xcltflyboy
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F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 5:03 pm

This press release indicates that Frontier, like Allegiant and Spirit, will begin charging (certain) passengers for carry-on bags, as well as beverages. Is this a positioning move to align themselves the policies of a potential suitor?

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/fronti...ces-customers-using-160000209.html
 
0newair0
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 5:07 pm

I don't believe this announcement is new news. I think it has been known for some time now that Frontier was moving towards an unbundled product and service offering that would be some what similar to Allegiant and Spirit. They're quickly changing in an effort to survive.

[Edited 2013-05-01 10:08:00]
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stlgph
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 5:09 pm

Not necessarily. Instead it could outline potential revenue for an interested buyer to either a) sweeten a deal or b) Republican can ask more in a sale.

[Edited 2013-05-01 10:09:53]
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sw733
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 5:16 pm

So, they will charge carry-on fees to people with Basic fares that are booked on 3rd party sites...any idea what percentage of the customers will fit in to this? Sounds like it could be decent sized, but not necesarilly gigantic.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 5:16 pm

Quoting 0NEWAIR0 (Reply 1):
I think it has been known for some time now that Frontier was moving towards an unbundled product and service offering that would be some what similar to Allegiant and Spirit.

It's not at all similar. F9 has the opposite goal with unbundling. They WANT people to buy the more expensive bundled fares (see their website, where they boast that Classic Plus gives you "more than $175 in value" for usually far less than $175 in fare difference). NK doesn't even sell a bundled fare.
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xcltflyboy
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 5:25 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 4):
It's not at all similar. F9 has the opposite goal with unbundling. They WANT people to buy the more expensive bundled fares (see their website, where they boast that Classic Plus gives you "more than $175 in value" for usually far less than $175 in fare difference). NK doesn't even sell a bundled fare.

Excellent observation, Cubsrule.
 
jreuschl
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 5:28 pm

WN says "Thank you!"
 
EricR
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 5:29 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 4):
It's not at all similar. F9 has the opposite goal with unbundling. They WANT people to buy the more expensive bundled fares (see their website, where they boast that Classic Plus gives you "more than $175 in value" for usually far less than $175 in fare difference). NK doesn't even sell a bundled fare.




And to add to this, Allegiant's objective is to sell a complete travel package (air fare, hotel, rental car, etc.). Therefore, while all 3 can be categorized as ULCC's, each has its own strategy unique to each carrier.
 
Bobloblaw
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 5:39 pm

What is ground breaking here is carryones will still be free if you book at FlyFronter.com. If you book at Orbitz or Expedia etc there will be a carryon fee.


The problem I see with charging for beverages is they are doing only to the lowest fare pax. Naturally they still want a premium product for their better passengers. Kind of like what they do for TV. But what happens when pax begin changing seats to open seats?

Overall what they aren't doing isn't too bad, but it will complicate things a bit. Hope the revenue they get (or cost savings) is worth the confusion.

If this works I can see airlines begin charging pax differing fees if they use Third Party sites for bookings.

Quoting xcltflyboy (Reply 5):
Excellent observation, Cubsrule

Ditto

Quoting jreuschl (Reply 6):
WN says "Thank you!"

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santi319
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 5:43 pm

Quoting jreuschl (Reply 6):
WN says "Thank you!"


Actually, judging by the numbers posted by NK and G4 vs all the other airlines, WN says " Oh Crap!"....
 
sw733
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 5:46 pm

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 8):
What is ground breaking here is carryones will still be free if you book at FlyFronter.com. If you book at Orbitz or Expedia etc there will be a carryon fee.

It's not even that, from my understanding of it. If you were to go on Expedia and book a full-fare, refundable ticket for a Frontier flight, I assume it would not have a carry-on fee. It's only if you book the "basic", absolute cheapest ticket on Expedia (and others) that would be hit with a carry-on fee. Perhaps I am incorrect, but that's how I read it. That being said, I would guess that the majority of people booking on Expedia are doing so to find the cheapest, not the most flexible, of fares.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 5:54 pm

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 8):
The problem I see with charging for beverages is they are doing only to the lowest fare pax. Naturally they still want a premium product for their better passengers. Kind of like what they do for TV. But what happens when pax begin changing seats to open seats?

