WindowSeat
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Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 7:45 am


I was looking for flights on Independence Air for later this month when I found that they are offering 16 daily non-stops between Newark, NJ EWR and Washington Dulles IAD.

Then I looked at other flights on this route and turns out that United and Continental offer 14 flights combined. (7 each) on CRJs and ERJs

Even if the Independence Air flights are on a CRJ 200, they're still dumping 800 additional seats on this route everyday.

Is there really that much demand to sustain that frequency? If there is why aren't CO and UA making the most of it? Seats on all of Independence Air flights three days from today are still selling at the lowest discounted fare of $49 each way. Which leads me to believe that they are not filling up on these flights? Then why so much frequency? What gives?

cheers



I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
 
dutchjet
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 8:50 am

I-Airs 16 flights per day out of EWR is their attempt to break into the difficult but potentially very important and profitable New York City market; in addition to the EWR flights, I think I-Air is going to also fly to other NYC airports, including Stewart.

The 16 flights at EWR are for several reasons, it creates a shuttle-like operation out of EWR to try to get a piece of the very high yeild NYC-Washington market (lets see if that works, I have my doubts) and it will feed a lot of pax into I-Airs growing route system at IAD. I assume that I-Air would like to transport some passengers from EWR to Florida (huge market) and California (also a huge market) once those routes are opened up, and with hourly flights out of EWR connection times can be minimized. If the fares and service are right, maybe than can capture a small part of several huge markets.

Time will tell if I-Airs plans and 16 daily flights out of EWR is over-ambitious.
 
FlyIguy1
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 8:58 am

Hey Guys,
In the bigger cities we're all about frequency, We wanna make it easier for people how miss a flight. They wont have to wait as long to get on another flight and we're also trying to allow people to pick a flight according to their own schedule and not the airline's. Of course our loads arent full yet but we're doing pretty darn good in cities like EWR, ATL and ORD. The loads are increasing everyday as more and more people are hearing about our low fares. I think we're one of the only airlines, if not THE only, who REALLY IS about the customer first. Its hard to find that in an airline on a consistent basis now days.

Flyiguy1
 
wolfpacker
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 9:00 am

There are 14 flights in the RDU-IAD market. That is a bit much. I wonder how long it will last.
 
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ERJ170
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 9:15 am

I think the RDU-IAD flights will begin to look a lot better once they get more connecting flights. The prices are right. I just wish they would do some d@mn advertising.. get a billboard! put on a commercial! do something!
Aiming High and going far..
 
AirAmericaC46
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 9:43 am

I think it's about time to follow the Asian frequency of flights---using wide-body jets! Too many regional jets will cause delays and lots of stress to air traffic controllers! Agree? Disagree?
 
UA744Flagship
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 10:33 am

It's overly ambitious.

Combine that with the facts that EWR is one of the most delay prone airports in the country and that IAD this summer is one of the most congested in the country, and you get an impractical flight schedule.

I know people who have flown this route on I-air frequently (because of the attractive $49 one way fares which are always available), and I too have flown it... the consesnus is average load factors around 30-40%.

I-Air's use of technology is great, its marketing is stellar, and its in-flight product is excellent, but their ground service and ability to handle irregular operations are PATHETIC. The ground staff are clueless, and if you'll look at the history of IAD-EWR flights, cancellations and delays abound.

In fact, one of the people I know decided to take the Acela to Newark instead of his evening I-Air flight as he had tracked some of the earlier flights in the day and seen them cancelled/delayed due to IAD thunderstorms. People were undoubtedly getting stranded as flights rolled over onto each other.

The problem when you have 16 daily flights each way between two unreliable airports is that you're almost sure to get an unreliable airline.

Great inflight product



Crapass reliability




[Edited 2004-07-13 03:55:59]
no wire hangers!
 
Cory6188
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 10:50 am

Although I-Air might be trying to lure customers to IAD to so they can fly to California and Florida, no offense meant here, but why the heck would someone take a connection in IAD to go to CA or FL when they can just go nonstop on AA, CO, or UA to CA or nonstop on CO or Song to FL? I-Air can't be that great to warrant a stopover.
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 10:55 am

Cory6188:

I think the point is that for a much lower fare (presumably), one would take I-air and connect rather than a nonstop on a legacy carrier. I'm not familiar with other airlines serving EWR, and whether they've matched I-air's fares thus far.
Finally made it to an airline mecca!
 
