AirRyan
Topic Author
Posts: 2398
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:57 am

WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Sun Aug 27, 2006 12:51 pm

Perhaps it's been discussed before but after a recent trip on WN I couldn't help but wonder why they didn't have at least some 738's given that they are the same flight deck and type rating for the pilots, i.e. still relatively all one aircraft type. I can't help but wonder if a littler larger 738 might not give them additional revenue and even allow them to save them some cycles on some of their shorter hops?

I'm still amazed that they serve as few markets as they do with as many aircraft as they have, no ANC or Mexican vacation spots?! While we all know that the M.O. of WN is to be highly selective of where they go and that they like to avoid the larger airports like they argue about in DFW versus DAL with the Wright Amendment issue, but I think DEN shows that they are at looking outside of the bun right now!

Also, with all of the new 73N's that they are taking delivery of now and in the near future, why cannot they invest in a little IFE a la DirectTV like F9 does, even charging $5 per flight to watch 24 channels at the passengers discretion!? I'd hate to think that they would launch the 73N replacement from Boeing and not even put in IFE then, that tech really needs to be standard issue in modern aircraft!

I really like F9's modern fleet, comfortable seats, IFE, and even their route map over the WN product, so what's WN's gameplan?
 
waketurbulence
Posts: 1264
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 12:33 pm

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Sun Aug 27, 2006 12:55 pm

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
so what's WN's gameplan?

Making more money....
-Matt
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11002
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Sun Aug 27, 2006 12:59 pm

WN had a chance to pick up some of TZ's B-737-800s (with winglets) when they assisted TZ early in their bankruptcy. But, WN did not want the bigger airplanes.
 
atrude777
Posts: 4258
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:23 pm

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:07 pm

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
still relatively all one aircraft type. I can't help but wonder if a littler larger 738 might not give them additional revenue and even allow them to save them some cycles on some of their shorter hops?

Because the frequent cycles are what attracts the business flyers which is what is giving SWA the money.

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
I couldn't help but wonder why they didn't have at least some 738's given that they are the same flight deck and type rating for the pilots

the 738 requires an additional F/A one that SWA was a bit defensive about in the early times.

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
I really like F9's modern fleet, comfortable seats, IFE, and even their route map over the WN product, so what's WN's gameplan?

Wihtout sounding mean or anything, then fly F9,. why fly SWA then if your more happy with F9 and you prefer them over SWA?

Modern Fleet? WN's plane are just as new as the Airbuses....comfy seats? Both are 33 inches of pitch, no ife on WN, but its charged on F9, route map? They fly to far more places then SWA does in the United States.

Alex
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
dc10s4ever
Posts: 700
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:46 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:08 pm

The 738 in an all Y configuration I believe will require an additional flight attendant, thus adding cost and complexity. As far as IFE, I believe WN did study this and survey passengers. Todays passengers carry their own IFE for the most part so it is not that important, especially for the shorter flights that WN flies. In other words to answer both questions. K.I.S.S.

Keep
It
Simple
Stupid

If it aint broke dont fix it.
 
EXAAUADL
Posts: 1740
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 3:48 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:14 pm

Additional FA also big plane means you cant use it on every WN route, thus less fleet flexibility

IFE would be expensive and most of WN flights are still quite short.

As for more markets, they are growing pretty quickly.
 
777STL
Posts: 2770
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:22 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:18 pm

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
I really like F9's modern fleet, comfortable seats, IFE, and even their route map over the WN product, so what's WN's gameplan?

WN transported more domestic pax last year than anyone. Obviously most people don't view IFE as a necessity like yourself. So in short, why mess with what works? People are ultimately driven by price, not by the fact that there's an idiotbox sitting in front of your face to keep you entertained. WN adds IFE, they raise prices, and ultimately lose revenue. It's simple cost competition, whomever has the lowest costs has the potential to make the most money.

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
I'm still amazed that they serve as few markets as they do with as many aircraft as they have, no ANC or Mexican vacation spots?! While we all know that the M.O. of WN is to be highly selective of where they go and that they like to avoid the larger airports like they argue about in DFW versus DAL with the Wright Amendment issue, but I think DEN shows that they are at looking outside of the bun right now!

WN doesn't avoid larger airports as a matter of course, there are a lot of factors that go into airport selection. International routes cost more money. As long as WN still has room to expand domestically, I don't see them even considering international travel.

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
Perhaps it's been discussed before but after a recent trip on WN I couldn't help but wonder why they didn't have at least some 738's given that they are the same flight deck and type rating for the pilots, i.e. still relatively all one aircraft type. I can't help but wonder if a littler larger 738 might not give them additional revenue and even allow them to save them some cycles on some of their shorter hops?

