Triple7Lr
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WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 2:28 pm

I ran across this interesting article. They collected $144 million in baggage fees in 2012 and that figure is expected to grow. How does Southwest replace that revenue once fully integrated ???

http://archives.californiaaviation.org/airport/msg51600.html
 
MIflyer12
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 2:42 pm

The business case implicit in the whole campaign 'Bags fly free' is that profit from incremental ticket sales exceeds foregone baggage fees.
 
Bobloblaw
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 2:47 pm

Quoting Triple7Lr (Thread starter):
and that figure is expected to grow.

How? FL is shrinking and going away.
 
usflyguy
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 4:22 pm

Personally, I think those on Ding! Fares and Want to Get Away fares should have to pay $25/bag while the other fare buckets are still free. Would go hand-in-hand with the "no-show penalty".
My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
 
AWACSooner
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 4:44 pm

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 3):
Personally, I think those on Ding! Fares and Want to Get Away fares should have to pay $25/bag while the other fare buckets are still free.

Nope...not a snowball's chance in hell. Those are your bread and butter pax, and you want WN to take a proverbial dump on them?
 
planespotting
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 4:53 pm

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 3):
Personally, I think those on Ding! Fares and Want to Get Away fares should have to pay $25/bag while the other fare buckets are still free. Would go hand-in-hand with the "no-show penalty".

I think that's a great idea - if you purchase in a certain fare class within a certain time frame, you have to pay for bags.

Maybe reward passengers for buying ahead of time (say, purchase any ticket three months before the flight and bags fly free), but buy a ticket within 90 days of your filght in one of the two lower, cheaper fare classes and you pay for your bags.

That actually sounds like a super logical, customer friendly bag fee program that would be hard to argue with.

Of course, the IT/systems may be a bear to set something like this up, depending on current configurations. And I guess it's possible that WN knows more than me about this and will pursue some other option first without thinking of talking to me about it  
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AWACSooner
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 5:04 pm

Quoting planespotting (Reply 5):
That actually sounds like a super logical, customer friendly bag fee program that would be hard to argue with.

How is that customer friendly when you're screwing customers out of more money? That would completely blow up in WN's face.
 
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mayor
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 5:11 pm

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 2):
Quoting Triple7Lr (Thread starter):
and that figure is expected to grow.

How? FL is shrinking and going away.

The way I read it, the figure is expected to grow because it wasn't a full years revenue. Until WN figures out what to do about bag revenue, and before AirTran goes away completely, they will still continue to collect it.
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wnflyguy
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 6:34 pm

WN needs a evolution from Bags fly free.
Baggage fees just like in Europe are here to stay.
What WN should do is make them reasonable like.
$5 for first Bag, $10 for second and $15 for the third.
Beyond 3 is $50 each.
But if you buy BS you get 3 Free.
AND if you pay online each checked bag is $5 up to 3 bags.
Per person.
By just adding $5 baggage fee WN would easily reach it ROIC and return to a growth
Model.
Eat crow now enjoy the pay off later.
Wnfg  
my post are my opinion only and not those of southwest airlines and or airtran airlines.
 
mcg
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 6:36 pm

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 3):
ersonally, I think those on Ding! Fares and Want to Get Away fares should have to pay $25/bag while the other fare buckets are still free. Would go hand-in-hand with the "no-show penalty".

Sounds like the Frontier model to me.
 
Flighty
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 6:42 pm

Quoting awacsooner (Reply 6):
How is that customer friendly when you're screwing customers out of more money? That would completely blow up in WN's face.

WN can either charge for bags, or have the highest fares in the industry. It sounds like they are eager for customers to "prefer" them and give them top yields, aka top prices. But if not, then what they are saying really doesn't hold water over the long term.
 
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TVNWZ
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 6:49 pm

As more and more airlines show millions and millions more in profit from such things like "bag fees" Southwest is going to have to do something. If not, they will have to share with stockholders specific metrics on how much they would lose by implementing some sort of fee. Or, they could come up with some other charge scheme that nobody has thought of.

Hard to believe the company can leave all those millions on the table forever without doing something without investors eventually pummeling the stock.

New slogan: Bags Fly Cheaper.
 
JBAirwaysFan
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 6:58 pm

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 2):
How? FL is shrinking and going away.

