gkpetery
Posts: 116
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Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:17 am

I just flew on a United LAX-JFK flight and I have to say, WOW! What space on board. It've flown many 757, but when you get on board and you see how far apart all the seats are and more than half the plane is dedicated to First and Business Class... and Econ Plus is also not very many seat, I was amazed! I sat in 9A Exit and the space in front of me.... truly, a gymnast could do back multiple back flips in the space. Service was "normal" for a United flight, but for LAX-JFK transcon, I think it's a great product. And I hope that it does well for United.
 
bluejackets
Posts: 279
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:36 am

Quoting Gkpetery (Thread starter):
I sat in 9A Exit and the space in front of me.... truly, a gymnast could do back multiple back flips in the space.

That would make for some pretty darn good IFE!

Do they add in even more room in Exit rows?
It's funny when I tell people I love planes and they think I'm weird.
 
UnitedFirst
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:45 am

Do they add in even more room in Exit rows?

Typically, the four overwing hatches in the middle of the 757 cabin have two or three Economy rows next to them, with extra legroom. However, my assumption would be that United chose to leave extra space 1 for extra passenger comfort (after all...it is 'premium service'), and 2 because it seems as though it might be problematic to have such a large pair of awkwardly-shaped seats next to an overwing exit (in terms of getting the door off, having somewhere to place it, etc).

Of course, it also suits the configuration of the cabin – I'm not sure if they could have fit another row of United Business seats in that zone without reducing pitch for the rest of the seats.

Unquestionably, though, Row 9 on p.s. is likely some of the greatest legroom in the skies.

Derek
 
gkpetery
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 9:56 pm

Quoting UnitedFirst (Reply 2):
Do they add in even more room in Exit rows?

There was about 6 feet of space from my seat to the next seat when I was in 9A. When people board the p.s. plane, you can just hear the people go, "Oh man!" because it's kind of unreal to see how much space there is on the business class section.

And the economy seating area is a small section, but the space because of Econ plus is way better than any other US carrier flying a narrowbody plane. The plane is really incredible.

S P A C I O U S ! !

Agreed that it would be nice to have IFEs on board, but when you take the red-eye a lot like I do, it doesn't matter. The space and comfort is more important.

Flying p.s. JFK-LAX and JFK-SFO is like flying a very exclusive airplane. United is exagerarting on this promise. You really get a better flying experience... even if it costs a few bucks more (which is not usually the case), it's well worth it.
 
gkpetery
Posts: 116
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:02 pm

I've also taken AA 767 from LAX-JFK.... and UA 767 LAX-JFK... widebody or not... UA p.s. 757 is far better than both of these.

Another benefit of p.s..... not having to wait for a hundred extra people to board and de-plane in front of you.
 
Boeing7E7
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:08 pm

Seat Pitch:

F: 12 Seats at 68"
B: 26 Seats at 54"
Y: 72 Seats at 34"

110 seats on a 757.... Damn.
 
N1120A
Posts: 26467
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:09 pm

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 5):
110 seats on a 757.... Damn.

Yep, nice for PAX but a CASM nightmare
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
padcrasher
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:15 pm

I'm suprised airliners.net doesn't have any interior pics of this layout, it sounds nice. But at 74 seats an aircraft they really need load factors and yields to be top notch.
 
N1120A
Posts: 26467
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:18 pm

Quoting Padcrasher (Reply 7):
But at 74 seats an aircraft they really need load factors and yields to be top notch.

Their Y yields are still not enough. It is those 12 F-class flat beds they want to sell
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
padcrasher
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:26 pm

110 seats? That's much better...LOL
 
wdleiser
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:32 pm

Quoting Bluejackets (Reply 1):
That would make for some pretty darn good IFE!

Do they add in even more room in Exit rows?

Welcome to my RR list for saying one of the funniest things I have heard all year.

Now when will UA install stripper poles? That way when the announcement to put your traytables and laptops up.... you can put your stripper back in the overhead compartment.
 
