PlanesNTrains
Posts: 9526
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:19 pm

Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:28 pm

tphuang wrote:
Okcflyer wrote:
AA's 738s (and -8s) will seat 8 more than United's slimline edition. United uses a 16J front cabin with a decent-sized Economy Plus cabin.

Assuming AA keeps the same A321 cabin on the neo, looks like the -8 Max will have a lower CASM compared to the 321neo, and certainly so below 2000nm. The A321 will <should> generate a slightly higher RASM from the larger front and MCE cabins.

For those that tend to lump the 738 and A320 in the "same size" bracket, this is one example that demostrates the 738 capacity is actually quite a bit larger (at least two rows physically). Reality is, it's about halfway sized between A320 and A321. I think this is one reason so many Airbus operators are going A321neo on this buying cycle, the A320 is just a little too small for economical optimum.

Interestingly enough, the new AA configuration is likely to be more roomy then legacy European carriers with their slimline, packed out stuffing of 180pax in the A320 (different J class offsets slightly)

A320 still has wider seats than 738, which makes it easier to tolerate the less leg room. I know the Boeing fans keep telling me there is no difference, but I feel it every time I fly on a 738, even when I get those economy plus seats. And the difference between a 738 seat and E90 seat for a 4 hour or under flight is humongous.

AA will not keep A321 the same, it will install the same slimline seats and squeeze passengers even more. That's what Doug Parker and his crew have been doing for a while now

Well, Delta said it was selling 57% of its first and business class seats last year, with a goal of selling 70%. The link below cites Hauenstein for those figures.

https://skift.com/2016/03/04/delta-to-c ... es-harder/

When Delta started bragging, IIRC, United said that it was selling ~45% of its premium cabin seats but I can't find a reference for it - and I'm not going to comb earnings call transcripts.

Just 3% for AA sounds really, really improbable to me - even if you argued that domestic sell rates are lower than international.

Delta is notorious for selling more of their domestic first class seats at $100 more than the economy seats. The upgrades are completely non-existent. Their award chart is horrible. AA has been selling more of their first class seats from what I can see, but there is still a real price difference. I don't know why people are paying 3 or 4 times more for a non A321T first class seat, but that's just me. I think AA has caught on that too many EXP members are just getting free upgrades all day long and they need to remove FC inventory. They have already gone through one of the large devaluations in the frequent flyer program, I guess it's not close to finishing.


I will turn it around on you. I know Airbus fanboys will tell you that seat width is critical and pitch is secondary, but I will tell you that last week I flew on an Ejet with wider seats and 30" pitch and a 738 with narrower seats and 31" pitch, and as a shorter, rounder fellow the 738 seats were completely fine and there was no noticeable difference to me than the Ejet seat in width, at least from a comfort standpoint. The pitch literally mattered to both of us more. If you want to label me a Boeing fanboy then so be it.
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
grbauc
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:44 pm

we still need 100% confirmation. I have a hard time believing there selling that few. Is there just that much more coach demand?
 
grbauc
Posts: 1445
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:47 pm

PlanesNTrains wrote:
tphuang wrote:
Okcflyer wrote:
AA's 738s (and -8s) will seat 8 more than United's slimline edition. United uses a 16J front cabin with a decent-sized Economy Plus cabin.

Assuming AA keeps the same A321 cabin on the neo, looks like the -8 Max will have a lower CASM compared to the 321neo, and certainly so below 2000nm. The A321 will <should> generate a slightly higher RASM from the larger front and MCE cabins.

For those that tend to lump the 738 and A320 in the "same size" bracket, this is one example that demostrates the 738 capacity is actually quite a bit larger (at least two rows physically). Reality is, it's about halfway sized between A320 and A321. I think this is one reason so many Airbus operators are going A321neo on this buying cycle, the A320 is just a little too small for economical optimum.

Interestingly enough, the new AA configuration is likely to be more roomy then legacy European carriers with their slimline, packed out stuffing of 180pax in the A320 (different J class offsets slightly)

A320 still has wider seats than 738, which makes it easier to tolerate the less leg room. I know the Boeing fans keep telling me there is no difference, but I feel it every time I fly on a 738, even when I get those economy plus seats. And the difference between a 738 seat and E90 seat for a 4 hour or under flight is humongous.

AA will not keep A321 the same, it will install the same slimline seats and squeeze passengers even more. That's what Doug Parker and his crew have been doing for a while now

Well, Delta said it was selling 57% of its first and business class seats last year, with a goal of selling 70%. The link below cites Hauenstein for those figures.

https://skift.com/2016/03/04/delta-to-c ... es-harder/

When Delta started bragging, IIRC, United said that it was selling ~45% of its premium cabin seats but I can't find a reference for it - and I'm not going to comb earnings call transcripts.

Just 3% for AA sounds really, really improbable to me - even if you argued that domestic sell rates are lower than international.

Delta is notorious for selling more of their domestic first class seats at $100 more than the economy seats. The upgrades are completely non-existent. Their award chart is horrible. AA has been selling more of their first class seats from what I can see, but there is still a real price difference. I don't know why people are paying 3 or 4 times more for a non A321T first class seat, but that's just me. I think AA has caught on that too many EXP members are just getting free upgrades all day long and they need to remove FC inventory. They have already gone through one of the large devaluations in the frequent flyer program, I guess it's not close to finishing.


I will turn it around on you. I know Airbus fanboys will tell you that seat width is critical and pitch is secondary, but I will tell you that last week I flew on an Ejet with wider seats and 30" pitch and a 738 with narrower seats and 31" pitch, and as a shorter, rounder fellow the 738 seats were completely fine and there was no noticeable difference to me than the Ejet seat in width, at least from a comfort standpoint. The pitch literally mattered to both of us more. If you want to label me a Boeing fanboy then so be it.


I agree with you Dave its a mind thing simple and plan...
 
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N717TW
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:53 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
commavia wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
I think the problem is more one of saving the seats for elites who do not ultimately book.


Well, again, that may be the perception of a single traveler with experience in a single city pair that is interacting with a hub that handles traffic flow across thousands of city pairs on a daily basis. And, alas, that perception may be correct. All I'm suggesting is that it is at least possible that AA recognizes the exact dynamic being described - including slight pricing differences driven by paid seat selection, withholding inventory for late-booking elites, etc. - and is consciously, and happily, pricing that way for a reason.


I see the problem of no free seats for last minute purchasers as more structural. I can expense a bundled ticket. I can afford but cannot expense a $9 "preferred seat" charge for 17A.

For those of us who rarely book very far in advance, what is the benefit of traveling on AA and earning the status that fixes the problem? AA seems to have moved to a model of aggressive status matching (they gave me Platinum unsolicited a couple of years ago when I was DL silver and either A List or Preferred but not Companion Pass) to find new elites rather than earning the business. Other than "I trust Mr. Parker," what is the case for that choice?


My discussions with AA employees (granted I don't know any currently employed high level AA folks--only front line or retired execs) this seems to be an issue with the SabreSonic or even some pieces of ITA and HP Shares that came over from USAirways that is programmed to to uncharge but isn't sophisticated enough to know when to wave them. When dealing with legacy AA employees who can get into full, old-school SABRE all those stupid fees go away.
 
grbauc
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:11 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
scbriml wrote:
9w748capt wrote:
Jesus is this for real? Holy hell. Upgrades are hard enough as it is even with 16F - I find it hard to believe AA isn't selling a good chunk of those these days. Where the hell did the poster above come up with only 3% of F seats are sold? That is total and utter BS. 3% - hahahah that means less than 1 seat per 737 flight is actually sold - LMAO - not true.


