LAXintl
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Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 4:50 pm

Consumer Reports is out with its annual ranking of U.S. airlines.

Nearly 17,000 subscribers gave Virgin America their highest satisfaction score - 89 out of possible 100.
Runner ups were Southwest and JetBlue both at 85.

Airlines were rated across multiple customer experience areas including, cabin service, check-in ease, seating product, inflight entertainment, cleanliness, etc.



Full Consumer Report article (requires subscription)
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/airlines0713.htm

News story:
http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2...n-america-service-at-the-top.html/

=
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AWACSooner
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 4:53 pm

Gee...big surprise who came in dead last!
 
Noise
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 5:28 pm

Quoting awacsooner (Reply 1):
Gee...big surprise who came in dead last!

Yet they still make money!
 
wingman
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 5:30 pm

It's the reason I fly Virgin. It's almost like deregulation never happened, a time warp back to the 70s. Great terminal in SFO, groovy interiors, attractive (and pleasant!) FAs that seem to care about passengers but it's just so hard to believe that you think you must be dreaming. And lovely brand spanking new 320s, for my money the best little plane out there for 1-5 hour segments.

Come on and do a partnership with EK...I think that could really be the start of something special for both carriers in the US market.
 
BestWestern
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 5:38 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
Nearly 17,000 subscribers gave Virgin America their highest satisfaction score - 89 out of possible 100.
Runner ups were Southwest and JetBlue both at 85.

I would love to know what proportion of those 17k actually flew Virgin.
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
lucky777
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 5:40 pm

Quoting wingman (Reply 3):
It's the reason I fly Virgin. It's almost like deregulation never happened, a time warp back to the 70s. Great terminal in SFO, groovy interiors, attractive (and pleasant!) FAs that seem to care about passengers but it's just so hard to believe that you think you must be dreaming.

And yet they burn through cash due to the fact that all for all those "groovy interiors", great terminals, and way-cool flight attendants, passengers are still unwilling to pay a premium for such services. Not exactly a recipe for long-term success if you ask me.
 
LV
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 5:56 pm

Interesting that the one ranked highest is losing money hand over fist and the one ranked dead last is just about the most profitable airline out there.
 
rickabone
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 6:01 pm

Quoting LV (Reply 6):
Interesting that the one ranked highest is losing money hand over fist and the one ranked dead last is just about the most profitable airline out there.

Not quite hand over fist anymore... They are trending in the right direction and the murmurings from inside the company are very positive... Much more so than a year or even 6 months ago... Still too early to tell.
 
hatbutton
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 6:09 pm

Interesting though that VX had one of the higher rate of complaints. Is that a case of setting expectations really high and not always being able to beat those expectations? Or is it indicative of something else?
 
peanuts
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 6:11 pm

As with most generic rankings, what's the point?

I bet VX can fly me to only a very small percentage of places UA, AA and DL can take me.


Did the survey respondents fly on all the surveyed carriers? I bet not. Not even close.

Each carrier attracts certain customers. A (often pragmatic) WN customer may have lower to normal expectations than a trendy/choosy/way into themselves VX customer. Just saying.
VX is fulfilling a niche. That's all. And it's not even sustainable. Evolution will sort it out, once again.

And I just have to love a FA's PA announcement on a recent WN flight I took: "Please keep your expectations of our airline low so that we can try to beat them...". I know, it's humor but still...

Now, let's compare apples to apples. The legacies; DL is doing something right.  
Maybe that's not "fair" either since UA is still "transitioning" and AA is in "merger/ch11"?  Big grin

So again...what's the point?

[Edited 2013-05-23 11:21:00]
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 6:29 pm

Quoting awacsooner (Reply 1):
Gee...big surprise who came in dead last!

UA has always been dead last, since at least the 90s. They should just retire the bottom of the list and call it the honorary UA lounge.

Quoting LV (Reply 6):
Interesting that the one ranked highest is losing money hand over fist and the one ranked dead last is just about the most profitable airline out there.

