IndianGuy
Topic Author
Posts: 3126
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2000 3:14 pm

Dirty Tricks Inc.

Tue Oct 03, 2000 4:03 pm

I was talking to a friend who works with a leading Indian airline, and he kept talking of a certain airline playing 'dirty tricks' on his carrier on one of its main intl. routes.

I for one, refuse to believe any of this BS. After all Why should the biggies of the airline industry worry so much about a relative newcomer? Apparently this biggie in question has a reputation for it.

What do you guys feel about this? Any examples of 'dirty tricks' against rivals in the airline business?

 
lutfi
Posts: 687
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2000 6:33 pm

RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Tue Oct 03, 2000 11:49 pm



BA famously used dirty tricks against Virgin, things like approaching VS upper class passengers pretending to be VS staff, telling them the VS flight was cancelled and offering "kindly" to rebook them on a BA flight.

But the staff from Indian carriers I've met seem more interested in getting free tickets on other airlines than trying to compete for sales. It may just be as a civil servant AI/IC type he isn't used to normal competitive practises...

What were the "tricks" they were using? Dummy bookings? Only offering poor slots? Ensuring the Indian carrier never gets a jet airbridge, so the passengers must use boarding steps?

Many airlines regard any competition as something to be crushed if at all possible, look what NW and DL do to start up airlines in the US. Whether the tricks are "dirty" or "competitive" is sometimes a fine line.

Besides AI/IC cannot really complain, one of the dirtiest tricks of all is being a state owned airline that persuades the state never to grant traffic rights to the competition...
 
acvitale
Posts: 1911
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RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Wed Oct 04, 2000 12:24 am

Dirty tricks Inc. BA vs AI look at slots ground handling in LHR and refusal to grant slots at LHR to AI except at 2-4am when they wanted to use their 24 extras. Hmmmph!
 
lutfi
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Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2000 6:33 pm

RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Wed Oct 04, 2000 1:17 am

Look at AI/ Indian government refusing to let Thai fly Bangkok to Bombay for the last fifteen years! Or refusing to let IC take the FRA route...

Any time a competitor flies a passenger that could have flown with my airline, that is taking money from my family, because if it happens too much I'm out of a job. And most airlines will use all legal means to ensure it doesn't happen, including offering better service, better aircraft and better schedules. And maybe some pressure on local friendly politicians (AA vs Legend at Love Field)

ACVITALE, slots at LHR are damn near impossible. The only way is to accept bad timings, then swap for better ones from another airline, but they will want a lot of money for that. BA themselves have to move flights to other airports to add at LHR.

PIA do very well at MAN and Birmingham, rather than complaining about something impossible to change.
 
MCOtoATL
Posts: 448
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AA Has Done Some Off Stuff

Wed Oct 04, 2000 2:31 am

In years past, American has used their computer reservation system to give itself a competitive advantage with travel agents. For example, if another airline had a lower fare, it would not show up on the system for quite some time. Deyails can be read in the book "Hard Landing" by Thomas Petzinger.

American's Bob Crandall also once was tape recorded trying to "price fix" with Braniff.
 
philb
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RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Wed Oct 04, 2000 2:35 am

Laker was forced out of business by a "consortium" of US and British carriers which eventually had to pay out compensation to Sir Freddie
 
Guest

RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Wed Oct 04, 2000 3:07 am

PhilB maybe it was not so bad Freddie went out of Business!
Iain
 
philb
Posts: 2645
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RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Wed Oct 04, 2000 5:48 am

It was atragedy for free enterprise and the "little man" in both British business and world aviation. Still, he showed Richard the way
 
BH346
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RE: AA Has Done Some Off Stuff

Wed Oct 04, 2000 6:00 am

Also, AA has driven Vanguard out of Wichita, Kansas, on the DFW-ICT route. We've had high fares ever since. People are fleeing the high fares and now fly out of Kansas City, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City, even though it takes 3 hours to get there by car!!

Regards,
BH346
Northwest Airlines - Some People Just Know How to Fly
 
AA737-823
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American And Legend

Wed Oct 04, 2000 6:40 am

You may not be familiar with Legend Airlines. They are a new startup out of Dallas Love and fly to LGA, LAS, LAX, and IAD. Well, American used some unusual business practices- American *ALLEGEDLY* hacked into Legends computer system and changed important information, cancelling people's reservations and things of that sort. Now, I can't prove this myself, but if you use the search function, I am sure you can find it quickly. This happened back when Legend was just starting flights, in March or April, I believe.
 
