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Alexdk
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Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:41 pm

Since AS is now becoming one of the biggest transcon players (JFK/EWR/BOS-SEA/SFO/LAX), will the eventually introduce a special first class for transcons like US3 and B6?
 
Curiousflyer
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:49 pm

The current ex-Virgin America product certainly seems dated, and Alaska’s legacy product is just domestic first where the other four competitors offer flat seats. If they keep an inferior hard product, they could on the other hand offer a more competitive price: it seems impossible to get a seat under $1,000 non-stop return in first or business class between JFK and SFO or LAX, they could take this market.
 
CobaltScar
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:59 pm

They have consciously abandoned this market. They will continue to offer a average front end cabin filled mostly with people on free upgrades, because no one is going to pay for it when they can fly MINT better and cheaper.
 
afcjets
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:36 pm

At least Virgin America has the widest First Class seat of any airline in the US.
 
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SumChristianus
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:36 pm

I'd assume they'll keep their standard domestic first seat for transcons They wont have the yields of their competitors, but with B6 already having Mint, I don't see that much of a market for another similar product, especially at a carrier of AS's size.

What would a hypothetical combined AS/B6 do, though?

I'd assume domestic first like product for short routes, Mint for transcons, but AS and B6 both seemingly highly focused on the passenger experience, have taken diverging paths in terms of product.
UA DL LH NW AA WN - Next: IND-DEN-RIW A319/CR2
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usxguy
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:53 pm

CobaltScar wrote:
They have consciously abandoned this market. They will continue to offer a average front end cabin filled mostly with people on free upgrades, because no one is going to pay for it when they can fly MINT better and cheaper.


Actually not true. Alaska gets a huge amount of paid F traffic. As a Gold or 75K, the buy-in is about $100 - $250 more than a regular Y ticket, and many people do it regularly.

And that 'average' front end cabin has more pitch and recline than American, Delta, and United in a narrowbody.

Alaska is putting in a new F seat that's a hybrid of the VX and AS seat. They look nice.
xx
 
wingman
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:58 pm

Their new first class seat from Recaro apparently going in starting later this year. This will bring them in line with standard offerings in First route-wide, nothing like Mint or the new DL offering..but those are limited to select routes. I'd be happy just to get a small foot rest on the seat in front. All in all a very welcome upgrade to the current product.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrjQF9Jwr38
 
alfa164
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:03 pm

afcjets wrote:
At least Virgin America has the widest First Class seat of any airline in the US.


"had"

:(
I'm going to have a smokin' hot body again!
I have decided to be cremated....
 
wedgetail737
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:49 pm

I saw a pic of the new 1st class seat in an article. It appeared that the center "armrest" had a pair of cup holders?
 
airzona11
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:42 pm

alfa164 wrote:
afcjets wrote:
At least Virgin America has the widest First Class seat of any airline in the US.


"had"

:(


How did that work out for them? It didn't. VX did not have a competitive trans-con premium product. They liked to be thought of as competing for that business, but they didn't.

Rolling VX into AS, they should have the scale and network to compete more favorably, but I personally don't see them adding a lay flat option. Unless they go widebody.
 
lowfareair
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:51 pm

Curiousflyer wrote:
The current ex-Virgin America product certainly seems dated, and Alaska’s legacy product is just domestic first where the other four competitors offer flat seats. If they keep an inferior hard product, they could on the other hand offer a more competitive price: it seems impossible to get a seat under $1,000 non-stop return in first or business class between JFK and SFO or LAX, they could take this market.


I agree - J/F fares within 1-2 weeks of travel are consistently over $2k. I could see Alaska doing well on those who take them in coach for the chance of an upgrade (which I believe are very difficult to get on AA/DL/B6) as well as business class fares priced proportionately lower than the other 3. The floor space taken by an AS F vs AA J seat, for example, would be about 35% less.

Why fight among 3 very established players in the super-premium JFK transcon market when nobody is in the premium one?
 
afcjets
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:23 pm

alfa164 wrote:
afcjets wrote:
At least Virgin America has the widest First Class seat of any airline in the US.


"had"

:(


JetBlue has a seat wider by 1 inch only in the suite rows and if you measure from the bottom, but a few inches up the Virgin America seat is much wider. For the non-suite rows, VX is 1/2 inch wider even at the bottom.

airzona11 wrote:
How did that work out for them? It didn't. VX did not have a competitive trans-con premium product. They liked to be thought of as competing for that business, but they didn't.



It wasn't too hard for VX to fill only 8 F seats on a few daily flights when AA had even more premium cabin seats (300+) than they do today (before down-gauging to narrowbodies with higher frequency) especially when the VX price was a fraction of AA's, and way before B6 had a premium cabin with competive pricing. IIRC VX did not even offer upgrades at all back then. AA publicly spoke about JFK-LAX being a perennial loss leader. I would say it worked out great for VX.
Last edited by afcjets on Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:33 pm

Come on guys...enough of this topic already. It’s like a bi monthly discussion between Transcon F and Airbuses.