WindowSeat
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 8:32 pm



I-Air is currently banking on superior service at LCC prices. Which may, in theory, be a successful formula, but the delays and other factors out of their hands will not make for a pretty scene in their financial books. Thankfully I get to try them on Saturday July 31st from HPN to IAD and back same day so expect a full trip report.


Usually, business travelers demand frequency, but the airlines can't provide frequency if the business travelers don't fly them. Well, who wants to go first? In this case I think I-Air went first. Whether business travelers will travel remains to be seen.


I don't think it is as much to lure connecting passengers to Califormia, but Florida, Carolinas, I think yes. Inspite of all our theories, not one seems completely plausible to me for the 16 daily EWR-IAD non-stops.

Any thoughts?

cheers


I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 8:49 pm


MAJOR POINT: Don't delays affect EVERYONE at a given airport, thereby adversely affecting all airlines on a given route? Why is bad weather or heavy traffic necessarily Indy Air's problem???
Finally made it to an airline mecca!
 
UA744Flagship
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 9:45 pm

Why is bad weather or heavy traffic necessarily Indy Air's problem???

Because they have made a very aggressive schedule with a buttload of flights between certain delay prone airports the highly trafficked and congested NE corridor...
no wire hangers!
 
voodoo
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 10:17 pm

Actually now would seem to be the time to use FlyI to/from EWR.

Simple math: If Flight A (30-40% booked) is delayed/cancelled, its easy to bump everyone onto Flight B (30-40% booked) which departs, whether scheduled or even also delayed, an hour later. Point is, when the schedule goes out the window, thats when you ask, who's got the next plane out and is there space. Better to keep it in the company, and let the customer know who's going the extra mile despite the weather/ATC delay/whatever.

Compare to another airline's larger more heavily booked aircraft with less frequency. Unless that other airline is also flying at 30-40% in which case if you want to know who will keep flogging that service you ask: which airline is healthy with cash and which is already bankrupt?
` Yeaah! Baade 152! Trabi of the Sky! '
 
UA744Flagship
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 10:35 pm

Actually now would seem to be the time to use FlyI to/from EWR.

Not when they knowingly schedule flights during time periods where delays are a fact of life. If you are a businessperson and you are counting on that flight, well if you're flying I-air, don't count on it.

The flight schedule seems attractive, but it is far from realistic and deliverable.

Their fares are great, but you can't rely on them at all.
no wire hangers!
 
lat41
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 10:47 pm

I wonder how the BOS/IAD service is doing in terms of on time performance and loads. That is an extemely busy corridor as well and later this Summer there will be 17 more in that airspace flying to Providence and Manchester.
I do, however wish them well.
 
DCAYOW
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 10:48 pm

Who would have guessed ten years ago that Baltimore could support 12 737 flights a day to Providence...

The principle is the same and at significantly less capacity than the 737. The only problem I see is that they never had an opportunity to "grow" the market like Southwest, they had to come in big, which means they will probably loose a lot at the beginning. War of attrition.

Retorne ao céu...
 
nearord
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 11:00 pm

UA744Flagship

Thank you for the kind words about the product, we hope to keep the serivce level the same way for years to come.

"The ground staff are clueless, and if you'll look at the history of IAD-EWR flights, cancellations and delays abound."

The "history" of 1 month of flights is somewhat delay prone. Yes it's the summer thunderstorm season and these things happen. Keep in mind we are trying to race down the learning curve on these things and it will take time. Another reason is the whole schedule isn't up and running yet. Most of the flights are coming from delay prone airports, that will change as the smaller cities come online, and all the planes are redone (we'll have spares then), and all the gates will be available for use. Im not trying to make excuses, just pointing out some things.

As far as our ground personel, I have noticed an drastic improvement since the startup of Independence, compared to what it used to be, it's 10 times better. It's gonna take some time to break old habits but that will happen eventually. Keep in mind, united made it profitable for us not to care, they would tell us to CNX flights during bad weather days and still pay us. 4 years of operating like that builds up some bad habits in system control and on the ramp. We are keenly aware of this and are things are changing for the better, give it some time to break old habits. We are also spending money on software and other things that will help us during irregular ops. These situations will get better, they have to, and we are aware of that.

As far as air traffic control is concerened, yes we do fly some large schedules to some delay prone airports. We are offering frequency so that the consumer has a choice. All carriers are hurt by ATC delays, some just handle it differently (United, takes all express wheels up times, and assigns to mainline, Smart economically, but eventually a bad idea IMO). In the unregulated world it is possible for us to fly wherever we want, it should be up to the government to keep ATC up to date to handle demand as long as passengers are paying the taxes on the tickets, maybe its time for passengers to revolt and start contacting their senators and representatives begging them for the ATC system to be upgraded. Weather delays will happen no matter what, but things could be much better with a better ATC system. Again I'm not trying to lay blame, just pointing out a few things.

