ytz
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What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:10 pm

Before anybody thinks I'm just being incendiary, it's actually a serious question. I've been thinking of AC inducting the 787 in two years. And going over the discussions I've had in various threads about serving India (and how that's too low yield a market for AC).

In my mind, this raises an interesting issue. What's the point of airlines offering anything beyond minimal space in Y? Why not just go with 17in wide seats and 31in pitch? In my mind, it would seem to me that more profit can be had by constricting Y and then offering a decent premium economy cabin for those who are willing to pay.

Looking at Air Canada's two class setup, it does not seem optimized to get the best return. Sure, 9-abreast is nice in the 777s. But couldn't airlines like AC get better yields by cramming Y a bit more (ten abreast for 777s) and then upselling a Y+ cabin? The gulf between Y and J just seems huge at the moment. And I don't see how a "spacious" (relatively speaking) Y cabin helps airlines get the best yields out of the limited floor space they have on their airplanes, when that gap can be filled with Y+.

Most Y pax only book by fare anyway. Very few will pick airlines by comfort. And even if they have an opinion of an airline, they'll still fly it, if it's the cheapest. In essence, Y cabins are becoming the international flying equivalent of discount airlines. So with this in mind, what sense is there for mainline operators having spacious Y cabins? Why not a crammed Y and a decent Y+?

And yes, I detest a crammed Y. But it's the business logic that I'm thinking of here. To me, what NZ is doing on its 773 would seem to be the way to go. J with lie flats. A solid Y+. And a tighter Y with some upsell potential from the SkyCouch.
 
Viscount724
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:33 pm

Quoting YTZ (Thread starter):
Looking at Air Canada's two class setup, it does not seem optimized to get the best return. Sure, 9-abreast is nice in the 777s. But couldn't airlines like AC get better yields by cramming Y a bit more (ten abreast for 777s) and then upselling a Y+ cabin?

In my opinion, no. Not enough passengers will be willing to pay the Y+ premium, and with major competitors like BA (and all U.S. carriers operating 777s) still 9-abreast on 777s, they would lose passengers there also. Also results in inconsistent products since a 10-abreast 777 is much worse than an 8-abreast A330 or 7-abreast 767.

Quoting YTZ (Thread starter):
Most Y pax only book by fare anyway. Very few will pick airlines by comfort. And even if they have an opinion of an airline, they'll still fly it, if it's the cheapest.

I disagree. Many companies now require their employees to fly Y class, even on international routes. Many are frequent travellers and are familiar with the differences beween carriers and aircraft and will choose the 9-abreast 777 carrier over any carrier with 10-abreast.

It depends a lot on the carrier's total route network, but I think AC's network works best with their current 2-class product.
 
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seabosdca
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:46 pm

Quoting YTZ (Thread starter):
What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Assuming you have a Y+ option for your elites, there is none.

Quoting YTZ (Thread starter):
Why not just go with 17in wide seats and 31in pitch?

Airlines increasingly are. When they aren't, these days, it tends to be because the airframe doesn't work with 17" (or 17.2", more often) seats. The A320, 767, and A330/340 all fit in this category, as will the A350.

Quoting YTZ (Thread starter):
Most Y pax only book by fare anyway. Very few will pick airlines by comfort.

  

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
I disagree. Many companies now require their employees to fly Y class, even on international routes. Many are frequent travellers and are familiar with the differences beween carriers and aircraft and will choose the 9-abreast 777 carrier over any carrier with 10-abreast.

That is what Y+ is for. Only a few routes (most of them domestic) have so many elite travelers that they won't fit in a relatively small Y+ section.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
Also results in inconsistent products since a 10-abreast 777 is much worse than an 8-abreast A330 or 7-abreast 767.

At least 75% of Y travelers are strict price bookers and won't notice or care (or if they do, it won't affect their buying decisions in the future). The rest should usually be in Y+.

Quoting YTZ (Thread starter):
To me, what NZ is doing on its 773 would seem to be the way to go. J with lie flats. A solid Y+. And a tighter Y with some upsell potential from the SkyCouch.

I think NZ is going too far with Y+. It will need too much of a fare premium to work. If I were NZ, I'd swap out the current Y+ section with a small section of 9-abreast, 35" Y+. Make the frequent and knowledgeable flyers happy, and cram the low price hunters into 10-abreast Y in the back with a fancy TV to distract them.

Do I sound cynical? Probably. But buyer behavior really is just about that simple.
 
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:52 pm

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 2):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
I disagree. Many companies now require their employees to fly Y class, even on international routes. Many are frequent travellers and are familiar with the differences beween carriers and aircraft and will choose the 9-abreast 777 carrier over any carrier with 10-abreast.

That is what Y+ is for. Only a few routes (most of them domestic) have so many elite travelers that they won't fit in a relatively small Y+ section.

But many companies won't pay the Y+ surcharge.
 
BMI727
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:56 pm

Quoting YTZ (Thread starter):
What's the point of airlines offering anything beyond minimal space in Y?

There isn't one. Coach air travel is a commodity and is traded chiefly on price just like corn or oil. Sure some corn is better than other corn, but not enough to really matter.

Quoting YTZ (Thread starter):
But couldn't airlines like AC get better yields by cramming Y a bit more (ten abreast for 777s) and then upselling a Y+ cabin?

It wouldn't surprise me.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 3):
But many companies won't pay the Y+ surcharge.

They employees might. $1000 for business isn't going to happen, but a couple hundred for Y+ is a much easier sell.
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RyanairGuru
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:57 pm

Can this please not degenerate into a 10-abreast/EK/NZ/KL etc bashing thread

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
with major competitors like BA (and all U.S. carriers operating 777s) still 9-abreast on 777s, they would lose passengers there also

I think, that whatever one might of them, Emirates categorically prove that this is not true. They are one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, and the largest operator of the 777. And each and every one of them is 10 abreast.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
Also results in inconsistent products since a 10-abreast 777 is much worse than an 8-abreast A330 or 7-abreast 767.

The A330 can be 9 abreast and the 767 8 abreast



YTZ you raise some interesting points. And to be honest, I think you're absolutely right.
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Viscount724
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:00 am

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 5):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
Also results in inconsistent products since a 10-abreast 777 is much worse than an 8-abreast A330 or 7-abreast 767.

The A330 can be 9 abreast and the 767 8 abreast

Those charter-type configurations are incompatible with a major scheduled airline. They're both even worse than a 10-abreast 777.
 
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seabosdca
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:01 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 3):
But many companies won't pay the Y+ surcharge.

Most frequent business travelers will be elite and will qualify for free Y+ upgrades. And as Y quality declines to satisfy price hunters, willingness among businesses to pay a relatively small surcharge for a relatively modest Y+ product for their frequent travelers may increase.

We are talking about 10Y 777s, but something else that may eventually happen is an 11Y A380 lower deck. It should be doable with 17" seats. The paradox is that it will only happen among airlines with relatively extensive premium sections, because on all-economy or almost-all-economy airlines, 11Y on the lower deck would likely exceed the certified capacity.

[Edited 2012-03-03 06:04:21 by SA7700]
 
ytz
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:24 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
Also results in inconsistent products since a 10-abreast 777 is much worse than an 8-abreast A330 or 7-abreast 767.

I was thinking more to the future. When AC gets its 787s, it's in a position to offer a consistent Y by going 9 abreast in the 787 and 10 abreast in the 777.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
Many companies now require their employees to fly Y class, even on international routes. Many are frequent travellers and are familiar with the differences beween carriers and aircraft and will choose the 9-abreast 777 carrier over any carrier with 10-abreast.

True. But they are also constrained by schedule. For example, would companies tolerate employees taking a one stop flight to avoid getting on an AC 777 to China? And are there tolerances for employee travel? I know in my work place (being CF), it's simply the lowest fare that AMEX (the Government of Canada travel agent) gives you. If you are picking a higher fare (regardless of the amount), you better have some solid substantiation for that deviation. Sure companies ask employees to fly in Y. But are they then lifting travel time and cost restrictions? This would imply that an airline could draw more corporate Y pax by bolstering the Y product.