Rather than just complaining about another member's figures, you could have provided some factual basis to refute his claim. But you didn't. If his post was "BS", what does that make yours?


Well, Delta said it was selling 57% of its first and business class seats last year, with a goal of selling 70%. The link below cites Hauenstein for those figures.

https://skift.com/2016/03/04/delta-to-c ... es-harder/

When Delta started bragging, IIRC, United said that it was selling ~45% of its premium cabin seats but I can't find a reference for it - and I'm not going to comb earnings call transcripts.

Just 3% for AA sounds really, really improbable to me - even if you argued that domestic sell rates are lower than international.



Here is a good article where this is heading...
http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/2015/12/17/42581/
 
Okcflyer
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:55 pm

Wonder how long until Southwest increases their -8 / 738 config beyond the 175 of present day. They probably need to add at least 6 seats if not more to keep CASM competitive in the market for their model to work. Perhaps they can keep a more comfortable 32-33" pitch in the front for the A group boarders and drop the rear to 30" to match what the rest of the market is providing.

AA being the largest 738 operator and largest overall airline in the US, this change will force the market to respond to keep competive on margin.
 
DDR
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:11 pm

Okcflyer wrote:
Wonder how long until Southwest increases their -8 / 738 config beyond the 175 of present day. They probably need to add at least 6 seats if not more to keep CASM competitive in the market for their model to work. Perhaps they can keep a more comfortable 32-33" pitch in the front for the A group boarders and drop the rear to 30" to match what the rest of the market is providing.

AA being the largest 738 operator and largest overall airline in the US, this change will force the market to respond to keep competive on margin.


Interesting thought. If people would actually pay for more pitch, WN could keep seating as it is but drop the bags fly free thing. I'm guessing people wouldn't be willing to pay for bags to get an increased seat pitch. People need to get used to the fact that while the economy is good and the airlines are making money (which based on history, won't last forever) they will pinch every penny they can.

AA and TWA tried offering more seat pitch and people weren't willing to pay. Midwest Express and Legend tried offering only first class service and they are history. Air travelers like to complain, but they aren't willing to pay for better service. It is what it is.
 
Bald1983
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:24 pm

cheapgreek wrote:
Remember AA's MRTC or "More Room Throughout Coach"? Those days are but a pleasant memory.


American learned it received no benefit from people choosing to fly AMR over the competitors. It made no sense to have reduced seating capacity. In the end, people go for lowest price and then complain about the service.
 
tphuang
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:59 pm

PlanesNTrains wrote:
tphuang wrote:
Okcflyer wrote:
AA's 738s (and -8s) will seat 8 more than United's slimline edition. United uses a 16J front cabin with a decent-sized Economy Plus cabin.

Assuming AA keeps the same A321 cabin on the neo, looks like the -8 Max will have a lower CASM compared to the 321neo, and certainly so below 2000nm. The A321 will <should> generate a slightly higher RASM from the larger front and MCE cabins.

For those that tend to lump the 738 and A320 in the "same size" bracket, this is one example that demostrates the 738 capacity is actually quite a bit larger (at least two rows physically). Reality is, it's about halfway sized between A320 and A321. I think this is one reason so many Airbus operators are going A321neo on this buying cycle, the A320 is just a little too small for economical optimum.

Interestingly enough, the new AA configuration is likely to be more roomy then legacy European carriers with their slimline, packed out stuffing of 180pax in the A320 (different J class offsets slightly)

A320 still has wider seats than 738, which makes it easier to tolerate the less leg room. I know the Boeing fans keep telling me there is no difference, but I feel it every time I fly on a 738, even when I get those economy plus seats. And the difference between a 738 seat and E90 seat for a 4 hour or under flight is humongous.

AA will not keep A321 the same, it will install the same slimline seats and squeeze passengers even more. That's what Doug Parker and his crew have been doing for a while now

Well, Delta said it was selling 57% of its first and business class seats last year, with a goal of selling 70%. The link below cites Hauenstein for those figures.

https://skift.com/2016/03/04/delta-to-c ... es-harder/

When Delta started bragging, IIRC, United said that it was selling ~45% of its premium cabin seats but I can't find a reference for it - and I'm not going to comb earnings call transcripts.

Just 3% for AA sounds really, really improbable to me - even if you argued that domestic sell rates are lower than international.

Delta is notorious for selling more of their domestic first class seats at $100 more than the economy seats. The upgrades are completely non-existent. Their award chart is horrible. AA has been selling more of their first class seats from what I can see, but there is still a real price difference. I don't know why people are paying 3 or 4 times more for a non A321T first class seat, but that's just me. I think AA has caught on that too many EXP members are just getting free upgrades all day long and they need to remove FC inventory. They have already gone through one of the large devaluations in the frequent flyer program, I guess it's not close to finishing.


I will turn it around on you. I know Airbus fanboys will tell you that seat width is critical and pitch is secondary, but I will tell you that last week I flew on an Ejet with wider seats and 30" pitch and a 738 with narrower seats and 31" pitch, and as a shorter, rounder fellow the 738 seats were completely fine and there was no noticeable difference to me than the Ejet seat in width, at least from a comfort standpoint. The pitch literally mattered to both of us more. If you want to label me a Boeing fanboy then so be it.


Fair enough, I'm just saying both pitch and width matters in comfort level. My parents aren't exactly frequent flyers and they've commented on things have gotten more uncomfortable on 777 since AC went to 10 across. At the end of the day, each flyers have their own tolerance for both parameters. After all, a friend even told me she doesn't mind the leg room on Spirit.

I do think that as AA continues to cut back on its frequent flyer program in this manner, it will loose some elite status flyers who have choices. Thepointsguy even commented recently on how bad AAdvantage has gotten. He also commented that B6's economy is better than AA's first class on older planes. If AA keeps shrinking every class, that will probably be the case.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:02 pm

Bald1983 wrote:
cheapgreek wrote:
Remember AA's MRTC or "More Room Throughout Coach"? Those days are but a pleasant memory.


American learned it received no benefit from people choosing to fly AMR over the competitors. It made no sense to have reduced seating capacity. In the end, people go for lowest price and then complain about the service.

100% true. I flew AA almost exclusively for a few years for that MRTC (and that the LCCs weren't convenient for where I was going during that time). But it wasn't a long time before the seats returned...

Lightsaber
IM messages to mods on warnings and bans will be ignored and nasty ones will result in a ban.
 
jetero
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:05 am

commavia wrote:
I have top tier elite status on a U.S. network carrier


Let me guess which one.

commavia wrote:
If other people book tickets in Y earlier than me, and either have similar elite status or are willing to pay for windows or aisles, I don't expect an airline to prevent them from selecting such seats on the chance that I might show up.


You've got to be kidding me. I'm sure you, like me, have seen plenty of full-data manifests for flights showing date of purchase, fare paid, itinerary, etc. The revenue management experts can't block out E- windows and aisles for the less than 5% of tickets that are booked within 7 days on most business routes? I know, trust the machine. Except two years later when it becomes so damned obvious it was a stupid move to begin with. I'm sure, for example, we'd find plenty of 2005-era Delta apologists "singing the praises" (pun intended) of Song.