Things will get better, and hopefully you will come back and visit us again.

 
Kohflot
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 11:33 pm

"United, takes all express wheels up times, and assigns to mainline"

*ALL* of them?
Ask why..
 
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jfklganyc
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 11:46 pm

Well I sure hope it is working for them because FlyI starts service to JFK with 16 daily flights very soon. That will be a very aggressive schedule. 32 flights to New York a day??
They have a few problems here:
1. EWR/JFK--and not LGA.
2. IAD and not DCA.
3. People still don't like RJs as much as larger aircraft.

The question that has to come up is, why not fly the shuttle flights? I am sure Indy has good service but in business it's about time.

As for the delays, one word--unacceptable. If you're a new airline the last thing customers want to hear is "The "history" of 1 month of flights is somewhat delay prone."
To say that is a failure. JetBlue didn't say that. Southwest didn't say that. Frontier didn't say that.

The airline business is ruthless. Indy can't have people sitting on the tarmac at BOS for 5 hours--that puts you out of business.  Sad

PJ
 
UA744Flagship
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 11:57 pm

Thanks for the nice, informational reply Nearord.

I do hope you guys stay in business, and that you can thrive with United and really grow IAD's traffic organically.

If I-air sticks around, consumers will be undoubtedly better off with more choice and lower fares.

Let's just hope you iron out your operational issues. Yes, your staff are trained to say "yes" instead of "no", but sometimes your ground agents don't speak enough English to be able to utter an intelligible yes. Lol j/k  Smile Luckily you have the same, easy-to-use kiosks as JetBlue.
no wire hangers!
 
nearord
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Wed Jul 14, 2004 2:16 am

""United, takes all express wheels up times, and assigns to mainline"

*ALL* of them?"

Per the united express contracts, when the weather goes bad, all EDCT times issued to united express and united go to one place. The United ATC office. They make the decision as to which airplanes go where when. So if ORD goes down because of weather, United will prioritize flights and give them the associated wheels up times. Now If you have a choice between bringing in a 777 with 300 people on it or a RJ with 50, which one do you take? Like I said, Makes sense economically, but in the long run those people who fly united express get sick of the long delays. Fingers start pointing and people get mad. Why do you think the term United Distress came about. Listen, it's not just ACA, its all express carriers. I am already hearing lots of grumblings coming out about the replacements. It's not the airline, It's the system. The only way to fix it, is to change the system. Make it profitable for the express carriers to care about customer service. One can cycle in airlines into the system, but unless the system changes, United Express will still be the same.
 
PHLapproach
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Wed Jul 14, 2004 2:49 am

Nearord - PHL was the first airport to use STARS (Some of my friends that ATC at PHL actually helped develop the system and train ppl) and have a very updated system. Still, we run delays out the wazoo. It's not integrity of the system, it's actually the experience of an ATC. Yes, some airports may be a bit behind. Yet, at times when you don't even know it, they are updating.
 
nearord
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Wed Jul 14, 2004 2:57 am

"As for the delays, one word--unacceptable. If you're a new airline the last thing customers want to hear is "The "history" of 1 month of flights is somewhat delay prone."
To say that is a failure. JetBlue didn't say that. Southwest didn't say that. Frontier didn't say that."


I'm sorry you misinterpreted my statement. I wasn't talking about all of our flights, I was talking about the EWR flights. I should have also pointed out that it wasn't because of operational issues, it is because of weather and ATC. You're right the airline industry is brutal, but if you believe that JetBlue and southwest and frontier all had a 100% ontime when they first started, that is simply not true.

We understand it's about on-time for the business travelers, but sometimes weather happens. All airlines are affected by it, and pointing fingers is useless. All we do is wait until the on time stats come out from the DOT, then we can compare. The first month that Independence will not have any other flying besides our own is November. So until those stats come out, it's hard to judge. One can look at ACA's past and realize our on time wasn't stellar, but because of things out of our control, (see previous reply) that is not a fair comparison either.

To answer your other question, no LGA because it is a slot restriced airport and we don't have any slots. So we will fly to the other 4 (EWR, JFK, HPN, SWF) We might get some slots into LGA into the future, anything is possible. IAD because we own the gate space that is needed to run an airline of this size. DCA is also a slot restriced airport, and we don't have any slots.

