OmShanti
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SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 8:31 am

Hello all
Reading the several prev. post regarding USAir and Southwest's sucess in each and every market and the danger it poses to other carrier...I want to know whos side you are on or should there even be sides. I would hate to see USAir go out of business because of Southwest but is that a valid grudge against Southwest, who has changed the idea of travel and passed the savings to travelers, and in some cases made FLYING possible for some.
What are your thoughts on this matter. Is there something SW would be responsible for if USAir goes out of business or is it just plain business??

Best Regards

 
727LOVER
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 8:35 am

WN is just giving US the final nudge. You can't blame this on WN. Just like NW is trying to nudge YX, or the way DL nudged EA out. They're paying for it with FL though. Big grin

IT'S JUST BUSINESS
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Pe@rson
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 8:38 am

It's competition. Nowadays only the 'fittest' airlines exist. Who are the 'fittest' I hear you ask - the ones which are well-run. Some will fail and some will suceed. Some will change the course of history and some will be bog-standard and do little. It's business. If you have competitors you take care of them the best you can, for they are a threat to your success.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
ATLhomeCMH
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 8:45 am

USAirways is simply the victim of a general American attitude that saving money is number 1, not the overall experience of the flight. The majority of Americans figure that since the amenities offered by the major domestic carriers have been scaled back in recent years, they might as well get the same service for less money. Good philosophy, in theory, but seldom in practice to my experience.

Basically, you get what you pay for. The famous saying, "There's no such thing as a free lunch," applies here. You may be saving money, but you'll pay for it elsewhere for sure.

Every SW aircraft I've ever been on (several of them) has been shoddy, unkempt, and SW's terminals and gates less than eye-catching. On some routes, you make stops in two seperate cities before your final destination, like you're riding on a charter bus.

Basically, SW is the Greyhound of the skies.

I also don't like the fact that on many SW flights, you have to put up with f/a's who joke around, goof off, sing songs, and just to try to be cute. It's unprofessional.

But Americans will put up with a lack of professionalism for the almighty dollar. I have flown US extensively, and though they may cost more, their planes are almost always fresh and clean looking, their staff professional, and their service impeccable. I would rather pay the extra $150 (and I am NOT a wealthy person) to fly with a proven industry leader, than fly on a dirty, cheap cabaret with wings.

[Edited 2004-04-15 01:48:48]
"The most terrifying words in the Engligh language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"-Ronald Reagan
 
ATLhomeCMH
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 8:47 am

p.s. It's business...SW is marketing something that Americans are willing to purchase.
"The most terrifying words in the Engligh language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"-Ronald Reagan
 
L.1011
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 8:51 am

Southwest is just 6 years younger than US silly. USAir: Born 1968 Southwest: Born 1974 (or was it 71 or 72?)
 
ATLhomeCMH
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 9:06 am

That may be, but as I said, I'd rather fly a proven industry leader, not a fly-by-night, chinsy trailor with wings.

Pe@rson is right....a lot of it has to do with the management. If USAir gets new management, I bet ya they'd blow SW out of the water in PHL.
"The most terrifying words in the Engligh language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"-Ronald Reagan
 
US AIRWAYS
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 9:28 am

I'd have to honestly say that I'm backing US Airways all the way. PHL is my home airport, and I've been flying on them ever since I was 7 years old. I've never had a problem while flying with them.....ever. That may be hard for some people to believe, but it's true. I know at some point I'm going to want to try Southwest just to see what all the hype is about, but I know that if I had to head up to a place like PVD or something, I'd still choose US Airways. The last thing I want to see is US go under. I do believe that if they bring in some new management and some fresh ideas they will succeed and ultimately fend off Southwest.

Jonathan

[Edited 2004-04-15 02:40:19]
Go Eagles!
 
aatripleseven
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 9:28 am

Why do people blame Southwest? They don't force people to fly them - people choose to because they believe they are getting a better value.

If the other carriers provided something passengers thought was worth paying for, don't you think passengers would fly them and not Southwest?

Sorry guys but the "shoddy aircraft, gates, whatever" comments don't fly. Nobody is being forced to fly WN. They provide a better travel experience at a great price - simple as that.
 
Lono
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 9:35 am

US is responsible for US going out of business.... too slow to react....
Wally Bird Ruled the Skys!
 
