinemotorhussy From New Zealand, joined Mar 2000, 3038 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 17600 times:

Lucky old Lufty eh that they can overbook the front of the cabin in this day and age when most airlines are struggling to make First viable.


come visit the south pacific
User currently offlinecivetfive From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 102 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 16757 times:

I'm actually surprised that there's significant booking volume 30+ days out. Maybe it varies route to route, but I imagine a fair number of F seats, just like J, are sold relatively close in.

User currently offlinewaly777 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2012, 309 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 16622 times:

Quoting FCAFLYBOY (Reply 4):
B - why do so when said seats and passengers are your most profitable and important

This profitable part isn't accurate, J is the most profitable and has been by an overwhelming majority for a while now....F in airlines, including the ME and the top EU carriers don't make money...except 1 ME which has a marginally profitable albeit the margin being lower than the profit margin they get in Y.

I can understand LH as they've recently halved the no of F seats from 16 to 8 in the large aircraft and taking it off from 25% of the fleet. With the cabin rarely ever being full on the day of the flight...the chances of an extra pax showing up on the day is rare which inturn increases the occupied seat factor better increasing the revenue generation and potential profitability....seems like a good risk.



The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold 2 opposed ideas in the mind concurrently, and still function
User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4253 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 15930 times:

Quoting downtown273 (Reply 1):
I'd be rather pissed off if I paid LH First Class product and had to fly on an alternative airline that might have a lower product.

Huh? You mean you would be upset having to fly a UA 757 FRA to EWR? Picky picky picky!  


User currently offlinefinn350 From Finland, joined Jul 2013, 457 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 15667 times:

Quoting LondonCity (Thread starter):
. If the flight is overbooked it then gives staff 30 days to find an alternative airline or routing for the passenge

I don't know about the original Spiegel article, but what your source actually says that if the first class is overbooked the person in question might get downgraded to business class. This has never happened during the trial, according to the arcticle.


User currently offlinelax777lr From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 73 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 14356 times:

Rest assured this policy isn't because Revenue Management is bored and is looking to anger valuable customers for the fun of it......... There is obviously under-utilized inventory and an opportunity for improvement. I would also contend that if push came to shove, mileage award F seats would be forced to "be flexible" over paid F seats.

User currently offlineQazar From Canada, joined May 2006, 324 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 14195 times:

I think in order to examine the logic behind LH's new approach, we should start by recognizing that First class ticket holders have open tickets therefore allowing them no shows on flights without losing their money, and enabling them to re-book at different dates without any penalties - given availability.

This said, and considering that LH's long-haul fleet are all equipped with 8 first class seats, if 3 of those passengers did not show up for their flight, the flight is now be 3 first class seats short of revenue. Those 3 passengers can now fly on a different date with their ticket. This new approach to overbooking allows LH therefore to ensure that they limit the revenue loss in case of no show, and maximize their revenue stream in the premium cabins.

The problem therefore occurs when all 8 passengers show up, as well as the 2 extra over bookings... LH has said that they have decided to adopt this new strategy on selected routes. It is therefore important to know which routes these are. I believe a first class passenger on LH would not really minds if he/she is put instead in first class on Asiana, ANA, Singapore Airlines or Thai... Therefore I might agree with this strategy on the routes linking Germany with Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand... A LH first class passenger may however have an issue being transferred on the first class of Egyptair, Ethiopian or Air India...

United is a gamble... !!! So I wonder if this trial approach includes US destinations!

Also, we need to know who gets bumped! Example: A flight already has 8 first class passengers, 2 new passengers are overbooked. Are those 2 extra passengers told that they are the overbookings and that there are chances they may not make it on the flight? If so, then the level of client "piss off" may be maintained very low as those passengers bumped are always those that already know their chances may be slim on getting on the flight... As a matter of fact, if I were the overbooked passenger on the LH flight to Singapore, I may wish for the overbooking to hold as that would mean I may get to be on a SQ flight instead!  

All in all, I think this strategy works... However close monitoring must be part of it to ensure they can offload their premium passengers while keeping their loyalty!

Cheers!


User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5065 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 13830 times:

A friend of mine who is a pilot with AA has told me that often, people flying out of JFK or LAX will double or even triple-book seats in first class. Typically, it's people who work in the financial services sector or entertainment.

I tend to think this is true. Back in December of 2001, my wife and I volunteered our seats on AA flying LAS-ORD. We wound up rebooked to ORD with a connection at LAX. In the past, we had gotten an upgrade to first, when we volunteered out seats.