More cycles = more pax. More pax = more money. Why do you think WN's record turnaround times have been so crucial to their success?

[Edited 2006-08-27 06:18:52]
PHX based
 
style
Posts: 208
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:40 pm

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:44 pm

Simple strategy. They make money with only one aircraft type. No downgrades or any of the sort when maintenance happens. The goal is to get you from point a to point b. Thats it. Its not about entertaining you or making you feel more comfortable.

This is why they have countless quarters of profit. (That and a good oil hedge program)
 
SANFan
Posts: 3688
Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 10:10 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Sun Aug 27, 2006 3:13 pm

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
... why cannot they invest in a little IFE a la DirectTV like F9 does... to watch 24 channels at the passengers discretion!?

I've got to say something here. As someone who used to have to "endure" airline flights back before American first installed ASTROVISION, I just thought I might offer an old-fashioned opinion that might surprise the modern, younger crowd out there.

Lots of us baby boomers (and others) are quite capable of sitting for, oh I don't know, 8 hours WITHOUT being entertained by an electronic device with a screen of some kind. There are all kinds of reading materials available, conversation, my own i-pod, gazing out the window at clouds, terrain below, stars, etc., and of course, sleep that can be amazingly effective at helping pass time. You might call it boring; I call it making-do.

In fact I personally really like the absence of video displays once in a while.

I'm not faulting people for enjoying modern conveniences but just remember that there are lots of us out here that will happily fly on an airplane that doesn't provide us with television at 34K feet!

I would be shocked and even disappointed if WN decided to put TVs on their planes. That would be a very unnecessary expense and in direct opposition to their business model; it would be like them providing full (hot) meal service! It just ain't gonna happen.

bb
 
mtnwest1979
Posts: 1793
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 4:23 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:14 pm

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 3):
Modern Fleet? WN's plane are just as new as the Airbuses....comfy seats? Both are 33 inches of pitch, no ife on WN, but its charged on F9, route map? They fly to far more places then SWA does in the United States.

Well F9 to just under 50 airports (F9 and QX F9 Express) in US, WN will be up to 63 in Oct. So...... I hope you aren't including the ZK semi code share towns as well.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
 
AADC10
Posts: 1507
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 7:40 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:31 pm

738, IFE and more markets are not in WN's long established game plan. However, I can see why those questions are being asked, since WN seems to have stalled. Their fares are rising and they are still an operational loss. They can either sit and wait for the industry to consolidate and raise fares or change the way they do business. I think they will wait it out.

Since nearly all airlines are operating in an unsustainable way, and WN is in the strongest financial shape they can just hang in and wait it out. Spending too much and growing too fast is a risk too. There are a lot of destinations where WN does not fly but there is a limited number of airports that meet the criteria: population base of 1.5 million or so, and low landing fees.
 
CF-CPI
Posts: 1314
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2000 12:54 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Sun Aug 27, 2006 6:53 pm

Quoting Style (Reply 7):
Its not about entertaining you or making you feel more comfortable.

There's no entertainment, but having recently spent over 4 hours in a competitor's 757 with 31" pitch, I appreciate the extra 2" WN provides. I also like the texture and padding provided on their leather seats and think WN made a positive choice when selecting seat supplier and design.
 
geg2rap
Posts: 721
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2003 11:02 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 am

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 3):
I really like F9's modern fleet, comfortable seats, IFE, and even their route map over the WN product, so what's WN's gameplan?

Wihtout sounding mean or anything, then fly F9,. why fly SWA then if your more happy with F9 and you prefer them over SWA?

cause they want WN low fares and great ff program with f9 entertainment......
 
N1120A
Posts: 26467
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:23 am

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 3):
They fly to far more places then SWA does in the United States.

No they don't

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
I really like F9's modern fleet, comfortable seats, IFE, and even their route map over the WN product, so what's WN's gameplan?

Their route map? I don't know how anyone can say that unless they live in Denver. As far as comfort, both airlines have the same pitch and WN's seats are actually newer and quite comfortable. I really don't see what isn't modern about WN's fleet, particularly given that they have something like NINE TIMES as many aircraft as F9.

Quoting SANFan (Reply 8):
I would be shocked and even disappointed if WN decided to put TVs on their planes. That would be a very unnecessary expense and in direct opposition to their business model; it would be like them providing full (hot) meal service! It just ain't gonna happen.

