ACAfan
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No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Tue Jun 01, 2004 7:33 am

This is my first post in a while! I have been really busy. I didnt get to know the REAL list of cities until a week after they were released. I am so excited but since my RIC did not get on the list, I wont be flying them anytime soon.

Life, after all, is more important to me than airliners.net!

I was cruising the ACA forum and I found posted an article from the Charleston SC business journal praising the coming of Independence Air. By request, I am posting it here for you to enjoy!

http://www.charlestonbusiness.com/
http://www.charlestonbusiness.com/issues/10_12/editorial/3509-1.html
http://www.charlestonbusiness.com/issues/pdfs/May3104editorial.pdf
Freddie Laker ... May be at peace with his maker ... But he is a persona non grata ... with IATA
 
Greg
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Tue Jun 01, 2004 9:54 am

It's always good to support the local carrier. What he didn't mention was that only five seats per aircraft would be sold at the lowest LCC price.

According directly from Skeen, who received the accolade of CEO of the Year by George Washington University MBA Program (say that in one breath!), only 10% of the CRJ's 50 seats can be sold at the lowest fare--the others in an escalating structure that will still undercut the competition (well, until they adjust their fares).

I think if you do a rudimentary search, there are similiar announcements for many cities they will serve. Undoubtedly, there are timed press releases instead of actualy news. But it's great an astute move in that Flyi does not have to pay for them.

According to Credit Lyonnais (largest Airbus financier), Flyi is apparently asking for the acceleration of the first four 319 deliveries. That is very good news since it will reduce their overall seat mile cost.
 
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ua2162
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:17 am

I don't know. He seems to judge and base his opinion of an entire airline by the amount of money he saved on the purchase of one ticket to New England.

For the record, it will cost you $286.90 on Independence to fly from ORD-BOS on June 20, returning on June 27. UA will get you there on the same dates for $259.95.

 
Greg
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:36 am

I'm sorry UA2162....to whom are you reffering to in your second sentence?
 
BILLAMT
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Tue Jun 01, 2004 11:49 am

And away we go.....................!!!!!!
 
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ua2162
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:02 pm

I'm sorry UA2162....to whom are you reffering to in your second sentence?

No one in particular. I was just proving my point that UA will be competitive against this "new" airline.

I think the bottom line here is that Independence will be the same Atlantic Coast. They'll have a new name and new planes but I'm willing to bet the farm they'll have the same crappy service and on-time record. Honestly, they have been pissing people of for 14 years (and the author of the article failed to mention this.) Personally, and this is just my humble opinion, I'm glad they won't be wearing UA's colors again.

Let's face it, Independence has a tough road ahead and much of this can be blamed on their crappy management. Their costs are already through the roof, especially for a LCC. I don't see how they're going to compete against UA or any other carrier.

[Edited 2004-06-01 05:03:39]

Edited: Should have said UA, not US!

[Edited 2004-06-01 05:31:55]
 
iairallie
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:13 pm

Actually number of complaints is the one DOT catagory we've managed to perform fairly well in. Also by the surveys UAL uses to track our service we do well within the express system. In other catagories we've acknowleged past shortcomings although we met the performance minimums set by UAL. We are investing lots of money and effort into strengthening the weak links in our operational chain. The employees are motivated and dedicated to making this work. BTW our bookings have been exceeding expectations.
Enough about flying lets talk about me!
 
Greg
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:18 pm

Oh..I wasn't being defensive. I'm in complete agreement.
I think there history will be interesting, but brief.

And no, that is not to say I hope, wish, or specifically want them to fail.

Three things now in their favor:
1. (and this is huge) $300 million in unemcumbered cash and short term instruments.
2. Recognition that the 319's are basically essential in lowering seat mile cost (and their actions to get them sooner).
3. Favorable spin being generated in many communities that has them as the underdog (big bad majors beware!).

It will make for an interesting summer.
 
MSYtristar
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:24 pm

IairAllie, any word on when you guys will launch a national advertising campaign, or will it just be limited to the markets IAir will initially fly to?

By the way, I'm behind you guys 100%. It all starts with good customer service. If Indy Air can at least get that right from the get go, I think the airline could be around for quite a while.


Steve/MSY
 
iairallie
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:26 pm

GEE, Greg that was almost friendly! Are you feeling OK? Can I get you a glass of water? Should I call medlink? LOL, I'm glad you're not all gloom and doom.
Enough about flying lets talk about me!
 
