just7four7
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:09 am

WN Vs FR

Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:52 pm

Two topics of interest around that, I find:

1. Sort of a cultural comparison. Fleet of 500+ for WN, around 200 for FR. WN more established, with possibly better all-around service. FR on other hand maybe flying many more leisure travellers, with less service demands? Is it laid-back relaxed Texas culture vs brash Irish/Brit culture. Dallas vs Dublin home? Are they actually quite similar? Do both operate similar hub systems? Award programs? LCC-Competition, harder in US or Europe?

2. What if they were exchanged and serve the opposite side of Atlantic? Would 500+ WN aircraft flood Europe's low-cost market to near extinction? Would FR open markets in US even more aggressive, may be suck in Canada and Mexico? Would US passengers accept the very limited FR service culture, and would Europeans appreciate WN?

I have never flown them, but kind of think I would prefer WN over FR. FR I would compare to a noisy kid. WN much more resolved and calm, may be?
 
DfwRevolution
Posts: 8549
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:31 pm

RE: WN Vs FR

Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:09 am



Quoting Just7four7 (Thread starter):
WN more established, with possibly better all-around service.

Just possibly?  eyebrow 

I think it's pretty obvious that WN has superior customer service, top-to-bottom. More pitch, checked baggage allowance, complementary beverages and snacks, basic human decency, etc.

Quoting Just7four7 (Thread starter):
Are they actually quite similar?

It's well known that O'Leary and FR have emulated WN closely in the past. O'Leary traveled to Dallas to visit with Southwest execs many times in the 90s. But since the late-90s, it seems (to this casual observer) that FR began blazing their own trail as an ultra-LCC.

Quoting Just7four7 (Thread starter):
2. What if they were exchanged and serve the opposite side of Atlantic? Would 500+ WN aircraft flood Europe's low-cost market to near extinction? Would FR open markets in US even more aggressive, may be suck in Canada and Mexico? Would US passengers accept the very limited FR service culture, and would Europeans appreciate WN?

EasyJet and AirBerlin offer a closer product to Southwest than FR in Europe, and they are quite successful.

OTOH, the ultra-LCC start-up called Skybus failed quite spectacularly in the U.S.
 
incitatus
Posts: 2691
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 1:49 am

RE: WN Vs FR

Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:10 am



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 1):
OTOH, the ultra-LCC start-up called Skybus failed quite spectacularly in the U.S.

If a.net is to be believed, Europeans would never tolerate the "low standards of service" of US carriers. That is, until a carrier like Ryanair comes along and shows what side of the pond really tolerates low standards of service. Apparently a large number of people in Europe will tolerate anything for a cheap fare.
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02hilliert
Posts: 474
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:52 pm

RE: WN Vs FR

Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:56 pm



Quoting Incitatus (Reply 2):
If a.net is to be believed, Europeans would never tolerate the "low standards of service" of US carriers. That is, until a carrier like Ryanair comes along and shows what side of the pond really tolerates low standards of service. Apparently a large number of people in Europe will tolerate anything for a cheap fare.

I couldn't agree with you more. I can't understand WHY any of us European's would choose to holiday with Ryanair given the hassle. I have been known to take the odd daytrip with Ryanair, but would never fly with them to any destination where I might have to over night.

My one experience with Southwest was excellent though, great walk-up fare, fantastic service. The only problem was that my luggage didn't make the flight, but it was on the next one an hour later, so can't complain... too much! (Incidentally, I gather the lost luggage issue is a common problem with BWI rampers on flights that operate several times each day?)
Next Up: Back to the US - Charlotte & Kansas City
 
HT
Posts: 5857
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 6:20 am

RE: WN Vs FR

Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:54 pm



Quoting Just7four7 (Thread starter):
Are they actually quite similar?

There are huge differences in these two airlines !
Disclaimer: I will try to choose my words (about FR) carefully enough to not let this thread run into a "bashing FR"-thread ...

Quoting Just7four7 (Thread starter):
Do both operate similar hub systems?

No hub system on both airlines in the traditional sense.
However, WN sells connections and also transfers your checked luggage for you, whereas FR is a strict point-to-point airline. If you book two flights, you need to make a new check-in (actually you must have performed OLCI meanwhile) and get your luggage checked in again (including new fee for this service, of course).

The handling fee for checked bags at FR can be a major contributor to the overall fare, especially you do not restrict yourself to those 15 kg ( 33 lbs) allowed (for a fee) in your single piece of checked luggage.
Only sightly positive thing is, that the (higher) fee for the second bag allows you to take along another 15kg (no pooling between the 1st and the 2nd piece of luggage) - this fee for the 2nd piece is lower than the charge for excess weight.
Compare all this to WN's highly promoted "bags fly for free" ...

More differences:
Easy re-booking flights on WN - for a hefty fee only on FR.
Cancelled bookings (unless using a refundable fare) get you Travelfund to be used within 1 year (from the date of performing the original booking) on WN (even transferrable to another person as I learned here). All monies paid to FR are non-refundable. Unless FR cancels a flight and refunds you exactly the money paid, but nothing (assistance etc.) else.

Even though my experience on WN varied a bit (driven by various circumstances), I never think about booking with them again twice. If they fly where & when I want to go, they are first one to check.
-HT
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