   These polls always seem silly, and yet further confirmation that people don't put their money where their mouth is. At least they took the food category out 
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
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lightsaber
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 6:35 pm

Quoting peanuts (Reply 9):
As with most generic rankings, what's the point?

In the USA, consumer reports influences purchasing dramatically. This will impact sales. I personally subscribe to the magazine and make many non-airline related purchasing decisions based on their excellent recommendations (e.g., I will *never* buy a car they haven't recommended. Same with lawn mowers. Their reviews are that good.) Consumer reports is far better than your average survey. They actually have a staff of scientists to dig into the information.

Consumer reports influences the buying habit of millions. Enough to save VX? That I doubt. The fliers on Spirit are unlikely to read consumer reports. But the ones that do who have a bad flight will blame the airline instead of other items. Long term, I have watched consistently highly ranked firms gain in profit and low ranked by consumers union (non-profit that owns consumer reports) fall into bankruptcy. CU has enough subscribers unhappy that they are ratcheting up their oversight of airlines.

The last advice my grandfather gave me was that "Consumer Reports never steered me wrong." He received a lifetime subscription as a wedding gift...

Now what wasn't surveyed is value of the FF plan. If Consumers union had done that... This survey would have even more impact. But ignoring that aspect makes the survey less useful for business fliers.

Consumers union has their faults and biases. e.g., they had to change how they rated cars as they weren't properly doing NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) and thus their surveys weren't as valuable (too reliability/cost oriented rather than how good is the car). They fixed that and became even more influential in car sales.

Quoting peanuts (Reply 9):
Now, let's compare apples to apples. The legacies; DL is doing something right.  
Maybe that's not "fair" either since UA is still "transitioning" and AA is in "merger/ch11"?

Fair has nothing to do with it. CU's consumer satisfaction surveys influence purchases. Either AA, UA, and DL improve their ratings... or slowly (it takes years), CU will influence ticket sales and yield.

Every CEO I've ever met has bought every child of theirs a lifetime subscription... Seriously.


Lightsaber
"They did not know it was impossible, so they did it!" - Mark Twain
 
rampart
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 6:53 pm

Lightsaber's response covers it best. I'll add this.

Quoting peanuts (Reply 9):
Did the survey respondents fly on all the surveyed carriers? I bet not. Not even close.

In this kind of survey, that doesn't matter, and hard though it may be for you to believe, perfectly fine social and marketing research. (I would bet that the number of people who would qualify for your all-inclusive survey may number in the dozens. Wow!) Each response is part of a sample that is cross-checked between other samples for normalcy.

Quoting peanuts (Reply 9):
I bet VX can fly me to only a very small percentage of places UA, AA and DL can take me.

This, however, is true. No need to bet. So, we consumers are clever enough to look at the survey and compare big network airlines by themselves, and smaller niche airlines by themselves. The same way we might compare compact SUVs with themselves and not against family sedans and sports cars.

-Rampart
 
peanuts
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 6:56 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 11):

You didn't get my drift.

CR is highly respected for product testing and direct fair comparisons. Like a toaster oven or flatscreen TV or insurance coverage etc etc.

Where it becomes dicey and less credible is when you start surveying a crowd of people that don't even fly on all carriers. VX is a niche carrier that apparently meets the expectations of their target. That's all this tell me. It doesn't tell me anything else.

Quoting rampart (Reply 12):
we consumers are clever enough to look at the survey and compare big network airlines by themselves, and smaller niche airlines by themselves.

You're giving the average flier way too much credit here.
 
san747
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 7:20 pm

Quoting peanuts (Reply 13):
Where it becomes dicey and less credible is when you start surveying a crowd of people that don't even fly on all carriers. VX is a niche carrier that apparently meets the expectations of their target. That's all this tell me. It doesn't tell me anything else.

