LaTechpilot
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CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Sun Mar 18, 2001 7:13 am

I just read in USA Today where all of the major airlines except for Continental and Southwest were expected to post hefty losses for the quarter. The airlines that are losing cite high fuel prices and a slumping economy, but it doesn't seem to phase CAL and SW. What do these two companies do different than the rest? Of course SW is in a catagory by itself as far as the majors...being a no frills, low cost airline. But CAL doesn't fit in with SW. How does CAL remain so profitable?
 
artsyman
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RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Sun Mar 18, 2001 7:49 am

Quality Mate.... quality....

Treat the staff well, and they perform well..., United, AA etc all get paid more than Continental, but you don't see us on strike... happy people, do happy jobs...

happily...

Jer
 
Mitchell Gant
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RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Sun Mar 18, 2001 11:18 am

One thing CO has going for it at the moment is the booming energy industry, which drives the Houston economy. Companies like Enron are making money hand over fist, and this translates into extra business for Continental. Although jet fuel may be pricey, CO does benefit from the fact that they have a fortress hub in Houston.
 
DL WIDGET HEAD
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RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Sun Mar 18, 2001 11:37 am

I think that CO and WN have been fortunate so far in that they have not had to grapple with major Labor woes like their competitors. Or maybe they have and have been much more successful in dealing with organized labor. However, I think there are some storms clouds mounting for CO as their pilots are starting to complain that they are far behind in the pay category than their peers at other major airlines.
 
AgnusBymaster
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RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Sun Mar 18, 2001 11:58 am

Continental has had no major labor headaches, which really are a big drain on the profits and are a source of bad PR. The Houston economy, as mentioned, has helped contribute to the high load factors.

Continental is a very greedy airline, and while they are well run, they aren't actually that customer friendly.
 
Alpha 1
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AgnusBymaster

Sun Mar 18, 2001 1:05 pm

What exactly do you mean by "greedy" Agnus? If you mean they're making a good profit, then you don't know what a capatalistic society is about. I think you need to explain that one.

As for customer service, I think CO would gladly put their service head-to-head with anyone in the country. Or are all the customer service rewards they've won over the last 5 years just a fluke? Again, I think you need to broaden your explaination a little.
 
AgnusBymaster
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RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Sun Mar 18, 2001 2:11 pm

Greedy as in a $100 ticket change fee!!
 
AgnusBymaster
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RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Sun Mar 18, 2001 2:14 pm

Greedy as in always being the first airline to introduce a fuel surcharge or other fare hike.
 
cba
Posts: 4228
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RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Sun Mar 18, 2001 2:24 pm

I must agree, a $100 ticket change fee is ridiculous. I haven't seen anything about a fuel surcharge.
 
Pbb152
Posts: 541
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RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Sun Mar 18, 2001 5:42 pm

Agnus, the "greed" you speak of and big business go hand in hand no matter what company you are talking about. It is simple economics and responsibility to shareholders. If CO has to charge more for a ticket change or introduce a fuel surcharge fare hike, it is probably because they spend more on their customers than most U.S. airlines. Therefore, if the company execs feel the quarterly or yearly bottom line may suffer due to expenses, something must be done to maintain profits. This is simple business sense which you call "greed". When costs rise in any industry it is passed on to the consumer. Believe me, all of the airlines are charging more or cutting some kind of customer perks due to higher costs. It just may not be as obvious to you. The other airlines will probably still lose money because they don't have the fuel-efficient fleet, customer service record, lack of labor issues, or overall good management and employee relations that CO has. It's all relative if you think about it Agnus. Survival of the fittest!

BTW Agnus, just because CO introduces a fuel surcharge fare hike, that doesn't mean other airlines have to follow (which they did not the last two times CO tried). If they don't, the fare hike will never take place. However, as I recall, all majors did follow NW's (not CO's) lead the last time the surcharge was introduced. They must have wanted/needed it in order to maintain profits as well. Are they "greedy"?