As to the RJ, Yes we know that, but the seats on the new RJ are very comfortable and if the price is right, people will fly. It's about the economics, By flying RJ's we can have hourly service, when the airbusses come we could replace some of those RJ's with the busses, but with a set demand, that would mean less flights. I'm sure once the busses do come, you will see some of those flights get replaced.

As far as the BOS incident, these things happen to every airline (United in MKE, NWA in DTW, ect ect.) is it acceptable, NO. But the ATC system in place currently sometimes makes it hard to aviod such things. (Again I'm not laying blame on anyone just trying to point out a few things) Sometimes a wheels up time is given because of weather delays, you wait until a half hour prior, board up and taxi to the end of the runway. Now ATC tells you your new wheels up is in 45 Minutes, so what do you do? Keep in mind, if you taxi back in, let everyone off the plane and board up again, that alone takes 45 minutes. So lets say you do that, taxi back out, but now you're 10 minutes past the wheels up time, and they gave it to somebody else. Now they have to find another hole for you, so lets say the give you a time of 45 min past the current time. Now what do you do? Taxi back in, or wait it out? it's not as easy as most people think. How mad would you be if you found out that because we taxied back into the gate and missed the next wheels up, that the new wu time is 2:00 later because of the next line of storms? Not so easy is it. Now if they give a wu time for 4 hours later, yes we will hold off boarding or return to the gate. But that is usually not the case. It's usually given in :45 or 1:00 increments. So what do you do?

Give it some time, let a year go by and we shall see where we are. If it's bad, then it's our own fault. If it's good, then cool, we'll keep bringing low fare service to IAD and beyond. So far it is hard to judge because we are still in the middle of the transition, We have only been operating for a month as Independence. Lets just see what happens in the future before writing us off.
 
nearord
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Wed Jul 14, 2004 3:12 am

PHLapproach,

I guess I wasn't as clear as I should have been. I was referencing the system, which I meant to be the united express system. Its the contracts between united and it's express carriers that needs some updating. The new contracts address some of the issues, but not all of them. I really do hope for the sake of the passengers that some of these issues get ironed out.

As for the ATC system, again I'm not laying blame or pointing fingers. I know ATC is doing the best they can. I know they are constantly updating the system and creating solutions to problems. They are burdened by many things too which I'm sure drives them nuts when people complain about it. The fact that funding is tied up in politics on a regular basis is a big problem. I do appriciate all that is being done and hope that things get better in the future.
 
Kohflot
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Wed Jul 14, 2004 4:20 am

nearord:

You make it sound like United changes every Express flight's EDCT time to favor themselves. That's simply not true.
Ask why..
 
nearord
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Wed Jul 14, 2004 4:39 am

Well, that might be the case, but after dealing with it for years in ORD it just seems that way. If I had a dollar for evertime our dispatcher told us that our EDCT was pushed because of united, I would be a rich man. I'm not suggesting that united does it to tick off people. I'm saying that flights are prioritized and usually the mainline flights win. Again, nothing wrong with that, I would bring in the bigger planes as well. Tough decisions have to be made when the weather goes bad. I'm sure its not every flight, but as an example, I was looking at IAD-LGA flights yesterday, all the ACA-united express flights were delayed by at least 2 hours from the morning on. However the mainline flight only went out 10-15 min late. Why? would you care to expand on what the procedure is? I'm just curious. I'm not trying to pick a fight or anything, just curious and trying find out more info.
 
UA744Flagship
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Wed Jul 14, 2004 8:38 am

I just wanted to point something out, esp. to all the I-air lurkers...

Since I have posted in this thread, I have received not one, but two e-mail semi-threats from people obviously from I-air.

One of them, from Tracey Griffith (don't know who the hell she is and don't care to):
"be carefull of what you do and say the aviation world is a small place"

Some of you I-guys need to put the Kool-I down. This is just plain disturbing.

Again, people, I-air has a good inflight product, but --currently-- the ground operation just plain stinks.

And I speak from personal experience, having flown Indy Air.

[Edited 2004-07-14 01:40:22]
no wire hangers!
 
WindowSeat
Topic Author
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Wed Jul 14, 2004 10:31 am




UA744Flagship,

That is plain disturbing, if you received e mails from I-Air people. That is so not right. You are entitled to your own opinions and I know I am making mine when I fly them later this month. Just to intimidate people on this forum who joined here to be able to express their opinions freely is not fair game.