No one knows what they’re going to do.

But they didnt overpay for VX to ditch the airbuses and transons. And they have a new lounge at JFK.

Follow that logic tree
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:06 pm

usxguy wrote:
CobaltScar wrote:
They have consciously abandoned this market. They will continue to offer a average front end cabin filled mostly with people on free upgrades, because no one is going to pay for it when they can fly MINT better and cheaper.


Actually not true. Alaska gets a huge amount of paid F traffic. As a Gold or 75K, the buy-in is about $100 - $250 more than a regular Y ticket, and many people do it regularly.

And that 'average' front end cabin has more pitch and recline than American, Delta, and United in a narrowbody.

Alaska is putting in a new F seat that's a hybrid of the VX and AS seat. They look nice.



In addition, AS is also preparing to make modifications to the F cabin offerings on premium transcon markets.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:35 pm

Alexdk wrote:
Since AS is now becoming one of the biggest transcon players (JFK/EWR/BOS-SEA/SFO/LAX), will the eventually introduce a special first class for transcons like US3 and B6?


Good topic but remember that AS also has transcons from PDX, SAN, and SJC.
 
michman
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:25 pm

afcjets wrote:
alfa164 wrote:
afcjets wrote:
At least Virgin America has the widest First Class seat of any airline in the US.


"had"

:(


JetBlue has a seat wider by 1 inch only in the suite rows and if you measure from the bottom, but a few inches up the Virgin America seat is much wider. For the non-suite rows, VX is 1/2 inch wider even at the bottom.



Pretty sure the point was that those seats (and VX) are going away.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:52 pm

jfklganyc wrote:
Come on guys...enough of this topic already. It’s like a bi monthly discussion between Transcon F and Airbuses.

No one knows what they’re going to do.

But they didnt overpay for VX to ditch the airbuses and transons. And they have a new lounge at JFK.

Follow that logic tree


We know what they've announced. That would have been a good place to start for the OP.

https://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/new ... e-out.html

See the Investor Day Presentation from 3/29/17: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zht ... Id=5251562

Slide 28 asserts that 'product' drives 10% of the purchase decision.

Slides- 30-44 lay out the target market - leisure enthusiasts - not business travelers who have the luxury of spending other people's money (for lie-flat seats).

For the foreseeable future, Alaska has made its non-bed: a 41" pitch F seat. Maybe that, near network wide, is a better profit-optimizing choice than 36-38" pitch domestic F and lie-flats on select routes, as DL/AA/UA/B6 have chosen. They will see over time.
 
RvA
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:53 pm

usxguy wrote:
And that 'average' front end cabin has more pitch and recline than American, Delta, and United in a narrowbody.


Hold on, more recline than lie flat seats? How does that work?
 
twicearound
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:12 am

How are they becoming "one of the biggest" when they are still the smallest?
 
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452QX
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:25 am

twicearound wrote:
How are they becoming "one of the biggest" when they are still the smallest?


Are we talking airline size? Alaska is now the 5th largest airline in the US, behind AA, DL, WN, and UA. Alaska now surpasses JetBlue in size (both pax carried and fleet size).

Unless I misread your comment..
 
CF-CPI
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:30 am

wingman wrote:
Their new first class seat from Recaro apparently going in starting later this year. This will bring them in line with standard offerings in First route-wide, nothing like Mint or the new DL offering..but those are limited to select routes. I'd be happy just to get a small foot rest on the seat in front. All in all a very welcome upgrade to the current product.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrjQF9Jwr38


It's pretty and modern, but really is this seat anything special? If it's priced accordingly, I can see a market for it.
 
twicearound
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:34 am

452QX wrote:
twicearound wrote:
How are they becoming "one of the biggest" when they are still the smallest?


Are we talking airline size? Alaska is now the 5th largest airline in the US, behind AA, DL, WN, and UA. Alaska now surpasses JetBlue in size (both pax carried and fleet size).

Unless I misread your comment..


It was in reference to the OP stating that Alaska was becoming one of the biggest trans-con players, which by any measurement is false.
 
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452QX
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:34 am

twicearound wrote:
452QX wrote:
twicearound wrote:
How are they becoming "one of the biggest" when they are still the smallest?


Are we talking airline size? Alaska is now the 5th largest airline in the US, behind AA, DL, WN, and UA. Alaska now surpasses JetBlue in size (both pax carried and fleet size).

Unless I misread your comment..


It was in reference to the OP stating that Alaska was becoming one of the biggest trans-con players, which by any measurement is false.


Ahhh I get it, thanks.
 
alfa164
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:42 am

452QX wrote:
twicearound wrote:
How are they becoming "one of the biggest" when they are still the smallest?

Are we talking airline size? Alaska is now the 5th largest airline in the US, behind AA, DL, WN, and UA. Alaska now surpasses JetBlue in size (both pax carried and fleet size).


