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Why Do Airlines Make Such Stupid Decisions?  
User currently offlineBFS From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 743 posts, RR: 2
Posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2314 times:

For a long time I believed that no premium airline with any self respect or respect for tis customers would configure a wide body jet with the 5 middle seats ever again. I still hear stories of my aunt being trapped in this in a BA DC10 LGW-DFW. So you can imagine my astonishment to read that AA and UA, and Delta I believe, do have this ridiculous configuration. On long haul flights??? I didn't believe it until I looked a pictures not 5 minutes hence. WHY? WHY? WHY? I mean is it just my imagination or does 2+5+2 equal nine, as does 3+3+3??? Why are they so cruel to their lovely passengers? It makes no sense! Any other stupid policies that make you cringe the second you step on board?

Paddy.

24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMah4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 33173 posts, RR: 71
Reply 1, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2164 times:

That is just the way things are. I know DL is converting thier 772s to 3+3+3, but only one has been converted so far.


a.
User currently offlineJason Seiple From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2149 times:

Think of it this way....
With 2-5-2, only one person is more than one seat away from an aisle.

With 3-3-3, two people are more than one seat away from an aisle.


User currently offlineIainhol From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2132 times:

I think 2-5-2 is a brilliant decision, not only is it better then the 3-3-3 for families of 4, but also if you are lucky to get 5 seats to yourself, you can lie down and have a good sleep!
Iain


User currently offlineVirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2127 times:

5 seats to yourself!?! HA!!!!! Not in a million years. Why can't they do a 2x4x3? Way better than a 2x5x2.


"FUIMUS"
User currently offlineIainhol From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2113 times:

I have had 5 seats to myself a couple times, so it is not as rare as you think. I think it is important to have the airplane symetrical or you will confuse passengers.
Iain


User currently offlineMah4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 33173 posts, RR: 71
Reply 6, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2080 times:

Five seats to yourself is not that rare, it does happen. I have had three seats to myself a few times, most recently on JFK-MXP on DL. Very comfortable to say the least.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy Unfortunatley, I rarely seem to be on a flight that does not sell out and I just don't understand why I never get empty planes. I would especially think that an 11pm 767 from ATL to MIA would be empty...but nope...it's jam packed! Enough rambling though. I don't think 2-5-2 is THAT bad. Personally, I perfer it, because I almost always ask for a window seat, so I only am one seat away from the asile, not two. .


a.
User currently offlineMD88Captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1335 posts, RR: 20
Reply 7, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2067 times:

The eternal question: "Why do airlines make such stupid decisions?

User currently offline2CN From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 648 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 2037 times:

2-5-2 seating isnt that bad.. as long as you are not in the middle seat in the center... and if you do get stuck in the center, hope you can sleep the entire flight and not have to get up... then it isnt as bad as some make it seem.

User currently offlineATL Traveller From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 166 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 1988 times:

I flew on a Delta L-1011 last year with only 15 passengers. Allof us could have had five seats to ourselves. I sat by the window.

User currently offlineEric505 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 592 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 1987 times:

I think I have you all beat. A couple of weeks after 9/11, I flew on a Delta 757 where there were 4 passengers aboard. Me and my friend had the entire coach section to ourselves, as the other two passengers were first. I even got the pilots to sign the safety card for me!

Eric505



Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life
User currently offlineNAAcrew From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 44 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 1967 times:

Eric505: Didnt the DL F/A's offer you to come sit in FC? Shame on DL if they didnt.

User currently offlineNotar520AC From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1606 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 1956 times:

Ya know, now that I think about it, that's probably why NETJETS is so sucessful. They opperate large jets with custom interriors, and they get a lot of charter business from corporations that don't want to bother with the airlines... especially right now.


BMW - The Ultimate Driving Machine
User currently offlineEric505 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 592 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week ago) and read 1879 times:

I did not see the FA's after their safety spiel. I got a salad from SkyDeli on the jetway (water included). I enjoyed sitting in coach (of course FC would have been better) . I can't really complain though, b/c I paid just $209 for a transcontinental flight.