To the Indy Air people lurking on these forums, have you ever heard of British Airways' dirty tricks campaign?

cheers



I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
 
PITrules
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Wed Jul 14, 2004 10:44 am

UA744

just curious how a member of this forum got your email addresss when your address is withheld? Or do you think it is someone not in this forum?

Thanks for the kind words on the inflight product. Please understand that the delay situation you relate to is EWR-IAD, the worst delay prone route we serve (see other thread), and is obviously not the case with most of the other routes.
FLYi
 
nearord
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:18 am

UA744Flagship,

I'm sorry to hear that, I'm a CRJ First Officer for Independence, and I guess all I can say is that every company has a few....

I do have to say your post could catch a few people off guard, the performance thing is a bit of a touchy issue because of years of trying to defend it because of problems caused by the united express program. That mentality will take time to correct itself. I had to laugh at the picture with the delays, I guess all I can say is satire is the best form of flattery. I'm not making excuses for them, and I hope that this activity will stop. They need to focus on fixing the problem instead of attacking people on this forum.

I hope you will try us again, and I'm glad to hear about the positives. We are working hard to get rid of the old mentality and the old problems, this will take some time. Rome wasn't built in a day and we are by no means perfect, nor is any other airline, but I assure you, we are working on it. Hopefully things will be up to your expectations the next time you fly us. Don't hesitate to email suggestions to the company on the website, www.flyi.com, we welcome any suggestions, big or small.

I do believe in our business model, and I do think things will get better with time. Hopefully we will be around for a long time to come. Thanks again for the kind words, and hopefully the bad emails will stop. Let me know if they don't and I'll make some calls.
 
COEWR
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Wed Jul 14, 2004 1:36 pm

I took IAir from EWR to JAX last week, and I have to say it was great. I had a nice cumfy window seat (a must for all us A.netters) and a good inflight product. I must say those Sun Chips are awesome!

Also, in regards to the ground crews, they were able to bump me up to an earlier flight on the return from IAD to EWR. Granted this flight was delayed 30 mins, so it only got in a half hour before my original schedule anyway, but its great that they helped me! Everyone I encountered on the IAir staff was helpful and courteous.

Overall, even with sitting on the tarmac at IAD for about an hour (another uncontrollable ATC delay due to weather and traffic routing in the NYC area) it was a pleasant experience. Before the bashing begins please understand that I know when weather gets bad there are delays and there is nothing anyone (not even ATC) can do about it. While most other passengers were complaining about the delay I was happy since we pulled off the active taxiway and I was able to catch a nice view of the DH planes that were parked at IAD. I estimated there were about 20 of them some in UAX colors and others in the IAir colors. It was quite a sight!

In any event, I cant wait for the A320s to come online. I will definitely be taking a trip to/from MCO (which I assume will be one of the new cities) using IAir. I thought it was an outstanding product that needs to be commended!

And as my last point, if you haven't flown them jump on a flight if you have a chance if, for nothing else, you get to hear the celebrity safety announcement. The Dennis Miller one gets a chuckle from the crowd, not so sure about the political analysists though.

Also, I noticed that while traveling to JAX from EWR the plane was packed and when going back the plane was about empty. Does anyone have any load factor info? The difference was quite large, down both planes had maybe 4 or 5 open seats and on the way back there were about 15 people on each of my flights.

Good Luck IAir, hope you can make it big!!!

--C
 
mm320cap
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RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Wed Jul 14, 2004 1:48 pm

Hi Nearord,

Enjoyed reading your posts.

-I do have to say your post could catch a few people off guard, the performance thing is a bit of a touchy issue because of years of trying to defend it because of problems caused by the united express program.-


Your insight into the fee-for departure program at UAL is an interesting take. I used to work for ACA a decade ago, and I still have fond memories of the folks I used to work with. Good people you have there. I must say, however, after having an Indy pilot on my jumpseat the other day berate United as the reason for all-things-bad at ACA, I got a little frustrated. First, I really didn't want to hear that while giving the guy a free ride. The jumpseat is the LAST place I would ever start talking bad about someone's company. Second, I feel that many of the claims of United's responsibility for poor performance are overstated. Air Wisconsin and Skywest managed to do extremely well in on-time performance last year. Yes, you guys did the brunt of the work out of ORD, but Air Willy managed there and Skywest had to deal with SFO... no picnic, I assure you. I think it's a joint responsibility. The LGA-IAD route is one that I would not use to compare delays for UAX vs UAL. The reason? There is only 1 UAL flight in the morning, vs. multiple UAX. We can serve our customers much better by loading up an A320 or a 757 with a few flights worth of UAX folks than we can by delaying EVERYBODY 2 hours. If you do that, you can only fit 50 folks on the first flight out of town.

