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Beverage Service On Short Flights

Sat Jan 24, 2004 1:03 pm

On the "JetBlue to buy the US Shuttle" thread I believe it was JetBlueFan who made some comments about no coffee on short haul flights.....40...45...maybe 50 minutes.

I really didn't want to set off a "WN versus the world" thread but I thought I would solicit a few thoughts as to why and how...

How and why does WN manage to offer a full beverage service on flights as short as DAL-OKC or HOU-AUS or HOU-CRP...all scheduled for about 45 mins gate-to-gate (which puts you in the air for 30-35 minutes) when their erstwhile competitors don't.

Even more interesting, how is it a supposed no-frills, extraordinarily basic transportation type carrier can manage this and the full service bubbas (and bubbetes) can't?

I fly a lot and I can't think of any time on WN when I haven't had a beverage service...and even a refill if I wanted one. I have seen a few flights get bumpy (Tx Tstrms) and the cups, cans, and glasses got collcted early....but I haven't seen a no-service flight and I fly them a LOT.

Frankly, i can't imagine how the so-called full service carriers get away with limiting their cabin service when a LCC can manage the real deal. That's why to me, the assigned seat isn't so important. I'd rather have two or three drinks than sit in 13A.

RE: Beverage Service On Short Flights

Sat Jan 24, 2004 1:08 pm

I've often had a full beverage/peanuts-pretzels service on DTW-CLE (less than 20 minutes in the air) on CO. And I've had flight crews complain thier wasn't enough time for a full beverage service in Y on DTW-ORD on AA -- even though the flight had only a handful of passengers!! It's really up to the flight crew...
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RE: Beverage Service On Short Flights

Sat Jan 24, 2004 1:13 pm

Back in the day when Allegheny Commuter used to fly between RDG-PHL they served beverages and snacks, the flight time was only like 25 min if that from gate to gate, it was only a 40 mile flight using a shorts 360. Service was quick but it was good.
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RE: Beverage Service On Short Flights

Sat Jan 24, 2004 1:13 pm

I remember when DL use to do a full beverage service between DTW and CVG on a mainline plane, no it is something called fast break service. I've also been on a Comair flight with a handful of pax between CVG and DTW and FA made announcement that because of flight time there would be no service offered. After all there was about 15 of us, on a plane that carriers 35 pax.
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RE: Beverage Service On Short Flights

Sat Jan 24, 2004 1:18 pm

I think sometimes the F/A just dosen't want to deal with getting out all the stuff and uses the excuse that because it is such a short flight beverage service will not be offered.
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RE: Beverage Service On Short Flights

Sat Jan 24, 2004 2:09 pm

On ATL-MCO and MCO-ATL, DL has limited beverage service in Economy consisting of two types of juices and water. Even though the come in small bottles and just have to be passed out, on the MD-11 and 764 the FA's barely made it!

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RE: Beverage Service On Short Flights

Sat Jan 24, 2004 2:25 pm

On Hawai'i interisland flights, AQ serves beverages on flights as short as 18 minutes. Before 11am they offer juice, water and coffee....no clue why JetBlue can't do coffee. After 11am they offer Coke, Diet Coke, water and Juice. HA offers juice and coffee on these flights.

I have seen HA serve juice cartons to a nearly full DC-9 on a 10 minute Lana'i to Moloka'i flight.

I guess it just depends on the airline. For AQ and HA crews a 20 minute flight is par for the course while the 30 and 40 minute Kona and Hilo flights must be a luxury.

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RE: Beverage Service On Short Flights

Sat Jan 24, 2004 5:09 pm

The DL FA's barely make it on the fast-break service because they have to say "lemonade, water or cranberry-apple" 300 times a flight. That's 11 frigging syllables! In the time it takes to spit out that mouthfull to each passenger on the plane, they could offer a full beverage service and then some!
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RE: Beverage Service On Short Flights

Sat Jan 24, 2004 5:15 pm

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RE: Beverage Service On Short Flights

Sat Jan 24, 2004 5:57 pm

You don't need coffee, juice, peanuts or anything else. The average consumer, i.e. someone who doesn't care about aviation, would prefer to have a lower price than a wee coffee. Indeed, if WN did not offer a free inflight service, it could gain considerable revenue from selling refreshments (Ryanair, for example, earns 7% of its total revenue from this, so WN, which flies more people, would earn more). Air travel is elastic: if you reduce prices by 10%, more than 10% more people will fly. Consequently, you'll eventually earn a larger profit, especially if you tweek your yield management.

[Edited 2004-01-24 09:58:26]
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RE: Beverage Service On Short Flights

Mon Jan 26, 2004 3:10 pm

My company has tried to make things consistent. Depending on the load and actual flight time, some crews did a complete service, while others did a limited service or none at all. Sometimes the acutal in the air time is different in different directions. For example DTW-LGA is usually about 1:03 to 1:10 while the return flight is often 1:20 to 1:30. A full 757 can be a challenge, you don't have time to play. Keep in mind about 10-15 min. for takeoff and climb out, 5 minutes to setup everything, time to do the service, collect everything, put away carts, liquor paperwork, & hunt for change for that $50 bill. Descent for landing on the 757, A320 usually begins about 20 mins. out and about 30 mins. on the DC9. Going into NYC air traffic control usually start you down earlier than the above times.

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