aa757first
Posts: 3140
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 11:40 am

Was TWA More First Class Profitable?

Fri Aug 08, 2003 2:06 am

I have a June 1998 TWA timetable. It has this ad:

WELCOME TO TRANS WORLD FIRST.
NOW WITH 60% MORE FIRST-CLASS SEATS.

TWA has added that first-class seat you've been wishing for. And hundreds more just like it. So more of you can enjoy Trans World First service. With an updated menu featuring great tastes from names you know, including Mrs. Fields freshly baked cookies. Plus perks such as priority baggage handling, Ambassadors Club access on the day you travel, exclusively frequent flyer Fare Rewards and more to come. Now it's all here, with your seat, when you buy a ticket on Trans World First. Call your travel professional, blah blah blah.

Why would you add more First Class seats when most people fly Economy? Was it just to upgrade Ambassador Club Elites? Was this MSTF (More Seats Throughout First) ever profitable, or did it hurt them? Thanks for replying!


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ssides
Posts: 3248
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 12:57 am

RE: Was TWA More First Class Profitable?

Fri Aug 08, 2003 2:08 am

June 1998: TWA adds additional first class seats. January 2001: TWA files for bankruptcy. Does anyone think this was a profitable move?

"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
TWFirst
Posts: 5752
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 5:30 am

RE: Ssides

Fri Aug 08, 2003 2:44 am

Certainly you're not suggesting that the sole reason TWA declared bankruptcy was due to the addition of a row of first class seats on its fleet...
An unexamined life isn't worth living.
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: Was TWA More First Class Profitable?

Fri Aug 08, 2003 2:50 am

Eastern also tried this as well, right before they closed up shop and I believe the original Midway might have tried it as well. I guess and this is just my take on it, when all the bad press about yourself, try to make yourself that much more preferable and appeal to the FF's who would normally get one of these seats.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
capt078
Posts: 415
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 9:52 am

RE: Was TWA More First Class Profitable?

Fri Aug 08, 2003 4:55 am

we've all heard how 5% of the traffic represents 40-50% of the revenue. that's how first-class works. usually (back in the days before upgrades especially), one first-class seat is worth 2-4 coach seats. what twa was doing was trying to expand that high-yield section of the plane. what they failed to do, what attract the high-yield passengers. it's a shame that this all happened as the economy decline too, twa was a great airline.
 
ssides
Posts: 3248
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 12:57 am

RE: Was TWA More First Class Profitable?

Fri Aug 08, 2003 6:38 am

No, I don't think that was the only reason ... but look at the other posts. If first-class is where airlines make their profits, then TWA's failure to attract high-yield customers to their expanded first class played a big role in them failing to make money. Ultimately, sure, their credit rating was their main problem. But this was clearly an ill-fated move.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
kevi747
Posts: 991
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2001 5:59 pm

RE: Was TWA More First Class Profitable?

Fri Aug 08, 2003 8:49 am

Too bad all of the full-fare premium customers have disappeared, they're the ones who really make money for us. Today I had Oscar de la Renta, his wife, and son onboard one of my flights. (And by the way, they're the nicest, most down-to-earth people you'd ever want to meet.) They paid last minute full-fare B/C prices and the CSM told me that their tickets accounted for the majority of the revenue for that flight. They graciously thanked me for every element of service I offered them, and could not have been more pleasant.

Meanwhile I'm constantly getting called back to coach to pacify the members of our new "I Flew AA for $69, hee hee" club who were steaming mad because it was too hot, or it was too cold, or I wouldn't upgrade them for free, or the flight was too long, or they wanted Tylenol and not the Acetaminophen I gave them (Tylenol IS Acetaminophen), or their seat didn't recline enough, or they didn't want to watch "X2: X-Men United", or we didn't serve chocolate milk. AHHHHHHHH!!!! Those weren't made up by the way, they're all actual complaints from a 3 hour 17 minute AA flight today. Sorry I wandered off subject a bit, but I love to vent here on airliners.net.  Big grin
"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." --Stephen Colbert
 
MD-90
Posts: 7835
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2000 12:45 pm

RE: Was TWA More First Class Profitable?

Fri Aug 08, 2003 10:17 am

20 first class seats on an MD-80 is a good bit.
 
codc10
Posts: 1759
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2000 7:18 am

RE: Was TWA More First Class Profitable?

Fri Aug 08, 2003 10:41 am

TWA actually offered a decent F product in the days before the AA acquisition. I was doing a lot of business in STL and a suburb in late 1998/early 1999, and on one last-minute trip, I flew TWA instead of my usual CO. I was upgraded (complimentary) when I showed my CO Elite card at the desk "by mistake". TWA's F service really impressed me, they offered a nice meal, comfortable seat, and nice employees. This prompted me to book Trans World One for a later trip to Madrid, and this was also an excellent product, very comparable to Continental BusinessFirst of the time. The 767 seats were a touch narrow, but the great meal and duvet (yes!) made up for it. I stuck with Continental because of the convenience of EWR, but TWA was always a second choice. I was sad to see them go.
 
ssides
Posts: 3248
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 12:57 am

RE: Was TWA More First Class Profitable?

Fri Aug 08, 2003 10:55 am

Kevi747 --

What route was this with all of your coach problems? I can sympathize ...
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Was TWA More First Class Profitable?

Fri Aug 08, 2003 11:47 am

Is anybody's first class profitable now that 90% of those seats are occupied by "elites" who upgraded a cheap seat?
 
kevi747
Posts: 991
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2001 5:59 pm

RE: Was TWA More First Class Profitable?

Sat Aug 09, 2003 4:24 am

What's up, Ssides?

That flight was from New York Kennedy (JFK) to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ).

But that doesn't even come close to being our worst route. The route I will avoid at all costs is JFK to Cancun (CUN) and back. What a nightmare those flights are! Imagine a 757 completely packed with 176 of Long Islands most annoying. All the women shriek like Fran Drescher and the men tawlk (VERY loudly) like John Travolta during his "Saturday Night Fever" days. And they complain about everything!! If we offered them all F/C seats, a complimentary limo to and form the airport, a 5-course meal with 6 entree choices, and a neck massage for $29 each way they would find someway to turn it into a bad experience.

It's kind of sad when you think about it: So many people going through life being miserable all the time.
"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." --Stephen Colbert

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