But yes, sure, we can buy F seats. The thing people don't seem to get is that these days often enough there aren't even F seats on flights for close-in booking. But, yeah, those revenue management guys have got it all down. They're solving for the $9, as Cubsrule mentioned above, instead of selling a seat for $25 or $50 more in a seat with more legroom and maybe a free sodium snack box and wine split.

commavia wrote:
I continue to strongly disagree. There are very, very few city pairs in the U.S. today where one airline literally has a monopoly. The vast majority of markets in the U.S. today have multiple airline competitors, and in the markets constituting - I strongly suspect - the vast majority of actual volume, there are multiple nonstop competitors.


What does it matter if there are 5 airlines competing in the DFW-LAX market if your business takes you to, say, OMA? If you live in Dallas and your travel takes you regularly to 5 destinations, it's going to be American or Southwest. If Southwest doesn't fly to 1 or 2 of the 5, it's American or spend God knows how many more hours of your life every year on a plane. Travel out on Monday at 5:30AM, connect in ATL, and get back to Dallas on Friday night at 11:30. That is not a choice. Especially when the way hub pricing works now that US Airways is gone you end up saving maybe $50. This, at the end of the day, was the absolute financial rationale for consolidation.

I've got an "is-what-it-is" BOHICA attitude as much as the next guy (after all, what can you do, really?), but you won't find me doing it with a smile while then using my free time to do what amounts to PR on the side. I think I've read you go outside of the baseline maybe once consistently on any issue having to do with AA, and it was Laura Glading, who is about as widely popular with most non-blindly partisan (what's the word on here? fanboy?) people as Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump.

commavia wrote:
I fail to see how the two are in any way related. Adding density to cabins, however, is something every single major U.S. airline agrees is economically advantageous. Again, it bears repeating - Alaska, Allegiant, AA, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit and United cumulatively constitute well over 90% of all airline traffic in the U.S. and every single one of them has made, and/or is in the process of making, their mainline narrowbody cabins more dense. Are they all wrong?.


Color me surprised. Was United wrong when it offered E+ and nobody else did, only to be followed by DL and AA, what, ten years later? Was Continental wrong when it installed, what, 6 seats in F on a 735 (and I think 16 on a 753) and came back out several years later and said, "Oops, let's add 2 back, that was admittedly silly."

In any case, this whole thread (if true) is about something no other U.S. legacy airline is doing. Going to 175 seats on a 737-800 with 12 F seats. So, by your logic, does that mean American is wrong?

commavia wrote:
Too bad the theory didn't actually lead to Virgin America being a viable, sustainable business.


Commavia, it's been proven right in the New York, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, South Florida, Boston, Washington, DC and Seattle business markets, and it will continue to be proven as other markets grow to similar size. These are the only markets where airlines are competing in SCOPE anymore. And I don't think VX shareholders are crying a single tear. The problem is market access. Just wait for the next downturn and see what rises from the ashes. (Oh wait, I know, it's different this time, eh?)

lightsaber wrote:
Bald1983 wrote:
cheapgreek wrote:
Remember AA's MRTC or "More Room Throughout Coach"? Those days are but a pleasant memory.


American learned it received no benefit from people choosing to fly AMR over the competitors. It made no sense to have reduced seating capacity. In the end, people go for lowest price and then complain about the service.

100% true. I flew AA almost exclusively for a few years for that MRTC (and that the LCCs weren't convenient for where I was going during that time). But it wasn't a long time before the seats returned...

Lightsaber


People's revisionist history over MRTC is just so revealing. Do people remember the dates it was in effect? Announced February 2000. Gone October 2004. Hmmm, what possibly happened over that period of time that could have had such a big effect on the airline industry and changed business models?
 
ILUVDC10S
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:41 am

lightsaber wrote:
Bald1983 wrote:

American learned it received no benefit from people choosing to fly AMR over the competitors. It made no sense to have reduced seating capacity. In the end, people go for lowest price and then complain about the service.

100% true. I flew AA almost exclusively for a few years for that MRTC (and that the LCCs weren't convenient for where I was going during that time). But it wasn't a long time before the seats returned...

Lightsaber


JETERO
People's revisionist history over MRTC is just so revealing. Do people remember the dates it was in effect? Announced February 2000. Gone October 2004. Hmmm, what possibly happened over that period of time that could have had such a big effect on the airline industry and changed business models?[/quote]

I Will Answer this for you
1. 9-11-01 The Main reason
2. Fuel spiked wrongfully markets crashed stupidily Both were done out of fear instead they should have remained steady and constant to show nothing will knock the markets around, show sign of selling off communicates that the terrorists or current events have won against you .
3. Airlines retrenched so bad that you were lucky to get a single peanut and a glass of water with one ice cube in it .
I am sure there are others..
Last edited by ILUVDC10S on Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
jetero
Posts: 4457
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:45 am

Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:42 am

ILUVDC10S wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
Bald1983 wrote:

American learned it received no benefit from people choosing to fly AMR over the competitors. It made no sense to have reduced seating capacity. In the end, people go for lowest price and then complain about the service.

100% true. I flew AA almost exclusively for a few years for that MRTC (and that the LCCs weren't convenient for where I was going during that time). But it wasn't a long time before the seats returned...

Lightsaber


People's revisionist history over MRTC is just so revealing. Do people remember the dates it was in effect? Announced February 2000. Gone October 2004. Hmmm, what possibly happened over that period of time that could have had such a big effect on the airline industry and changed business models?


Will Answer this for you
1. 9-11-01 The Main reason
2. Fuel spiked wrongfully markets crashed stupidily Both were done out of fear instead they should have remained steady and constant to show nothing will knock the markets around, show sign of selling off communicates that the terrorists or current events have won against you .
3. Airlines retrenched so bad that you were lucky to get a single peanut and a glass of water with one ice cube in it .
I am sure there are others..[/quote]

Wait? You're trying to tell me it wasn't as simple as people just not wanting to pay for it?
 
ILUVDC10S
Posts: 259
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:47 am

jetero wrote:
ILUVDC10S wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
100% true. I flew AA almost exclusively for a few years for that MRTC (and that the LCCs weren't convenient for where I was going during that time). But it wasn't a long time before the seats returned...

Lightsaber


People's revisionist history over MRTC is just so revealing. Do people remember the dates it was in effect? Announced February 2000. Gone October 2004. Hmmm, what possibly happened over that period of time that could have had such a big effect on the airline industry and changed business models?


Will Answer this for you
1. 9-11-01 The Main reason
2. Fuel spiked wrongfully markets crashed stupidily Both were done out of fear instead they should have remained steady and constant to show nothing will knock the markets around, show sign of selling off communicates that the terrorists or current events have won against you .
3. Airlines retrenched so bad that you were lucky to get a single peanut and a glass of water with one ice cube in it .
I am sure there are others..