To me (a semi-frequent F9 traveler), one of the mysteries of F9 is how they make the onboard differentiation work. The answer seems to be that f/as keep a tight hold of their manifest and engage the passengers who are entitled to freebies while not really engaging the others directly. Most folks who buy a fair amount of Classic Plus but don't have status will grab the card that activates the tvs from the f/a, swipe it and hand it back. Those with status can simply swipe their FF cards to get free tv.

Of course, the group of FFs with status plus travelers in Classic Plus tickets is a lot smaller than the group that will get free soda and free carryons under this plan. That said, most F9 f/as (in contrast with f/as at other carriers, particularly DL), do a good job of keeping non-paying customers out of Stretch seats. To succeed at unbundling, the carrier has to have f/a buyin. F9 seems to have that. I don't know how exactly they got it.
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enilria
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 6:02 pm

Quoting xcltflyboy (Thread starter):
This press release indicates that Frontier, like Allegiant and Spirit, will begin charging (certain) passengers for carry-on bags, as well as beverages. Is this a positioning move to align themselves the policies of a potential suitor?
Quoting sw733 (Reply 3):
So, they will charge carry-on fees to people with Basic fares that are booked on 3rd party sites...any idea what percentage of the customers will fit in to this? Sounds like it could be decent sized, but not necesarilly gigantic.
Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 4):
It's not at all similar. F9 has the opposite goal with unbundling. They WANT people to buy the more expensive bundled fares (see their website, where they boast that Classic Plus gives you "more than $175 in value" for usually far less than $175 in fare difference). NK doesn't even sell a bundled fare.

If I may, very few people understand what the purpose of of the carry on bag fee is. It is not as 99.9% of people think, to generate revenue through the collection of the fee. That is a sizable side benefit, but that is not why Spirit did it and it is not way F9 should do it.

The sole reason that the carry on bag fee is a good idea is that in this industry everybody has the same price because everybody matches each other down to the nickel. When the price is the same for everybody, you decide which airline to fly based upon other factors like frequent flier program, schedule frequency, product comfort, etc. Frontier loses on most of those measures by virtue of being a small carrier, as did Spirit. So what Frontier ends up carrying are only passengers that the other airlines didn't want. The other airlines planes fill up and then Frontier takes their revenue management cast-offs. A bottom feeder. That strategy won't pay the fuel bills.

The way to make money in this industry consistently is to not be matched. That is very difficult to do. The only way to do it is to introduce a product that the other carriers can't copy. Allegiant has done that with tour packaging. It is very hard to compare Allegiant's package pricing to any other airline and it's even harder for other airlines to decide how to price against them because they don't have time or tools to compare package prices and back into an air fare that is competitive.

Similarly, the legacies are not (yet) charging carry-on bag fees. At the point they do that it will kill NK unless they find a new differentiator, but until they do, NK's fares will not be matched almost all the time by the legacies (because if they match and NK collects a carry on fee, they are at a revenue disadvantage) which gives NK an enormous advantage. They will then get a disproportionate share of traffic across all segments and all the way up the revenue management pricing ladder. It's really brilliant even if I hate it as a consumer.

So, for Frontier will it work? It may work. The way they are doing it with only OTAs is different, but that is where people are price shopping, so I give them some credit for that. I think on F9.com they eventually unbundle as well if that is not already the plan. I think this has the potential of giving WN a big advantage financially in Denver where it seems NK has done well competing against way too many other airlines. I do not think this has anything to do with merging other than improved earnings helps sell the company. If anything, it means they are not close on a deal to sell the company as this is a big change that will take a while to implement. The biggest issue I'd expect for F9 is compliance. They have subbed out every station except Denver. Contract handlers won't be good about collecting the carry on fee. That's just a fact of life. It's basically untrackable, so if the contractor doesn't collect it then F9 will never know it went uncollected and unless they pay the contractors a commission on the fee they have no incentive to harass customers about it.

Quoting jreuschl (Reply 6):
WN says "Thank you!"

Right now F9 already should have a fare advantage against WN because WN does not charge chkd bag fees. I think WN has been matching them anyway and eating the loss. This will make it harder for them to do. If WN matched F9's base fare it would cost WN a lot of money but would likely decimate what remains of F9 in Denver. OTOH, they have shown limited appetite toward matching NK for any sustained period of time.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 6:11 pm

Quoting enilria (Reply 12):
The biggest issue I'd expect for F9 is compliance. They have subbed out every station except Denver. Contract handlers won't be good about collecting the carry on fee. That's just a fact of life. It's basically untrackable, so if the contractor doesn't collect it then F9 will never know it went uncollected and unless they pay the contractors a commission on the fee they have no incentive to harass customers about it.