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 2):
At least 75% of Y travelers are strict price bookers and won't notice or care (or if they do, it won't affect their buying decisions in the future). The rest should usually be in Y+.

This what I was getting at.... And really, the full planeloads for EK's 777s kinda shows that most pax really aren't that picky.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 3):
But many companies won't pay the Y+ surcharge.

Though, depending on how often they travel, how much they get paid, and what the premium is, you might get quite a few who would pay the difference themselves. Let's face it, companies do cut back on air fare. But per diems in most workplaces are still good. If the fare is 10% more, I do believe quite a few would that out of pocket and gladly collect the miles and enjoy the other perks (better food, more legroom, etc.). Though maybe not if you're flying every week....

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 5):
Can this please not degenerate into a 10-abreast/EK/NZ/KL

The thing is....as much as people bash these airlines and the likes of Ryanair, the proof is in the pudding. These airlines are popular and profitable. EK is particularly interesting. It's cattle class is pretty close to discount international long-haul. But the same airplanes also have some of the most luxurious F cabins. To be fair though, the Y seats on EK's A380s are more in line with a Y seat on a 9 abreast 777. And unless they go for 16 in seats on their A350s, the Y seats on those airplanes will be wider than the Y seats that most airlines are piling on to their 9 abreast 787s.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 6):
Those charter-type configurations are incompatible with a major scheduled airline. They're both even worse than a 10-abreast 777.

Concur. And I wouldn't go that far. That should strictly be LCC territory. But really, is it difficult to fathom most airlines going 17.2 in. wide and 32 in. pitch?
 
ElPistolero
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:26 am

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 2):
Airlines increasingly are. When they aren't, these days, it tends to be because the airframe doesn't work with 17" (or 17.2", more often) seats. The A320, 767, and A330/340 all fit in this category, as will the A350.

TS has 9 abreast on its 330s and 310s.

And I m sure someone can pull of an 8-abreast 767.

I don't disagree with the merits of the argument. Why not? My gut feeling is that it may be because the status-quo maintainers will gain a niche market without having to alter their yeild management, while the ones who change it will face customer resentment.

Personally, I wouldn't touch EK or AF with a bargepole. Even if it means paying a little more to fly some other airline. I suspec that there may be others like me out there.
 
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:48 am

Maybe all of these "penny-pinching" accounts have some semblance of humanity in their black holes..

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 2):
Do I sound cynical? Probably. But buyer behavior really is just about that simple.

No, you sound realistic. Most Y (well, they're more like U/T/Z/X ha) travelers don't care. Heck, they wouldn't even know until they got on the plane.

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 2):
and cram the low price hunters into 10-abreast Y in the back with a fancy TV to distract them.

I'd prefer a "fancy TV" any day.
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ytz
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:49 am

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 7):
Most frequent business travelers will be elite and will qualify for free Y+ upgrades. And as Y quality declines to satisfy price hunters, willingness among businesses to pay a relatively small surcharge for a relatively modest Y+ product for their frequent travelers may increase.

Exactly what I was thinking. This is also a much cheaper way to reward your frequent fliers more often. Today, frequent fliers have to rack up a fair bit to upgrade to J. If there's a Y+ cabin, a frequent flier could be burning precious points going to Y+ on every second or third flight.

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 8):
The paradox is that it will only happen among airlines with relatively extensive premium sections, because on all-economy or almost-all-economy airlines, 11Y on the lower deck would likely exceed the certified capacity.

This is true today on every airline that has more than two classes in long-haul. Personally, this is why I tend to avoid 3-class airlines in long haul. Particularly where the middle class is J and not Y+. With space having to go to two premium cabins, Y becomes about as close to the literal definition of cattle class as you can get.

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 2):
I think NZ is going too far with Y+. It will need too much of a fare premium to work. If I were NZ, I'd swap out the current Y+ section with a small section of 9-abreast, 35" Y+.

I asked this a few days back. Nobody answered my thread. What's the seat pitch on NZ's Y+? While the seat looks amazing, space efficiency comes down to seat pitch as well as width. Consider for example, a comparison of NZ's Y+ and TK's Y+. TK offers an astounding 46in seat pitch. The seat premium should be about 52-53% more (as compared to a 9 abreast Y with 32in seat pitch). If we assume that NZ's seat pitch was 36in, the premium against a 9 abreast 32 in Y would be ~46%. Comparing the two, while TK's Y+ seat is more traditional in appearance, NZ's seat is phenomenal both on appearance and design. But ultimately, the seats don't cost nearly as much as what they translate into in terms of dollars generated from the floor space. NZ may well have found a way to get people to pay lots for a 36in seat (if this is the pitch).

NB. The premium between TK and NZ are about the same if NZ's seat pitch is 38 in.

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 2):
Make the frequent and knowledgeable flyers happy, and cram the low price hunters into 10-abreast Y in the back with a fancy TV to distract them.

Or upsell them a 'SkyCouch'. Unless Y loads are greater than 90%, NZ is not losing money selling this product.

This is utterly brilliant marketing on NZ's part. They've come up with a way to monetize couple/family time. Whether, that's snuggling on a SkyCouch or getting the middle SpaceSeats and dining together facing each other, NZ has found a way to make you pay more for the quality time you spend on an airplane with a loved one.


Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 10):
Personally, I wouldn't touch EK or AF with a bargepole. Even if it means paying a little more to fly some other airline. I suspect that there may be others like me out there.

I'm with you on this. But the thing is, we are far too few in number to really make a substantial difference to any airline. I seriously doubt that there's enough discriminating Y pax to make an airline think think twice about such seat changes. Maybe the publicity like you mentioned:

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 10):
My gut feeling is that it may be because the status-quo maintainers will gain a niche market without having to alter their yeild management, while the ones who change it will face customer resentment.

This is easy to get around though. If I was an airline doing this, I would do it exactly like how NZ did it. Sell something like the SkyCouch and argue that you are giving your customers more options, from a bed to snuggle in, in Y, to a regional business class seat in the Y+ cabin. Also let's you offer consistency actually...making the Y+ seat on long haul, same as J on domestic flights.


Quoting ghifty (Reply 11):
No, you sound realistic. Most Y (well, they're more like U/T/Z/X ha) travelers don't care. Heck, they wouldn't even know until they got on the plane.

And for all their complaining (if they even realize the difference....most don't know fly often enough to know better and they assume the worst in Y anyway), they would rebook with you every time, if the fare is lower or the connections are more convenient.

The frequent business travelers can be more discerning. And these folks should rightly be served with Y+ seats. I honestly believe this customer segment is underserved today by airlines. They get a so-so Y seat in North America because J gets ruled out by their employer. And that's mostly because J fares are ridiculous, especially since beds in J started becoming standard. But, I can see many an employer agreeing to pay even 50% over Y for Y+ or the odd business traveller actually paying the premium out-of-pocket.

[Edited 2012-03-03 06:23:09 by SA7700]
 
Viscount724
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:06 am

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 10):
Quoting seabosdca (Reply 2):
Airlines increasingly are. When they aren't, these days, it tends to be because the airframe doesn't work with 17" (or 17.2", more often) seats. The A320, 767, and A330/340 all fit in this category, as will the A350.

TS has 9 abreast on its 330s and 310s.


Only TS A330-200s are 9-abreast. Their A330-300s are 8-abreast. I can't think of any major alliance member carriers that have ever operated cramped 9-abreast A330/340s. 8-abreast 767s are even worse and to the best of my memory have only been operated by a few leisure/charter carriers, mainly UK-based.
 
ytz
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:23 am

A simple question to discuss. Let's look at AC and flying to India again. Supposedly the market is low yielding. Isn't this here the ideal solution for a tighter Y? You offer a tighter Y class to be competitive and then sell your service on the fact that it's direct to India. At the same time, most J pax will pay a premium to go non-stop. A win on point-to-point. And a way to drub the likes of EK, EY and QR.