Pete


 
artsyman
Posts: 4516
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RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Sun Mar 18, 2001 10:24 pm

The last time I read all the newspaper articles about the ticket change fee's etc, the papers all slammed the airline industry for it, but did add in at the end, and I quote "In the case of Continental and only Continental, they at least supply a superior service, better on-time percentage, and the youngest fleet in the industry"

I sound like an advert, anyways as mentioned by someone else, Continental are winning every award going more or less year after year, and that doesn't lie

Jer
 
Alpha 1
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RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Mon Mar 19, 2001 12:36 am

Unfortunately, Angus, you confuse "capitalism" with "greed". Actually, in one sense, they maybe one in the same if you look at it from a certain point of view. Capatilism doesn't discourage businesses/individuals from making as much as they can, unlike Socialism or Communism, which tries to limit everything in the interest of the state. So in that sense, every business and every individual, to some extent, is greedy. But I think in Angus's case, he wants someone to limit the "greed" of airlines, i.e., their ability to make a profit. He is saying that CO or any othe carrier has no right to pass on higher costs to him, and that's where Angus is dead wrong.

As was said earlier, the bottom line in any business is profit, and if that profit margin is shrinking, the business has an obligation to try to keep profits up for the benefit of it's shareholders. In a capatilistic society, even though you, me and Angus may not like it, we will be the ones who pay for that effort to keep up profits.
 
AgnusBymaster
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RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Mon Mar 19, 2001 11:23 am

I'm not "dead wrong" on anything!!!

“Many . . . attach to competition the stigma of selfish greed” (Henry Fawcett)."

I agree!! I love how you're all trying to interpret what I meant.

Continental is greedy and therefore they are competitive with other airlines. But, just because a company is a fierce competitor doesn't mean it's more customer friendly.

Do you think charging $100 for a ticket change or instituting fare changes is customer friendly. NO!

I'm not saying Continental is "BAD" because they are making the most of a capitalist economy. I'm just saying, customers don't necessarily appreciate it. They TOLERATE it, but they don't appreciate it!

That was my whole point all along, and it seems to have gone right over your collective heads.


 
Alpha 1
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RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Mon Mar 19, 2001 11:41 am

But Angus, the $100 change fee has NOTHING to do with being "customer friendly." It has to do with what we've been telling you-costs go up, and companies-any company in any industry, has to find ways to recoup profits when costs rise. That's the reality of business in a free-market economy. So yes, you are dead wrong, whether you, me, or anyone likes it or not.

I don't appreciate when the electric company, or the phone company raises my rates, or adds some strange charges on my bills, but it's the same thing, whether I like it or not-they're trying to find way to make up for the cost of business rising.
 
AgnusBymaster
Posts: 620
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RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Mon Mar 19, 2001 3:29 pm

Honestly, I still don't agree with you.

In a competitive market, the passenger doesn't care what airline "a" and airline "b" can or cannot afford to do, as long as the service on airline "a" is reasonably on par with airline "b"

Invariably, when there are fare hikes, some airlines choose to pass their increased expenses along to the passengers while others don't. They try to under-cut the airlines which raise their fares in hopes of stealing some of their business.

It's just a business technique, and it doesn't make one airline "better" than the other. But, in the eyes of the customer, the airlines which choose to hold the line are being more customer friendly.

In the end, the airlines don't care about satisfying customers, they just want to keep them from jumping ship to others, and find ways of attracting new customers.
 
Pbb152
Posts: 541
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RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Mon Mar 19, 2001 3:59 pm

Well Agnus, I guess your lack of business sense IS over my head! You only see the "little picture", which is keeping money in your "greedy" pockets! You don't like to lose that money, right? Well, think of yourself as a small business. When your costs rise, do you have to cut back, or minimize the way you spend in order to keep as much money in your "greedy" pockets as possible? I'll bet you do! But, you only relate this to yourself, and that is where you err. Customers like you who only tolerate this when it comes to a business such as CO are obviously concerned because they may have to shell out more cash in the end. However, aren't the folks at CO only trying to maintain the profits that shareholders expect, and allows them to offer the brand of service they do? That is, after all, their responsibility not only to their shareholders, but also their employees, and even though you may not see the "big picture", their customers as well. It allows them to offer their award winning service, purchase more comfortable, fuel-efficient aircraft, and profit-share with their employees. And profit-sharing, among many other employee perks is what keeps a happy and loyal workforce, which is passed on down to the customer in turn. Nothing is for free; you have to give a little to get something in return. And CO gives you plenty in return for the money you spend!

And remember Agnus, CO is just as susceptible to rising costs as any other airline, or any other company in any other sector. Even my dad complained about the CO ticket change price the other day, but with the cost of fuel, and impending economic downturn, this is the nature of the beast. Something has to give, but I would hardly call CO's tactics "greedy". I'd say it's more on the line of responsible and economical.