Two points on this:

1) I expect f/as will be part of the enforcement scheme (just like they have to enforce Express Boarding now).

2) Most of F9's contract handlers are not scum-of-the-earth lowest bidders but actually do a pretty good job. Much like YX used to, F9 uses a lot of actual airlines (AS in GEG, for instance). The contract handlers are already pretty good about doing what they are supposed to do with top end passengers, so I don't see why bottom end passengers would be any different.
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 6:45 pm

Quoting enilria (Reply 12):
Similarly, the legacies are not (yet) charging carry-on bag fees. At the point they do that it will kill NK unless they find a new differentiator, but until they do, NK's fares will not be matched almost all the time by the legacies (because if they match and NK collects a carry on fee, they are at a revenue disadvantage) which gives NK an enormous advantage. They will then get a disproportionate share of traffic across all segments and all the way up the revenue management pricing ladder. It's really brilliant even if I hate it as a consumer.

Are you suggesting that all the legacies have to do to lower their fares to NK's level is start charging for carry-ons? There is no way on this earth that that's the case. Nobody matches NK's fares now ( to my knowledge) or has the desire to do so. The entire legacy cost structure is much too far out of line to match fares with NK and not leed profusely with every ticket sold.

Even if the legacies start charging a carry-on fee, we all know they won't lower fares as a result. It will only make their domestic product less attractive. Everyone that hates NK now for charging for carry-ons ( yet still flies them) will either have less of a product differential to cite when booking... making NK an even more attractive option. OR a less, less attractive option depending on how you lok at things.
 
sw733
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 6:59 pm

Quoting enilria (Reply 12):
If I may, very few people understand what the purpose of of the carry on bag fee is.

I understand it completely, but that wasn't really what I was getting at. I remember when AA started introducing bag fees, they talked about how few people it actually would hit, between the frequent fliers, international travelers, full fare customers, military customers, etc, etc. I am just wondering what percentage of F9's customers this would impact - that is, people only buying the absolute "Basic" fare from a third party provider. I really have no idea if that's 5% of F9's customer base, or 50% of F9's customer base.
 
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 7:48 pm

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 8):
What is ground breaking here is carryones will still be free if you book at FlyFronter.com. If you book at Orbitz or Expedia etc there will be a carryon fee.

It will be curious to see if the OTAs react to this. I wonder if Frontier can survive by only selling tickets on their own site if the OTAs decide to cut ties. Sure, most of them also sell Spirit, but then again Spirit is not penalizing just a select group of customers.
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Frontier14
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 8:30 pm

Quoting sw733 (Reply 3):

Unless things have changed in the recent past months less than fifty percent of Frontier's tickets have been booked on their website per Shurz's comments a couple of calls back. They want that number to increase significantly and this is a step in that direction they hope.
 
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mariner
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 8:36 pm

Quoting Frontier14 (Reply 17):
Unless things have changed in the recent past months less than fifty percent of Frontier's tickets have been booked on their website per Shurz's comments a couple of calls back. They want that number to increase significantly and this is a step in that direction they hope.

Things have changed some. The latest I heard was that the number was closer to 60% and that at TTN it is around 80%.

mariner
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Frontier14
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 8:47 pm

[quote=mariner,reply=

Things have changed some. The latest I heard was that the number was closer to 60% and that at TTN it is around 80%.[/quote]


Thanks Mariner for the updated numbers. This is good news.
 
LAXintl
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 9:46 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 13):
Most of F9's contract handlers are not scum-of-the-earth lowest bidders but actually do a pretty good job. Much like YX used to, F9 uses a lot of actual airlines (AS in GEG, for instance). The contract handlers are already pretty good about doing what they are supposed to do with top end passengers, so I don't see why bottom end passengers would be any different.

Just remember the whole handler thing is changing at F9. With news out, that all stations are going to contract handling and F9 seeking to do multi-city bundle deals, most stations will be covered by likes of Swissport, Menzies, Servisair etc..