The gate agent said he could upgrade us on LAS-LAX, but LAX-ORD was full.

Yet, as door was closed on our LAX departure, my wife counted 6 empty seats out of 20 in first (738 in the original seating configuration).

If LH is seeing enough no-shows that it winds up losing revenue (upgrading business or coach flyers, rather than selling first class seats), then the risks of overbooking might be worth it.

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 2):
Usually when a carrier rebooks you on another airline, you can still claim miles as if you had flown your original booking, irrespective of class flown (or booked).

My wife learned the hard way that this isn't true. When her AA flight was canceled (ORD-CLT), she was rebooked on US. She didn't get miles. When she wrote to Customer Service, they told her that the policy was not to credit miles, if a passenger was rebooked onto another carrier.

The next time AA rebooed her onto US, she wrote a letter detailing how she was needing every last flight segment to get gold status. If they wouldn't budge on the policy, she was going to shift flying to her company's preferred carrier, DL.

Needless to say, AA budged and credited her flight.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24061 posts, RR: 22
Reply 19, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 12771 times:

Quoting downtown273 (Reply 1):
I'd be rather pissed off if I paid LH First Class product and had to fly on an alternative airline that might have a lower product. If it's superior product, then good news!

When a passenger can book an F class seat and cancel or no-show with no penalty or cancellation charge, as is usually the case for unrestricted F class fares, why shouldn't the airline equally be permitted to overbook? Hotels also do it. No reason for airlines not to do it for the same reasons. Today's revenue management systems are so sophisticated overbookings rarely turn into oversales.

Quoting FCAFLYBOY (Reply 4):
B - why do so when said seats and passengers are your most profitable and important

Many passengers in F class are probably redeeming frequent flyer miles. And I would dispute the fact that F class seats are any carrier's most profitable. It's not unusual for almost every F class seat on a longhaul widebody to be empty. You could fit about 50 Y class seats in the same cabin area as 8 or 10 F class seats and frequently sell all those additional Y seats. That's why many carriers have been dropping F class over the years.


User currently offlinebhmdiversion From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 454 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 12236 times:

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 2):
Usually when a carrier rebooks you on another airline, you can still claim miles as if you had flown your original booking, irrespective of class flown (or booked).

As a former CSA, if you are rebooked on another airline, you will only receive miles flown on that airline. Example - UA flight BHM-ORD-LHR and BHM-ORD is delayed due to MX, then you could be rebooked BHM-ATL-ORD on Delta, then you would receive Skymiles for the BHM-ATL-ORD legs and would receive Mileage Plus miles on UA to LHR.

If your in that situation, you can always ask (of course, ask) to stay on the same alliance partner. Usually, if there is space the CSA might be able to help... but you can always try.


User currently offlineSelseyBill From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2013, 118 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 12148 times:

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 6):
This makes sense for certain routes. The rebooking factor is extremely high in some markets and it is almost guaranteed that there will be some passengers rebooking, changing dates, cancelling trips, etc. I remember seeing the DXB bookings and some airlines will overbook by 50 seats because of such a high no show/cancellations/date change factor. 30 days is plenty of time to address any problems associated with overbooking. It’s much different than overbooking 24 hours ahead and hoping someone doesn’t arrive at the airport for a first class international flight.

I would guess this strategy @ LH is also helped by having a number of other well served 'group' hubs relatively nearby to move people through; (BRU, BER, MUC, VIE, ZRH).

I would also expect that leading airlines will use social media profiles and information to assess which customers are likely to agree to being flexible, and avoid pi$$ing-off those crucial corporate and long-time clients


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12413 posts, RR: 100
Reply 22, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 11847 times:
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What a classy problem to have... You're going to have to fly *another* first class product...  
Quoting motorhussy (Reply 11):
Lucky old Lufty eh that they can overbook the front of the cabin in this day and age when most airlines are struggling to make First viable.

For first, one is either top of the game or non-viable. But First class seats do not hold their itinerary. Deal dates shift, the filming dates change, or just their mood alters. LH is simply recognizing they have a sell able product in a market with a high cancellation rate.

Quoting civetfive (Reply 12):

I'm actually surprised that there's significant booking volume 30+ days out.

Being from Los Angeles, I'm not. I'm shocked if they aren't booking 6 to 8 weeks out and holding the seats until 2 or 3 days beforehand and cancelling. I've never flown first, but those I have buy tickets way out and hold them. Sometimes they fly and sometimes they cancel.

