dsa
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Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 7:16 pm

Hi

The old thread was getting a bit crowded so I thought I'd start Part 2, as one poster said he has a feeling the conversation is gonna go on for a long time.

Basically Skybus is reported to have sold 150,000 fares and posters made comments on this and other issues related to Skybus.

DSA
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n844aa
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 7:43 pm

Quoting Dsa (Thread starter):
Basically Skybus is reported to have sold 150,000 fares and posters made comments on this and other issues related to Skybus.

This is a good start. Has anyone been able to track down confirmation of this figure or additional information?
New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
 
N801NW
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 8:09 pm

A Pair of Flying Leaps

No-Frills Skybus and Low-Fare Virgin America Enter a Daunting Field
 
dsa
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 8:54 pm

More Info:

Great news for Skybus!

A member has just informed me that America's Low Fares Airline has sold over 150,000 seats after only a few days of their website going live!

May the success continue!

http://www.skybus.com

DSA

Previous Thread
Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! (by Dsa May 2 2007 in Civil Aviation)

DSA
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n844aa
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 9:09 pm

From the WaPo article:

Quote:
To simplify operations, the carrier won't even allow customers departing from its eight other cities to book tickets to anywhere other than Columbus, although executives have said that some passengers have figured out ways to get from, say, Richmond to Boston through Columbus -- if they are willing to spend the night in Ohio. Diffenderffer and other executives defend that plan, saying that the Columbus market is actually massive, with more than 6 million people living within 100 miles of the city.

"People will drive 100 miles to save $100," Diffenderffer said, adding that there are thousands of college students in the Columbus area, home to Ohio State University.

While no one ever went broke underestimating the American public, this strikes me as ... well, kinda harebrained. At least if he's in any way married to this "100 miles for $100" metric. I'm having a hard time envisioning a large market for whom this is a cost-effective proposition, only considering the cost of gas and time, much less before you narrow the margin with Skybus's helpful service fees. Back in school, I was as broke as any college student, but I was always able to find a reasonable, affordable advance ticket on WN. And when EQMs became important to me, I never had much trouble on AA either. Obviously I'm not exactly normal -- I'm posting on here, aren't I? -- but when the novelty wears off, I think even college students will appreciate the little things like, oh, checked bags and phone-based customer service.

And the RIC-BOS thing: Kinda bizarre company executives would even bring this up, as it doesn't stand up to a moment's scrutiny. Let's be charitable and assume you can snag $10 tickets each leg of the trip a month out. $40 bucks, and we'll cut Skybus a break and not add up taxes. So, wow, RIC-BOS and back for $40. Plus two nights in the CMH Airport Marriott. Call that $100 a night, and you're up to $240. Or you could take NW with one same day stop for $150. And get a Coke, to boot.

Maybe this will be a huge hit, but to me, it doesn't seem like it'll make sense for very many people. I'm still a skeptic.
New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
 
dsa
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 9:23 pm

I think it will work, simply for the reason that people love fares and think that Skybus will have the lowest fares.

DSA
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 9:34 pm

Quoting N844AA (Reply 4):


Obviously I'm not exactly normal -- I'm posting on here, aren't I?

 laughing 

Perfect!
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UA772IAD
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 9:35 pm

Quoting N844AA (Reply 4):
"People will drive 100 miles to save $100," Diffenderffer said, adding that there are thousands of college students in the Columbus area, home to Ohio State University.

I think that relying on college students is a rediculous idea (If I'm interpreting this correctly). In most cases, for major holidays (at least during their freshmen/sophomore year) the parents are paying for thier kid's airfare- wanting them home the same day, not having to drive 100 miles to the airport to meet their kid. I am curious to know what the breakdown of OSU's students are, but aren't most of them in state or from the Midwest? I don't see how Skybus helps in that regard.
Additionally, I don't see Portsmouth NH or Bellington WA as being big "spring break" destinations, especially considering you have to rent a car (which college age kids can't do anyways) and drive 50 miles to the city.

Quoting Dsa (Reply 5):
I think it will work, simply for the reason that people love fares and think that Skybus will have the lowest fares.

Until they realize they get what they're paying for. The novelty will wear off. Its been said over and over again, if its not the "false" destinations, it will be that they can't call anyone for information, that everything has a fee, etc. Its the same way that people assume WN always has the lowest fares until they browse Expedia or Travelocity.
 
n844aa
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 9:42 pm

Quoting Dsa (Reply 5):
I think it will work, simply for the reason that people love fares and think that Skybus will have the lowest fares.

But people also love feeling like they got a great deal. If I live near CMH and I'm heading out to Burbank, and I can make the trip for $20, damn right I feel like I got a great deal -- even if it means putting up with hard-sell flight attendants and 28" of pitch for a few hours. But if I live in Cincinnati and I'm trying to get to LAX, while avoiding fares out of CVG, I'm looking at a 200-mile roundtrip, plus airport parking, plus a grand total of eight destinations, plus transportation from the secondary airport Skybus serves to my actual destination, plus questionable procedures in the event of a weather or maintenance disruption ... Well, it may be better than submitting to DL's extortion, but I'm probably going to feel raked over the coals regardless. Skybus's nickle-and-diming isn't going to make me feel any better.

