b777a340fan
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Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 12:42 am

If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines?

Wed May 28, 2008 3:20 pm

It's easy to say that this idea is dumb or it won't work, but harder to actually apply it and make it successful. So if you were walking in one of the airline's CEO's shoes, how would you fix your US airline?

My thoughts:

1) Better customer service to retain present passengers
2) Phase out the gas guzzlers and lease/buy (depending on your buying power) more fuel efficient airlines
3) Increase ad revenues by utilizing the aircrafts as billboards....OR....increase ad revenues via your in-flight entertainment/magazines
4) Have a pessimistic/worst-case scenario on gas forecasting
5) Re-organize your entire company (yes, that could include lay-offs)

That's all I could come up right now....
 
spacecadet
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RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 3:42 pm

I would suspect that the path to profitability differs from airline to airline. But generally, I say we learn something from overseas airlines that are profitable right now. There is this assumption that American consumers are somehow different - they aren't. That assumption has gotten us where we are today.

So, my ideas:

1) Bring back regular meals.
2) Stop charging for checked bags. First bag free, second bag free.
3) Depending on the airline, smarten up the uniforms. Not every airline needs this, but a few do. Compare the uniforms of the world's most successful airlines with the uniforms of some American carriers. It's a joke, and it does affect the perception of the airline among the public.
4) Depending on the airline, modernize and streamline the fleet. Yes, that means simply retiring some planes and not replacing them, which means ditching less-profitable routes for now. Reduce the number of types being flow to 2 or 3 for mainline.
5) Retrain the cabin crew so they know their job is service oriented. Jaded, older f/a's who resist should be replaced with younger f/a's more open to new ideas about what that position is. (Really, it's an old idea... but one still practiced by all of the world's successful airlines.) That would have the side benefit of lowering labor costs.
6) Create a major marketing campaign emphasizing this attention to detail, service, and features that set the airline above and beyond what customers have come to expect. Back it up with concrete details about what these services and features are (ie. meals on all flights longer than 90 minutes, free checked bags, etc.)
7) Raise ticket prices to a profitable level. Once you've given customers a product worth paying for and you've gotten the word out, people will pay. I doubt prices would need to be raised a huge amount. $20 for each passenger on a flight carrying 300 people is $6,000. That may not sound like much, but consider that AA has about 4,000 flights per day. No, not all of them carry 300 people. But even with an average of, say, 80 people, you're still talking about $1 billion extra in revenue every year. And that's with just a $20 ticket price increase.

I'm sure every airline has structural issues within the airline hierarchy to work out as well - inefficient, underperforming hubs, maintenance spread out too thin, etc. So those things would need to be taken care of too. But I think the strategy above probably would apply to pretty much every US airline.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
EXAAUADL
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RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 3:50 pm

Get rid of as many RJs as possible and order either ATR-72-500 or DH8-400s.

I'd reduce frequency in markets that have 6-10RJs per day and bring in 3-4 mainline. On short routes replace RJs with props but cut total capacity. Pull down low yield mainline markets to fund my RJ replacements. End long haul RJ flights that are 750 miles or longer.

I'd stop treating the customer as though they are somehow the problem.

I'd try to get rid of as many legacy employees as possible with buyouts and replace them with younger friendlier cheaper employees....those who never had it good back in the 1970s-90s, so they wont be so bitchy.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 3:51 pm



Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 1):
7) Raise ticket prices to a profitable level. Once you've given customers a product worth paying for and you've gotten the word out, people will pay. I doubt prices would need to be raised a huge amount. $20 for each passenger on a flight carrying 300 people is $6,000. That may not sound like much, but consider that AA has about 4,000 flights per day. No, not all of them carry 300 people. But even with an average of, say, 80 people, you're still talking about $1 billion extra in revenue every year. And that's with just a $20 ticket price increase.

Here is your problem: Priceline, Orbitz, Travelocity, etc.

When passengers look at available fares, they get a list. The majority select the lowest fare, even if it's only $15-20 less than the next competitor.