Wait? You're trying to tell me it wasn't as simple as people just not wanting to pay for it?[/quote]
LOL Nope .. Not wanting to pay for it is a excuse some here like tossing around willy nilly as a excuse for business practices gone awry or current events dictate otherwise .
I chose AA during those times I wanted what they were selling .
My flying was 60 percent AA 40 percent NWA during those times
 
ILUVDC10S
Posts: 259
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:56 am

Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:57 am

Besides AA's reputation went down the krapper after 9-11 too if people remember right they associated AA & UAL with poor security of their planes and Management not following the memo sent by the FAA that only NWA followed to the letter.
See I was bouncing across the globe at that time like a fricken yo yo and I am very astute and noticed NWA was doing things that AA was not I asked my friend in NWA they said look we are doing our job we got a memo from the FAA and if other airlines are not following it too bad we are and You have nothing to worry about on Northwest ! Our Guys are on top of it .
I do have to give credit to that PWM AA Agent though He singlehandly could have stopped 9-11 in its tracks however dang federal government was ignorant on how to handle the situation at that time. However AA let them board !
 
ILUVDC10S
Posts: 259
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:11 am

Anyway AA shot themselves in the foot since after they discontinued that the scale went 80 percent NWA 20 Percent AA Besides cashing in on the DBC VOL which slashed my business travel budget by 80 percent the business office was handling the rest . thankfully none of the people I were meeting were jerks and were understanding. I do miss those paper upgrade stickers AAdvantage gave you . dang for a transcon crikey that paper ticket was covered with stickers everywhere !
 
toneal
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 4:16 pm

Everybody get ready to say hello to some 29" pitch here...
 
Flighty
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 4:28 pm

scbriml wrote:
9w748capt wrote:
Jesus is this for real? Holy hell. Upgrades are hard enough as it is even with 16F - I find it hard to believe AA isn't selling a good chunk of those these days. Where the hell did the poster above come up with only 3% of F seats are sold? That is total and utter BS. 3% - hahahah that means less than 1 seat per 737 flight is actually sold - LMAO - not true.


Rather than just complaining about another member's figures, you could have provided some factual basis to refute his claim. But you didn't. If his post was "BS", what does that make yours?


Last winter I did a paid F on alaska, and one of their VFFs was giving me an earful about how dare Alaska ever put him in Coach. After all, he is a very important customer! He was outraged that I am not even a frequent Alaska customer, and I got seated in First.

And I had an F class booking! Sorry if I cost you an upgrade dude! That's the mentality we are dealing with.
 
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Polot
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 4:52 pm

Network is what airlines are using now to drive loyalty, not free upgrades. The US3 are all moving away from the free upgrades to F, so dropping F seat counts is less of a problem. So what if it is harder to get an F seat on AA now, you are deluded if you think it would be easier on UA and especially DL. Part of this is because the airlines are moving away from offering these upgrades, part of this is simple mathematics. Domestic F seat counts on planes have largely not grown, but the number of elite members entitled to upgrades in each airline's FF program has exploded due to consolidation. Go to any of their hubs and watch how half the plane if not more has "priority" boarding from their status, especially on heavy business routes.

With so many elite members it is too hard to keep them satisfied with free upgrades without just completely destroying your F class revenue. The US3 are banking on their domestic and international networks to keep you loyal, with the perks of loyalty being free bags and free Y+ seat selections, and priority boarding. The possibility of a free F upgrade (and the actual occasional) free upgrade is just something tantalizing to get you hooked and keep your hopes up.

It will take time for the attitudes of the typical Flyertalk elite member who thinks they are something special because they have gold status or whatever to change. But the airlines know they won't go anywhere and actually be satisfied.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 5:04 pm

Polot wrote:
Network is what airlines are using now to drive loyalty, not free upgrades. The US3 are all moving away from the free upgrades to F, so dropping F seat counts is less of a problem. So what if it is harder to get an F seat on AA now, you are deluded if you think it would be easier on UA and especially DL. Part of this is because the airlines are moving away from offering these upgrades, part of this is simple mathematics. Domestic F seat counts on planes have largely not grown, but the number of elite members entitled to upgrades in each airline's FF program has exploded due to consolidation. Go to any of their hubs and watch how half the plane if not more has "priority" boarding from their status, especially on heavy business routes.


All of this is true, although I think people forget how dramatically the F/Y ratio has already fallen. At the time of the merger, for instance, NW had 16F on the DC-9s and 32x and 24F on the 757s. That really was not that long ago.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
9w748capt
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 5:05 pm

Flighty wrote:
scbriml wrote:
9w748capt wrote:
Jesus is this for real? Holy hell. Upgrades are hard enough as it is even with 16F - I find it hard to believe AA isn't selling a good chunk of those these days. Where the hell did the poster above come up with only 3% of F seats are sold? That is total and utter BS. 3% - hahahah that means less than 1 seat per 737 flight is actually sold - LMAO - not true.


Rather than just complaining about another member's figures, you could have provided some factual basis to refute his claim. But you didn't. If his post was "BS", what does that make yours?


Last winter I did a paid F on alaska, and one of their VFFs was giving me an earful about how dare Alaska ever put him in Coach. After all, he is a very important customer! He was outraged that I am not even a frequent Alaska customer, and I got seated in First.

And I had an F class booking! Sorry if I cost you an upgrade dude! That's the mentality we are dealing with.


Haha - quite typical of longtime upper tier elites on all the legacies. Only recently are expectations being reset. My wife and I are adjusted our flying patterns in response - either we don't fly AA, or when we fly AA we'll fly LAX-OKC rather than SNA-DFW-OKC to maximize our chances of upgrading. I mean honestly I'm not at all surprised at the direction the US3 have gone. They no longer need strong FFPs to compete now that they all have robust networks and a large pool of elites, many of whom will outright pay for F. Of course status still affords some benefits which can still be worthwhile to the frequent steerage flyer. But for those who pay for premium cabins, status has become essentially worthless IMO.
 
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Polot
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 5:11 pm

9w748capt wrote:
Of course status still affords some benefits which can still be worthwhile to the frequent steerage flyer. But for those who pay for premium cabins, status has become essentially worthless IMO.

Which for the "mass market" airline/FFP (re: US3), is how it should be. Lets be honest, most people flying in the (international) premium cabins are not actually paying for their own ticket. The main advantage of the loyalty is when you are flying on your own dime (re: leisure travel) either solo or with family, where most of the time the person is buying a cheap Y class ticket, you get extra perks that you wouldn't have otherwise been able to afford (or justify in price).

If you can regularly afford premium cabin tickets then loyalty (from the customer's point of view) has always been less of a concern as you can just buy your way into the top notch service. Granted there are a regular road warriors flying constantly in domestic Y that the shift in policies hit hard, but those at the end of the day are the minorities in the program.

If you want better you will have to start settling for niche airlines with limited networks. Less perks is the price you buy for more opportunities to gain miles.
 
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OA412
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 5:42 pm

I know many of you are going to disagree, but the whole "the airlines are just giving customers what they want" mantra is just crap economics-speak. Leaving it to just the US since we're discussing US airlines here, we are a country heavily dependent upon air travel. At least 10% of our national economy depends upon air travel and we've gone from six large legacy carriers to three huge legacy carriers,
thus reducing competition. The airlines know this. They know they have us all over a barrel. Want to get from LA to NYC? How many people are realistically going to drive or take a train? Same for a very large number of sectors out there. Live in an isolated city like Denver and want to get somewhere? Chances are you're forced to fly. Sure you can stay home, but if you want to travel and can afford to do so,
why shouldn't you?