Another example: TATL. AC has to compete with the likes of TS which has an 18in seat but with 31in pitch. Going 17.2 and 32 is only slightly worse. Indeed, if you take a rudimentary measure (seat width X seat pitch), AC has 18 sq. in. more than TS today, but would be only 7.6 sq. in. less. AC goes from offering 3.22% more space to 1.36% less space while fitting in 1 extra passenger (12.5%) per row. I'd say that's huge. And because of a larger 777 and a more efficient 787, the tighter Y should allow AC to be pretty competitive against TS...allow while freeing up room for the money making premium cabins.

Of note, TS's Club Class has the same dimensions as NH's 787 Y seat. (19in width, 34in pitch).
 
Viscount724
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:39 am

Quoting YTZ (Reply 16):
Let's look at AC and flying to India again. Supposedly the market is low yielding. Isn't this here the ideal solution for a tighter Y? You offer a tighter Y class to be competitive and then sell your service on the fact that it's direct to India. At the same time, most J pax will pay a premium to go non-stop. A win on point-to-point. And a way to drub the likes of EK, EY and QR.

The problem with a route like India is that there are very few J passengers, and Y passengers are extremely price-sensitive and will usually choose the lowest fare regardless whether it's a nonstop or not.

Regardless of stops, in markets like that all carriers are going to offer competitive fares, and the lower cost-structure of the Gulf-based carriers make it very hard for carriers like AC to compete profitably.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:45 am

I'll throw one thing out there:

When airlines have gotten ridiculous enough and the "free market" has led to a race to the bottom (recent example: excessive tarmac delays), the public starts to get really pissed off. And when the service gets to a certain point, the public starts demanding regulatory and legislative action.

I'm surprised that the airlines haven't figured this out yet. Mark my words, within a decade there will be an uproar about cramped Y conditions. A few pulmonary embolus deaths will make the news and the next thing you know, the government will be mandating seat pitch and width minimums.
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BMI727
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:30 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 18):
And when the service gets to a certain point, the public starts demanding regulatory and legislative action.

And if the politicians have any sense at all they will tell the people that it's not their problem and stop clicking on the lowest fare, otherwise shut the f--- up.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 18):
A few pulmonary embolus deaths will make the news and the next thing you know,

That's self inflicted. Drink water and get your ass out of the seat once in a while and you'll be fine.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
CZ346
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:47 am

I agree YTZ. I'm really sick of the whole E+ deal and just giving 5 extra inches of leg room. Even being 6' 8"....

I jumped on a flight back to the US a couple of months ago (on DL out of NRT) and when I got to the counter the gate agent told me I was upgraded. Well, I think you can imagine what I was "upgraded" to. And to be honest, even at my height, it didn't add too much benefit. I typically book exit row or bulkhead on 10hrs+ anyway - and great, with Y+ you give me free wine to knock me out. Thanks for making my jet-lag worse.

I think even if they offset the seats a little bit, maybe took a seat out or added a footrest it would at least make me a little happier with it. At this point, I can assure you I wouldn't pay any extra money for a standard Y seat with a couple of inches of leg room like they're advertising right now. I'll go with an int'l carrier. Its not like I won't get the miles.

I was flying back from PEK yesterday on CO and thankfully got bumped up to businessfirst (mainly due to the generosity of the F/A's) but, I must admit I still really don't fit in BusinessFirst. But its about the legroom, which a lot of US carriers aren't understanding. It's the accommodations and seat. Charge me $600 more on an int'l flight, give me a seat that reclines more, has 5-7 inches more legroom and a footrest.

Long story short - I agree. I think they could make a LOT more money marketing a realistic median between Y and J - even if it was closer to J. Even at a higher cost.

Chris
 
AirCanada787
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:56 am

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 7):
Most frequent business travelers will be elite and will qualify for free Y+ upgrades.

That's assuming that that carrier liberally upgrades people based on status. Not all of them do, it seems like common thing for American carriers to do, but not so much in the rest of the world. That also doesn't work if Y+ is a successful product offering and often books up by itself.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 18):
When airlines have gotten ridiculous enough and the "free market" has led to a race to the bottom (recent example: excessive tarmac delays), the public starts to get really pissed off. And when the service gets to a certain point, the public starts demanding regulatory and legislative action.

I'm surprised that the airlines haven't figured this out yet. Mark my words, within a decade there will be an uproar about cramped Y conditions. A few pulmonary embolus deaths will make the news and the next thing you know, the government will be mandating seat pitch and width minimums.

  
The mind, like a parachute, functions only when open.
 
ElPistolero
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:08 am

Quoting YTZ (Reply 16):

A simple question to discuss. Let's look at AC and flying to India again. Supposedly the market is low yielding. Isn't this here the ideal solution for a tighter Y? You offer a tighter Y class to be competitive and then sell your service on the fact that it's direct to India. At the same time, most J pax will pay a premium to go non-stop. A win on point-to-point. And a way to drub the likes of EK, EY and QR.

That may sound great in theory, but theres too many loopholes.

1. AI already offers a direct product with a 33"-34" seat pitch and rock-bottom prices. No way AC can compete with them on prices. Whatever they offer, AI will undercut. AC will effectively be left to make its money of J - traffic, which can be tricky.

2. 9W is also getting 787s. They may put it on the same route. It does have a strong reputation in the Indian diaspora, so it will remain a strong presence into the future.

3. Point to point only works for DEL and possibly BOM, if AC is willing to dedicate that many aircraft to India. All other destinations in India are one-stop. EY, EK, QR win on that by virtue of serving tier 2 Indian cities. 9W is tied up with EY to pick up feed to India from AUH itself. AC can't win on that since it would have to undercut airlines that are masters at undercutting others.

This idea of yours might work for low-yield pax from Canada-Europe a la whatever AC is trying these days with its hope for an LCC, but it won't work on Ultra Long Haul routes. India is served by some high quality carriers, and if AC can only bring its competitive edge by degrading its product, I fail to see how it ll work. That said, it may work on YYZ-BCN etc.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 19):
That's self inflicted. Drink water and get your ass out of the seat once in a while and you'll be fine.

ANd ban people sitting in aisle seats from sleeping on red eyes, because their sleep may stop people from moving around.
 
frmrCapCadet
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:30 am

There is a point at which being more crowded turns some customers to consider alternate plans. I tend not to fly unless I get a 17 inch seat and 32 inch pitch. There are a multitude of holidays I have in mind. This is one of the factors in choosing. And I will pay more (not a lot) for a little more room.
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StarAC17
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:44 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
I disagree. Many companies now require their employees to fly Y class, even on international routes. Many are frequent travellers and are familiar with the differences beween carriers and aircraft and will choose the 9-abreast 777 carrier over any carrier with 10-abreast.

Even if they are flying Y they are probably paying full fare so business people are by no means low yield passengers in the traditional sense.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 18):

I'll throw one thing out there:

When airlines have gotten ridiculous enough and the "free market" has led to a race to the bottom (recent example: excessive tarmac delays), the public starts to get really pissed off. And when the service gets to a certain point, the public starts demanding regulatory and legislative action.

Very true however the amount of aircraft seats must still be able to meat the evacuation regulation so it's not like a 777 can squeeze in more that 10 abreast in Y. The race to the bottom will bite them in the @$$ at some point as it has done for the US legacies and the smart ones have begun to change their ways

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 19):
And if the politicians have any sense at all they will tell the people that it's not their problem and stop clicking on the lowest fare, otherwise shut the f--- up.

If people demand it then it will be done, remember politicans represent us and are there to do what we elect them to do, if they don't then we will elect ones that will.
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seabosdca
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:58 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 18):
When airlines have gotten ridiculous enough and the "free market" has led to a race to the bottom (recent example: excessive tarmac delays), the public starts to get really pissed off. And when the service gets to a certain point, the public starts demanding regulatory and legislative action.