Boeing Nut
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:36 pm

Any links? Couldn't find anything on United's site or seatguru about it.
I'm not a real aeronautical engineer, I just play one on Airliners.net.
 
padcrasher
Posts: 1815
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:36 pm

It may be working. A 5.5 hr flight at $3650 per hour. $20K trip cost divided by 110 seats at a 90% load factor. Needs a $203 yield to break even. They should be getting that.
 
USAFHummer
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:44 pm

Quoting Boeing Nut (Reply 11):
Any links? Couldn't find anything on United's site or seatguru about it.

Not sure where you were looking on those sites, but PS references are available on both...ask and ye shall still receive though...

http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Uni...ted_Airlines_Boeing_757-200_PS.php
http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6722,50964,00.html
http://www.unitedps.com

Greg
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
 
Boeing Nut
Posts: 5078
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:45 pm

Ahh, OK, thanks USAFHummer.

They copied my ideas!!!!!!  bigmouth 

[Edited 2005-07-18 15:48:21]
I'm not a real aeronautical engineer, I just play one on Airliners.net.
 
QANTAS077
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:51 pm

i took UA PS in Business Class from JFK-LAX and then Business class onwards to Sydney, the PS was amazing and the amount of room was ridiculous, one of the best layout's i've ever had the pleasure of flying!

here is the report from that trip, photos n all!
The Final Frontier Tour-QF/UA/AC With Pics! Long! (by Qantas077 May 19 2005 in Trip Reports)
 
ARGinLON
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:53 pm

Quoting Gkpetery (Thread starter):
It may be working. A 5.5 hr flight at $3650 per hour. $20K trip cost divided by 110 seats at a 90% load factor. Needs a $203 yield to break even. They should be getting that.

$3350 an hour? What’s that?

The cheapest fare for JFKLAX is $172 OW. Way too low to make a profit on just 110 seats for 2459 miles!. Can you imagine the CASM here?

I am sure UA is losing tons of money here as the rest of the legacy airlines do on this market.

Well, UA situation may explain it all.
 
padcrasher
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:55 pm

Quoting ARGinLON (Reply 16):
$3350 an hour? What’s that?

$3650 an hour is a educated guess at their operating costs.
 
padcrasher
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:58 pm

Quoting ARGinLON (Reply 16):
The cheapest fare for JFKLAX is $172 OW. Way too low to make a profit on just 110 seats for 2459 miles!. Can you imagine the CASM here?

Not all seats are sold at the cheapest economy fares. AA is getting an average ticket price of $300. I would think UA with this premium service is getting at least $250.
 
CM767
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:59 pm

Would it make sense to initiate service to Europe similar to CO's and AA's with PS 757?
But The Best Thing God Has Created Is A New Day
 
ARGinLON
Posts: 550
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:04 pm

Quoting Padcrasher (Reply 17):
$3650 an hour is a educated guess at their operating costs

Well, if you figure is correct someone got it really wrong here.

A legacy airline will never breakeven on a LAXJFK with a fare of just USD200 (not even close to that)

I don’t work for UA so I ignore what the breakeven point is on this route but I am sure is very far from your figures.

I can be wrong though...
 
padcrasher
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:05 pm

qantas777

Very nice report. You've got a pic of the 757 p.s. cabin. I'm assuming it's the Business section?
 
bluejackets
Posts: 279
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:09 pm

Thanks Wdleiser!

Quoting Wdleiser (Reply 10):
That way when the announcement to put your traytables and laptops up.... you can put your stripper back in the overhead compartment.

"Yes, and don't forget to button your pants up before you enter the terminal, as a courtesy to other travelers. Thank for you for flying United -- our strippers look forward to seeing you on a future United flight soon!"
It's funny when I tell people I love planes and they think I'm weird.
 
avpilot01
Posts: 81
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:28 pm

Quoting Gkpetery (Thread starter):
WOW! What space on board. It've flown many 757, but when you get on board and you see how far apart all the seats are and more than half the plane is dedicated to First and Business Class...

try flying an INTL' configuration 757 on CO. 16 Business first seats and outstanding service. I wonder if UA makes any money with that seating configuration?
 
padcrasher
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:30 pm

ARGinLON

I see your point. Airlines are submitting operating cost figurs to the DOT each Quarter. For instance WN/JB say their costs for the 737/320 are around $2150 per hour. The majors costs for the 757 come in around $3650 per hour.