The only thing that is "niche" about VX is its network and product. Believe it or not, its more than cool 20-somethings that fly VX. Stop by the LAX or SFO ticket counter sometime, you'd be surprised. VX's target is anyone and everyone, and that's whose expectations are being met and exceeded.
Scotty doesn't know...
 
rampart
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 7:21 pm

Quoting peanuts (Reply 13):
VX is a niche carrier that apparently meets the expectations of their target. That's all this tell me. It doesn't tell me anything else.

Which is fair and powerful information. By "target", you mean customers who have flown VX. In a survey such as this, they random sample frequent fliers as well as one-time fliers (or maybe they have a minimum threshhold, I've not been surveyed). Many more of those customers, by percentage, are satisfied with VX. Proportionally, fewer are satisfied after flying Spirit or UA. (Though certainly the raw number of satisfied people carried by UA is perhaps larger, but one has to normalize and look at percentages.)

Naysayers, such as yourself, of independent consumer surveys are as predictable on A.net as A vs B debates.

Quoting peanuts (Reply 13):
You're giving the average flier way too much credit here.

And even if I am, an uninformed customer will still figure it out. Such a customer may say, "Wow, I'll certainly try the top 5 airlines on this list to fly from Austin to Boston." And by attrition, they'll figure out that 2 of their top 5 allow them to do that.
That simple.

-Rampart
 
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 7:32 pm

Quoting peanuts (Reply 13):
You didn't get my drift.

You didn't read my response fully. CU's surveys do influence airline purchases. Obviously not if the route network doesn't work. But it will have people try VX who otherwise wouldn't have. Same with B6 and WN. I would bet there is at least a 60% chance the executives selecting airlines for corporations in the USA read Consumer Reports. This will put VX, B6, and WN further up their radar.

Have you ever filled out a CU survey? Their readership is specifically asked not to rank airlines they haven't flown (or cars, mowers, etc.) .

Quoting peanuts (Reply 13):
You're giving the average flier way too much credit here.

Consumer reports buyers are demographically not average. They are decision makers. I've actually yet to meet a CU subscriber that doesn't fly far more than average. In fact... most are frequent fliers. So an excellent base to rate this 'product.'

Quoting peanuts (Reply 13):
CR is highly respected for product testing and direct fair comparisons. Like a toaster oven or flatscreen TV or insurance coverage etc etc.

And due to reader demand they are adding airlines. CU is known for breaking up categories to make the comparison fair. At first automobiles were tough to rate fairly. They invented the system to rate them.

Quoting peanuts (Reply 9):
Did the survey respondents fly on all the surveyed carriers?

I'd bet a statistically relevant sample did fly on all the surveyed carriers. There were 170,000 responses from typically well to do subscribers. One survey respondent I know has over 5 million miles on AA and flew on at least 12 airlines last year.

CU's issue is they don't always 'level' their surveys on what consumers really value. (e.g, noise, but that is a northeast bias where CU is located). But they usually have enough detailed information for their subscribers to make a more informed decision. I rarely buy the top rated product. I dive down in for the features I care about.

You're assuming CU runs surveys as do a typical journalism.    They aren't perfect, but this is the *only* survey I could use with any credibility to recommend airlines.

The big 3 sell to Amex, Carson-Wagonlitt, and Travelocity who then sell to business. It is those corporate accounts that VX, B6, and WN need. They all have a toe in, but not enough.

As WN improves their computers, they will 'drift' into the system and that will make a big change. This attention will help VX and B6. Enough for VX?    Able to overcome B6's lack of an inland hub?    But it will help. It took a few years of good results for me to persuade my sister to try B6. (she used to be NW gold). Now, after looking up B6 on consumer reports, she'll compare AS and B6 on her favorite flight! Like I said, its a slow but sure process.

Lightsaber
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ghifty
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 7:38 pm

How is DL's cabin cleanliness classified as "worse"? And how can Delta IFE be at parity with WN and NK, who don't even have IFE??

I suppose it's nice to see that out of the three major airlines they have a fairly small amount of complaints/pax.
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 7:45 pm

Quoting peanuts (Reply 13):
VX is a niche carrier that apparently meets the expectations of their target. That's all this tell me. It doesn't tell me anything else.