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ua2162
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:29 pm

Oh..I wasn't being defensive. I'm in complete agreement. I think there history will be interesting, but brief.

I know you weren't being defensive - you totally didn't come off that way.  Smile

Anyways, I think you hit the nail on the head. It will be interesting and short.

And no, that is not to say I hope, wish, or specifically want them to fail.

I, too, agree with this. The last thing any of us want to see is an airline shut down and people like IairAllie lose their job. Not cool.

Actually number of complaints is the one DOT catagory we've managed to perform fairly well in.

I guess I should have done a little more research, my apologies! Big grin

We are investing lots of money and effort into strengthening the weak links in our operational chain. The employees are motivated and dedicated to making this work. BTW our bookings have been exceeding expectations.

This is good to hear. However, Atlantic Coast's reputation will be hard to lose.

I still can't believe Independence's management is trying to start an airline with such a high seat mile cost. Will the airline even make it to the 319s? This will be a huge problem, even with reservations exceeding expectations. 300 million can go awfully fast!
 
travisnc
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Tue Jun 01, 2004 3:38 pm

IairAllie, any word on when you guys will launch a national advertising campaign, or will it just be limited to the markets IAir will initially fly to?

I know you weren't asking me, but I saw an I Air commercial last week on the Raleigh/Durham Fox station during the finale of American Idol. I don't know if it was national or not since RDU is one of the first airports they'll fly to.
 
voodoo
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Wed Jun 02, 2004 1:18 am

It's always good to support the local carrier. What he didn't mention was that only five seats per aircraft would be sold at the lowest LCC price.

I haven't actually seen that anywhere....
On the other hand every seat is available on their frequent flyer program with no blackout periods, much to UALs chagrin apparently:
http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040527/dcth049_1.html

[Edited 2004-06-01 18:29:54]
` Yeaah! Baade 152! Trabi of the Sky! '
 
Guest

RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Wed Jun 02, 2004 1:31 am

I think the assumption that I-Air is the same as ACA in terms of service is pretty big overstatement. With per-departure fees, they really didn't have a whole lot of economic motivation to do anything to please the customer. The airline now has a reason to focus on customer service and satisfaction.

That said, if they can't deliver the service they promise in their roll-out months I don't think consumers are going to stand for it. My personal opinion is that they are not going to be able to deliver that service nor be profitable, but that's just my opinion.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Wed Jun 02, 2004 1:33 am

Voodoo- Too bad that their points expire after 12 months. Mileage plus miles are good for life, provided that a member earns or redeems miles (note that you don't even have to fly) once every 36 months. It's also a shame that I can't use IAir points to fly to Hawaii, Europe, or Japan. Notice too that IAir gives numbers from 4.5 to 8 roundtrips to earn an award ticket while United claims 6 roundtrips for the same ticket. By the carriers' own numbers, there isn't much of a difference.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
RareBear
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Wed Jun 02, 2004 1:50 am

Also note that the fares quoted by IA do not include the many fees and taxes imposed on airline travellers. Most UAL and DAL fares include these.

I checked on a trip CHS to PWM last week, and the IA fare was only a few dollars less than the US or UA or DL fares. Only difference was IA connected thru IAD while the others went to CLT, PHL or ATL.

IA does give you a $25 discount on your first RT purchase if you join their FF program.
Illegitimus non carborundum
 
caetravlr
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This

Wed Jun 02, 2004 1:54 am

Sjc>sfo, you hit the nail right on the head:

With per-departure fees, they really didn't have a whole lot of economic motivation to do anything to please the customer. The airline now has a reason to focus on customer service and satisfaction.

This statement alone embodies every reason I hate ACA as a company. I flew 125 segments on ACA between Oct 2001 and June 2002, and I must say, operationally, it was despicable. Customer service in IAD was also fairly rude on a consistent basis. However, besides the fact that I was getting miles and status that I could use on the Star Alliance (the main reason), the one thing that kept me flying this is that the cabin crew was always incredibly friendly and fairly efficient as well. Also, here at CAE, and at MDT where I was always going, the ground staff was great as well. If Delta flew to Australia, I would have flown them for all of those trips, however, I wanted miles on United.

