delta2ual
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Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:37 am

Interesting take on the merger:

http://www.centreforaviation.com/ana...s-pilots-vote-on-integration-60583

[Edited 2011-10-14 04:43:36]
From the world's largest airline-to the world's largest airline. Delta2ual
 
delta2ual
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:51 am

Some interesting points from above article for those who don't feel like reading it:

"There are an increasing number of stories commenting on how Southwest’s fares are higher. Fares at legacies are often USD100 cheaper than Southwest including the fees, and Continental and US Airways can be credited with their own kind of aggression of fares: beating Southwest."

"Southwest is not even the lowest cost carrier in the industry. It is now in the lower third of the pack with legacies having trimmed their costs. JetBlue beat its USD 7.91 cent CASM excluding fuel costs in the first quarter at USD 7.22 cents. In the second quarter, jetBlue’s CASM excluding fuel was USD 6.62, compared to Southwest’s USD 7.63. Frontier beat it in the second quarter at USD 7.56. Alaska’s CASM excluding fuel in the second quarter was USD 8.46, down 3.1% while Southwest’s rose 3.8%."

"The problem is, Mr McAdoo also noted, that Southwest’s revenue performance is lagging its peers. Unit revenue growth, according to CEO Gary Kelly slowed to only 4.1% in the second quarter from 8.7% in the first quarter. This compares to 14.1% at jetBlue in the first quarter and 10.2% at United. For the second quarter, JetBlue’s unit revenues were up 13.2% and Frontier was 10.4%. United and Delta were up 9.1% and 9.9%, respectively.
But at the end of the day to airline shareholders, it is yield that matters. In 2Q2011, Southwest's yield of 14.67 US cents was beat only by US Airways (16.30 cents) and Delta (15.67 cents)."

Lastly, "Following the refusal to put the first agreement out of vote, however, Southwest pulled its sweet-heart deal for AirTran pilots, which is the reason for a recall move. It also completed its alternative plan for the two carriers on 20-Sept, calling for AirTran and Southwest to be operated separately if the integration vote fails. Essentially, the agreement reached in September protects SWAPA seniority rights, leaving AirTran pilots with only pay raises.
Even so, Southwest comes out the winner because it still gets what it went after in acquiring AirTran – access to Atlanta."
From the world's largest airline-to the world's largest airline. Delta2ual
 
peanuts
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:10 pm

Basically: WN is a mature business. Lots of employees get great pay, mainly due to longevity.
Competition has caught on with many other LCC's in the market with lower wage costs. Now, most legacies have caught on as well and reduced costs dramatically through various ways.

As costs and competition increases, the company has to seek more growth to stay abreast.

Also: WN is riding its own success wave. WN's hard work and reputation has given it a fairly high price elasticity with its customers. That's huge. Some of its passengers are so committed to the airlines' reputation and what it stands for so they probably don't even price shop. They just assume it must be a good or normal fare. Granted, WN's "No Bag Fees" ad campaign helps to perpetuate that line of thinking. It's genius.

ATL/FL is a great move by WN but also a very necessary move. WN needs ATL more than ATL needs WN.

[Edited 2011-10-14 05:27:09]
 
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enilria
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:03 pm

I think this is largely true. WN is not cheao, The days of the U.S. gov't needing to protect WN are over. I find it particularly interesting that WN says that if they keep AAI operating they will gain by retaining bag fees. What? Haven't they said repeatedly that bag fees are an overall negative on earnings??? That's why they don't have them...I thought???
 
delta2ual
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:26 pm

Quoting enilria (Reply 3):
I find it particularly interesting that WN says that if they keep AAI operating they will gain by retaining bag fees.

Yes, that is a little hypocritical isn't it?
From the world's largest airline-to the world's largest airline. Delta2ual
 
aztrainer
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:34 pm

Quoting enilria (Reply 3):
I find it particularly interesting that WN says that if they keep AAI operating they will gain by retaining bag fees. What? Haven't they said repeatedly that bag fees are an overall negative on earnings?