But when you put those numbers in you are getting a crazy low CASM (although a 2474 mile stage length would lower the trip CASM) Don't know. Need to do more research on it.
 
mikephotos
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 12:00 am

First (P) on a UA PS 757 JFK-SFO-JFK is $4508.90 undiscounted. I sell a few of them a month on a regular basis. I'm sure I'm not the only one because many times my travelers have to "downgrade" to Biz because P is not available. I can't say for sure but I'd guess most of the $$'s are made from P/C sales.

Mike
 
gkpetery
Posts: 116
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 12:12 am

I'm taking a flight from UA p.s. JFK-LAX flight tomorrow night. I'm sitting in Business Class #9A Exit again and I'll try to take a picture and post it. More space that many first class sections.

If any United insiders know.... is it making money? Are they going to expand this type of service to other markets? like LAX-IAD or LAX-ORD?
 
BestWestern
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 12:17 am

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 5):
110 seats on a 757.... Damn.

I flew on a 219 seater 757 last week... what a difference. Basically UA are operating A seat capacity of an E195 with a 752 cost base.
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
Boeing7E7
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 12:44 am

Quoting Padcrasher (Reply 17):
$3650 an hour is a educated guess at their operating costs.

Good guess. It's $3641 direct cost per hour. About $150 a seat at 100% LF. RT Average = 5:45 Trip Cost: $29,936 (Direct)/$30,356 (Net). My guess is that they save some fuel with the payload and have better utilization keeping the trip cost below $30K.

Fares:

F:$2081 (One Way - Sorry, no 21 day advanced here...)
B: $543 (One Way - No 21 day advanced here either)
Y: $340 RT - 21 Day Advanced
 
padcrasher
Posts: 1815
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 12:57 am

boeing I'm not getting the math. RT average = 5:45?

The one way trip as I understand is 5.5 hrs. But do the math using a normal 183 seat configurations and you're getting a 4.4 cent CASM. So I think ARGlon is correct, something is not right here. Delta as a 10+ cent system CASM.
 
typhaerion
Posts: 425
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 1:04 am

All I have to say Boeing 7E7, is that I wish I had the information sources you do. That was great info. Thanks.  

That almost makes me want to invent a reasont o fly from JFK to SFO on P.S. Sounds like a lot of fun.

[Edited 2005-07-18 18:05:47]
For some, the sky is the limit. For us, it is only the beginning... -- Jack Hunt
 
zrs70
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 1:05 am

I've taken the PS flight three times. Twice in C, once in F. As the OP stated, row 9 has tons of room, as it is an exit row. I actually prefer row 9 to the F configuration. In F, if you are in the window, you need to climb over the aisle seat to get out. Further, I didn't find the F seat at all comfortable.

Service is great! It's the way flying should be!
17 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2016
 
Boeing7E7
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 1:08 am

Quoting Padcrasher (Reply 29):
boeing I'm not getting the math. RT average = 5:45?

Add the block times from UA's Schedules (add SFO-JFK, JFK-SFO, LAX-JFK, JFK-LAX and divide by 4) and round up to the nearest quarter hour. Different times of day have different block times due to congestion and there are of course head winds in one direction and tailwinds in the other. You have to account for this.
 
flyman33178
Posts: 23
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 2:33 am

just wondering what flights the ps service is offered on...??
anything out of ord?

thanks
 
su
Posts: 286
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 2:37 am

I flu SFO-JFK in May in first class and was absolutely amazed on the level of service on US domestic market. United did an amazing job on that flight. Seats in first are the same as in Singapore business lie flat seats but without PTV and instead you get a dvd player with 10 movies. What I like most as you could eat when you choose. BTW all the first class cabin was packed as well as business and economy plus.
"Life is too short to take it serious..."
 
FLY777UAL
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 2:51 am

I've taken these flights back and forth both out of LAX and SFO about 12 times now, all in F except one flight, and just something worth noting: they are almost always packed going to the East Coast but not necessarially on the return.