But what I would do is train my employees that the customer pays our paychecks and that we are not in the business of screwing our customers for our own convenience. Running a business means not losing customers.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
silentbob
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Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:26 pm

RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 4:00 pm

As long as WN has their $60-$70 fuel, there is nothing anyone can afford to do to improve the other airlines.

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 1):

You have no idea what the business side of aviation is like, do you?
 
iliribdl
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RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 4:06 pm

Cut most domestic flights that are not making money (there are plenty), and expand internationally, order a couple A380s, raise prices up to 35%, and raise the pay of workers.
delta.com
 
avek00
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RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 4:16 pm



Quoting B777A340Fan (Thread starter):
So if you were walking in one of the airline's CEO's shoes, how would you fix your US airline?

I would begin by transforming whichever global alliance my airline belongs to into a cost synergy powerhouse, something that has not yet been realized by the global alliances despite ten-plus years in existence.

What are some areas where this can be done?

1. Pooled aircraft acquisition and usage allocation, especially with respect to certain narrowbody and widebody fleet types (A320s, B737s, A330s, and B777s are particularly ripe for pooling opportunities because of their superior mission versatility).

2. A worldwide integrated sales and marketing platform. To the extent possible under the antitrust laws or immunities, each carrier takes a specific region of the world and handles most or all of the sales and marketing for that region, from call centers to ad placements.

3. Standardization of some of the basic features related to product delivery (e.g., dishware and cutlery used for in-flight services), based on the premise that bulk purchasing would result in lower costs.
Live life to the fullest.
 
fxra
Posts: 600
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RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 4:23 pm

Problems:

1. For the most part, US carriers are leasing money and can't afford new/higher lease rates or buying new(er) aircraft. Add to that the cost or retraining, spares, and getting a new plane from Boeing it would take years for a fleet replacement.
2. The worst case scenario for fuel was $70/barrel a year ago. No its around $150. But there seems to be no top in sight. So the simple answer is raise fares as oil increases.
3. Customer service needs to be revamped, from the minute you book a seat until you depart the airport at your destination. Wages and benefits need to be made more competitive with other service industries. The problem here is it will require more money and higher fares to cover. Also, there's no way to easily inject fresh blood into the legacy union shops.
4. Support capacity restrictions at the NY metro airports. Yes, I know most the airline management types are very much against this. But, and this is my opinion the restricted capacity will require a reduction in RJ service and consolidate those seats in to larger aircraft or reduce the total number of seats. This will allow more pricing control, and ability to raise fares. Plus, the reduced demand on an overburdened ATC system will hopefully allow the National Airspace System to run more smoothly, reducing delays and airborne holding. Reduced delays make for happier customers, and less holding makes for less fuel burned.
5. Agree RJ's should be flown regionally. If you can't operate an RJ on a route and full capacity 99% of the time, the route needs a different type. And a reduction from hourly frequencies on RJ's to less frequencies on bigger planes (with an actual first class section and service you can chare for).
6. Miles rewards... we're not going to upgrade every frequent flier out there. Yes, if you have a Super Double Secret Titanium level flyer, we'll do something for you, maybe a discount on F-class, but also discounts with partners on rental cars or hotels or a free drink at the airport bar. Lower the first class fare to something that will attract a business class flyer instead of gouging them to pay fr the other 5 guys up there who hve upgraded from their super discount ticket.
7. And this one will be unpopular with my fellow execs but... pay for performance. If your company lost $1 Bazillion last year, you bet your ass you're not getting a bonus. If you have the worst ontime, lost baggage, and general complaints level in the industry... no stock options. When you guide a company to a profit, you can get paid some extra cash... of course after a hefty profit sharing (or granting of stock options) to the rank and file.

thats my ideas... shoot em down!
Visualize Whirled Peas
 
cloudyapple
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RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 4:27 pm



Quoting B777A340Fan (Thread starter):
If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines?