And what I think will be the final, final nail in Skybus's coffin, there's already a discount airline operating out of CMH with free drinks, cheap liquor, generous pitch, flight attendants who aren't trying to sell me worthless Skymall crap, and 35 years of operational excellent that can get me to LAX -- not BUR, LAX -- for an extra $50 on the random dates in June I chose to see how Skybus stacks up to WN, at least once those $10 seats are filled.

So if you're willing to stake your money on a surfeit of Columbus residents who need to visit Bellingham, and are willing to put up with some inconveniences in order to do so cheaply, then I'd say Skybus is a great investment vehicle for you. But otherwise, I'm just not convinced this is the way to do the ULCC thing in this country.
New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
 
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 9:51 pm

Quoting Dsa (Reply 5):
I think it will work, simply for the reason that people love fares and think that Skybus will have the lowest fares.

People might love low fares, but here they define what "people" they are after:

"To simplify operations, the carrier won't even allow customers departing from its eight other cities to book tickets to anywhere other than Columbus."

"Diffenderffer and other executives defend that plan, saying that the Columbus market is actually massive, with more than 6 million people living within 100 miles of the city"

"There are thousands of college students in the Columbus area"

"People will drive 100 miles to save $100,"

They actually discourage ALL CONNECTING TRAFFIC! They will rely solely on O&D traffic who desire to fly from COLUMBUS to Bellingham WA and other secondary and third-tier destinations. And when that $100 savings whittles down to $38 after adjusting for gas, car rentals, bus transfers, time lost, etc., then we'll see how appealing their innovative service model will be.

I'm sorry, as much as I want the new kid on the block to make it, this operation is sounding more ridiculous as each day passes.

[Edited 2007-05-04 14:54:47]
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clickhappy
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 10:01 pm

So, when are they getting FAA approval?
 
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 10:08 pm

Quoting N844AA (Reply 4):
Diffenderffer and other executives defend that plan, saying that the Columbus market is actually massive, with more than 6 million people living within 100 miles of the city.

"People will drive 100 miles to save $100," Diffenderffer said, adding that there are thousands of college students in the Columbus area, home to Ohio State University.

There was a part of me that kind of held out hope that there were insiders at Skybus that had cards they weren't showing which might have made this make more sense. While that's still possible, reading something like this certainly reduces the likelihood of that in my opinion.

While they may see the Columbus market as "massive", 6 million people within 100 miles really doesn't qualify. When People Express started, they had the New York catchment and little to no similar competition with over 22 million people within 50 miles of Newark airport. And they failed. Those who point to Ryanair & Easyjet as successes with this model ignore the vast superiority of the London area O&D (and lack of Southwest style LCC competition) when compared to Columbus.

I also have to wonder what effect $3+ a gallon gas is going to have on people's willingness to "drive 100 miles to save $100." If anything, they will be more likely to do the math and see if they are actually saving $100 before clicking to purchase.

Finally, if OSU students are one of your target demographics, it's hard to see that as a path to profitability. Most of them live in the state of Ohio, so they won't be flying home for the holidays, so now you're counting on their impulse and Spring Break travel. That should cover the fares up to maybe $50 each way on the weekends during the school year and a week or two in March (assuming, of course, that Skybus comes up with more Spring Break destinations apart from FLL). We know Skybus can't make money with $10 fares. Can they make money with $50 fares? That's probably the average of fares they'll sell to college students. I would also expect college students to be less likely to buy extra things on board as they're on a tighter budget, though you never know.

In many ways, the biggest reason to be pessimistic about Skybus' future is the reasons given by its defenders for its sure success.

Cheers,
Dave in Orlando
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gregarious119
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 10:11 pm

Quoting Avianca707359B (Reply 9):
They will rely solely on O&D traffic who desire to fly from COLUMBUS to Bellingham WA and other secondary and third-tier destinations.

First off, I'm coming on board with everyone who had doubts about BLI and PSM. Not convinced that they are terrible choices, but I'm seeing both sides of the arguement.

However, those are only two of their destinations. Obviously, with the way their fares are looking, OAK, BUR, and FLL are doing great, or at least acceptable given how early it is.

RIC, GSO and MCI are not secondary airports in Tier 1 markets. They are primary airports in secondary markets. There's really only one way to find out if they'll end up stimulating traffic...time. They don't seem like top choices to me, but hey...who knows.
 
BlueElephant
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 10:14 pm

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 7):
I am curious to know what the breakdown of OSU's students are, but aren't most of them in state or from the Midwest? I don't see how Skybus helps in that regard.

UA772IAD, I am an Ohio State Student and I will be the first to tell you that you are correct as most students are from the Midwest. But you should know that most students here are CRAZY about going places for their breaks. And I'm sure that Skybus will bank on that and add additional routes to more Spring Break locations. But i also know a Number of students who want to go to places like Seattle because its something different.

