Topic Author
Posts: 318
Joined: Sat May 22, 1999 12:47 am

Stupid Or Strategy?

Fri May 28, 1999 8:41 am

I've been thinking about the Northwest's schedule for red-eyes from the west coast to the east. I've noticed that on routes like LAX-DTW, Northwest offers two flights- one at like 11:00, and the other at 11:30. It operates a 757 at 11:00, and an A320, at 11:30. Now it has occured to me that it might be more efficient to operate one plane at an intermediate time, like 11:15. An ideal plane would be like 767 sized. Northwest has no planes to bridge the gap between the 757 and DC-10. This would look like a really stupid move, since costs for operating the two planes, would probably be more than the cost for operating only one. However, this can also work to Northwest's advantage. By operating two flights instead of one, if one flight is cancelled, and the other still goes, Northwest can easily shift some passengers from one flight to another. Also, since it has two aircraft when it only needs one, it can move the second aircraft out if it's not needed for more profitable operations. Is this actually what Northwest is thinking when they schedule flights this way or are they realy stupid?

RE: Stupid Or Strategy?

Fri May 28, 1999 10:00 am

Red eyes tend to be full, mostly with business passengers who have meetings the next morning. Red eyes are very good and lucrative for the airline because the costs for operating a red eye are not as great as say, a morning flight.
Posts: 8211
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: Stupid Or Strategy?

Fri May 28, 1999 10:11 am

The second flight is to mop up any no-shows who missed the earlier flight, and also to allow the earlier flight to be oversold by almost 100%. If too many people show up, a half hour wait is barely even noticed by those who are bumped. Also, if an aircraft is based in the east, ten gradually west-bound hops allow an extra 2-3 hours of daytime flying, followed by one medium-haul overnight flight back to base, so there is a positioning element in the scheduling of so many east-bound red eyes.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 8:02 am

RE: FirstClass!

Fri May 28, 1999 12:21 pm

How are red eyes cheaper to operate? They still have to pay for a full flight crew. The cost of fuel would be the same. Landing fees wouldn't change, unless they charge by peak/off peak times. And don't most red eyes serve a meal, most likely breakfast before landing? Where are the savings?

Bob Bradley
Richmond, VA
Fly Eastern's Golden Falcon DC-7B
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Joined: Sat May 22, 1999 3:49 am

RE: My Opinion About Red Eyes!

Fri May 28, 1999 5:43 pm

Hi there. Beeing from a small country like Portugal when we ear some american expressions we look to ourselfes and say " These guys are funny, they always find words to define something " and for me this expression "red eyes" its really funny! Anyway just to tell you that I got my first red eye experience last year from LAX to NYC with UNITED, we boarded a B. 767-200 (N601UA) at 10:30 and we landed ate 06:15. It was a cool flight, it was full, we had a meal service ( not a big deal ) and it was it. I took that flight because I wanted with my family to visit Manhattan duriung by break to get the flight to London, so red-eye was a great option, we didn't sleep in NYC ( it would cost a fortute though! ) and we arrived to the city at 07:30 we stayed there until 3:00 pm and then we returned to JFK, so red-eye worked cool to me, well after that day in NYC and after another transatlantic flight when I came home I was drunk with a big need to sleep, and my youngest kid when we arrived at Faro wouldn't leave the plane, he wanted to sleep there for many days!!!
CV990, the Maserati of the skies!
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Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: Stupid Or Strategy?

Fri May 28, 1999 8:43 pm

Red eyes are cheaper because the off-peak nature of the scheduling ensures lower nav and landing fees. The main "saving", though, is that the airline get to generate extra revenue with the aircraft when it would otherwise be parked, so it's kind of a saving (the plane generates more $ in a 24 hour period, so it's costs per flight are lower, or more thinly distributed) but it's more of a bonus or something than a "saving" in the classic sense.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz


Fri May 28, 1999 9:02 pm

Landing fees are generally cheaper because as CedarJet mentioned because it is an off-peak period.

A breakfast? I have never heard of an airline serving a breakfast before landing on transcontinentals, unless you are talking about transatlantic service. On the red-eye transcontinental flights it is usually a snack after take-off and maybe a coffee service before landing but that is about it.

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