Pete
 
Pbb152
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RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Mon Mar 19, 2001 4:10 pm

Agnus, I didn't get to read your last post before my previous one, so I will say I absolutely agree with you about the point that most customers don't care about why an airline has to raise fares or surcharges. They are just concerned with having to pay more, which they should be. I was just attacking this issue from an CO's economic point-of-view because I didn't think the term "greedy" was appropriate.




Pete
 
Guest

RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Thu Mar 22, 2001 12:36 am

AgnusBymaster:

Considering Continental won both JD Power awards last year (long and short haul) and has won another four I believe in the previous five years, I would think that your statement that Continental is not customer friendly is wrong, and our most frequent customers would agree with me.
 
seven_fifty7
Posts: 900
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RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Thu Mar 22, 2001 12:55 am

All these CO people are bragging over the "awards" that airline has gotten, with JD Power seemingly being the only award group handing them out to Bethune and buddies.

Hmmmm. I'm wondering who these JD Power panelists are. Methinks they have friends and family that work for a large Houston-based airline. ...But I won't knock CO. I guess after all those years of being the ugly duckling at the bottom, there wasn't anywhere else to go but up.

 
Alpha 1
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Seven_Fifty7

Thu Mar 22, 2001 1:10 am

757, get some facts before making a statement. the JD Power awards are given out after surveys done by FREQUENT FLYERS of all the major airlines. The surveys are done in conjunction with Frequent Flyer Magazine, and are independent of the employees of the airlines.

Obviously, you've never heard of JDPower and Associates-they give out awards in all kinds of fields for customer service excellence. Next time, think before you type.
 
goingboeing
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RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Thu Mar 22, 2001 1:13 am

I don't put much stock in any awards, regardless of how "prestigeous" they are. That being said, you still have to admit that WN and CO are doing SOMETHING right to make money when the others aren't. Repeat customers play a role in there somewhere.
 
Guest

RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Thu Mar 22, 2001 1:31 am

Two points:

1) airlines are greedy in their competition to collect airfares and post profits; such is life. BUT, profits are not the only bottom line. A second (and often overlooked "bottomline") is long-term business stability, which in an industry such as passenger aviation relies heavily on customer satisfaction and repeat flying. When my job forces me to change a flight, SWA lets me credit the full unused fare toward a future ticket, while the other airlines apply arbitrary change fees that often exceed the actual fare! So, where is my loyalty as a customer?? Likewise, how many times has each of us changed to a different bank or credit card because we dislike the insensitivity and apparent greed associated with a fee that, in the big picture, was really trivial?

2) I, too, put little stock in awards like JD Powers. All too often these awards are really no more than promotional back-pats distributed by industry groups to assist marketing departments. They lack objectivity, and miss the true bottom line: how were YOU treated by airline A on your last flight, and overall during the last year?
 
Alpha 1
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RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Thu Mar 22, 2001 1:52 am

I often don't put stock in such awards, but when a certain company wins such awards over and over in whatever industry, you have to take notice of them.
 
Guest

Awards

Thu Mar 22, 2001 2:37 am

Seven_Fifty_Seven wrote:
"All these CO people are bragging over the "awards" that airline has gotten, with JD Power seemingly being the only award group handing them out to Bethune and buddies"

-As Continental EWR would say "Another brilliant quote from the peanut gallery"

Here's a short list of a few of CO's most recent awards.

~Air Transport World's airline of the year-1996, 2001
~Fortune's best 100 companies to work for-1999,2000,2001
~OAG:
Best short-haul executive/business class 2000, 2001
Best long-haul executive/business class 2001
Best trans-Atlantic airline 2001
Best airline based in North America 2001
Best frequent flyer program 2000, 2001
~Fortune's most admired- #2 domestic carrier-1999,2000,2001
~Fortune's most admired- #1 US-based global carrier 2000
~Information Week-No. 1 Airline Innovator of Information Technology 2000
~NPD New Media Services- #1 airline website 2000
~Forrester Powerrankings- #1 airline website 2000
~Brand Keys- #1 in customer loyalty 2000
~Aviation Week & Space Technology-#2 "Best Managed" U.S. airline 2000
~Ziff Davis Smart Buisness Magazine- Best Airline 2000
~Condé Nast Traveler magazine-Best Transatlantic Business Class, Best Transpacific Business Class of all U.S. airlines 1998,1999, 2000
~Airline Quality Rating Study: Top International Airline, #2 Domestic Airline 2000
~Smart Money Magazine's top-rated U.S. airline for business travel 2000

...Guess you are wrong, Seven Fifty Seven.
BTW: With CO "buying" all these awards, I wonder how they are financing all those new aircraft or the major building projects in EWR & IAH.