That is also why WN earns good survey scores. They promise two-star airline service and deliver it extremely well.

UA promises four-star service and they aren't delivering.
 
rampart
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 7:57 pm

Quoting ghifty (Reply 17):
And how can Delta IFE be at parity with WN and NK, who don't even have IFE??

I guess because what they have is dissatisfying to their customers in the same relative proportion that the customers of WN and NK, who wish they had IFE. I've not been on DL in a while, don't know what and how much is available on the array of flights, short to long.

Quoting ghifty (Reply 17):

How is DL's cabin cleanliness classified as "worse"?

Worse than average, among those they surveyed and were able to make that comparison. None of the large airlines scored well in that category, WN the only one with "average". I wonder if it has to do with the degree of use and time devoted to cleaning between flights that smaller airlines are able to do better?

-Rampart
 
LAXintl
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 8:55 pm

Quoting peanuts (Reply 9):
Did the survey respondents fly on all the surveyed carriers? I bet not. Not even close.

You fail to understand the concept of the survey.

They only ask people that have flown VX about VX. Those that fly WN about WN, etc. Each airline is rated individually on customer experience.

Its like the Consumer Report car rankings, or other items like electronics.
A person does not need to have owned a Honda, Mercedes, Chevrolet, BMW to compare them. Each participant only rates the vehicle they own and their specific experience with it. In aggregate as CR gets thousands of responses a picture is painted of what peoples experience is with each product be it a car, a stereo or airline.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 11):
In the USA, consumer reports influences purchasing dramatically.

  

[Edited 2013-05-23 14:36:12]
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
slcdeltarumd11
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 23, 2013 11:36 pm

No one can be shocked by the top three we all know southwest, jetblue and virgin would win this didn't we? Southwest really does have an amazingly low complaint rate i think they do a much better job communicating and have happy employees that is the difference. So we have the good product airlines, then the legacies, then spirit. Sounds totally accurate to me.
 
LoneStarMike
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Fri May 24, 2013 12:32 am

I'm not understanding how WN & B6 were tied. Both airlines had the same ratings in Check-in ease, Cabin Service & Baggage Handling, but in the other categories, (Cabin Cleanliness, Seating Comfort & Inflight Entertainment) B6's ranking was higher than WN's.

LoneStarMike
 
alfa164
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Fri May 24, 2013 2:40 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 11):
The fliers on Spirit are unlikely to read consumer reports.

The fliers on Spirit are unlikely to be able to read.
 
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Fri May 24, 2013 2:58 am

Quoting alfa164 (Reply 23):
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 11):
The fliers on Spirit are unlikely to read consumer reports.

The fliers on Spirit are unlikely to be able to read.

Will I was going to have a fairly critical assessment on some the comments posted here, this last one diffused it all.

Nicely done!   
I sell airplanes and airplane accessories
 
peanuts
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Fri May 24, 2013 3:00 am

Quoting san747 (Reply 14):
Believe it or not, its more than cool 20-somethings that fly VX. Stop by the LAX or SFO ticket counter sometime, you'd be surprised.

Ugh. Did I say any such thing?
It takes a lot to surprise me. Try me.

Quoting san747 (Reply 14):
VX's target is anyone and everyone

Simply not true.
Even Walmart's target is not anyone and everyone.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 11):
They actually have a staff of scientists to dig into the information.

Yes. A product lab they do is entirely different than a survey. I personally rate CR's product reviews way higher than their reader surveys. Having scientists and experts test and re-test a product in a lab setting is less biased as compared to a survey full of opinions. Many a.netters know exactly how far fetched and misunderstood some of these travel experiences of some people are.

This is where some of you guys on here get in a twist over my opinion. Don't confuse CR Surveys and CR Product Tests. These are two vastly different products CR offers their readers. I believe CR's Product Tests are highly respected. Surveys are an entirely different animal.