And then seats open up for those last minute passengers. I know more than a few people who get 'the call' to let them know an F class seat opened up for their flight. (I met some 'hollywood types' when my first child was born. Even stuntmen for C-actors fly first internationally... I'm amazed at the money thrown at 'talent.')

Quoting Qazar (Reply 17):
First class ticket holders have open tickets therefore allowing them no shows on flights without losing their money, and enabling them to re-book at different dates without any penalties - given availability.

   I once needed to take advantage of that as I needed to prove I was flying internationally in the near future.  
Quoting ckfred (Reply 18):

A friend of mine who is a pilot with AA has told me that often, people flying out of JFK or LAX will double or even triple-book seats in first class. Typically, it's people who work in the financial services sector or entertainment.

I'm not surprised. It is their mentality.

Lightsaber



I've posted how many times?!?
User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3696 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 10769 times:
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Quoting bhmdiversion (Reply 20):
As a former CSA, if you are rebooked on another airline, you will only receive miles flown on that airline.

Then I guess I am very lucky. The (admittedly few) times I have been rebooked on a different airline than the one I chose, I asked for my original miles and got them with no fuss.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineUnited Airline From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2001, 9106 posts, RR: 15
Reply 24, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 8967 times:

Quoting downtown273 (Reply 1):
Say you're booked on a separate airline - would you still get the miles for it? (I.e. LH rebooked you in DL or AA)

Yes you do. Last time I was booked on SQ from HKG to LHR via SIN but the HKG-SIN sector was late which prevented me from getting onto the connecting flight to LHR. And they put me on BA and they gave me full HKG-SIN-LHR miles


User currently offlineFerroviarius From Norway, joined Mar 2007, 214 posts, RR: 0
Reply 25, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 8392 times:

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 3):
Passengers who are apt to demand that all their jelly beans are the same colour are used to either themselves or their employers paying lots of money in order to ensure their demands are met.



I fear that is exactly why I mean that there should not be anything like 1st class. Nobody should be allowed to control and spend so much money as to live out this attitude. I am NOT jealious, but - as many people here in Scandinavia will do - regard a behaviour of the described type (jelly bean colours) as deeply a-social. I do not have any problem with washing another person's feet - Jesus did - or brushing another person's shoes, but it is most dangerous for a person herself og himself of she or he is allowed to exhibit a behaviour of the "jelly bean type". Above all, sooner or later one's will end up within six planks or an ash container and one's soul hopefully be saved, and there's going to be one class, only ...

I assume that some moderator will delete this comment as "un-fit" for the discussion, but I do think it is an essential point. LH should overbook, definitely.

Best,
Ferroviarius


User currently offlineLondonCity From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 1448 posts, RR: 0
Reply 26, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 8206 times:

Quoting Ferroviarius (Reply 25):
I am NOT jealious, but - as many people here in Scandinavia will do - regard a behaviour of the described type (jelly bean colours) as deeply a-social.

There are different aviation markets around the world and first class flourishes in some countries more than others. A global carrier like Lufthansa must offer first class otherwise it couldn't hope to compete on the world stage.


User currently onlineRara From Germany, joined Jan 2007, 2010 posts, RR: 2
Reply 27, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 7866 times:

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 3):
This sounds awfully risky, some of the people who fly 1st class are notoriously demanding, I wouldn't like to have to explain to the likes of Naomi Campbell that their seat had been double booked. Passengers who are apt to demand that all their jelly beans are the same colour are used to either themselves or their employers paying lots of money in order to ensure their demands are met.

I'm sure in this case they wouldn't rebook Ms Campbell but rather Mr Kwon, the South-Korean millionaire that no-one has ever heard of.

Quoting civetfive (Reply 12):
I'm actually surprised that there's significant booking volume 30+ days out. Maybe it varies route to route, but I imagine a fair number of F seats, just like J, are sold relatively close in.

I can't explain why, but many F seats are booked really really far in advance. Like six months or so.



Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6100 posts, RR: 9
Reply 28, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 7642 times:

What if the flight goes where there is a popular jet set event (say, the Singapore GP), and all airlines F are full on the route ? Better yet, by then all airlines are overbooking F ? Could be a nightmare. You could also get "cross-rebooking", with one passenger bumped from LH to fly SQ while at the same time a passenger from SQ ends up on LH.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineAerosol From Germany, joined Oct 2000, 551 posts, RR: 0
Reply 29, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 7144 times:

It's all about statistics - NetJets is calculating in a similar way (how many jets do I need to have one ready for your customer)

User currently offlinea380787 From Canada, joined Jul 2013, 963 posts, RR: 0
Reply 30, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 6733 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 28):
You could also get "cross-rebooking", with one passenger bumped from LH to fly SQ while at the same time a passenger from SQ ends up on LH.