Well, when you go from 0% on baggage to suddenly having a subsidiary that charges for checked baggage, it makes a difference.
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DeltaMD90
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 7:04 pm

Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Reply 12):
Well, when you go from 0% on baggage to suddenly having a subsidiary that charges for checked baggage, it makes a difference.

He meant "how are the bag fees going to continue to go up if FL is going away?" Not how did they go from 0 to where they're at now
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par13del
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 7:07 pm

Quoting wnflyguy (Reply 8):
What WN should do is make them reasonable like.
$5 for first Bag, $10 for second and $15 for the third.

The whole basis of supporters of WN charging for bags is that customers continue to travel on the legacy carriers regardless of how much they travel, so WN is only leaving money on the table, the incremental pax gained by not charging is irrelevant.
If we accept that premise, why would we assume that they will gain by changing less than the legacy carriers?
 
Bobloblaw
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 7:32 pm

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 3):
Personally, I think those on Ding! Fares and Want to Get Away fares should have to pay $25/bag while the other fare buckets are still free. Would go hand-in-hand with the "no-show penalty".

This is why A.netters don't work at REAL airlines, or even real companies. The fee for bags train left the station for WN. To reverse course now would be a giant PR debacle. Ever hear of New Coke?

Quoting wnflyguy (Reply 8):
WN needs a evolution from Bags fly free.
Baggage fees just like in Europe are here to stay.
What WN should do is make them reasonable like.
$5 for first Bag, $10 for second and $15 for the third.
Beyond 3 is $50 each.

Dude, what part of "Its too friggin late" do you guys not get???? You don't spend tens of millions on a Bags Fly Free campaign then reverse yourself. Maybe it might be better for WN to humiliate themselves and eat crow. But MBA students will be studying WN's bags debacle 50 years from now in case studies. WN will have to find other ways of increasing revenues.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 13):
He meant "how are the bag fees going to continue to go up if FL is going away?" Not how did they go from 0 to where they're at now

Correct
 
flymd1976
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 7:40 pm

Quoting wnflyguy (Reply 8):



I tell you what.....I really found those "Bags Fly Free" commercials of Southwest's to be quite comical. They really made Southwest's competitors look like they were nickle and diming customers with those bag fees. I can only imagine how airline like United, American, Delta, etc will respond if Southwest started to add bag fees (regardless of the price of those fees). Southwest has unfortunately painted themselves into a corner on this one and their competitions media response will be both hilarious and brutal is Southwest reverses course.
 
MountainFlyer
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 7:40 pm

Quoting Triple7Lr (Thread starter):
How does Southwest replace that revenue once fully integrated ???

WN's higher fares?   
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AWACSooner
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 7:42 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
WN can either charge for bags, or have the highest fares in the industry

Really? Doesn't seem that way to me on just about every route they fly with ample competition. They're still cheaper than just about all the LAS-LAX carriers and I still get 2 free bags that the others want to charge me lots of $$$ for. Even their top tier fares are cheaper than just about all their competitors.
 
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AirlineCritic
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 7:48 pm

The amount of criticism WN's chosen revenue model draws is amazing. There is no law that all businesses must slice and dice their pricing the same way. Some airlines charge for bags, others carry them free. Some airlines fly overall cheap and let their customers bear the cost of 100 km bus ride to town; others fly to the city airport. Some products are cheap but are a burden to maintain, others are expensive but care free.

Personally, I believe image means far more than specific income streams. What kind of airline does WN want to be, and how does it differentiate itself from others? Obviously, their strategy may evolve over time, perhaps even radically. Maybe there is a change in the works now. But there is no single, working model for profitable airline business. Or unprofitable... you can get to chapter 11 in so many ways... new aircraft, old aircraft, good service, bad service, package pricing, nickel and dime pricing...
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 8:01 pm

Quoting planespotting (Reply 5):
customer friendly bag fee program

Contradictio in adjecto?
 
jayunited
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 8:05 pm

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 15):
This is why A.netters don't work at REAL airlines, or even real companies. The fee for bags train left the station for WN. To reverse course now would be a giant PR debacle. Ever hear of New Coke?

I agree as the merger progresses and FL continues to disappear so will the bags fees. WN made a huge deal and spent millions letting people across this country know that all bags fly free on WN. They made their position on baggage fees clear and really fought against AA, DL, UA, US and all the other carriers here in the U.S who are charging for bags. Everyone in this country knows that if you are flying on WN your bags are flying for free. So for them to all of a sudden reverse course would be a PR disaster and there would be consequences if WN changed course now. As long as FL exist WN can continue to enjoy the profits they are seeing from FL's baggage policy but once FL disappears those bag fees will be gone as well and WN will have to come up with another way to make up for that loss revenue.