Yes, but they can always keep the door open for addition of these fees. I also think that , we as a traveling public, have become desensitized by the added fees. Now it is just another thing that we pay for to travel. WN has things like Early Bird check in that adds $10 per segment that add to the bottom line that other airlines do not have.
 
seven3seven
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:07 pm

In my opinion the article was poorly written, lacking in actual facts, and written with a biased point of view.
My views are mine alone and are not that of any of my fellow employees, officers, or directors at my company
 
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par13del
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:56 pm

Quoting enilria (Reply 3):
Haven't they said repeatedly that bag fees are an overall negative on earnings??? That's why they don't have them...I thought???
Quoting delta2ual (Reply 4):
Yes, that is a little hypocritical isn't it?

Why, even though they now have a single owner they are still two seperate companies, the operating metrics are different. Work rules, staff compensation, productivity, fuel hedging, a/c, maintenance there are many others which when combined determine the financial performance of the company.
WN in its current form is able to be successful in the market without bag fees, FL is another story. Until everything at FL is on equal footing with WN the financial implications will be different. WN could place the FL staff on equal pay and benefits footing with the WN staff, does that mean that productivity and work rules are now the same, no, what makes bag fees difrerent is that they need permission from no one to implement.

WN has aleady announced that a number of FL existing fees and fare structure will go away as the merger progresses, somehow, no one is complaining that business class still exist on FL while WN has none, same difference, give it time.
 
taxpilot
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:30 pm

My wife and I will be happily boarding a WN 73 next week for another cross country flight (SMF MCO). This will make about twenty coast to coast flights over the last five years.

Yes, we are not always paying the lowest fare, but we are still getting the best value, all things considered.

As a bonus we changed the travel dates, got a reduced fair and paid no rebooking fees.

We already know that we will be traveling with the most competent, experienced, and friendly airline employees anywhere!

 
 
sccutler
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:38 pm

Quoting enilria (Reply 3):
The days of the U.S. gov't needing to protect WN are over.

??

Quoting delta2ual (Reply 4):
Quoting enilria (Reply 3):
I find it particularly interesting that WN says that if they keep AAI operating they will gain by retaining bag fees.

Yes, that is a little hypocritical isn't it?

Meh. If the Pilots' unions refuse to ratify the deal, it would be folly to try to cram them all together anyway (see, Exhibit A, US Airways). Sounds like a good business decision, if they cannot consolidate the carriers effectively, then run-out the weaker sister (so to speak), harvest that which is of value and shut down or sell off that which remains. I expect, however, that the integration will be ratified.

---

As for the whole fare talk, more of the same-same. SWA never contends to be "cheapest," but they never abuse, either. Compare unrestricted, non-forfeiture fares, and compare fares on similar-length segments with and without SWA, and the value they bring, becomes apparent. Business travelers rely upon SWA because (1) the airline won't cheat you; and (2) the airline is reliable.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
Yuxi
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:38 pm

Quoting TAXPILOT (Reply 8):
As a bonus we changed the travel dates, got a reduced fair and paid no rebooking fees.

The lack of change fees on WN alone has been the decisive factor for several trips I've taken, even if legacies look somewhat cheaper for the same route. It has saved me hundreds already.

No baggage fee is another bonus of course  
Yuxi
 
Italianflyer
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:41 pm

Very interesting analysis....somewhat biased, but interesting. The fact that WN is not the 'cheapest', especially on advanced purchase fares in secondary markets, is nothing new...I have noticed that for fifteen years. The remark that WN's lack of 'change fees' are no longer relevant because consumers are more disciplined is laughable. Life happens....people get sick, personal crisis comes up, business meetings run late and clients cancel at the last minute.

