RL757PVD
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Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Mon May 12, 2003 7:57 pm


I flew Song for the 1st time Saturday May 10th CO / KMCO), USA - Florida">MCO-JFK (inaugural at 7am), spent the day in NYC and then returned 5:25 pm JFK-CO / KMCO), USA - Florida">MCO. It seems to me like song is on the right track for what the airlines need to be doing. Im not trying to "can" this topic, but it truly is what people want.

1) More leg room ( it is noticeable)
2) Leather seating
3) Soon to be on demand TV movies and music
4) Little bit of Humor:
From the safety demo:
" If you are seated in an exit row today, congratulations you have extra leg room, however you also have an extra duty"
" Although most of you know how to fasten a seat belt, it never hurts to have a refresher course"
Leaving the plane
" Please be sure to take all of your belongings with you as they have a tendency to be found on E-Bay tomorrow"

Also I am now sold on the concept of buying food on the plane. All drinks are complementary, with sandwiches at $7 and snacks for around $2, so its not cheap, but not a rip off (seeing I paid $15 for a hamburger and fries in Times SQ)

Granted Song is not God's gift to the airline industry, but I do believe that Delta is ahead of the wave that AA,CO,NW, US and UA( if they make it) will all be riding on these changing times.
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Mon May 12, 2003 8:15 pm

Didn't Continental introduce Continental Lite in the mid 90's? It's a low cost subsidiary of Continental mainline which flies 737's only (like Southwest and Virgin Express) on short and medium haul flights being less than three hours, you get no food on board, you get only drinks and peanuts. I don't know if CO Lite still exists but my point is that Continental was already ahead of the wave before Detla launched low cost subsidiaries Detla Express and Song.

Ben Soriano
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UN_B732
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Mon May 12, 2003 8:55 pm

Continental Lite failed. I don't know if it was related to one of their bankruptcies or not.
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meechy36
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Mon May 12, 2003 9:17 pm

I believe that CAL lite failed because Continental didn't do enough to differentiate the brand from mainline. Pax would show up for what they thought was a CAL flight only to have Lite service. Delta marketing was smart to go in a totally different direction with Song, the word Delta never comes up except on the website. The livery is completely different and the typical passenger doesn't even know it is a Delta Airlines company. I am not saying that I think Delta was smart in creating an airline within an airline, that needs to be seen. I will give them credit though, at least they are trying something radical. I work for AA and even though we are going down the crapper, it's business as usual, nothing has changed except for the amount of money we make and the company is losing. Here at AA we keep waiting for the airline to make an announcement on where we are headed and any future plans and the only place I can see us headed is nonstop to Chapter 11 unless we start to change the way we operate.

Mike-BOS
 
MxCtrlr
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Mon May 12, 2003 9:55 pm

I will give them credit though, at least they are trying something radical.

What is so radical about copying the business plan of a successful carrier (JetBlue)? Song may wind up being the "next great thing" in the airline industry but the one thing it definitely is not is "something radical".

Delta Express, MetroJet, Shuttle by United and Continental Lite were all knock-offs of Southwest (back when the majors saw SWA as their biggest threat). When the airline finally realized that "they're no Southwest", they scrapped these money-losing "airlines-within-airlines".

Now we have the first, in what will be a long attempt at new "airlines-within-airlines" as the majors see JetBlue as their biggest threat (and, in Delta's case, AirTran as well). Rest assured, the sheep that run the majors will all jump on the bandwagon if Song shows one quarter of profitability and the cycle will repeat itself.

My prediction? Song will be no more successful than Delta Express, Continental Lite, MetroJet and Shuttle by United and go the same way as the others have. In the end, JetBlue will just keep chugging along...

MxCtrlr  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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ord
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Mon May 12, 2003 10:44 pm

One of the many factors that doomed Continental Lite was they focused their flights in Greensboro, NC. Nobody in that area even knew who Continetal was. Delta has a strong following in the Northeast and Florida.
 
Alpha 1
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Mon May 12, 2003 10:52 pm

I don't know if CO Lite still exists but my point is that Continental was already ahead of the wave before Detla launched low cost subsidiaries Detla Express and Song.

It doesn't exist anymore-Thank God. It was poorly conceived, poorly run, poorly marketed, poorly everything. One thing DL has done withSong is completely separated the fleet of 757's from DL mainline, something CO did not do with CALLite. CALLite was an all coach configuration, but CO didn't bother separating the fleets out-so some days on a CLE-GSO 733, you'd get config with First Class, when none was sold in market, and on the same day, you'd get a CALLite 733 on CLE-LAX, which was all coach, and you'd have to comp 10 First Class Customers. It was ridiculous.