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 7):
Additionally, I don't see Portsmouth NH or Bellington WA as being big "spring break" destinations, especially considering you have to rent a car (which college age kids can't do anyways) and drive 50 miles to the city.

You're right they're not typical Spring Break Destinations but there are SO many students here that people go everywhere. I went to Quito, Ecuador for my spring break....is that a typical Spring Break Destination?...no.

About the Car thing, yes College students Can rent cars as long as you're above 21. There is some type of additional cost and with a partnership with Avis and Budget, booking those cars through Skybus, the extra charge pretty much cancels out.

Quoting N844AA (Reply 8):
But if I live in Cincinnati and I'm trying to get to LAX, while avoiding fares out of CVG, I'm looking at a 200-mile roundtrip, plus airport parking, plus a grand total of eight destinations, plus transportation from the secondary airport Skybus serves to my actual destination, plus questionable procedures in the event of a weather or maintenance disruption

I agree there are some issues, but I know poeple who are driving from Pittsburgh, and that is 175 miles from Columbus. If I was Simply a Leisure traveler, and I wanted to go to SFO, and tickets were still available for $10 Even I'd drive from Pittsburgh.
 
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 10:24 pm

Quoting BlueElephant (Reply 13):
I know poeple who are driving from Pittsburgh, and that is 175 miles from Columbus. If I was Simply a Leisure traveler, and I wanted to go to SFO, and tickets were still available for $10 Even I'd drive from Pittsburgh.

I agree you will see some of this, but at the same time, how, exactly, does this help Skybus become profitable? They're not making money on that $10 fare and I'm not at all convinced you'll see this on fares that will make them money. On a CHM-OAK flight, I would imagine breakeven occurs somewhere around $75 or higher average fare. Will that same discretionary traveler drive 3 hours for a $150 + tax roundtrip (not including clecked luggage, etc.)? Some might, but I would guess not enough to make the airline profitable over time.

Cheers,
Dave in Orlando
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n844aa
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 10:36 pm

Quoting BlueElephant (Reply 13):
I agree there are some issues, but I know poeple who are driving from Pittsburgh, and that is 175 miles from Columbus. If I was Simply a Leisure traveler, and I wanted to go to SFO, and tickets were still available for $10 Even I'd drive from Pittsburgh.

Again, if $10 tickets are involved, a lot of people are going to feel like they got a great deal -- even if it incurs expenses far in excess of the ticket itself. So yeah, Skybus will move those. Every time, even to people in far-flung locales like Pittsburgh. But they're not going to make money, or come anywhere close to breaking even, on that dozen or so $10 tickets. To return to my hypothetical trip in June I've been using for these comparisons, our intrepid Pittsburgher can drive 175 miles to CMH and take Skybus r/t to OAK for $275, or (wait for it) take CO to SFO for $309.

The problem is that the fares that will actually make Skybus profitable (or even solvent!) are going to appeal to a very limited audience -- namely the CMH O&D market. They're not going to draw people in from hundreds of miles around for a ticket 10% cheaper with zero amenities (not merely, say, AA-style amenities, but literally ZERO amenities), and three times shittier service. I can't wait to see how the outsourced ticket agents handle a planeload of passengers waiting on a plane from CMH that never shows. "Sorry, no other flights. No interline agreements. No accomodations tonight. No number for customer service." People are willing to put up with a lot for $10. For $275 ... not so much.
New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
 
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 10:36 pm

Quoting Logos (Reply 11):
And they failed. Those

Only after they bought 747's and started international service. They were very successful with their core business model.
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BlueElephant
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 10:59 pm

Quoting Logos (Reply 11):
While they may see the Columbus market as "massive", 6 million people within 100 miles really doesn't qualify. When People Express started, they had the New York catchment and little to no similar competition with over 22 million people within 50 miles of Newark airport. And they failed. Those who point to Ryanair & Easyjet as successes with this model ignore the vast superiority of the London area O&D (and lack of Southwest style LCC competition) when compared to Columbus.

I don't know much about People Express but i don't think they lacked passengers, especially if they were out of Newark. I bet their ultimate demise was their attempt to use multiple types of aricraft, adding first class to pull in business travels as well as possibly not adjusting prices. Yeah $125 fares to London won't make money...unless you have more expensive tickets to make up for costs. ( take that last sentence with a grain of salt as i don't know their fare structure). Yeah you're right London is has a huge O&D market, but what about Ryanair flying Murcia Spain, to Bremen Germany...how are they going to make money on that?...Yeah sure they might make money but if they lose money they will make it up on a different segment. Like London to Rome. Similarly, Skybus may lose money on CMH-PSM but they'll make it up with CMH-OAK.

Quoting Logos (Reply 14):
Will that same discretionary traveler drive 3 hours for a $150 + tax roundtrip (not including clecked luggage, etc.)? Some might, but I would guess not enough to make the airline profitable over time.