I wish you guys well in with your new airline. You all seem to have the right attitude. If YOU don't believe its going to work, you're dead. So keep the positive vibe going and keep fighting like mad. This is a tough business, and we all have to give it our best shot. My biggest concern for you is the problems you are going to find at IAD. IAD is a disaster as it is now. 300 flights a day plus what we had June 1st with 1 runway closed equals MASSIVE delays. Unfortunately, every flight you have originates or terminates in IAD, so those delays are going to really hurt. I know IAD is talking about another runway, but it takes time to drop the pavement. In the meantime, give em hell, and you are always welcome on my jumpseat.
 
UA744Flagship
Posts: 1433
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 1999 1:55 pm

RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:22 pm

just curious how a member of this forum got your email addresss when your address is withheld?

I withheld my e-mail address from my airliners profile after receiving these two e-mails.

To the I-air employees who have responded, thanks for your replies.
no wire hangers!
 
nearord
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 11:16 am

RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:16 am

Mm320cap,

Thank you sir, You guys are always welcome on us as well.

I understand that it was a joint responibility, I also hear the skywest and AW thing all the time. While I'm not going to defend our poor service as ACA, I will point a few things out. Skywest had a small percentage of flights out of SFO, they had the rest of the system to pick up the slack including the delta side. 90% of ACA flights went out of or into IAD and ORD (10% Delta), two of the most delay prone airports in the country. While I'm not using that as an exuse, after having lived through the summer of expansion in 2001 at ORD, I was shocked at the level of support from united. We went from 25 flights a day to 75 flights a day in 3 months, with the same amount of gate space, same amount of people. These were some trying times, I'm sure your aware of how these problems compound as the day goes on. I remember sitting in the penalty box for 2-3 hours after landing because we had no gate space, why, because of massive delays at ORD causing EDCT times to be delayed ect, ect. Now when there are 7 gates and 6 airplanes sitting in those gates that have their crews in the penalty box in other airplanes waiting for a gate to open up, it causes some issues. Our management begged united for more gates, response, NO. I was interesting listening to the passenger saying things like, "look at all those gates at the C concourse that are open, why cant we just get out there."

Now AW starts adding flights into ORD, and the rest of the F concourse gets opened up to ACA and united gives AW and SKYW gates at the C and B concourse. How are we at ACA suppost to feel? we begged for years for them to do that, they didn't, then SKYW waltzes into town an united opens up gates. Was it favoritsm, or did they learn their lesson and start supporting the express carries after that wretched summer. You run into a chicken VS the egg discussion.

Now comes the interesting part, and the flaw in the system. Could we have done more? Yes, we could have hired more people, bought more tugs, set up repo areas to take planes off the gates so that the operation would run better. But the simple question is why should we spend more money than we have to, its a fee per departure contract, and we only have one customer, United. The job of our management was to maximize profits within the current contract. They did that and did it well. When your revenue is fixed, the only way to increase profits is to cut costs. United made it profitable for us not to care about customer service. So in a sense, we did it better than AW and SKYW. It sucked for customers of united, but I ask one question, why should we eat into profits when our sole responsibility to our shareholders is to increase their wealth? Why should we spend money on things that aren't going to increase revenue? It's tough position to be in. Of course, having lived through those times, I'm somewhat biased and habour a little bit of ill will toward united management. (note, I said management, not the employees) I'm sure you guys don't like them as well.

Like I said before, I hope united management has learned their lesson and they change the way the contracts are structured so to make the express carriers care about the passengers of united. I'm sure they have changed some things, but it still needs some work.