As big of a United fan as I am, I find the service to vary greatly depending on the crew. Some literally just throw the food out to the passengers and they're done whereas others pay unbelievable attention for the duration of the flight.

My first time on p.s. I flew probably a week after the inagural from LAX and had problems getting the power outlet to actually power my laptop (even with a power converter), but was assured that the bugs would be worked out (to this day I have yet to be able to use the outlet for the computer), but found JetConnect to be a fun novelty when it was in use. FWIW, the Onboard Service Coordinators on the inagural flights had me test out my power problem in all three cabins and I still had the same issues at every outlet.

The FC seat is very comfortable though, and I have had no problem whatsoever getting a decent sleep/nap on each flight (that one Y flight was a different story, however!). Let's hope they roll those seats out to United Business on the widebody fleet.

F L Y 7 7 7 U A L
 
baw716
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 4:16 am

Padcrasher,
The operating cost of a 757 is much higher than $3650 per hour. That is just the cost of operating the aircraft. The crew costs and other ancillary costs plus overhead of the aircraft...I just did an analysis of their operating costs and their system costs on a unit basis just for the month of May are running at 13.7 cents per mile. Assuming a 757 with a regular configuration of 24/168 at 13.7 cents per mile and adjusting it to match the capacity of the ps aircraft, the cost of the flight would be something in the realm of $54-55,000 to operate that flight (which sounds right, because that aircraft costs around $10-12K per hour and its 5-6 hours to the west coast and under five going east, so the average would be five hours in each direction.

If you divide $55,000 by 110 seats, the average fare per seat would be $500 one way, not $250. Since the aircraft is designed for high yield traffic, assuming 1/2 of the aircraft is paying passengers (in F and C) and the other half are upgrades, you can assume that the average fare in F is $2000 one way, $1500 for C and about $300 for Y. Assuming the following: 8/12 in F=$16000, C=$18000 CUG=$7200 Y=11,100 = $52,300. The breakeven load factor would be around 74.5%, however, the critical factor would have to be a 66% revenue load factor in F, a 50% paying load factor in C, and an 80% load factor in Y (split between upgrades and the remaining passengers in the back).

This is just to break even.

Achieving a 66% load factor in F is difficult at best. Many C passengers won't upgrade because the coupon difference and the fare difference between F and C is not that great. Even if the fare difference between C and F were $1000, to burn up five coupons to go from coast to coast is a lot of coupons to use.

Y passengers who will upgrade will use their coupons because if they pay $300 and upgrade with their five certs, it is a better value than paying full fare. If most of these passengers are 1Ks, they stand a better than 50/50 chance of getting upgraded...since C class does not fill typically until the last minute.

The Y cabin on ps is filled with crap traffic. I doubt the yield on that flight is even $300 per seat. I am probably being generous....the yield could be as low as $150, since the fares round trip between the coasts are in the $300-350 range on a round trip basis. The high yield Y traffic upgrades to C and what is left is the low fare passengers.

Bottom line, they have to fill the flights full with revenue traffic in F, do better than 1/3 in C, and get a higher yield than $300 in the back. If they are doing this, then the ps product is successful. Certainly, providing a superior product aimed at the business traveler is a unique idea; especially since the 757 is not a great aircraft for long flights. However, with a low density configuration, the aircraft does become quite tolerable (as has been seen on transatlantic flights with the BBJ and the A319LR). If UA has been able to stem the tide of upgrades on those flights, then the routes will be profitable and high yielding.

However, right now, the vast majority of business travelers are still quite content to fly Economy, since the fares are still low enough that the LCCs are drawing traffic away from the majors...as evidenced by the last five months of traffic figures at UAL. In order to win them back, the majors and UAL in particular must get very creative and very cost efficient, because it will be a battle of low fares in the beginning, until the value of the product can be established. Once done, only then can the fares begin to creep up and yield begin to return.