I Agree with you. Nobody would drive 3 hours for a 150 dollar ticket.

Its like this. I would not drive 10 miles to save 2 cents per gallon on a full tank of gas, but i would drive 10 miles to save 12 cents. per gallon.
 
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 11:09 pm

Quoting N844AA (Reply 15):
The problem is that the fares that will actually make Skybus profitable (or even solvent!) are going to appeal to a very limited audience -- namely the CMH O&D market.

You've gotta understand, if they're going to be like Ryanair, then they will open up a base somewhere else. So they will not only be focusing on the CMH O&D.
 
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clickhappy
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 11:09 pm

One thing I noticed in the Washington Post article, as well as others I have read, is that there is no mention of other focus cities, the WP article in particular talks about the risks of hubbing at CMH.
 
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 11:17 pm

Quoting Avianca707359B (Reply 9):
They actually discourage ALL CONNECTING TRAFFIC!

While that's what they say they do, I am not actually convinced. It is possible to book two 'connecting' flights as separate transactions (and separate payment).

If the connection works - fine, everyone is happy but if it doesn't Skybus comes out a winner. Not only do they keep the revenue from the missed connection, they get to charge the now-stranded passenger for the next flight out, and I betcha the available fare wont be in the $10 range. More likely at the top end of their $300+ range for walk-up fares. The passenger can't sue - as Skybus will simply point to their website where connections are forbidden.

Ryanair does exactly the same thing, btw. Their web-site clearly discourages connecting traffic.
 
cofannyc
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 11:47 pm

Quoting BlueElephant (Reply 18):
You've gotta understand, if they're going to be like Ryanair, then they will open up a base somewhere else. So they will not only be focusing on the CMH O&D.

Definitely understand that, but will they survive long enough relying on CMH O&D to open another base?

If this was 1997 and they were starting out at CMH and then planned to open at JFK shortly thereafter (before B6 ever existed), I'd feel better about their plan.

But how long until they open another base? Will they have blown through all of their money before then? Where do they put the base? Is there another airport like CMH that really has a desperate need for this kind of service?

Saying that they will open more bases just doesn't make me comfortable yet....just because they said it's so doesn't seem they will ever make it to the point where it happens. In which case, starting with CMH would have been proven to be a bad idea.
 
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Fri May 04, 2007 11:51 pm

Quoting ANother (Reply 20):
If the connection works - fine, everyone is happy but if it doesn't Skybus comes out a winner.

No, they don't, because then that passenger never flies Skybus again, and if Skybus can't keep people coming back, it will go under.
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Poitin
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 12:05 am

Well, DSA, I am still waiting for your reply to my previous post. Just where are you getting this 150,000 number? It really smacks of wishful thinking. Giving the entry page of a website really is not going to cut it. Where in the site do they make that statement, or do you have a newspaper article in which one of the principals of Skybus make that claim?

To quote from the previous thread:

    Quoting Poitin (Reply 167):
    Perhaps, DSA, you will be kind enough to state exactly where on the Skybus website this information is posted? You have merely given us the main page.

    Poitin, if you see my reply no. 101, you'll see that DSA's source evidently was a post on this very board. They may well have sold 150,000 tickets, but it doesn't appear that Skybus has officially confirmed this number.

Now so, have ye time fer a pint?
 
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 12:08 am

Quoting Itsnotfinals (Reply 16):
Only after they bought 747's and started international service.

That certainly hastened their demise (they also used the 747's on their transcon routes to Oakland and LA), but, as others have pointed out, their buy-on-board was rife with problems. They also issued stock to all their employees ("service by owners" was the slogan) and the ones who got in first did really well (at least for a while), which definitely helped employee morale. I have the same misgivings that other's have expressed about Skybus' ability to retain their $9/block hour flight attendants for the long term, let alone continue to find more for expansion.

The point is that PeopleExpress enjoyed some significant advantages that Skybus does not enjoy and they still managed to fail. Skybus has precious little margin for error.

Cheers,
Dave in Orlando
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 12:17 am

Quoting BlueElephant (Reply 17):
Yeah you're right London is has a huge O&D market, but what about Ryanair flying Murcia Spain, to Bremen Germany...how are they going to make money on that?...Yeah sure they might make money but if they lose money they will make it up on a different segment. Like London to Rome. Similarly, Skybus may lose money on CMH-PSM but they'll make it up with CMH-OAK.

Ryanair only started operating those markets after they were well established. And they established themselves primarily on the traffic out of London-Stansted. And I'll bet they don't operate money losing routes.

The difference is that Skybus is trying to establish itself on a market that is, charitably, maybe 1/5 the size of greater London. People can say all they want about "there will be other markets" but none of them will be the size of London and certainly none of them will have the utter lack of similar competition that Ryanair faced when they started.

In spite of what you might infer from my posts, I'm really not pulling for Skybus to fail. It's just that I can't see how they're going to succeed.