In all fairness, your comment should read: "Alaska is now the 5th largest airline in the US, far behind AA, DL, WN, and UA."
I'm going to have a smokin' hot body again!
I have decided to be cremated....
 
ontime
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:55 am

When do the VX aircraft begin to lose the recliner seats in favor of the new (more “standard first class”) seats?
 
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usxguy
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:43 am

October.
xx
 
rbavfan
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:44 am

afcjets wrote:
At least Virgin America has the widest First Class seat of any airline in the US.


You realize A320 series & 737 series domestic first seats are both standard 57" double seats. Airbus models have a wider isle in first, not a wider seat. Mind you virgins seats are leather.
 
n7371f
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:52 am

Offerings is kind of broad based. I assume you're not alluding to the removal of the far superior first class seats, in-seat TV, Live TV, Red entertainment system, full bulkhead dividing first from coach...cessation of a pre-departure first class service including a drink order. None of these are standard on AS. Excited to hear about the enhancements planned!

EA CO AS wrote:
usxguy wrote:
CobaltScar wrote:
They have consciously abandoned this market. They will continue to offer a average front end cabin filled mostly with people on free upgrades, because no one is going to pay for it when they can fly MINT better and cheaper.


Actually not true. Alaska gets a huge amount of paid F traffic. As a Gold or 75K, the buy-in is about $100 - $250 more than a regular Y ticket, and many people do it regularly.

And that 'average' front end cabin has more pitch and recline than American, Delta, and United in a narrowbody.

Alaska is putting in a new F seat that's a hybrid of the VX and AS seat. They look nice.



In addition, AS is also preparing to make modifications to the F cabin offerings on premium transcon markets.
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:52 pm

[quote="alfa164"][quote="452QX"][quote="twicearound"]How are they becoming "one of the biggest" when they are still the smallest?[/quote]
Are we talking airline size? Alaska is now the 5th largest airline in the US, behind AA, DL, WN, and UA. Alaska now surpasses JetBlue in size (both pax carried and fleet size).[/quote]

In all fairness, your comment should read: "Alaska is now the 5th largest airline in the US,[i][b] far [/b][/i]behind AA, DL, WN, and UA."[/quote]


Actually, the original statement is incorrect anyway. JetBlue is larger than Alaska in fleet size post merger.
 
twicearound
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:25 pm

jfklganyc wrote:
alfa164 wrote:
452QX wrote:
Are we talking airline size? Alaska is now the 5th largest airline in the US, behind AA, DL, WN, and UA. Alaska now surpasses JetBlue in size (both pax carried and fleet size).


In all fairness, your comment should read: "Alaska is now the 5th largest airline in the US, far behind AA, DL, WN, and UA."



Actually, the original statement is incorrect anyway. JetBlue is larger than Alaska in fleet size post merger.


Thank you for stating something factual.
The false claims and opinions being portrayed as facts on this forum is out of control.
 
afcjets
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:26 pm

rbavfan wrote:
afcjets wrote:
At least Virgin America has the widest First Class seat of any airline in the US.


You realize A320 series & 737 series domestic first seats are both standard 57" double seats. Airbus models have a wider isle in first, not a wider seat. Mind you virgins seats are leather.


I am aware A320 series aircraft have wider cabins than 737s. I am referring to the fact that Virgin America has F seats where there is not a gaping hole /waste of space between the two seats where you can see the people in the row in front of you, especially like at AA (barring whatever non-retrofitted pmUS aircraft might be left).
 
questions
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:37 pm

wedgetail737 wrote:
I saw a pic of the new 1st class seat in an article. It appeared that the center "armrest" had a pair of cup holders?


The seats and easy access to power look great. The cup holders on the other hand... they will be difficult to keep clean and will be dirty, germy and nasty. I prefer a small tray for beverages like most F center consoles.

I also prefer a hard wall between F and Y. I’m not a fan of the visual cabin dividers. I think VX had the best cabin dividers among US airlines.
 
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usxguy
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:56 pm

and the cute lil red rope!
xx
 
USAirKid
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:27 am

questions wrote:


The cup holders on the other hand... they will be difficult to keep clean and will be dirty, germy and nasty. I prefer a small tray for beverages like most F center consoles.



I'd hope the AS cabin design team was a little further ahead of this. That's what I expect from them.

I went and rewatched the Dallas Morning News video, and I'm curious if the middle portion of the armrest with the cup holder is designed to be removable? (like many cars do today.) I could see them being something that the FAs pull after the last flight of the day and send off with the dirty dishes to be washed. They could even stock a few extras near the gates in case a midday change became necessary.
 
airzona11
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:54 am

afcjets wrote:
alfa164 wrote:
afcjets wrote:
At least Virgin America has the widest First Class seat of any airline in the US.


"had"

:(


JetBlue has a seat wider by 1 inch only in the suite rows and if you measure from the bottom, but a few inches up the Virgin America seat is much wider. For the non-suite rows, VX is 1/2 inch wider even at the bottom.

airzona11 wrote:
How did that work out for them? It didn't. VX did not have a competitive trans-con premium product. They liked to be thought of as competing for that business, but they didn't.