Time will tell.

baw716
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
 
Boeing7E7
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 4:24 am

Quoting Baw716 (Reply 36):
The crew costs and other ancillary costs plus overhead of the aircraft...I just did an analysis of their operating costs and their system costs on a unit basis just for the month of May are running at 13.7 cents per mile. Assuming a 757 with a regular configuration of 24/168 at 13.7 cents per mile and adjusting it to match the capacity of the ps aircraft, the cost of the flight would be something in the realm of $54-55,000 to operate that flight (which sounds right, because that aircraft costs around $10-12K per hour and its 5-6 hours to the west coast and under five going east, so the average would be five hours in each direction.

You've got bad numbers. $10K an hour for a 757 is laughable, even with the worst case IDOC added. UAL IDOC is around 45%. The direct cost for them is noted above. If a 757 cost that much, no one would fly one. Hell, the 787 is projected to have a Direct Cost of only about $4k an hour lending to a net cost of $5,800-6,000 an hour net. A 747-400 doesn't even cost as much on a per hour basis of what you're quoting.
 
UAalltheway
Posts: 1358
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 5:33 am

Yea.. I'm hoping I get to fly business or something one day. It's a great product for transcon service.. and I hope more people are attracted to UA and that'll work out good for them.  Smile
 
QANTAS077
Posts: 5169
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 7:45 am

Quoting Padcrasher (Reply 21):
qantas777

Very nice report. You've got a pic of the 757 p.s. cabin. I'm assuming it's the Business section?

yes it's the business class section...
 
N62NA
Posts: 3994
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 8:40 am

Quoting Padcrasher (Reply 7):
I'm suprised airliners.net doesn't have any interior pics of this layout, it sounds nice.

Let me direct your attention to this Topic in the Aviation Photography forum:

http://www.airliners.net/discussions...tion_photography/read.main/190508/
 
panam330
Posts: 1955
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 8:48 am

Quoting CM767 (Reply 19):
Would it make sense to initiate service to Europe similar to CO's and AA's with PS 757?

No, because UA couldn't make it across the pond with their 757s, because they're equipped with PW engines, and not the more ideally-suited Rolls Royce's.

Quoting Gkpetery (Reply 26):
If any United insiders know.... is it making money? Are they going to expand this type of service to other markets? like LAX-IAD or LAX-ORD?

Is it making money? Almost without a doubt, because word has it that UA is evaluating expanding the p.s. service to IAD from both LAX and SFO.
 
Boeing7E7
Posts: 5512
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 10:15 am

Quoting PanAm330 (Reply 41):
No, because UA couldn't make it across the pond with their 757s, because they're equipped with PW engines, and not the more ideally-suited Rolls Royce's.

Where do you people come up with this garbage?

http://www.boeing.com/assocproducts/aircompat/acaps/753sec2.pdf

http://www.boeing.com/assocproducts/aircompat/acaps/753sec3.pdf
 
padcrasher
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 11:12 am

Baw I agree the $3650 is not telling the whole story. But your figure seems high still. UA's system CASM was 10.2 cents last year. Let's just say it's a little more with the fuel prices these days and a little more cost cutting, 10.5 cents. Seems like a larger than average plane from the UA flight like the 757, having a larger than normal stage length would be lower than the 10.5 cent system CASM but lets just use it. Just the quick math, 2475 miles x 183 seats(standard config) x 10.5 cents totals to $47,500 for the trip cost. Still too high IMO because of the stage length and efficiency of the 757.
 
padcrasher
Posts: 1815
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 1:03 pm

Here are some good graphs from Unisys showing how operating costs go down as stage length increases.

http://www.unisys.com/transportation...ights__compendium/scorecard__3.htm
 
User avatar
RayChuang
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 2:04 pm

I think if UA is smart, they need to strongly advertise their p.s. flights between LAX and JFK to the entertainment community. And also set up on both ends lounge areas specifically catering to this crowd, mostly in terms of better amenities and better privacy.

I wonder does UA fly p.s. flights on the LAX-JFK route on redeye flights?
 
zrs70
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 2:11 pm

You can buy a one way Z fare (resticted business) for about $550 LAX-JFK.
17 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2016
 
Delta767300ER
Posts: 2436
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 2:20 pm

UAL's PS Cabin Layout sounds sweet. I wouldnt mind flying transcons on a Boeing 757 in the PS Cabin Layout and I have always been very anti-757 Transcon.