It would be extremely hard for WN to back peddle out of this situation especially because they have staked part of their reputation on this one line "Bags Fly Free". WN can never take that back.
 
Flighty
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 8:13 pm

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 15):
This is why A.netters don't work at REAL airlines, or even real companies.

Real airlines 90% agree that bag fees are a must. WN is the sole one abstaining.

What you're saying about reputation... Yeah, it's true. WN gets some mileage out of its "renegade" persona although it is hard to quantify.

Quoting awacsooner (Reply 18):
Really? Doesn't seem that way to me on just about every route they fly with ample competition. They're still cheaper than just about all the LAS-LAX carriers and I still get 2 free bags that the others want to charge me lots of $$$ for.

So do WN shareholders get to convert those good vibes into cash? How, higher load factor? (WN has lower load factors IIRC).

Not saying it isn't great for passengers. My honest hope is that customers would prefer WN in that situation, and pay higher fares. If not then WN's business model would have to be considered a failure.

[Edited 2013-05-30 13:15:59]
 
JHwk
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 8:20 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
WN can either charge for bags, or have the highest fares in the industry.

I've been finding more and more that they are charging a premium relative to United on the routes I fly. Presumably partly because they have a direct flight option, but it is enough of a dis-incentive that I don't give them my usual 10% of miles flown in a year lately.
 
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yellowtail
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 8:22 pm

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 15):
This is why A.netters don't work at REAL airlines, or even real companies.

Em, many a.netters do. why do you think airlines scour these sites so closely...to see which employees are letting out secrets. and many of us consult for airlines.

Now there are many who also pretend like they do or think they know it all.

Quoting jayunited (Reply 21):
It would be extremely hard for WN to back peddle out of this situation especially because they have staked part of their reputation on this one line "Bags Fly Free".

Or they could charge for bags on international routes only.
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EA CO AS
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 8:33 pm

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 1):
The business case implicit in the whole campaign 'Bags fly free' is that profit from incremental ticket sales exceeds foregone baggage fees.

Thing is, it can't possibly. Estimates are that WN would earn between $300-$500M annually if they implemented even a modest $20 fee for a first and second bag. And that's pure profit. Based on the company's current profit margin from all operations, they'd have to nearly double the size of the company's operations to get that same extra $300-$500M in profit.

WN is literally leaving wheelbarrows full of money on the table all in the name of not backtracking on their ad campaign, and leaving investors - and employees - fuming in the process.
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panam330
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 8:53 pm

I think going the JetBlue route (first bag free, any beyond costs the pax) would be a nice solution that wouldn't cause them to completely backtrack.
 
BEG2IAH
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 9:09 pm

The article says: "Government statistics released Tuesday show Southwest's revenue from baggage fees rose nearly fivefold to $144.5 million last year from 2011 - the biggest jump among the nation's 15 largest airlines."

I don't want to nitpick, but if you have a five-fold increase, then the increase is 400%, not 500%. If you grow something from 10 to 50 (=10*5, i.e., five-fold), then %change = (50-10)/10 = 4, or 400% in %s.

Similarly, if something doubles in size, it grew by 100% and it now makes 200% of the previous size (=100%).

I have a slow day at work. Sorry...  
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TVNWZ
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 9:10 pm

Southwest would not be the first airline to backtrack on a marketing position. And, realistically, where are their passangers going to go? To another airline that also charges? All it takes is another great marketing position to take its place.

Nothing is forever. Including marketing positions.

Bags Fly Cheaper on Southwest!
 
MSPNWA
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 9:15 pm

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 25):
Estimates are that WN would earn between $300-$500M annually if they implemented even a modest $20 fee for a first and second bag. And that's pure profit.

Does that estimate include the lower fares WN will have to charge to retain demand?

WN economically can't just start charging for bags without adjusting their fares. Then add a media egg on top of that? Doubtful that WN would be better off. WN is amazingly profitable compared to the legacies in a domestic-only comparison. There's no need or advantage for bag fees at this time.
 
DLD9S
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 9:25 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 22):
So do WN shareholders get to convert those good vibes into cash? How, higher load factor? (WN has lower load factors IIRC).