The airlines are offering what they offer because they know they can. Oil could drop to $5 a barrel, and the airlines wouldn't do a thing to remove seats because they know they have the travelling public by the balls. The airlines know there is no realistic alternative to getting around for a HUGE chunk of this country other than air travel, and they're taking advantage of that.

grbauc wrote:
I agree with you Dave its a mind thing simple and plan...


I have to strongly disagree. I know a lot of Boeing people want us all to believe that it's just mindset, but I can absolutely tell the difference. I like both manufacturer's offerings and tend to fly 737s more than any other type, but I can absolutely tell the difference in width between an 18" seat on a 320 or Ejet and a 17" seat on a 737.
Hughes Airwest - Top Banana In The West
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 6:04 pm

OA412 wrote:
I have to strongly disagree. I know a lot of Boeing people want us all to believe that it's just mindset, but I can absolutely tell the difference. I like both manufacturer's offerings and tend to fly 737s more than any other type, but I can absolutely tell the difference in width between an 18" seat on a 320 or Ejet and a 17" seat on a 737.


Well, I'm not a "Boeing" person. I chose the Ejet over the competing Boeing options specifically for the wider seat. My point was that in the end the width was barely noticable between it and the 737, while the pitch was what impacted my flying experience more. YMMV.
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
ILUVDC10S
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 6:23 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
Polot wrote:
Network is what airlines are using now to drive loyalty, not free upgrades. The US3 are all moving away from the free upgrades to F, so dropping F seat counts is less of a problem. So what if it is harder to get an F seat on AA now, you are deluded if you think it would be easier on UA and especially DL. Part of this is because the airlines are moving away from offering these upgrades, part of this is simple mathematics. Domestic F seat counts on planes have largely not grown, but the number of elite members entitled to upgrades in each airline's FF program has exploded due to consolidation. Go to any of their hubs and watch how half the plane if not more has "priority" boarding from their status, especially on heavy business routes.


All of this is true, although I think people forget how dramatically the F/Y ratio has already fallen. At the time of the merger, for instance, NW had 16F on the DC-9s and 32x and 24F on the 757s. That really was not that long ago.


Remember that nice little section of Coach before the Lav by Door 2 on the 757 If I had to go in coach that was my go to section to seat in and had that half overhead bin all to myself LOL and on full flights where overhead space was non existent I did stash my roller bag behind last row on the left by the wall of the LAV not a single FA caught it LOL.. Many times in that section you were treated to the First class service depending on the FA . However Seemed I always snagged a upgrade as I called in to the elite line 5 minutes before the seats were assigned for us and held the agent so I could get my favorite seat 01-B on both 757& DC-9 .
 
GSPSPOT
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 6:34 pm

I'm sure someone else has already brought this up, but why do airlines continue to feel the need to shoehorn more seats into the same space, when they're already making money like they were printing it in the basement??
Great Lakes, great life.
 
Flighty
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 6:38 pm

9w748capt wrote:
Flighty wrote:
scbriml wrote:

Rather than just complaining about another member's figures, you could have provided some factual basis to refute his claim. But you didn't. If his post was "BS", what does that make yours?


Last winter I did a paid F on alaska, and one of their VFFs was giving me an earful about how dare Alaska ever put him in Coach. After all, he is a very important customer! He was outraged that I am not even a frequent Alaska customer, and I got seated in First.

And I had an F class booking! Sorry if I cost you an upgrade dude! That's the mentality we are dealing with.


Haha - quite typical of longtime upper tier elites on all the legacies. Only recently are expectations being reset. My wife and I are adjusted our flying patterns in response - either we don't fly AA, or when we fly AA we'll fly LAX-OKC rather than SNA-DFW-OKC to maximize our chances of upgrading. I mean honestly I'm not at all surprised at the direction the US3 have gone. They no longer need strong FFPs to compete now that they all have robust networks and a large pool of elites, many of whom will outright pay for F. Of course status still affords some benefits which can still be worthwhile to the frequent steerage flyer. But for those who pay for premium cabins, status has become essentially worthless IMO.


Well yeah, and I think this guy may have been commenting on the effects of paid upgrades, as well. If I am not mistaken, the F priority list goes like this:
Crew Blocked, Paid F, $ F Upgrades, VFF free upgrades, FF free upgrades, nonrevs who upgrade, accidentals.

Now that dollar upgrades are so common, it means VFF sit in the back more often I assume? Is that correct? If so, he had a point.

But it is dumb to suggest they shouldn't even sell F fares, that the section should be reserved for FFs, that was his point kind of. So FF program in general has become worthless... if they are selling $20 upgrades... more reasonable First class fares also crowd out the VFF and diminish his loyalty.
 
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OA412
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 6:44 pm

PlanesNTrains wrote:
OA412 wrote:
I have to strongly disagree. I know a lot of Boeing people want us all to believe that it's just mindset, but I can absolutely tell the difference. I like both manufacturer's offerings and tend to fly 737s more than any other type, but I can absolutely tell the difference in width between an 18" seat on a 320 or Ejet and a 17" seat on a 737.


Well, I'm not a "Boeing" person. I chose the Ejet over the competing Boeing options specifically for the wider seat. My point was that in the end the width was barely noticable between it and the 737, while the pitch was what impacted my flying experience more. YMMV.

I don't disagree that pitch is also quite important. With respect to the Ejet, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I find it the best of the bunch.
Hughes Airwest - Top Banana In The West
 
7673mech
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 6:44 pm

727200 wrote:
Jo8338 wrote:
Unbelievable....... another step in the race to the bottom.

This is basically a war on elites making it harder to get upgraded.


War on elites and upgrades? Only about 3% of passengers actually pay for F-class. Means 97% are looking for some type of free UG. I have never understood how an airline will give away its most expensive product for free and make no revenue off it.


That's why I love JetBlue -Even More Space - you don't pay, you can't sit there.
 
hoya
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 6:51 pm

GSPSPOT wrote:
I'm sure someone else has already brought this up, but why do airlines continue to feel the need to shoehorn more seats into the same space, when they're already making money like they were printing it in the basement??


Because airlines are a for-profit business. Also because margins in the airline industry have been historically low. It's a very capital intensive industry, expenses are extremely high, so you need the higher margins, larger cash cushion, to weather any potential downturns. Remember the usual joke about the airline industry - how do you become a millionaire in the industry? By starting off as a billionaire.
Hoya Saxa!!
 
grbauc
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 7:31 pm

jetero wrote:
ILUVDC10S wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
100% true. I flew AA almost exclusively for a few years for that MRTC (and that the LCCs weren't convenient for where I was going during that time). But it wasn't a long time before the seats returned...

Lightsaber


People's revisionist history over MRTC is just so revealing. Do people remember the dates it was in effect? Announced February 2000. Gone October 2004. Hmmm, what possibly happened over that period of time that could have had such a big effect on the airline industry and changed business models?


Will Answer this for you
1. 9-11-01 The Main reason
2. Fuel spiked wrongfully markets crashed stupidily Both were done out of fear instead they should have remained steady and constant to show nothing will knock the markets around, show sign of selling off communicates that the terrorists or current events have won against you .
3. Airlines retrenched so bad that you were lucky to get a single peanut and a glass of water with one ice cube in it .
I am sure there are others..


