nopeotone
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UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 4:25 am

Since this is off the Etrade site, the link will not work for the source. But it seems United may offer an even cheaper fare for customers who don't care about seat assignments/mileage points.

United Air Looks At 'Bare Fare' For Low-Cost Customers

Dec 12, 2006 11:42:00 (ET)

CHICAGO (Dow Jones)--United Airlines, a unit of UAL Corp. (UAUA), believes that "there's clearly a commodity customer who wants basic transportation at a basic price," said Gregory Taylor, senior vice president of planning.

United is thinking of offering a "bare fare," which wouldn't include assigned seats or mileage points, said Taylor, speaking at the carrier's investor day on Tuesday.

"We need to have the low fare" to compete with low-cost airlines, he said
 
Jerseyguy
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 4:31 am

Here I was thinking that UA was going to offer a discounted fare for flying nude. You know every little bit of weight counts for better fuel consumption  Big grin
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mariner
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 4:38 am

Quoting Nopeotone (Thread starter):
"We need to have the low fare" to compete with low-cost airlines, he said

I thought that was Ted's job?

mariner
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jacobin777
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 4:39 am

Quoting Jerseyguy (Reply 1):
Here I was thinking that UA was going to offer a discounted fare for flying nude. You know every little bit of weight counts for better fuel consumption

While I wouldn't ever fly nude (or even promote it), I fly 1/2 the time without any luggage (and I'm only 160 lbs), maybe AA should give me a rebate 1/2 time I fly..after all, I'm saving them a lot of fuel...

[Edited 2006-12-12 20:40:26]
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B4REAL
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 4:57 am

I think a bare fare would be a good idea:

-No points
-No assigned seat
-No luggage to check (add $25 for each bag?)

But, then the marketing people would gripe a bit because the airlines effectively do this with some of the blind-bid services (minus the luggage) and don't want to undercut themselves even more - much less 'blur the products'.
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zrs70
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:02 am

Bad idea:

1) Please let United stick to its high standards (and not lower them any more)
2) fares are already low. It costs less to fly across the country than in did 25 years ago.
3) What would distinguish United? No miles. No upgrades. No E+. Channel nine?
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MaverickM11
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:24 am

Quoting Nopeotone (Thread starter):
United is thinking of offering a "bare fare," which wouldn't include assigned seats or mileage points, said Taylor, speaking at the carrier's investor day on Tuesday.

This is what Ted should have been all along. It should have been a bargain bin fare (like Tango fares at Air Canada....the similarities are NOT a coincidence), instead of the bloody retarded airline within an airline.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
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Stitch
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:29 am

The problem with this idea is that it creates more work on the back-end. Day of flight, UA computers and gate agents are going to have to start figuring out where to put people. And you know you're going to have couples and families of three to six people who are all on a "bare fare" and who all want to sit together. This is all going to take time as well as take time away from assisting other customers (standbys, upgraders waiting to clear, etc.).

Add to the fact UA usually has, at best, two people working the counter on narrowbodies and three on widebodies, when one of them leaves to go start the boarding process, the agent lines will back-up even more.

Plus, with UA filling the back with fares that allow one to pick a seat but being bought by people who are not UA elites (and therefore cannot reserve Economy Plus) means that these "bare fare" folks are going to get parked up front and for paying the minimum price, will enjoy extra pitch. And then when it comes time to asking elites to move from their pre-chosen seats and shuffle around the E+ cabin to accommodate large "bare fare" groups is just going to honk them off.
 
pictues
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:33 am

the seats would be assigned at check in i would think not at the gate
 
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Stitch
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:35 am

Quoting Pictues (Reply 8):
the seats would be assigned at check in i would think not at the gate

True, but one can imagine there will need to be a number of "change requests" presented at the gate.
 
JAFA
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:36 am

Bad Idea:

They already have FC, E+, and E-

Now they want to add Bare Fares? United needs to realize they can't be everything to everyone. What are we going to call it "E2-" or "-E-" ?
 
Xkorpyoh
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:02 am

They are following the Air Canada lead. That is what AC does. You have several options for your fare starting at the "bare" fare and adding perks with a price. That is why AC dropped the lowest fares from the agency's dristribution system (SaBRe, Worldspan, etc) because those system are not able to sell the different options now offered by AC's fares.