Bin them all and start over.
A310/A319/20/21/A332/3/A343/6/A388/B732/5/7/8/B742/S/4/B752/B763/B772/3/W/E145/J41/MD11/83/90
 
MattRB
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Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:49 am

RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 4:32 pm

Make this book mandatory reading:

Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
 
YYZflyboy
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Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 9:00 pm

RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 4:38 pm

Here's my 2 cents:

-Reduce frequencies: why do you need so many frequencies between two major cities? Can't an A380 do the trick? I know for business people, it's an inconvenience. But it will greatly reduce the congestion.
-Interiors: make the interior of every aircraft as good as the best airlines in the world - CX, SQ, BA, EK, QF.
-Service: have a rigorous training and strict phase-out policy like on SQ for cabin crew.
-Prices: raise them to more reasonable levels.
-Competition: if the U.S. is a free market economy, why should they be afraid of SQ flying domestic runs (New York to San Francisco?) or even international routes like (LHR-JFK)? Doesn't it force the US airlines to keep up in terms of cabin comforts and service?
 
YULWinterSkies
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Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2005 11:42 pm

RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 4:43 pm



Quoting MattRB (Reply 9):
Make this book mandatory reading:

And, coincidentally (?) CO has a very streamlined fleet, the best in-flight service of all big US legacy carriers, a restricted number of hubs. By reading A.net, CO does not seem to be involved in all the poor customer service stories that we hear once in a while. Are CO employees generally happier and better treated? Being honest with your employees is crucial, and a first step for this is an exemplary board of directors... How can employees respect the company if directors don't?
When I doubt... go running!
 
silentbob
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Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:26 pm

RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 4:50 pm



Quoting IliriBDL (Reply 5):
Cut most domestic flights that are not making money (there are plenty), and expand internationally, order a couple A380s, raise prices up to 35%, and raise the pay of workers.

If US airlines cut routes they will lose the feed that drives their international operations. Over-expansion on the international side could also lead to erosion of profitability on that side of the ledger as well. Look at how well the LHR expansion has worked for most of the new entrants for an example of that. As for adding A380s, that many seats would absolutely kill yields on most routes. Prices can't go up 35% or all the new international flights will be completely empty. Lastly, paying employees more isn't going to help the bottom line in any way shape or form.
 
rampart
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Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:58 am

RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 5:29 pm



Quoting IliriBDL (Reply 5):
Cut most domestic flights that are not making money (there are plenty), and expand internationally, order a couple A380s, raise prices up to 35%, and raise the pay of workers.

Not a critique of your statement per se, but a jumping off point for this idea:

I have to wonder how a huge retrenchment and constriction might cut the connectivity that is vital to 21st Century business and society. Drastic cuts, including losing EAS as has been suggested here before, knocks out a large chunk of the country. I know, I know, airlines aren't an arm of socialism, and we can't compare different modes of transportation. Still, commerce is highly dependent on being able to get people from any place to another efficiently, not from one large city to another. Air travel is the only practical way, at least in the US. (Rail would be nice, but it's not going to happen in the short or medium term.) Furthermore, our social networks have grown dependent on affordable air travel. Families and friends can litterally get across the country in a day multiple times a year when that might have been a once in a decade type of excursion 30 years ago.

I think some of the suggestions here are workable, and will sustain air travel with modest increases in costs that would be bearable and people will travel slightly less than they're accustomed to. But, major retrenchment back to airline profitability and capacity of the 1960s, when the wealthy and well-stocked businesspeople were the only ones flying, is a major thing. Do you really want that? I think it would be a tectonic change in our economy and society.

-Rampart
 
deltaflyertoo
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 3:18 pm

RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 5:41 pm

Well what nobody above has directly asserted would be massive cuts in labor costs...

Captains need to be making 100,000 a year max for widebody, maybe 80 for narrowbody

First Officers=80 max, widebody, 60 narrowbody

Yeah yeah I know, strikes, and labor strife, etc...but thats a huge area of the wounded industry thats allowing the bleeding...

Also as mentioned, streamlining hubs, raising fares, cutting capacity. All this would help substantially.
 