It wasn't too hard for VX to fill only 8 F seats on a few daily flights when AA had even more premium cabin seats (300+) than they do today (before down-gauging to narrowbodies with higher frequency) especially when the VX price was a fraction of AA's, and way before B6 had a premium cabin with competive pricing. IIRC VX did not even offer upgrades at all back then. AA publicly spoke about JFK-LAX being a perennial loss leader. I would say it worked out great for VX.


Come again? AA is printing money, VX in the best of times was barely doing so. VX offered the least premium cabin on the premium transcon and no longer exists. AA operates a dedicated premium A321 on that route. AA (UA/DL) all adjusted their offerings, B6 added Mint, and VX couldn't compete for that same clientele.
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:58 am

n7371f wrote:
Offerings is kind of broad based. I assume you're not alluding to the removal of the far superior first class seats, in-seat TV, Live TV, Red entertainment system, full bulkhead dividing first from coach...cessation of a pre-departure first class service including a drink order. None of these are standard on AS. Excited to hear about the enhancements planned!


As usual, n7371f can't miss an opportunity to bash AS. Are you referring to the outdated F seats on VX that are the most complained about item by guests and flight attendants alike, since the seats seldom work? Or the fact that they take up far more real estate than they're worth, while also being a product that is not competitive with the premium lie-flats offered by AA/DL/UA and even B6 on other premium transcon routes? Or the heavy, seatback IFE systems that also frequently go inop, while running up fuel costs to lug them around at a time when fuel is up 20% YOY?

AS has chosen to let the Big 3 plus B6 slug it out for the lie-flat premium market while they go after a larger market, the "leisure enthusiasts" who have household income of >$150K that are generally willing to pay a premium for a slightly better experience than Y, which will include an F seat that offers more pitch than anyone else's domestic F, at 41". In addition, the traditional "premium transcon" routes to/from JFK will receive service upgrades including better food offerings and other carry-overs from the legacy VX inflight product.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
afcjets
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:04 am

airzona11 wrote:
afcjets wrote:
alfa164 wrote:

"had"

:(


JetBlue has a seat wider by 1 inch only in the suite rows and if you measure from the bottom, but a few inches up the Virgin America seat is much wider. For the non-suite rows, VX is 1/2 inch wider even at the bottom.

airzona11 wrote:
How did that work out for them? It didn't. VX did not have a competitive trans-con premium product. They liked to be thought of as competing for that business, but they didn't.



It wasn't too hard for VX to fill only 8 F seats on a few daily flights when AA had even more premium cabin seats (300+) than they do today (before down-gauging to narrowbodies with higher frequency) especially when the VX price was a fraction of AA's, and way before B6 had a premium cabin with competive pricing. IIRC VX did not even offer upgrades at all back then. AA publicly spoke about JFK-LAX being a perennial loss leader. I would say it worked out great for VX.


Come again? AA is printing money, VX in the best of times was barely doing so. VX offered the least premium cabin on the premium transcon and no longer exists. AA operates a dedicated premium A321 on that route. AA (UA/DL) all adjusted their offerings, B6 added Mint, and VX couldn't compete for that same clientele.


The VX brand still very much exists, despite you continuing to insist that it doesn't. The merger with AS will not be complete for at least another year. Further, you talk about AA 321T and B6 premium product when I specifically clarify I am talking about before those same exact products existed. And even when AA was "printing money" they continually lost tens of millions in JFK-LAX for decades as they publicly stated and as I said above. The reduction in capacity with the more cost effective 321T with overall fewer premium seats and even proportionately way fewer coach seats was an effort to change that.
 
n7371f
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:34 am

Lol you must work in finance...or you're a disciple of Doug Parker. Or better yet marketing where the word enhancement is always a harbinger of reduction. I'm a customer.

I could care two cents about seats taking up real estate when they're going from having 55 inch pitch and a great "barcalounger" recline to a standard first class seat with the added AS touch of even less recline than other major carriers. 41 inch pitch sounds nice, except I've flown Virgin up-front & this is a significant reduction. And you make it sound like Virgin America has some unique, Yugo-Like built first class seat. There are millions of first class and business class seats flying and NONE break with the terrible frequency you claim (unless AS decided to withhold maintenance on the seats since taking control).

Same with weight of TV. Tell that to DL or B6. And, yeah, IFE systems frequently go in-op :lol: And what are the carry-over's? Blue lighting? Boarding music?

You set yourself up my friend:-)

I'll give you benefit of doubt on awaiting better food but based on past experience, AS also is poorer compared to Virgin's transcon service.

All that said, I think AS is making the right decision. The cost/benefit of trying to 1-for-1 with UA, AA, DL, B6 on transcon isn't worth it. AS will make more $ going to a standardized, albeit sub-par, product transcon. It also provides ultimate flexibility with fleet and utilization (ask B6 about having a small group of Mint 321's). Just stop with the goofy everything coming up AS is going to be great, and better.

