Kahala777
Topic Author
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Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:01 am

With the advent of United Airlines Premium Service in the lucrative JFK-LAX, JFK-SFO market, would it be at all possible to forsee United Airlines in its reorganization, to switch out the 777's on JFK-LHR with the Premium Service 757 product?

From what has been discussed on this forum it would seem as if Premium Service is producing above passengers expectations and offering United Airlines a nice little bundle of cash. In addition wouldnt United Airlines offering Premium Service in the JFK-LHR market, be a step above what American Airlines offers for passengers in the First, Business and Economy cabin?

In closing what is the chance of seeing United Airlines Premium Service enter the Washington D.C. to Los Angeles, San Francisco, or London/Heathrow markets? Couldnt United Airlines trade out some of its 777 for Pacific expansion in lieu of 757's with Premium Service configuration for Atlantic?



Aloha,

Kahala777

[Edited 2005-06-11 19:02:18]
 
ASMD80
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:15 am

Quoting Kahala777 (Thread starter):
would it be at all possible to forsee United Airlines in its reorganization, to switch out the 777's on JFK-LHR with the Premium Service 757 product?

What are the loads on the premium cabins (F,J) vs. the Y cabin on UA's current JFK-LHR routes?
Some things are actually better at 30,000+ feet...
 
Lufthansa747
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:16 am

Quoting Kahala777 (Thread starter):
In addition wouldnt United Airlines offering Premium Service in the JFK-LHR market, be a step above what American Airlines offers for passengers in the First, Business and Economy cabin?

UA 777s have first suites and C+ on European routes. Much better than any domestic p.s.
Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
 
Kahala777
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:22 am

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 2):
UA 777s have first suites and C+ on European routes

What is C+?

Do you mean Economy Plus? That is already offered on the JFK-LAX, SFO flights.

American Airlines seats in Business and First are dismal at best. Even on the 777, American Airlines, premium products, have much to be desired!


Aloha,

Kahala777
 
dutchjet
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:37 am

I mentioned this once in another thread a while ago and many here jumped all over me saying that UA would be crazy to convert the JFK-LHR route to PS757 service.

While UA is small player in terms of seats and frequency on the JFK-LHR route, UA does have its following and its corportate accounts to take care of. UA's focus on JFK-LHR is similiar to its role on the transcons - lots of premium passengers that fly often and are loyal to UA. I think UA would do well with three or four PS757 flights per day between JFK and LHR (if slots at LHR would allow) including a daylight service on the eastbound leg and an evening departure on the westbound leg.....UA would probably make its loyal frequent flyers very happy by offering more departures per day. It could just work, and a side-benefit would be that UA would also solve some of its widebody aircraft problems. UA could offer PS-connections for some pax travelling between SFO/LAX and London.

The real question is - does the economics of the low-density premium service configured 757 work in real life? Does UA actually make money on flights operated with the PS757? I do not know the answer to that - does UA keep all of the premium seats filled up on the transcon flights, and, of course, at what prices? SO much depends on the basic business model - but if UA is making money on the transcon PS757 services (and that is the big IF), I think that JFK-London would be a natural followup for this type of service.
 
LAXintl
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:39 am

Two immediate operational problems without considering any marketing factors.

1-All the currently assigned p.s. aircraft are non ETOPS B757s. UA smallish(16) B757 ETOPS fleet are currently well tasked with lots of Hawaii flying.
2-The majority of UAs B757 fleet is barred as part of lease/insurance covenants from leaving the United States.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
Kahala777
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:44 am

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 5):
2-The majority of UAs B757 fleet is barred as part of lease/insurance covenants from leaving the United States

Yeah, that can be a problem  wink 

Back in 1998, America West wanted to operate larger aircraft to Mexico City, when LAS-MEX was going out full. Problem was that the leaser did not allow the aircraft to leave the borders of the United States.


Aloha,

Kahala777
 
LHRCS
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 3:07 am

Dont really see this happening at any time.

But would love to see another flight on this route, pref a very early morning dept say about 07:30 dept LHR to avrl JFK aprox 10:30. Just think you could then realistically do a day trip to NYC as you could return on the 21:30 dept (ua904) to arv LHR 09:25 and still do a days work.

Just a thought..
 
roseflyer
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 3:21 am

If UA had not sold off its unused slots at LHR, it would have been interesting to see if they could have made the 757 work across the Atlantic. It could have been similar to the privatair flights operating on behalf of LH and Swiss. UA could serve smaller east coast destinations to LHR nonstop with 757s in a premium configuration. But in reality a normal international 777 is nicer than a PS 757. The first suites definitely beat the lie flat first class seats on PS.