Vctony
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 9:43 am

I don't get all of this anti-WN sentiment. I live in PHX (their second largest operation) and I haven't seen any of this "shoddy aircraft, gates, etc." to be true at all. WN flies out of Terminal 4 in PHX, the NEWEST and NICEST terminal at the airport, US flies out of T2 which is the "shoddiest, oldest" terminal at the airport as a means of comparison. Ever been to STL (the former TWA current AA terminal is dark, dreary, and has a unique "musty" scent where the WN terminal is new, bright, and clean. WN has the NEWEST gates in the old "terminal from hell (LC Smith/JM Davey complex)" at DTW, as well as several of the newest gates at BWI, MDW, ONT, etc. Also I do think that WN has one of the largest outstanding orders for NEW 737s out of any carrier, meaning that every month from now into the forseeable future BRAND NEW aircraft will be constantly entering their fleet. Every WN flight I've been on has some of the most professional pilots and flight attendants ever (I've run into some really bad ones on HP). Although I've never flown US, and I do think that US is a good carrier, WN's product isn't all that much inferior for the average traveler and it IS much cheaper. I'm sorry but I just can't see how the almighty dollar cannot rule, I always book with the lowest fare carrier, it's just common business sense.
 
ltbewr
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 9:47 am

WN is responding to the demand for reliable, always reasonably priced flights. US is right now in the bullseye of WN, other LLC's as well as other majors or their regional partners. Many of the markets US serves in the northeast USA are places losing population and the business pax that really support legacy/majors like US.
I am not angry with WN, but angry with US's management, their failure to change their routes and marketing, and perhaps 'downsize' a bit to face reality. While I have problems with the possible end of US, the market is speaking, which is the 'American way". I don't think we want to have our tax monies subsidise (any more) inefficient majors or overregulate to overprotect the majors.
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 10:11 am

I'm on US's side. I still favor "full-service" or legacy carriers. Besides, US (more accuately US Airways Express) is the major carrier at my home airport with 30-ish flight a day. What would happen if that all went away? We have nonstops to all US hubs plus RDU, LGA, DCA with US.
Finally made it to an airline mecca!
 
NIKV69
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 10:18 am

I believe WN started in 71'

USAirways will be dead in a few months due to a few factors, 9/11, poor management, huge debt and the evolution of the LCC. USAirways must be eliminated. It is the nature of the beast. No cost cutting or employee concessions are going to save them know. Especially with WN coming to Philly. Sad as it is, this can't be avoided. USAirways huge amount of debt is the final nail in their coffin. I wish them luck but just can't see them surviving. You can't blame WN, or Jetblue or any other carrier for that matter. As much as the hardcore aviation enthusiast hates this, the average passenger doesn't care about Boeing or Airbus, this plane or that one, they want the cheapest fare to get from this place to that place. WN does this better than anyone and at the best price.
Hey that guy with the private jet can bail us out! Why? HE CAN AFFORD IT!
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 10:22 am

Some of us still expect a smattering of comfort along the way....
Finally made it to an airline mecca!
 
N628AU
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 10:47 am

L1011 said:

Southwest is just 6 years younger than US silly. USAir: Born 1968 Southwest: Born 1974 (or was it 71 or 72?)

N628AU responds:

US actually traces it's roots back to the 1920s as All American Airways (an air mail carrier at the time). A bigger problem they have is the old fashioned union contracts. The mechanics scope clause with the IAM goes back to 1949.
 
Guest

RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:10 am

"Basically, SW is the Greyhound of the skies."

ATLhomeCMH - You shouldn't slam Greyhound like that.


 
aa757first
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:15 am

US Airways side. I think people are thinking of WN as the little guy still. Its funny to see people outraged at AA for buying TW and killing them and all, but still support WN, displacing US Airways in California, BWI and now PHL. Let's face it: WN wants US dead.

AAndrew
 
airtran737
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:18 am

US needs to look into the mirror to find the person to be mad at for them going out of business. It really stinks that thousands of workers stand to lose their jobs, but that's how business works. One of the big six needed to die, and it looks like the bell has begun to toll for US Airways.  Sad
Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
 
cmb320
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:24 am

I understand the sentiment attached to an airline for different people. If you love US Airways, I'm sure you're very sad about what's happening.

However, you can't let that override common sense. US Airways is not going out of business because of Southwest. US Airways has been struggling for years... thus, they have had years to do something about it. They can't compete, so they're dying. It's like animals in the wild... the strongest and fastest survive. US Airways may have been strong enough to survive this long, but they're not fast enough... and a faster cat is gonna get 'em.