Lowest bidder rules.   
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Bobloblaw
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 9:51 pm

Quoting DLD9S (Reply 16):
if the OTAs decide to cut ties

Yes, there could definitely be some OTA retaliation

CubsRule's comments have been pretty good on this thread.
 
OB1504
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 10:59 pm

Quoting enilria (Reply 12):
The biggest issue I'd expect for F9 is compliance. They have subbed out every station except Denver. Contract handlers won't be good about collecting the carry on fee. That's just a fact of life. It's basically untrackable, so if the contractor doesn't collect it then F9 will never know it went uncollected and unless they pay the contractors a commission on the fee they have no incentive to harass customers about it.

Fortunately for my former colleages at Spirit, this consideration is what keeps them from outsourcing staff at legacy stations such as FLL or LGA. The higher costs from having organic employees are offset by the increased revenue brought in by more stringent enforcement of the baggage policy.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 20):
Just remember the whole handler thing is changing at F9. With news out, that all stations are going to contract handling and F9 seeking to do multi-city bundle deals, most stations will be covered by likes of Swissport, Menzies, Servisair etc..

That being said, Swissport is one of the better ground handling companies. At Miami International Airport, they provide customer-facing staff for 23 of the 37 scheduled passenger carriers, including the likes of Avianca-Taca, Lufthansa, and (of course) SWISS.
 
airliner371
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Wed May 01, 2013 11:53 pm

Frontier's social media pages have been very interesting to watch today...
 
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mariner
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 12:33 am

Quoting airliner371 (Reply 23):
Frontier's social media pages have been very interesting to watch today...

With quite a lot of the noise coming from people who are buying $39 fares - as happened last time.  

mariner

[Edited 2013-05-01 18:07:31]
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Cubsrule
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 1:05 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 20):
With news out, that all stations are going to contract handling and F9 seeking to do multi-city bundle deals, most stations will be covered by likes of Swissport, Menzies, Servisair etc..

I'm not sure how you get from bundle deals what I've termed "scum of the earth lowest bidder." With F9 looking to outsource the likes of LAX, LGA and DCA, most legacies and regionals could easily put together a package deal, and the likes of Menzies don't have a presence in BMI or BIS.
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unmlobo
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 2:00 am

Coming unbundled or coming unglued? Clever choice of words for the thread title.
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n471wn
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 2:09 am

Frontier is shooting themselves in the foot once more.....
 
airliner371
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 2:19 am

I'm not necessarily saying they are gonna do bad but they are really ruining their brand. They are being just like Spirit, the only difference, people in Denver have 2 other (larger) options.
 
questions
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 2:22 am

What was F9's original business model? Who was their target? What was their service offering focus -- no frills; trying to be like B6? And what are they trying to be today? They kind of sound like a mess.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 2:24 am

Quoting airliner371 (Reply 28):
I'm not necessarily saying they are gonna do bad but they are really ruining their brand

With what part of F9's brand are the new fees inconsistent? The "you can get a $39 ticket on expedia with a bunch of perks" part? I doubt that's the part of the brand they want to target.
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skycub
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 2:34 am

Quoting mariner (Reply 24):
With quite a lot of the noise coming from people who are buying $39 fares - as happened last time.

I checked out the Frontier Facebook page... I did not see anywhere where the people leaving comments had a chance to post what fares they paid.

Am I missing something?

Maybe you, as the leading Frontier expert on this site, have the ability to see what fares the Facebook posters have paid?

Please help me see what fares the posters on Frontier's Facebook page have paid... it would help me better appreciate their comments.

Thank you in advance for your help.
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mariner
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 2:36 am

Quoting questions (Reply 29):
What was F9's original business model? Who was their target? What was their service offering focus -- no frills; trying to be like B6? And what are they trying to be today? They kind of sound like a mess.

Frontier's original model was always to be the cheaper alternative, long before JetBlue came along.

Its original slogan was "Always Affordable." How has that changed?

mariner
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mariner
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 2:45 am

Quoting skycub (Reply 31):
Maybe you, as the leading Frontier expert on this site, have the ability to see what fares the Facebook posters have paid?

Some research was done on it when they first changed the rules for third party booking, which caused some yells on Facebook - and here.

Quoting skycub (Reply 31):
I checked out the Frontier Facebook page... I did not see anywhere where the people leaving comments had a chance to post what fares they paid.