As far as us splitting away, most people are under the impression that we left because of money. In a sence, it was, but not in the way most people think. United wanted us to buy another 34 airplanes, plus maybe some 70 seaters. The problems arose in the risk sharing. They were insistent on a clause that would have allowed them to replace 50% of our flying on very short notice. With the less expensive regionals in the system already, it was only a matter of time. So we were suppost to take on and additional 700M in debt yet have only one customer that could replace us at a moments notice. It come down to two very risky strategies, and we took what we believed to be the LESS risky strategy in starting Independence. We only had two choices, and we already had the business plan to break away, we worked with united to try to make it less risky, but in the end it ended up that it was less risky to start Independence. Again I'm not making excuses for our performance, but the simple fact of the matter is that we weren't paid for performance, we were paid to move airplanes. Now we are paid for performance, and we are doing everything in our power to change. Things have improved 10 fold in the first month, but there are still some issues to be worked out and they are being worked on. It's going to take a few months to get rid of some old habits, but I think its going well ahead of schedule already and things will only get better in the future.

 
mm320cap
Posts: 170
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2004 12:35 pm

RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Thu Jul 15, 2004 1:31 am

Nearord,

Thanks for the very well-reasoned response. You're take on it not making financial sense to provide the very best customer service is quite interesting. I have not seen this before, and it is something I will think about hard.

The delays at ORD have been notorious for years, and the situation at the F gates is atrocious. You are right, to an extent, that it really didn't matter who was there, bad things were going to happen. I've been of the opinion for years that ORD is no place to operate an RJ. Not enough pavement, not enough gates. We pulled 3 737's from ICT to ORD and replaced them with 6 RJ's. Basically the same number of seats, but now twice as many movements. Not helpful. However, United alone is not to blame for the delays at ORD. You will recall that we were asked to "volunteer" 7.5% of our flying out of ORD (along with American) to help reduce delays. So in effect, we should have 15% less traffic at ORD than we had before. But, traffic this year is up 20% from last year, and delays are running close to an all-time high. Now how did that happen? Well, for starters, Indy Air started 16 RT a day from IAD-ORD. Alaska started service, and everyone else basically increased service. This bothers me. Is it a free market or not? Are we slot controlling the airport or not? How can you effectively slot control 2 airlines but then not limit growth of everyone else? Basically what we did was hand over market share to our competitors because the government made us. How many of the DCA slots have we gotten in the past 5 years? 2. We applied for all of them, but the LCC's got over 80%. It's not a free market, never will be.

You are correct sir, in your analysis of your delay problems. You hubbed for UAL at two of the most delay prone airports in the country. Unfortunately, I fear this is what is going to prove to be your most difficult challenge. I suspect IAD will soon become the most delayed airport in the country. We have not yet begun to really experience the effects of what 300 additional flights a day will do to that facility.

As I mentioned, I used to work for ACA, long before they went into ORD. The problems were there at that point as well. Not the people, but the company (like United) was poorly managed. Your take on bad habits forming during that time is really quite novel and intriguing.



Oh boy do I know how you feel. Every time we furlough a pilot, park an airplane and add an RJ to our system I feel the SAME exact way. People complain about scope clause, but it is VERY difficult to watch your flying go to someone else just because they do it cheaper.

Good luck with Indy Air. As they say in the movies, "Gutsiest move I ever saw, man." I admire that. The fee for departure contract is dead (as it should be... what a terrible idea) and you guys decided to control your own destiny. Noone can fault you for that. Wishing you well.

 
nearord
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 11:16 am

RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Thu Jul 15, 2004 2:28 am

Mm320cap,

I agree that with you about the delays at ORD, but there is a few misconceptions in there. United and American were asked, not forced, to depeak schedules, not remove flights. All both airlines did was move flights to less busy times of the day. I also believe that this was originally caused by american moving flights from STL to ORD. I don't blame united for adding flights to compete. Cause and effect. Also one has to be really careful about pointing at Independence, The FAA counts flights per certificate, and as such we have reduced flights from 140 to 12 at ORD. I know my opinion is biased but brand names painted on airplanes don't have rights, certificates do. This weird way of looking at it is caused by the outsourcing of flying, so I agree with your feelings on outsourcing. But yes your point is well taken, you guys take flights out of peak times, and other airlines move in, its not right. About the slots, only LGA and DCA are slot controlled which causes somewhat of a market failure, How can you have a free market with government regulations at these two airports? I guess the way it's supposed to work at ORD is the airlines eventually realize that the delays are hurting the bottom line more than the benefit of those extra flights, and should eventually cut service. The problem is that is not happing due to the late 80's mantra "market share is everything, market share at any cost." One is adding a certain amount of irrationality from all airlines management to create another market failure. How does one fix it? thats the trillion dollar question right now.

I also agree that ATC is going to be our biggest competitor in Dulles. Having been spoiled in ORD by the best controllers in the world for years, It's gonna be tough adjusting to those guys. What I'm hoping is that the shear amount of flights were adding into the airport FORCES them to do something about the current system. If it doesn't change, it's going to cause problems for everyone, and we are going to get hurt the most by this. Needless to say, the boys at the top are doing some serious lobbying to try to fix this issue. That will easily be our biggest problem during the next few months.

