flybynight
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Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:03 am

With AS's direct flights to several Eastern US cities, including Miami, Boston and New York/Newark, it sure would be nice to have a bigger plane to ride on. Are there even any thoughts within AS to get maybe a 762 (like CO did), or maybe a nice new 7e7!

Heia Norge!
 
luv2fly
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:06 am

Let me ask this, WHY? Every new plane type they introduce to the fleet costs $$$$$, something a lot of airlines, including AS are watching very closely!
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yyz717
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:07 am

I never understood why AS never made a play for SEA-NRT as it has changed hands a few times. Also SEA-LGW/FRA.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:47 am

I never understood why AS never made a play for SEA-NRT

Very few LoCos have initiated transoceanic intercontinental service and lived to tell about it.

AS and HP are two of the rare exceptions, and I rather doubt they plan to repeat that any time soon.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
dutchjet
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:57 am

While, in theory, an AS widebody sounds good, the truth is that AS really does not need larger aircraft for its current route system. As does well with its 737/NG/MD80 fleet - with the "smaller" aircraft, they offer lots of frequency on business routes which makes AS popular with high-fare business travellers, also, the use of smaller aircraft allows AS to shift capacity to where its needed. Alaska's route system has seasonality - more service to Mexico in the Winter and increased service to Alaska in the summer. Flexibility is a good thing.

Routes like LAX-SEA and SEA-ANC, routes that could probably support a widebody, have many departures per day - increasing aircraft size would cut back the number of flights. AS's newer transcons out of SEA show a profit because only because smaller aircraft are used - 767s are not needed for these routes (especially in the winter), again, AS would rather offer 2 737s per day beween SEA-BOS than one 767 as demand increases - more connections, more choice, more passengers. While AS does offer a good number of connections at SEA, its not a huge hub, and due to SEA's geographical location, it can never be developed into a mega connection center such as Dallas or Chicago......after flying from ORD to SEA, connections on to Alaska and some Pacific Northwest cities are all that really make sense - no one but a price oriented low-yeild pax would consider flying ORD-SEA-LAX for example.

As for SEA-NRT, AS elected to stay out of the long range international game for several reasons, first, the need for larger aircraft, second, when the SEA-NRT route authority was bouncing around, AS did not have adequate feed at SEA to support the route, third, long-time partner NW flies the route, and lastly AS simply did not want to take the risk. AS has also stayed out of the Hawaii market - AS could certainly have tried SEA/PDX/ANC-Hawaii flights - but they have elected not to in order to avoid risk, huge competition, and to isntead focus on the pacific coast and the development of domestic service out of SEA.

AS did place an order for one 747 plus one option about a zillion years ago, the order was cancelled, AS determined that it did not need and could not afford such a large aircraft. They were right. Boeing also tried to convince AS to take the 757, again AS passed and went with the 739. I really dont think that we will see anything larger than a 739 in AS colors for the foreseeable future.
 
flybynight
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 6:24 am

Luv2fly - Why? Because on long flights across the continental US it is more comfortable to fly a larger plane. Besides, I believe the SEA-MIA flight has certain restrictions since it is so close to the limit for a 737NG.
If AS is serious about its continental US expansion, I think it should have bigger and more comfortable planes.
I see your point about purchasing planes simply to make for a comfortable flight doesn't make sense, but if the expansion keeps going, I would think AS could easily fill a 7e7 (and how cool would it be if AS was the first US airliner to get the 7e7 - considering AS is based out of Seattle).
Of course, the upgrade to a wide-body would have to make financial sense, and if the expansion to the East Coast continues, I would think there is a chance for a larger planes.
Also something to consider, a 736 has a very small first-class section. With a 767 or a 7e7, AS could gain more revenue from passengers flying first class. I realize there is a problem with that theory since first class is commonly used when people cash-in mileage.
Heia Norge!
 
m404
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 6:27 am

As already said, why would they by a plane that would not fit in with the rest of the system. You dont see WN jumping into wides just because the money losers have them.
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flybynight
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 7:04 am

WN and AS are two different types of airlines. AS uses the more traditional hub system, so a larger plane could be a good match.
As I also said, IF they keep growing, a wide-body would possibly be a good match.
If expansion continues, a larger plane would likely fit the rest of the system, as you put it.