I think it was smart for AC to do this. It is the best way to compete with the LCCs. Look at AA now for example. They don't know what they are anymore. The biggest airline in the world trying to catch all the premium business travelers but are selling food (and now drinks) on board. Instead, they could offer this type of bare fare for those that demand without miles, seat assignment ect, while adding economy plus with complimentary meals at a higher fare. TED is a joke. they should go get rid of it and go with this system of lowerfares.
 
worldtraveler
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:03 am

But UA HAS tried to be all things to all people for a long time.

AC has had "bare fares" for some time. I'd be interested in how they have worked up there.

I don't think it makes much sense unless you clearly differentiate the product... and Ted should have been the place to have a differentiated product and there isn't much.

Bare fares are much more complicated when you run a network and intermingle "bare fares" with other types of passengers.

But the real downside is that there will be carriers that will match UA's "bare fares" but offer a quality product. UA has to promote its "bare fare" while other carriers sell a higher quality product at the same price leve.

Surely, UA knows this has been tried before and hasn't worked.
 
daron4000
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:21 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 7):
And you know you're going to have couples and families of three to six people who are all on a "bare fare" and who all want to sit together. This is all going to take time as well as take time away from assisting other customers (standbys, upgraders waiting to clear, etc.).

Except if the product was implemented, UA would just be like, deal with it, this is the fare you bought. It's not as big of a deal if you know what you're getting into.
 
SNATH
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:32 am

Quoting Xkorpyoh (Reply 11):
I think it was smart for AC to do this.

I agree. And one more thing about AC's tango fares: in my opinion, their web site makes it very clear what the limitations of each fare that's shown are (each fare is tagged appropriately and with one click you get to a clear fare comparison table). I think this is key; if you mix the different fares and not make it clear what each of them means, you will only piss off customers when you don't give them, say, the miles they expected they'd get.

My  twocents 

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AirframeAS
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:38 am

Quoting Mariner (Reply 2):
thought that was Ted's job?

Not directed at you Mariner, so please duck..... YOU TELLIN ME THAT TED CANT DO THE JOB?!?! They must have fired Ted. Sad! LOL!
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
airportplan
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:41 am

Quoting SNATH (Reply 14):
I agree. And one more thing about AC's tango fares: in my opinion, their web site makes it very clear what the limitations of each fare that's shown are (each fare is tagged appropriately and with one click you get to a clear fare comparison table). I think this is key; if you mix the different fares and not make it clear what each of them means, you will only piss off customers when you don't give them, say, the miles they expected they'd get.

My

Tony

I highly agree. If UA decides to do this they need to make ALL fares transparent as AC does.
 
bond007
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:53 am

Quoting Nopeotone (Thread starter):
"We need to have the low fare" to compete with low-cost airlines, he said

I guess I don't get it at all.

"We NEED to have the LOW fare" he said???

That's exactly why the legacies were losing hundreds of millions over the past few years. They tried to compete by lowering the, already loss making, fares.

What are they saving here in the way of costs??

With the exception of some FF miles saved, I only see higher costs to implement this.

IMO the drive should be to lower costs, not fares. You cannot compete with LCCs simple by lowering fares, without changing anything else.

Provide a better product for the same or even higher fare (and lower costs even), and I might just choose UA and they might make a little more money.


Jimbo
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kstateinALB
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:05 am

Theres some good things and some bad things about this. The good thing is that prices will be lower for the coustomer, but, this could bring down the United image with their standards for frequent fliers. I dont know about you, but I think the way United and their pricing is right now should stay.
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mariner
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:18 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 15):
Not directed at you Mariner, so please duck.

I ducked.  Smile

But your point is absolutely valid and the same as my own.

If Ted isn't combatting the LCC's - which is why Ted was brought into existence - what is Ted doing?

mariner
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N1120A
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:20 am

This looks like a scheme to remove benefits from lower fare levels as it is. Not exactly playing nice, and a very good way to piss off Mileage Plus elites.
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nopeotone
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:30 am

I could see this working if they offered maybe the last 3-4 rows of the plane at these 'bare fares'. Then if people would like seat changes for families, it is feasible. Also, quoting Mariner on what Ted is for, I'm not sure anyone knows. United has said it is profitable. But that is where these 'Bare Fares' should end up, if they want to keep Ted.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:30 am

Quoting Mariner (Reply 19):
which is why Ted was brought into existence

Actually....what's Ted's purpose now and beyond 2006? This whole idea makes Ted look like a joke. Come to think of it, when you fly on Ted, you are still on UA no matter what. Nothing really has changed except for the livery on the aircraft. The FA uniforms is the same as mainline. I think the intentions were good, but the question remains as far as long term effects and now UA comes up with this 'Bare Fare' idea. IMO, you can't have this both ways.