This is why all but bargain-basement charter airlines have drawn a line at 17". You see 10Y 777s in major airline service, but you don't see 9Y A330s or 8Y 767s.

Quoting AirCanada787 (Reply 21):
That's assuming that that carrier liberally upgrades people based on status. Not all of them do, it seems like common thing for American carriers to do, but not so much in the rest of the world. That also doesn't work if Y+ is a successful product offering and often books up by itself.

My theory is that if carriers offer more Y+ seats (not W, just Y+, like Y but with slightly more width and/or pitch) then that will free them up to use the truly cramped Y products in the back for the price-sensitive travelers. As with any other configuration decision, it's a balance of yield management and flexibility. I think the U.S. carriers are pointing the way here.
 
ytz
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:53 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 18):
When airlines have gotten ridiculous enough and the "free market" has led to a race to the bottom (recent example: excessive tarmac delays), the public starts to get really pissed off. And when the service gets to a certain point, the public starts demanding regulatory and legislative action.

You say this like it's a bad thing. This would hurt LCCs far more than it would hurt legacy carriers. Regulations and standards set a threshold which nobody can cross. That's exactly what I'd want as a legacy carrier. It's set a bar which the competition can't cross on the race to the bottom. Yet, unlike LCCs, the legacies can still make money from their premium cabins.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 19):
And if the politicians have any sense at all they will tell the people that it's not their problem and stop clicking on the lowest fare, otherwise shut the f--- up.

I partially agree. Politicians will respond to public pressure. But how would the public react once fares went up in response to such legislation? LCCs would have no where to go once a floor is set on seat space. After all, one of the fastest ways to reduce CASM is to up the number of seats per aircraft. And the government will have effectively set a limit on that tactic.

Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 23):
I tend not to fly unless I get a 17 inch seat and 32 inch pitch.

This is the limit I was suggesting. I am not suggesting a 9 abreast A330. But I am asking why more airlines aren't following NZ's lead and going down to 17-32 in Y for all long-haul flights. If NZ can do this (and still sell these seats) with most of its long haul routes approaching ULH territory, why wouldn't more airlines do this for TATL routes that are less than two-thirds of the trip of AKL-LAX?

Of note, I thought of this because looking at AC inducting the 787, it struck me as an opportunity for AC to go to 17-32 across its long haul fleet: 9-abreast on 787, 10-abreast on 777.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 17):
The problem with a route like India is that there are very few J passengers, and Y passengers are extremely price-sensitive and will usually choose the lowest fare regardless whether it's a nonstop or not.

How much evidence is there for this? AC in the past has tried direct flights. And I remember reading a newspaper article interviewing the CEO who said India didn't work because there wasn't year round demand. With the 787 being a smaller aircraft than the A340 they dedicated to the route in the past, surely this might not be as big a deal.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 17):
Regardless of stops, in markets like that all carriers are going to offer competitive fares, and the lower cost-structure of the Gulf-based carriers make it very hard for carriers like AC to compete profitably.

I don't know why people keep saying this. Look at any air fare finder website. EK,EY,QR are almost never the cheapest. (I've certainly never seen them as the lowest fare). It's their convenience that travellers like. And that's a characteristic AC can beat them at.

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 22):
1. AI already offers a direct product with a 33"-34" seat pitch and rock-bottom prices. No way AC can compete with them on prices. Whatever they offer, AI will undercut. AC will effectively be left to make its money of J - traffic, which can be tricky.



I'm pretty sure YYZ alone could support 2 daily 788/789 runs per day to DEL. So 9W getting 788s is no biggie, especially not if they join *A. And there's a limit to how low AI can go without the Indian government deciding enough is enough. They have to make money at some point. And AI's supposedly low fares are still not the cheapest. It's usually SU, or some combination of AC and LH, or 9W usually.

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 22):
3. Point to point only works for DEL and possibly BOM, if AC is willing to dedicate that many aircraft to India. All other destinations in India are one-stop. EY, EK, QR win on that by virtue of serving tier 2 Indian cities. 9W is tied up with EY to pick up feed to India from AUH itself. AC can't win on that since it would have to undercut airlines that are masters at undercutting others.

Yeah, but unlike the US which tends to draw migrants from all over India, traffic from Canada is pretty heavily skewed to DEL and BOM (mostly DEL though). AC doesn't need to really serve the other cities in India to take away a ton of traffic from EK/EY/QR.

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 22):
This idea of yours might work for low-yield pax from Canada-Europe a la whatever AC is trying these days with its hope for an LCC, but it won't work on Ultra Long Haul routes. India is served by some high quality carriers, and if AC can only bring its competitive edge by degrading its product, I fail to see how it ll work.

Note that I am not just saying this for India. My point in bringing up India is that this is a way for AC to compete against the Gulf carriers. And similarly with the TATL example. How do you compete against Transat which is really gaining on AC? The only way I can see is for AC to beat them at their own game. Run the back end like it's an LCC. As for "degrading their product".....does it really matter? The legions of Y who book flights using Expedia could scarcely care about the quality of AC's product. And the Y pax who travel for business will now have options they didn't have before with Y+.
 
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:18 am

If I had a choice of airlines and one offered decent legroom while the other didn't, it wouldn't take rocket science to figure out which carrier I would choose. I am at a point now that I refuse to fly airlines like Spirit. I'll travel less and pay a little more for a better experience when I do fly. Now that airfares are up there and will probably remain so for a long time, I don't want to be treated like a cheapskate. Don't get me wrong, I will pay extra for Y+ but it is about time that carriers stop being misers and start respecting their back of the bus customer base.

If I am going to fly on an aircraft for 15 hours, 31 inch seat pitch is inhumane and I am more apt to get aggro if the numnuts in front of me reclines their seat so I have microscopic vision of their balding head and am no longer able to read my book, work on my laptop or eat my food.

If AC is up against top ranked foreign carriers on international routes, they better provide a superior product that exceeds that of their competition otherwise they will lose potential customers. Now that air travel is becoming expensive, each customer is more precious. I just finished a J class Star Alliance round the world trip and avoided US carriers like the plaque when I was selecting which airlines I was traveling on. Since I was going to be flying some long segments, I decided to dip into my retirement for a better seat. Why fly on United when I could fly on Air New Zealand?
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DocLightning
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:48 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 19):

That's self inflicted. Drink water and get your ass out of the seat once in a while and you'll be fine.

It doesn't matter. If enough people die, it will be used as fuel for the debate.

It doesn't matter whether it's scientifically validated or actually relevant to the debate. This entire board may laugh at it. All that is absolutely immaterial. What matters is public opinion and if it makes the airlines look bad, then people will believe it.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 26):
You say this like it's a bad thing.

No I do not. I say it like it's a true thing. For the record, I think it's both a good thing and a bad thing. Good that the public wields that sort of power and bad that they have to use it.
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blueflyer
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:51 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
Many companies now require their employees to fly Y class, even on international routes.

It is far more nuanced than this statement would make it to be. Some require Y for all trips, some for domestic trips, some for all trips under a certain duration, some for certain employees only. The harder it becomes to find qualified employees (as the economy hopefully improves), the less likely Y-only policies are to be retained (or enforced).

This year, my employer has changed our travel policy to mandate Y on flights of 2 hours or less, without opposition because, whether it is the US or Europe (our main markets), for all intents and purposes most such flights were in comfort not much better than Y anyway.

But try imposing Y on all employee travels and our best people, the ones flying in from Asia on Sunday and flying out to the Middle East on Thursday, will all bolt and go to the competition where they'll be promised seats in Business for as long as they want.

Quite the contrary, what with constant improvements in premium cabins and the increasing availability of arrival facilities or day rooms, my employer (and our competitors) now see Business as an alternative to the hotel. Employees arriving in the morning at their destination are expected to be available for work within a few hours. Not too bad in Europe, but even on SQ, it is still brutal when flying to Asia!