Also, are you saying airlines like UA or AA are loosing money because the fly larger planes? I would think the traditional airlines are loosing money because they are oversized and not run efficiently. I don't think the size of the plane as much as the size of the fleet is the issue.
I would think that flying one wide-body is more efficient than flying two single-aisle 737's.
Heia Norge!
 
BCAInfoSys
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 7:19 am

Also something to consider, a 736 has a very small first-class section. With a 767 or a 7e7, AS could gain more revenue from passengers flying first class. I realize there is a problem with that theory since first class is commonly used when people cash-in mileage.

Just a correction in your facts, AS does NOT have any 736's. In the 737 family they have: 732 Combis, 734s, 73Gs (737-700s), 738s (4 on order), and 739s.

And in response to the rest of the thread, widebodies just aren't needed. I have flown almost all of the US domestic carriers, and let me tell you, AS is far and away my favorite! They absolutely blow away the competition! The are the best US carrier in my opinion.

One further point: AS is not a LCC by any measure, but they're also not a traditional/legacy carrier. They are what I consder more of a niche carrier that borrows from each of the 2 other models. And they've filled their niche role well, so why change what isn't broken?

Steve
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luv2fly
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 8:23 am

The argument about a wide body being more comfortable then a narrow body is perception on your part. Half if not more of the traveling public have no idea what type of plane they are traveling on. And last I looked WN most certainly hubs there fights.
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Bronko
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 8:47 am

Very few LoCos have initiated transoceanic intercontinental service and lived to tell about it.

Alaska Airlines is not an LLC.

At least, I don't think they are, nor have I seen them referred as such before. What is the threshold for LLC/Mainline etc?
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737-990
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:08 am

It's interesting that while you suggest a widebody would be preferred on a transcon flight a lot of US carriers are replacing their domestic widebody fleets with narrowbody aircraft. United is the latest removing it's 767-200s from transcon markets and replacing them with 757s in a 2-class config. Continental mainly uses 737NGs and 757s for it's transcons out of EWR. AmericaWest is using the A319 for new eastcoast markets form California and lets not mention JetBlue with its A320s. Due to so much competition on these markets airlines the trend is against widebodies with their higher operating cost.

Alaska currently hasn't even expressed interest in any widebody aircraft. I think that in a few years the 737-800 with winglets will be the mainstay of the fleet, replacing current MD-80s and 737-400s, and it should have any problems making the SEA-MCO/MIA nonstops.
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WeAreUnited
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:50 am

United is the latest removing it's 767-200s from transcon markets and replacing them with 757s in a 2-class config.

United is replacing with reconfigured 3-class 757's. It is their new premium service (nicknamed p.s.). There a quite a few threads about it.... some with pics.
 
avek00
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 10:48 am

"Luv2fly - Why? Because on long flights across the continental US it is more comfortable to fly a larger plane."

Since when? Comfort depends less on the size of a plane than on how an airline chooses to configure the cabin. A 737 with a 32-33" pitch in Y will be more comfortable than a 777 with 31" pitch, for example.
Live life to the fullest.
 
JET1977
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 10:59 am

This is more of a Technical Question.
I am wondering if an AS B738/9 become ETOPS rated, could they fly from ANC to NRT?
I belivieve that it is only a 4 hour flight between the two cities.
 
N1120A
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:18 am

I am sure you meant LCC (low cost carrier) and not LLC (Limited Liability Corporation). AS is really the last of the true regional carriers, in the mold of Hughes Airwest, PSA and AirCal. Even AS has started flying transcons, but has limited their service to a few flights to SEA or LAX. What we call regionals now are what we used to call commuters and fly smaller planes (though that has changed too).
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
Cactus739
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:31 am

ANC-NRT is more like 6 hours or so if I remember right. I flew that on a JAL 747 about 13 years ago if I remember right...
You can't fix stupid.... - Ron White
 
burnsie28
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:01 pm

As for SEA-NRT, as long as NW flies it, AS can't fly it.
 
flashmeister
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:04 pm

AS has done a good job to not need widebodies since they're network whores (in a good way)...

NRT comes courtesy of NW.
Europe comes courtesy of KLM-Air France.
Besides their own East Coast flights, they have lots of codeshares with AA/DL/CO/NW.