All of this to say, I don't like Kerry Skeen or anything about ACA as a corporation, but they have some wonderful people working for them. I hope that for your sakes they can operate like a real airline now. However, even if I was a big fan, I would still be a skeptic. It will be interesting to see.
A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
 
BILLAMT
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Wed Jun 02, 2004 2:48 am

Also note that the fares quoted by IA do not include the many fees and taxes imposed on airline travellers. Most UAL and DAL fares include these.
______

Are you sure about that? Last time I bought a ticket on UAL they added in all the fees AFTER the quoting me on the ticket price.
 
gigneil
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Wed Jun 02, 2004 3:07 am

This statement alone embodies every reason I hate ACA as a company

Hear hear.

N
 
BILLAMT
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:11 am

Voodoo- Too bad that their points expire after 12 months. Mileage plus miles are good for life, provided that a member earns or redeems miles (note that you don't even have to fly) once every 36 months. It's also a shame that I can't use IAir points to fly to Hawaii, Europe, or Japan. Notice too that IAir gives numbers from 4.5 to 8 roundtrips to earn an award ticket while United claims 6 roundtrips for the same ticket. By the carriers' own numbers, there isn't much of a difference.

_______________

Sure UAL can get you to Europe or Hawaii, but can you ever travel on the dates you wish? Indy has no blackout dates. I'm still dumbfounded as to why some are so anti-indy. Even if you hate them ( strong words for talking about an airline, seriously don't you people have anything better to do? ) they are if anything saving you money even if you don't fly on them. Unless of course, if you enjoyed pay sky high prices. You should thank them for saving you a few bucks. Its funny how everyone against this new carrier is so sure that they will be gone in six months. Ummm, can't they do like big brother and file ch11 and hide in there for a few years? Seriously, despite what the experts on this board say, Indy isn't gonna wither and die in six months. I can understand the resentment from UAL employees, but not the general public. Its a direct threat to Uniteds employees ( a small one anyways ), but it is benifiting 98% of the people on here. Some of you are simply too stupid to realize it I guess. If and when Indy ever goes away and UAL jacks its fares right back to where they were, well then I guess some will realize how much that airline likes you. Some people just enjoy getting kicked in the balls i guess. By the way, when will the threads start for anti-Virgin USA? With them eying SFO now, i'll expect to see some expert breakdowns of their sure failure. How dare they want to move in there?!? Jet blue at JFK, Independence at IAD. Virgin USA at SFO, South West and ATA at Midway. I'm gonna just sit back now and let the experts explain it to me.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:16 am

Bill- I'm not anti-Indy by any means. I simply wanted to present the other side of Voodoo's comments. I'd fly Indy if they were cheaper than others for any of the three trips I've checked with them, but they aren't and given that I'll take my miles and my direct flights on UA, US, and DL. I'm puzzled as to how that makes me anti-Indy...

BTW- I'm not sure that Indy is a "direct threat to UA." UA still has ORD, SFO, LAX, DEN, and plenty of international service, and coexists just fine with F9 at DEN. I'm a big UA fan, but I envision that sort of coexistence, not the death of either DH or UA. It's beneficial to employees and consumers alike.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
BILLAMT
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:20 am

no, no, no, I wasn't singling you out. I just used your quote. Sorry if it seemed that way.
 
7e72004
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:28 am

We will have a good idea of what is going on in just 14 days  Big thumbs up
The next generation of aircraft is just around the corner!
 
caetravlr
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This

Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:29 am

BILLAMT, I am not too stupid to realize anything. I realize that they will bring prices down for a short while. I never said anything about sure fire failure either, I said that I am skeptical, and that I hate the way the operation was run as UAL Express. To sit there and let planes depart 6 hours late without reacommodating pax just because they get paid for each flight that takes off is truly abuse of the contract that they had. The operation in IAD was trully abominable most of the time from what I could see. I just don't see them going from that mode of operation to a self sufficient airline.

And yes, I have never had trouble redeeming any of my UAL miles. Of course, as many segments as I flew with them, I had the status to get past the blackout dates. I got all the way to Asia on 3 different carriers in business class with my miles on UAL. Hence, when travelling for business or pleasure, I will remain loyal to them.
A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
 