-Delta767300ER
 
su
Posts: 286
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2004 1:13 am

RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 3:47 pm

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 45):
I wonder does UA fly p.s. flights on the LAX-JFK route on redeye flights?

they do:

UA 14 and 18 are both redeye ps. flights.
"Life is too short to take it serious..."
 
baw716
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RE: Wow! United PS Cabin Layout!

Tue Jul 19, 2005 4:59 pm

I reran the numbers and looked at their system numbers and their 2005 1Q system CASM was 10.3 per mile. Therefore, if we use that iso 13.9, we get a rate around $6,000 per hour which is more in line with the figures quoted.
I built the numbers up from scratch instead of taking UAs numbers and building the number backwards...sorry. Dumb analyst mistake.

In any case, we are looking at $30K per flight, not $55000. So, using the same methodology to figure the revenue side, which is not perfect, because it does not get you to unit revenue (RASM) for that route. Of course, if anyone at UA has access to those numbers and would like to share them, that would be great. However, you would probably be risking your job doing it, so be mindful of that before you decide to do it...

To breakeven at current fare levels, the flight would have to be half full in F and half full in C with full fare flyers. This is about 24 seats. So, if the flights operate with more than those numbers paying full fare, then the flights should be quite profitable.

However, the same dilemma applies. Very few passengers pay full F. Mostly celebrities and the wealthy who have money to burn. Business people who are connecting to long haul flights, e.g. Sydney, Tokyo, etc. in F would use these flights. However, local traffic in F is going to be tough to fill.

The same is true with C class. Generally speaking, its the Y passenger with the upgrade that goes up to C class. The full fare C class flyer is the one who has to go at the last minute and buys the ticket within 24-48 hours, unless they are connecting to an international flight.

One last point, which I just remembered. It makes my first argument actually a little silly. I was using system CASM. We have to be a little careful using system CASM, because typically, CASM goes down the longer the flight. As I recall, the JFK-SFO flights were very high in RASM and very low in CASM because of the very low CASM on those flights (due to the stage length). If memory serves, I think we were getting somewhere around 8.0 per mile and sometimes a little less with the 762 (when fuel was far lower than today). Conceivably with fuel costs the way they are, 10c per mile may be correct, but its hard to say.

The Unisys analysis is correct with what I knew of the 737 segments. One of the problems with the United Shuttle operation was that we could never get the routes profitable, because the unit cost on the aircraft were in the 13.5-15.0c per mile range, and unit revenue was only around 12.0c/mile. The highest unit revenue was on SFO-LAX, but even there, the best we could achieve was 13.0c/mile and unit revenue between 12.5 and 14.0c/mile. Sometimes it was profitable and sometimes it was not. In the days when we were operating 40 trips a day between the two cities, there were certain flights that were operating with a 12% margin and some flights with a -14% margin. By the time everything averaged out, the route just barely made a profit, but because we were fighting American, we were determined to outfly them (using capacity to beat them into the dirt). We all know how that turned out.

One last comment, no matter how good (or bad) our numbers are, without some basic unit cost/revenue numbers to work with, it is very hard to tell if a route is profitable or not. You cannot use fares as a means to determine profitability. It isn't a proper gauge of operating performance. Only revenue and cost broken down to a unit basis can truly tell what the health of a route is and how by cabin it is doing. Absent that information, anything we do (including any analysis I or anybody else may do, is just a guess...sometimes more (or less) educated. As I demonstrated the first time around, my first set of numbers weren't as educated as I thought. The numbers were bad because the methodology to get to the numbers was bad. Once I figured out what was wrong, I was able to back into the number and got something which I feel is much more accurate. Remember, the unit revenue (casm) is for the ps flights only, NOT for the regular 757. The CASM for those flights is actually a little lower due to the fact that there are more seats to spread around, so the unit cost on the regular 757 are going to be quite a bit lower than on the ps aircraft.

Hope this explanation helps and sorry I got it wrong the first time. I'm good, but I'm not perfect.

baw716
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998

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