Actually, WN's service levels have grown incrementally as most carriers have slashed theirs. At the same time as carriers were first charging for meals, WN put free snackboxes on medium-long haul flights. WN's seats offer more pitch in economy than other airlines and are all leather. Putting some sort of IFE on their aircraft would definately not be a stretch, though I don't think it would be that wise to add the weight of the LiveTV system. Signing a massive contract with Sirius to launch their airline product would be more along WN's model.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
AirRyan
Topic Author
Posts: 2398
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:57 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:49 am

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 3):
Wihtout sounding mean or anything, then fly F9,. why fly SWA then if your more happy with F9 and you prefer them over SWA?

Usually when a company chooses to rest on their laurels they often find their competition catching up and even passing them. Most companies try to give their customers what they think they want but a smart company will actually give the customers what they want because they know that sooner or later if their not meeting the demands of the customer, one of their competitors will. I've never met anyone who after flying on a 2 year old commerical airliner with a comfy 33' pitch seat and IFE who said they rather have had less.

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 3):
Modern Fleet? WN's plane are just as new as the Airbuses....

F9's fleet, (albeit 1/10 the size of WN's) has an average age of just two years. According to WN's website they still have 219 737-400/500 aircraft and those are all older than 2 years, so it's not like all of them are 'brand-new." The 735 I rode last week made some sounds I've never heard before!

Quoting Dc10s4ever (Reply 4):
The 738 in an all Y configuration I believe will require an additional flight attendant, thus adding cost and complexity.

Just out of curiosity, how well do WN FA's get compensated and how does that compare to the industry?

Quoting EXAAUADL (Reply 5):
IFE would be expensive and most of WN flights are still quite short.

Which again begs the question - is using a 737 on a a 30 minute flight really worth the wear and tear (cycle) on the aircraft when you multiply that by numbers it accumulates over a few short years?

Quoting MtnWest1979 (Reply 9):
Well F9 to just under 50 airports (F9 and QX F9 Express) in US, WN will be up to 63 in Oct. So...... I hope you aren't including the ZK semi code share towns as well.

No ZK, but still 50 airports with 55 aircraft versus 63 airports and 453 aircraft - how many more flights to each city can they add?!

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 10):
Their fares are rising and they are still an operational loss.

That's my point - what is WN's gameplan given their current situation and the fact that they still have a lot of 73N's on order?

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 10):
there is a limited number of airports that meet the criteria: population base of 1.5 million or so, and low landing fees.

But as far as I'm concerned they threw that set of criteria out the window when they went into DEN and their landing fees. So how many gates do they really need to go into MSP and even ATL? I thought WN was more aggressive than that, what better time than to bust NW and DL hubs than when they are in Ch11?!
 
User avatar
ERJ170
Posts: 5478
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:15 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:55 am

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 14):
No ZK, but still 50 airports with 55 aircraft versus 63 airports and 453 aircraft - how many more flights to each city can they add?!

Well, they do fly to RDU, BDL, PVD, JAX, PIT, MHT, PHL, ISP, and a lot of other East Coast cities the F9 have no service to.. so I would say WN is probably ahead of F9 as far as marketing capabilities.
Aiming High and going far..
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13760
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:07 am

Quoting Style (Reply 7):
(That and a good oil hedge program)

Oil was the major reason they didn't post losses. It wasn't a small factor, but the biggest factor. During that time, WN was an oil hedge fund that just happened to run an airline with the profits. They might have made more money by not flying ANY planes and instead selling lower cost jet fuel to other airlines after cashing in their heating oil options...

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 14):
No ZK, but still 50 airports with 55 aircraft versus 63 airports and 453 aircraft - how many more flights to each city can they add?!

But this is F9s problem. They don't have enough frequencies, even to major airports like LAX, and it makes it hard for me, who loves F9, to fly them when I am going east.

WN is mostly a short hop carrier, and things like IFE aren't that important on short hops. They have more transcons now (a change to their business model), and I do think if they had a fleet of 738s for transcons, equipped with AVOD, it might work, but they'd need to have a fleet of 40 or so immediately. Introducing them piecemeal into the fleet would not work, and that's likely why they don't bother.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
CentPIT
Posts: 978
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2005 4:48 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:27 am

Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 15):
so I would say WN is probably ahead of F9 as far as marketing capabilities.

I don't think there is any question here. WN is way ahead of F9.
Pittsburgh International: US Airways---160 daily departures! (52 destinations)
 
srbmod
Posts: 15446
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 6:15 am

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
I'm still amazed that they serve as few markets as they do with as many aircraft as they have, no ANC or Mexican vacation spots?!

International flights don't gel with WN's policy of turns being 30 minutes or less. A plane doesn't make money sitting on the ground. WN strives to get the most number of flights a day that they can from each and every a/c, which is why nonstop transcons and redeyes are rarer on WN than on any other airline. WN uses the overnight hours to clean and maintain their a/c.
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 23074
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:51 am

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 14):
I've never met anyone who after flying on a 2 year old commerical airliner with a comfy 33' pitch seat and IFE who said they rather have had less.