Wait? You're trying to tell me it wasn't as simple as people just not wanting to pay for it?[/quote]

Its that simple.... The fastest growing airlines are the ones that don't offer these segments. Your definitively right that MRTC going away was likely due to different happenstances. Bottom line is they (customers) felt it wasn't worth the price though. And still don't seem to care much but for price of seat still.
 
Bald1983
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 7:34 pm

jetero wrote:
ILUVDC10S wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
100% true. I flew AA almost exclusively for a few years for that MRTC (and that the LCCs weren't convenient for where I was going during that time). But it wasn't a long time before the seats returned...

Lightsaber


People's revisionist history over MRTC is just so revealing. Do people remember the dates it was in effect? Announced February 2000. Gone October 2004. Hmmm, what possibly happened over that period of time that could have had such a big effect on the airline industry and changed business models?


Will Answer this for you
1. 9-11-01 The Main reason
2. Fuel spiked wrongfully markets crashed stupidily Both were done out of fear instead they should have remained steady and constant to show nothing will knock the markets around, show sign of selling off communicates that the terrorists or current events have won against you .
3. Airlines retrenched so bad that you were lucky to get a single peanut and a glass of water with one ice cube in it .
I am sure there are others..


Wait? You're trying to tell me it wasn't as simple as people just not wanting to pay for it?[/quote]

Most people search solely for the fare. AS an example, Continental was one of the last mainline USA carriers to start charging for bags in economy and ti give up free meals. The reason, people were paying a bit less and then screaming bloody murder at having to pay for their bag. Continental joined the crowd. American was not getting people paying higher fares for the extra legroom.
 
subramak1
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 7:51 pm

As a frequent traveler in US for both business and leisure, I have found southwest to be the best in

1. In terms of it economy class seats, decent leg room ( I am only 5'7"" so it matters)
2. FF Award availability and lack of fees

I have now chosen AA since mid 2016 as am Oneworld alliance for international travels.

However I wish WN had first class and international alliances , I would swtich back without batting eyelid.

Neither are going to happen unfortunately

Subu
 
tphuang
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 7:57 pm

Polot wrote:
Network is what airlines are using now to drive loyalty, not free upgrades. The US3 are all moving away from the free upgrades to F, so dropping F seat counts is less of a problem. So what if it is harder to get an F seat on AA now, you are deluded if you think it would be easier on UA and especially DL. Part of this is because the airlines are moving away from offering these upgrades, part of this is simple mathematics. Domestic F seat counts on planes have largely not grown, but the number of elite members entitled to upgrades in each airline's FF program has exploded due to consolidation. Go to any of their hubs and watch how half the plane if not more has "priority" boarding from their status, especially on heavy business routes.

With so many elite members it is too hard to keep them satisfied with free upgrades without just completely destroying your F class revenue. The US3 are banking on their domestic and international networks to keep you loyal, with the perks of loyalty being free bags and free Y+ seat selections, and priority boarding. The possibility of a free F upgrade (and the actual occasional) free upgrade is just something tantalizing to get you hooked and keep your hopes up.

It will take time for the attitudes of the typical Flyertalk elite member who thinks they are something special because they have gold status or whatever to change. But the airlines know they won't go anywhere and actually be satisfied.

I don't agree with this. I got my status purely for the upgrades and lounge access. I can use chase sapphire card for reward chart. Aa is terrible for that.

If I don't get upgraded at an acceptable rate, there is no reason for me to keep paying more on aa for worse y class experience.

But I have many choices living in New York, which many people don't have, so they are stuck with their home town airline. People can fly JetBlue here for about the same price.
 
ILUVDC10S
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 8:47 pm

Bald1983 wrote:
jetero wrote:
ILUVDC10S wrote:

People's revisionist history over MRTC is just so revealing. Do people remember the dates it was in effect? Announced February 2000. Gone October 2004. Hmmm, what possibly happened over that period of time that could have had such a big effect on the airline industry and changed business models?


Will Answer this for you
1. 9-11-01 The Main reason
2. Fuel spiked wrongfully markets crashed stupidily Both were done out of fear instead they should have remained steady and constant to show nothing will knock the markets around, show sign of selling off communicates that the terrorists or current events have won against you .
3. Airlines retrenched so bad that you were lucky to get a single peanut and a glass of water with one ice cube in it .
I am sure there are others..


Wait? You're trying to tell me it wasn't as simple as people just not wanting to pay for it?


Most people search solely for the fare. AS an example, Continental was one of the last mainline USA carriers to start charging for bags in economy and ti give up free meals. The reason, people were paying a bit less and then screaming bloody murder at having to pay for their bag. Continental joined the crowd. American was not getting people paying higher fares for the extra legroom.[/quote]

I utilized the fare rules to the max benefit of ME! I always chose the longest routing or used connections to my advantage especially during the Connection bonuses that were offered on NWA WorldPerks.
For Instance something like this :
Fare 1328 KE14NR: NW BOS-FRA
Fare Routings per fare rule:
BOS-AMS-FRA
BOS-DTT-FRA
BOS-DTT- AMS- FRA-NW/KL allowed
BOS-DTT- NYC-AMS-FRA-NW/KL allowed Later on CO was added for EWR Only
BOS-DTT-WAS-AMS-FRA -NW/KL Allowed
Pax can use combination of CX
Fare allows 1 Stopover DTT,NYC,WAS,AMS
FIM allowed per fare rule.
I would FIM the BOS-DTT segment for a BOS-MSP -JFK-AMS-FRA and return would be FRA-AMS-IAD-MSP-DTW-BOS would FIM IAD-DTW for IAD-MSP-DTW-BOS so I could get the D10 from DTW-BOS instead of the 32S or D95.
There was not a time I was not upgraded from coach to WBC Domestically. For the life of me I never understood why KL Agents in AMS could not do the upgrades for me for the Domestic portion of the NW ticket and NW agents could not do seat assignments on KL inter Europe that boggled my mind. I had to get those upgrades done in FRA at the NW ATC They were gems there in FRA for NWA Now talk about Gate agents in FRA who would not allow you to take on your carry on luggage that AMS let me take on without question. This was on the F-100 & F-70 too. Had to get station manager to educate the gate agents on Carry on allowances and what bags can and cannot go in the cabin, the station manager agreed with me and I said if my bag does not fit I will get it gate checked and guess what it fit!
 
ec99
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 8:48 pm

tphuang wrote:
I don't agree with this. I got my status purely for the upgrades and lounge access. I can use chase sapphire card for reward chart. Aa is terrible for that.

If I don't get upgraded at an acceptable rate, there is no reason for me to keep paying more on aa for worse y class experience.

But I have many choices living in New York, which many people don't have, so they are stuck with their home town airline. People can fly JetBlue here for about the same price.


Exactly - I was a loyal US flyer for years but never really made the change over to AA. I am now at the point where I find it way easier and a little bit cheaper to pay for what I want domestically and use points for long-haul. SWAs flexibility has led me to direct about half my spending to them while B6 get most of the rest. I will also buy first or E+ as needed on the US3

Hell, last month I chose NK over UA. Even with the big front seat and a carry on, NK was was $200 dollars less for my one-way transcon flight. Obviously I took a reliability risk but I didn't have to be home the next day and the big front seat on Spirit is a whole lot better than UA coach. I would never fly NK in anything other than their big front seats but on longer flights the benefit of the more comfortable seat becomes significant enough to often overwhelm UAs reliability benefit.
 