Peace,
COexERJ

Continental...Cinderella of the skies!
 
travatl
Posts: 1943
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RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Thu Mar 22, 2001 2:43 am

With all this talk about the majors posting losses the first quarter, what about the second-tier (Frontier, AirTran, Midway) and regional (ASA, Mesa, Comair) carriers?

How are they shaping up for the first quarter?

Travis
 
goingboeing
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

Da Awards

Thu Mar 22, 2001 2:44 am

Quick poll - how many posters on this board have taken part in a JD Powers, Aviation Week, Fortune, et al survey?

Not to take anything away from CO, but would a "#1 website award" give you an overwhelming desire to book a flight?
 
Guest

RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Thu Mar 22, 2001 3:37 am

Goingboeing,

By your logic, we should ignore crash test data and consumer reports on automobiles since "very few" have taken part in an actual crash test or consumer report. No one ever said that a #1 website award would make you want to book a flight. Rather, it is an example of how my 53,500 co-workers have helped turn a struggling, bankrupt airline into a benchmark in aviation. Awards do mean something, maybe not to you, but to employees, loyal customers and investors, they are certianly positive reinforcements and congratulatory sentiments for a job well-done.

Peace,
COexERJ
 
Guest

RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Thu Mar 22, 2001 3:57 am

I tend to agree with one of the earlier posts which pegs employee satifaction as the key to CO (and WN's) profitability. Ultimately, it the airlines employees - from flight crews to ticket agents - that make it happen. Numerous surveys have shown that salary is well down the list of what constitutes job satisfaction. You simply can't underestimate the power of employees that feel involved and respected by theirt employers. This is true in any business, not just airlines. Bottom line is that happy employees are more productive, which is why CO and WN are where they are today. G. Bethune understands this very well, and by all accounts is respected by the majority of his employees. Same for Kelleher at WN (he is an almost mythic figure!!).

I agree with others that the term "greed" is inappropriate in the context of discussing corporate financials. If the surcharge affects customer satisfaction (and therefore bookings) to the point of diminishing returns - it will go away!!
 
goingboeing
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Thu Mar 22, 2001 5:45 am

My post wasn't a slam at CO, COexERJ - but one who lives by the JD Powers award can also die by the JD Powers award.

The awards are super de duper for the marketing departments. But if say, Delta, really ramped up their service, offered double frequent flyer awards for a period, etc, then they may well steal the award from CO. The marketing department would look foolish claiming "well, we won the award last year".

I don't think WN has ever won a JD Powers award, yet they have a very loyal following, as evidenced by 27 straight years of profitablity.

I'm not taking anything away from CO. I fly them, mostly because of the service I recieve. Whether they have 500 awards or zero - that's the thing that matters most. IMHO, the awards do very little to get passengers to try an airline. Price and schedule do that.

BTW - crash test data for cars is not as reliable as you might think. A good friend of mine was killed in a Taurus - which ranked very high on the IIHS crash tests. I guess it's because he didn't hit an offset barrier at 35 - rather he was broadsided by a guy running a red light.
 
Guest

RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Thu Mar 22, 2001 6:11 am

Goingboeing,

I know you weren't trying to slam CO, but I just thought it would be appropriate to share with you an employee's perspective. I'm a realist, and I know that winning some of these awards means squat to consumers, but it means a lot to the individual working front-line in the trenches. To be recognized by your customers and the industry for the good work you have done is very pleasing, and something which one could have never expected at CAL in the mid to late - 80's. That is why CAL and LUV will make a profit this quarter. Both companies are in the top 1/4 of Fortune's best 100 companies to work for. And if the employee is happy, the customer is happy. Congrats, WN and CO! You've earned it!

Peace,
COexERJ
 
Guest

RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Thu Mar 22, 2001 6:29 am

GoingBoeing:

You beat me in rebutting comments re: the JDPowers awards. I was busy at work and have just now found the time to do some research. What I found is this (from the jdpowers website):

"This study, conducted by J.D. Power and Associates in conjunction with Frequent Flyer Magazine and Official Airline Guide, is recognized as the only independent, publicly released and representative survey of frequent travelers who average more than 25 domestic round trips per year. Each of the nine major domestic carriers is evaluated on a series of pre-flight, in-flight, and airport activities. In addition, non-flight activities such as frequent flyer programs and electronic ticketing are included. The findings are designed to assist airline management in its efforts to improve passenger satisfaction and aid the flying public in selecting a carrier for their next trip, based on the collective experience of these very knowledgeable and seasoned airline travelers."