Unless you informed them they now had to pay more, of course.  Smile

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 14):
Just out of curiosity, how well do WN FA's get compensated and how does that compare to the industry?

As I understand it, they are some of the best-compensated in the industry, but they also handle a number of jobs (including cabin cleaning) that are handled by seperate staffers at the majors. So you need less head-count which means less managers and less support staff (payroll, HR, IT, etc.) which means lower overall labor costs, even though your staff are better paid.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 14):
Which again begs the question - is using a 737 on a a 30 minute flight really worth the wear and tear (cycle) on the aircraft when you multiply that by numbers it accumulates over a few short years?

A common saying is "a plane only makes money when it's in the air", so even though you have accelerated wear and tear on the airframe due to multiple daily cycles, you also have multiple daily revenue streams which more then cover the extra operating costs.

While aggressive manufacturer and lessor financing means that older planes don't "trickle-down" into the second and third-hand market as much as they used to, even if the plane is formally scrapped after a decade or so of use, it's already paid for itself and generated a profit many times over, probably.
 
ATCme
Posts: 294
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 8:20 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:54 am

I don't find a problem with any of Southwest's policies or business practices. I'm 15 and even I can do without a TV in front of me for 4 hours, which is about the max time on a WN flight. The weight of an IFE outweighs the benefits for WN. I did a research project for my marketing class on WN last semester. They have an excellent marketing department and their business model is amazingly successful in an airline world where virtually everybody loses money.
That said, I have also flown F9 and enjoy their service and airplanes. I also like their marketing campaigns (Flip to Mexico!) and such. They do have more non-stop service from DEN than WN, but then WN has more non-stop from Love field...
WN only enters markets that it deems to have the high potential for profit. International won't happen because it costs money. They have added the capacity for international flights to their booking system though.
As for the reason they entered the DEN market, I'm going to state my THEORY: DEN is the only major airport within miles of Cheyenne, Northern Colorado, the rest of Wyoming, parts of Kansas, and possibly New Mexico. I'd say that the market has plenty of people to offset the landing fees at DEN.
As others have said, a larger plane (738) means more money for another FA. The cycles don't matter much to WN, they have plenty of planes and plenty of overnight time for maintenance. What matters is frequency, especially along the coasts and in Texas.

ATCme

Edit: I forgot to add that after seeing WN turn their planes in 25 minutes I was appalled to see NW jets sitting on the ground for over an hour between flights, for a DC-9. I could understand maybe an hour for a larger jet, not a DC-9. And I had to say WN's FA's are so much happier and more fun than NW's FAs. I was disgusted at NW when I flew on it this summer. But enough ranting...prepare to be flamed!

[Edited 2006-08-28 00:58:57]
I'm from the FAA, and I'm here to help. Really. Yes I'm serious, I'm here to help you.
 
Garri767
Posts: 2207
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2005 2:00 pm

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:13 am

Quoting SANFan (Reply 8):
8 hours WITHOUT being entertained by an electronic device with a screen of some kind.



Quoting SANFan (Reply 8):
i-pod

umm isnt an ipopd an electronic device with an electronic screen? Big grin

Quoting MtnWest1979 (Reply 9):
ZK semi code share towns as well.

i live in one (AMA) and am proud of it!

NOT, i wish F9 or UA would step it up and provide express instead of ZK Sad




Garri767
Two wrongs may not make a right, but three lefts do!
 
phatty3374
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 5:30 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:07 am

With all the new 73G's that WN is getting, are the 735's going to be/in the process of being replaced, or are they just adding more capacity/routes?
 
User avatar
mariner
Posts: 18176
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2001 7:29 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:44 am

Quoting ATCme (Reply 20):
WN only enters markets that it deems to have the high potential for profit. International won't happen because it costs money.

Um - sorry, but Southwest's CEO Kelly has said that Mexico and/or Canada will happen.

Here's the latest on it, from a long (terrific) piece in the RMN about Frontier in Mexico:

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drm.../0,2777,DRMN_23912_4928783,00.html

"Southwest Airlines, for instance, has said publicly that entering Mexico is not a matter of if but when."

cheers

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
atrude777
Posts: 4258
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:23 pm

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:03 am

Quoting MtnWest1979 (Reply 9):

Well F9 to just under 50 airports (F9 and QX F9 Express) in US, WN will be up to 63 in Oct. So...... I hope you aren't including the ZK semi code share towns as well.



Quoting N1120A (Reply 13):

No they don't

Sorry Folks, big typo made, I had meant WN flies to far more places then F9 does in the US. Sorry again!!