As someone mentioned above, you do want a little comfort along the way. Yeah, so do I. But what is US Airways offering in comfort that any other airline is not? If I want to fly from PHL to LAX, I can fly America West first class and get fabulous comfort for a reasonable price, or I can fly US Airways coach and get the same uncomfortable crappy service that most Legacy carriers offer. THEY CAN'T COMPETE AND THEY'RE NOT TRYING TO AT ALL. I don't see US Airways doing anything that will keep them afloat. Nothing.

I'm certainly sorry that US Airways is struggling so much... it's sad that so many people will lose their livelihoods. However, US Airways has been struggling for so long... it's time to turn off the life support.
 
727200er
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:24 am

Personally I agree that you can't blame WN for doing the things that make them money. Those of you who prefer a better experience can pay the extra and fly the legacy carriers. The rest of the people can cram themselves into the LCCs. I hate cattle class but I will put up with it on short hauls. I think I will be flying more on Jetsgo here on Canada though. $25 to get legroom  Big thumbs up
"they who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only at night" - Edgar Allen Poe
 
MATURRO727
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:26 am

Hi OmShanti


I think this is a world of competition and the strongest have to survive and it's very sad the hole deal of US but the thing of WN is impressive, they had changed the way of fly and made easier to some people to fly as my friend OmShanti said, so the strongest is the survivor.


Cheers.



MATURRO727.
 
erj
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:30 am

I'm a bit annoyed at Southwest moving into Philly. I really don't like Southwest. I have flown them and I really, really did NOT like the experience. The unprofessional atmosphere made me very uncomfortable. F/A's joking during the safety briefing is not cool.

I am bitter about WN 'hunting' US. The fares aren't even cheaper for the lesser product on WN. I plugged in some random dates for May for PHX-PHL and WN was $80+ more expensive than US, DL, HP, AA, UA or NW.

Another reason I hope US survives, all the regional and Int'l flights. Southwest isn't going to replace those flights.
 
rjpieces
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:33 am

While I totally respect WN's decision to enter PHI, I do feel badly for US, which IMO is a fine airline. And I don't think they will go under, I think they will continue to exist in some form, but on a much smaller scale of an airline than they are now and in different markets.

They should refocus their entire operation out of CLT with a good mix of 32X, RJs, and 330s. No sense in wasting assets fighting WN when WN is going to win one way or the other.

Also, WN entering PHI is also a huge slap in the face of B6. It is WN saying "We aren't afraid to enter major airports," it is one less major market for B6 to enter in the near future, it is a warning shot to JetBlue.
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
atrude777
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:39 am

Southwest all the way....and I also supported the AA take over TWA, because I knew in the end it was for the best.

Alex
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
LHcapt2007
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:41 am

1st of all, not everyone has to feel 1st class when they fly, a lot of people just want to get to their destination safely. Whether they get a few more inches of legroom or "more professional" FAs doesn't bother everyone.

2nd, WN is not that much different than those "high class" airlines, how much more comfortable are AA73s and other 737s than WNs? Minor differences compared to what you pay.

3rd, who would have the audacity to claim WN unprofessional? They are just relaxed, comfortable, and easy-going. Enjoyable to most, at least they try to crack a joke; they are down to earth people and their friendliness is contagious. If they weren't professionals, how could they be so successful? Hey, they started in Texas, if you don't like Texans, then you'll hate WN.
cheers,
LHcapt2007
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Aloha717200
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:42 am

Well, naturally I don't want an airline to die off, and US is no exception. So I'd say I'm on the side of US, but relatively impartial, because I am also a big fan of WN and dont believe they deserve the bad rap they get with our more elite members. They're a fantastic airline in every way.


So, may the best airline win here. Personally, I hope US stays alive in one form or another.
 
OPNLguy
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:43 am

>>>I don't get all of this anti-WN sentiment.

That's easy to figure out.... It's a heck of alot easier to make SWA (or for that matter, any LCC) out to be the "bad guys" since it's a more simplistic and expedient "solution" than someone taking the time and effort to assess the the various causes/effects of the last 25 years or so of airline deregulation (1978, if anyone has forgotten).

It's quite understandable why Siegel has to proclaim that SWA is evil incarnate and coming to kill them with malice aforethought, since he has to say -something- to rally his troops, and what better way than making SWA the villain? Of course, SWA and it's employees have had ZERO to do with how UAIR management has run (or not run) things in the years -since- deregulation--things like buy PSA (the SAN-based one) only to later abandon California, and leave a huge opportunity for SWA. Yep, it's SWA's fault for taking advantage of that opportunity, alright...  Insane Was SWA and its employees responsible for UAIR hiring Stephen Wolf and all the things he inflicted on UAIR?