Plus CALLite didn't target markets very well. You'd have 733's running MDW-DAY-GSO. Who the hell flies DAY-GSO? You had 733's flying 5 time as day GSO-GSP! It was a joke.

I can't speak to whether song will work or not, but it sounds like it may have learned a few lessons from losers like CALLite.
 
MidnightMike
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Mon May 12, 2003 11:22 pm


Wow! Song seems to sound like another airlines, hmmmm? Could it be Jetblue!
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Alpha 1
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Mon May 12, 2003 11:32 pm

MidnightMike, I think that's the idea-copy JetBlue. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, is it not?  Smile
 
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Tue May 13, 2003 1:41 am

This is a doomed airline. FACT: You cannot make a successful low cost carrier as a branch off of a major carrier. Just look at the past and all of the failed low cost carrier start ups by major carriers here in the US.
 
RL757PVD
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Tue May 13, 2003 2:49 am

I had never said that song will be a sucess, but i will guarantee that many of the charachteristics found in song (see initial thread and including buying food on board) will become commonplace in the industry over the next 5-10 years. What I am saying is I am giving credit to Delta for seeing what it is that an airline has to do to survive in the low cost market and the type of product that best suits the demand. This is not a product for the premium business cities like LAX, DFW, and NYC(except to leisure destinations), but it should be used in cities with low yeilds.
Experience is what you get when what you thought would work out didn't!
 
luv2fly
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Tue May 13, 2003 3:19 am

I believe Delta is only copying JetBlue clear and simple. They have not reinvented the wheel. If I was a share holder on Delta I would be totally upset that instead of getting there house in order, they went and started Song. A lot of people could be back to work for just what it is costing them to paint these planes. And another thing we all know that the flying public either does not read and or retains what they read, so a lot of unhappy people expecting all these bells and whistles that Song WILL have, being advertised now! Not good.

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sllevin
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Tue May 13, 2003 3:35 am

I think Song is a great idea.

Can Delta work out their costs (which may well include further labor negotiations once they see what their costs really are)? We don't know for sure. But certainly they have to try. And Song clearly is a well thought out attempt to change Delta.

Only time will tell.

Steve
 
m717
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Tue May 13, 2003 3:55 am

"the typical passenger doesn't even know it is a Delta Airlines company."

Now, I know the "typical passenger" is not the most airline savvy person out there, but if anyone getting on Song doesn't know it is a Delta Airlines company, they shouldn't even be walking around.
 
flydeltasjets
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Tue May 13, 2003 4:24 am

LGB,

Why do you assume in your "fact" that DEX was not successful?

The effort to improve it with Song does not imply that it failed, only that an opportunity for more success arose.

You seem to be parroting the analysts who all spout the same line about airlines within airlines.

The fact is, DEX did exactly what it was designed to do: divert low yield leisure traffic away from ATL to free up seats there for higher yield traffic. As Delta was the most profitable airline in the world, and ATL the most profitable hub in the world for the 5 years preceding 9/11 (DEX's lifespan), I would say that it certainly did work. And although DEX is not broken down on our financial statements, I have heard Fred Reid say on a number of occasions that DEX was profitable.

9/11, new entrants in the market, and a declining economy necessitated changes and improvements. However, please do not interpret that to mean the DEX was a failure. It was not. Neither, I believe, will Song be, although that certainly remains to be seen.
 
luv2fly
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Tue May 13, 2003 4:34 am

I wish Delta and the best with this new venture tho the fact is that JetBlue is already established in the market place and another important consideration JetBlue is well liked. When you fly JetBlue you really feel that the employees are glad you chose them to fly on (Delta on the other hand I never felt anyone was glad they were getting my money!), I only flew JetBlue BUF - JFK - BUF the one time so far, tho it is by far the best flight I ever had and I look forward to the day I fly them again.

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UN_B732
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Tue May 13, 2003 5:10 am

I almost saw your song 757....I saw some sort of a song 757 take off between 3-4pm taking off from 4L, i was in a jetBlue A320-200 behind it.
What now?
 
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Tue May 13, 2003 5:43 am

This is a doomed airline. FACT: You cannot make a successful low cost carrier as a branch off of a major carrier. Just look at the past and all of the failed low cost carrier start ups by major carriers here in the US.

Your "fact" is actually not factually correct, at least if you intend to lump Song in there.

First off, Delta Express WAS successful. Why? Because it was very limited in its scope, and there was little blurring of the lines between DL Mainline and Express. Customers knew they were getting the Express product, and not to expect full-service mainline frills.

Secondly, Continental Lite and MetroJet failed because the mainline and the LCC "airline within an airline" were too-closely aligned for customers to tell the difference. The products were different, but the packaging wasn't different enough for the customers, causing brand identity problems. Also, CO and US were using mainline employees at mainline wages to carry the MetroJet customers. That was inefficient and costly.