So why, again, would they want their own metal on these routes?
 
flybynight
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:24 pm

I prefer widebodies for a few reasons:
1 - Two isles make for easier moving around the plane. Long flights mean more trips to the bathroom or just getting up and moving around.
2 - Speaking of bathrooms. There are more of them.
3 - Less likely to be completely full (just more seats).
4 - Usually a bigger plane is better through turbulence.

As to the comment that most people don't know what kind of plane they are flying on, I would agree. I've had people tell me they flew on a 747 from SEA to EWR on AS!!
However, I'm an enthusiast, so I have a different perspective on what I like to fly on. Also, I have found that most business travelers that a lot are pretty aware of what they fly on.

So, let me pose the question. If AS gave you the choice of a 777 and a 737NG to fly from SEA to MIA. Which would honestly pick??
Heia Norge!
 
Cactus739
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:30 pm

Your reason 3 doesn't make sense to me.

"Less likely to be completely full"

Why would they want to fly a plane that wasn't full? If a 738 is big enough, why would they want a 777?

To answer your questions, I'd pick the 737 flight. Mostly because by the time it was time for my trip, they'd have had to park the 777 cuz they were losing money on it.

You can't fix stupid.... - Ron White
 
greaser
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:32 pm

Your reasons for a widebody are the reasons why AS don't want a widebody!

I would pick the AS 737-NG.
Now you're really flying
 
JAFA
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:36 pm

Getting a new aircraft type because its cool is not a good business decision. The narrowboby planes AS has suits thier routes very well.
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:49 pm

I have often thought that AS missed the boat when it came to the 757. I am not an airline employee of any sorts, just a VVFF, and I wouldn't want to second guess AS management. . . having said that I think AS would have done well with ANC-OGG/LIH/HNL on a 757. I will not fly AS transcon simply because I don't want to be strapped into a 737 for more than an hour or two. There's no mistaking that I am a "bus" fan, but I have nothing in particular against a Boeing. It's the AS aircraft I don't like . . . no IFE, tight seat pitch for a transcon aircraft (in F where I usually fly). I see no need for them to compete internationally, their code share/marketing agreements with CO, NW and AA can handle that. But I would agree, get some other aircraft to make those transcons from SEA to MCO, MIA, IAD and DCA; and the ANC-ORD run. A 737 simply isn't the hot ticket for that . . . .
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lincoln
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 1:26 pm

"Routes like LAX-SEA and SEA-ANC, routes that could probably support a widebody, have many departures per day - increasing aircraft size would cut back the number of flights."

Exactly... While I wasn't around for it, from the history it seems that PSA made this mistake with the "Mother Grinningbird" (aka L-1011), where not only did frequency drop, but "it took as long to load and unload as it did to actually fly the route"

From what I understand, that cost PSA some serious money trying widebodies from on similar routes, something airlines REALLY can't afford to do right now.

Or so I've read...

Lincoln

CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 1:52 pm

Regarding a widebody for longer flights, it's all down to personal preference and how the cabin is configured.

I did transcontinental in Australia on a 738 one way and an A332 back.

The 738 was way more comfortable and a much better flight. Why? It was a 6:30am flight and was only half full. I had no-one in the same row. Lovely.

My A332 back was full, and as such Economy was packed, hot, and cramped. IFE and service was the same both ways.

As such, I know what I prefer - the flights that aren't full. Wide vs Narrow is nothing to me.

To go back on topic, AS seem to be one of the few US carriers that knows what it's doing without falling flat on their faces. In that regard, I think them having a widebody would be financial suicide.

Trent.


I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
luv2fly
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 7:31 pm

Two aisles mean easier to move around, well not if you have carts blocking both aisles. More bathrooms yes that is true though you also have more passengers. Also larger plane means more passengers so longer to board, sit on the aircraft wait to take off and then repeat the whole process upon landing. Give me the 737!
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luv2fly
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 10:39 pm

Also AS does offer and have IFE on its flights.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:14 pm

AS IFE consists of those sillly little hand held movie gizmos . . . that's not IFE, that's cheap imitation . . . when I say IFE, I mean seat back, music, movies, etc.
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ei2ksea
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:14 pm

Keep it small, keep it toit (Goldmember style  Smile/happy/getting dizzy ). Look at AS and the fab long thin routes they have with the B737NG and with their new B738's the opportunities grow even further; SEA (maybe PDX in future ???) - East Coast Markets and Mexico equate to good frequencies, none of the expenses of having a small widebody fleet suitable only for certain routes with longer turnaround times and none of the risks of taking on the other majors head on - Im sure UA wouldnt like AS flying a B762 to IAD or AA flying seeing AS fly one to MIA.
Next Flight: DUB-BOS (EI), BOS-DEN-PDX (SWA), SEA-BOS (AS)
 
luv2fly
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:19 pm

From the Alaska web site

What's a digEplayer?