EA CO AS wrote:
n7371f wrote:
Offerings is kind of broad based. I assume you're not alluding to the removal of the far superior first class seats, in-seat TV, Live TV, Red entertainment system, full bulkhead dividing first from coach...cessation of a pre-departure first class service including a drink order. None of these are standard on AS. Excited to hear about the enhancements planned!


As usual, n7371f can't miss an opportunity to bash AS. Are you referring to the outdated F seats on VX that are the most complained about item by guests and flight attendants alike, since the seats seldom work? Or the fact that they take up far more real estate than they're worth, while also being a product that is not competitive with the premium lie-flats offered by AA/DL/UA and even B6 on other premium transcon routes? Or the heavy, seatback IFE systems that also frequently go inop, while running up fuel costs to lug them around at a time when fuel is up 20% YOY?

AS has chosen to let the Big 3 plus B6 slug it out for the lie-flat premium market while they go after a larger market, the "leisure enthusiasts" who have household income of >$150K that are generally willing to pay a premium for a slightly better experience than Y, which will include an F seat that offers more pitch than anyone else's domestic F, at 41". In addition, the traditional "premium transcon" routes to/from JFK will receive service upgrades including better food offerings and other carry-overs from the legacy VX inflight product.
 
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usxguy
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Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:22 am

I've flown a lot on Virgin and also Alaska long haul. One route in particular is Orlando to the LA area; a market flown by AA, DL, AS, and VX. I've flown all 4. I have even done some MCO-SAN flights to get to Orange County, and was in First Class. One of my first trips on VX was in F, from MCO to LAX, that departed just after the MCO-SAN flight.

I was dumbfounded. The food, even with the awesome menu, was very small in portion and single tray placement. The FA ignored the F cabin for most of the flight. The snack basket was placed on a blanket/pillow set in front of the door at L1. Had to wait 18 minutes, with call button pressed, to get someone to remove my tray. IFE was intermittent. Getting drink refills took an act of God.

Compare that to Alaska, err GhettoChester, where I had my meal spread out - tray with salad (5x the size of my 'salad' on VX, cleared then entree placed - which was about double the size of VX's entree (with drink refill each time), cleared and then dessert. Always had FAs up and down the aisle. Always offering more. Entertainment from digeplayer, which I flipped upside down and hung from seatback.

So -- why would someone be willing to pay a premium for VX if that's the experience they get, versus "ghetto" service on Alaska?

Sorry. Alaska knows its place and will maximize its value there. If VX was getting a TRUE PREMIUM for its F product, then Alaska would have kept every single part of it. Lots of VX folks are now at AS. That includes scheduling, planning, revenue. They shared their data with Alaska. Alaska apparently didn't like it.

The VX product was amazing up until 6/7 years ago when DL/AA started to leapfrog them. Its fallen behind and VX either had to rip out their seats and do something better, or do what Alaska did, and downsize amenities, offer more seats, and get better yields out of advance sales upgrades.

I'm really going to miss VX. But that ship sailed 3 years ago when VX put itself out for sale. Once that happened, all product development and enhancement stopped. Once AS was announced the winner (18 mos ago?), even what little enhancements were supposed to be done, was halted. Alaska had to figure out what its going to do.

So, now they're ripping out the very nice & comfy F seats for a newer seat for Alaska that will be better than you get on AA/DL/UA 757s/737s (domestic birds). That's a smart move. I guess Plan B was for Jetblue to gobble up VX where ya'll would be saying goodbye to more than just First Class...
xx
 
n7371f
Posts: 1859
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:54 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:53 am

Sounds like you had a crappy crew. Every customer has the same story about each airline. There's no airline with ALL great crews. Getting a drink refilled sounds like flights on AS, UA, AA, B6, DL. Frankly the only airline with the closest consistent service is WN.

As for the better seats than anyone else, how do you know? They're not in service.

usxguy wrote:
I've flown a lot on Virgin and also Alaska long haul. One route in particular is Orlando to the LA area; a market flown by AA, DL, AS, and VX. I've flown all 4. I have even done some MCO-SAN flights to get to Orange County, and was in First Class. One of my first trips on VX was in F, from MCO to LAX, that departed just after the MCO-SAN flight.

I was dumbfounded. The food, even with the awesome menu, was very small in portion and single tray placement. The FA ignored the F cabin for most of the flight. The snack basket was placed on a blanket/pillow set in front of the door at L1. Had to wait 18 minutes, with call button pressed, to get someone to remove my tray. IFE was intermittent. Getting drink refills took an act of God.

Compare that to Alaska, err GhettoChester, where I had my meal spread out - tray with salad (5x the size of my 'salad' on VX, cleared then entree placed - which was about double the size of VX's entree (with drink refill each time), cleared and then dessert. Always had FAs up and down the aisle. Always offering more. Entertainment from digeplayer, which I flipped upside down and hung from seatback.