PanAm747
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RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 5:57 pm

Any attempts at solutions that do not address ALL the problems of our broken transportation system will end in failure. You don't put a piece of gauze on an open heart surgery patient and then say, "there, all done!! All fixed!!"

1) The infrastructure in this country cannot meet demand. The desire for "frequency" - which the market demands - has led to chronically congested airports that gasp and wheeze like a 70-year old smoker trying to climb a flight of steps.

2) Airlines do not compete on anything but price. American's "More Room Throughout Coach" experiment proved that. Raise prices to cover your costs, and your competitor will benefit.

3) The FAA's glacial speed resulting in thier total and complete incompetence at doing ANYTHING proactively has resulted in air space designs that still haven't been restructured to handle jets. And that was in 1959.

4) Customer service comes about from employees who feel wanted. Granted, higher fuel prices have led EVERYONE to be uncertain and uneasy; however, it is a proven fact that some airlines treat their employees better than others, regardless of pay levels. If upper level management decides to insulate itself from their front line employees, leaving them to do the dirty work, bad feelings are going to result. If management treats their employees as a resource instead of a commodity, then you will have MUCH better customer service.

I have always advocated an independent department for aviation and transportation needs in this country, similiar to the Federal Reserve, which places the needs of the nation's transportation systems above the reach of politicians, NIMBY's, and others that would attempt to influence it. It would NOT have the power of eminent domain, so it could not, for example, order that New York City's airports expand massively - but it would have the power to say to all involved, "okay, this is EWR airport the way it's going to be? Then this is all the flights you can have. No more."

In other words, someone needs to set the rules for the board games instead of it being the free for all chaotic nightmare that it has become.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
Arcrftlvr
Posts: 393
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:30 am

RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 5:57 pm



Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 1):
1) Bring back regular meals.

And who would pay for those meals? You think someone is going to pay another $20 just to get a meal? You can buy a meal at the airport for less. If all the airlines don't do this and raise their fares across the board, then it would never work.

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 1):
2) Stop charging for checked bags. First bag free, second bag free.

Do you even have the slightest clue why this policy has to be in place? Oil prices aren't what they were 6 months ago, let alone 12 months ago...

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 1):
3) Depending on the airline, smarten up the uniforms. Not every airline needs this, but a few do. Compare the uniforms of the world's most successful airlines with the uniforms of some American carriers. It's a joke, and it does affect the perception of the airline among the public.

Do you think upgradubg uniforms is free? Even if they did have the money to do this, don't you think the airline would be best served spending it elsewhere? I think uniforms are the least of the worries at this point.

The bottom line is, improving customer service would mitigate a lot of the issues the airlines are encountering.

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 1):
6) Create a major marketing campaign emphasizing this attention to detail, service, and features that set the airline above and beyond what customers have come to expect. Back it up with concrete details about what these services and features are (ie. meals on all flights longer than 90 minutes, free checked bags, etc.)

Again, do you realize how much this would cost?

Quoting FXRA (Reply 7):
7. And this one will be unpopular with my fellow execs but... pay for performance. If your company lost $1 Bazillion last year, you bet your ass you're not getting a bonus. If you have the worst ontime, lost baggage, and general complaints level in the industry... no stock options. When you guide a company to a profit, you can get paid some extra cash... of course after a hefty profit sharing (or granting of stock options) to the rank and file.

I whole-heartedly agree. Executive compensation should reflect the performance of the airline.
 
NwAflyer07
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 3:00 pm

RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 6:22 pm

In today's industry, the price of oil makes it virtually impossible to make a profit. Pax would have to pay upwards of like $800-$2000 for roundtrip tickets within the US recieving no complimentary food or service at all. It's almost worthless to fly people around the country the way things are now. Dont be suprised if airlines end up removing all food and drinks from flights to save on the weight. Right now, short of creating your own oil company which can refine and sell cheap oil to your airline, theres not much I can see one man doing that will return an airline to profitablity. Perhaps many mergers an aquisitions, but oil will still hit hard.
 
coolfish1103
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:36 am

RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 6:53 pm

For domestic market... (I'll do international some other time)

1. Serve 1 and only 1 destination within a 3 hour drive. For example, if there's EWR, JFK, LGA, serve only 1 airport.
- You may lose some customers, but definitely won't lose too many if other parts of your offerings are attractive.
- This means, cut loads, which will in terms reduce the number of flights and workers needed.
- Certain destinations might need frequencies over jumbo whales, but some others do not.