No SWA person I know wants to see UAIR (or UAL) disappear, as many have friends or relatives there, and they know the amount of suffering and personal turmoil that shutdowns would entail on the employees--the employees that are paying for the miscues and mistakes of previous managements, and may indeed pay the ultimate price for them. If that happens (and again, I hope it doesn't) it won't be the fault of SWA and LCCs, but the failure(s) of their past respective managements to have -successfully- adapted to a changing industry over the last 25-26 years. It's not just the airline industry either--look at how many other industries have seen fundamental changes in marketing and distribution, and not just retail... Is all that SWA's fault too?

SWA was only 7 years old when 1978 rolled around, and being small, lean, and mean, and not too set in its ways, was able to more readily adapt to the industry as deregulation was changing it. Likewise for America West (started in 1982). Some airlines didn't make it, i.e. Braniff-1 (1982) and Air Florida (1984), and many others, but still others (Jet Blue, Frontier (II), and AirTran) have also been able to base their business models on today's industry environment and do well. That's the key word here--BUSINESS--and sometimes they are not well run, and they fail. Folks can take "sides" and be angry at the successful airlines that have managed well, but that anger is severely misplaced, not to mention being a big waste of time.

Statements like "I'd rather fly a proven industry leader, not a fly-by-night, chinsy trailor with wings." are just emotional rhetoric. (Psst..! It's "trailer" and you too get the same kind of folks on -your- airline sometimes)  Big grin


My 2 cents...

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
aa757first
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:48 am

I'm (of course) not a business traveler. But if I were flying, let's say PHL - MIA three times a month, I qualify for Silver Preferred which gives me access to elite check in lanes, free first class upgrades, and the chance to join US Airways club for $325. Southwest offers me none of these. Do any business travelers have an opinion on this?

AAndrew
 
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Aloha717200
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:56 am

Every SW aircraft I've ever been on (several of them) has been shoddy, unkempt, and SW's terminals and gates less than eye-catching. On some routes, you make stops in two seperate cities before your final destination, like you're riding on a charter bus.


Wow, different things to different people. Shoddy and unkept? Compared to who? I found WN's planes just as clean as DL's, and DL's aren't very clean either alot of times.


Terminals and gates less than eyecatching? Isn't that the airport's responsibility to a point in how the terminal itself looks? And for comparison, DL's aren't all that exciting either. In fact, none of the airlines at SLC have gates that are any more exciting than the other gates. Hmm, LAS was the same way. So was SNA, and LAX. All the gates look the same except for the logo above.

I dont get what's with these harsh opinions of WN. Would you think better of them if they had a business class?
 
BA747400
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 12:00 pm

Aa757first, Its funny you should say that, because I was just thinking about that today! I fly about once a month for personal reasons, but starting in 1.5-2 weeks I will be on a plane about once a week or so......Anytime I can fly a major I will. Like you said, these miles can go towards tons of stuff, things that WN just don't offer. Its not that WN is a bad airline for it, but its just not how they do things. Plus, with US joining star soon, those frequent flyer tickets will be transferable with other airlines; thus putting almost no restrictions on where I can fly. With WN, a frequent flyer ticket is easy to get, but sometimes doesn't fly to where you want to go...IE International. As bad as it may be to say, when traveling for business, the dollar amount isn't as important; getting there and making the sale is all they worry about. (Plus, US has first class! LOL)

In the same manner that WN going to Phili is just business, my future decisions are too.

That all being said, I do have to go to phili in July on my own dollar; this will, without a doubt be on WN.

I wish nothing but the best for both these airlines, they both have some serious drive, and after reading US CEO press release, passion too. Best of luck guys; Its just business, but I hope things work out for both.

With best regards,
Mike
 
ATLhomeCMH
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 12:01 pm

Emmett99: Can't help but say it, but that's the truth in my opinion. They are an alternative to a "normal" airline, an industry leader such as US, DL, UA, CO, AA, or NW.

Everyone has their own opinion of SW, which is fair, and mine is not favorable. I think they are a joke of an airline that is having success for one main reason, as I said before:

--They take advantage of the non-self respecting Americans' acceptance that airline services have been cut, and "Well, most airline services suck, so I might as well just go for the lowest fare." This, mind you, is good from a business standpoint. I give SW credit for that.

Other discount airlines like Airtran and JetBlue offer new, CLEAN planes (What a novel idea!), sattelite radio, and normal boarding procedures that don't involve first come, first serve seating like we're getting on a public bus.

But, in their defense, SW is preying on a wounded animal, so to speak, which makes perfect business sense, and is exactly what US would do if the roles were reversed. That's business.