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 14):
I've never met anyone who after flying on a 2 year old commerical airliner with a comfy 33' pitch seat and IFE who said they rather have had less.

Nice to meet you!! I would be one of them  Wink

And it isn't less in a way...

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 14):
According to WN's website they still have 219 737-400/500 aircraft and those are all older than 2 years, so it's not like all of them are 'brand-new." The 735 I rode last week made some sounds I've never heard before!

They have 25 737-500's thats it, and absolutely no -400's I am sure you meant -300 which in that case they have 194, and they have 234 737-700's according to southwest.com, making the -700 much newer then the -300's.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 14):
Just out of curiosity, how well do WN FA's get compensated and how does that compare to the industry?

WN F/A are one of the highest paid in the Industry.

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 10):
more markets are not in WN's long established game plan. However, I can see why those questions are being asked, since WN seems to have stalled. Their fares are rising and they are still an operational loss. They can either sit and wait for the industry to consolidate and raise fares or change the way they do business. I think they will wait it out.

HUH? More markets? Recently, SWA added DEN, PIT, PHL, RSW. By recent I mean within 2 years. WN's fares are rising but ever so slightly and usually are STILL cheaper then most other carriers. If they are operating at an operational lost how are they posting profits quarter after quarter?

Quoting Phatty3374 (Reply 22):
With all the new 73G's that WN is getting, are the 735's going to be/in the process of being replaced, or are they just adding more capacity/routes?

Don't expect the -500's to be retired anytime soon, they are being used to replace the exisitng old -200 routes. And yes they are just adding more capacity and routes!

Alex
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
ATCme
Posts: 294
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 8:20 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:53 am

Quoting Mariner (Reply 23):
Um - sorry, but Southwest's CEO Kelly has said that Mexico and/or Canada will happen.

Sorry, my bad, I meant in the near future. If you read later on in my post I did say that they added Int'l capability to their booking system.

Quoting Phatty3374 (Reply 22):
With all the new 73G's that WN is getting, are the 735's going to be/in the process of being replaced, or are they just adding more capacity/routes?

I don't remember where, but I heard that they'd mainly use the new planes to expand on the routes they have and possibly offer new routes. As the WN website says, "The Company's fleet has an average age of about 9 years." (http://www.southwest.com/about_swa/press/factsheet.html#Fleet) Which leads to some replacement, but not much.

ATCme  spin 
I'm from the FAA, and I'm here to help. Really. Yes I'm serious, I'm here to help you.
 
WNCrew
Posts: 871
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:22 pm

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:57 am

We are THE highest paid in the industry considering EVERYTHING we get compensated for, duty rigs and work rules. I do beleive w ehave the higest top out pay too at $55/hr...not including everything else.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
FlyDeltaJets87
Posts: 4479
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:51 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:24 pm

Because Southwest, unlike many other airlines, has learned that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Unless they start to expand to markets where IFE becomes a factor (ie, transatlantic or transpacific flights or South America), you will see that most of the customer base doesn't care about IFE for a domestic flight.
Should WN starts to fall way behind in the market, you will probably see them change their business model. But right now, the one they have works. Apparently, there are enough customers who are able to go 2.5 hours without watching tv and prefer low prices and Southwest knows this, not to mention that also having IFE on their aircraft helps keeps their operating costs low(er) and thus helps keep their prices low and competitive.
"Let's Roll"- Todd Beamer, United Airlines Flight 93, Sept. 11, 2001
 
User avatar
mariner
Posts: 18176
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2001 7:29 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:30 pm

Just for the record:

Frontier charges $5 for their Direct TV programmes. They give the "Wild Blue Yonder Channel" for free.

They have reported no passenger resistance to paying $5 for flights over two hours, and the usage is high.

However, on flights under two hours, the usage - paying $5 - drops to about 25%.

I have not seen a breakdown of the first run movies ($8) but the free channel is extremely popular on all flights.

cheers

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
WNCrew
Posts: 871
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:22 pm

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:33 pm

From what I've heard IFE equipment (all of the parts required) weigh quite a bit and with fuel the way it is I don't see it coming anytime soon. That being said, I notice a lot of our pax have their own. They know we don't have IFE so they just bring a laptop or DVD or whatever. Occassionaly a passenger will ask what the movie is or what we're serving but I think they've just not flown since 1987, I smile and say "I'll be your only entertainment for the duration of the flight so I hope you like looking at this face." They just laugh.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
MCOflyer
Posts: 7071
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 5:51 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:40 pm

Heres how I look at WN.

WN wants to SAVE cost while MAKING profits. Direct TV would add weight and weight REDUCES range for trans continental flights. It also adds weight restrictions for certain airports.

Direct TV might attract more customers (i'm game for direct tv on WN), but the fares alone attract them.