WN management has been able to demonstrate to shareholders that they are able to deliver consistent profits for decades. Legacies have shown us consistent ways to have roller coaster profits and losses, and how to file Chapter 11.

I am not saying that bag fees should not come to WN, but I don't think they really need to take profitability lessons from anyone else in the industry. Sure, things change, but those at the Love HQ has shown us that they do know what they are doing.
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airliner371
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 11:00 pm

Quoting yellowtail (Reply 24):
Or they could charge for bags on international routes only.

That would be backwards of what would make sense for the passenger.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 22):
Real airlines 90% agree that bag fees are a must. WN is the sole one abstaining.

B6 doesn't have a first bag fee too.

Quoting panam330 (Reply 26):

I think going the JetBlue route (first bag free, any beyond costs the pax) would be a nice solution that wouldn't cause them to completely backtrack.

If something happens, that is exactly what will. They won't go from 2 to no free bags.
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 11:00 pm

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 29):
WN economically can't just start charging for bags without adjusting their fares.

Incorrect. By not charging bag fees, they'd realize the benefit of a fare increase without actually implementing one. Keep in mind, when adjusting fares upward, it comes with a decrease in demand. Data from every fee-charging carrier shows there's no discernible book-away when implementing a bag fee, and in WN's case they could also keep it modest to align with their "we're better than the legacies" perception.

Quoting DLD9S (Reply 30):
WN management has been able to demonstrate to shareholders that they are able to deliver consistent profits for decades.

They've also demonstrated to shareholders that their stock price only goes sideways. If you look at a 5 year chart for LUV's performance, it's positively dismal when compared to a fee-charging company like ALK.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 11:10 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 22):
Real airlines 90% agree that bag fees are a must. WN is the sole one abstaining.

"Real" airlines...    What does it take be considered a "real" airline? Having been through Ch. 11, often multiple times?
 
airliner371
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 11:16 pm

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 32):
By not charging bag fees, they'd realize the benefit of a fare increase without actually implementing one.

And without a visible decrease in fare, people are going to go to other airlines. There are a lot of factors in this, we don't have the numbers and quite simply can't validly say it would be good or bad. All I will say is that if WN thought it would benefit them, they would charge for bags, but they don't.
 
joeljack
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 11:24 pm

Quoting airliner371 (Reply 34):
And without a visible decrease in fare, people are going to go to other airlines. There are a lot of factors in this, we don't have the numbers and quite simply can't validly say it would be good or bad. All I will say is that if WN thought it would benefit them, they would charge for bags, but they don't.

This was true years ago but with almost all planes flying full these days, there is more demand than there are seats so even if WN charges for bags, in this day and age, it wouldn't have the affect on demand that it would have had 5-8 years ago when planes were not as full. I really doubt that fares would be affected much.
 
RyanairGuru
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 11:31 pm

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 15):
what part of "Its too friggin late" do you guys not get???? You don't spend tens of millions on a Bags Fly Free campaign then reverse yourself

This is an innocent question, I'm not disagreeing outright, but how does this differ from Meals at Mealtimes?
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EA CO AS
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 11:36 pm

Quoting airliner371 (Reply 34):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 32):By not charging bag fees, they'd realize the benefit of a fare increase without actually implementing one.
And without a visible decrease in fare, people are going to go to other airlines.

Please help me understand your logic, since in many cases WN's fares are currently equal to - if not higher than - their legacy competition. And again, legacy carriers experienced no discernible "book-away" when implementing bag fees, so I'm having a hard time seeing where you feel WN customers would defect to other carriers.
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airliner371
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Thu May 30, 2013 11:45 pm

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 37):
since in many cases WN's fares are currently equal to - if not higher than - their legacy competition.

WN is the cheapest option 60% of the time and 80% if you count bag fees.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 37):
legacy carriers experienced no discernible "book-away"

First off, legacies did this years ago now and as the last major airline to have free bags, people do fly them solely for bags fly free and without that some will say, "why should I fly Southwest?"
 
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par13del
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Fri May 31, 2013 12:04 am

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 29):
WN economically can't just start charging for bags without adjusting their fares.

I guess we are too busy to look at the reverse, the legacy carriers who are charging bag fees have fares that are similar and in some instances the same as WN, usually they are not much lower, is anyone asking why?
If it is accepted that WN has been raising their fares to compensate for their lack of bag fees and other miscellaneous charges, why exactly are legacy carriers matching their fare increases, greed??