But, what brightens my day is how SW hasn't dared to venture into markets like ATL ( a world leader) or CVG, b/c they know that DL would squash them like a bug...and that they can never rival Delta. Long live DL!

My impression of SW DOES include shoddy gates (Vctony), unprofessional employees, and dirty aircraft...once again, the Greyhound of the skies. Simply b/c that's an underlying factor of "cheaper prices, cheaper service" and they have done little to prove to me (and millions of other like me) otherwise.

I agree with all of you that think US has begun to see their final chapter. There are too many factors going against them. I think they should try to get bought out by DL or AA or UA or NW and try to salvage as many jobs as possible through a merger of that nature (which may, or may not, be very many).

That--more than planes, gates, seating procedures, new markets or PROFITS--is what's MOST important.
"The most terrifying words in the Engligh language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"-Ronald Reagan
 
ATLhomeCMH
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 12:05 pm

Aloha717200: I WOULD think better of SW if they had assigned seating and a business class. And better customer service.

I take my airline choices seriously, not just what's the cheapest fare. Like I said, it's not just about fares--but also about what they offer you in return.
"The most terrifying words in the Engligh language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"-Ronald Reagan
 
Cactus739
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 12:09 pm

Let me start by saying I want both to win. I want US Airways to survive, and Southwest to thrive. I've flown both in the past year and have been happy with both. (especially the 757's from PHX-PIT and CLT-PHX)..  Smile The biggest beneficiary of competition, is us... the consumers.

You guys are acting like Southwest is forcing people to buy its tickets and fly on their planes. They obviously aren't doing that. All they are doing is putting up a sign in Philidelphia that says "Southwest Airlines", then flying to various places that people will want to go. The consumers are the ones who are making the choice. Don't blame Southwest for providing a service that people choose over something else.

I'm curious... when America West launch PHX-PIT within the past couple of years, were they accused of trying to put US Airways out of business?
You can't fix stupid.... - Ron White
 
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Aloha717200
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 12:16 pm

Better customer service at WNBig grin Couldnt hurt, after all, their service is already better than the majors, can only be a positive if it gets even better than that!


And an airline's worth is measured by their business class? Well, I guess B6 and F9 are now worthless too.
 
OPNLguy
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 2:02 pm

>>>--They take advantage of the non-self respecting Americans' acceptance that airline services have been cut, and "Well, most airline services suck, so I might as well just go for the lowest fare." This, mind you, is good from a business standpoint. I give SW credit for that.

That's one way of looking at it, perhaps an overly negative one, but I think there's more to it than that.

First, there's a big difference between services being "cut" and services that "suck" to use your term. If an airline service is "cut" in the sense that it's more basic/barebones compared to how extravagant it was before, but is still delivered with a smile, and safe on-time ops, etc. etc. that doesn't automatically mean that it "sucks". In comparative content, perhaps, but not necessarily in execution. I've flown on some non-LCC airlines (back in the days when I wasn't an employee) where the high $$$ "service" was horribly executed, so certainly the opposite can be true, i.e. that a LCC can offer a more basic product and do it well. There seem to be several LCCs now proving this on a daily basis...

Second, you have to consider what's been going on during the longer term.

Long ago, before you were born, there were no "Baby Bells" and only Ma Bell herself. If you needed a telephone at your home, the Bell guy actually came to your house and installed your phones. (You had a choice of three styles, a desk phone, wall phone, or "Princess" phone, in maybe a handful of colors). The phones and all the other hardware were theirs, and you paid for them each month, and whatever they charged, since there was no competition. There was no such thing as owning your own phone. After years of this, lo, the peasants revolted, the monopoly was broken up, and doncha know you everyone was now ALLOWED to own their own phone. Manufacturers of telephones sprung up, competition flourished, and the free market spoke. People liked it, and wondered why they ever tolerated the old way of paying inflated (controlled) prices for so long.

This same pattern went on to repeat itself in numerous industries, that of better value via open comptetition and lowered costs. Eventually, it came to the airline industry. The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) which for eons had regulated who flew where and who could charge what (including increases in fares whenever wages went up), disappeared with deregulation in 1978. There was no longer any automatic fare increases whenever labor costs rose--your had to compete on your its own merits.