Eric505



Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life
User currently offlineFlyChicaga From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1848 times:

I'm surprised to hear that those loads are so low. I've been flying non-rev a few times the past couple weeks and keep getting bumped. Everything is booked full.

Today (21st) we had nearly all our flights over 25 people (34 seats).


User currently offlineJaseWGTN From New Zealand, joined Mar 2000, 823 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1822 times:

I think Swissair's is the best.... 2 x 4 x 3

Means you can seat almost anyfamily group / friends together


User currently offlineLehpron From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 7028 posts, RR: 21
Reply 16, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1821 times:

BFS :

Dude, airlines are businesses like any other. Money is always the key issue, airlines always listen and pay attention to passengers, however, the don't have to do anything about it. They will use a lot of calculations to predict if they get better sales to cover the costs of improved comfort, if it doesn't work out in time for their quarterly earnings report, they'll drop it. It might even make them look bad, from an investment-in-the-short-term point of view.

If you don't believe me, them ask yourselves why most businesses layoff workers in a time of economic slowdown? It's not so much that they can't pay them, it's more that they prefer to maintain their profit margins.



The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
User currently offlineMilesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2009 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1792 times:

Most "stupid" business decisions made by airline management are the results of the airlines being run by "bean counters" who have no vision of the future beyond the next two or three quarterly statements. Think about it. WN is totally unionized. While their pay scale is a little less than the majors, it is certainly far above AirTran, America West, Vanguard, or Jet Blue. The airline still operates 737-200A's and even in this environment, is making money, and yet their yields are much lower than the majors. Southwest doesn't serve food but neither does any other airline except on very long flights, over four hours. Why is this? You figure it out. Southwest is market driven. It is run by marketing people, not accountants. The idea of depending on someone paying $1800.00 to fly from ATL to LGA RT is lunacy. The reason that the airlines are losing money is simple. There is a recession and when things slow down, corporate travel is the first thing to be cut. Mom and Dad still come and visit the grandchildren, but if a meeting in BOS is not absolutely necessary, it isn't held. United pulls the Shuttle by United. Delta cuts Delta Express in half. USAirways cuts their MetroJet service, and Southwest enters the markets and makes money. Now think about what Delta saves by grounding the 737-232's and cutting back Express operations. They get to furlough some pilots. They had some flight attendants take leaves, and they save some fuel, that is now much cheaper than it was a year ago. Their fixed costs stay the same, but because these accounting idiots have arbitrarily decided to allocate fixed costs to these flights, they claim that they lose money. That is a bunch of hogwash. I passed the CPA exam. I understand cost accounting, and its this kind of decision making that has put the majors in the position that they are in.

Another good example of this is the accounting for Frequent Flyer Miles. Now just how are these miles created, from selling tickets, expensive ones. It takes about 50,000 miles to get a FC roundtrip ticket to Hawaii, 100,000 miles for a pair. Now how much revenue was generated from the passenger that earned those miles. Most of these miles are earned by high yield passengers. At at least 50 cents per mile flown. So the airline earns $50,000.00 or more from the passenger who receives 100,000 FF miles. The cost of two FC seats to Hawaii, is about $5,000.00 so this amounts to a 10% discount on the flights that the mileage was earned on. Do you get my drift? Flying those passengers to Hawaii earned that airline a $50,000.00 on other flights, but instead, they cancel ATL-HNL or ORD-HNL service because they claim that a full 15% of the passengers are flying on FF tickets. Well if they don't fly to Hawaii, they will use the miles elsewhere. Its just an accounting game, but the sad thing is that hard working people are losing their jobs, and stockholders are losing their investments because these accounting idiots can't see beyond the scope of their tunnel vision.


User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3806 posts, RR: 29
Reply 18, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1736 times:

If 2-5-2 seating instead of 3-3-3 were among the most stupid decisions that airlines make, they would be be in much better shape. In a recent "Airways" article titled "Dumb and Dumber" by David C. Forward, an excellent point was made (my paraphrase):

There's nothing wrong with making mistakes. However, to go on making the same mistakes while expecting a different result amounts to insanity.