If you have a flight that has both 'Bare Fare' seats and normal fare seats, thats not very fair to the frequent flyer... If they are gonna do this, the flight should be 100% 'Bare', if you will.... Like I said, you cannot have it both ways. It favors UA than the customer.
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MaverickM11
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:34 am

Quoting Mariner (Reply 19):
what is Ted doing?

Just being generally incompetent and not solving any problems...kinda like the consultants UA hired to cook up that aviation mushroom cloud of a hackneyed concept.  Silly

As an interesting sidenote, my friend pointed out that UA has more daily first class seats in TUS than in PHX: currently 36 in TUS versus 8 per day in PHX.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
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Stitch
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:18 am

Quoting Daron4000 (Reply 13):
Except if the product was implemented, UA would just be like, deal with it, this is the fare you bought. It's not as big of a deal if you know what you're getting into.

The whole point of such a fare would be to encourage people to fly UA because it is cheap. To then tell those people to go stuff themselves does just the opposite - plus generally has them telling their friends (and anyone else who would listen) to not fly UA, either.
 
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mariner
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:19 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 22):
Actually....what's Ted's purpose now and beyond 2006?

I agree, but I think Ted will be around, in some form, as long as Mr. Tilton is CEO.

Ted was his first major decison at United, and to can Ted now might be to say "I wuz wrong" - and I don't see that in line with Mr. Tilton's ego.

But Ted did serve a purpose, at least at the start - Ted was a major staff morale booster, a dramatic, if expensive, proof that United would do battle with the LCC's, which were then seen as on the up.

Ted, the Frontier Killer.

But Ted didn't and times changed.

 Smile

mariner
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SuseJ772
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:27 am

I think this is a bad idea. It might in the short term acquire more sales of tourists/vacation fliers, but in the long run, United needs to think how this will effect them as an airline, and the industry as a whole.

If this "works" in the short term, it will be implemented industry wide, which I think eventually will be the downfall of the FF program. Once the FF program is gone, it literally becomes all about price...and nothing else, which isn't good for anybody.

Let the LCCs offer the bare fare and keep trying to compete with your product, destinations, and not solely on your price. Take a consolidation move if you can (PLEASE Continental), and continue to be an industry leader as appose to Greyhound of the air.
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lotsamiles
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:31 am

Negative impact:
For corporations that insist on their employees using the lowest possible fare (or have computer systems that only book that way), you would have some very unhappy corporate travelers.

Regards,
Lotsamiles
 
thegooddoctor
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:35 am

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 23):
As an interesting sidenote, my friend pointed out that UA has more daily first class seats in TUS than in PHX: currently 36 in TUS versus 8 per day in PHX.

Lets see, UA went from upwards of 30-40 flights per day in PHX to ORD, DEN, SFO, LAX, and IAD a few years ago to what, less than 20 now? Shuttle used to go to LAX, SFO, and DEN (so, lots of 737s), but ORD was pretty exclusively 757s/767s/DC10s. Now nothing but all-Y A320s (gag).

I'd say they pretty much gave away their PHX-based business traffic to CO/NW/DL/US/AA.
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sebring
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:39 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 7):
The problem with this idea is that it creates more work on the back-end. Day of flight, UA computers and gate agents are going to have to start figuring out where to put people. And you know you're going to have couples and families of three to six people who are all on a "bare fare" and who all want to sit together. This is all going to take time as well as take time away from assisting other customers (standbys, upgraders waiting to clear, etc.).


AC will tell you that its system reduces cost. Keys include forcing all passenger and travel agents to book over the Internet, automating all aspects of ticketing and accounting. Offering a no-baggage discount saves on weight and simplifies check-in.

Quoting SNATH (Reply 14):
I agree. And one more thing about AC's tango fares: in my opinion, their web site makes it very clear what the limitations of each fare that's shown are (each fare is tagged appropriately and with one click you get to a clear fare comparison table). I think this is key; if you mix the different fares and not make it clear what each of them means, you will only piss off customers when you don't give them, say, the miles they expected they'd get.

AC's fare grid within North America is based entirely on one-way fares, like an LCC. For that matter, even some U.S. LCCs require round-trip purchase with some fares. With AC's grid, you get all the fares for all the flights in both directions on the day you want. You pick what you want, then are prompted for add-ons (advance seat selection or pre-purchase of a food selection) or discounts (no checked bags, no carry-on, etc.) AC has taken this segment-based flying and introduced a raft of passes, which is another way to bulk buy segments. The customer self-purchases, self-books and self-checks in. As a result, AC is continually shrinking its airport and call-center staff. A new round of automation is planned with the introduction of a new res computer 12-18 months from now, and the company is already signalling more job cuts.

