DCA-ROCguy
Topic Author
Posts: 3893
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

US Airways Chief Courts Upstate NY

Wed Oct 23, 2002 1:32 am

Dear Gang,

I'm taking a break from my self-imposed exile to post this short news item. (Yes, I am making good progress on my dissertation proposal) The idea of a US Airways chief executive doing something like this at all, even for PR purposes, is remarkable. Time will tell if he means what he says.

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/news/1022story14_news.shtml

I remain both skeptical and hostile. BUF, ROC, SYR, and ALB should continue to aggressively support our low-fare carriers. Southwest, JetBlue, and AirTran have brought a huge amount of fare relief, and they're still not at anywhere near their potential in the region. If Siegel wants to "mend fences," we'd damn well better be seeing more nonstop flights and lower fares. Much lower fares.

The Cartel remains the Cartel, even as they shed costs and seats in order to reconfigure themselves for the new gouging-intolerant national economy. They have every economic incentive to destroy low-fare carriers. Upstate New York should continue to send loud and clear, the message we've been sending the last couple of years. That is, we *demand* low fares and quality service, things which WN/ B6/ FL can offer us, and still make a profit.

Senator Schumer was too nice to Siegel, IMO. We New Yorkers still need to bare our teeth for awhile. We *must not forget* the 1990's airfare rape we suffered.

Jim

Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
LHMark
Posts: 7048
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 2:18 am

RE: US Airways Chief Courts Upstate NY

Wed Oct 23, 2002 2:11 am

I don't blame you, Jim. It reads like a thinly-disguised ploy to eat the low fare carriers' newly-earned lunch, drive them out, then presto! Business as usual.

The low fares are here/and they've proved that they care/Let's use B6 /when we travel by air!

-Mark
"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
 
1011 FAN
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 1999 12:37 pm

RE: US Airways Chief Courts Upstate NY

Fri Oct 25, 2002 1:22 am

Dont forget SWF in your listing of upstate airports! We ar continually getting screwed
 
727LOVER
Posts: 6680
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 12:22 am

RE: US Airways Chief Courts Upstate NY

Fri Oct 25, 2002 1:46 am

SO ADMIT IT!!!!!!! This is why you want to see USAirways.....DEAD!!!
Love Trumps Hate
 
b727
Posts: 464
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 3:19 am

RE: US Airways Chief Courts Upstate NY

Fri Oct 25, 2002 3:31 am

I agree this is why I want to see USScareways dead. For christ's sake we have been getting raped in the upstate NY area for quite some time now. I agree that these low airfare carriers can help us, but we have to remain faithful to them in order for them to succeed. I hope that we will see Southwest and Airtran at KSYR in the near future. Only time will tell. Lets all band together and flush USAirways down the crapper where they belong.

 
ouboy79
Posts: 4113
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 1:48 pm

RE: US Airways Chief Courts Upstate NY

Fri Oct 25, 2002 5:46 am

It is a shame some people can't be blacklisted from flying or working for an airline from their comments on here. Not to mention have their full real names displayed to their friends, co-workers, and industry family with their comments attached on how they want them to lose their jobs and begin collecting unemployment. It amazes me how some 13 year olds on here act more mature than middle aged men.
 
ScottB
Posts: 5450
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 1:25 am

RE: US Airways Chief Courts Upstate NY

Fri Oct 25, 2002 9:07 am

It seems entirely unsurprising to me that a lot of folks in upstate NY would resent US Airways for its long history of charging high fares. I'm sure that many feel that high airfares have been a significant contributor to the economic malaise suffered by the cities upstate for the past couple of decades by discouraging companies from doing business in the area. And to me, it's completely understandable that travelers at BUF, ROC, SYR, and ALB would enjoy seeing USAir(ways) getting its comeuppance for having abused them with airfares that have been far above average -- without the benefit of lots of non-stop service to many cities which fortress hubs like CVG, PIT, CLT, MSP, etc. enjoy in exchange for considerably higher average fares.

Ouboy, I expect that many people (from their comments here) would be perfectly happy to be blacklisted from flying US Airways given their experiences paying high fares *if* they had other options aside from staying home or driving. It's certainly no crime to say bad things about a company with which you've had bad experiences due to poor quality of service or high prices.

It seems to me that Siegel is saying the right things here (and he certainly NEEDS to, as upstate NY is one of the few regions still dominated by US), but the true proof will come with the company's actions as they restructure. Will they offer more reasonable business fares to recapture business in the region, or will they simply continue to downgauge and/or push regional jets into the market to drive up their average yields (and thus, average fares)?

The effect of lower fares to many "business" markets from upstate NY has been dramatic. Traffic from ALB to LAX more than doubled when average fares dropped by nearly 50% between 2Q99 and 2Q01. ALB-BWI traffic increased 700% (and drew traffic away from DCA/IAD) when fares were cut to less than 1/3 of their previous levels over the same time period. ALB-PHX traffic more than tripled with a 44% drop in fares. And it's very telling that passenger growth was minimal or negative in markets with no low-fare competition; for example, ALB-ATL traffic fell by roughly 8%, while ALB-PIT passengers plummeted by 20% with fares increasing in both markets. Again, it's not surprising that people feel that they've been taken for a ride for many years and that this experience has built up considerable resentment.
 
727LOVER
Posts: 6680
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 12:22 am

RE: US Airways Chief Courts Upstate NY

Fri Oct 25, 2002 9:20 am

SOMEBODY dominates SOMEWHERE, so why such pickin on of USAirways?
Love Trumps Hate
 
LoneStarMike
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2000 1:02 pm

RE: US Airways Chief Courts Upstate NY

Fri Oct 25, 2002 9:40 am

Why pick on USAirways because they dominate the region when there are other regions where other airlines dominate?

Because SOME airlines know how to Dominate without SCREWING their customers.

In this particular situation, I think (hope) the people of upstate New York will remember the phrase "Fool me once - shame on you. Fool me twice - shame on me!

scottb:

or will they simply continue to downgauge and/or push regional jets into the market to drive up their average yields (and thus, average fares)?

I think that may be what a lot of the airlines will try to do in markets where there is currently little or no competition, except that it may not work if a low-fare carrier comes in and adds flights and capacity.

LoneStarMike

 
ScottB
Posts: 5450
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 1:25 am

RE: US Airways Chief Courts Upstate NY

Fri Oct 25, 2002 9:56 am

727Lover-

Well, because the topic at hand is upstate NY, and because the dominant carrier there after the US/PI merger was USAir(ways). Moreover, the region was one of the last in the nation to get ANY low-fare service to speak of, and to be quite honest, past management at US milked travelers in the area for whatever they could get.

People do complain about other dominant carriers and their high fares in other cities/regions that don't host hubs (ORF, RIC, DSM, and ICT come to mind) but that wasn't the topic here.

To be quite frank, connecting traffic from upstate NY, Pennsylvania (aside from PHL), and New England is critical to the existence of the PIT hub (yeah, I know, duh). If the airline can't manage to keep its hold on those passengers, they might as well just shut down the hub.