Cheers,
Dave in Orlando
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wjcandee
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 12:24 am

peoplExpress failed because it bought Frontier. Period. End of story. It was a classic case of a company with a wholly different business model that employed a wholly different type of person thinking that a pissed-off, angry, unionist employee base that was about to lose their jobs would appreciate the new company so much that they would adopt the peoplExpress philosophy. Wrong. Fail. Uh-oh. Over. It was a classic "Red Team"/"Green Team" merger problem, and Burr was simply too optomistic about his ability to overcome it, and it killed his company. It had nothing to do with fleet simplification issues. Talk about pulling something completely out of thin air with no factual basis whatsoever.

There is a reason that, even at its present size, WN continues to personality test, test, test, to make sure that it's hiring folks that will best integrate with its corporate culture, and spends so much time maintaining its corporate culture.
 
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 12:34 am

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 26):
There is a reason that, even at its present size, WN continues to personality test, test, test, to make sure that it's hiring folks that will best integrate with its corporate culture, and spends so much time maintaining its corporate culture.

Great point. Generally overlooked, but a common denominator among successful companies in a wide cross section of industries is paying close attention to the front door. You'd probably enjoy Patrick Lencioni's work, if you haven't read it.

Yeah, I forgot about the Frontier fiasco. I'm still not convinced that they would have made it through the lean early 90s apart from that as they had other operational problems as well. Oh well, moot point I suppose. They're long gone and CO is the beneficiary of their planning at EWR.

Cheers,
Dave in Orlando
Too many types flown to list
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 12:44 am

Quoting N844AA (Reply 4):
Back in school, I was as broke as any college student, but I was always able to find a reasonable, affordable advance ticket on WN. And when EQMs became important to me, I never had much trouble on AA either.

I don't know many college students who will drive 100 miles to save $100, and being here outside Charlotte, it's not much more than 100 miles to RDU for WN. We won't even drive to GSO for lower fares (by and large). I think it's because, despite the fact that this is a fairly high-fare region (in contrast to CMH), as you rightly point out, it is possible to find low fares on the legacies if you book far enough in advance, and college students who are traveling to tend to book reasonably far beforehand. After all, we know a year in advance when Spring Break is.
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Tornado82
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 1:21 am

Quoting Gregarious119 (Reply 12):

First off, I'm coming on board with everyone who had doubts about BLI and PSM. Not convinced that they are terrible choices, but I'm seeing both sides of the arguement.

Anyone who's not a WN cheerleader is welcome on this bandwagon, and I agree. If you're a WN cheerleader jump off immediately, for your beloved WN has done this for YEARS! PVD and MHT are not Boston (despite MHT's new name). ISP is not New York City either. The precedent in this nation was set by the immortal Southwest Airlines.

Quoting BlueElephant (Reply 13):
I agree there are some issues, but I know poeple who are driving from Pittsburgh, and that is 175 miles from Columbus. If I was Simply a Leisure traveler, and I wanted to go to SFO, and tickets were still available for $10 Even I'd drive from Pittsburgh.

During the short-lived HP hub in CMH we once drove to CMH for a family trip because my dad was cheap (and gas was about $1/gal back then). We live approximately 1:20 from PIT, and 3:00 from CMH. In hindsight, that was 1:40 that was wasted all in the name of saving a grand total of about $180. Like I said, gas was $1 then.

But then again there are people still dumb enough to drive that far with gas at $3, after all people are still buying Hybrid cars to save a few mpg yet the car costs $5,000 more than the gas burner equivalent, and has more expensive maintenance after the warranty expires. So I'm sure there will still be people driving from Northern KY, IND, DTW, PIT to get to CMH. Does Skybus offer a $5 lobotomy too for these people?

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 10):
So, when are they getting FAA approval?

 checkmark  I personally don't see them ever flying, and if they do never growing beyond their "fleet" that they have right now. Can't buy planes without money, eventually you need to make payments.

Quoting Avianca707359B (Reply 9):
They actually discourage ALL CONNECTING TRAFFIC!

Let's think about this. They're flying routes to off-market airports like BLI, when CO and US can't suffice daily/year round flights to the main market airports (SEA) from their neighboring hub/focus operations in Cleveland and Pittsburgh respectively. The hubs have connecting traffic and can't do it... but yet Skybus spurns connecting traffic. Oh, did I mention CLE and PIT are SIGNIFICANTLY bigger air travel markets? If PIT's hub supposedly can't support year-round SEA service, there's no way in hell Skybus could support BLI from CMH strictly O&D. Not gonna happen, no way, no how. And Skybus is small enough that they can't support a failing route like BLI with something "successful" like FLL.
 
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 1:32 am

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 29):
PVD and MHT are not Boston (despite MHT's new name). ISP is not New York City either. The precedent in this nation was set by the immortal Southwest Airlines.

Again, that is not the point here.

Southwest acknowledges that Providence is Providence, Ft. Lauderdale is Ft. Lauderdale, and Islip is Islip. They advertise them as in the "Boston area", "Miami area", and "New York City area", respectively. They never try to hide the fact that in reality you are flying to those airports.