2. Tickets will be charged with reasonable fuel surcharge fees (I won't write too much in detail as it will get too long).
- Full fare will be displayed when tickets purchased (with all kinds of fees present).
- The following type of tickets will be offered to individual passengers only.

Business (Business Lounge access if available at the airport):
Full Fare - Refundable with processing fees. Return leg may have dates changed w/o fees.
Discount Fare - Refundable with processing fees and penalties. Return leg may have dates changed w/o fees.

Economy:
Full Fare - Refundable with processing fees. Return leg may have dates changed w/o fees. Ticket is upgradeable.
Discount Fare - Refundable with processing fees and penalties. Return leg may have dates changed w/o fees.
Restricted Fare - Not refundable.

3. Upgrade cabin services and amenities, do package deals.
- Serve the basics on the plane what-so-ever, no nickel and dime. This also means, no BOB. Details will be described.
- Differentiate your products. Economy is Economy, and Business is Business.
- Train the FAs as they are your assets, not your liabilities. Also, make sure they also treat your customers the same way, or they will lose their job.

4. Basic services and amenities (on-board) will be offered.
- If you do online check-in (online check-in will start 24 hours prior to departure) and print your boarding pass at the Kiosk or at home, you will receive 100 flying miles (FM, must be member). Luggage services will not count against the 100 flying miles.
- Each passenger is entitled to 2 luggages of 23 kg (with dimension restrictions) or less for free. Per person, the total weight allowed will be 46 kg. You may carry more than 2 luggages, but the total weight must be within 46 kg, and 100 flying miles (FM) will be deducted for each extra luggage checked. If you do not have any miles, you may not carry more than 2 luggages (pack them all together). You must notify the airline within 72 hours if you have any oversize luggages/special items that you must bring on plane and deal with the oversize (but not overweight) luggages at the airport. If not notified prior, you may not bring it with you. No overweight luggages allowed (you must unload them). FF benefits will be listed separately.
- For each passenger who checked in with less than 2 luggages, each luggage is worth 100 flying miles (FM, must be member).
- Carry on luggages will be limited to 7 kg per person (strictly enforced at the gate) except for laptop computers (which does not count towards the kg and is limited to 1 per person on board). Other items are not restricted in item. But, the items must fit under the seat in front of you, on the overhead cabin, and/or into the closet until it's full (If it does not fit, you may not bring it on). If the cabin storage is full and your item is within the kg limitation, we will check the luggage for you.
- All flights duration within 90 minutes (as scheduled) will be served with complimentary drinks and snacks. Also, only Economy Class will be offered for all flights within 90 minutes. If the cabin offer First or Business Class seats, FF may be able to seat there with restrictions (it will be listed separately).
- All flights duration longer than 90 minutes will be served with complimentary drinks and meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, refreshments will be served depending on the boarding time). If you have special meal preference, please notify the airline either by phone calls or through online 72 hours prior to boarding.
- Amenities will be offered on flights with duration longer than 90 minutes with restrictions below.

Business:
Pre-boarding complimentary drinks.
Blankets, Pillows
Light Amenity Kits (for flight duration longer than 180 minutes)
Snacks (for flight duration longer than 180 minutes) until all consumed.

Economy (when flight duration is longer than 180 minutes):
Blankets
Pillows
Snacks until all consumed.