What an altogether fitting description of the mentality that pervades in the decision making of the U.S. full-service majors; same old, same old while vainly supposing "the outcome will be different this time."

The issues that have put the U.S. full-service airlines in their current predicament are infinitely more profound than their choice of coach seating configurations in their 777 and MD-11 fleets.

BTW, for reasons Jason Seiple and others have stated, I prefer 2-5-2 over 3-3-3.





User currently offlineBaxter From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 6 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1716 times:

Its fascinating to watch the twice-a-year teenage traveller dissect the market research and decisions of various airline executives. Keep it up.

User currently offlineIronchain15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1705 times:

If Midwest Express flew widebodies, I would like to see how they would set it up. I think I would go 2X4X2 with a good couple of feet between the "4" section. I believe I saw a similar set up in a picture of an Airbus widebody, or at least I thought I did.

User currently offline2cn From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 648 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1681 times:

Flying those passengers to Hawaii earned that airline a $50,000.00 on other flights, but instead, they cancel ATL-HNL or ORD-HNL service because they claim that a full 15% of the passengers are flying on FF tickets.

Umm.. miles.. since you named the ATL-HNL route.. most likely its Delta.. they didnt drop it because they could not make a profit, it was dropped because they could not agree with their pilots on a way to make that a non stop flight. The pilots wanted a BizElite seat for their crew rest seat.. Delta did not want to take up space with a BizElite seat since the 764 is on high capacity routes where they need the seats the BizELite seat would've taken up. So to stop having a quick refueling and crew change at LAX, and requiring a special shift just for this flight at LAX- yes.. they actually had a shift just because of the flight coming in on the Ramp.. though they did work other flights at the start of their 8 hour shift and the end, they were just there for the one ATL-HNL flight- they decided to end it and move it to SLC so it could be a non stop... the guys working the ramp area for that special shift werent too happy when it ended since it was an easy shift.


User currently offlineBFS From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 743 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1646 times:

Yes, the twice-a-year teenage travellers view is very interesting, isn't it. Nearly as much as the supercilious "i-fly-therefore-i-am" passenger we have the pleasure of seeing on this board quite regularly. I am merely saying, my dearest Baxter, that if I were flying alone and was allocated seat 52E on a fully-laden, long-haul flight after paying premium airline prices, I for one wouldn't appreciate it. My personal view is that if the furthest I am away from an aisle is 2 (and having to be in a window seat), it's a small trade-off. By the way, I am quite a regular flyer but largely on 737s and A320s, very few widebodies.

Merry Christmas,
Paddy.


User currently offlineHerbman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (12 years 11 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1611 times:

Several airlines (e.g. LH inside Germany) offers business class fairs for the same seats with same space. It's very hard to exept if you have booked a SQ flight..

Atherwise AZ! The business class inside Europe ..
Please check the pic's.
AZ MD-82

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Chris Liao



LH A-320

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Ingo Richardt




Regards


Sebastian


User currently offlineMilesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2009 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (12 years 11 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 1571 times:

The information concerning Delta's decision to drop ATL-HNL and DFW-HNL had little to do with the crew rest issue. Rather than settle that issue with DALPA, they dropped the flights. The SLC-HNL flights are seldom full while 53-54 and 16-17 were almost always full. The bit about FF miles came right out of the Delta Digest. An employee supposedly wrote in and asked why they dropped nonstop HNL service from DFW and ATL, and the answer given BY MANAGEMENT in the DELTA DIGEST was that the flights lost money because "a full 15% of the passengers were flying on Sky Miles Tickets." That wasn't my opinion, that's what Leo and Vickie and the rest of them wrote. You figure it out!
Delta now has an 85% break even load factor. In the fourth quarter they are going to lose $500 Million. They will run out of cash in 12 months at that rate.


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