The down side with having 757s go across the Atlantic for UA is that almost every decently sized airport in the east has a hub operation by some airline and service to Gatwick. With Bermuda II, UA would be forced to serve Gatwick, which would defeat the purpose. Nonetheless, it would have been an interesting move if UA started serving LHR from PIT, BDL, PVD, MHT, etc. But I still doubt that it would have worked since operating into LHR is very expensive and there may not be enough premium traffic to warrant this service.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
laca773
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 3:24 am

How are they doing with their "PS" transcon legs LAX/SFO-JFK-LAX/SFO?

I hope it is working out for them. They do have a very loyal following and my Mom takes it frequently. From what I understand, their inflight product is far superior compared to AA's, and what DL did have and no longer does.

LACA773
 
Lee
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 3:40 am

I wouldnt really see the point of it. The US domestic flight have no real premium service so p.s. made a change. If you want premium to NY you can fly BA, they have something like 5 flights a day. You cant get much more premium than BA first.
 
bravo7e7
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 4:31 am

This would be a terrible move, considering that United is overbooked in Economy on almost ALL flights JFK-LHR. Reducing Economy capacity and increasing F & C capacity would be a bad move.
 
Kahala777
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 6:40 am

Quoting BRAVO7E7 (Reply 11):
United is overbooked in Economy on almost ALL flights JFK-LHR

Oh, I forgot it is the people in the back that pay to keep the plane up in the air!  sarcastic 

Look at it form this standpoint

1 December
JFK-LHR

10 December
LHR-JFK

First Class
$12,882.00

Business Class
$3,350.00

Economy Class
$461.00

Booking engine used was Expedia.

If you were take the above equation, it takes 27 Economy Class passengers to equal 1 First Class passenger.

If you were to take the above equation, it takes 7 Economy Class passengers to equal 1 Business Class passenger.

You may want to rethink how important the size of the Economy Class cabin is on your next Trans-Atlantic flight!  sarcastic 

Quoting BRAVO7E7 (Reply 11):
Reducing Economy capacity and increasing F & C capacity would be a bad move.

What planet do you live on? The money to be made is in the premium cabins, not Economy for International markets.


Aloha,

Kahala777
 
Planesmart
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 7:11 am

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 5):
2-The majority of UAs B757 fleet is barred as part of lease/insurance covenants from leaving the United States.

Insurance can be an issue heading to some destinations, but not London.

If the aircraft have appropriate equipment / apporvals for over-water flying, changing insurance and leases should be a formality.

Given the sweetheart deals virtually all financiers are currently willingly / unwillingly providing to US-based airlines, making the necessary changes shouldn't be a problem. In 2005, anything that improves the financial viability of a customer is not a problem.

Within the next 5-10 years, 757 sized aircraft will be priced out of LHR, as airlines will be able to make more money in the short-term selling slots to A38 operators, than using for their own flights.
 
bravo7e7
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 9:09 am

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 12):
Oh, I forgot it is the people in the back that pay to keep the plane up in the air!

Look at it form this standpoint

1 December
JFK-LHR

10 December
LHR-JFK

First Class
$12,882.00

Business Class
$3,350.00

Economy Class
$461.00

Booking engine used was Expedia.

If you were take the above equation, it takes 27 Economy Class passengers to equal 1 First Class passenger.

If you were to take the above equation, it takes 7 Economy Class passengers to equal 1 Business Class passenger.

You may want to rethink how important the size of the Economy Class cabin is on your next Trans-Atlantic flight!

Right, and the typical economy passanger is paying $461.


Next, what is the whole point of Premium Service? Is it not to replicate international service? Why replicate international service when you can have the real thing?
 
Kahala777
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 9:47 am

Quoting BRAVO7E7 (Reply 14):
Next, what is the whole point of Premium Service? Is it not to replicate international service? Why replicate international service when you can have the real thing?

United Airlines Premium Service, Economy Plus, is miles above what American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, and Delta Airlines offer in economy class across the pond.

United Airlines Premium Service, Business Class, is miles above that of Northwest Airlines, and Delta Airlines across the pond!

United Airlines Premium Service, First Class, is miles above the "Business" products that Delta, and Northwest Airlines offer over the pond!


Aloha,

Kahala777
 
bravo7e7
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 9:51 am

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 15):
United Airlines Premium Service, Economy Plus, is miles above what American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, and Delta Airlines offer in economy class across the pond.