I suggest that WN launch a test phase of charging for bags, say next year for 3 months Jan-Mar-2014 WN will charge for all bags but at the same time will lower fares across the board by 20%, wonder what the effect would be on their traffic and the response by the others.
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MSPNWA
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Fri May 31, 2013 12:36 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 32):
Incorrect. By not charging bag fees, they'd realize the benefit of a fare increase without actually implementing one. Keep in mind, when adjusting fares upward, it comes with a decrease in demand. Data from every fee-charging carrier shows there's no discernible book-away when implementing a bag fee, and in WN's case they could also keep it modest to align with their "we're better than the legacies" perception.

It's simple supply and demand in a competitive market. A bag fee is in effect a fare increase. It's even more obvious to the consumer than taxes, since you have to manually pay for that bag every time. If WN suddenly charged for bag fees without a fare decrease, they will see a drop in demand as the true fare for many passengers has now risen. Way back when, legacies used bag fees in place of a fare increase. They knew the effect on things too. Where that equilibrium lies for airlines is the question.

If an estimate of increased revenue due to bag fees does not include an offsetting drop in fares in the equation, it lacks even basic knowledge of economic theory and is essentially useless for decision-making purposes.

Quoting par13del (Reply 39):
I guess we are too busy to look at the reverse, the legacy carriers who are charging bag fees have fares that are similar and in some instances the same as WN, usually they are not much lower, is anyone asking why?
If it is accepted that WN has been raising their fares to compensate for their lack of bag fees and other miscellaneous charges, why exactly are legacy carriers matching their fare increases, greed??

WN is still often as, or more, inexpensive than the legacies, particularly when bag fees are included. They've had to raise fares. And it's no surprise. Costs like fuel have risen greatly in the past decade, and their employees aren't getting any less expensive either. Why do the legacies follow WN? Because they're the ones that really need the fare increase. Domestic operations for them is a trouble area. They're showing the supply and demand formula because if they increase fares on their own, customers are driven away. WN holds a lot of pricing power.

WN still produces solid profits. And really they continue to embarrass the legacies in how they do it. WN does it with generally lower airfares, fewer fees, nearly all domestic operations, and nearly all mainline pay scale employees. I really don't know how WN does it. On paper the legacies have huge advantages in key areas and still can't compete well in the same arena as WN.
 
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Fri May 31, 2013 12:57 am

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 40):
If an estimate of increased revenue due to bag fees does not include an offsetting drop in fares in the equation, it lacks even basic knowledge of economic theory and is essentially useless for decision-making purposes.

On the theory level, crucially, pax w/ no bags were happy paying full fare before. It wasn't seen as a surcharge, although you are saying fares were higher then. No one perceived it that way, because they could not know future bag fees.

Now with unbundling, pax who previously got a free gift -- perhaps worth $50 of "utility" to them -- now must pay $35. That is the only change we need to talk about.

Yes, your treatment isn't wrong, and you could frame everything the way you did. But you are presuming zero-profit, in order to force fares down. It hasn't worked out that way yet (Spirit growing huge). Maybe that will happen in time.
 
jayunited
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Fri May 31, 2013 1:45 am

Many of you are just looking at it from a bottom line aspect, but you also need to look at it from a customer aspect. WN kind of made a promise (not an actual real promise) but through their marketing they have made a promise to their customer that bags fly free. How would they go about preparing their customer some who left airlines like UA, AA, DL years ago do to the baggage fees, how would WN tell them we now are charging bag fees as well? The most important form of advertising that can't be bought or purchased is WORD OF MOUTH, whether you are actually talking or taking to social media do discount the effect word of mouth has on people. If WN goes back on their word their will be a price that has to be paid. The moment a customer is asked to pay for their bag at check-in for a WN flight they will take to social media or call their friends and family and jut start bashing WN and you know why because there is no "politically correct" way for WN to advertise to their customers that bags no longer fly free. WN wouldn't run commercials on national TV, they wouldn't take out ads in all the major news papers across the country, they wouldn't post it on their facebook or twitter account. There is not acceptable form of media that WN could use to get the message out that passengers now have to pay for bags. Of course there would be a small section on their webpage that tell customers the charge for bags but lets be realistic most customers would miss or look over that section so most customer would find out at the check in counter and they would be upset with WN and the WN bashing would start.