I'm scarcely the leading Frontier expert. I live in New Zealand and have no plans to return to the US. My chances of flying Frontier are slim to none and Slim left the building seven years ago.

I follow the airline for fun.

Quoting skycub (Reply 31):
Thank you in advance for your help.

Sorry, I don't think I can help you. Pretty much everything I know is in the public domain, apart from the occasional snippet from old chums.

mariner

[Edited 2013-05-01 19:54:48]
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enilria
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 3:21 am

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 13):
Two points on this:
1) I expect f/as will be part of the enforcement scheme (just like they have to enforce Express Boarding now).

That could be, but at the moment you mix the FAs into the enforcement mix you will see a huge decline in "love" for what has traditionally been a strength at F9, the inflight product. If they are enforcers you are making them "the enemy" instead of just the ground staff. I'd say that is probably not the way to go and the FAs won't like it either.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 13):
2) Most of F9's contract handlers are not scum-of-the-earth lowest bidders but actually do a pretty good job.

Frankly, scum of the earth are going to have less issue with collecting the fee. People who provide good customer service will find this fee collection enforcement very difficult.

Quoting Kcrwflyer (Reply 14):
Are you suggesting that all the legacies have to do to lower their fares to NK's level is start charging for carry-ons?

Yes. They can lower them to NK levels now, but they don't because NK would get more revenue than they do. Obviously the legacies would only lower their fares where they compete with NK or F9 with the express purpose of killing them. They would probably just pocket the added fee on all other routes.

Quoting Kcrwflyer (Reply 14):
Nobody matches NK's fares now ( to my knowledge)

Generally no, but they all take a premium that they think offsets the carry on bag fee diversion, but it clearly doesn't work at suppressing NK's profitability.

Quoting sw733 (Reply 15):
I am just wondering what percentage of F9's customers this would impact

People will almost always buy the cheapest option.

Quoting DLD9S (Reply 16):
Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 8):
What is ground breaking here is carryones will still be free if you book at FlyFronter.com. If you book at Orbitz or Expedia etc there will be a carryon fee.

It will be curious to see if the OTAs react to this.

They will probably be dropped by at least some.

Quoting OB1504 (Reply 22):
Fortunately for my former colleages at Spirit, this consideration is what keeps them from outsourcing staff at legacy stations such as FLL or LGA. The higher costs from having organic employees are offset by the increased revenue brought in by more stringent enforcement of the baggage policy.

I believe it
 
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illinoisman
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 4:04 am

Another reason not to fly F9. Remind me again, why did everybody fight so hard to support the sale of YX to these guys? I mean, the "Save the Cookie" campaign worked out really great, didn't it? Not long after Republic bought out YX, changed the name to F9, laid off the legacy YX pilots and fight attendants, it abandoned the fresh-baked cookies on flights into and out of MKE. No doubt they sent the ovens to the scrapyard (for a few bucks) and then added a few more cramped coach seats to their flying cattle cars.

[Edited 2013-05-01 21:07:10]
 
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mke717spotter
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 5:22 am

Quoting IllinoisMan (Reply 35):
Another reason not to fly F9.

Not sure it matters too much for MKE...unless you're forgetting that F9 has cut about 90% of its service here?
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PlanesNTrains
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 5:43 am

Quoting enilria (Reply 12):
I do not think this has anything to do with merging other than improved earnings helps sell the company. If anything, it means they are not close on a deal to sell the company as this is a big change that will take a while to implement.

I think this is another example of projecting one's wishes onto an unrelated event. Are you implying that Frontier would not be continuing its evolution to an ULCC model were a bidder preparing to make an offer? I fail to see any correlation there whatsoever, but maybe that's just me?

Quoting Frontier14 (Reply 17):
Unless things have changed in the recent past months less than fifty percent of Frontier's tickets have been booked on their website per Shurz's comments a couple of calls back. They want that number to increase significantly and this is a step in that direction they hope.

I think that's a primary reason for doing the fee the way they did. To drive traffic to FlyFrontier.com.

Quoting n471wn (Reply 27):
Frontier is shooting themselves in the foot once more.....

How?

Quoting airliner371 (Reply 28):
m not necessarily saying they are gonna do bad but they are really ruining their brand. They are being just like Spirit, the only difference, people in Denver have 2 other (larger) options.

Well, having three other options in DEN hasn't deterred Spirit. I'm not going to predict success or failure for Frontier, but dont they sort of have to stick to the plan, as it were? Want to be an ULCC? Walk the talk.