United Airlines Premium Service, Business Class, is miles above that of Northwest Airlines, and Delta Airlines across the pond!

United Airlines Premium Service, First Class, is miles above the "Business" products that Delta, and Northwest Airlines offer over the pond!

Here is what I think you are saying:

United Airlines, Economy Plus, is miles above what American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, and Delta Airlines offer in economy class across the pond.

United Airlines, Business Class, is miles above that of Northwest Airlines, and Delta Airlines across the pond!

United Airlines, First Class, is miles above the "Business" products that Delta, and Northwest Airlines offer over the pond!
 
Jamake1
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 9:57 am

So refreshing to hear someone compliment United's service. It is a good topic for discussion..P.S. Service across the pond. I would like to see P.S. Service expanded to IAD-LAX/SFO and perhaps BOS-LAX/SFO.
United's B747-400. "She's a a cruel lover."
 
bravo7e7
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 9:59 am

Quoting Jamake1 (Reply 17):
IAD-LAX/SFO and perhaps BOS-LAX/SFO.

There is no point IAD-LAX/SFO, considering that most people on that route work for the government. There are not enough people willing to pay high fares.
 
luv2fly
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 10:10 am

Quoting BRAVO7E7 (Reply 16):
United Airlines, Economy Plus, is miles above what American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, and Delta Airlines offer in economy class across the pond

NW still offers complimentary alcohol drinks and new state of the art A330's across the pond.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
Kahala777
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 10:16 am

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 19):
NW still offers complimentary alcohol drinks and new state of the art A330's across the pond

And those horrible blue nightmare seats on the DC-10 out of MSP?

What about the nightmare blue seats that are on every aircraft type except for the A330?

You are also forgetting a very important thing. Northwest Airlines, unlike American, Delta, Continental, America West, United, US Airways, Alaska, ATA, and Omni does not offer Inflight IFE on any domestic segment, with the excpetion of Hawaii!



Aloha,

Kahala777
 
luv2fly
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 10:19 am

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 20):
You are also forgetting a very important thing. Northwest Airlines, unlike American, Delta, Continental, America West, United, US Airways, Alaska, ATA, and Omni does not offer Inflight IFE on any domestic segment, with the excpetion of Hawaii!

And this is relevant in a talk about flights to Europe because why?
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
Kahala777
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 10:50 am

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 21):
And this is relevant in a talk about flights to Europe because why?

If you recall the subject was in regards to United Airlines Premium Service (a domestic full service product), and Europe.

Premium Service, Trans-Con are both domestic topics!  wink 

Aloha,

Kahala777
 
Kahala777
Topic Author
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 10:57 am

Quoting BRAVO7E7 (Reply 16):
Here is what I think you are saying:

United Airlines, Economy Plus, is miles above what American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, and Delta Airlines offer in economy class across the pond.

United Airlines, Business Class, is miles above that of Northwest Airlines, and Delta Airlines across the pond!

United Airlines, First Class, is miles above the "Business" products that Delta, and Northwest Airlines offer over the pond!

No, that is not what I said.

I was referring to United Airlines Premium Service in my Reply #15, it was clear to me from your post #16 that you cared only to listen and read a part of it.

Premium Service, you know, the only thing that is "Full Service" within the lower 48!  sarcastic 


Aloha,

Kahala777
 
christao17
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 11:07 am

Kahala777 -

It is an interesting idea. What might end up being more feasible would be to just upgrade the current international fleeet (after exiting BK of course). Continue to fly JFK-LHR with the 777 but upgrade business to be the same lie-flat product that is in the PS First cabin and freshen up the UA First Suite a bit. Add AVOD in economy and I think it would make UA much more competitive without decreasing the number of seats.

Cheers,

Christao17
Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
 
Kahala777
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 11:11 am

Quoting Christao17 (Reply 24):
Continue to fly JFK-LHR with the 777 but upgrade business to be the same lie-flat product that is in the PS First cabin and freshen up the UA First Suite a bit

This was the plan pre 9-11-01

Quoting Christao17 (Reply 24):
Add AVOD in economy and I think it would make UA much more competitive without decreasing the number of seats

This was the plan for the 747-400 pre 9-11-01


Aloha,

Kahala777
 
LAXintl
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:52 pm

Quoting LACA773 (Reply 9):
How are they doing with their "PS" transcon legs LAX/SFO-JFK-LAX/SFO?

A 7th LAX-JFK flight was recently introduced.