Quoting rampart (Reply 15):
In a survey such as this, they random sample frequent fliers as well as one-time fliers (or maybe they have a minimum threshhold, I've not been surveyed). Many more of those customers, by percentage, are satisfied with VX. Proportionally, fewer are satisfied after flying Spirit or UA.

CR surveys their own members and readers.

Quoting rampart (Reply 15):
an uninformed customer will still figure it out

No they won't. An uninformed customer certainly doesn't read CR. Lol.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 18):
That is also why WN earns good survey scores. They promise two-star airline service and deliver it extremely well.

Exactly.
It's all about: do they meet my expectations?
In that light Spirit may be getting a bum rap. They provide A La Carte flying but the customers surveyed either didn't understand Spirit's business plan or it simply didn't meet their expectations. So Spirit has some work to do with regards to marketing. The investor knows better though. They love Spirit.

Quoting rampart (Reply 12):
In this kind of survey, that doesn't matter, and hard though it may be for you to believe, perfectly fine social and marketing research. (I would bet that the number of people who would qualify for your all-inclusive survey may number in the dozens. Wow!)

This:
Quoting LAXintl (Reply 20):
They only ask people that have flown VX about VX. Those that fly WN about WN, etc. Each airline is rated individually on customer experience.
.


Quoting LAXintl (Reply 20):
Its like the Consumer Report car rankings, or other items like electronics.
A person does not need to have owned a Honda, Mercedes, Chevrolet, BMW to compare them. Each participant only rates the vehicle they own and their specific experience with it. In aggregate as CR gets thousands of responses a picture is painted of what peoples experience is with each product be it a car, a stereo or airline.

CR's most reliable rankings are from their own lab tests. Not surveys. Don't confuse the two.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 16):
CU's surveys do influence airline purchases
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 11):
consumer reports influences purchasing dramatically

To a limited extent. CR does not permit their name and results to be used by companies for promotional purposes and bragging rights. EVER! (companies can mention the results but are not allowed to name CR as the source). CR serves their members.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Fri May 24, 2013 3:03 am

It seems like a new rating comes out every few weeks, often with very different results. But I guess consumer reports is pretty credible (at least I think they are.)

I do have a big problem with the ranking, as others have pointed out: route network. What good is VX for most travelers? They serve some big cities, but really, you're not gonna get the same network as WN, UA, DL, or AA
Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
 
LAXintl
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Fri May 24, 2013 3:22 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 26):
I do have a big problem with the ranking, as others have pointed out: route network. What good is VX for most travelers? They serve some big cities, but really, you're not gonna get the same network as WN, UA, DL, or AA

Does not really matter.

Its not an issue of who is bigger, but who provides a better consumer experience.

There are lots of small enterprises that manage to out do their larger competitors. For instance in hotels there are a couple brands that tend to score at the top consistently, but they have rather thin location portfolios. Same thing with other products or brands that might only be available in limited numbers or geography.

So at the end does not change the fact that these enterprises do a heck of a job for their clients and are rightfully being recognized for their achievement. So kudos to them.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
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ua2162
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Fri May 24, 2013 3:44 am

Quoting alfa164 (Reply 23):

Well played sir, well played.
 
san747
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Fri May 24, 2013 4:10 am

Quoting peanuts (Reply 25):

Simply not true.
Even Walmart's target is not anyone and everyone.

Just because VX's marketing audience tends younger/"cooler"/however you want to describe it, doesn't mean VX only wants that kind of guest on their aircraft. Like I said, come to the counters at LAX or SFO sometime and see how many people flying VX are those "targeted" people.
Scotty doesn't know...
 
BOACCunard
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Fri May 24, 2013 4:16 am

Pretty much every airline sits exactly where I'd expect it to be in these rankings.

I do wonder: do the legacy carriers' rankings include their regionals? I think that could probably hurt their rankings significantly.
Getting There is Half the Fun!
 
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mayor
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Fri May 24, 2013 4:46 am

The rate of complaints doesn't exactly correlate with the Consumer Reports score.............DL is #7 in the CR score but #3 in the least number of complaints.........I'm sure there's other things that don't match up.