And lets not talk about the number of gate checked bags WN customer service agents would have to deal with and all those customers who get mad at you because the overhead bins are full and take it personal because you tell them they have to check their bags. The whole situation would be a nightmare for WN and its employees and passengers.
 
Bobloblaw
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Fri May 31, 2013 1:50 am

The bag fee folks still don't get it or accept it. The Bag Fee Boat has sailed. It's too late. In fact reversing themselves wound and should result in top mgmt being fired.
 
Bobloblaw
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Fri May 31, 2013 1:53 am

Quoting jayunited (Reply 42):

You're correct. The bean counters don't get it.
 
trex8
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Fri May 31, 2013 1:59 am

I live 1 hour from Midway and 30 min from ORD, UA fares are nearly always the same or within a few bucks of WN and more often than not WN flights a little more. If I know there is almost no chance of my needing to change the flight I fly UA from ORD, if I may have to change the flight I fly WN. The bag fee issue is a non issue for me. I usually travel light or one bag and 25 bucks isn't going to kill me either way but the 150 buck change reservation fee will!
 
UPNYGuy
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Fri May 31, 2013 2:19 am

Quoting JHwk (Reply 23):

I've been finding more and more that they are charging a premium relative to United on the routes I fly. Presumably partly because they have a direct flight option, but it is enough of a dis-incentive that I don't give them my usual 10% of miles flown in a year lately.


Same here in ALB. SW is usually right in line with the other legacies, if not more.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Fri May 31, 2013 2:33 am

Quoting airliner371 (Reply 38):
WN is the cheapest option 60% of the time and 80% if you count bag fees.

I just checked flights PDX-LAX for about three weeks from now. To depart after a day at the office, it's $174 one-way on AS or UA or $119 on VX, all nonstop. Connections on DL via SLC or on UA via SFO are $130 plus bags, or on WN for $190 via OAK with free bags.

That's $60 to get free bags on WN which I may or may not use comparing a like-for-like schedule. $71 more than VX, $16 more than AS or UA, comparing a connection to nonstops.

Leaving later in the evening, the price dips to $121 on WN via OAK and $124 on AS nonstop.

If I could make the VX nonstop flight, I'd go with them. If I couldn't, I'd go with the later nonstop on AS, even if I had to pay for a bag.

People look at more than just the headline price. We look at the convenience of the schedule and aircraft as well. Perhaps even the FF plan. I would give up a small difference in price to check a bag in return for a nonstop.

What I wouldn't do is consider it a slap in the face if WN introduced a fee for bags. It would simply be another data point to think about when picking a flight. Hopefully though, they'd drop the "free bags surcharge" worked into their fares, if they wanted my business.
International Homo of Mystery
 
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Fri May 31, 2013 3:00 am

Quoting airliner371 (Reply 38):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 37):since in many cases WN's fares are currently equal to - if not higher than - their legacy competition.
WN is the cheapest option 60% of the time and 80% if you count bag fees.

Care to cite a source validating your percentages, or were those simply made up by you?

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 40):
A bag fee is in effect a fare increase.

Customers don't see it that way though; they tend to look at the fare only, hence the reason legacy carriers experienced no discernible "book away" toward the non-fee carriers when they began implementing them. It's also the reason AS eventually began charging them, because they weren't realizing any "goodwill bookings" from customers booking away from fee-charging carriers and the net effect was they were simply depriving themselves of revenue their competitors were enjoying.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
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RE: WN Baggage Rev Up 500% After FL Acquisition!

Fri May 31, 2013 3:03 am

Quoting jayunited (Reply 42):
Many of you are just looking at it from a bottom line aspect, but you also need to look at it from a customer aspect. WN kind of made a promise (not an actual real promise) but through their marketing they have made a promise to their customer that bags fly free. How would they go about preparing their customer some who left airlines like UA, AA, DL years ago do to the baggage fees, how would WN tell them we now are charging bag fees as well?

Just off the top of my head, WN could charge a $15.00 first-bag fee and advertise themselves as having the lowest bag fees of any air carrier. And in case you haven't noticed, they've already begun quietly shelving the prominent "Bags Fly Free" nationwide campaign.

Fact of the matter is that if WN began charging a bag fee, they'd get some minor backlash and negative feedback, but the vast majority of their customers would keep right on flying them and not bat an eye.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group

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