So -- why would someone be willing to pay a premium for VX if that's the experience they get, versus "ghetto" service on Alaska?

Sorry. Alaska knows its place and will maximize its value there. If VX was getting a TRUE PREMIUM for its F product, then Alaska would have kept every single part of it. Lots of VX folks are now at AS. That includes scheduling, planning, revenue. They shared their data with Alaska. Alaska apparently didn't like it.

The VX product was amazing up until 6/7 years ago when DL/AA started to leapfrog them. Its fallen behind and VX either had to rip out their seats and do something better, or do what Alaska did, and downsize amenities, offer more seats, and get better yields out of advance sales upgrades.

I'm really going to miss VX. But that ship sailed 3 years ago when VX put itself out for sale. Once that happened, all product development and enhancement stopped. Once AS was announced the winner (18 mos ago?), even what little enhancements were supposed to be done, was halted. Alaska had to figure out what its going to do.

So, now they're ripping out the very nice & comfy F seats for a newer seat for Alaska that will be better than you get on AA/DL/UA 757s/737s (domestic birds). That's a smart move. I guess Plan B was for Jetblue to gobble up VX where ya'll would be saying goodbye to more than just First Class...
 
User avatar
usxguy
Posts: 1902
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 1:28 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:32 am

n7371f wrote:
As for the better seats than anyone else, how do you know? They're not in service.




Uhm, have you not looked at the videos and schematics of the seat? Alaska had one available for the Insight Focus Group as part of the selection process for the seat, and this one got the best reviews.

41" seat pitch is greater than any other US 737 operator with an F cabin (AA is pulling 37" on some Airbus). No other US carrier has a standard recliner with foot rest and lumbar support. They're moving the power ports for easier access. Slightly larger tray tables (although I hope they look at keeping the VX F tray table). I think Copa is the only other 737 operator with this much seat pitch in F (that's still in business).
xx
 
questions
Posts: 2337
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:51 am

Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:39 am

I like VX and have flown in F many times.

Like many other airlines’ meals, I found the quality to vary from flight to flight.

I always find the F FAs lacking in attentive service. It’s kind of like they just go through the motions and do nothing above and beyond. For example, on a SFO-ORD flight, I asked if they had any more canisters of Pringles. She said she’d have to check in the back. Twenty minutes later she came back by and said, “Sorry, we’re all out.” and kept walking. She sat down in the jump seat and opened her book. She followed the guidelines... customer makes a request... you provide a response. But she absolutely failed. She should have said, “I’m sorry [offer apology] Mr Questions [call F customers by name, they’re only 8 of them], we’re out of Pringles. Can I get you something else [initiate a service recovery].

A friend of mine calls them the Millennial FAs of VX.

While FAs can be hit or miss I find AS and DL have consistently good FAs, especially in F. I hope AS offers extensive service training to the VX FAs.
 
LawAndOrder
Posts: 264
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:56 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:54 am

usxguy wrote:
n7371f wrote:
As for the better seats than anyone else, how do you know? They're not in service.




Uhm, have you not looked at the videos and schematics of the seat? Alaska had one available for the Insight Focus Group as part of the selection process for the seat, and this one got the best reviews.

41" seat pitch is greater than any other US 737 operator with an F cabin (AA is pulling 37" on some Airbus). No other US carrier has a standard recliner with foot rest and lumbar support. They're moving the power ports for easier access. Slightly larger tray tables (although I hope they look at keeping the VX F tray table). I think Copa is the only other 737 operator with this much seat pitch in F (that's still in business).


So more pitch equates to a better seat? That one inch is gonna be detrimental to other airlines, whatever ever will they do? Foot rest revolutionary (MIQ has the option). Delta premium select (premium economy- miq seat has 38 inches of pitch and to me I don't think that is even enough room for a foot leg supporter. It seems like an option just thrown on for bells and whistles. I mean AS once again had the opportunity to provide a revolutionary seat yet we got lumbar support and footrest. I find it comparable to UA new seat.
 
PlanesNTrains
Posts: 9524
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:19 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:03 pm

LawAndOrder wrote:
usxguy wrote:
n7371f wrote:
As for the better seats than anyone else, how do you know? They're not in service.




Uhm, have you not looked at the videos and schematics of the seat? Alaska had one available for the Insight Focus Group as part of the selection process for the seat, and this one got the best reviews.

41" seat pitch is greater than any other US 737 operator with an F cabin (AA is pulling 37" on some Airbus). No other US carrier has a standard recliner with foot rest and lumbar support. They're moving the power ports for easier access. Slightly larger tray tables (although I hope they look at keeping the VX F tray table). I think Copa is the only other 737 operator with this much seat pitch in F (that's still in business).