Skyguy
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 9:45 pm

For AA having 16F no longer quite makes sense, I mean whats the point of flying 4 extra F seats when these are just given to AA's EXP's anyway? They earn no revenue and are just a cost, so going forward adding more seats in Y makes sense to Parker. As the years go on the upgrade benefits that elites currently get are going to be a thing of the past.
This is not totally a surprise, Wall St. needs to see AA (and the others) deliver more in terms of yield and revenues etc., and given that Parker's compensation is 100% in stock comp. it makes sense for him to do whatever it takes to ensure Wall St. is happy and therefore he benefits. AA is no longer an airline, just a transportation company, service and all that are not what AA wants to spend money and focus on except at the bare minimum level.
"Those who talk, do not know, and those who know, do not talk."
 
grbauc
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 10:18 pm

Skyguy wrote:
For AA having 16F no longer quite makes sense, I mean whats the point of flying 4 extra F seats when these are just given to AA's EXP's anyway? They earn no revenue and are just a cost, so going forward adding more seats in Y makes sense to Parker. As the years go on the upgrade benefits that elites currently get are going to be a thing of the past.
This is not totally a surprise, Wall St. needs to see AA (and the others) deliver more in terms of yield and revenues etc., and given that Parker's compensation is 100% in stock comp. it makes sense for him to do whatever it takes to ensure Wall St. is happy and therefore he benefits. AA is no longer an airline, just a transportation company, service and all that are not what AA wants to spend money and focus on except at the bare minimum level.


Has this been confirmed?
12 vs 16 I suppose they have done the math. It's hard to argue without the numbers I'd prefer 16 and domestically am glad it's not like the EU run where they just block out the middle seat.
 
GSPSPOT
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Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:44 am

Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Mon May 01, 2017 11:22 pm

hoya wrote:
GSPSPOT wrote:
I'm sure someone else has already brought this up, but why do airlines continue to feel the need to shoehorn more seats into the same space, when they're already making money like they were printing it in the basement??


Because airlines are a for-profit business. Also because margins in the airline industry have been historically low. It's a very capital intensive industry, expenses are extremely high, so you need the higher margins, larger cash cushion, to weather any potential downturns. Remember the usual joke about the airline industry - how do you become a millionaire in the industry? By starting off as a billionaire.

So.... Paying customers be damned then(??).
Great Lakes, great life.
 
commavia
Posts: 11489
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Tue May 02, 2017 12:01 am

GSPSPOT wrote:
So.... Paying customers be damned then(??).


First off, airlines are not "making money like they were printing it in the basement." The eight largest publicly-traded airlines in the U.S. are - ordered by revenue - AA, Delta, United, Southwest, Alaska, JetBlue, Spirit and Allegiant. Those eight airlines, plus Frontier (not publicly traded) cumulatively account for well over 90% of all airline traffic in the U.S. And among those eight publicly-traded airlines, the weighted average net margin in 1Q17 was a whopping 4.2%. Excluding Allegiant, the highest margin was a mere 7.2% at Southwest. Now sure, this is Q1 - historically one of the weaker quarters for airlines. But still, even allowing for that, those kind of net margins are exceedingly reasonable - in fact, quite low - for sprawling, complex, capital-intensive and high-risk enterprises like airlines. I continue to find it incredible that people still actually think that the U.S. airline industry is "making money like they were printing it in the basement." This detachment from economic reality is stunning.

Secondly, as has been discussed at length, the reason why airlines "continue to feel the need to shoehorn more seats into the same space" is not because of any animus towards "paying customers." Indeed, the continued focus on increasing cabin density is in response to precisely what those "paying customers" continue to consistently demand - which is lower fares. Over the long-run, the only way for airlines to remain economically viable is to attract capital from investors, and to do so they must generate profits commensurate with those investors' perceptions of risk and expectations for returns. And the only way to satisfy that need to attract investors' capital, while also delivering the low fares that "paying customers" want, is to lower costs. That, and that alone, is what cabin density is about - lowering costs. When - for instance - Southwest added 6 seats to a 737, or JetBlue added 10 seats to an A321, the incremental, marginal cost of each of those 6 or 10 additional customers was de minimis.

There's one thing we know for sure - if AA configures 737s with 174 seats, those planes won't be flying to OAJ or CLL. That big an aircraft would be flying in big markets - and therefore, likely, quite competitive markets. If customers don't want to fly on such a high-density aircraft, they'll choose another aircraft or another airline. And if they do, AA will reconfigure the planes back to a lower density configuration very quickly. AA wouldn't be able to afford the operating and ownership costs of such an expensive asset flying around empty because "paying customers" refuse to fly it. We'll see.
 
ILUVDC10S
Posts: 259
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:56 am

Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Tue May 02, 2017 12:51 am

Of course AA could remove ALL seats and stack people like logs and pack probable 600 in a 737 possibly No lavs no service sorry welcome to ZombieAAir
 
GSPSPOT
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Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Tue May 02, 2017 12:54 am

commavia wrote:
GSPSPOT wrote:
So.... Paying customers be damned then(??).


First off, airlines are not "making money like they were printing it in the basement." The eight largest publicly-traded airlines in the U.S. are - ordered by revenue - AA, Delta, United, Southwest, Alaska, JetBlue, Spirit and Allegiant. Those eight airlines, plus Frontier (not publicly traded) cumulatively account for well over 90% of all airline traffic in the U.S. And among those eight publicly-traded airlines, the weighted average net margin in 1Q17 was a whopping 4.2%. Excluding Allegiant, the highest margin was a mere 7.2% at Southwest. Now sure, this is Q1 - historically one of the weaker quarters for airlines. But still, even allowing for that, those kind of net margins are exceedingly reasonable - in fact, quite low - for sprawling, complex, capital-intensive and high-risk enterprises like airlines. I continue to find it incredible that people still actually think that the U.S. airline industry is "making money like they were printing it in the basement." This detachment from economic reality is stunning.

Secondly, as has been discussed at length, the reason why airlines "continue to feel the need to shoehorn more seats into the same space" is not because of any animus towards "paying customers." Indeed, the continued focus on increasing cabin density is in response to precisely what those "paying customers" continue to consistently demand - which is lower fares. Over the long-run, the only way for airlines to remain economically viable is to attract capital from investors, and to do so they must generate profits commensurate with those investors' perceptions of risk and expectations for returns. And the only way to satisfy that need to attract investors' capital, while also delivering the low fares that "paying customers" want, is to lower costs. That, and that alone, is what cabin density is about - lowering costs. When - for instance - Southwest added 6 seats to a 737, or JetBlue added 10 seats to an A321, the incremental, marginal cost of each of those 6 or 10 additional customers was de minimis.

There's one thing we know for sure - if AA configures 737s with 174 seats, those planes won't be flying to OAJ or CLL. That big an aircraft would be flying in big markets - and therefore, likely, quite competitive markets. If customers don't want to fly on such a high-density aircraft, they'll choose another aircraft or another airline. And if they do, AA will reconfigure the planes back to a lower density configuration very quickly. AA wouldn't be able to afford the operating and ownership costs of such an expensive asset flying around empty because "paying customers" refuse to fly it. We'll see.

