Baexecutive
Posts: 594
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2005 9:29 pm

Southwest V Ryanair

Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:24 am

Hello,

I recently flew Southwest from LAX to LAS and was blown away by the attitude & general friendliness of the crew, so much so it made me wonder why Ryanair are so crap at pleasing customers....


WN - Upfront cost of ticket (no baggage fees)
FR- unbelievable fees for hold baggage and draconian fines for going overweight or checking in at the airport

WN - Complimentary snacks & alcohol free drinks (Cabin crew didn't charge us for our vodka n whisky)
FR - £15 for a sandwich and a beer

WN - Crew looked like they were having fun, interacted with customers & looked genuinely interested in people
FR - Crew looked like they were just dug up from the local cemetery, only spoke when selling something or when barking orders at people

WN - PA's were upbeat & friendly
FR - Couldn't understand the garbled mix of accent used by the crew

What is it? Are they paid particularly well at WN? What rewards do the company give crew? I usually travel on staff concessions with 'legacy' carriers, however going forward I'll definitely be considering them when I'm in the states!

As for FR, I've no need to use them in Europe but just feel the whole process from website to baggage claim leaves a bitter taste in my mouth & feel it's such a shame that they can't be better known for decent customer service rather than cheap & nasty.....didn't they send people over to look at WN at some point? If not, they should.
 
Birdwatching
Posts: 3574
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 10:48 am

RE: Southwest V Ryanair

Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:12 am

You're comparing apples to oranges here.

Ryanair is a super low cost airline, their stateside equivalents in terms of service are Spirit or Allegiant, maybe AirTran to a degree.

Southwest is a full service airline that has no real equivalent in Europe in terms of service, it certainly ranks above the legacies.

How they manage to keep their fares so low is beyond me, but apparently they are doing it right.

Soren   
All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
 
Delta777Jet
Posts: 1226
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2000 6:19 am

RE: Southwest V Ryanair

Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:07 am

If people wouldn't like FR they would´t fly with them.

I personally love WN, I like U2 (easyJet) but would't dare to step on a FR plane again!

If all people who hate them would follow they wouldn't be around anymore !
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Baexecutive
Posts: 594
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2005 9:29 pm

RE: Southwest V Ryanair

Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:01 pm

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 1):

Oh sorry, I thought WN was the US largest LCC, is that not correct?
 
Ps76
Posts: 1015
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 7:52 pm

RE: Southwest V Ryanair

Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:25 pm

Hi!

I have flown on Ryanair a lot and I got so close to flying Southwest once but I left my passport at home when I got to the airport. However I have seen Southwest videos on Youtube a lot an know what you mean. To start with though Ryanair used to be a LOT cheaper than Southwest. There were times when I flew from London to Dublin and Shannon for £2 including everything. A similar flight on Southwest would have cost $80-$100 I think. Of course those days are now over for Ryanair it seems and the £2 flight is now more like £40-50 which is not too different from Southwest. Contrary to most people also I have never had a Ryanair crewmember treat me especially badly, certainly no worse than any other European airline. For the most part they have always seemed focused on their work and operating the flight. There food and drink is quite expensive but a J20 for £2 isn't that bad.

Personally I think Ryanair's best days seem to be over unless something changes. For me what made them special was their incredibly low fares (providing you played along with the rules which wasn't really that hard). They also fly to some very interesting places, places like Bremen, Eindhoven, Bratislava, Seville, Sandefjord. I have enjoyed visiting these places on day trips just as much if not more than big European cities which the other carriers fly to. I am extremely impressed with how Southwest has managed to be an extremely well managed company for such a long time. Personally I think how well a company is managed has a lot to do with employee morale further down the chain and ultimately how good a service you recieve. There is definitely a "buzz" about Southwest and used to be one with Ryanair but I'm not so sure now.

Anyway I agree the guys (and girls) at Southwest have been on top of their game for a very long time. I'm sure many carriers around the World look at them and wish they could have something similar for them.

Many thanks (sorry for the long post).

Pierre
 
planeguy727
Posts: 1054
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:58 am

RE: Southwest V Ryanair

Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:34 pm

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 1):
You're comparing apples to oranges here.

Yes, but you are still talking about fruit.

Quoting baexecutive (Reply 3):
Oh sorry, I thought WN was the US largest LCC, is that not correct?

Do you mean low cost (cost to operate the airline are low) or low fare (cost to the passenger are low)?
I want to live in an old and converted 727...
 
srbmod
Posts: 15446
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

RE: Southwest V Ryanair

Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:52 pm

While Ryanair based their business model off of Southwest (Whose business model was based off of Pacific Southwest Airlines.), Ryanair over the years has tweaked the model in order to maximize the potential revenue and the Ryanair business model is the blueprint used by ultra low-cost carriers. Skybus was an attempt to establish an airline in the US that followed the Ryanair model pretty much from top to bottom. Spirit and Allegiant have taken the same model and tweaked it to best suit their operations (Spirit has retained the "Big Front Seat" from their previous low-cost model and sell it in much the same manner as the premium seats with any other airline, just minus the frills.).