The nugget of truth from the piece that I see is that WN's biggest strength today is its brand. When you look at markets where WN is more expensive than a legacy...you will see that the 'legacy' is often an express/connection carrier. I assume there is a significant demographic out there that will pay a premium to stay off of an RJ. The second brand strength is the extensive list of connecting city opportunities vs. finite hubs. Allot of savvy travelers will take a relatively stress free connect in BHM, BNA or STL vs. a 60 min connect in sprawling and congestion prone ATL,DFW or ORD.
 
dispatchguy
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:56 pm

Quoting ItalianFlyer (Reply 11):
The nugget of truth from the piece that I see is that WN's biggest strength today is its brand. When you look at markets where WN is more expensive than a legacy...you will see that the 'legacy' is often an express/connection carrier. I assume there is a significant demographic out there that will pay a premium to stay off of an RJ. The second brand strength is the extensive list of connecting city opportunities vs. finite hubs. Allot of savvy travelers will take a relatively stress free connect in BHM, BNA or STL vs. a 60 min connect in sprawling and congestion prone ATL,DFW or ORD.

Truer words havent been spoken.

if I am going to pay a full walkup fare, the last thing I want to get stuck on is a damned RJ! At least at SWA, the smallest aircraft will be a 737.

I just wish that SWA would invade MEM and remove the noose of the high airfares that everyone screws the MEM O & D traveler with...
Nobody screws you better than an airline job!
 
BC77008
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:21 pm

Quoting dispatchguy (Reply 12):
if I am going to pay a full walkup fare, the last thing I want to get stuck on is a damned RJ! At least at SWA, the smallest aircraft will be a 737.

Regional jets are fantastic, in my opinion. No they aren't the biggest, but if you're going to be sitting in coach on a 737 you might as well sit in coach on an RJ as the pitch and width of the seat are pretty much the exact same. With an RJ, like on an Embraer 145, you can always opt for the "A" side which gives you both a window and an aisle seat all at the same time! Or if it's another type of RJ, say the CRJ-700, you at least know with 100% certainty that you will never, ever, ever be in a middle seat. Boarding and deplaning also take significantly less time as well. The added bonus, all carry on baggage (aside from small personal items) must be gate checked, but it's returned to you in the jetway when deplaning. Now granted, a 737 is more comfortable if the flight load is not full and you happen to get a whole row to yourself. But in these days of capacity discipline, finding a 737 or any aircraft for that matter that isn't full or almost full is pretty rare.
"He waited his whole damn life to take that flight. And as the plane crashed down he thought 'Well isn't this nice...'"
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:32 pm

Quoting BC77008 (Reply 13):

So true. This whole mainline thing...idk. I will happily take a CR7 in coach over a full 738.
What gets measured gets done.
 
splitterz
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:56 pm

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 14):
So true. This whole mainline thing...idk. I will happily take a CR7 in coach over a full 738.

And the service can often be better than mainline service.
 
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ODwyerPW
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:13 pm

SouthWest Airlanes waiving change fees when you show up within 2 hours of a missed flight is HUGE.

I have used it at least 4 times in the last 3 years. Life happens. Just last week I was unexpectedly held up at the US/Mexican border in Nogales AZ. Guess what? I missed my flight in Tucson that morning. Southwest got me rerouted and to my destination (Albany, NY) with no additional costs. I arrived in Albany only 90 mins later than my original flight plan! Again, no additional costs.

The counter agent was very understanding and in no way tried to shame me for being 'undisciplined'.

On one occasion, I was so exhausted from travel, that I fell asleep in a chair at LAS (sorry but PanMexicoPanUSA travel is exhausting). Never heard the flight being called. Never heard my name being called. I woke up 30 minutes later. I approached the Gate agent. They were very understanding and rerouted me with no addional costs.

I know my flights from Tucson AZ to Albany NY are more expensive now than they were 5 years ago for sure. However, no Cheched Bag Fees, No Change Fees and small things like allowing me to step off a Tag Flight in New Orleans so that I can grab a Po´Boy in the terminal enhance the customer service and I'm willing to pay for it.
learning never stops.
 
mcdu
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:19 pm

Quoting TAXPILOT (Reply 8):
We already know that we will be traveling with the most competent, experienced, and friendly airline employees anywhere!