Quoting YTZ (Reply 9):
If you are picking a higher fare (regardless of the amount), you better have some solid substantiation for that deviation.

I'm not in government, but being able to spend a few hours at my desk is all the substantiation I would need to pick a carrier that isn't preferred (as per company policy). If our preferred carrier sets my departure at 10 am and another lets me go at 4 pm and they both deliver me to my destination on time, the preferred carrier has lost a sale.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 19):
And if the politicians have any sense at all they will tell the people that it's not their problem and stop clicking on the lowest fare

There's an entire range of fares that'll get you in Y.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 26):
But how would the public react once fares went up in response to such legislation?

Why would fares necessarily go up? If all the government action does is enforce the current status-quo, there is no reason whatsoever to raise fares. How much did fares go up by when the tarmac rule was adopted?
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SchorschNG
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:17 pm

Quoting YTZ (Thread starter):
Most Y pax only book by fare anyway. Very few will pick airlines by comfort. And even if they have an opinion of an airline, they'll still fly it, if it's the cheapest. In essence, Y cabins are becoming the international flying equivalent of discount airlines. So with this in mind, what sense is there for mainline operators having spacious Y cabins? Why not a crammed Y and a decent Y+?

You probably lose those Y-flyers that are on a business trip and bound to a class but not necessarily very price sensitive. So they can take the 30% more expensive offer if they get a better product.
And I think most people flying more than once a year understand very well what type of comfort they want.
Some people are fine with small seats (especially women). The physical comfort is the easiest to compare, the "soft" factors are harder to compare. I for example avoid US airlines if possible, regardless of the cabin layout.
From a structural standpoint, passengers are the worst possible payload. [Michael Chun-Yung Niu]
 
RamblinMan
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:31 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 16):
And if the politicians have any sense at all they will tell the people that it's not their problem and stop clicking on the lowest fare, otherwise shut the f--- up.

Really? You think that would happen? More likely it will be taken up as a cause (remember you only need a few to get started), a committee formed, resolutions passed, etc etc. It's too easy, and therefore it will be used to divert attention away from something more pressing. And then the end result is that they will either "mandate" something like 16.5"x30" as a minimum standard, thereby affecting nobody, or they will be really asinine and mandate 18"x33" thereby requiring a refit of just about every aircraft in all the US carriers' fleets, at a cost of untold millions, airfares will skyrocket, and AA might even go under. But dammit, we're protecting the consumer!
 
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:17 pm

Quoting YTZ (Thread starter):
In my mind, this raises an interesting issue. What's the point of airlines offering anything beyond minimal space in Y?

Its all about shifting revenue from your competitors. There are business pax who fly frequently and arent allowed to fly C/J class. But their tickets are in the higher yielding range for international fights. Thus it can pay to have an improved Y+ product.


Now of course here is the problem. It only works when Airline A does it and no one else does. Once everyone does it, it is like no one doing it. We are back to square one and no revenue shift or advantage, just added costs.. Its another example of Game Theory in the airline industry.
 
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:21 pm

Quoting YTZ (Thread starter):
Before anybody thinks I'm just being incendiary, it's actually a serious question. I've been thinking of AC inducting the 787 in two years. And going over the discussions I've had in various threads about serving India (and how that's too low yield a market for AC).

= Actually, it is not just India. Canadian markets in general are significantly lower yielding than (say) U.S. markets. This is one reason why AC J class has a higher share of upgrades than other similar carriers, and why AC is so keep on moving to a higher density LCC-type version on several key routes - both in the Americas, as well as 75% of Europe.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 14):
The problem with a route like India is that there are very few J passengers, and Y passengers are extremely price-sensitive and will usually choose the lowest fare regardless whether it's a nonstop or not.

Regardless of stops, in markets like that all carriers are going to offer competitive fares, and the lower cost-structure of the Gulf-based carriers make it very hard for carriers like AC to compete profitably.

= India actually gets a stronger than average J demand from Canada. It is that without a loyal following, none of them go to AC. Also, JCL demand on Canada-India is actually POS India whose loyalties are more with 9W, MidEast, and even LH/BA/LX. AC and KL/AF fill the back of the plane with cheap stuff.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):

It depends a lot on the carrier's total route network, but I think AC's network works best with their current 2-class product.

= Well, given AC's current performance and inability to drive profits (yes, cost is an issue; but their network is extremely vulnerable), I don't think you can say AC's network works best with 2 class. I recognize you are an AC fan, but these things must be looked at from on objective basis - AC in fact is one of the best carriers positioned for a Y+ product that would sit well with Canadian business who will pay for Y+. Ask the BA station manager her/his loads on LHR flights ex-Canada on Y+.

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DocLightning
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:25 pm

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 29):
Its another example of Game Theory in the airline industry.

It is very true. What the "free market fundamentalists" realize is that market forces drive game theory in the airline industry and the result is not always in the best interest of the customers OR the airlines.
-Doc Lightning-

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ytz
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:27 pm

Quoting airlinebrat (Reply 24):
If I had a choice of airlines and one offered decent legroom while the other didn't, it wouldn't take rocket science to figure out which carrier I would choose.

All things being equal yes. And again, you have flexibility when its your money. But what happens when your employer is paying?

Quoting airlinebrat (Reply 24):
If AC is up against top ranked foreign carriers on international routes, they better provide a superior product that exceeds that of their competition otherwise they will lose potential customers.

Yet many of AC's competitors offer more cramped Y cabins. See your example below....NZ for one is definitely more cramped in the back than AC. CX and EY for example, also use narrower seats than AC.

I wasn't suggesting that airlines necessarily go to seats with less pitch. But I am wondering if narrower seats in Y make more financial sense. AC's competitors have no issues drawing customers with 17in seats. Yet, AC isn't able to charge a premium for their more spacious Y seat. How is that good for AC? Aren't they better off going 10-abreast Y on the 777s and 9-abreast Y on the 787s?

Quoting airlinebrat (Reply 24):
Why fly on United when I could fly on Air New Zealand?

So you'd rather fly NZ's 10-abreast Y which has a 32 in seat pitch and a 17 in seat, over a UA Y cabin which has an 18in seat with 31 in pitch, even though NZ actually affords you less space per person? Can you explain why you'd pick one over the other? If it's just pitch, would an airline not be better off then by following your preference and having narrower seats with more pitch?

Or are you suggesting you'd fly NZ because of some other reason? Like say their W/Y+ cabin? That's the direction I was going. I think NZ is on to something with their crammed Y and spacious Y+ offer.

Quoting SchorschNG (Reply 27):
You probably lose those Y-flyers that are on a business trip and bound to a class but not necessarily very price sensitive. So they can take the 30% more expensive offer if they get a better product.

But this is my point. Should those 30% not be catered to with Y+? Why are airlines offering lots of room to every Y passenger when maybe only 30% of them fly often enough to be concerned about it?

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 26):
I'm not in government, but being able to spend a few hours at my desk is all the substantiation
Quoting blueflyer (Reply 26):
If our preferred carrier sets my departure at 10 am and another lets me go at 4 pm and they both deliver me to my destination on time, the preferred carrier has lost a sale.

Right. And there are times when I travel when that same excuse works too. Like I said, substantiation. If I need to work a bit more before the trip, nobody is going to begrudge me a slightly higher fare just so I can be more productive. But how much would your employer tolerate you booking based solely on comfort? To continue your example, let's say that the 4pm flight was cheaper and the 10am flight was more comfortable and slightly more expensive, would your boss let you take an earlier flight with the loss of productivity just to be more comfortable, if you really had nothing pressing in the office? (and in reality, you are just pointing out the time sensitivity of business travellers...not necessarily their sensitivity to comfort).

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 26):
If all the government action does is enforce the current status-quo, there is no reason whatsoever to raise fares. How much did fares go up by when the tarmac rule was adopted?