Overall yields have improved in all classes. With much smaller economy product there is less pressure to offer significant numbers of rock bottom cheap fares. Business class has been received extremely well compared to the product on the previous B767-200s. Soon p.s. will also offer WiFi internet access on all its B757s.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
uaord2000
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 4:50 pm

An interesting fact: When United reconfigured the 757 to PS, they also made them over-water equipped. Surely United didn't spend the extra time and money during the reconfiguration process to add all of the overwater equipment for nothing. However, I really can't imagine placing a 757P on the JFK-LHR route. Maybe a route with less demand?

On a side note, I recently worked a "ps" ID.....ORD-LAX-JFK-SFO-ORD. (great reserve ID by the way!!) and was blown away by the 757p. The passengers absolutely loved the plane. It is amazing how they transformed that dreary, dark and smelly cabin into a beautiful jet, where every passenger, in every cabin is quite comfortable. Business class is more than half of the plane!!! Economy+ sort of makes you chuckle because it is so small and First is weird because it is quite strange to see lie-flat seats on a narrow-body aircraft. The power ports are probably the best feature for the passengers. The pax were amazed that the entire plane was equipped with them and they didn't require an adapter. Basically, I was extremely impressed with the ps product and think that it beats all of UA's widebody international product; namely UB. Hands down. Unless of course you prefer a jumbo with 350 people jam-packed on the plane.

-J
 
LAXintl
Posts: 20183
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 12:12 pm

RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 5:12 pm

Quoting UAORD2000 (Reply 27):
An interesting fact: When United reconfigured the 757 to PS, they also made them over-water equipped

ha? None of the p.s. aircraft are overwater equipped. UA operates 4 different B757 fleets.

56 Domestic MQ nose number 54xx Non overwater standard config aircraft
16 MX nose number 55xx ETOPS
13 MU nose number 56xx Overwater
13 MP nose number 57xx p.s. Non overwater.

Most UA aircraft bar a few B737s currently I believe have lifevest. This in itself does not make and aircraft overwater equipped. For the OW also requires rafts.
Next time an easyway to distinguish this is to check out the safety cards. The O/W aircraft state "Over Water" on the front of the cards, and also have diagrams highlighting the rafts on the inside.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
uaord2000
Posts: 163
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 5:36 pm

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 28):
ha? None of the p.s. aircraft are overwater equipped. UA operates 4 different B757 fleets.

I could be wrong, but I'm almost certain the 57p is overwater. Not sure about the ratings and ETOPS; however, the plane is equipped with life vests, and I am almost positive that there is a raft located in an aft ceiling compartment. Please correct me if I am wrong! If they are not OW, a few of my small theories would be shot down!

Thanks,
J
 
LAXintl
Posts: 20183
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 12:12 pm

RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 5:45 pm

Quoting UAORD2000 (Reply 29):
plane is equipped with life vests, and I am almost positive that there is a raft located in an aft ceiling compartment

Yes on vest, no on raft.

Speaking of over water equipped, please stand by for TED.. A sub fleet will be O/W equipped starting the fall..  Wink
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
SFORunner
Posts: 306
Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2004 4:23 am

RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 7:41 pm

To compare the 757ps plane with the 777 used for JFK-LHR (borrowing information from Seat Guru):

First:
777 - United First Suite
78.0" pitch 21.5" width
757ps - Lie Flat Seat (aka the SQ SpaceBed)
68.0" pitch 21.5" width

The 777 has a superior product.

Business:
777 - 55.0" pitch 20.5" width
757ps - 54.0" pitch 20.5" width

Similar product across both planes. The going rumor is that the 777 (and 744)C seat will be replaced by the 757ps F seat, post-BK.

Economy:
777 - Economy Plus
34-36.0" pitch 18.0" width
Economy
31.0" pitch 18.0" width
757ps - Economy Plus (only)
34.0" pitch 17.0" width

Again, similar product, if you are in E+.

Other:

The 777 has IFE and EmPower in F and C.

No IFE on the 757ps, but if you are in F or C, you do get a personal DVD player. Regular power ports in all classes.
 
N1120A
Posts: 26468
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 8:09 pm

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 3):
American Airlines seats in Business and First are dismal at best.

Their F-class is suites and C class is the same as UA

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 4):
role on the transcons - lots of premium passengers that fly often and are loyal to UA.

Actually, UA lost a massive amount of premium transcon traffic, particularly out of LAX, to AA 4-5 years ago

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 15):
United Airlines Premium Service, Business Class, is miles above that of Northwest Airlines, and Delta Airlines across the pond!