And by what method are you determining this fact?
 
Transpac787
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:22 pm

Quoting mcdu (Reply 17):
And by what method are you determining this fact?

The "friendly" part is easy. You need only look at the statistics for complaints. WN was #1 in terms of fewest complaints, and UA was second to last:

http://travel.usatoday.com/flights/s...airline-service-in-2010/45741138/1

[Edited 2011-10-14 10:23:18]
 
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IrishAyes
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:29 pm

Quoting ItalianFlyer (Reply 11):
The remark that WN's lack of 'change fees' are no longer relevant because consumers are more disciplined is laughable. Life happens....people get sick, personal crisis comes up, business meetings run late and clients cancel at the last minute.

HAHA I am glad somebody agrees with me on this point. I definitely raised my eyebrows when I read this line. Definitely a huge stretch.

[quote BC77008,reply=13]Regional jets are fantastic, in my opinion. No they aren't the biggest, but if you're going to be sitting in coach on a 737 you might as well sit in coach on an RJ as the pitch and width of the seat are pretty much the exact same. With an RJ, like on an Embraer 145, you can always opt for the "A" side which gives you both a window and an aisle seat all at the same time! Or if it's another type of RJ, say the CRJ-700, you at least know with 100% certainty that you will never, ever, ever be in a middle seat. Boarding and deplaning also take significantly less time as well. The added bonus, all carry on baggage (aside from small personal items) must be gate checked, but it's returned to you in the jetway when deplaning. Now granted, a 737 is more comfortable if the flight load is not full and you happen to get a whole row to yourself. But in these days of capacity discipline, finding a 737 or any aircraft for that matter that isn't full or almost full is pretty rare.[/quote]

Not sure what RJ's you have flown on, but in my experience with them, they have all been borderline disastrous.

The most notorious was flying on a Colgan Air Q-400. We were flying DALIAH. There were no explanations for the one-hour delay, even though the aircraft was parked at the gate the entire time. The 2 x 2 seats were cramped and it would have been miserable on a 1.5 hr+ flight. We sat there in the Texas heat without AC. We spent 10 minutes on the ground due to a seat mix-up, only to find that the airline had let a man onboard who was on a later flight. Took them awhile to figure that one out.

Once we landed in IAH, the gate-checked bags took a good 10-15 mins longer than they should have to be delivered to everyone standing in the jetway. I missed my connection, as did many others on the flight.

Plenty of other similar experiences I have had on regional jets have made me try and avoid them at all possible cost.
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skedguy
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:30 pm

Quoting seven3seven (Reply 6):
n my opinion the article was poorly written, lacking in actual facts, and written with a biased point of view.

Lacking hard facts? Perhaps. However, based on my own anecdotal experience, I find that many of the author's points speak to a general "unsettled-ness" -- for lack of a more succinct term -- that I perceive to be permeating through the corridors of the DAL HDQ. That's not to say that WN is moving in the wrong direction given its position in the industry's new landscape, but I think the authors are [correctly] interrupting the aggregate of public data and communications coming out of Dallas.
 
Type-Rated
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:38 pm

While I have seen for myself that WN fares are not always the cheapest, but there is a significant part of the public that perceives WN as being the cheapest. So much in fact they don't look anywhere else. I cannot tell you how many times I have asked someone what airline they chose for their travel and the response is "Southwest, they are always the cheapest."
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
chrisair
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:39 pm

Quoting odwyerpw (Reply 16):
The counter agent was very understanding and in no way tried to shame me for being 'undisciplined'.

That's because the Tucson folks are some of the best in the system. I doubt any other city would give you grief, but the TUS folks are some of the best around.
 
skyguyB727
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:44 pm

Quoting enilria (Reply 3):
I find it particularly interesting that WN says that if they keep AAI operating they will gain by retaining bag fees.