Whether all of this will work as well with a legacy carrier pricing structure where round trip purchases are required for many fares and some fences apply, I can't say, but have some doubt.

However, one benefit for UA out of AC's now-settled fight with the GDS systems is that those same GDS systems are commited to adding the functionality that would permit these customized pricing features.
 
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RedTailDTW
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:48 am

Let's see, Ted has been around for how long? and they still haven't accomplished a thing. United hasn't even opened up new routes for Ted since its startup (that I know of). I think Ted is just United with a different paint scheme.
Airlines Flown: AA, CO, HP, MQ, NW, RP, UA, US, WN, YX / Aircraft Flown: 737-200/300/700/800, 757-200/300, 777-200, A319/A320/A321, DC-9-30/50, DC-10-40, ERJ 140/145, E170, MD80/83/90
 
AADC10
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:51 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 7):
The problem with this idea is that it creates more work on the back-end. Day of flight, UA computers and gate agents are going to have to start figuring out where to put people. And you know you're going to have couples and families of three to six people who are all on a "bare fare" and who all want to sit together. This is all going to take time as well as take time away from assisting other customers (standbys, upgraders waiting to clear, etc.).

I think that if they had these "Bare Fares" they would not allow seat changes and would not allow children to use them. Those passengers would the be assigned whatever seat is available, probably the middle seat. It would them become a way of effectively charging more for aisles or windows and less for middles. If a group wants to sit together on "Bare Fares," the gate would probably not be required to even try to accommodate them.

They could even wait to assign the seat at the gate, so that all of the other passengers could be seated first and then the "bare fares" could be shoved in any seats that are left over. That would probably reduce the work since there would be a group of passengers that they can freely toss around and give them the worst seats.
 
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par13del
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:52 am

I have another question, UA spent a long time in Chpt. 11 so long in fact that the laws had to be changed. They supposedly emerged leaner and meaner, with cost comparable or even lower than their LCC competitors, soooooooooo
what is the real problem, and based on info already provided it can't be cost, unless they are willing to say that they "lied".

Earlier this year they had their first quarterly "profit" and we were all happy, some though, cautioned that one quarter does not a comeback make. Is there something else going on at UA that we don't know about, are their creditors looking for an early payback and UA brass are looking to cut some more?
 
bond007
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:53 am

Quoting Sebring (Reply 29):
Whether all of this will work as well with a legacy carrier pricing structure where round trip purchases are required for many fares and some fences apply, I can't say, but have some doubt.

Right. IMO you cannot offer these kind of fares without changing the whole pricing structure - something which should be done to all the legacies anyway.

Change to a system like AC or WN, where you can see a matrix of all possible fares and what you get for each fare type. You cannot mix simple LCC style pricing with the 40 year old pricing mechanisms still used by many of the legacies today.

You cannot just lower fares and give a lower standard of service without making over changes across the board, which includes lowering costs.

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
AirframeAS
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:02 am

Quoting Mariner (Reply 25):
But Ted did serve a purpose, at least at the start - Ted was a major staff morale booster, a dramatic, if expensive, proof that United would do battle with the LCC's, which were then seen as on the up.

While I agree, that was only a short-term solution at the time it was started up. The intentions were good, yes....but UA didnt think long-term. Beats me as to why they didn't go beyond that stage. The only thing that did change were lower fares on select routes (Ted stations only..), employee morale went up a notch and different aircrft livery. I wonder if the FA's enjoyed flying on Ted.... but thats a totally differnet issue.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 23):
my friend pointed out that UA has more daily first class seats in TUS than in PHX: currently 36 in TUS versus 8 per day in PHX.

I thought PHX is/was 100% a Ted station...
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
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RedTailDTW
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:12 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 34):
thought PHX is/was 100% a Ted station...

All flights out of PHX are on Ted except for flights to LAX and IAD.
Airlines Flown: AA, CO, HP, MQ, NW, RP, UA, US, WN, YX / Aircraft Flown: 737-200/300/700/800, 757-200/300, 777-200, A319/A320/A321, DC-9-30/50, DC-10-40, ERJ 140/145, E170, MD80/83/90
 
sebring
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:17 am

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 33):
You cannot mix simple LCC style pricing with the 40 year old pricing mechanisms still used by many of the legacies today.

