Topic Author
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Can A Full Service Airline Be Successful Nowadays!

Tue Apr 13, 2004 11:58 am

Just thought I would start this thread, because of the lack of full service airlines. Will the demand for FULL SERVICE AIRLINES return even when the economy turns around?

Midwest Airlines comes to mind especially. They offered the best service in my opinion. Baked on-board cookies, comfortable seating, and meals on almost all flights. Legends, National II, and Pan Am II (mid 90's) all tried to follow the Midwest Airlines niche, but many failed. Those airlines utimately failed or downscaled their service.

It's amazing how the industry has changed! Consumers don't want airline food, magazines, ample pillows and blankets, and all the foo-foo that airlines once provided. It seems all they care for is low fare, bags at destination, on-time performance, and of course TV. We all know American Society has to have the TV as a distraction. Is it really true that most consumers no longer care to pay for all the amenities? Just a thought!

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RE: Can A Full Service Airline Be Successful Nowadays!

Tue Apr 13, 2004 12:12 pm

There is another thread running on this forum talking about how we pilots think about the bus driver comment. My reply was simple...look at my signature.

But seriously that is the way air travel has become. We are driving the bus. What happened to the dress code? It is utter bullshit. I grew up not that long ago...and I am always better dressed that 98% of the plane that I am on. That is really sad. And whats worse is that I am on Northwest. I cannot imagine what it is like on WN or ATA or AirTran.

One of the majors needs to inforce a dress code, general rules(like no shoes no service), and for once go back to the respected and honored form of travel that Airline travel used to be.

Look ma' no hands!
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RE: Can A Full Service Airline Be Successful Nowadays!

Tue Apr 13, 2004 12:45 pm


Are you saying that you think there should be some type of dress code for passengers? I always dress somewhat nice when i fly, well at least nicer than a lot of people (khaki's and a collared shirt). For some reason i always feel that i should dress in a decent manner. I can't imagine what would happen if any major airline had a dress code put in place for its passengers...I too kinda like the idea though.  Big thumbs up

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RE: Can A Full Service Airline Be Successful Nowadays!

Tue Apr 13, 2004 1:04 pm

Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Qantas...

Oh, you mean can an American full service carrier be successfull?
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RE: Can A Full Service Airline Be Successful Nowadays!

Tue Apr 13, 2004 1:36 pm

AA and XJ-
I agree with you guys about proper dress onboard a plane. I'm only a 20 year old college student but I try to look as nice as possible: 1. Because I think that it is appropriate and 2. On the legacy carriers I have found that you are treated somewhat better. Case is point, last night (4/11/04, there will be a trip report soon) I was flying to ATL on UA from BOS (through ORD). I had on a polo button down and khaki's on. When I went to ask for a seat in Economy Plus the agent gave me a quick look and handed me a boarding pass in Econ+. I'm sure that if I were in sweat pants and sweatshirt she would have told me NO.
As far as a full service airline being successful I would have my doubts. Right now airlines in the US need passengers, a dress code would alienate many passengers because most people want to travel as comfortable as they can. All the legacy carries are hurting. Why would they want to hurt themselves even more by shutting themselves off to passengers?
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RE: Can A Full Service Airline Be Successful Nowadays!

Tue Apr 13, 2004 1:43 pm

Alaska Airlines is a full service airline and they are plenty successful!
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RE: Can A Full Service Airline Be Successful Nowadays!

Tue Apr 13, 2004 6:51 pm

Probably one could be profitable for awhile dependent on the structure of fares. If they were 15%/20% higher on average than low LCC fares they could afford to fly the planes less for same seat cost and save on those expenses. Ships would look better too. At the most have only two fare structures but without the ridiculous jumble of nonsense the legacies have now.

They would be starting with lower paid employees, little if any unions, and no retirees to support. No billions in debt at older, higher interest rates. I hope you can see where I'm going with this. This is exactly what the present LCCs need to pare down to. That's why the big push for wage concessions and restructuring. It's just that all involved have a lot of bad habits that are very hard to kick.
Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
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RE: Can A Full Service Airline Be Successful Nowadays!

Tue Apr 13, 2004 6:53 pm

I'd happily pay a little bit more for a comfortable seat with decent legroom - not MUCH more, but a bit. The rest you can keep, even PTV on flights less than 4 hours.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
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RE: Can A Full Service Airline Be Successful Nowadays!

Tue Apr 13, 2004 8:17 pm

QANTAS! currently the most profitable airline in the world and it's a full service carrier.
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RE: Can A Full Service Airline Be Successful Nowadays!

Tue Apr 13, 2004 8:20 pm

Beat me to it Beno was just about to say that!
Qantasflyer That's the spirit. The Spirit of Australia!
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RE: Can A Full Service Airline Be Successful Nowadays!

