Passenger Willingness On Fares

Sat May 06, 2000 2:42 am

Hi, in lots of posts here, I see people would much rather fly on a cheap airline anywhere they go. What I'd like to ask you is, isn't SERVICE most important? Low-fare airlines with high service are rarities, and most all are no-frills. The best in this category would be SWA. Personally, if I was going on a long flight, I would look for a low fare, but I would gladly pay a higher price, yet reasonable, to get better service. For example, if I was to fly to Asia, given the choice between Northwest, UA, or Singapore Airlines, I would definitely choose Singapore Airlines. Even though they may cost a bit more, you get the best service available. I would rather have a good meal, comfortable seat and nice FAs than a cheap bargain deal on a plane that hasn't been cleaned in a month and the FAs are all rude, and the only meal is a meatloaf sandwich- YUCK!
So, how about you, do you always go for the bargain deal, or do you shop around on the best deal for good service, even if sacrificing a few 10-dollars bills?

Tropical Skies-
Fly to new horizons
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RE: Passenger Willingness On Fares

Sat May 06, 2000 6:07 am

What you touch on makes me recall a marketing study done several years ago regarding the disparity of prices and classes of service. As you know, you have to pay a substantial amount of money in order to upgrade to business class, or pay often three times the lowest published fare to sit in Virgin's Premium Economy or BA's new World Traveller Plus (these are for economy class passengers paying full or fully refundable fares). Yet what studies found is that passengers would be willing to spend a few extra dollars (i.e. $20-30) if it meant getting edible food and inch or two extra seat pitch.

On a separate note, it will be interesting to see how American fares with its giving everyone more room in its economy class. I'm sure they've run the numbers, but I am guessing they can attract passengers who will flock to a more spacious seat which will offset any revenue losses they will incur by having fewer seats on the aircraft. TWA tried this after Carl Ichan sold up calling their economy "Comfort Class" and giving everyone a 34" seat pitch. However, when they recently expanded their premium class, they went back to the older (I think) 32 inches in order to make room for the higher margin Trans World First/One.

The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
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RE: Passenger Willingness On Fares

Tue May 09, 2000 12:01 am

I think it depends on how much difference there is in the fare price between a no-frills carrier (or a carrier in which I know the service is bad on) and a carrier whose service is better.

Personally, I'll pay a 10-15% premium to be on an airline whose service is better, but not much more than that. For instance, if a flight to Asia is $1000 on NWA or $1100 on Singapore, I'll take Singapore. However, if Singapore is $1500, I'll take NWA. I have a family to support, I can waste $$$ because the service is going to be that much better (if that was the case, I would take business or first class every trip I took).
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Joined: Sat Nov 27, 1999 12:18 pm

RE: Passenger Willingness On Fares

Tue May 09, 2000 12:28 am

Well, the funny thing is that on a lot of routes, service IS the difference. I do a lot of flying either out of Portland or Los Angeles... With airlines like southwest in the mix, everyone else has dropped prices. The benefit for me is that I can fly a full service airline for the same price as taking Southwest on the routes I normally fly. So- for the same money, I get pre-assigned seating, options fo first class upgrades, inflight entertainment, meals, and can often make my trip with fewer stops then if flying southwest. To me, the choice is clear... thanks southwest for lowering prices, but I'll take the other airlines for the same price.

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