Delta has made Song a separate brand in and of itself, and has taken great pains to distance themselves from this new LCC so the customers will NOT see a blurred line between the two. Also, DL is not using mainline employees at mainline wages, save for the pilots (thanks to contract language). DL will realize a significant cost savings on labor where US and CO did not.

Does this ultimately mean that Song will be profitable? No, but it does mean that they've got a vastly different business model than US and CO's airline-within-an-airline concepts were, with far greater flexibility.

They've got a far better shot at being successful than any other concept so far.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

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DALelite
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Tue May 13, 2003 6:13 am

Delta already copied CO Business First very sucssesful.
Hope they will they follow the same path with Song.

DALelite
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luv2fly
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Tue May 13, 2003 6:46 am

When is Delta going to lead instead of following? What is the expression "Unless your the lead dog the view never changes!"

 Big grin
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
flydeltasjets
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Tue May 13, 2003 8:16 am

Luv,

You may have missed the last 75 years. Jetblue's three years has been impressive, but lots of capital, no pension expenses, new airplanes with few maintanance costs, a low-paid workforce, sweetheart deals from gvts, and the ability to cherry-pick profitable routes (no hub and spoke constraints) gives them an advantage now. What happens when the costs that mature airlines must pay still remains a mystery. B6 has done very well. This in no way implies that they will continue to do so. When they have proven themselves longer than People Express was in business, then perhaps we can talk. Do I think they will survive? They seem to be doing well so far. I am not, however, ready to crown them the new kings over airlines that have been tested, and survived, over 75 years.
 
luv2fly
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Tue May 13, 2003 8:23 am

Yeah tested and survived such as AA and UA. And let's talk when Delta comes up with an original idea shall we. Copying JetBlue, talk about a bold move. Also all those problems come with airlines creating them and not only by being in business for years.

 Big thumbs up
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flydeltasjets
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Tue May 13, 2003 8:32 am

Luv,

With all due respect, I don't think I would give myself a "thumbs-up" if that was my argument.

Do you think that Delta grew from a cropduster outfit with one plane to carrying more people than any airline in the history of the planet through 75 years of poor managment? I would venture to say that they have come up with a few ideas, and most were more impressive than simply paying the employees less than the competition.
 
luv2fly
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Tue May 13, 2003 8:38 am

I guess only time will tell.

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luv2fly
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Tue May 13, 2003 9:00 am

A couple of comments.

Luv,

You may have missed the last 75 years. Jetblue's three years has been impressive,

TOTALLY!

but lots of capital,

And whose fault is that!

no pension expenses,

I'll take the profit sharing they offer and also stock options, please.

new airplanes with few maintenance costs,

An airline flying new planes and not used or old WOW novel idea.

a low-paid workforce,

Happy and productive work force, and again stock options and profit sharing, and has anyone been laid off?

sweetheart deals from gvts,

Ability to negotiate, like Martha would say a good thing.

and the ability to cherry-pick profitable routes

That is called deregulation and each airline can do that.

(no hub and spoke constraints)

Again hub and spoke your idea.

gives them an advantage now. What happens when the costs that mature airlines must pay still remains a mystery. B6 has done very well. This in no way implies that they will continue to do so. When they have proven themselves longer than People Express was in business, then perhaps we can talk. Do I think they will survive? They seem to be doing well so far. I am not, however, ready to crown them the new kings over airlines that have been tested, and survived, over 75 years.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
flydeltasjets
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Tue May 13, 2003 11:29 am

I'll take twice the hourly salary, better workrules, better benefits, a 401k and a 60% pension. When their profit sharing doubles their salary and they are allowed to cash is stock options before retirement, perhaps I might then change my mind.
 
exusair
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Tue May 13, 2003 11:38 am

Screw profit sharing. It's taxed as a bonus at 40%. I'll take the higher salary. I'll also take the duty day limits of 13:15.

I like to layover in cities I fly into, especially LAX. I don't like flying to the west coast, then turning right back around and flying back. Call me silly but I still like to travel and visit the cities I fly into.

 
Jeff G
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Tue May 13, 2003 1:49 pm

You don't have to wait until retirement to cash in the stock options. You must be thinking of UAL's ESOP. The options gradually vest over time (7 yrs) and the vested portion can be exercised and liquidated at any time.

The profit sharing goes into a tax-deferred account (actually an adjunct to the 401(k)), so it's not taxed as a bonus. It's only taxed when it's withdrawn.
 
flydeltasjets
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RE: Song - Glimpse Of The Future Of Airlines

Tue May 13, 2003 2:04 pm

Thank you for the info. I stand corrected.

I'd still rather the cash!