It's ironic but the brains behind the AC revenue model is ex-UA executive Montie Brewer, who is AC's CEO now. The key, he would tell you, is that the entire model has to be changed, that any hybrid concept is a stop gap to condition the market but does not achieve the full potential until you remove the plethora of round trip fares and substitute with a simple grid. Yes, the times are a-changing. Yesterday, I flew from YYZ to YUL and back, and while I didn't get the full breakfast I would have on that 7 a.m. flight a few years ago - just coffee and a biscuit - I paid about one-third of what I would have paid. I didn't need full flexibility, but had I wanted to change one of my flight times, it would have cost me $40 for a confirmed change at the airport and I would still have been way ahead of the game. Business Class would have cost what I was paying for full Y flexibility a decade ago, so there was always that choice if I wanted my breakfast, but instead, I pocketed the savings and bought a nice breakfast near my meeting.

Westjet has adopted a pass concept as well while Porter, a new Q400 airline operating from Toronto City Centre Airport to Ottawa and Montreal has a few more frills. So the customer has choices.

But these are the facts: My 7 a.m flight to YUL was a 212-seat 763 - chock-a-block full, while my return flight at 2 p.m. was an A330-300 which I would say was 80 percent full. So I don't think what AC is doing is costing it business. And like I say, while people focus on the revenue aspect of the AC fare grid, AC will tell you the real bonus is in how it gets rid of costs: everything from travel agent commissions and GDS fees to staff at the airports, call centers and accounting departments. They will also tell you that a key feature of the system is how it gets people to buy up once they make their bare bones choice. AC is likely to charge for premium IFE entertainment like first run movies, - beyond the basic free channels - once the entire fleet is equipped.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:21 am

Quoting RedTailDTW (Reply 35):
All flights out of PHX are on Ted except for flights to LAX and IAD.

Flights to LAX are on UAExpress, correct?

Flights to IAD is 'mainline', correct?
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
unitedMSY
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:27 am

What a stupid idea....UA already oversells the back of the planes like the it's a trend, and they offer more free tickets than I have ever seen, and one could live off of free tickets if they book the right flights on United. I might consider buying a few TED tickets and racking up dozens of free tickets in the future  Smile
 
ckfred
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:33 am

Maybe the time has come for airlines to go to a three-class operation for domestic flying. The front cabin would be traditional first. The middle cabin would be coach as we knew it 15 years ago, and the rear cabin would be no-frills.

The only way to get miles in the rear cabin would be to have elite status. That is, the road warrior who is flying for leisure. But, he won't be able to upgrade to the middle cabin or the front cabin from the rear cabin. The infrequent flyer can't get miles in the rear.

On the one hand, this would sound like trans-Atlantic ship travel, back when it was the main way to travel. Most ships were 3 or 4 classes, and you were stuck in the class you paid for.

But, this would allow business travelers to get the kind of treatment that they want, while leisure flyers can get no frills and save money.

Personally, I would always spend extra to fly the middle cabin, even when traveling with my family. Call me an old jet-setter, but I grew up when UA had warm sweet rolls on ORD-MSP and TW served full meals between ORD and MKC.
 
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RedTailDTW
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:35 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 37):
Flights to LAX are on UAExpress, correct?

Flights to IAD is 'mainline', correct?

Yes, All flights to LAX are operated by United Express (6 Daily), and IAD flights are mainline (1 Daily).
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AirframeAS
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:45 am

Quoting RedTailDTW (Reply 40):

Thanks for the info, man.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
ltbewr
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:47 am

You already have very restricted discount fares with substantual penalties for changes, limits on or no FF miles and limited choices in seats (middle of row, back of plane, no bulkhead or exit aisle seats). Why make things worse and add another layer of fare codes and conditions. This is a bad idea that doesn't need to exist.
What you could do though is put weight limits (carry on and not more than one bag under 40 lbs/18 Kgs.) for that fare, but make it clear to the consumer for the cheapest fares.
 
Boston92
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:52 am

IMHO, I think that if they do go ahead and do these 'bare fares' then it should be available online only and here is how the process should go:

1. Find Flights as usual on www.ual.com
2. Create an itenerary
3. Have UA ask if you would like a 10% discount for no miles, no free food, limted drinks, and rear a/c seating.
4. If you agree, you get 10% (or whatever) off, and if not, it will be just the usual.
"Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200 and a substantial tax cut save you 30 cents?"
 