Apparently, SWA may not compete with the other airlines on a level playing field because, lacking assigned seats (and thus business class, etc.) it has a much smaller percentage of survey participants. 25 roundtrips per year is a lot of travel, more likely associated with business flyers than with leisure flyers. I'll bet, though, that given the extreme generosity of SWA's Rapid Rewards program, a truly equitable survey of 25/yr flyers would give SWA passengers the highest airline loyalty ratings under this definition of "frequent flyer". BTW...where's the survey of passengers who fly, say 2- to 5- roundtrips per year (reflective of people who pay their own fare and maybe cannot afford upgrades, as well as those who truly appreciate bargain fares)? And who would win the "independent survey" of passengers who had to pay their own one-way fare reserved and purchased at the gate, the $120 fare (SWA) or the $600 fare (nearly everyone else)?

A survey and its subsequent award is no more valid than its sample and its content. I suspect COA is a good airline, easily a cut above all the other majors sans SWA (which ain't saying much, ehh?), but I sure wouldn't rely on marketing surveys/awards to make this point.
 
Guest

RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Thu Mar 22, 2001 6:36 am

Lsjef,

Good point regarding business (i'm not paying) vs. leisure (where's my wallet) travelers and their perceptions of what constitutes a quality flying experience. I think you are right on about SWA's excellent frequent flyer program....
 
sccutler
Posts: 5567
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 12:16 pm

SWA And Business Flyers

Thu Mar 22, 2001 7:34 am

LSJEF-

I believe you are mistaken in your assessment of the passenger mix of SWA-

There seems to be a general presumption (at least expressed on this board) that, since WN is focused on low fares, its passenger mix is skewed towards leisure, and away from business, travelers. And this is fundamentally opposite from what (from my observations) is fact.

As a long-term business traveler, both in the corporate world (for a couple of different Fortune 500 companies), and in my own behalf (as a business owner), I can tell you that there are very few companies whose travel policy will allow travel in anything other than coach class; and since there is generally no business class in domestic travel, other than upgrades (which are "invisible" to policy), you'll not see business travelers in First very often.

I suppose I could travel in first class- when I travel on business, it is all billed to the client anyway- but unless there is a compelling business necessity for the upgrade, I think it abuses clients to do so.

In fact, WN's big advantage- especially to business travelers- is that its fares, while not always the lowest absolutely available, are nearly always the lowest walk-up fares, and not that many business trips afford the luxury of long-lead planning times.

Further, WN focuses on high-frequency, densely-traveled segments, a marketing and scheduling scheme precisely-tailored for business travelers, for whom broader options of travel time are most valuable.

As a frequent traveler on WN, especially between DAL and HOU (and fairly frequently in CA and AZ, as well), I cannot recall any time when the flights were not dominated by business travelers, other than Saturday and Sunday morning flights.

I'd suggest that WN's forte is its ability to give the business traveler the best assurance of departing, and arriving, at or near the time the traveler needs, and at a cost which is most palatable to the business budget.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
WiLdmanVzla
Posts: 590
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2000 12:17 pm

RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Thu Mar 22, 2001 11:32 am

I think the secret of both airlines is to give what they are offering in terms of service... both are good choices if you want to have the kind of service in-flight... so that's their "secret"!!!

*****
 
Guest

RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Thu Mar 22, 2001 12:53 pm

To be sure, Continental has won quite a number of awards for its customer service and frequent flyer program. But, from my perspective, it is often hard to match the myth created by these rewards with the reality.

The reality is that American and United have more or less cornered the market on the premium frequent traveller. By all accounts, this kind of traveller remains quite content with American and United. United's most frequent-travellers even put up with its "summer from hell."

Why are all of these frequent flyers content, and why would they never think of jumping ship to Continental? One need only review a couple months of discussion on webflyer.com to realize that AA and UA's frequent flyers have certain expectations, expectations that Continental could never meet.