Go to any base that WN has and you'll see an a/c every hour. I've seen it @ MCO and SAN.

MCOflyer
Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
 
User avatar
SLCUT2777
Posts: 3407
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 12:17 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:53 pm

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Reply 27):
Should WN starts to fall way behind in the market, you will probably see them change their business model. But right now, the one they have works. Apparently, there are enough customers who are able to go 2.5 hours without watching tv and prefer low prices and Southwest knows this, not to mention that also having IFE on their aircraft helps keeps their operating costs low(er) and thus helps keep their prices low and competitive.

They also keep track of what they need to do to improve as well. WN knows that IFE isn't a big thing for their customers nor will it be a feature that will attract more new customers like F9 and B6 have needed to do since they are more of the "Johnny-Come-Latley's" to the LCC business. What WN does look at is how people perceive their overall service, what is liked and not liked, and if they need to seriously look at serving a particular airport. They know ORD isn't an option and they have found a way to go in and dominate MDW in a very profound way. Likewise they know that NYC-EWR or JFK are not for them, but they would lick their chops at a chance to get a few slots into LGA, the same with DCA down the coast. To deal with the later they have stepped out of the box and gone into both IAD and PHL where they would not have dared to go just five years ago, even though they are the highly dominant carrier now at BWI. Going into a place like DEN where high airport overhead kept them out is clearly a change and They have hit DIA with a storm of less expensive flights forcing UA, F9, DL and others to be more competitive. The way they are going on this issue they may just shock all of us and attack a significant fortress hub like CLT, MSP, CVG or even ATL.
Will they go trans-border to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean? Gary Kelly has made it clear; "Not if, BUT when!" All these WN nut naysayers who think they can stay as profitable as they are clearly aren't the best business executives since to grow, there must be a calculated risk taken, or NOTHING is gained.
But perhaps the most contentious issue facing WN over the next couple of years will be the seating issue. Does WN keep the "Cattle Call" or do they go to a more conventional method with their new upgrades to their IT system? While turning planes around is a big issue to them, short-haul cross-border routes and predetermined seating DO NOT impact this ability despite what some people say. WN has been told by numerous consultants who have studied the issue that ending the cattle-herd will get them more new customers in existing markets, and flying to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean will inevitably attract more people to flying these routes, just as flying to new airports has spurred their growth.
Yes, WN will change, but in a conservative, yet measured way which is attributed to their leadership under CEO Gary Kelly.
DELTA Air Lines; The Only Way To Fly from Salt Lake City; Let the Western Heritage always be with Delta!
 
OOer
Posts: 923
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2005 2:10 pm

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:00 pm

Quoting MCOflyer (Reply 30):
Go to any base that WN has and you'll see an a/c every hour. I've seen it @ MCO and SAN.

No, not quite...but close to!!! From 6 am to about 8 pm there are an average of 8-10 flights per gate in MCO.
 
777STL
Posts: 2770
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:22 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:09 pm

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 31):
WN has been told by numerous consultants who have studied the issue that ending the cattle-herd will get them more new customers in existing markets, and flying to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean will inevitably attract more people to flying these routes, just as flying to new airports has spurred their growth.

I'd fly them in a second if I could pick my own seat. Otherwise, if you don't get an "A" boarding card, standing in line for two hours doesn't appeal to me.
PHX based
 
wjcandee
Posts: 5153
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 12:50 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:34 pm

AirRyan, here's the bottom line, simply put:

"Every air carrier doesn't have to be like every other one."

WN has a target demographic that works for them. The service they provide is the service they have provided for more than 25 years. The people who fly them know what to expect, and they deliver it very, very, very consistently, unlike a lot of other carriers.

Other carriers target their markets a little differently, and offer some different services to try to capture the market that they're targeting. Different carriers have different identities, and it's a lovely thing, because folks can find one that's a "fit", or they can consider transportation to be a basic commodity and not really care, as they see fit. Sometimes, one idea tried by one carrier gets adopted by others, other times, not. If you find one that fits for you, you should fly it and enjoy it. It sounds like Frontier is that carrier for you, and I'm sure they'll appreciate the revenue.
 
User avatar
SLCUT2777
Posts: 3407
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 12:17 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:20 pm

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 34):
Sometimes, one idea tried by one carrier gets adopted by others, other times, not.