To cross-rebook between those 2 is already the most desirable outcome ... imagine if they put you on UA AA CA .....


User currently offlineLLA001 From Turkey, joined May 2005, 68 posts, RR: 0
Reply 31, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 5994 times:

I have never flown First Class nor Business Class so I don't have the experience to compare but how horrible would it be to be downgraded from First Class to Business Class ?

If I was flying Business Class and downgraded to Economy I would be quite upset as in Business Class my seat could turn into a bed and in Economy my seat would just recline a bit. Of course the meal and the entertainment systems would be much different as well.

However as a flight experience would it be the same feeling to be downgraded from First Class to Business as in downgraded from Business to Economy ?


User currently offlinewashingtonflyer From United States of America, joined Sep 2013, 253 posts, RR: 0
Reply 32, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 5894 times:

Most any international F class is significantly nicer. A semiprivate area (business) versus a very private area with more room.

For business types, I would be somewhat miffed about a downgraded from F to C, but not enough to have a fit over it. Celebrities who are more accustomed to having 80 red roses in their dressing rooms, jellybeans of the same color, and only certain of this or that will think otherwise.


User currently offlineUA772IAD From Australia, joined Jul 2004, 1698 posts, RR: 3
Reply 33, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4840 times:

Quoting Rara (Reply 27):

I can't explain why, but many F seats are booked really really far in advance. Like six months or so.

I can. It settles the "what if?" factor. Say the person knows with certain certainty they will be traveling around a certain week or month. It is obviously important that they be there, hence booking first class. But what happens if they wait until the last minute and F is sold out? Or business is sold out too? Or even economy? The booking takes some uncertainty out.

The passenger knows the airline will be a lot more accommodating and sensitive to moving their reservation around, getting them the same seat on a different date, etc. once that carrot has been dangled: the payment made. The burden then shifts to the airline.... at least in the full F-fare paying passenger's mind.


User currently offlinewaly777 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2012, 309 posts, RR: 3
Reply 34, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3936 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 28):
What if the flight goes where there is a popular jet set event (say, the Singapore GP), and all airlines F are full on the route ? Better yet, by then all airlines are overbooking F ? Could be a nightmare. You could also get "cross-rebooking", with one passenger bumped from LH to fly SQ while at the same time a passenger from SQ ends up on LH.

The revenue management departments will be aware of this event and would also take note of traffic trends in F when similar events occur as well as the trend when this event last happened. They will then plan accordingly taking into the recommendations produced by the demand and forecasts analysts......in other words they will very likely not overbook F for such a flight on that day.



The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold 2 opposed ideas in the mind concurrently, and still function
User currently offlinePellegrine From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2216 posts, RR: 8
Reply 35, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3247 times:

Quoting waly777 (Reply 13):
This profitable part isn't accurate, J is the most profitable and has been by an overwhelming majority for a while now....F in airlines, including the ME and the top EU carriers don't make money...except 1 ME which has a marginally profitable albeit the margin being lower than the profit margin they get in Y.

I don't know about this, the assumption is too sweeping for me.

Quoting waly777 (Reply 13):
I can understand LH as they've recently halved the no of F seats from 16 to 8 in the large aircraft

It wasn't really recent, as LH blocked 8 of the 16 F seats in 744s years ago. All other LH a/c that have F have 8 seats.



oh boy!!!
User currently offlinewaly777 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2012, 309 posts, RR: 3
Reply 36, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3089 times:

Quoting Pellegrine (Reply 35):
I don't know about this, the assumption is too sweeping for me.

Understandable as there isn't much literature on F, however I did finish a thesis on the topic and may publish it in one of the air transport journals next year. Data from the IATA economic task force in the 90's to the early 2000's shows this, PaxIS data merged with OAG data show this as did other confidential data sources.

Coupled with the BELF of F typically being significantly higher than the average seat factor, then add to this that roughly half or less of the occupied seats in F are upgrades, airline management, rewards etc it hasn't made money for quite a while for pretty much most airlines. Then again, the airlines did argue that profitability in F wasn't a key factor as J already prints money and F was primarily a brand thing as well as marketing, rewards for the most valued J pax and frequent flyers.