With WN making a statement like that, they lose credibility. Their ads slam airlines that charge bag fees. FL charges bag fees. FL is a wholly owned subsidiary of WN. Therefore, WN is slamming itself. They really painted themselves into a corner with that whole bag fee ad campaign.
 
congaboy
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:48 pm

Quoting seven3seven (Reply 6):
In my opinion the article was poorly written, lacking in actual facts, and written with a biased point of view.

Agree with this...WN evolves, it doesnt stay still from the company it was say even 10 years ago. They make the assertion that WN is not the lowest, and cite some non-specific examples. What if WN, after reaching parity on airfares, are still able to fill the flights anyway? The point can be made that it doesnt really matter...that WN has evolved into the "Apple" of the airline industry, with their brand, cool factor, etc....beyond the commodity position. I am amazed that they still operate only 737's at this stage in their history...one of the many things that, IMO, gain them the cool factor; that is, they stay true to their business model and philosophy despite the growth. They firmly believe in what they are doing and who they were/are/and will become.
"Joey, you like movies about gladiators?"
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:52 pm

Quoting dispatchguy (Reply 12):
I just wish that SWA would invade MEM and remove the noose of the high airfares that everyone screws the MEM O & D traveler with...

If DL makes good on pulling down its MEM hub AND WN transforms FL's ATL full-blown hub to a WN point-to-point connection station; you might get your wish down the road.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
727LOVER
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:52 pm

My peeve is that Jay Leno continuously picks on them, night after nught it seems. Mostly about legroom/ seat size. Has he ever flown NK?
I feel woozy....what did you put in that Pudding Pop?
 
apodino
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:13 pm

Say what you want to about this article, but one key sentence in the Article struck out at me.

Quote:
But at the end of the day to airline shareholders, it is yield that matters. In 2Q2011, Southwest's yield of 14.67 US cents was beat only by US Airways (16.30 cents) and Delta (15.67 cents).

I find it very interesting that USAirways is the highest yielding airline in the business. This despite all their other problems.

As long as Southwest generates high yields, the profits are there and the shareholders are happy, which seems to be the case with WN.
 
MSPNWA
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:26 pm

For me, WN commands a fare premium over the legacies. I'll pay more for WN since I believe they offer a superior product inside and outside of the airplane. WN isn't losing any luster with me.
 
gators312
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:46 pm

It's very telling to me to see all the legacy "fans" or related parties, employees, etc. who have nothing positive to say re: WN.

I am an industry outsider, Civil Aviation interests me greatly but I have no vested interest either way.

Like the A vs B animosity that goes on here, as I see the Legacies vs WN animosity seems just as rancorous and I don't quite understand it.

The legacies don't seem to despise each other with the same vitrol.

I'm curious why that is?

I guess like A vs B you are gonna take the battle to your best competitor?

Just like sports teams we pick a side and throw objectivity out the window?

[Edited 2011-10-14 11:48:38]
 
seven3seven
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:49 pm

Quoting SkedGuy (Reply 21):
Lacking hard facts? Perhaps. However, based on my own anecdotal experience, I find that many of the author's points speak to a general "unsettled-ness" -- for lack of a more succinct term -- that I perceive to be permeating through the corridors of the DAL HDQ. That's not to say that WN is moving in the wrong direction given its position in the industry's new landscape, but I think the authors are [correctly] interrupting the aggregate of public data and communications coming out of Dallas.

And how often to you walk the corridors of HDQ? And who do you work for? I'll laugh if you say CAPA
My views are mine alone and are not that of any of my fellow employees, officers, or directors at my company
 
ikramerica
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:52 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 22):
While I have seen for myself that WN fares are not always the cheapest, but there is a significant part of the public that perceives WN as being the cheapest. So much in fact they don't look anywhere else. I cannot tell you how many times I have asked someone what airline they chose for their travel and the response is "Southwest, they are always the cheapest."

So, their business model relies on people being stupid? Well, there will always be stupid people, but with the internet age, more and more people are learning to check anyway.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
skedguy
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:03 pm

Quoting seven3seven (Reply 31):
And how often to you walk the corridors of HDQ? And who do you work for? I'll laugh if you say CAPA

No, I'm not CAPA. I'll private message you shortly.
 