The digEplayer is a convenient handheld device which uses video-on-demand technology to deliver a spectrum of inflight entertainment choices. Get your pick of over 10 movies (3 not yet available for rental), 10 categories of music ranging from classical to rap, or view television shows, destination information, airport maps, and more.

Unlike traditional inflight entertainment systems, the state-of-the-art digEplayer literally puts the choice of what to watch or listen to in the hands of customers in the form of a device about the size of a portable DVD player, but with superior audio and video quality.


I am not sure how much more you want or for that matter need.


[Edited 2004-11-29 15:36:02]
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
NWADC9
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:33 pm

AS was going to be one of the first customers for the 747 when it came out, as well as obtaining routes to Europe, but they couldn't get the routes, so they cancelled the 747. This was in the 60's.

SOURCE: the 747 airplane card in that deck of airplane cards that AS sells on their site.
Flying an aeroplane with only a single propeller to keep you in the air. Can you imagine that? -Capt. Picard
 
airliner777
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:18 am

Just a question... Would Alaska Airlines ever get winglets for their B737NG fleet?  Big thumbs up
 
greaser
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:20 am

Airliner777, i believe their 737-800s come with winglets, but not sure
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mauilono
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:05 am

Yes, winglets will be installed on all 73G aircraft, first will be N619AS. Should see it flying with them by December 20th. We are also replacing our 737-200 Combi fleet with 737-400 Combi aircraft starting next year. Four will be combi, one a true freighter. These newer combi aircraft will have 70 seats and will consist of our five newest 737-400 aircraft delivered. FYI
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:59 am

AS IFE consists of those sillly little hand held movie gizmos . . . that's not IFE, that's cheap imitation . . . when I say IFE, I mean seat back, music, movies, etc.

Those "silly little hand held movie gizmos" are a lot better than dedicated IFE:

  • lower weight penalty for lower fuel burn

  • easily portable from one aircraft to another

  • much more digital media content than traditional IFE

  • affords customers the ability to scan, pause or change selections at will



  • But hey - if they suck so bad, then why did AS order over 7,000 of them and why did Ryanair just order them as well?
    "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

    Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
     
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    LN-MOW
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    RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

    Tue Nov 30, 2004 3:54 am

    Handhelds are the future. AA and KLM are among the airlines trying them out, and you'll see more come along as the selection widens.
    And as we will see more and more people carrying their own personal players, I expect someone to come up with 'filling stations' at airports where people can load up their players with movies, TV-shows music etc. Would be a good business idea ...



    - I am LN-MOW, and I approve this message.
     
    flybynight
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    RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

    Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:37 am

    Are the digEplayers available in coach?

    Some people are too serious here. Of course I don't suggest that AS should buy widebodies just for "shits & giggles".

    If it made sense as AS grows its East Coast operations, I would certainly think the possibility for larger planes could come forth.

    I must say, though, I am amazed at how many people would prefer to fly on a 737 over say, a 767 on a 6 hour flight.

    Heia Norge!
     
    avek00
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    RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

    Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:43 am

    "I must say, though, I am amazed at how many people would prefer to fly on a 737 over say, a 767 on a 6 hour flight."

    At the end of the day, it's NOT about the plane type, but instead how it's configured. A B744 with 30-31" pitch is absolute HELL compared to a 32-34" pitch A320/B737 - on flights above 3 hours, I go with the plane that offers the best pitch, period, narrowbody or widebody.
    Live life to the fullest.
     
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    LN-MOW
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    RE: Sure Would Be Nice If AS Had A Widebody

    Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:08 pm

    I flew SEA-MCO on AS' 739 a couple of months back, and I prefer them to e.g. DL's 767's any day of the week .....
    Better seatpich, nicer colors, more comfortable seat .... better experience overall!
    - I am LN-MOW, and I approve this message.