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RedTailDTW
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:55 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 41):
Thanks for the info, man.

Your Welcome.  smile 
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AeroWesty
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:58 am

Quoting Ckfred (Reply 39):
Maybe the time has come for airlines to go to a three-class operation for domestic flying. The front cabin would be traditional first. The middle cabin would be coach as we knew it 15 years ago, and the rear cabin would be no-frills.

I'm really scratching my head on this one, but I believe that was tried once already, by National Airlines in the 1970's, and didn't last long. I tried to Google it, but came up empty.

EDIT: Searching abstracts from the New York Times archives gave me enough to piece together that National Airlines offered "The Brown Bag Special", which gave 35% off for passengers willing to forgo meals and liquor, fly on weekdays, and buy tickets a week in advance. It lasted just over a year, from April 14, 1976 to May 1, 1977.

[Edited 2006-12-13 02:10:23]
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AADC10
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:00 am

I looked at the "base fares" page of the investor's conference PowerPoint (as I should have in the first place) and the idea is to make aspects of the fare a la carte. Want an assigned seat? Extra charge. Want FF miles or EQM miles? Extra charge. Want to check a bag? Extra charge. Some of those charges would be waived for elites.

The people wanting to change their seats would not be a problem since they could only do so if they paid a fee.

The real purpose of all this is so that lower prices will show up in the reservation system and all kinds of charges would be tacked on later.
 
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:43 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 45):
I'm really scratching my head on this one, but I believe that was tried once already, by National Airlines in the 1970's, and didn't last long. I tried to Google it, but came up empty.

EDIT: Searching abstracts from the New York Times archives gave me enough to piece together that National Airlines offered "The Brown Bag Special", which gave 35% off for passengers willing to forgo meals and liquor, fly on weekdays, and buy tickets a week in advance. It lasted just over a year, from April 14, 1976 to May 1, 1977.

National wasn't the only one. Continental also generally offered K (economy) class that got no meal service and sat in the very back in addition to Y (coach) back in the 70s prior to deregulation.

The analogy above to ship travel has been made with one article a couple of years ago calling it "the sky-borne equivalent of stearage" or something similar.

If United can pull this off while actually reducing costs and complexity (and controlling capacity), I can see where it would be helpful. But I agree, if this is the answer, whither TED? The "airline within an airline" concept will never work.

Cheers,
Dave in Orlando
Too many types flown to list
 
RyanAFAMSP
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:49 am

If I am not mistaken United has already tried this. Any United buffs out there remember the K fare? I am not sure if it was introduced in the 70s or the 80s, but the SFO flight attendants always used to talk about working the DEN-SFO 747-100 cattle cars, and having to do the meal service using the manifest to figure out who the K fare passengers were so you could refuse them meal service. The K fare included a seat assignment but no meal. Then people would move around on the plane, and it was impossible to figure out who to skip when passing out the trays. If the loads picked up at the last minute they would always be short meals and you would end up denying meals to those who paid higher fares. Anyone in United CS or SW remember anything about this?

And my other question someone else already sort of posed. Wouldn't the "bare fares" end up in the E+ seats - as you would preassign all the seats further aft to those who booked at higher fares?
 
Tango-Bravo
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RE: UAL May Offer 'Bare Fare'

Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:51 am

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 6):
This is what Ted should have been all along. It should have been a bargain bin fare (like Tango fares at Air Canada....the similarities are NOT a coincidence), instead of the bloody retarded airline within an airline.

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Quoting Zrs70 (Reply 5):
2) fares are already low. It costs less to fly across the country than in did 25 years ago.

All the more reason to make pax choose between cheap fares and mileage/points accrual -- as in no more you can have your cake (cheap fare) and eat it too (earn miles toward free travel and elite status). A sensible concept that is way past long overdue.

Quoting KstateinALB (Reply 18):
this could bring down the United image with their standards for frequent fliers.

How so? Based on my experiences with UA (mainline) they already carry as much "riff raff" as any other airline, legacy or LCC. And so far as I know, no one will force their frequent fliers to choose "Bare Fares."

Quoting N1120A (Reply 20):
a very good way to piss off Mileage Plus elites.

Elites traveling on "Bare Fares" would simply be getting what they choose to pay for. Moreover, elites who travel on bargain basement fares are not only low yield business, they are high-maintenance low-yield business. At least the everyday ordinary "commodity customer" is merely low-yield.

While the concept behind "Bare Fares" makes sense, I will also be the first to agree with those who have pointed out the messy logistical issues of administering the program.

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