So more pitch equates to a better seat? That one inch is gonna be detrimental to other airlines, whatever ever will they do? Foot rest revolutionary (MIQ has the option). Delta premium select (premium economy- miq seat has 38 inches of pitch and to me I don't think that is even enough room for a foot leg supporter. It seems like an option just thrown on for bells and whistles. I mean AS once again had the opportunity to provide a revolutionary seat yet we got lumbar support and footrest. I find it comparable to UA new seat.


Revolutionary? They are going for a good domestic First seat, not something revolutionary.
-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.
 
User avatar
usxguy
Posts: 1902
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 1:28 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:56 pm

No, but still roomier. When you fly a lot, you *do* notice. I mean, who is going to complain about a 1 inch difference, unless, you are American. Oh wait, the entire world did.

Pitch in F
UA
319 - 37
320 - 39
73G - 38
738 - 37
739 - 37
753 - 38

Alaska's seat will beat all of United's domestic narrow body non-premium fleet.

AA
319 - 38
320 - 36
321 - 36 (non-Transcon)
737Max - 37
738 - 39
752 - 38
MD 80 - 38

Oh look at that, Alaska's 41" seat pitch will still beat all of American's narrowbody non-transcon fleet. HHHMMM

DL
319 - 36
320 - 36
321 - 36
717 - 37
73G - 37
738 - 38
739 - 37
752 - 37
753 - 37
MD 80 - 37
MD 90 - 37

Wow, again. Alaska's seat pitch in F will be greater than anything in DL's narrowbody fleet.

I never said it was revolutionary, I said it will be better. The only item that makes F stand out is on American, and they are getting rid of those seats (they have an extra tray table between the seats in F). DL and AA are evolving into almost the same seat.

As much as people cry about losing an inch, and notice it, in Y. Its also noted in F. When Alaska shrank F cabin, people noticed. Loudly. I couldn't even use my laptop when the guy in front of me would recline, so I had to decide if I was going to work or sleep on my flight. If it meant work, I'd grab the bulkhead and sacrifice foot room/legroom so I can use my laptop. With the F cabin redo, the new legroom, I can actually work. We gained 4 to 5" in F, and it really does show.
xx
 
User avatar
NeBaNi
Posts: 484
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:45 am

Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:20 pm

usxguy wrote:
No, but still roomier. When you fly a lot, you *do* notice. I mean, who is going to complain about a 1 inch difference, unless, you are American. Oh wait, the entire world did.

Pitch in F
UA
319 - 37
320 - 39
73G - 38
738 - 37
739 - 37
753 - 38

Alaska's seat will beat all of United's domestic narrow body non-premium fleet.

AA
319 - 38
320 - 36
321 - 36 (non-Transcon)
737Max - 37
738 - 39
752 - 38
MD 80 - 38

Oh look at that, Alaska's 41" seat pitch will still beat all of American's narrowbody non-transcon fleet. HHHMMM

DL
319 - 36
320 - 36
321 - 36
717 - 37
73G - 37
738 - 38
739 - 37
752 - 37
753 - 37
MD 80 - 37
MD 90 - 37

Wow, again. Alaska's seat pitch in F will be greater than anything in DL's narrowbody fleet.

I never said it was revolutionary, I said it will be better. The only item that makes F stand out is on American, and they are getting rid of those seats (they have an extra tray table between the seats in F). DL and AA are evolving into almost the same seat.

As much as people cry about losing an inch, and notice it, in Y. Its also noted in F. When Alaska shrank F cabin, people noticed. Loudly. I couldn't even use my laptop when the guy in front of me would recline, so I had to decide if I was going to work or sleep on my flight. If it meant work, I'd grab the bulkhead and sacrifice foot room/legroom so I can use my laptop. With the F cabin redo, the new legroom, I can actually work. We gained 4 to 5" in F, and it really does show.


These numbers may be true, but what is the point of quoting non-premium transcon pitch numbers when we all know full well that DL, UA, AA, and B6 all offer specialized services for premium transcon routes, and that's where AS has to compete with them. You're comparing the worst at each airline (when have 717s or the Mad Dogs flown premium transcon for Dl, for example? or same for AA and the A319s?) with the announced best product for AS. You should be comparing AS against jetBlue's Mint (58-60" pitch) or AA Business (58") / First (62") or UA PS (76"), because that's that AS will be competing against on NYC-LAX, NYC-SFO, BOS-LAX, BOS-SFO and so on.
 
PlanesNTrains
Posts: 9524
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:19 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:30 am

NeBaNi wrote:
usxguy wrote:
No, but still roomier. When you fly a lot, you *do* notice. I mean, who is going to complain about a 1 inch difference, unless, you are American. Oh wait, the entire world did.

Pitch in F
UA
319 - 37
320 - 39
73G - 38
738 - 37
739 - 37
753 - 38

Alaska's seat will beat all of United's domestic narrow body non-premium fleet.