As just one example, let me point to a current discussion on webflyer.com. Same topic on two different boards, Continental and American. Topic - travel to Hong Kong (HK). If you take time to read the two threads, you will note that the frequent flyers on American are discussing future award travel on Cathay in First Class, and the amenities to be found in Cathay's famous Wing Club. Meanwhile, on the Continental Board, they are discussing what to do in HK, and the bad experiences of one passenger on the newly-inaugurated Continental flight from JFK to HKG. The difference in content could not be more telling. Frequent flyers on American have become accustomed to a program that rewards them with certain luxuries and amenities for all of their miles of travel. They don't think twice about it; it is simply what they expect. And, American with Cathay and BA, and United with Singapore more than meets their expectations.

Perhaps, because the frequent flyers on United and American have become innured to the high level of the rewards, they are not as motivated to participate in the voting for the Freddy Awards or the other award balloting. Frankly, I have never figured this out. Yet, I know many frequent flyers who would never question that AA or UA is the best program for them, because of the benefits of using miles for award travel on some of the world's most premiere airlines and to some of the world's most exotic destinations.

As I said, this is just one of the many expectations that distinguishes the Continental frequent flyer from the American or United frequent flyer. There are others. For example, American's most frequent-flyers, its Executive Platinum members, avail themselves of a dedicated group of personnel, known as the EP desk, to request upgrades, to make changes in their itineraries, and to problem solve missed connections, etc.. Granted Continental claims it has something similar for its highest elite members, but in reality it does not as has been reported in another recent thread on webflyer.com. Again, the EP desk is reality at American, and it is something that its top-tier frequent flyers consider a benefit of EP status, and now more or less expect to function as advertised. It does and American knows it could not fulfill their expectations with anything less...

So, there you have it. American, and United in its own way, meet the expectations of a large number of their frequent flyers who would never seriously consider flying on Continental, given the latter's meager list of partners, award opportunities, and real elite benefits. In view of this reality, it is my belief that the balloting for these Frequent flyer awards somehow never targets the frequent flyers who select American and United, and therefore the awards never accurately recognize the preemience of American's and United's programs and service, despite the recent emergence of Continental.
 
ILOVEA340
Posts: 2064
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 1999 9:49 am

RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Thu Mar 22, 2001 1:58 pm

There aircraft (exept continentals new 772 and 764's) are cattle cars.
 
Guest

RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Thu Mar 22, 2001 2:46 pm

Ladevale,

I'm not about to get into a shouting match with you, it's no secret that you don't like CO... you never have anything good to say about them. However, I do have a couple of questions for you.
1. You imply that CO does not have "premium" partners. Last I checked, CO offers reward travel on Air France, Virgin Atlantic, and Emirates, do you consider them to be sub par?
2. What is the lowest level for reward travel on AA? CO's generous program gives tons of bonus miles and you are eligible for a reward at 20,000 miles. (I've taken only 3 med. range revenue flights on CO and have accrued some 18,000 miles thru various partners, Chase Manhattan bank, Avis & Hertz rental cars, Randall's Remarkable card, and AT&T long distance along with the ubiquitous e-ticket and e-service center mileage bonuses...usually 1,000 miles or 50% mileage bonus, among others)
3. If UA and AA's frequent fliers were as "loyal" as the picture you paint them to be, then why aren't the numbers adding up? Think about it, if AA and UA (who have many more frequent fliers than does CO, given their size) why isn't AA and UA cleaning up at the OAG & Freddie awards? Also, if these UA and AA frequent fliers were as loyal as you make them sound, why doesn't the bottom line indicate such a "fact"? With AA and UA forecasting losses this quarter, the math just doesn't add up.
4. If AA and UA were winning all the awards, would you then give them (the awards) credence? My guess would be a resounding yes. It also seems quite suspicious that you give much attention to an internet message board and discount independent studies such as JD Power, Conde nast traveler, Brand Keyes, and the Airline Quality study. You make it sound like these studies conspire to leave out AA and UA frequent fliers. Again, not a rational argument.

Please note that I'm not trying to discount the goodness of AA and UA's ff programs. They do have much to offer, but so does CO. AA and UA may be a better fit for you, and that's great. However, given your evident contempt for CO, your myopic remarks will not go unrebuttled.

Peace,
COexERJ
 
Guest

RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Thu Mar 22, 2001 4:16 pm

My best guess on the question of why UAL and AAL don't top these surveys...