It is this continuing 30+ year pattern of the consumer constantly seeking the best value for their dollar that's driving SWA and other LCC growth. It has zippo to do with the level of "self respect" that traveling Americans have for themselves--those travelers quite simply no longer desire to line-up to get reamed for a last-minute trip versus the lower fares that other airlines routinely offer (for admittedly more basic service). At some point, it just wasn't worth paying the higher fare for meals (know anyone tha -likes- airline food?), movies (that you've probably already seen by the time they made it to airlines) or other "amenities" that really were not all that much in the eye of the beholder. Things changed. Some airlines didn't adapt.

You obviously have your own opinion, and I respect that, but I respectfully think that some of your conclusions (and "blame") are off-target.

You may think SWA and other LCCs are unprofessional, but unless there's some absolute universal standard for what's professional and what's not, those opinions and other pronouncements are subjective and essentially meaningless in the bigger scheme of things. Yes, the safety PAs are often made in a humorous vein, but please note that (1) It's FAA-approved, and (2) it's so different from the customary industry safety PA drone that more folks actually LISTEN to the info, and that's what you really -want-, right?  Big grin




ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
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Aloha717200
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 2:28 pm

At some point, it just wasn't worth paying the higher fare for meals (know anyone tha -likes- airline food?),


And to add to that, this is hardly an issue anymore either. Most majors have cut 80-90% of their domestic meal service, so that you're paying a higher fare, usually, just for the priviledge of flying on a major airline, on a bigger plane, with more connecting options.


But the service is roughly the same. Coke and peanuts. An inflight movie maybe, but you also get that on your PTVs on B6 and F9, for lower cost.


In fact the only true benefit of flying the majors is indeed more connecting options. But from a pure domestic standpoint, WN even gives the majors a run for their money in that area.


I dont know why you guys like to think of WN as the trailer-trash airline, but I think it's kind of ironic...that...you put yourselves above the level of flying southwest because "You're better than that", yet millions of people gladly fly them each month. People who range from low-income to the uber-rich. People who live private lives, to people in politics and government. So...it is interesting, that a business traveller, a presidential candidate, a movie star, is ok with flying Southwest to save a buck or two, but for you, no, that's below your level.


It gives perspective as to how some people view their own worth. I find it laughable that one of you said that if WN had a business class you'd think higher of it. Says it all in my mind, really.
 
sprxflySWA
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 2:42 pm

ERJ: Did the WN fares and the others have the same restrictions,etc or were their's for only 4 seats on the plane and have 1,000 rules and change of itinerary fees,etc.?

Also, as for DL buying US as mentioned farther above, I'll bet any airline losing $300 million a qtr are anxiously looking to buy!!

 
unmlobo
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 2:46 pm

I think that calling someone who flys Southwest non-self respecting (or implying such) is totally irresponsible. What is wrong with wanting to save money? Some of us don't consider paying extra for not that much more worth it. Can you blame us? I have never flown US but I certainly hope they can weather the storm so to speak. In the end though the people will have spoken.
The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of Southwest Airlines its Directors or its Employees
 
Delta767300ER
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SWA @ MCO

Thu Apr 15, 2004 2:49 pm

WN's part of the terminal at MCO are only 4 years old and are in the newest and most spacious part of the airport. I havent had any problems with Southwest regarding dirty/shabby aircraft.

-Delta767300ER
 
NIKV69
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 9:01 pm

Unmlobo,

You said it perfectly, there are a lot of people here with an axe to grind with WN simply out of jealousy, I am sure WN has it's share of white trash but they fly biz pax too, people do want to save money on airfare, and cut out the frills. WN has built up the best LCC and is expanding to certain markets, now with Philly. USAirways' fate was sealed long before this!
Hey that guy with the private jet can bail us out! Why? HE CAN AFFORD IT!
 
ATLhomeCMH
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 10:03 pm

I respect all the criticisms of my opinions, and that's fair game. And yes, I do view SW as a trailor trash airline...hehe...for all the aforementioned reasons, whether you agree or not.

My prediction is that, in the next several years, the airline industry will recover for the recession and the horrible blow it was dealt after 9/11...with that, the demand for the "frills" (as someone put it) will return...and Southwest will have to morph into a new industry standard, where what airlines offer the customer will be a major selling point.

It's an undeniable fact that Americans will spend their money when they have more of it (when economic times are good), and skimp on the "frills" when times are rough.

I think thats why, as I mentioned earlier, carriers like AirTran and JetBlue have made it a point to offer the "perks" or "frills" while keeping fares low. Down the road, when the industry recovers and the bar gets raised once again, the transition for AirTran and JetBlue will be much easier than for someone like Southwest.

I wouldn't say that I feel "above" flying Southwest, but that I'd rather give my business to a carrier such as one of the big 5 (DL, AA, UA, CO, or NW), or other LCCs for this industry proven fact:

There are better LCCs than Southwest.