Um, NW's WBC has been rated one of the best

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 15):
United Airlines Premium Service, First Class, is miles above the "Business" products that Delta, and Northwest Airlines offer over the pond!

See above

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 23):
Premium Service, you know, the only thing that is "Full Service" within the lower 48!

I think CO would like to have a word with you

Quoting Christao17 (Reply 24):
but upgrade business to be the same lie-flat product that is in the PS First cabin

That is the current plan. Part of the reason for p.s. and the stripped down Space Bed was to gauge reaction

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 26):
With much smaller economy product there is less pressure to offer significant numbers of rock bottom cheap fares.

Strange that UA still offers rock bottom fares on the route quite often
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
Kahala777
Topic Author
Posts: 1513
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 7:28 am

RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 10:15 pm

Quoting SFORunner (Reply 31):
No IFE on the 757ps

What? I guess you have not flown P.S., now have you?

Quoting N1120A (Reply 32):
Um, NW's WBC has been rated one of the best

By who people in Michigan, and Minnesota?

Quoting N1120A (Reply 32):
Strange that UA still offers rock bottom fares on the route quite often

Really? That statement needs some serious backing up!


Aloha,

Kahala777
 
ramerinianair
Posts: 1452
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Sun Jun 12, 2005 11:53 pm

Kahala,
I love the idea!!! In this economy,many airlines are cheapining it up and offering rock bottom fares. I choose to fly CO a lot because they charge a little more for a real full service product. If UA started to offer PS on more routes and kind of morph into more of a PS product, then I would definately switch! I, as do many, appreciate the full service and will pay for it. They could have TED for the vacation destinations and PS for the rest.
Then I woke UP!!!!!!
SR
W N = my Worst Nightmare!!!!!
 
Kahala777
Topic Author
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:25 am

Quoting RamerinianAir (Reply 34):
If UA started to offer PS on more routes and kind of morph into more of a PS product, then I would definately switch

You mean actually offer something that every other airline does not??

Yes, I think that United Airlines has a great idea with Premium Service. If United Airlines were to reduce the nickel and dime flying such as DEN-FLL, DEN-MCO. They could focus on mainline money makers in hefty O/D markets that are proven solid. American Airlines, I.E., the other airline in Chicago is going more and more into the dungeon that is known as Southwest Airlines. One of things that you are hearing more and more from the flying public, is that they are in many cases willing to pay a little more for a more refined, or complete service/experience. United Airlines has a great plan with Premium Service, lets just hope they dont try to become like Southwest and be Ted happy!

Aloha,

Kahala777
 
scotron11
Posts: 1181
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:29 am

There are two start-ups being proposed to offer the same product LON-NYC.

One is EON and the other FirstAir. EON proposed flying STN-JFK with a 757 outfitted with 48 seats and sell them for the average business class fare now, £3200-£4400 roundtrip ($6000-$8000).

FirstAir wants to offer service LTN-EWR also with a 757 with 48 seats at comparable airfares. FirstAir claims they would break even on 16 passengers.

It would be hard to beat VS & BA on the JFK-LHR run, and I hear that AA's First class isn't bad on international. Correct me if I'm wrong. Plus, BA will soon roll out their new business class product for premium longhaul.
 
commavia
Posts: 9822
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:47 am

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 35):
American Airlines, I.E., the other airline in Chicago is going more and more into the dungeon that is known as Southwest Airlines.

Well, there are many people who obviously think AA's service isn't that bad, as AA is flying record numbers of people, experiencing record load factors, and making operational profits. And, by the way, I don't know if I'd call Southwest a "dungeon." There service is -- generally speaking, of course -- reliable, friendly and expected. You know what you're getting every time, and Southwest always delivers. There is a lot to be said for that, and obviously millions of Southwest customers think so too.

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 35):
One of things that you are hearing more and more from the flying public, is that they are in many cases willing to pay a little more for a more refined, or complete service/experience.

What "flying public" are you talking to? For the last decade, Americans have again and again voted with their wallets: the vast majority of travellers in the U.S., IMO, now regard air travel as a bus with wings. They could care less about anything but price, and if they say they care about "service," "inflight entertainment," "food" or other general, non-specific terms, then it's total B.S. Would they like these amenities? Of course. Would they be willing to pay for them? In most cases, probably not.