Skybus is employing a different tactic. They advertise Portsmouth as Boston and Bellingham as Seattle and Vancouver.

That is despite the fact that Portsmouth is a 2-hour drive from Boston and Bellingham is a 2-hour drive from Seattle. In their banner adds for Boston service, there is absolutely no mention of Portsmouth! That is ridiculous. Southwest never tries to claim that Ft. Lauderdale is Miami; Skybus does try to claim that Portsmouth is Boston in a decietful way. They also give "estimated" driving times on their website that are valid only between 11PM and 5AM.
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itsnotfinals
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 1:50 am

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 30):
Southwest acknowledges that Providence is Providence, Ft. Lauderdale is Ft. Lauderdale, and Islip is Islip. They advertise them as in the "Boston area", "Miami area", and "New York City area", respectively. They never try to hide the fact that in reality you are flying to those airports.

What is your point? Just as you pointed out FLL is 15 Minutes form "north suburbs" of Miami, PSM is also closer to north suburbs.

The skybus website has full information about the actual destinations, but you don't want to read it and acknowledge it because of your bias against this airline.

I will not be flying them either, but what matters is how they actually do as a company,not whether a name is XX/YY or YY/XX in a drop down.

Boston (Portsmouth, NH)
Portsmouth International Airport at Pease
Overview
Portsmouth International Airport is conveniently located two miles from downtown Portsmouth off Interstate 95, just 44 miles from Boston and 50 miles from the major cities of Portland and Manchester. The airport provides a new international/domestic passenger terminal and offers free parking and all the amenities of a small New England town.

Going to / from Downtown Boston?
For arriving passengers:
There are taxis and an Avis / Budget Car rental facility available in the terminal. In addition, a Shuttle service departs from the airport 30 minutes after the arrival of your Skybus flight and drops you at the bus terminal (approx 1 mile from the airport). A scheduled bus service operates from the bus terminal with regular services to downtown Boston. Details and prices are available from the following link: www.ridecj.com.

For departing passengers:
A shuttle service departs from the bus terminal ( approx 1 mile from the airport ) 2 hours before the scheduled departure of each flight: www.ridecj.com.

What exactly are you so angry about? No one is making you fly them.

Oh, and They go to Fort Lauderdale and call it Fort Lauderdale and don't mention Miami as WN does.

[Edited 2007-05-04 18:56:04]
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n844aa
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 1:55 am

I'm having a distinct sense of deja vu.
New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
 
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 1:57 am

Quoting Itsnotfinals (Reply 31):
What is your point? Just as you pointed out FLL is 15 Minutes form "north suburbs" of Miami, PSM is also closer to north suburbs.

The skybus website has full information about the actual destinations, but you don't want to read it and acknowledge it because of your bias against this airline.

You refuse to acknowledge the difference here. I'm not going to explain it again.
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 1:57 am

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 29):
Anyone who's not a WN cheerleader is welcome on this bandwagon, and I agree. If you're a WN cheerleader jump off immediately, for your beloved WN has done this for YEARS! PVD and MHT are not Boston (despite MHT's new name). ISP is not New York City either. The precedent in this nation was set by the immortal Southwest Airlines.

It sure was! and still is, yet people got used to it and no one has sued them when they relaized what a pain it is to get to Manhatten from ISP. etc.
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 1:58 am

Quoting Logos (Reply 11):
There was a part of me that kind of held out hope that there were insiders at Skybus that had cards they weren't showing which might have made this make more sense. While that's still possible, reading something like this certainly reduces the likelihood of that in my opinion.

While they may see the Columbus market as "massive", 6 million people within 100 miles really doesn't qualify. When People Express started, they had the New York catchment and little to no similar competition with over 22 million people within 50 miles of Newark airport. And they failed. Those who point to Ryanair & Easyjet as successes with this model ignore the vast superiority of the London area O&D (and lack of Southwest style LCC competition) when compared to Columbus.

I also have to wonder what effect $3+ a gallon gas is going to have on people's willingness to "drive 100 miles to save $100." If anything, they will be more likely to do the math and see if they are actually saving $100 before clicking to purchase.

Finally, if OSU students are one of your target demographics, it's hard to see that as a path to profitability. Most of them live in the state of Ohio, so they won't be flying home for the holidays, so now you're counting on their impulse and Spring Break travel. That should cover the fares up to maybe $50 each way on the weekends during the school year and a week or two in March (assuming, of course, that Skybus comes up with more Spring Break destinations apart from FLL). We know Skybus can't make money with $10 fares. Can they make money with $50 fares? That's probably the average of fares they'll sell to college students. I would also expect college students to be less likely to buy extra things on board as they're on a tighter budget, though you never know.

In many ways, the biggest reason to be pessimistic about Skybus' future is the reasons given by its defenders for its sure success.