User avatar
fanoftristars
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RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Wed Oct 04, 2000 7:16 am

American has been giving Legend all types of problems, (can you blame them? Legend is providing a superior product to the business traveler) even forming law suits etc to stop them. I hope the Legend lives on.
"FLY DELTA JETS"
 
IndianGuy
Topic Author
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RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Wed Oct 04, 2000 10:23 am

All this is unbelievable! The things some people/airlines will do!

Grabbing Upper-Class pax is one of the things that i heard. And our national carrier had apparently handed over the responsibility for ground handling to this intl.airline with which it was competing. Thats like George Bush asking Saddam to take care of his tanks enroute to Baghdad!
 
redngold
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RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Wed Oct 04, 2000 11:03 am

You wanna know about dirty tricks? Read Nuts!, the book about Southwest Airlines, and you'll read about all of Braniff's dirty tricks and underhanded dealings trying to put WN out of business from the start!

One vestige P-I-T-A that's still hanging on is the "Wright Amendment" restricting advertisements for flights to/from Dallas Love Field to cities within surrounding states. Somehow, this year, Continental Airlines managed to get around Wright and now they advertise "the only non-stop flights from Cleveland to Dallas Love Field." While "non-stop" may be true, WN has been offering (but not advertising) flights from CLE-DAL via a stopover city for a very long time. So now CO is doing dirty tricks to WN as well.

But hey, who's still in business? Braniff's dead twice since WN started up!

redngold

Up, up and away!
 
B747-437B
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RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Wed Oct 04, 2000 12:07 pm

I will comment on this in depth when I have time, but this is for Lutfi right now.

AI and LHR slots were a very strange story in which slots were available for ORD service, but not for YYZ service at the same times? Oh please....
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
VirginA340
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RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Wed Oct 04, 2000 12:38 pm

I know that TWA, PAN AM and BA had put Laker Airways out of business but what other airlines had their role in the matter. There were probably more than just those 3 carriers that put Freddie out of the airline biz
"FUIMUS"
 
LoneStarMike
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Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2000 1:02 pm

RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Wed Oct 04, 2000 1:32 pm

I have the perfect article for this topic. You want to read about airline's dirty tricks? Have a look at this article written three years ago in the Dallas Observer.

The (W)right to Fly
10/15/1997

http://www.dallasobserver.com/issues/1997-10-16/feature.html/page1.html

It's very long but very interesting.

LoneStarMike

 
lutfi
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RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Wed Oct 04, 2000 2:41 pm

B747-437B, what about SR having to pay royalties to AI per BOM-HKG passenger... or foreign carriers having to use a well connected GSA to have any chance of more flights to India. God knows what MH have had to pay.

Let's just say the sub-continent can play the game as well as anyone. UA slots at DEL were also a big problem for them to get.

Indianguy. If another airline takes much of another's business, they will be bankrupt and out of a job. I know that isn't the case for AI staff, but it is for the rest of the world. And the line between competition and a trick is thin. Is it OK to call an upper class frequent flyer of another airline and offer him comp status or upgrade to switch? Yes. Is it OK to hack into another airline's system and steal those names? No. But you can get the name list from a credit card company...

In the old days, it wasn't even allowed to sell cheaper than another airline!
 
B747-437B
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RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Wed Oct 04, 2000 3:11 pm

Lutfi - UA and AI are presently on very bad terms thanks to UA reneging on their contract for emergency maintenance at ORD. Long story there, but lets just hope nothing EVER happens to a UA aircraft transiting DEL, 'cos folks have a long memory in those parts.

SR had to pay royalties for BOM-HKG pax, just like AI paid royalties for FCO-GVA pax. Sure, more money in the former case but tit for tat.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
nycank
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RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Wed Oct 04, 2000 6:33 pm

Lufti: 'bi-laterals" cover fifth freedom and cabbotage rules. So Swiss and Indians
must have negotiated the BOM-HKG deal.

BOM-HKG has enough O&D pax probably to handle more than one airline  

Indian Guy, the only thing in my mind could be VS ? Is that what you are reffering to ? Dirty Tricks are when you are exposed, rest is business.
 
lutfi
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RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Wed Oct 04, 2000 7:16 pm

Tks B747-437, didn't know about the GVA-FCO deal.