Rdh3e
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:47 pm

Quoting apodino (Reply 28):
Say what you want to about this article, but one key sentence in the Article struck out at me.

Quote:
But at the end of the day to airline shareholders, it is yield that matters. In 2Q2011, Southwest's yield of 14.67 US cents was beat only by US Airways (16.30 cents) and Delta (15.67 cents).

I find it very interesting that USAirways is the highest yielding airline in the business. This despite all their other problems.

As long as Southwest generates high yields, the profits are there and the shareholders are happy, which seems to be the case with WN.

That one sentence is what stuck out for me too. Because frankly, investors could give a rats @ss about yields. Yield has far less to do with profitability than PRASM, and RASM. The gap between RASM and CASM is the real investor benchmark when talking unit statistics. Any airline could get one moron on a plane for double the market fare and have a huge Yield on the flight, but if there is only one passenger they're still going to be bleeding red ink.

Yield is meaningless unless combined with Load Factor. Which is essentially what PRASM shows you. US Air is not leading the industry in RASM.
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:56 pm

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 20):

And that couldn't have happened on a mainline jet?? What is your point exactly other than the cramped feel of the cabin because everything else you describe happens every day across the system with every airline.
What gets measured gets done.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:04 pm

Quoting dispatchguy (Reply 12):
if I am going to pay a full walkup fare, the last thing I want to get stuck on is a damned RJ! At least at SWA, the smallest aircraft will be a 737.

. . . and, at least if you buy business select, you get a pretty good seat.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 26):
If DL makes good on pulling down its MEM hub AND WN transforms FL's ATL full-blown hub to a WN point-to-point connection station; you might get your wish down the road.

I don't see any reason that WN wouldn't have 25-30 flights at MEM in 5 years, regardless of what DL does.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 22):
So much in fact they don't look anywhere else. I cannot tell you how many times I have asked someone what airline they chose for their travel and the response is "Southwest, they are always the cheapest."

Why is that different from someone in ATL flying DL and not comparison shopping because DL always have the best schedules or flying AA from JFK and not comparison shopping because they have the nicest terminal? The reality is that most passengers, and perhaps more so those of us who travel a lot, aren't completely rational with our carrier choices.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
HPRamper
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:10 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 36):
I don't see any reason that WN wouldn't have 25-30 flights at MEM in 5 years, regardless of what DL does.

There's no real reason they already aren't there, either. LIT isn't enough of a reason.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:14 pm

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 37):
There's no real reason they already aren't there, either

It's not that big and they have had bigger fish to fry.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:25 pm

Quoting odwyerpw (Reply 16):
SouthWest Airlanes waiving change fees when you show up within 2 hours of a missed flight is HUGE.

Other airlines have the unwritten "flat tire rule" as well. Thing is, you actually have to SHOW UP so they know you were making a concerted effort to make your flight.
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chrisair
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:05 pm

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 39):
Other airlines have the unwritten "flat tire rule" as well. Thing is, you actually have to SHOW UP so they know you were making a concerted effort to make your flight.

Well, you do have to show up on WN as well.  
 
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IrishAyes
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:49 pm

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 35):
And that couldn't have happened on a mainline jet?? What is your point exactly other than the cramped feel of the cabin because everything else you describe happens every day across the system with every airline.

Because you plainly can tell the difference when the crew running the show are contract employees and not employed by the actual legacy airline (in this case CO/UA). There were tons of slip-ups I noticed that would never happen on a mainline operation, the most notable of them being when they allowed a man onboard who was in actuality booked on a flight scheduled to leave 90 minutes later, and that was plainly printed on his ticket. The amount of drama, confusion and delay caused by that simple error made by the ramp agents (before it was finally caught by an FA) easily costed many of us our connections.

I just happened to be lucky that there was a later flight to ORD I was able to connect to.
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ridgid727
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:32 am

It's interesting that so many other airline personel run right to WN to buy a ticket when their own carrier bumps them and they have to get to work.
 