Cheers,
Dave in Orlando

who said that they were necessariy targeting OSU students that are flying home? When I was in college I couldn't afford to go anywhere for spring break, or just on a weekend trip.....but if I was in college, and I wanted to get out of Ohio for a day or so, a cheap ticket to portsmouth or bli might sound nice.....would I care that it's not exactly Boston or Seattle? Probably not....just by doing a little bit of internet research, which almost all college students are capable of doing these days, you see that there is a lot of neat things to see and do right in the immediate area that Skybus is flying to. If I could pay $20 or $40 roundtrip to go to some part of the country that I may otherwise never see, just because it's so cheap that I can....you better bet I'm going to take advantage of that. Maybe that sheds some light on the whole OSU comment.
"You can be my wingman anytime."
 
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 2:01 am

Quoting Itsnotfinals (Reply 34):

It sure was! and still is, yet people got used to it and no one has sued them when they relaized what a pain it is to get to Manhatten from ISP. etc.

Beacuse Southwest never makes them think that they are flying to Manhattan. Southwest makes it blatantly obvious they are flying to Islip, Long Island.

And, FYI, the northern most Boston suburbs are still 45 minutes from Portsmouth, with no traffic (i.e. between 9PM and 5AM).
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 2:03 am

Quoting Itsnotfinals (Reply 34):
It sure was! and still is, yet people got used to it and no one has sued them when they relaized what a pain it is to get to Manhatten from ISP. etc.

No, actually, it isn't. It's a 40 minute trip on the LIRR, right smack into Penn Station. That said, I would never fly here into ISP, but nor have I ever found myself utterly priced out of LGA, EWR, or JFK.

Quoting Tbolt1 (Reply 35):
When I was in college I couldn't afford to go anywhere for spring break, or just on a weekend trip.....but if I was in college, and I wanted to get out of Ohio for a day or so, a cheap ticket to portsmouth or bli might sound nice.....would I care that it's not exactly Boston or Seattle? Probably not....just by doing a little bit of internet research, which almost all college students are capable of doing these days, you see that there is a lot of neat things to see and do right in the immediate area that Skybus is flying to. If I could pay $20 or $40 roundtrip to go to some part of the country that I may otherwise never see, just because it's so cheap that I can....you better bet I'm going to take advantage of that.

I don't see how you, or a hypothetical student with the same budget limitations, are going to be able to afford a motel room and food in Bellingham when, before the advent of Skybus and their a la carte fare structure, a weekend trip was impractical.

I've been saying all along, these $10 tickets are worth the hassle and will be a great boon to Columbusite (Columbusans? Columbians?) looking to get away for a weekend. But $10 fares do not a profitable airline make. I just don't see what Skybus has to offer beyond this when WN does virtually everything they do better.
New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
 
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 2:03 am

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 19):
One thing I noticed in the Washington Post article, as well as others I have read, is that there is no mention of other focus cities, the WP article in particular talks about the risks of hubbing at CMH.

That's because most of the people writing articles on Skybus don't know everything. Skybus management is very secretive about their short and long-term biz plans. Would you want to give your competition the edge if you didn't have to just to calm speculation?
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 2:06 am

Thats quite some spin there Tbolt. Skybus management, when interviewed for the article, could have said, "We will be adding exciting new routes and focus cities in the future."

After all, if it was such a secret, you and the others who keep repeating it wouldn't be doing so on an internet forum.

And, if it helps strength the brand, then yeah, they should talk about it.
 
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 2:06 am

Quoting Poitin (Reply 23):
Well, DSA, I am still waiting for your reply to my previous post. Just where are you getting this 150,000 number? It really smacks of wishful thinking. Giving the entry page of a website really is not going to cut it. Where in the site do they make that statement, or do you have a newspaper article in which one of the principals of Skybus make that claim?

This is from Skybus upper management....now whether or not you're going to believe that is your own decisions....and btw, it's over 175,000 fares sold now.
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 2:08 am

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 36):
Beacuse Southwest never makes them think that they are flying to Manhattan. Southwest makes it blatantly obvious they are flying to Islip, Long Island.

That's your opinion. For years if you wanted to go to NYC you had to go to ISP if you wanted to fly WN. That's not an opinion it's fact. And even now to get to LGA you need to get on ATA, not WN.

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 36):
And, FYI, the northern most Boston suburbs are still 45 minutes from Portsmouth, with no traffic (i.e. between 9PM and 5AM).

Gloucester and Rockport are a lot of fun, great food, on the ocean, and not even close to DT Boston. I can't understand why you point out FLL is close to northern suburbs of MIA, yet insist on quoting PSM to Boston only. Slightly skewed. There are a lot of places people wnat to go in New England that have nothing to do with BOS.
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 2:08 am

Quoting Tbolt1 (Reply 38):
Skybus management is very secretive about their short and long-term biz plans.

I hear Independence Air had all the answers as well. Plus I'll bet Express Jet thinks they're doing something right (except maybe they actually are.)

I'm just sayin'.

Eh, who am I kidding. I'm just angry because FTW wasn't among Skybus's inaugural routes. By the way, what's the IATA code for Skybus?
New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
 
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 2:10 am

Quoting Tbolt1 (Reply 40):
This is from Skybus upper management....now whether or not you're going to believe that is your own decisions....and btw, it's over 175,000 fares sold now.