Yes, Nycank it was maybe negotiated as part of the ASA, but traffic rights belong to countries, not airlines. I can understand a royalty paid to the government (it's called taxation) but a royalty paid to a company is unusual. Saudi sometimes insists on the same for the right to carry guest workers there.

Of course, the problem is the AI and the govt are one... as I said, that's one of the dirtiest tricks of all.
 
airmale
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RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Wed Oct 04, 2000 7:27 pm

didnt this happen with British Caledonian too 
.....up there with the best!
 
nycank
Posts: 232
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RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Thu Oct 05, 2000 2:41 am

Lufti: Airlines pay for flying over someone's air space, they pay airport authorities for landing, and finally may pay other carriers for goods and services, which can range from maint.,gates,wet/dry leases and also routes.

Sean could clarify the details or SR AI agreements. AI is a Govt. entity, and
for a long time SR had a similar investments by Swiss Govt.
 
travelin man
Posts: 3198
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RE: Question For IndianGuy

Thu Oct 05, 2000 3:00 am

Why the vagueness in your original post? What was the Indian airline in question? Who is playing the dirty tricks? And what are the alleged dirty tricks?

If it's Indian Airlines, I find it difficult to have ANY sympathy for them. As a national airline that regularly keeps competitors out, I agree with Lutfi, that is the most anti-competitive dirty trick there is.
 
jaysit
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RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Thu Oct 05, 2000 3:38 am

WHy doesn't the Indian government allow TG to fly Bom-Bkk? Is it because of some strange bilateral that allows TG to fly only to 2 indian destinations? Or is it because TG aren't allowed to increase flights because AI only fly twice weekly?
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
IndianGuy
Topic Author
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RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Thu Oct 05, 2000 3:42 am

AI & BA resp.

1. Grabbing First/Business Pax. Apparently AI pax at LHR are/were handled by BA?
2. Bullying on slots/maintainance


Theres supposed to be some trouble with SQ as well, and this is affecting IC as well. Perhaps Sean knows more on this?
 
VirginLover
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RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Thu Oct 05, 2000 4:06 am

Also, BA got hold of VS's database, and called the First Class passengers that were flying on VS that day and saying that their flight was cancelled, or they were bumped, so they offered a flight on the Concorde.. and as Lufti mentioned, they would approach the First Class passengers getting out of their limos offering them to switch to BA on the Concorde...

This why I'll never fly BA... And I still wouldn't fly them if they did this to another airline instead of Virgin.  
 
B747-437B
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RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Thu Oct 05, 2000 11:08 am

All of AI's facilities at LHR were sold to BA during the Rajan Jetley era for a pittance (can we say Carl Icahn?). This included everything from the sizeable AI cargo warehouse down to office space at LHR. Jetley then proceeded to lease the same stuff back from BA.

During this time, AI also signed a ground-handling agreement with BA whereby all AI ground services would be handled by BA. However, when BA terminated its ground handling operation at Terminal 3, AI rehired the same staff that it had laid off and bought back the space from BA at market value (approximately 4 times the price they sold it for). AI now handles all of its own ground services at LHR with the exception of emergency maintenance (BA) and luggage handling (EI).

The slots issue is one that screams HYPOCRITE about BA/BAA. I will drag up the details and post them here. As for maintenance, BA has done a fairly decent job helping out when needed, unlike UA who essentially reneged on their contract for maintenance at ORD.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
jaysit
Posts: 10186
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RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Thu Oct 05, 2000 12:19 pm

Assuming AI had the aircraft, could it lease back its slots from NZ or VS at LHR?
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
lutfi
Posts: 687
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2000 6:33 pm

RE: Dirty Tricks Inc.

Thu Oct 05, 2000 3:04 pm

Must admit, I enjoyed competing with AI when I did it, because it was easy. Unlike most airlines, their staff aren't motivated to reach sales or service targets, and aren't fired for incompetence. But they are mostly very pleasant, well educated people, just working the system best they can.

Unfortunately the down side is that the govt protects them by restricting access to India, which is a shame.

I believe though that we will see more and more flights to the South, with liberal governments in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka more interested in developing convenient links to the world to serve their IT industry than protecting the Delhi license raj. So they will bring pressure to bear to let carriers (and IC) fly to HYD, BLR and possibly MAA, while AI will keep everyone out of their strongholds of DEL and BOM.

Future's in the South anyway...

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