I just hope against hope that there actually IS a comfortable option out there. We all know that the major airlines are effectively a cartel.
Great Lakes, great life.
 
commavia
Posts: 11489
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Tue May 02, 2017 2:15 am

GSPSPOT wrote:
I just hope against hope that there actually IS a comfortable option out there.


Well if "comfortable option" means more legroom and/or earlier boarding, that requires no "hope," and only some extra money:

    Prepaid bulkhead or exit row on Allegiant
    "Premium Class" on Alaska
    "Main Cabin Extra" on AA
    "Comfort+" on Delta
    "Stretch Seating" on Frontier
    "Even More" on JetBlue
    Bulkhead or exit row with A1 boarding on Southwest
    "Big Front Seats" on Spirit
    "EconomyPlus" on United
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 13996
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Tue May 02, 2017 2:21 am

commavia wrote:
GSPSPOT wrote:
I just hope against hope that there actually IS a comfortable option out there.


Well if "comfortable option" means more legroom and/or earlier boarding, that requires no "hope," and only some extra money:

    Prepaid bulkhead or exit row on Allegiant
    "Premium Class" on Alaska
    "Main Cabin Extra" on AA
    "Comfort+" on Delta
    "Stretch Seating" on Frontier
    "Even More" on JetBlue
    Bulkhead or exit row with A1 boarding on Southwest
    "Big Front Seats" on Spirit
    "EconomyPlus" on United


We're back, though, to the fallacy of availability that we discussed before. Those options are great. They are not always available, especially for those of us who tend to book without much advance notice.

Ironically, I find myself minding 50-seaters less lately. At least I know that if there's a seat available, it's as bad as all the other ones.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
commavia
Posts: 11489
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Tue May 02, 2017 2:33 am

Cubsrule wrote:
We're back, though, to the fallacy of availability that we discussed before. Those options are great. They are not always available, especially for those of us who tend to book without much advance notice.


Obviously there are times when an airline misses an opportunity to sell a customer a given product - like up-selling extra legroom - at a given price point said customer would have been willing to accept. There are also times when an airline overbooks a plane and, contrary to analytical projections, everyone shows up. This stuff happens. The airline industry has, over the years, cumulatively invested literally billions in revenue management. But it's still, unquestionably, imperfect. Nobody is arguing otherwise. There may well be plausible and credible arguments against AA hypothetically putting 174 seats in a 737, but the imperfection of revenue management does not, in and of itself, undermine the economic logic of lowering average unit costs through higher cabin density.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 13996
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Tue May 02, 2017 3:09 am

commavia wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
We're back, though, to the fallacy of availability that we discussed before. Those options are great. They are not always available, especially for those of us who tend to book without much advance notice.


Obviously there are times when an airline misses an opportunity to sell a customer a given product - like up-selling extra legroom - at a given price point said customer would have been willing to accept. There are also times when an airline overbooks a plane and, contrary to analytical projections, everyone shows up. This stuff happens. The airline industry has, over the years, cumulatively invested literally billions in revenue management. But it's still, unquestionably, imperfect. Nobody is arguing otherwise. There may well be plausible and credible arguments against AA hypothetically putting 174 seats in a 737, but the imperfection of revenue management does not, in and of itself, undermine the economic logic of lowering average unit costs through higher cabin density.


It was you, not me, who brought up the option of ponying up if you want more comfort.

The problem is not with making the aircraft denser in itself. The problem is with reducing the number of seats that meet a minimum standard for comfort while simultaneously making it more difficult to secure the remaining minimally comfortable seats. AA's revenue management choices, which differ from the choices made by DL and, to a lesser extent, UA, make increasing density a bigger concern for AA than it might be for others.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
commavia
Posts: 11489
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Tue May 02, 2017 3:19 am

Cubsrule wrote:
The problem is not with making the aircraft denser in itself. The problem is with reducing the number of seats that meet a minimum standard for comfort while simultaneously making it more difficult to secure the remaining minimally comfortable seats.


Well, again, "minimum standard" is highly subjective. The person buying the $59 "Basic Economy" fare almost certainly has a different definition of "minimum standard" than the person buying full-Y walkup. And as said, if the specific seat that conforms to one person's definition of "minimum standard" is unavailable at said person's time of booking, and thus the airline misses the opportunity to sell said person that seat at a price said person is willing to pay, that may well be a failure of revenue management. It happens - it's inevitable.

AA has clearly done the math, based on literally billions of transactions over decades, and concluded that the profit-generating potential of several additional, incremental seats, even if sold at the low end, is worth more than the potential loss of up-selling a few people into seats with extra legroom because those seats are filled with elites. The underlying economic logic almost certainly revolves around (1) the fact that the additional, incremental seats are being added at virtually zero incremental cost, and thus essentially any incremental revenue generated from those seats is pure profit, and (2) the assumption that the elite-filled extra legroom seats will, indirectly, also be higher-margin (on average) than before because said elites now have to, by definition, generate more profit (on average) than before due to new, revenue-based elite qualification mechanisms. Is AA's calculus correct? Impossible to know. As said multiple times - we'll all just have to wait and see.

Cubsrule wrote:
AA's revenue management choices, which differ from the choices made by DL and, to a lesser extent, UA, make increasing density a bigger concern for AA than it might be for others.


We'll see. As said - every single major U.S. airline, including Delta and United, are making their domestic narrowbody cabins more dense.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 13996
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Tue May 02, 2017 3:28 am

commavia wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
AA's revenue management choices, which differ from the choices made by DL and, to a lesser extent, UA, make increasing density a bigger concern for AA than it might be for others.


We'll see. As said - every single major U.S. airline, including Delta and United, are making their domestic narrowbody cabins more dense.


. . . but not every airline charges $9 for 21C. So if the definition of shrewd management is "what DL and UA are doing," AA is falling down on the job.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
ILUVDC10S
Posts: 259
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:56 am

Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Tue May 02, 2017 3:31 am

Whats next 1 dollar a minute in flight oxygen/air. 1 dollar for use of a overhead light? 1 dollar to use the window shade? 1 dollar to use of the armrest? 1 dollar to recline your seat one notch? 5 Dollars for a cleaned seat cover? 2 dollars for use of the seat back tray ? 10 dollars for Lavatory use? 25 dollars for a key to open a overhead bin? 5 dollars for trash fee? when does the nickel and dime-ing end? when does it cross a line?
 
commavia
Posts: 11489
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

Re: AA to increase 737 capacity

Tue May 02, 2017 3:46 am

Cubsrule wrote:
So if the definition of shrewd management is "what DL and UA are doing," AA is falling down on the job.


Nobody said that was the "definition of shrewd management." But in any event - perhaps that's the point. Maybe AA isn't following Delta and United here. Again, all three of these airlines - along with every other major U.S. airline - had made their domestic narrowbody cabins more dense in recent years, and/or is in the process of doing so. But I certainly recognize that 174 seats in a 2-class 737MAX8 would be something different. So - as said - we'll see. If this is true, I'll be genuinely as curious as everyone else to see how an experiment with that level of density at a U.S. network carrier works out. If the (apparent) majority opinion here on A.net is any guide, it won't be a long experiment. But, again, if this is true then AA will obviously have done the math based on its own data and concluded that it was the right decision. In time, we'll all get to find out if AA's math is right or wrong.

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