Also, how can DL's seating be "much worse"? Much worse than what. I'd love to see how the questions were asked. Now, if they were considering the regionals in the mix and we're talking about RJs and seating, I can see where the answer came from, BUT, DL is not the only airline using RJs in its regional mix.
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F9Animal
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Fri May 24, 2013 7:14 am

Oh, come on guys! Give VX some credit! They offer a great product, and people like to fly on them. Yes, they have not been profitable, but they are heading to profitability. A.netters love to hate on VX. But, the flying public seems to be loving what they are all about. B6 and WN also deserve a pat on the back! Well earned by these three airlines.
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lightsaber
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Fri May 24, 2013 1:34 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 27):
Its not an issue of who is bigger, but who provides a better consumer experience.

First, you were on a.net 13 years ago?!? Bravo!

And your point is valid. VX might not be able to serve everyone, but people like the experience.
Same with WN and B6...

Quoting rampart (Reply 15):
Naysayers, such as yourself, of independent consumer surveys are as predictable on A.net as A vs B debates.

Yep. There has been enough informed debate to close out that topic.

Quoting mayor (Reply 31):

The rate of complaints doesn't exactly correlate with the Consumer Reports score.....

That has been true in other industries. But for overall customer satisfaction and long term customer loyalty, the surveys work. CU must improve the surveys (e.g., with more on FF plans), but they are a start. Decision makers rarely look at the summary, but rather the bits they really care about...

Quoting BOACCunard (Reply 30):

Pretty much every airline sits exactly where I'd expect it to be in these rankings.

   Maybe that is why I am defending CU.  

Lightsaber
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hohd
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Fri May 24, 2013 3:03 pm

VX may be a niche carrier, but WN and B6 are not. WN is the largest domestic carrier in the US and has been the most profitable continuously (on an annual basis) since 70's. No carrier can beat this, not DL, AA, UA and US all of whom took advantage of the bankruptcy laws to get rid of labor contracts and stiff the creditors in general.
 
azstagecoach
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Fri May 24, 2013 4:01 pm

I am a subscriber and took part in the airline survey. It did not ask you to rank airlines at all. Rather it asked if you were on a recent flight, and if you were, what airline it was, and then asked a series of questions about the experience and whether there were any problems. I assume the rankings are based on the results of these reader surveys.
 
Beechtobus
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Fri May 24, 2013 5:05 pm

Looks like Spirit responded to being last the rankings:

http://www.businessweek.com/articles...irlines-doesnt-care-if-you-hate-it

A couple highlights from the article:

"“It’s like rating the top restaurants and putting Del Frisco’s and McDonald’s (MCD) on the same survey,” says Spirit spokeswoman Misty Pinson. “That report did not ask the one big question of who offers the best prices. And hands down, the No. 1 thing we’re told by our customers is that the price matters.”"

"It’s not helpful for the airline to be grouped with the Virgin Americas, Deltas (DAL), and Southwests (LUV) of the industry, as those are radically different airlines with completely different business models."

"None of this matters to the typical Spirit customer, a traveler who would likely be selecting a bus seat if not for the availability of a Spirit flight, Chief Executive Ben Baldanza has said"
 
lucky777
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Fri May 24, 2013 6:15 pm

Quoting beechtobus (Reply 37):
"None of this matters to the typical Spirit customer, a traveler who would likely be selecting a bus seat if not for the availability of a Spirit flight, Chief Executive Ben Baldanza has said"

While he may well be right, why does Spirit feel the need to degrade their customers?
 
hatbutton
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Fri May 24, 2013 6:27 pm

Quoting lucky777 (Reply 39):
While he may well be right, why does Spirit feel the need to degrade their customers?

I don't see that as being degrading. It's no different a strategy that many LCCs in Central and South America are trying to have. Get the bus crowd onto planes instead.
 