...they are such big airlines that they offset the perks of their size with lots of negatives such as having to deal with overcrowded fortress hub airports. In short, their size causes them to alienate more passengers. I suspect any researcher could find that, while UAL and AAL have many loyal FF's, they also have a higher percentage of "haters" who suffered through a particularly bad experience. When surveyed, these people may very possibly give higher ratings to airlines they fly only rarely, or even not at all.

 
Guest

RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Thu Mar 22, 2001 9:27 pm

The main reason business travelers choose their main airline is not for perks and benefits, it is because of convenience. Sure there might be a very good FF program, but the rewards aren't all:

My dad flies about 7-8 times/year to SFO, and his airline is UA. Not that he thinks UA is the best, but they are the only airline to fly PHL-SFO non-stop other than US(Which he hates).
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Thu Mar 22, 2001 9:59 pm

LSJEF - most of the travellers who "put up" with the summer from hell did not do so because of the fantastic Hong Kong award on Cathay. Indeed a lot of passengers that were non O&D passengers took other airlines. The proof is in the financial numbers. No income, no profits. Even little Frontier benefitted greatly from passengers who avoided UAL during their "summer of love". I have a pretty good idea that those who didn't avoid UAL last summer were people who lived in Denver, Chicago and San Francisco. In other words, there weren't many options available to them.

But, if you want a quick test of why one airline wins awards and another doesn't - try this. Call the reservations number. Find out how long you can be on hold before you find yourself HATING Rhapsody in Blue. NOw, call CO. I'll bet a live person answers the phone. That's what got me to try them in the first place - they seemed to actually WANT my business. I could care less if AA or UAL could offer me service to Hong Kong on a private BBJ - they STILL didn't act like they wanted me in the first place.

 
Guest

RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Thu Mar 22, 2001 10:41 pm

In the service industry, little things do mean a lot. Same thing with SWA vs. UAL/DAL/AAL. In the past five years, I've made dozens of calls to airlines, probably half to SWA and half to the others. Only once or twice have I had to briefly hold on SWA, but I don't ever remember talking to an agent for another airline within three minutes, and most often, I had to navigate an automated phone queue while ignoring the rest of what happened around me in real life. Real quality service...
 
Guest

RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Fri Mar 23, 2001 12:57 am

Goingboeing,

Thanks for the kind words, being a Res agent for CO, I too love the fact that as soon as you call, we are there to answer. Its something that sets us (along with WN) apart. At CO (and WN, having worked for them previously) all employees are empowered, meaning management trusts us to make decisions, neither company is micromanaged, rather, we are taught to work together as a team. This concept of trust and empowerment makes all the difference. When your employees enjoy coming to work, and buy into the system, they certianly do make all the difference. WN with its gazillion straight years of profits, and CO going from bankrupt to boom.

Peace,
COexERJ
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Fri Mar 23, 2001 2:05 am

COexERJ - You're welcome. I remember the first time we flew CO. We were going from MCI to RSW. The first airline I tried was Delta. Waited for 20 minutes without speaking to a live person. Hung up. Tried TWA. Hung up after 10 minutes on hold. Called CO. The phone was answered, the reservations made and I was enrolled in thier frequent flyer program - all within 10 minutes. We checked in at the airport (we were travelling with our daughter, who was 5 at the time), and the agent changed our seats and gave us the front (bulkhead) row on the MCI-CLE and CLE-RSW flights, without us having to ask. They saw our daughter and made the change. This was for "first time" customers and not some titanium elite passenger. All little things, but it's the little things that matter most.
 
jplenny
Posts: 162
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 1999 9:02 pm

RE: CAL And SW The Only Majors To Profit?

Fri Mar 23, 2001 4:12 am

I just flew FRA-EWR-MCO and back on CO. I will have to agree with the awards they have EARNED.

This is was one of the best trips I have been on in years. From start to finish, the professional attitude of the employees starting at check in really set them apart from the many other trips I have taken.

The captain on the flight was proud to be flying the "triple 7" as he came on and made the departure annoucement. He actaully bragged on the intercom about the aircraft and then he went on to praise the flight attendants.

Although I was in coach, the service was excellent. After the 1st meal service, the flight attendants didn't go to the back and "hide" as I often have found on many other long flights. There was always a flight attendant nearby.

We even were given a package with eyeshades and earplugs in coach, something I have never recieved on United, AA, or Northwest. True, this may not be a big deal, but sometimes it's the little things that set you apart from the rest.

The audio/video program on the 777 was fantastic. I was disappointed that there wasn't enough time to catch all the movies, since all of them were good.

I will certainly fly them again in the future.





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