ASFlyer
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:56 am

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 41):
There were tons of slip-ups I noticed that would never happen on a mainline operation, the most notable of them being when they allowed a man onboard who was in actuality booked on a flight scheduled to leave 90 minutes later, and that was plainly printed on his ticket.

I don't have a dog in this fight. I think Southwest is a fine airline, I also think some of the regionals do a great job. That said, people slip onto planes all the time, regional and mainline, that shouldn't be there. It happens. It's happened at Southwest, it's happened at United, it's happened at Continental, at Colgan... it happens. There are systems in place to prevent it from happening at each of these airlines but people sometimes make mistakes - at regional and mainline airlines alike.
 
DesertAir
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:03 am

I fly to Sacramento from San Diego monthly. WN has about 10-12 nonstops a day. To fly UA or AA I have to fly to LAX and connect to one of four flights by each airline on an RJ. I am willing to pay more for nonstops on 737s.

Quoting chrisair (Reply 23):
That's because the Tucson folks are some of the best in the system. I doubt any other city would give you grief, but the TUS folks are some of the best around.

I flew WN in and out of TUS for 5 years. I always had a great experience. They helped me navigate a couple of family crisis. WN is a blessing for Tucson.
 
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enilria
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:09 am

Quoting delta2ual (Reply 4):
Quoting enilria (Reply 3):
I find it particularly interesting that WN says that if they keep AAI operating they will gain by retaining bag fees.
Yes, that is a little hypocritical isn't it?

It's even more than that. It's an admission they could make more money with bag fees. That bolsters the "rumor" (I'm pretty sure it is a fact) that technical issues with WN's data system block them from collecting bag fees on the WN network.

Quoting aztrainer (Reply 5):
Yes, but they can always keep the door open for addition of these fees.

They are doing more than keeping the door open.

Quoting par13del (Reply 7):
Why, even though they now have a single owner they are still two seperate companies, the operating metrics are different.

Uhh OK, but bag fees are either positive or they aren't. They are now saying that they add to earnings. That is the first time they have ever said that.

Quoting par13del (Reply 7):
WN in its current form is able to be successful in the market without bag fees

I like the way you said that. They can make money even without bag fees. That, of course, implies that they would make more money if they had bag fees. BTW, I hate bag fees, I just think that once everybody is doing them there is little gain in holding out.

Quoting par13del (Reply 7):
WN has aleady announced that a number of FL existing fees and fare structure will go away as the merger progresses, somehow, no one is complaining that business class still exist on FL while WN has none, same difference, give it time.

Business class is a physical change. They would never reconfig airplanes and leave them in FL paint. That would be crazy. Bag fees, OTOH, are in theory only a software change. Apparently at WN it is a very painful software change.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 9):
Quoting enilria (Reply 3):
The days of the U.S. gov't needing to protect WN are over.

??

The DOT has biased the award process for slot allocations to WN and other LCCs since time began. LCCs and poorly defined "limited incumbents" are a welfare class in these allocations. WN does not belong in the same group with VX, B6, and NK. They should definitely not be considered disadvantaged and maybe not even "low-fare" IMHO.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:35 am

Quoting enilria (Reply 47):
WN does not belong in the same group with VX, B6, and NK.

Please provide examples of times when WN has been given slots by the government to the detriment of a legacy carrier.

Needless to say, WN has never been given route authorities to the detriment of a legacy carrier.

Quoting enilria (Reply 47):
That bolsters the "rumor" (I'm pretty sure it is a fact) that technical issues with WN's data system block them from collecting bag fees on the WN network.

Sorry, the rumor makes no sense. How could their system permit charges for third bags but not for first and second bags? The transition from three free bags to two free bags was quick and seamless.
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Type-Rated
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:54 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 32):
So, their business model relies on people being stupid? Well, there will always be stupid people, but with the internet age, more and more people are learning to check anyway.