As for the US situation, they're in dire need of help. Like I said earlier, I think eventually the final blow will be dealt and too many jobs...from CLT, to PHL, to PIT...will be lost.
"The most terrifying words in the Engligh language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"-Ronald Reagan
 
ATLhomeCMH
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 10:19 pm

p.s. I have this question for the rest of you...what suggestions/brainstorm ideas/observations do you have for the salvaging of jobs/aircraft fleet if US's throat is completely slit?
"The most terrifying words in the Engligh language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"-Ronald Reagan
 
access-air
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 10:22 pm

Its really sad when an airline must curtail their service in a big city...but sometimes because they held, as some of you said, onto their eons old union contracts their pay scales somehow out paced their profits and guess where they headed....down the pooper..
As for AA taking over TW....Yes, I am angry at that simply because they claimed they were saving many thousand jobs..only to turn right around and bend them over the barrel and shut down the STL hub anyway....
Look what they did to AirCal...I believe in an old airline publication that the 75 Fokker 100s were to be used to operate all the old Intra-Cal flights of Air Cal..instead they closed that company down... And of course what the DOT allowed them to do to Reno Air...was horrible!! Where is Reno Air now??

Also....deregulation was not the end of the CAB (Civil Aeronautics Board) I believe they lasted until 1981 or 1982....when that department's functionns were transferred to the DOT....

Anyone remmber in 1990 or so when Eastern shut down its Philly mini-hub and Midway Airlines (of Chicago) bought like 15 or so former EA DC9-30s (needing much refurbishments) And assumed a nice little Philly hub?? Well that didnt last too long...In my opinion I think that was one of the catalysts that help put Midway into bankruptcy, amongst other things..... No one seemed to care that Midway was coming to town so why gripe about Southwest.

In my opinion, any airline that has Stephen Wolf at the healm is doomed...Where is Flying Tigers? How about Republic? United is teetering despite the obvious denial of their employees (by the way why wasnt National and Vanguard granted the same bankruptcy extentsions that UAL was??? ) And now hurricane Wolf did his damage at USAir ( I still dont like calling it USAirways.) Im also wondering if Piedmont would have been a major player today had USAir not decided that they needed marry them back in 1990.

For those of you that think that Southwest is a cattle car, How about PeoplExpress???? You had to buy your meal and pay for your checked baggage...oh wait I dont think they had meals but you had to buy your drinks If im correct?? Not too many people liked that concept excpet those that wanted to pay el-cheapo airfares. Face it, In todays Internet world, everyone thinks they should be able to get everything for next to nothing...when we get over ourselves and not expecting anything more than a nice safe flight on a relativley clean aircraft and not need to be constantly entertained by some mindless PTV or crap lilke that, then I think we can truely enjoy ourselves..

As for USAir....I hope they dont have to go out of business as it is the LAST of the original Local Service airlines..none are left.....I wish them all the best and hopefully they can turn their company into something great again, rather than just existing....or worse waiting to die....

Access-Air
Remember, Wherever you go, there you are!!!!
 
ATLhomeCMH
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Thu Apr 15, 2004 10:42 pm

I agree...I think the buy out of TW by AA was done under false pretenses/expectations, and it was a shock when we found out AA's true motives.

But, like I've said throughout this entire forum, that's business. Southwest is only doing what US would do if the roles were reversed...they see a weakness by their competitor in a shared market, and they're attempting to make a business-smart power play.

As for "constantly being entertained by mindless PTV crap," thats very idealistic of you, but I think you're missing the point--millions of passengers enjoy it and want it...and if we're talking about things from a business-smart perspective, then offering your travelers a "perk" like that--in addition to lower fares--can't be bad, can it?

"Business-smart." That's what's fueling this entire power play in PHL, and that's why Southwest will force US into a further downward spiral (much to my dismay).
"The most terrifying words in the Engligh language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"-Ronald Reagan
 
InnocuousFox
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Fri Apr 16, 2004 12:16 am

Hey... may the best man win.
Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
 
goingboeing
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Fri Apr 16, 2004 12:44 am

Man....I wish I worked for some of these companies who would allow their employees to spend time changing planes at a hub so that they can get "silver preferred" status versus taking a nonstop flight to their destination where they can beging earning the pay that the employer is paying them. Some folks tout the "business passenger" as never boarding a Southwest jet. Fact is, Southwest, being more of a "point to point" carrier offers more nonstops flights between "non-hub" cities than any of the others. That equals "convenience" and it results in a savings to the company sending their employee on the road. Trust me, not just airlines are looking for ways to cut costs. If a company sends a guy making $75,000 a year on the road, they'd rather be paying him for doing something to make the company money than they would for him to be toting his laptop between flights at a hub so that he can become "preferred" on an airline that flies to Europe.