I would think they would go up. Ryanair has 30in seat pitch. You don't think fares would rise if the EU imposed a 31 in minimum for seat pitch? Of course, the impact wouldn't be even. Legacy carriers that do have roomier cabins wouldn't have an issue with a minimum. LCCs, however, could be impacted, depending on how stringent the requirements are.

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 29):
Its all about shifting revenue from your competitors. There are business pax who fly frequently and arent allowed to fly C/J class. But their tickets are in the higher yielding range for international fights. Thus it can pay to have an improved Y+ product.

Exactly my point. I am asking why more airlines don't open up Y+ cabins at the expense of Y.

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 29):
Now of course here is the problem. It only works when Airline A does it and no one else does. Once everyone does it, it is like no one doing it. We are back to square one and no revenue shift or advantage, just added costs.. Its another example of Game Theory in the airline industry.

Right. But not every airline is doing it. Indeed, legacy carriers face a rather difficult situation. Airlines like Air Canada have to deal with the likes of Air Transat poaching Y pax (solely based on fares) to Europe, while trying to hold off the likes of EK poaching J pax travelling ULH to India or South-East Asia. To me, cramming Y and opening Y+ is simply another option to allow airlines to compete in this kind of situation. Bosses might not spring for a $6000 J ticket on EK to BOM from YYZ. But they might well spring for a $2500 W ticket to BOM from YYZ, especially if the flight was direct. That's certainly an easier to premium to swallow over a $1600 Y ticket.
 
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:34 pm

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 30):
AC in fact is one of the best carriers positioned for a Y+ product that would sit well with Canadian business who will pay for Y+. Ask the BA station manager her/his loads on LHR flights ex-Canada on Y+.

I flew BA premium economy LHR-YYZ-LHR last October (744 both ways). On both flights the load factor in J was much higher than in World Traveller Plus where it was about 25% (closer to 75% in J).

I guess the issue is, on the entire AC network, is the loss of seats resulting from adding Y+ going to be more than compensated by the surcharge they are able to apply for Y+? It's my feeling that on many routes they would be more likely to sell the lost Y seats than the new Y+ seats and in many cases (especially during the summer when there's little business travel) they'll just wind up upgrading Y class passengers to Y+, which already happens in J class. Look at AC flight loads close to departure and you normally see Y overbooked by roughly the number of unsold seats in J.
 
ytz
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:44 pm

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 30):
India actually gets a stronger than average J demand from Canada. It is that without a loyal following, none of them go to AC. Also, JCL demand on Canada-India is actually POS India whose loyalties are more with 9W, MidEast, and even LH/BA/LX. AC and KL/AF fill the back of the plane with cheap stuff.

I have always suspected this. But I get shouted down on here by those who say that India is just low-yielding for AC. I'm not an airline industry insider. So I wouldn't know one way or another. My gut feel just with how many people I know who will pay for EK or 9W J to DXB or BOM or DEL is that the India market is not as low yielding as some think. It's just low yielding for AC because like you say AC is just not the first choice for these pax. This is why I've long advocated for direct flights. The only way I can think of for AC to wean these pax off the Gulf carriers. In any event, I'd love to see evidence one way or another of whether or not India is workable for AC with the 787s.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 30):
AC in fact is one of the best carriers positioned for a Y+ product that would sit well with Canadian business who will pay for Y+.

Again...just gut feel. Looking at the way business is heading, I share the exact same opinion. Most businesses won't pay for a J ticket that costs 3-4X that of a Y ticket. But I do think they'd pay for a cabin that's 2X that of a Y fare. Probably not domestically/transborder, but definitely on international flights (TATL, TPAC, South America).

Checking fares for GRU from YYZ at the end of the month, and the Flexible Executive fare is 14X that of the Tango Plus fare! The flexible Executive First fare (with similar ticket flexibility) is 2.6X the Latitude fare. Surely, there's room in this spectrum here for another class.
 
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readytotaxi
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:48 pm

Just a late Saturday night thought.
When you look at how Business Class has changed on airlines over the recent years.
What if one of the big US players decided that Y+ was going to be the new "standard" on all flights for Y at no extra cost to the customer,how quickly would the others follow suit do you think,and which airline might take that first step?
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ytz
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:06 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 33):
I guess the issue is, on the entire AC network, is the loss of seats resulting from adding Y+ going to be more than compensated by the surcharge they are able to apply for Y+? It's my feeling that on many routes they would be more likely to sell the lost Y seats than the new Y+ seats

That's why I'm suggesting this can only be done by cramming Y more than they do now. Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful every time I fly AC that they don't pack them in. But packing them in might free up space for more J or a W/Y+ cabin. What's the point of giving out 18 in seats on the 777s or 19in seats on the 787, when that same Y pax might just go for a TS fare with 16.5in seats.

For example, on a 788, AC could easily go with 20 J (5 rows of 1-2-1), 98 W (14 rows of 2-3-2 with 40 in. pitch) and 99Y (11 rows of 3-3-3 with 34 in pitch but a 17in (not 19in) seat). Total seat count would still be higher than the 763s today. Nobody would be getting upgraded to J at all. With 4 fewer J seats than the current 763, AC would probably sell out everyone. Y cabins can compete on price with Transat. And the W cabins can be priced to draw out corporate upgrades or the less price sensitive Y market.
 
ytz
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:30 pm

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 35):
What if one of the big US players decided that Y+ was going to be the new "standard" on all flights for Y at no extra cost to the customer

They'd go under in record time....

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 35):
how quickly would the others follow suit do you think,and which airline might take that first step?

Nobody would. The rest aren't suicidal.

American Airlines, "More room in coach", campaign proved fairly conclusively that Americans don't give a donkey's behind about comfort in Y class. AA didn't make any additional money by taking out seats and adding seat pitch. Travellers didn't reward them with more loyalty. They just kept on booking the cheapest fares.

This is why, in my mind it makes no sense to offer a spacious Y cabin. There are too few business travellers in Y. Airlines would be better off catering to these pax with Y+ or expanded J cabins. Meanwhile, the vast majority of Y pax who book through fare aggregators should get exactly what they pay for and want: as cheap a seat as possible to their final destination.
 
Viscount724
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:39 pm

Quoting YTZ (Reply 36):
For example, on a 788, AC could easily go with 20 J (5 rows of 1-2-1), 98 W (14 rows of 2-3-2 with 40 in. pitch) and 99Y (11 rows of 3-3-3 with 34 in pitch but a 17in (not 19in) seat).

In my opinion, that's far too few J seats, too many W seats, and too few Y seats. On many flights with strong J demand you'd never be able to compensate for the loss of the J fares from whatever the W fare would be (no doubt much closer to Y than to J). You'd be much more likely to see those J passengers switch to other carriers than to move back to AC's premium Y cabin. And I see no need for 34 inch pitch in Y. Nobody expects that these days. That's just wasting space. With today's lightweight, thin-back seats, you have as much if not more effective legroom at 31 or 32 inch pitch than with old-style seats at 34 inch pitch.
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:50 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 16):

And if the politicians have any sense at all they will tell the people that it's not their problem and stop clicking on the lowest fare, otherwise shut the f--- up.

That is literally the wrongest post I've seen this week. It is exactly their job to what their constituents want, good bad or otherwise.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 16):

That's self inflicted. Drink water and get your ass out of the seat once in a while and you'll be fine.

By the time it gets so far out of hand (as it now is) that legislation is required, I would actually love to hear airlines make that argument. Result? Minimum pitch: 38", and not legal to raise fares to compensate either.

Seriously, these guys are totally begging to have this corrected via legal remedy. Customers will not tolerate being told to just "deal" with these conditions, given what it already costs to fly.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 23):
Yet, unlike LCCs, the legacies can still make money from their premium cabins.