If tickets are selling at the rate of 25,000 a day, every day -- which, according to your numbers, they appears to be doing -- WHY ON EARTH ISN'T MANAGEMENT TRUMPETING THIS FAR AND WIDE? Jesus, they need to hire some new marketers. Or maybe just some marketers, period.

Also, what did we figure out in the last thread? Once they ramp up initial ops, Skybus will have 3,000 seats a day? Have they really sold out two full months of capacity? Pretty amazing if true.
New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
 
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 2:10 am

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 29):
So I'm sure there will still be people driving from Northern KY, IND, DTW, PIT to get to CMH. Does Skybus offer a $5 lobotomy too for these people?

LOL!

Quoting Tbolt1 (Reply 35):
If I could pay $20 or $40 roundtrip to go to some part of the country that I may otherwise never see, just because it's so cheap that I can....you better bet I'm going to take advantage of that. Maybe that sheds some light on the whole OSU comment.

Actually, it doesn't. The CEO was using OSU students as a defense of their plan to be profitable. I'm not denying that what you're suggesting will happen. I'm merely saying that they will not make money on those fares and they are essentially the only ones I can see having any volume of OSU students. Thus, OSU students really don't make sense as an ongoing source of profit for Skybus.

Again, there might be more to this than they're saying publicly, but what they're saying publicly doesn't add up to an airline with a future measured in whole number years.

Cheers,
Dave in Orlando
Too many types flown to list
 
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 2:13 am

Quoting N844AA (Reply 42):
By the way, what's the IATA code for Skybus?

They won't be eligible for one until the get their AOL. Too bad SB is taken ...

btw, I find it unusual that nobody has mentioned CP Air's skybus product that they offered in the early '80s. They even had some of their aircraft (DC8s I recall) branded as Skybus ...
 
n844aa
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 2:17 am

Quoting ANother (Reply 45):
They won't be eligible for one until the get their AOL. Too bad SB is taken ...

Ah, never knew that. Thanks!

On another note, here I make an inflammatory comment as to WHY SKYBUS IS DOOMED.

Why Skybus is Doomed Reason No. 1: Because Communism simply doesn't work.

"While this is considerably lower than competing airlines' wages, flight attendants will also receive 10% of all sales made during the flight, splitting all commissions evenly among all flight attendants on-board."

I fail to see how this will get those sellin' juices flowing. I never saw Ricky Roma "sharing" those solid gold leads with Shelley and the rest of those losers. Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired.

Edit: Upon further reflection, I feel I should note that this post was written with tongue firmly in cheek. I actually just thought it kind of out of character that Skybus would split commissions like that; it sounds like a pretty hard-sell environment.

[Edited 2007-05-04 19:19:36]
New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
 
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 2:27 am

Quoting N844AA (Reply 43):
If tickets are selling at the rate of 25,000 a day, every day -- which, according to your numbers, they appears to be doing -- WHY ON EARTH ISN'T MANAGEMENT TRUMPETING THIS FAR AND WIDE? Jesus, they need to hire some new marketers. Or maybe just some marketers, period.

Because they aren't selling at 25,000 per day. 150,000+25,000=175,000. Thus, since this # has been here for now several days (150,000), the 175,000 figure took several days to accomplish.
 
n844aa
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 2:32 am

Quoting Xpfg (Reply 47):
Because they aren't selling at 25,000 per day. 150,000+25,000=175,000. Thus, since this # has been here for now several days (150,000), the 175,000 figure took several days to accomplish.

If I recall correctly, the 150k thread was posted yesterday. Today that figure was revised to 175k.

In any event, it looks like Skybus started selling tickets nine days ago. That's still nearly 20,000 a day. Not quite 25,000, but pretty good, if we can just get confirmation.
New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
 
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RE: Skybus Sells Over 150,000 Fares! Part 2

Sat May 05, 2007 2:34 am

Quoting N844AA (Reply 4):
So, wow, RIC-BOS and back for $40. Plus two nights in the CMH Airport Marriott. Call that $100 a night, and you're up to $240. Or you could take NW with one same day stop for $150. And get a Coke, to boot.

Do you really think the $10 passengers are going to spring for the Marriott? I'm thinking the $39 Econolodge or the $0 CMH bench...

Quoting BlueElephant (Reply 13):
But you should know that most students here are CRAZY about going places for their breaks. And I'm sure that Skybus will bank on that and add additional routes to more Spring Break locations. But i also know a Number of students who want to go to places like Seattle because its something different.

If they are banking on that to become profitable then they really are out of touch. No university in the world has enough students to keep an airline afloat, especially one that offers $10 loss-leader fares.

Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 22):
No, they don't, because then that passenger never flies Skybus again, and if Skybus can't keep people coming back, it will go under

Exactly. Word of mouth can spread good news, however it can also spread very very bad news about a company.
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