Quoting questions (Reply 29):
What was F9's original business model? Who was their target? What was their service offering focus -- no frills; trying to be like B6? And what are they trying to be today? They kind of sound like a mess.

I believe Frontier (in it's current incarnation) debuted in 1994, long before JetBlue was launched. The past several years (some might say the past 20 years) have been somewhat tumultuous, but certainly the period as Republic-owned has been challenging for many, many reasons. They have been going through Extreme Airline Makeover, and that can be a brutal process. Hopefully this gets them to a place of profitability, because up until now that has often been an elusive goal. As a business, then, what's the point if not to earn a buck?

Quoting enilria (Reply 34):
That could be, but at the moment you mix the FAs into the enforcement mix you will see a huge decline in "love" for what has traditionally been a strength at F9, the inflight product. If they are enforcers you are making them "the enemy" instead of just the ground staff. I'd say that is probably not the way to go and the FAs won't like it either.

Based on my recent flights on AS and WN, I'd say they are plenty comfortable being enforcement officers. And that's just over the handling of carryon's (AS) or hoping for a second dixie cup of soda on a 2:40 flight (WN). Not much love there, frankly.

Quoting IllinoisMan (Reply 35):
Another reason not to fly F9. Remind me again, why did everybody fight so hard to support the sale of YX to these guys?

Are you still worked up over this? It's been almost FOUR YEARS - isn't it time to start the healing?

-Dave
-Dave
 
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 6:12 am

Quoting Frontier14 (Reply 17):
Unless things have changed in the recent past months less than fifty percent of Frontier's tickets have been booked on their website per Shurz's comments a couple of calls back. They want that number to increase significantly and this is a step in that direction they hope.

On the local Denver news tonight (at least the TV station I watched), they had a short news blurb about these fees but did not clarify that they wouldn't apply if purchased on flyfrontier.com/would apply to lower-based fares from third-party sites. The news station said the carry-on fees would apply to overhead-bin carry-ons, not carry-ons able to fit under the seat in front of you, and said passengers could pay a $25 at booking or face a $100 fee at the airport. Obviously it's not the news station's job to be an advertisement for flyfrontier.com, but it does seem a bit remiss on their part not to mention in any way that the fee won't be applied to every passenger boarding the plane, especially since F9 is a "hometown" airline. The general gist of the news blurb was that F9 will soon charge for carry-ons and soda. The news anchor even quipped that the seat belts will still be free.
 
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mariner
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 6:20 am

Quoting mke717spotter (Reply 36):
Not sure it matters too much for MKE...unless you're forgetting that F9 has cut about 90% of its service here?

Yes, that was sad, especially the money side of things.

Between them, TPG, Northwest/Delta and Republic/Frontier lost well in excess of half a Billion trying to save/salvage Midwest and MKE. It may be closer to three quarters of a billion when it's all added up, because TPG alone lost over $400 million and Northwest/Delta lost $200 million.

As in these financials, Midwest Airlines itself lost half a billion in 2008, before Republic took over:

Republic Files Financials For Midwest (by Mainland Oct 20 2009 in Civil Aviation)

Some of that loss was impairment - the "goodwill" that Midwest was claiming, which was really worth zilch and had to be written off.

That's the way the Cookie crumbled - and nearly took Frontier down with it - but of course, the Milwaukee shareholders made out like bandits on the deal.

mariner

[Edited 2013-05-01 23:28:16]
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 9:04 am

Quoting jreuschl (Reply 6):
WN says "Thank you!"

Yup...and they just have to sit back and watch their market share in DEN increase even more.

And apparently, my flight on F9 three years ago was my last...too bad, because they WERE a great airline.
 
Bobloblaw
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 12:24 pm

My concern is I always book at flyftontier.com but how will the staff at the gate know I booked at the company web site? I guess based on the type of boarding pass I have? One time I book at flyftontier.com and get charged will be the last time I fly them. They have one chance to get this right.
 
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 12:48 pm

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 41):
One time I book at flyftontier.com and get charged will be the last time I fly them. They have one chance to get this right.