If a middle-class family of four is flying from LAX to MCO, are they going to fly UA on the nonstop, enjoy a free meal, and a movie, or are they going to fly Southwest, make a stop in MCI or PHX or wherever, get no meals, and no movies, but pay $200 less per ticket? Which airline are they going to choose? Time and time again, I think the answer is pretty clear. Now, of course, this is a huge generalization that does not refer to all American travellers, but does refer -- at least in my view and experience -- to most. As Bob Crandall always used to famously say, the three most important determining factors when a travellers books a flight are "price, price and price."

And so this is the balancing act of "value" that airlines are now having to perform: giving customers what they want, as long as those customers are willing to pay for it.

Are there niche markets where a premium product can generally garner higher yields and more profitable traffic? Of course, and I think JFK-LAX/SFO are definitely two of them which is why it was smart of UA to start there with P.S. However, these markets are not many, particularly within the U.S., and as such most airlines must continue to do the best they can to balance the needs of that small, select group of travellers willing to pay more for better service (and thus fly F) and the majority of travellers who don't care about anything but buying a cheap ticket on Orbitz and getting to their destination safely and on time.
 
Kahala777
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:48 am

Quoting Scotron11 (Reply 36):
One is EON and the other FirstAir.

Isnt it more like Eos, Max Jet, and First Air? Something to that effect!

Eos, using a 752 ex JFK to STN
http://www.eosairlines.com/

Max Jet, using a 762 ex JFK to STN
http://WWW.MAXJET.COM

First Air, using a 752 ex EWR to STN
- Website and Details Unavailable


Aloha,

Kahala777
 
Kahala777
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Mon Jun 13, 2005 1:30 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 37):
If a middle-class family of four is flying from LAX to MCO, are they going to fly UA on the nonstop, enjoy a free meal, and a movie,

In most cases they will chose Song, or United Airlines.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 37):
or are they going to fly Southwest, make a stop in MCI or PHX or wherever, get no meals, and no movies, but pay $200 less per ticket?

Southwest Airlines, and Jet Blue, are no longer the lowest rates out there. A common myth has existed in this country in regards to low fares, adn which airlines offer them. Jet Blue has quietly been raising thier airfares to levels equal to or more than some of the majors. Try to book a day of departure JFK-SMF, or JFK-LAS and you are going to be at about the same, if not more than United, American, or Delta.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 37):
Which airline are they going to choose?

They are going to take into consideration a few factors.

A/ Convenience of Schedule
B/ Pricing
C/ Ease of Connection
D/ Service

FYI - If you want to fly a family of 4 to Orlando, you in most cases will not want to fly on an airline that stops 2 times along the way, or on an airline that is not going to keep your kids occupied with some sort of IFE!

Quoting Commavia (Reply 37):
Time and time again, I think the answer is pretty clear.

No, Price, was key Post 9-11... People and the economy are now getting back on their feet, and people are now able again to chose!

Quoting Commavia (Reply 37):
Now, of course, this is a huge generalization that does not refer to all American travellers, but does refer -- at least in my view and experience -- to most

At least you admit, it is a hugely bloated generalization!

Quoting Commavia (Reply 37):
As Bob Crandall always used to famously say, the three most important determining factors when a travellers books a flight are "price, price and price."

Crandall, that is a whole other topic to itself!  sarcastic 



Aloha,

Kahala777
 
Kahala777
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:13 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 37):
You know what you're getting every time,

Yeah, Greyhound with Wings!  yes 

Quoting Commavia (Reply 37):
For the last decade, Americans have again and again voted with their wallets: the vast majority of travellers in the U.S., IMO, now regard air travel as a bus with wings

Funny, is that why United Airlines Premium Service, is doing so well?

Funny, is that why PrivatAir, is doing so well?

Funny, is that why International Aircraft, are gaining more and more Premium Cabin space?


Aloha,

Kahala777
 
baw716
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:24 am

Kahala,
We have already discussed this idea, in the thought process of what to do if the 763s were pulled down and repo'd by the banks.

The 757s with the ps service do have the range with the reduced payload to make LHR with sufficient reserve. On a route like JFK-LHR, in which the "premium products are in high demand (probably the only market in the world that is), I would surmise that if ps were put on the route, it would do quite well. My recommendation, however, would be to completely remove Economy Class. Make it a pure Premium Class product. I would also replace the domestic F seat with the United First Suite, which can be done on the 757. The first half of the aircraft, forward cabin and 1/2 of the second cabin would be F class, the last half of the aircraft Business Class. This would further reduce the payload on the aircraft and create a similar type product to the one offered by PrivatAir on behalf of LH on Chicago to Germany and Newark to Germany operated by the BBJ and the A319LR.