Tue Apr 13, 2004 8:24 pm

Some people will always want to fly on a decent aircraft that they feel is properly maintained and that the service on board is somewhat representative of the fare they paid. I shudder to think where LCCs are cutting costs, my first instinct is maintenance and training, I'll pay the fare and fly in comfort and with peace of mind, thank you!

After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
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RE: Can A Full Service Airline Be Successful Nowadays!

Wed Apr 14, 2004 12:45 am

I thought it was obvious he was refereeing to US carriers.

I couldn't agree more with you, people today are slobs, they show up in sweats and generally are embarrassing.

I am the same way, when someone asked for E-PLUS I check out how they are dressed and how they have acted while checking in. Handful of kids, and they run the show? I will put them all in the back, middle seats if that is all available. Premiers pay our paychecks, they don't want to sit next to a lady with three kids she cant control.

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RE: Can A Full Service Airline Be Successful Nowadays!

Wed Apr 14, 2004 1:16 am

US will collapse. PA did the same thing by eliminating many of the first class perks amongst other bad management choices. At least one of the legacy carriers needs to collapse in order for the industry to rationalize and become stable. Complaining about the look of fellow pax could be thought to be classist at the very least. However I find it tacky to be "dressed" like one rolled out of bed to go on a flight. I flew ORD/MSY over the Easter weekend. The woman in front of me at security was dressed in dingy sweats and hospital slippers. The fact that she had a Jerry Springer audience button on only made her look even more surreal. (Jerry films here in Chicago.) The perks that people want are being rolled out by the LCCs. DirectTV, multi channel audio and staff that isn't rude are perks in my book that the majors lack! Even TZ is adding a business class cabin. My WN sales rep said that they are considering rolling out on board entertainment of some kind! Safety shouldn't be a concern. Has WN ever lost and aircraft? Besides the FAA after the ValueJet debacle has the LCCs under extreme scrutiny. Let US and the other poorly run Legacy Carriers die. Of course I feel for the staff that will lose their employment but what else can be done besides re regulating the industry?
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RE: Can A Full Service Airline Be Successful Nowadays!

Wed Apr 14, 2004 1:24 am

I have to admit that when it comes to flying I always try to make sure to look decent; but I also try to dress in a comfortable way(No matter If I fly Y or C )! So usually I wear a pair of khakis and a decent shirt....

But still I don't see the point of you people! When it comes to traveling the pax pays for a ticket (and sometimes these tickets are damn expensive!); additionally the pax should make sure to dress in accordance with a dress code!? What other things should the pax do? The pax buys a tick in order to get from A to B (in some way you can compare it with taking a bus) and shouldn't have to take care of a dress code!!

It's not a fashion show it's making use of a mean of mass transportation!!! I'm sorry but that's what civil aviation has become and what it is supposed to be!

I often fly UA and I must say I'm quite relieved that I usually get upgraded due to my FF-status and not how I dress!! I hope it stays that way!

Cheers from Austria

[Edited 2004-04-13 18:26:03]
FLYING the best thing on earth!!!
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RE: Can A Full Service Airline Be Successful Nowadays!

Wed Apr 14, 2004 1:46 am

In USA the problem is that you cannot tell the difference between LCC and Legacy. Both flights get can of soda and bag of pretzels. On LCC now you get PTC, Legacy not sure what you get, so LCC product is somewhat better.

The market has changed in many industries, and now is the turn of the airlines. The problem with airlines is that their costs have increased so much, that they cannot make money even with a full plane.
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RE: Can A Full Service Airline Be Successful Nowadays!

Wed Apr 14, 2004 1:55 am

In the UK, for example, there's two extremes: FR at one end and Eastern Airways at the other. The former offers a predictably basic service but normally very good fares and it gets you from A to B. The latter offers more frills and is pretty damn expensive (£150+ for a 30-minute return trip is normal), but also gets you from A to B. As far as I can tell, both are doing well (especially FR, which is Europe's most profitable airline), as both go someway in supplying the demands in the respective niches. I am glad that the choice is available. As we have all seen, price is becoming much more of a consideration, as people realise that spending huge amounts of money on a 1-hour flight is unnecessary; instead, they can spend it on a better hotel or a longer trip. The same goes for most small- to medium-sized businesses, which are now more aware of cost control. We have also generally seen a desperate need to offer lower prices, which naturally normally means the cutting back of frills. Nevertheless, choice is normally still available, and rightly so! I would like to be the CEO of an airline which charges large amounts of money - even at its lowest price - for short flights yet manages to fill planes.

[Edited 2004-04-13 18:56:47]
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."

RE: Can A Full Service Airline Be Successful Nowadays!

Wed Apr 14, 2004 2:32 am

The answer is yes. If Jetblue were to go full service, they would have a lower ASM cost than any of the majors. Would they lose money? Probably not. Long haul fares wouldn't be as artificially deflated as they are right now as a result of Jetblue.

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