I'm curious as to why you think that LCC's are somehow prohibited from offering premium classes. Equally so as to why you think premiums are profitable for legacies. That's a hit or (more often) miss game for the big leaguers. I think it's really just a matter of (most) LCCs choosing not to invest in expensive, sometimes worthwhile infrastructure and staffing costs, rather than they can't somehow do it better than the Ch11 club.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 25):

It doesn't matter whether it's scientifically validated or actually relevant to the debate. This entire board may laugh at it. All that is absolutely immaterial. What matters is public opinion and if it makes the airlines look bad, then people will believe it.

Correct. And the more defensive airlines get about their recent practices, the deeper the hole they're digging for themselves here.

The other thing is that the legacies cannot hide behind a "full service" reputation any more, as most LCCs in the US offer equal or better Y sections than the big three now do. And oddly, they tend to make more money. Cramming Y to the legal maximum is a symptom of business model laziness, not necessity.




While we're here discussing Y conditions, I found this today, and thought it was hilarious (Yes I know NK is an LCC or ULCC, if you like), but just talking of stuffed up conditions...
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seabosdca
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:54 pm

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 39):
Result? Minimum pitch: 38", and not legal to raise fares to compensate either.

Result of that? Most international airlines pulling out of the U.S., and most U.S. airlines bankrupt.

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 39):
Seriously, these guys are totally begging to have this corrected via legal remedy.

Legal remedy? For seats with 17" width and 31" pitch? I don't usually bang the free-market drum, but that's ridiculous.
 
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:57 pm

Quoting YTZ (Reply 34):
I have always suspected this. But I get shouted down on here by those who say that India is just low-yielding for AC.

= India IS low yielding for AC. But that is because AC has zero commitment to the market. Add to the fact, that Canada is not of much strategic importance to India's industry and its rise means that a lot of demand is VFR.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 34):
The only way I can think of for AC to wean these pax off the Gulf carriers. In any event, I'd love to see evidence one way or another of whether or not India is workable for AC with the 787s.

= AC nonstop will only work when AC grows the strategic maturity to make a commitment to the market - going against the likes of the Mid East airlines, 9W, LX, and even AI means it needs to make a long term play, and service heard towards the Indian market. Why should I pay to be served by a bitter flight attendant who does not speak the language vs. all the other options out there?

It fascinates me how poor AC actually is on intercontinental flying ex-Canada. Foreign carriers have the dominant share, and even in AC strong markets (YUL), people avoid their coded flights. Take LX's poor performing YUL-ZRH for example, only around 15% of the flight is local with only 1% going to BOM. Look at YUL-DOH on QR.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 33):
I flew BA premium economy LHR-LHR last October (744 both ways). On both flights the load factor in J was much higher than in World Traveller Plus where it was about 25% (closer to 75% in J).

= So the one flight makes you feel that BA W ex-Canada is not doing well?

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 33):
It's my feeling that on many routes they would be more likely to sell the lost Y seats than the new Y+ seats and in many cases (especially during the summer when there's little business travel) they'll just wind up upgrading Y class passengers to Y+, which already happens in J class. Look at AC flight loads close to departure and you normally see Y overbooked by roughly the number of unsold seats in J.

= Well, that screams to me that AC revenue management has NO idea what is doing. Like the rest of their mid-management who is not performing, they should be completely replaced. If Y is constantly overbooked, it means the revenue analysts are s**t scared and have zero ability to make courageous calls.

Saludos,
A.

[Edited 2012-03-03 14:58:27]
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ytz
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:14 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 38):
In my opinion, that's far too few J seats, too many W seats, and too few Y seats. On many flights with strong J demand you'd never be able to compensate for the loss of the J fares from whatever the W fare would be (no doubt much closer to Y than to J). You'd be much more likely to see those J passengers switch to other carriers than to move back to AC's premium Y cabin. And I see no need for 34 inch pitch in Y. Nobody expects that these days. That's just wasting space. With today's lightweight, thin-back seats, you have as much if not more effective legroom at 31 or 32 inch pitch than with old-style seats at 34 inch pitch.

It was just an example. Can of course be played with. My point was that an airline could keep seat count up by reducing seat width and not really sacrificing seat pitch. Whatever the config, this seams to be a way to minimize space in the back while opening up more room for J and W.
 
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:47 pm

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 39):
Seriously, these guys are totally begging to have this corrected via legal remedy. Customers will not tolerate being told to just "deal" with these conditions, given what it already costs to fly.

And then when the airlines go under because their CASM has shot up, the public will pillory the politicians for expensive bailouts or the rapid rise in airfares as competition is reduced.

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 39):
I'm curious as to why you think that LCC's are somehow prohibited from offering premium classes.

They aren't. Most don't because their business model doesn't allow for it.

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 39):
Equally so as to why you think premiums are profitable for legacies.

Because they are. That's just reality. Not every airline can be like Southwest. And when the legacies have gone the extra mile, they've never been rewarded with higher profits. AA didn't make any more money out of its, "More Room Throughout Coach." And if Europe teaches us anything it's that passengers will reward the airline with the lowest fares with record profits and record growth. It does not matter if they have a 17 in seat with 31 in pitch that does not recline. It does not matter that the airline charges you 40 Euros to check-in and print out your boarding pass at the airport. It does not matter that the airline flies to an airport that's usually 1-2 hours by road from your actual destination. And it does not matter to these passengers that there's no assigned seating or that the airline is very strict about onboard cabin baggage size. They choose to fly this airline in droves.

When it comes to LCCs, Southwest is an exception. Same with Westjet in Canada. They really border more on full-service all economy airlines than what are considered LCCs these days, which are more like NK. And even WN is reducing seat pitch and increasing seat count by adding seats, reducing padding, and limiting recline:

http://www.tulsaworld.com/business/a...icleid=20120118_45_E3_CUTLIN830404
 
ElPistolero
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:36 am

Quoting YTZ (Reply 23):
Note that I am not just saying this for India. My point in bringing up India is that this is a way for AC to compete against the Gulf carriers. And similarly with the TATL example. How do you compete against Transat which is really gaining on AC?

But they don't HAVE to compete with Gulf carriers. In my estimation, any victories AC scores against gulf carriers are likely to be pyrrhic. They have a much better shot against TS etc.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 30):
JCL demand on Canada-India is actually POS India whose loyalties are more with 9W, MidEast, and even LH/BA/LX. AC and KL/AF fill the back of the plane with cheap stuff.


Very true about AC being considered in the same breath as KL (airlines that are marginally more acceptable than AI for the Indian middle class).

Quoting YTZ (Reply 32):

Yet many of AC's competitors offer more cramped Y cabins. See your example below....NZ for one is definitely more cramped in the back than AC. CX and EY for example, also use narrower seats than AC.

Rightly or wrongly, NZ has a better Y longhaul reputation than AC. As do the other carriers. AC is associated with a mediocre product. I don't particularly disagree - all three of those carriers offer better IFE and catering than AC. In terms of catering, AC can't even claim to be industry average - they're increasingly on the weak side. There is an element of brand reputation here that shouldnt be ignored.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 34):
But I get shouted down on here by those who say that India is just low-yielding for AC.

Yes and no. The problem for AC is that its home market for this route (Canada) is not as affluent as say the Indian population in the US. That means the market that it is most likely to appeal to isn't going to be generating high yeilds, not least because of competitive pressure. On the India side, as Abrelojos pointed out, the one-stop NA market has already developed enough to create some strong brand loyalties. AC's up against it there too, insofar as its appeal is limited by loyalty considerations. AC will have to develop a brand following there from scratch, and frankly I doubt they'll be able to. They're more likely to become the Canadian equivalent of AA, than 9W. And we all know how thats working out for AA.
 
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:56 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 41):
It fascinates me how poor AC actually is on intercontinental flying ex-Canada. Foreign carriers have the dominant share, and even in AC strong markets (YUL), people avoid their coded flights. Take LX's poor performing YUL-ZRH for example, only around 15% of the flight is local with only 1% going to BOM. Look at YUL-DOH on QR.