The configuration would be more or less 12/36, which would be plenty to make money for that aircraft. If that is successful on JFK/LHR, then UA may want to investigate the possibility and the cost of adding a fuel tank to its 757s to do the same thing from other markets, specifically Chicago to other key markets. By operating the aircraft itself instead of leasing out to Privatair, it could offer its own product and having a private aircraft with only F/C on it, the level of service offered to those passengers would likely be greater than on other flights, where flight attendants would not be concerned with having to rotate into the Economy cabin. On an seven to eight hour flight, they can get to know their customers...and on a service like that, the repeat customer factor would be very high. Therefore the likelihood that f/a's would recognize their passengers again and again would be good, thereby insuring the recognizition factor so very much wanted by the road warrior type business traveler.

Thanks for bringing up the subject again.
baw716
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
 
Kahala777
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:34 am

BAW716:

Welcome to my Respected User list. It is nice to see another aviation enthusiast who thinks outside of the typical, "it cant be done" box!

Aloha,

Kahala777
 
commavia
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:08 am

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 39):
Southwest Airlines, and Jet Blue, are no longer the lowest rates out there.

Not always, but much of the time. And, almost always, when WN or B6 are not the lowest fares in the market, and a legacy are, the legacy is pricing their product at a loss. The fact remains that as long as WN and B6 have costs 30-40% lower than the lowest-operating cost legacy (AA), they are still going to having near complete pricing power in the markets they serve.

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 39):
FYI - If you want to fly a family of 4 to Orlando, you in most cases will not want to fly on an airline that stops 2 times along the way, or on an airline that is not going to keep your kids occupied with some sort of IFE!

I think in the specific example of LAX-MCO, WN can get you there with one stop only. And, in general, IMO, there are more people who will choose price over convenience of schedule and IFE. Again, using my prior example -- is a family of four honestly going to pay another $500-$1000 for a trip just so their kids can have a TV screen overhead? I doubt it. They'll buy an $85 Game Boy at Wal*Mart instead and save the remaining $900 for spending cash at Epcot.

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 40):
Funny, is that why PrivatAir, is doing so well?

Where, exactly, is PrivatAir based? The answer: Geneva, Switzerland! PrivatAir is a European company that (almost) exclusively flies scheduled service for major international airlines on international routes. I am referring to domestic service only with my last few posts. Don't misunderstand me: in the international arena (an arena that LCCs have not generally touched yet), premium service can still command a premium price, but in the domestic arena -- not really except in a few very select markets.

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 40):
Funny, is that why United Airlines Premium Service, is doing so well?

Whether or not it is doing well (which many will argue either way), I think it's telling that it is only one two routes out of probably 2,000 in the UA system. Yes, as I said earlier, in some select niche markets, a more premium-oriented product will succeed, but these markets are getting fewer and fewer every year that goes by.
 
Kahala777
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:15 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 43):
is a family of four honestly going to pay another $500-$1000

MCO-LAX exists, by United Airlines mainline due to United Airlines having very, very good money making contracts with Universal, and Disney. In all honesty there is not a huge market for California to Orlando. Afterall, California, and importantly the Southern California area has been home to Disney since the 1950's.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 43):
Where, exactly, is PrivatAir based? The answer: Geneva, Switzerland! PrivatAir is a European company that (almost) exclusively flies scheduled service for major international airlines on international routes

PrivatAir, may be a "International" airline. But plenty of wealthy Americans are filling those flights day in and day out!

Aloha,

Kahala777
 
commavia
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:32 am

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 44):
MCO-LAX exists, by United Airlines mainline due to United Airlines having very, very good money making contracts with Universal, and Disney.

Exactly my point, and all the more proof that if UA didn't have the lucrative Disney contract, their MCO-LAX route probably would not exist or would be a TED A320 to be more competitive one price with WN, etc.

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 44):
PrivatAir, may be a "International" airline. But plenty of wealthy Americans are filling those flights day in and day out!

Yes, wealthy Americans are filling those flights day in and day out on an international route! I won't be holding my breath to see UA start contracting out PrivatAir A320s or BBJs on ORD-LAX or BOS-SFO anytime soon, though!  Smile
 
baw716
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:53 am

It would seem that Kahala and Commavia have entered into an interesting debate. It has gone off into a different topic that speaks to more of airline product in general vs. price instead of the topic of UAs ps.

Since both of you have gone off in that direction, lets for a moment stay there, because both of you have touched on some points that are very germaine to the issue of how UA could fix itself, but noone has really thought about it.