BILLAMT
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:35 am

Personally, this is my opinion. UAL will become a trans-con/international carrier. They carry the US flag very nicely. And despite what some problably think of me, I would bet that a US citizen seeing a big bad UAL 777 or 744 at an overseas airport brings not only a smile, but also a feeling of being a little closer to home. I think that the LCC's are doing is what everyone who travels within the lower 48 wants. Lower fares! A small group of FF and people who can fork over 1500-2000 grand to fly first class, would think differently. But UAL and AA and DL were not going to willingly lower those fares. It took major pressure from the LCC to make travel as affordable as it currently is. I think the majors do a wonderful job on the long haul routes. But these carriers are too big and cumbersome to for the short hops, which explains why these are contracted out to the ACA's, and the Mesa's of the world. Thats when you run into performance problems, and finger pointing. Indy will all in-house, as well as JB, and Virgin USA. If SWA ever does aquire the 190, i'd bet they will have SWA crews in the front office. Everyone is on the same page, with the same goals. You can't fault ACA for looking out for ACA. Thats stupid. Let them do their thing, and in 6 months or 1 year start in on them. Or how about fly on Indy, see for yourself if its on time, good CS, and so on and so forth. The same people who said that ACA is terrible are now the same who say they are terrible for leaving the UEX program. Well which is it?
 
BILLAMT
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:36 am

BILLAMT, I am not too stupid to realize anything. I realize that they will bring prices down for a short while. I never said anything about sure fire failure either, I said that I am skeptical, and that I hate the way the operation was run as UAL Express. To sit there and let planes depart 6 hours late without reacommodating pax just because they get paid for each flight that takes off is truly abuse of the contract that they had. The operation in IAD was trully abominable most of the time from what I could see. I just don't see them going from that mode of operation to a self sufficient airline.





Again, general observation. Not singling anyone out. Food for though rather than a direct question.

[Edited 2004-06-01 22:38:04]
 
jeffrito
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This

Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:02 am

Given their current operations (especially IAD), I think it's better for IA to hear that we all think they'll fail miserably than to get the LCC prom queen treatment a la the Charleston editorial. Maybe it will give them extra incentive to prove us all wrong!

After all, I'd like to see them succeed. Somebody's going to have to tell me that they've turned that IAD scene around before I get excited about flying there again, though.
 
Guest

RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:39 am

"The operation in IAD was trully abominable most of the time from what I could see. I just don't see them going from that mode of operation to a self sufficient airline."

My skepticism too... I think a lot of DH defenders have to realize that the word "hate" is thrown around pretty losely here because a lot of customers who flew ACA when it was under the UAex banner had consistently *awful* experiences in large part due to how ACA handled operations and customer service. While we DO realize that the incentives are changing for I-Air, it's VERY difficult for many of us to envision such an enormous about-face.

I flew them twice on connections from IAD-RDU and many more times on the IAD-CHO short-hop, and it was always the same thing. An absolute mess in the terminal with flights delayed, crews no where to be found, and indifferent ground personel doing anything they could not to make a cancellation nor accomodate customers. I can't tell you what how much I dreaded getting off that UA mainline flight from SFO and heading over to the express terminal, and what a relief it was to get back to the C&D concourses (as dreadful as they are) after an ACA flight.

On June 14th I'm going to be flying ACA for the last time IAD-CHO (and thankfully taking my last trip on an ACA J41, as UA is going to 4x daily CRJ after ACA pulls out).

I wish the best to employees of ACA; I hope you can squash my doubts, but until then they're there.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:23 am

Bill- Thanks for the clarification. There are no hard feelings from my end.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
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ua2162
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Wed Jun 02, 2004 8:00 am

I think this thread proves my earlier point about how Independence is going to have a hard time shaking their ACA reputation. It may be a "different" airline but many of the same people will be working for them.
 
PITrules
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This!

Wed Jun 02, 2004 8:48 am

Yes, it will be many of the same people - the same people that are truly 'wonderful' people, as CAEtravlr points out. It's these front line employees that will give Independence Air a chance to be successful.

As far as the airline's past performance, please consider that Independence Air's performance will improve simply because:

1) United will not be taking our ATC slots when ORD and IAD have ATC programs. It's this practice which has killed our performace figures the past few weeks because of ATC delays in the midwest and northeast, related to all the storms
2) The maintenance prone 328jets are going away
3) No more base at ORD


FLYi
 
caetravlr
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RE: No Better Press For Independence Air Than This

Wed Jun 02, 2004 9:28 am

Like I said, I don't hate any of the people, I just hated the drain that they were on UAL due to the way they operated. They didn't feel that had an incentive to be a quality airline due to the way the contract was structured. I had some very pleasant experiences with ACA, just not very many were in IAD itself. And it just made me sick to my stomach to see a flight for CAE that was on a mechanical leaving at the same time as the later flight to CAE simply because it was a fee per departure. All pax could have been on one plane. They were all about sponging off of UAL. That is what I hate. UAL probably could have structured that contract a little better too to give ACA some incentive to operate a halfway decent operation.
A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields

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