Interesting that you should bring this up. I m not entirely sure I agree. Earlier today, I did an ITA matrix check for a friend from YSJ who wanted to go to BOM. The cheapest option? YSJ-YUL-DOH-BOM (AC/QR). AC's cheapest option clocked in at $1600+ for YSJ-FRA/LHR- BOM (AC/LH and AC/9W). CO is offering YSJ-YUL-EWR-BOM for $1440, which makes me wonder how much of that $300 difference is going to European tax coffers.

Of course, on the India issue, what do AC's transatlantic route overlords at FRA think of a direct India-Canada flight? Will AC have to revenue share on those too? In that case, even cramming Y to breaking point won't help AC's cause much.

I will say again that I agree with the premise of this article - spacious Y may well go the way of the dodo. But I doubt that is not going to guarantee anyone success where they have already struggled. AC and India is a standout example.

[Edited 2012-03-03 16:57:46]
 
mandala499
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:08 am

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 5):
I think, that whatever one might of them, Emirates categorically prove that this is not true. They are one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, and the largest operator of the 777. And each and every one of them is 10 abreast.

Why not cram it all in?
60-75% of all business passengers travel in economy these days, that's why!
These are the ones who are willing to pay the more expensive Y sub-classes.

I'm due for a business trip to Europe and my company policy is Y class travel.

Last year, the same trip, I did Emirates on their 10-abreast Y class 777s... guess what, I told the company to not put me on that again otherwise they'll have to pay me a business class seat, or I'm not going and if someone's forcing me, I'd quit the job!   

Emirates offer daily flights, 1 stop connection only... but that connection is a few hours long in Dubai (which at peak times make holiday shopping look relatively boring and quiet). The door-to-door time of a 1 stop + 1 transfer or even the 2 transfer service offered by LH, has better schedule.

I'm more willing (and so does my employer) to fly a more humane experience for business travel... even at 50% more price than Emirates Y! (which is ironically, the cheapest Y+ I can find)

Anyways, in the end, I found LH at the same price, so I'm booked on that (bye bye 10-abreast Y class)... so that's even better for me and my employer at the same time!

More Y class pax = less weight available for cargo... which has better yields in a lot of cases than bargain hunters in Y class.

So if you're also relying on big cargo revenue, screw packing the Y class in!

Quoting YTZ (Reply 8):
And really, the full planeloads for EK's 777s kinda shows that most pax really aren't that picky.

EK is a unique case. In the pre-777 days, their business model was based on flying to cargo & business destinations from DXB, eventually forming a centric hub on that model... The cargo money was so good, they started knocking down Y class prices to attract more passengers. When the 777s come in, the airplane can carry a lot more than the mission profile, so, pack it all in... the big bonus in this is that it peeves the competitors off, as price sensitive passengers go fly EK. The best routes are those that have less dense but high-yield cargo... on those ones, EK just love to send their 773s...

As a colleague working in EK says, "it's cargo with service"   
It packs the Y seats to enable damn low fares.
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:08 am

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 40):

Result of that? Most international airlines pulling out of the U.S., and most U.S. airlines bankrupt.
Quoting YTZ (Reply 43):

And then when the airlines go under because their CASM has shot up,

Oh well. They'd have earned it.

But I really don't think would be the case, as CASM is a very small factor in the overall operations picture (hence why there are more than just 757-300s, Q400s & A380s flying today...) If an airline can't make money with a new set of rules imposed (without regard to what a.net thinks should be the case), then, yes, they fold. And someone else takes their place.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 43):
the public will pillory the politicians for expensive bailouts or the rapid rise in airfares as competition is reduced.

The rise wouldn't happen if legislation was rolled into a re-regulation, as I'm somewhat sure will be the case one day anyway.

While I do not really foresee regulation going as far as my hyperbolic example, the whole "But gee-whizz we'll all go out of business and wipe out more jobs if you do that, Uncle Sam" has been waived around before. They said the same thing prior to de-regulation, and did the airlines go bust? Some sure did. But others grew or formed in their place and learned to cope with the new reality. Well, now they can do it again.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 43):
Because they are. That's just reality.

No, they bring in more revenue (when actually sold that is), but not necessarily more profit. Airlines still have to field all the ancillary costs that go with premium (lounges, extra staffiing, etc). And not all premium space is actually sold. A good bit goes out as non-rev, awards or upgrades, or just not occupied at all. They are not solidly profitable.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 43):
AA didn't make any more money out of its, "More Room Throughout Coach."

How did you find that out? AA doesn't publish a line by line at that level. But taking that claim at face value, that doesn't mean they couldn't have. Their operating costs at the time were astronomical. It was removed before the 2003 concessions, and obviously before their BK filing. It would seem that simply adding seats back really didn't help them much in the end.

Anyway, I'm not trying to be pedantic. But the notion that airlines simply must fly at 29in pitch or else to survive is absurd. An airline going out of business is like an airliner crashing. It almost never happens from one single cause, but rather a witches brew of factors that gang up on the company and eventually become insurmountable. I'm not saying that cramming more seats in cannot make a company more money, but rather that it greatly resembles modifying the deck furniture positions aboard a certain White Star oceanliner.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 43):
And if Europe teaches us anything ...

I'm not sure that's the whole picture though. If it's FR you're referring to, they also happen to be very aggressive about re-selling practically new aircraft to recover their expenditures (though as I posted in another thread, I do not believe that will be facilitated by the OEMs for much longer). Paying a net nothing for your planes will do wonders for the bottom line of almost any airline. If you're referring to EasyJet, they've seen better days.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 43):

When it comes to LCCs, Southwest is an exception. Same with Westjet in Canada.

And let's not forget B6 while we're there. These airlines are indeed assuming more full-service roles as standards drop among the legacies, and with their cost structures, they are rapidly becoming more like UA or DL than true the LCCs they once were. If that was your point, I do not disagree.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 43):
And even WN is reducing seat pitch and increasing seat count by adding seats, reducing padding, and limiting recline:

But they're reducing the seat thickness by more than they are the overall pitch, which actually results in a net gain where pax are concerned. And even then, the seat counts still won't be as high as a much of their "peers." No legacy has done this.
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:25 am

Quoting YTZ (Thread starter):
What's the point of airlines offering anything beyond minimal space in Y?

The only point is to attract junior customers who have a good change of becoming elite.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 3):
But many companies won't pay the Y+ surcharge.

Sadly true. For long haul, at least J seems to be returning.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
Coach air travel is a commodity and is traded chiefly on price just like corn or oil. Sure some corn is better than other corn, but not enough to really matter.

Best phrasing I've heard, I'll have to use that.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
They employees might.

Only if on miles.
A decade ago, when I was flying on $1,400 tickets, I had the attitude ('this is all I get for a complementary upgrade?!?'). Now that I'm flying on ~$600 tickets (same employer, the travel policies have changed that much) and now I only get the 'free' seat selections. Ugh... Now I just want out of the middle seat!    Will I pay for an upgrade? Twice a week?   

If this was just international... I'll be doing that soon enough (this year). I won't pay for that either. My employer (well... the customer) will pay for J.   

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 15):
And when the service gets to a certain point, the public starts demanding regulatory and legislative action.

Or they vote with their dollars. Allergiant, Spirit, and other ULCCs have their market. Some will instead choose to buy on fractionally more comfortable airlines.

The issue is we're talking international long haul. No nation can impose a pitch on another without violating bilaterals. For example, Europe couldn't tell AA to add 2" of legroom.    The only thing they could limit is marketing. (e.g., any pitch below 36" must be economy, etc.)

Lightsaber
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DocLightning
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RE: What's The Point Of A Spacious Y?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:32 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 48):

Or they vote with their dollars.

No they do not necessarily. In some cases, when game theory has won the day and all the airlines are doing the same thing, that is not possible. When the industry has gotten stuck around such an attractor, the free market ceases to force it away.

The tarmac delay issue was one example. People couldn't vote with their dollars on that.
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