Quoting baexecutive (Reply 3):
Oh sorry, I thought WN was the US largest LCC, is that not correct?

They are the largest LCC in the US, even if you don't include their AirTran subsidiary.

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 1):
Southwest is a full service airline that has no real equivalent in Europe in terms of service, it certainly ranks above the legacies.

Not entirely the case, WN doesn't offer assigned seating, has no premium cabin, and doesn't have any interlining agreements with other airlines (with the exception of some cargo interlining deals with WestJet and Hawaiian). Their corporate sibling AirTran is closer to a full service airline as they have assigned seating (although like many LCCs, they charge extra for certain seats as well as the time in which one requests for a seat assignment), they have a premium cabin and they interline with other airlines.

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 1):
How they manage to keep their fares so low is beyond me, but apparently they are doing it right.

By keeping their costs as low as possible in many aspects of their operations. Maintaining a single fleet type is one way, as even with the airline having different versions of the 737 in their fleet, many of the parts are interchangable amongst the fleet. They also keep their fleets as busy as possible, as an a/c parked at a gate isn't making them money. They're famous for their quick turnaround of a/c, which actually started out of necessity as they had three a/c in their fleet after having to sell-off an a/c in order to raise cash in their early days yet did not reduce their schedule, so they had to keep the planes on the ground for as short of a time as possible in order to keep the schedule. If you can cut the turnaround time by 10-20 minutes, over the course of the day, an a/c could fly an extra leg that would typically require additional a/c, which in the long run saves money as well. WN has also been pretty lucky when it comes to their fuel contracts as well, although they've been burned a few times like the other airlines when the prices went down instead of up.
 
Baexecutive
Posts: 594
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2005 9:29 pm

RE: Southwest V Ryanair

Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:18 pm

Quoting planeguy727 (Reply 5):

LOL. No I'm talking about LCC.

Quoting srbmod (Reply 6):

Thanks for that, v informative.
 
LOWS
Posts: 1194
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:37 am

RE: Southwest V Ryanair

Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:17 pm

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 1):
Southwest is a full service airline that has no real equivalent in Europe in terms of service, it certainly ranks above the legacies.

Easyjet?
 
AirframeAS
Posts: 9811
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:56 pm

RE: Southwest V Ryanair

Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:59 am

I think comparing Southwest and Ryanair is not a very good one, at all.

The correct comparison should be Ryanair and Spirit. They seem to be doing the same things.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
Pe@rson
Posts: 16003
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 6:29 pm

RE: Southwest V Ryanair

Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:18 am

I have flown Ryanair and easyJet many times but never Southwest. This is something I will remedy.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 9):
I think comparing Southwest and Ryanair is not a very good one, at all.

The correct comparison should be Ryanair and Spirit. They seem to be doing the same things.

I agree. However, even Spirit, a self-proclaimed ULCC, does many things that Ryanair does not, e.g. doesn't have maximum floorspace utilisation for the operated types; has 'big front seat', effectively two cabins; overwhelmingly uses the biggest, most costly, and most congested airports (e.g. BOS, ORD, LGA, DFW); has seat assignments; has indirect distribution (uses travel agencies, GDS', OTAs, although the cost of some of these are offset by higher fares through them); and so forth. Conversely, Spirit is better at achieving per-passenger ancillary revenue than Ryanair ($45.99 against Ryanair's $14.74) and ancillary revenue as a percentage of total revenue (35.6% against Ryanair's 22.1%).

Also, any discussion cannot exclude average one-way fares, average sector lengths, and operating result.

Per their 2011 annual reports and all rounded and all converted from average exchange rates for the year, their average one-way fares were:

Southwest: $142.
Ryanair: $65 including ancillaries. (This has increased in recent years but its average is still very low.)
easyJet: $99 including ancillaries.
Spirit: $126 including ancillaries.

Clearly, Ryanair's average one-way fare - including ancillaries - is 118% lower than Southwest's and 94% lower than Spirit's. This is furthered when sector length is considered given Ryanair's is marginally longer than Southwest's:

Average sector lengths (miles):

Southwest: 679
Spirit: 921
Ryanair: 727
easyJet: 690

Operating result:

Southwest: $693,000,000
Spirit: $144,382,000
Ryanair: $647,000,000
easyJet: $433,000,000

Operating result per aircraft (to get rid of the influence of size):

Southwest: $992,837 (698 aircraft at 31st Dec 2011)
Spirit: $4,125,200 (35 aircraft)
Ryanair: $2,927,602 (221)
easyJet: $2,112,549 (204 aircraft)
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