How many other airlines have adopted the "cattle-herd" seating method WN is so famous for? The DL Shuttle doesn't count since it is proceedurely much different.
DELTA Air Lines; The Only Way To Fly from Salt Lake City; Let the Western Heritage always be with Delta!
 
mymorningsong
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 6:11 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:45 pm

Quoting ATCme (Reply 20):
The weight of an IFE outweighs the benefits for WN

Really? That surprises me. I think F9's model is great charging $5 per flight. With the amount of passengers that WN carries, I'd be surprised if they couldn't make money on this, especially with the business travel crowd (myself included). Of course, the more planes they acquire w/o IFE, the tougher it will be long term to implement it. A mistake IMO. Nothing major, but a mistake nonetheless. The 738's I don't agree with. I fly plenty of flights w/o max payload. They are better off with keeping the 3 FA situation and the flexibility it gives them.
 
atrude777
Posts: 4258
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:23 pm

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:57 pm

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 35):
How many other airlines have adopted the "cattle-herd" seating method WN is so famous for?

Northwest Airlines so far, and before you say assigned seating, at least WN boards in groups, NW seriously boards in a one for all type of thing, and some have described it "worse" then boarding on WN and some described it as doing great for NW.

But this sounds like a true cattle herd, all boarding at once to get their seats (ASSIGNED OR NOT) versus what WN does, boarding by groups.

Alex
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
AY104
Posts: 451
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 8:35 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:19 pm

I still don't really understand why people need IFE at every single seat, on every single aircraft, of every single airline, all over the world. Quite simply, WN has an overall excellent product, I appreciate the extra seat pitch, at least the seats I was in, and appreciate the unassigned seating on the flights, which I consider to be far less disruptive in the long run to organized boarding.
I used to work for Western/Delta for 25 years, and I always admired WN. As a manager of mine used to say, "They are successful because they keep it simple". I'm not quite sure, but I think the longest flight they have is around 4 hours, if someone cannot survive that long without IFE, then society has indeed lost touch with reality. Most people have at least one electronic item that can play music, some play DVD's and music, mostly the batteries will last long enough for any WN flight. Has anyone ever tried just putting the seat back, enjoying a cocktail and maybe anticipating what is to come at their destination? For God's sake, people, use your imaginations and some of the electronics at your disposal, and quit demanding IFE at every seat all the time. Repeat, WN does wonderful at what they do, and THEY ARE SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE THEY KEEP IT SIMPLE! They seem to be the only ones over time who has consistently done things their own way, not just clones of other airlines, especially Delta, American, United and they have proven success where others have failed. I choose to admire them and be supportive in their attempts. Also, once you start flying to foreign countries, it opens up a whole new set of problems, and expenses you can't even realize. The airline basically becomes totally responsible for passengers documents once they go to the other country. Even if the customer is irresponsible enough not to find out on their own what necessary documents and procedures need to be followed, the responsibility falls on the airline. Trust me, I know, I worked in Canada for a US company, with passengers travelling solely into and through the US. The manpower, responsibility, and time it takes, plus the additional expenses I am sure are simply not worth it to WN. I don't blame them one bit if they want to stay away from International destinations, as soon as they open one of those the simplicity of their operation goes out the window. Same for seat selection, first class seats and other amenties. Long live simplicity! If you don't like it, there are plenty of other options. Living in Canada, I don't have the access I would like to WN flights, but in the US I would try to fly them as much as possible. I actually am thankful they don't fly into Canada, that would complicate their operation simply too much. They are smart to realize that. Let some other airline take on that responsibility, there are plenty to choose from.
Cheers,
Carl (AY104)
The only thing a customer should expect for his/her loyalty is good service
 
WNCrew
Posts: 871
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:22 pm

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:10 pm

Quoting AY104 (Reply 38):
I'm not quite sure, but I think the longest flight they have is around 4 hours,

Actually we have some loooong ones:

PHL-OAK 06:10
BWI-LAX 05:25
MAN-LAS 05:30
PHL-LAX 06:00
BWI-OAK 05:50

....and there are quite a few more. But, yes, we also atill have quite a few short hops too!
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
AirRyan
Topic Author
Posts: 2398
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:57 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:36 pm

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 37):
Northwest Airlines so far, and before you say assigned seating, at least WN boards in groups, NW seriously boards in a one for all type of thing, and some have described it "worse" then boarding on WN and some described it as doing great for NW.

But this sounds like a true cattle herd, all boarding at once to get their seats (ASSIGNED OR NOT) versus what WN does, boarding by groups.

Since NW still utilizes assigned seating, all they are doing differently now is simply allowing passengers to board the plane in any order, but they still have to sit where they are assigned. I would predict that there are many people out there who would otherwise prefer to use WN but are turned off by the bus-like cattle call of not having assigned seats. People like freedom sure but they also find comfort in a little security of knowing that they have a seat already picked out ahead of time and they won't have to duel it out with the Springer crowd to sit where they want. If WN goes to assigned seating it would go a long way to increasing my opinions of flying on the carrier.