"If a middle-class family of four is flying from LAX to MCO, are they going to fly UA on the nonstop, enjoy a free meal, and a movie, or are they going to fly Southwest, make a stop in MCI or PHX or wherever, get no meals, and no movies, but pay $200 less per ticket? Which airline are they going to choose? Time and time again, I think the answer is pretty clear. Now, of course, this is a huge generalization that does not refer to all American travellers, but does refer -- at least in my view and experience -- to most. As Bob Crandall always used to famously say, the three most important determining factors when a travellers books a flight are "price, price and price."

Why is this so? Simply stated, because the airlines have done two things to completely devalue their products: 1) introduce commodity type pricing. In commodity type pricing, the price point is set by how many seats are available relative to a certain target revenue point against a booking curve. If the number of passengers on that flight fall behind that booking curve, the seats availabe on the flight drop to encourage bookings but only up to the curve, if it is above the curve, it will close out certain fare categories and demand higher fares. At 24 hours prior to departure, that flight is sent to the airport and based on the seats available, the airport will charge the lowest fare available for them to book.

The second component is product. The product that the carrier offers, e.g. kiosk check in, web boarding cards, assigned seating, boarding priority, meals, IFE, movies, nonstop/direct/connections and baggage service, ease of changing fares,etc. all of these things come under the heading of product. How is the airline able to handle the service needs of the family? This is the other component...that and the frequent flyer miles. Some families it is important, to others it is not.

Now, according to Commavia and Bob Crandall, everybody is voting their carrier with their pocket books...its all about price, price, and price. In other words, the family will of four will pay $50.00 less while going through a little inconvience just to save $200.00. How much inconvenience? Instead of a nonstop, they are willing to make a connection to save $200.00.

There are two problems here. 1) Noone has considered the possibility that these people could be sold up to the higher product. 2) This presuposes that there is a product to justify the extra $200 spend.

Lets examine this: A family of four with two young children, say age 4 and 5.

Lets say United Airlines has a nonstop from LAX-MCO. In this new remade United Airlines, the family can purchase their ticket on the web. Their ticket is not based on commodity pricing, but based on a different pricing model, one in which is based more on real supply and demand for that specific flight. The price for the ticket is $40 higher than WN at $200. They can get advanced seat assignments at the time of booking. They can order their meal at the time of booking for $10. They decide to order 3 meals and share the one meal between the two kids. They have 4 seats together, 3 meals and everything is arranged the price: $240, plus $10 for the meal,so $250 for 3 and $240 for 1, so $990, for all three. They pay $190 more than Southwest.

They get:
-Assigned seats
-Advance boarding passes
-Pre purchased meals
-UA entertainment network and DirectTV
-NONSTOP flight (vs connection with two young kids in a strange airport)
-save three hours off their trip.

None of which they would have received on Southwest..the difference in price per person: $40.00. Had they purchased something to eat in the airport in PHX, they probably would have paid closed to $30.00, because of the high prices, plus the tax. The next difference is $160.

The most important concept is that we have to SELL this to the customer. If we sell the benefit of the nonstop and the savings and the lack of hassle dealing with their kids in a strange airport, they would gladly pay the extra $160. How do you do that when the customer is interacting with you on the computer?

Marketing. Marketing. Marketing (dummy)

There are a great deal of other things that UA must do, however, the clear fact is that it all comes down to making the customer aware of the benefits of paying a little extra for the service and the VALUE for the service that they would receive. This is why we have come down to price as the only demoninator. Simply because noone will sell it to the customer.

If people believe in their product, they can sell it. All they have to do is make people believe. So, lets make people believe.

baw716
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
 
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Mon Jun 13, 2005 5:09 am

aww I guess the poor non-revs will have less chance when most of Y class dissappears
There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
 
Kahala777
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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Mon Jun 13, 2005 5:23 am

Quoting Malaysia (Reply 47):
aww I guess the poor non-revs will have less chance when most of Y class dissappears

FYI: Airlines do not exist to offer Non-Rev benefits.

 yes 


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RE: Possible? UAL Premium Service To LHR

Mon Jun 13, 2005 5:35 am

Quoting Baw716 (Reply 46):
None of which they would have received on Southwest..the difference in price per person: $40.00. Had they purchased something to eat in the airport in PHX, they probably would have paid closed to $30.00, because of the high prices, plus the tax. The next difference is $160.

While I agree with you that many customers would be persuaded to book away from WN towards UA if the price point was only $30 higher per ticket than WN, there are many cases in which the difference is not $30, but $130, or $230. In these cases, IMO, WN will still win 9 times out of 10.