Current F trends already show a reduction in airlines offering the cabin (40% less airlines offer F since J flat bed came on in 2000), reduction in the seats offered (yes larger seats but if the demand and profitability was there, the seat numbers would stay constant or increase as this would mean more profits as you can charge a higher premium for better seats), the % of widebody fleets with F cabins are on the decline (except for BA & Swiss for now...LH is reducing from about 94% to 75%), and F seats are generally being retained on the 777 sized aircraft and above, the smaller widebodies will not see F as the trend continues.

F doesn't make money for most but serves its purposes, though the airlines are starting to look at this again as profitability is getting harder to come by and the next economic shock will soon come knowing just how cyclical the operating environment is.

[Edited 2013-10-02 10:22:54]


The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold 2 opposed ideas in the mind concurrently, and still function
User currently offlinewaly777 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2012, 309 posts, RR: 3
Reply 37, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2969 times:



Those are the figures of F for a major airline in the EU from their hub to Boston, and their hub is a major premium market. the % paying are the max no of seats paying as a % of the whole cabin.

JFK figures = 51% LF, maximum 23% paying...



The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold 2 opposed ideas in the mind concurrently, and still function
User currently offlineIndy From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 4522 posts, RR: 18
Reply 38, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2929 times:

Personally I have always been amazed that it is legal to sell something you don't have. Why is deliberately overbooking a plane legal? I understand that sometimes equipment changes result in this and there is a big difference between overbooking due to mechanical issues and deliberate overbooking. I'm looking for a logical, honest answer to the question and not something simply repeating the company line. It is something I've always wondered about.

But... to the main reason why I replied.

As a citizen of the U.S. I know our travel is a bit different from that of LH in Europe. Much of the "F" travel here is basically a slightly improved economy product and much of what is up front consists of upgrades. Is that the case with LH? Are they talking about overbooking a cabin filled with upgrades? Or are they including the long haul stuff where people are traveling on award tickets and paid fares? Basically are we talking the U.S. version of domestic F or international F? Or both?



Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
User currently offlinewaly777 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2012, 309 posts, RR: 3
Reply 39, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2907 times:

Quoting Indy (Reply 38):
As a citizen of the U.S. I know our travel is a bit different from that of LH in Europe. Much of the "F" travel here is basically a slightly improved economy product and much of what is up front consists of upgrades. Is that the case with LH? Are they talking about overbooking a cabin filled with upgrades? Or are they including the long haul stuff where people are traveling on award tickets and paid fares? Basically are we talking the U.S. version of domestic F or international F? Or both?

LH is referring to just the long haul cabin with award tickets and paid fares. F outside the US generally refers to just long haul style F.



The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold 2 opposed ideas in the mind concurrently, and still function
User currently offlineIndy From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 4522 posts, RR: 18
Reply 40, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2820 times:

Quoting waly777 (Reply 39):
LH is referring to just the long haul cabin with award tickets and paid fares. F outside the US generally refers to just long haul style F.

That doesn't seem like a wise move even if it generates a little extra revenue on a single flight. The last thing you want to do is alienate the passengers that pay the highest fares. But then again you can go a long way in protecting yourself by selecting a seat when you buy your ticket. If I can't buy a ticket and select a seat I will book a different flight. You are asking for trouble if you don't or can't select a seat.



Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
User currently offlinewaly777 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2012, 309 posts, RR: 3
Reply 41, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2748 times:



Quoting Indy (Reply 40):

Ah but the thing is, long haul F is rarely ever full (still yet to see a fully occupied F cabin tbh). Now F paying pax typically have the flexibility to change their ticket dates without penalty in most cases. This tends to happen quite often in the days leading to the flight, which tends to leave a few seats open.

With this, overbooking policy they can at least improve the yield of the cabin by putting themselves in a position where as little as a few F seats are left empty for the flight. Whilst risky, it has to be taken into consideration that F is rarely ever fully booked. Now there will be occasions where all the seats in F are booked by say a family...they will not overbook F in such a case etc.

[Edited 2013-10-02 12:37:51]


The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold 2 opposed ideas in the mind concurrently, and still function
User currently offlineIndy From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 4522 posts, RR: 18
Reply 42, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2578 times:

Quoting waly777 (Reply 41):

I understand why an airline might do it. But what I don't understand is what makes it legal. Should the practice be legal? It seems that making it legal keeps the airlines from being accountable for their ticket rules which put themselves in the position of having empty seats. If you have such a big problem with seats going out empty because of lax fare rules then maybe a change to fare rules is in order. Or maybe you mark those tickets up to cover for revenue loss. Instead of overbooking, I think it may be time for LH to look at why those seats are going out empty in the first place. Putting one bad policy on top of another bad policy doesn't fix anything. It only puts a bandage on the problem.



Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
User currently offlinePellegrine From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2216 posts, RR: 8
Reply 43, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2528 times:

Quoting waly777 (Reply 36):

I wouldn't mind reading your thesis, but to say no airline in the EU or ME makes money on F except for one is a bit much...

[Edited 2013-10-02 15:44:14]


oh boy!!!
User currently offlinewaly777 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2012, 309 posts, RR: 3
Reply 44, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2313 times:

[quote=Pellegrine,reply=43][ I wouldn't mind reading your thesis, but to say no airline in the EU or ME makes money on F except for one is a bit much... /quote]

It may be surprising but that is very much the case when an EU carrier in the largest world premium market doesn't make a profit in F. I did say 1 airline in the ME did make money with F, but only just. Of course they get good revenue but profit in that cabin is elusive. It is very expensive on a cost per seat basis, with average yearly BELF for F well north of 50% and LF typically below that, it adds up and when you include that up to half and even more on occasion of that LF are not fare paying pax.The same applies for NA, the fleet trends of F in AA and UA should give a very good hint. By F, I mean strictly long haul type F and not domestic F.

I can certainly direct you to where you can read it once its in the university archives.



The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold 2 opposed ideas in the mind concurrently, and still function
User currently offlinewaly777 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2012, 309 posts, RR: 3
Reply 45, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2290 times:

Quoting Indy (Reply 42):
I understand why an airline might do it. But what I don't understand is what makes it legal. Should the practice be legal? It seems that making it legal keeps the airlines from being accountable for their ticket rules which put themselves in the position of having empty seats. If you have such a big problem with seats going out empty because of lax fare rules then maybe a change to fare rules is in order. Or maybe you mark those tickets up to cover for revenue loss. Instead of overbooking, I think it may be time for LH to look at why those seats are going out empty in the first place. Putting one bad policy on top of another bad policy doesn't fix anything. It only puts a bandage on the problem.

It should be legal and remain so because it's a business in which the inventory is completely wasted once the aircraft leaves the gate and the seat is empty. The rules enable them to try and reduce wasted inventory for pax who change their mind weeks, days, hours before the flight.

Its not so much their ticket rules, it's pax behaviour which cannot be controlled that leads to empty seats. F tickets certainly don't come cheap and thus as part of the service for paying so much they get the flexible fare rules in most cases. I don't believe it is a bad policy as overbooking does happen in all the other cabins, I don't see any harm in trying it out in F especially when it's a cabin that normally doesn't go out anywhere near full in the first place.



The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold 2 opposed ideas in the mind concurrently, and still function
User currently offlinePellegrine From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2216 posts, RR: 8
Reply 46, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2190 times:

Quoting waly777 (Reply 44):

Link me. PM me. We are going to talk about this more later.



oh boy!!!
User currently offlineSIA747Megatop From Singapore, joined Apr 2012, 248 posts, RR: 2
Reply 47, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2066 times:

Quoting a380787 (Reply 30):
To cross-rebook between those 2 is already the most desirable outcome ... imagine if they put you on UA AA CA .....

If I was flying SQ's Suites and was told I'd have to fly LH F to FRA I'd be pretty miffed.

Quoting LLA001 (Reply 31):
I have never flown First Class nor Business Class so I don't have the experience to compare but how horrible would it be to be downgraded from First Class to Business Class ?

There is a massive difference. As far as functionality is concerned, yes both have flat beds but so does a park bench. In F the duvet and mattress makes a huge difference in comfort. The level of service is also far superior (on SQ anyway), having 3/4 cabin crew for 8 seats coupled with the superior food and beverage (Dom & Krug in F vs. Bollinger in C). The experience is completely different.

The bottom line for me is that Business class serves a purpose, I need to arrive at my destination well rested and fresh so I opt for a more comfortable product. F class is spoiling myself, over the top, something to look forward to, an experience I will remember. It's like the difference between staying at The Peninsula HK, Grand Hyatt and a Holiday Inn.



Would you like fries with that? I didn't think so.
User currently offlinea380787 From Canada, joined Jul 2013, 963 posts, RR: 0
Reply 48, posted (6 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1761 times:

Quoting SIA747Megatop (Reply 47):
If I was flying SQ's Suites and was told I'd have to fly LH F to FRA I'd be pretty miffed.

hehe would you be "miffed" if SQ downgrades you from 388 "R" to barely 77W "F" ? =p


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