Quoting AY104 (Reply 38):
Repeat, WN does wonderful at what they do, and THEY ARE SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE THEY KEEP IT SIMPLE!

Well let me go ahead and just play devils advocate - if it were as simple as you suggest than all the other carriers would have to do would just be to imitate whatever WN is doing and as we all know, that just isn't the case. WN has a nitch and if everybody tried to operate their carrier like they do, the industry would hemmorage and eventually none of themwould work; WN's system works well now because they are the only one's doing it. If everyone else operated like WN does than there would be not first/business class, no flights to Mexico and their vacation spots, no flights to Hawaii or Alaska, no international routes, no financial advantages of utilizing larger aircraft for passengers, no financial advantages of utilizing a hub and spoke route structure, and no routes to ATL or MSP because "they are too expensive" and the bankrupt legacy carriers who call those places their main hubs "are too powerful" in those markets to try and counter.

What WN does is successful for them but that does not mean as it currently is will always be successful for them. If WN were to rest on their laurels (and I don't believe they will) than eventually and probably sooner rather than later their profits would turn to losses. WN isn't simply successful because they keep it simple rather in fact they are successful because they choose not to keep it simple and follow like sheep every other airline out there - there is a lot of effort and strategy into what they do and how they do it and while it may be appear to be simple as I'm sure they intended to, it's really a rather sophisiticated system that WN employs with the utmost efficiency. Remember, if it were so simple than everyone else would be doing it.
 
AY104
Posts: 451
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 8:35 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Tue Aug 29, 2006 5:23 am

Quoting WNCrew (Reply 39):
Actually we have some loooong ones:

PHL-OAK 06:10
BWI-LAX 05:25
MAN-LAS 05:30
PHL-LAX 06:00
BWI-OAK 05:50

....and there are quite a few more. But, yes, we also atill have quite a few short hops too!

Sorry, I should have done more research on your routes. However, I still believe in WN and how they operate. I am sure when the company sees the need to make changes, because of demand they will do so. Do you have snacks and sandwiches for sale on the longer flights? Dumb question, I guess, but as I fly a lot overseas and within Canada, unfortunately I rarely have the chance to fly with you guys.
My compliments to your airline. I am semi-retired, and if I was in the US I would love to work for you guys part time. My airline career till 1998 was with Finnair, Western, and Delta. I have always admired Southwest.
By the way, as a WN crew, do you receive a lot of complaints about no IFE's. Seems to be most people bring their own entertainment if they feel they need it. I really enjoyed the extra leg room on your flights. Even OAK-RNO they made an effort to give a beverage service. I also think it's wonderful that the cabin crew can wear shorts and polo shirts, it fits in well with your product, and yet the crew still look clean, tidy and professional. I have seen crew on other carriers, in full uniform, that look unkempt and act very unprofessional. I believe it's all in how you present yourself, not always what you are wearing.
Cheers,
Carl (AY104)
The only thing a customer should expect for his/her loyalty is good service
 
AY104
Posts: 451
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 8:35 am

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Tue Aug 29, 2006 5:36 am

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 40):
Well let me go ahead and just play devils advocate

I agree with everything you say. Maybe I should reword and say that in a lot of respects they keep things such as seating, no f-class, no international flights, simple because it works in their market. I am simply quite defensive about WN, because I believe in their product, appropriate for their market.
Sorry if it sounds like I insinuated otherwise, ie that all other carriers should follow that profile. Of course there is a need for all types of service. But I do admire them for taking their own road and being very successful at the way they do business.
I worked for Finnair, Western and Delta, and there is no argument that it's wonderul to sit in F-Class, especially on the longer flights, and a great benefit for the frequent flyers who have to travel all the time. However, even during my Western/Delta career, I kept a close eye on Southwest, and would sometimes get into some rather heated arguments with my coworkers about how they don't interline baggage, have no seat selection etc.
It was actually our regional manager for Delta at Vancouver, who always used to say that they are successful because they keep it simple. He obviously wasn't criticizing Delta, but he still had an open mind about how WN operates.
Anyway, I'm off to AMS and Ireland, on AC, in Y-class, and I totally enjoy their product. Have been upgraded a f couple of times, and at the risk of sounding like a hypocrite because of my comments about WN, I would sill be delighted to get an upgrade!
Cheers,
Carl (AY104)
The only thing a customer should expect for his/her loyalty is good service
 
Pe@rson
Posts: 16003
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 6:29 pm

RE: WN: Why No 738, IFE, And More Markets?

Tue Aug 29, 2006 5:40 am

Quoting Dc10s4ever (Reply 4):

If it aint broke dont fix it.

I hate that saying so much: everything can always be improved.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."