C'mon now, you are smarter than this....

Seriously, a lot of people are probably more lazy than stupid trying to find the cheapest fare. If they think WN is going to be the cheapest then why even bother looking elsewhere? And of course Southwest is not going to complain about this. And corporate travel departments know what the fares are so they automatically book people on their "preferred" carrier.

I look at it this way. People who do a lot of travel usually know how to check for the best airfare. Your leisure traveler may not know how. These are the people who go with the "Southwest is always the cheapest" idea. And all the advertising Southwest does about their low airfares it just encourages people. Why do you think Southwest still has a reservations department?
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TSS
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:15 am

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 20):
Not sure what RJ's you have flown on, but in my experience with them, they have all been borderline disastrous.

The most notorious was flying on a Colgan Air Q-400.

A Q-400 is not technically a "regional jet", but for the purpose of this discussion they're the same.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 20):
There were no explanations for the one-hour delay, even though the aircraft was parked at the gate the entire time.

Absent a specific explanation for the delay, I'd be inclined to chalk that up as an airport problem (ATC scheduling issues being my first guess) rather than an aircraft problem.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 20):
The 2 x 2 seats were cramped and it would have been miserable on a 1.5 hr+ flight.

The 2 x 2 seats on the QX Q-400 I flew RNO-LAX on were quite roomy and comfy, at least as much so as on an MD-80 or 737 in coach and more so than on a CRJ. Does Colgan use different seats or a tighter pitch on their Q-400s than Horizon? If so, that's an airline issue, not an aircraft issue.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 20):
We sat there in the Texas heat without AC.

Yep, that's a drag. However, without knowing the specific cause of the delay or what was necessary to fix the problem, it may not have been the fault of the pilot or the aircraft. I suspect when ATC says "Hold on until we fix this and give you clearance to taxi", the pilot is stuck in limbo until ATC comes back and says "Okay, now you can go" whether it takes 5 minutes or an hour.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 20):
We spent 10 minutes on the ground due to a seat mix-up, only to find that the airline had let a man onboard who was on a later flight. Took them awhile to figure that one out.

An airline problem, not an aircraft problem.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 20):
Once we landed in IAH, the gate-checked bags took a good 10-15 mins longer than they should have to be delivered to everyone standing in the jetway. I missed my connection, as did many others on the flight.

Again, an airline problem, not an aircraft problem.

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 35):
And that couldn't have happened on a mainline jet?? What is your point exactly other than the cramped feel of the cabin because everything else you describe happens every day across the system with every airline.

Well, if you want to put everything I just said into a much more succinct two sentence paragraph, then... yeah, what FlyASAGuy2005 said.

Back to the topic at hand: I don't think WN is "losing it's consumer luster". I do, however, think that WN may not appeal to all air travel consumers, and that enough people have now flown WN that expectations are a bit more realistic with regard to the overall travel experience of WN versus the more conventional "legacy" carriers. For someone who flies infrequently or who has never flown before, or for someone who wants to book a spur-of-the-moment, last-minute getaway, WN is great and I recommend them unconditionally. But for someone like me who must book my semi-frequent trips months in advance, who strongly prefers a reserved window seat on all flights, and who can earn rewards on mileage-based frequent flyer programs like AA's but not on frequency-based frequent flyer programs like WN's, WN is not the best choice.
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JoeCanuck
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:18 am

Quoting type-rated (Reply 46):

Lots of people will also pay a bit more for a product they know and like. Every successful brand will have a large percentage of loyal customers who are happy enough with the product to not bother shopping around.
What the...?
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Southwest Losing Consumer Luster?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:30 am

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 45):
Quoting enilria (Reply 47):
WN does not belong in the same group with VX, B6, and NK.

Please provide examples of times when WN has been given slots by the government to the detriment of a legacy carrier.

I'm not 100% sure, but UA's EWR slots, and pre-WN/FL merger, WN was gonna get some in the DL/US swap. I don't know the details enough but I think that is what he was talking about...
Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)

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