5. Frequent Flyer Program will have extensive functions and restrictions. Four tiers will be offered, Blue (B), Silver (S), Gold (G), and Platinum (P), and they will be noted with the code behind them. I will only list some of the functions related to current airline actions, will not list them all as it will get too long. Here are benefits...
- 24 hours customer service hotline (S/G/P).
- Priority Reservation (S/G/P).
- Extra Baggage Allowance: 1 luggage with 23 kg or less (G), 2 luggages with 23 kg or less each (P).
- Priority Baggage Handling (S/G/P).
- Lounge Access if available at the airport: Business Lounge (G), Platinum Lounge (P).
- Companions: 1 (G), 2 and unlimited children (P). The companions must also fly with us on the same date.
- Complimentary Upgrade (it will be served based on your tier):

If it's a flight within 90 minutes, base on the check-in time (even if your tier is higher, you may not get the offer if you do not check in early, and it will start off from online check-in) and the seats are available...
Members will be offered the seats for 1,000 miles (S), 500 miles (G), free (P).

If it's a flight longer than 90 minutes and there are seats available, you may be offered the seat (P).

Spouse will be upgraded if there's space available in Business Class (G/P). You must request it at the airport when you check-in.

- Flying Miles and Membership Miles. Member will earn Flying Miles (FM) and Membership Miles (MM) for each flight they take base on their ticketing class (B/S/G/P).

Business:
C - 125% of actual miles (FM/MM), sectors will be recorded.
D - 100% of actual miles (FM/MM), sectors will be recorded.

500 minimum miles will be kept for the above Business Class Tickets. For example, if the actual mile is 298, you will earn 500 miles instead of 298/373 miles for D/C class tickets.

Economy:
Y, K - 100% of actual miles (FM/MM)
T, M - 100% of actual miles (FM), 50% of actual miles (MM)
H, B - 100% of actual miles (FM)
N, Q - 50% of actual miles (FM)

All other booking class will receive no miles, regardless of cabin flown.

- Members may upgrade using their miles if the ticket is full fare (Ticket: Y/K) and the cabin is offered. To upgrade one sector:

10,000 miles will be needed when flying within the 48 states.
15,000 miles will be needed when flying from/to the 48 states to Puerto Rico, Canada, and Alaska.
20,000 miles will be needed when flying from/to the 48 states, Canada, and Alaska to Hawaii and all US islands closer to the mainland than Hawaii. Details will not be listed.
25,000 miles will be needed when flying from/to the 48 states, Canada, Alaska, Hawaii to all US islands further out than Hawaii (such as Guam). Details will not be listed.

- Confirmed Reservation before 72 hours (G/P).

6. Frequent Flyer Program Qualifications. We only count miles, no sectors unless noted. Both domestic/international flights use this tier.

Blue Card -
Anyone may apply and qualify. The card will expire if no Membership Miles (MM) are deposited within 3 years.

Silver Card -
Qualifications: Accumulate 45,000 MM within 12 calendar months.
Validity Period: 24 months after qualification.
Renewal: Accumulate 77,500 MM within validity period.

Gold Card -
Qualifications: Accumulate 90,000 MM and 4 Business Sectors within 12 calendar months.
Validity Period: 24 months after qualification.
Renewal: Accumulate 112,500 MM and 5 Business Sectors within validity period.

Platinum Card -
Qualifications: Accumulate 180,000 MM and 8 Business Sectors within 12 calendar months.
Validity Period: 24 months after qualification.
Renewal: Accumulate 180,000 MM and 8 Business Sectors within validity period.

Platinum Lifetime -
Qualifications: Be a Platinum Card members for 10 consecutive years.
Validity Period: Lifetime or when the airline shuts down.
 
bobnwa
Posts: 4471
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2000 12:10 am

RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 6:58 pm



Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 1):
1) Bring back regular meals.
2) Stop charging for checked bags. First bag free, second bag free.
3) Depending on the airline, smarten up the uniforms. Not every airline needs this, but a few do. Compare the uniforms of the world's most successful airlines with the uniforms of some American carriers. It's a joke, and it does affect the perception of the airline among the public.
4) Depending on the airline, modernize and streamline the fleet. Yes, that means simply retiring some planes and not replacing them, which means ditching less-profitable routes for now. Reduce the number of types being flow to 2 or 3 for mainline.
5) Retrain the cabin crew so they know their job is service oriented. Jaded, older f/a's who resist should be replaced with younger f/a's more open to new ideas about what that position is. (Really, it's an old idea... but one still practiced by all of the world's successful airlines.) That would have the side benefit of lowering labor costs.
6) Create a major marketing campaign emphasizing this attention to detail, service, and features that set the airline above and beyond what customers have come to expect. Back it up with concrete details about what these services and features are (ie. meals on all flights longer than 90 minutes, free checked bags, etc.)
7) Raise ticket prices to a profitable level. Once you've given customers a product worth paying for and you've gotten the word out, people will pay. I doubt prices would need to be raised a huge amount. $20 for each passenger on a flight carrying 300 people is $6,000. That may not sound like much, but consider that AA has about 4,000 flights per day. No, not all of them carry 300 people. But even with an average of, say, 80 people, you're still talking about $1 billion extra in revenue every year. And that's with just a $20 ticket price increase.

Points 1-6 woulod cost the airlines more money and would make them lose even more. Point 7 is the only one that increase profitablulity.
 
blueflyer
Posts: 3657
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:17 am

RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 7:03 pm

If all the assets aren't leveraged, sell everything I can sell, return the money to the shareholders, take my golden parachute and shut down the company.
If everything is leveraged, sell everything, pay off the debts, kiss the shareholders good bye, take my golden parachute and shut down the company.
Then watch from some beach in Anguilla as the sharp reduction in capacity I just caused allows another CEO to implement one of the surprisingly good ideas above.
(With apologies to airline employees who may think my approach somewhat... cavalier)

[Edited 2008-05-28 12:05:44]
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has no clothes.
 
bhill
Posts: 1315
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 8:28 am

RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 7:12 pm

Sell all my stock, resign, and get out while the getting is good......or buy an oil company and become sole supplier...
Carpe Pices
 
Alias1024
Posts: 2233
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 11:13 am

RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 7:37 pm

I'd go to the top math, business, and technology schools and throw money at the top graduates like it's growing on trees. I'd also pay careful attention to those who have other interests which show creative thinking (I want new solutions and innovations, not those who are good at following directions in a text book). I'd lay down the challenge to these students to run a successful company in one of the most challenging and glamorous industries on the planet.

With the exception of aviation fanatics, airlines usually get the B and C students from these schools because those who get better grades get huge pay on Wall Street or in other industries. I'd pay good money to get some real brains running my revenue management and IT departments. There is no sense in fighting with the unionized workers over pay and benefits. All it does is piss both sides off. Instead I want to reshape the behind the scenes processes in ways nobody has thought of. This means people who are very creative, very smart, and haven't been exposed to the industry enough to have preconceived notions about how an airline is supposed to be run.

I'd give more concrete solutions, but I'll leave that to smarter and more creative people than myself.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
 
KELPkid
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Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:33 am

RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Wed May 28, 2008 7:56 pm

Reduce salaries and bonus payouts of the board of directors to be more consistent with what other (overseas) airlines are paying for the same work, and make some of the exectutive staff come from within the ranks, instead of just hiring the latest MBA grads from _______ (insert name of favorite business college here). Group thought is killing American business!
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
TimT
Posts: 168
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2001 1:38 pm

RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Sat May 31, 2008 1:20 am

Regulate the airlines like the CAA did originally. It costs $X to get from a to b
Dump all the RJ's, or dump everything else
Take a row of seats out and make room for those folks that are over 5' tall
Get the FAA to move forward


None of that will ever happen. I'd bet the airlines are petitioning the FAA to reduce the seat pitch to 20 inches.
 
a380us
Posts: 1447
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:55 am

RE: If You Were CEO, How Would You Fix US Airlines

Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:19 am



Quoting YYZflyboy (Reply 10):
-Competition: if the U.S. is a free market economy, why should they be afraid of SQ flying domestic runs (New York to San Francisco?) or even international routes like (LHR-JFK)? Doesn't it force the US airlines to keep up in terms of cabin comforts and service?

No one is because they cant fly domestically I dont think any non-US airlines can.
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