Flytravel
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Fri May 24, 2013 9:08 pm

Spirit is smart. It doesn't want the business traveler, and doesn't want the legacies competing on price against them. The flashy ads, the uncomfortable seats and leg room, the CEO's comments, the entire image is done as a way to not bring business pax aboard, so that the legacies don't feel Spirit is poaching on their pax.

LGA-DTW on Spirit has a $140 one-way fare on June 11, pad about $50 in fees to be in under $200, but Delta and AA charge $511 for the same day.

What ends up happening is the two target totally different passengers. Delta gets business pax mostly at that fare, while Spirit gets leisure/VFR.

I don't think Spirit picks up the crowd that would otherwise take the bus. Spirit's routes are over 300 miles usually.

Spirit picks up crowd that would otherwise connect via another city for a low fare or wouldn't fly that often. Like many would bear an uncomfortable seat on LGA-DTW than connect in Chicago which would double the trip duration just for a comfortable seat. Its not like Southwest's seat is that comfortable anymore anyways.
 
rampart
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Sat May 25, 2013 1:36 am

Quoting peanuts (Reply 25):
CR's most reliable rankings are from their own lab tests. Not surveys. Don't confuse the two.

I'm not confused at all. And I understand surveys. I work with them. Survey and marketing research is not lab testing, so you shouldn't compare the two, either. CR's surveys and methods are widely dependable. I don't necessarily agree with all their recommendations based on surveys (or tests), I have to weigh what I need specifically. And my needs from a product or service may deviate from the norm of 100,000 survey opinions. Likewise, if you disagree with CR's results, that's fine, make your own decisions based on your preferred sources. But don't dismiss the study because of the result. If you or I knew the exact details of the methodology, we could debate the fine points. I don't know the exact methodology -- my magazine hasn't arrived yet -- and you clearly don't from the onset, so let's leave it at that.

-Rampart
 
LAXintl
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Sat May 25, 2013 3:10 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 33):
First, you were on a.net 13 years ago?!? Bravo!

Thanks. A bunch more gray hairs than when I started.

Quoting rampart (Reply 40):
But don't dismiss the study because of the result.

   Unfortunately too many seem to love to discount the achievements of and the fantastic job VX has done at delivering a travel experience.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
mercure1
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 30, 2013 2:58 pm

Amazing how well the LCC sector has done in the USA in area of providing excellent service to customers.
In much of the world the LCCs are far behind the national legacy airlines. But in US it seems the legacy airlines are the ones with spartan customer service and offerings.

Terrific job Virgin America, JetBlue and Southwest !

And shame to the legacy airlines for failing their customers so badly to open doors for newcomers to out perform.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 30, 2013 6:43 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 41):
   Unfortunately too many seem to love to discount the achievements of and the fantastic job VX has done at delivering a travel experience.

I think a lot of people mistake VX hate for just criticism. I'm sure every US airline can be as "cool and trendy" as VS if they threw money at it but profitability really does matter. They've stuck around a lot longer than I thought they would and I think they'll actually make it out alive, but criticizing their lack of profits despite their product is very valid. I could go out and start the greatest airline that has the best service and lose a ton of money... what good is that?

So yeah, fantastic product, but when it comes down to it, I think they've done a poor job running the company. That doesn't mean I'm a "VX hater" (seriously, it's getting old when people say that.) And maybe they'll prove me wrong and make up all the money they've lost, more power to them, I've got nothing against them
Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
 
wingman
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RE: Consumer Reports: VX, WN, B6 Top US Airlines

Thu May 30, 2013 8:31 pm

Well, in VX's defense I'd say it was a brave thing to establish themselves in a UA mega city and continue to invest in the company during a truly atrocious time for the industry. It's too bad they don't make a lot of profit yet, but outside of SW any airline that criticizes another for lack of profit is casting a heavy stone. This really isn't a business about getting rich quick, I think like Branson once alluded to, it's a business where crazy people come to lose their money.

I'll say it again, I hope they make it. They are the best airline in the United States right now (at least from a customer experience perspective). Hopefully the money will follow.