I agree that the fee for departure contracts were stupid, they should be banished from the industry and everybody should be squarely focused on customer service from the top down. No airline should make it profitable for a subcontractor to not care about the airlines customers. If anything we proved this theory and hopefully the only good to come out of it is it will never happen again.

I think there is more than enough for both of us to do well, Wishing you guys well, as well.....
 
iairallie
Posts: 2326
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 5:42 am

RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Thu Jul 15, 2004 2:42 am

NEARORD FOR PRESIDENT.....

of independance! Nice to hear from someone who truly gets it!
Enough about flying lets talk about me!
 
nearord
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 11:16 am

RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Thu Jul 15, 2004 6:18 am

Thank you Iairallie. Just trying to bring in a bit of reality into the kool aid infested waters. This venture by no means is going to be easy. There are advantages and disadvantages of coming from 14 years of previous experience as a regional carrier. We need to shed the bad habits and start concentrating on our future.

 
FlyIguy1
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 7:54 am

RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Thu Jul 15, 2004 8:54 am

By the way guys,
I dunno if anybody said anything yet... But a big part of why we're having problems in places like EWR and ATL is that the ground handling isnt being done by us. At the moment its contracted to Continental and DGS. They don't really have a HUGE incentive to help us with our performance. That will be changed soon when our own people are put in place to handle all of our ground operations.

Flyiguy1
 
GSPSPOT
Posts: 2270
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:44 am

RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Thu Jul 15, 2004 9:38 am


I'm rooting for Indy Air! They arrive at GSP this Saturday!
Finally made it to an airline mecca!
 
User avatar
United_fan
Posts: 6382
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2000 11:11 am

RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Thu Jul 15, 2004 10:04 am

The arrive in ROC on Saturday,too. Some new color here!
Champagne For My Real Friends,and Real Pain For My Sham Friends
 
mm320cap
Posts: 170
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2004 12:35 pm

RE: Independence Air - 16 Daily Non-stops EWR-IAD?

Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:20 am

Nearord,

Your assessment of the delays in ORD is close. We ramped up after American shifted some flying from STL north. However, traffic in general had started to rebound at that point, and we increased flights to help out with that demand. Your suggestion that United was asked, not told to reduce the flying at ORD might be a little idealistic. What were we going to say? No? To the government? The same government we were trying to convince to give us a loan guarentee at the time? That is why I put "volunteered" in quotes. It wasn't really much of a choice for us. Besides, quite frankly I think we didn't mind reducing the flights, but we didn't want to do it while losing market share. That is the same reason American added in the first place. It is important to be the #1 Airline in Chicago, for a variety of reasons.

I understand that you don't want us to point the finger to Indy Air for the increased delays, and I don't. I point it squarely at the government for not holding up their end of the deal. I don't agree with your reasoning that ACA's flight reduction can be looked upon as a per certificate issue. Here's why. All the flying you did at ORD was at United's request as United Express. When you "volunteered" to end our relationship, United was forced to replace that flying with another carrier under the United Express banner. It would not be fair or wise for us to inconvenience our customers by reducing our flights to those destinations you once served just because we could not reach an agreement. But there is one thing you failed to mention. IAD-ORD is a completely new route to ACA. It was not something you flew previously, so this is all new flying to Chicago. Now, as you pointed out, there are only 2 slot controlled airports in the U.S. (technically, which is my whole complaint). You have the right and the ability to fly to any airport in the U.S. without explanation (except DCA and LGA). However, I do SQUARELY put the delay blame in the laps of the people who decided to take Indy independent. The UAX flying was previously established. We have not added any flights to the UAX system (we've actually reduced some) we've just replaced one carrier with another. This is something that is done from time to time even without the Independence Air scenario. ALL the flying that you are doing at Independence is new, and in addition to what was previously there. Your managment knew this going into it, and it figured, or should have, into the equation of their decision.

The limits of IAD and ORD have been known for a long time. Even under the best case, there is not going to be a new runway at IAD for many years, so the fact that the delays at IAD are going to hurt you the most MUST have been factored into the business model. It is simply your own doing. As I said, I have no complaints in IAD.... But I do at ORD. It is simply unfair competition to have us reduce flights and let everyone else add new service, which IAD-ORD was. A BIG goof in my opinion. But hey, they let you do it, so you might as well take advantage of it!! My complaint is with the FAA.

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