Agreed completely, but it shouldn't be hard. They'll just have to sell separate fare codes on flyfrontier.com and elsewhere (even if some of those codes have the same monetary fare).
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 2:05 pm

They are smart for realizing their current brand isn't going to work for them. But the mistake and risk they take is making their brand confusing. For higher fare pax, they will be a full service airline. Free drinks, including alcohol for the best customers, free TV and free carryons.

For lesser fares that book on OTAs, they will be like Spirit or Allegiant.

For lower fares that book on F9 webite, something inbetween.

Communication and employee cooperation and understanding of policy will be required not to make this a fiasco. Cuz it has the potential to be.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 42):
Agreed completely, but it shouldn't be hard. They'll just have to sell separate fare codes on flyfrontier.com and elsewhere (even if some of those codes have the same monetary fare).

oh oh. That might mean separate buckets for RM. Anytime you have separate fare codes you often need separate buckets. Sometimes they can be nested in the same bucket though with a capacity limit within the bucket.
 
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 2:10 pm

CubsRule:

Your comments and observations on this topic have been among the best that I have ever seen on A.net for any poster.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 2:23 pm

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 43):
That might mean separate buckets for RM. Anytime you have separate fare codes you often need separate buckets. Sometimes they can be nested in the same bucket though with a capacity limit within the bucket.

Thanks (and thanks for the compliments). Fare buckets is the term I was trying--but failing--to come up with above. We know F9 has the IT infrastructure to differentiate fare buckets for things like free alcohol and free checked bags. It shouldn't be too difficult to add differentiation for carryons and soda.

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 43):
Communication and employee cooperation and understanding of policy will be required not to make this a fiasco. Cuz it has the potential to be.

Again, this is an astute observation, but to me it's more evolutionary than revolutionary for F9, so I don't think it'll be too hard.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 2:34 pm

Quoting awacsooner (Reply 40):
And apparently, my flight on F9 three years ago was my last...too bad, because they WERE a great airline.

They might have been "a great airline" from a product/service perspective - I don't know as I haven't flown them - but they certainly haven't been good at earning profit. Between 2004 and 2011, their average operating margin was -1.85%, so they lost, on average, 1.85 cents per every $1 in revenue. In their best year, 2009, their OM was 2.3%. It was worse still on a net basis: its average was -4.57%, so it lost 4.57 cents for every $1 generated. (This was driven by a net margin of -19.2% in 2008.)

In terms of actual performance, they have, between the same years, lost, on an operating basis, $200m for an average loss of $25m/year. And it has become worse in recent years, e.g. losses of $75m and $55m in 2011 and 2010 respectively. (The next-highest loss was in 2007, with $35m.) On a net basis, they lost a total of $468m, or an average of $58.5m/year, driven by a loss of $248m in 2008.

So while they might have been "a great airline", they very clearly need a major transformation.

===

Data from Flightglobal.
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 3:38 pm

I am very curious how F9 is going to pull this off - boarding and during flight - without large risk to its excellent customer service reputation.

How much of a mess is the boarding process going to be for agents to differentiate between a flyfrontier.com booking and someone else?

How easy is it going to be for gate agents to promptly issue a carry-on bag fee? Will the passenger stand in the boarding line and hold up everyone else - or will there be an area to the side to avoid holding up everyone else?

During the flight, clearly the pace of the service will slow...maybe even substantially. Flight attendants are now glorified grocery store checkers. Even with a manifest right in front of them, they'll have to constantly be cross checking -- and even more problematic will be having to register dozens more credit card transactions.

I'll give F9 management benefit of the doubt on this and assume they've been planning this out for months and have every scenario checked out. I sure hope they do - otherwise the date this is implemented will be a mess. In my many experiences with F9, they are excellent in normal operations but become totally unglued under abnormal ops -- and all of these changes present potential major abnormal operational headaches.

We shall see...
 
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 4:22 pm

Quoting jreuschl (Reply 6):
WN says "Thank you!"

Just an observation -- At BWI WN seems to be growing way faster than NK.

It would appear that in this region, folks like the WN product better than the NK product.
 
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RE: F9 Coming Unbundled?

Thu May 02, 2013 4:28 pm

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 48):
It would appear that in this region, folks like the WN product better than the NK product.

Nothing to do with people. NK can't be everywhere. They are only a 50-plane airline, not 700 like SWA.

But when the day comes NK decides to add 30-flights in DC area like they have at DFW, I see no reason why they should not have the same success and high loads as they do across the nation in other cities.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California