Here in Kansas City, it's possible for me to fly to Nashville in the morning, do business, and return that night. All for a decent price. Any other airline puts me thru ATL or ORD or CLE to change and doesn't get me to Nashville until around lunch time. Here's a good example...my wife is a realtor. One of her clients was moving from Nashville to KC. He caught a Southwest flight into KC, arrived at 1:00 p.m. Went to the 2:00 p.m. closing on his house, then made it back to MCI to catch the 4:00 p.m. flight home. Transacted a deal for about $200,000 in the process. If he would have tried to do the same thing on another airline, he would have spent 4 hours getting here, and 4 hours getting home. That, my friends, is a "business" type of service. He didn't care about first class, airport clubs, upgrades, or inflight entertainment. Just get in - do business - get home (in time for dinner). No hotel or meal expenses.

Oh...forgot to mention that SWA is using a terminal that was remodeled less than a month ago at KCI. Pretty nice - far from "trashy".

[Edited 2004-04-15 17:45:11]
 
ssides
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Fri Apr 16, 2004 12:52 am

I also don't understand the anti-Southwest sentiment that seems to invade this board from time to time. I may be wrong, but it seems to me that the anti-WN sentiments is largely based in the North and East, where WN is still a relatively new player (especially when compared to the network carriers).

I live in Texas, and I've grown up flying AA and WN most of my life (with several CO and DL flights thrown in). I have never, ever found WN personnel to be any less professional than those from a network carrier. The joke safety briefings and songs can get a bit irritating, but it makes me happy to see people who take so much pride in their jobs. To me, most WN employees seem very satisfied with what they're doing. Many AA, DL, NW, and US employees act as if they could give a rat's ass. Not trying to stereotype, but that's an attitude that, in my experience, is much more prevalent at the network carriers than at WN.

As far as WN's product is concerned, the level of snobbishness that I sometimes see here at A.net is disheartening. I can only attribute that to some regional differences in WN's passengers. Here in Texas, most WN passengers are business travelers who are taking short hops, like DAL-AUS, DAL-HOU, DAL-SAT, DAL-ABQ, DAL-MSY, AUS-BNA, HOU-STL, etc. They like WN because they fly to centrally-located airports, are usually on-time, have a simple fare structure and frequent-flyer program, and treat you with respect. Sure, there are your "trailer-trash" people that fly WN, but in my experience, these people don't make up the typical WN pax load (regardless of what you see on "Airline").

Regarding WN's business model, I doubt anyone could point to a more successful paradigm. In the days of regulation and the CAB, consumers wasted millions upon millions of dollars on "frills" when flying. Do you really need a meal on that DFW-LBB flight? I doubt it, but due to a lack of fare competition, that's what airlines (and their passengers) were spending money on. WN has proven -- beyond any shadow of a doubt -- that you can make money while offering a good yet basic product. I have no problem with that. I'd much rather pay $200 for a round-trip fare, then buy a Subway sandwich to take along, rather than pay $400 for the same trip and get served a plastic pasta dish on a network carrier. This issue is a non-starter, to me. People complained about meal service when it was common because the food was so shitty, now they complain that there's no meal at all.

Bottom line is this: if you don't like WN, don't fly them. But if enough Americans like WN, the laws of business and economics will dictate that other airlines will have to change. This is the way the free market works, and I'm damn proud to live in a country that still honors this system. If you're producing a product that enough people don't want, you're not going to make it. As far as USAirways is concerned, their management, unions, and other leaders need to understand this.

"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
094147
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Fri Apr 16, 2004 1:22 am

There is enough business in PHL for both carriers. If US would focus on cost control and productivity and throw out the stuffy unfriendly attitude toward their customers, there would be a turn around in their financial position. Air Tran and Frontier and Southwest give the residents of the Delaware Valley choices that never existed before. With a bazillion people living in the area, all can prosper. Southwest is coming to town with LUV not a smoking gun.
wildcat one
 
DeltaRules
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RE: SW Vs US..Are You Angry Or....

Fri Apr 16, 2004 5:54 am

I'm on the side of US, but on the same note, am not going to blame WN if US does go under.

Another reason I hope US survives, all the regional and Int'l flights. Southwest isn't going to replace those flights.

ERJ...Good point. I never thought of that.

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