AA
319 - 38
320 - 36
321 - 36 (non-Transcon)
737Max - 37
738 - 39
752 - 38
MD 80 - 38

Oh look at that, Alaska's 41" seat pitch will still beat all of American's narrowbody non-transcon fleet. HHHMMM

DL
319 - 36
320 - 36
321 - 36
717 - 37
73G - 37
738 - 38
739 - 37
752 - 37
753 - 37
MD 80 - 37
MD 90 - 37

Wow, again. Alaska's seat pitch in F will be greater than anything in DL's narrowbody fleet.

I never said it was revolutionary, I said it will be better. The only item that makes F stand out is on American, and they are getting rid of those seats (they have an extra tray table between the seats in F). DL and AA are evolving into almost the same seat.

As much as people cry about losing an inch, and notice it, in Y. Its also noted in F. When Alaska shrank F cabin, people noticed. Loudly. I couldn't even use my laptop when the guy in front of me would recline, so I had to decide if I was going to work or sleep on my flight. If it meant work, I'd grab the bulkhead and sacrifice foot room/legroom so I can use my laptop. With the F cabin redo, the new legroom, I can actually work. We gained 4 to 5" in F, and it really does show.


These numbers may be true, but what is the point of quoting non-premium transcon pitch numbers when we all know full well that DL, UA, AA, and B6 all offer specialized services for premium transcon routes, and that's where AS has to compete with them. You're comparing the worst at each airline (when have 717s or the Mad Dogs flown premium transcon for Dl, for example? or same for AA and the A319s?) with the announced best product for AS. You should be comparing AS against jetBlue's Mint (58-60" pitch) or AA Business (58") / First (62") or UA PS (76"), because that's that AS will be competing against on NYC-LAX, NYC-SFO, BOS-LAX, BOS-SFO and so on.


Because realistically you are talking a relative handful of routes compared to literally hundreds of non-premium routes.
-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.
 
PlanesNTrains
Posts: 9524
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:19 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:32 am

NeBaNi wrote:
usxguy wrote:
No, but still roomier. When you fly a lot, you *do* notice. I mean, who is going to complain about a 1 inch difference, unless, you are American. Oh wait, the entire world did.

Pitch in F
UA
319 - 37
320 - 39
73G - 38
738 - 37
739 - 37
753 - 38

Alaska's seat will beat all of United's domestic narrow body non-premium fleet.

AA
319 - 38
320 - 36
321 - 36 (non-Transcon)
737Max - 37
738 - 39
752 - 38
MD 80 - 38

Oh look at that, Alaska's 41" seat pitch will still beat all of American's narrowbody non-transcon fleet. HHHMMM

DL
319 - 36
320 - 36
321 - 36
717 - 37
73G - 37
738 - 38
739 - 37
752 - 37
753 - 37
MD 80 - 37
MD 90 - 37

Wow, again. Alaska's seat pitch in F will be greater than anything in DL's narrowbody fleet.

I never said it was revolutionary, I said it will be better. The only item that makes F stand out is on American, and they are getting rid of those seats (they have an extra tray table between the seats in F). DL and AA are evolving into almost the same seat.

As much as people cry about losing an inch, and notice it, in Y. Its also noted in F. When Alaska shrank F cabin, people noticed. Loudly. I couldn't even use my laptop when the guy in front of me would recline, so I had to decide if I was going to work or sleep on my flight. If it meant work, I'd grab the bulkhead and sacrifice foot room/legroom so I can use my laptop. With the F cabin redo, the new legroom, I can actually work. We gained 4 to 5" in F, and it really does show.


These numbers may be true, but what is the point of quoting non-premium transcon pitch numbers when we all know full well that DL, UA, AA, and B6 all offer specialized services for premium transcon routes, and that's where AS has to compete with them. You're comparing the worst at each airline (when have 717s or the Mad Dogs flown premium transcon for Dl, for example? or same for AA and the A319s?) with the announced best product for AS. You should be comparing AS against jetBlue's Mint (58-60" pitch) or AA Business (58") / First (62") or UA PS (76"), because that's that AS will be competing against on NYC-LAX, NYC-SFO, BOS-LAX, BOS-SFO and so on.



And “the worst” at each airline is literally hundreds of aircraft each vs the premium transcon products on a small subset of their fleet.

Alaska has chosen to keep it simple. Some people lose their minds over the audacity of the decision. Oh well.
-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.
 
obelau24
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:00 am

Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:42 am

questions wrote:
I like VX and have flown in F many times.

Like many other airlines’ meals, I found the quality to vary from flight to flight.

I always find the F FAs lacking in attentive service. It’s kind of like they just go through the motions and do nothing above and beyond. For example, on a SFO-ORD flight, I asked if they had any more canisters of Pringles. She said she’d have to check in the back. Twenty minutes later she came back by and said, “Sorry, we’re all out.” and kept walking. She sat down in the jump seat and opened her book. She followed the guidelines... customer makes a request... you provide a response. But she absolutely failed. She should have said, “I’m sorry [offer apology] Mr Questions [call F customers by name, they’re only 8 of them], we’re out of Pringles. Can I get you something else [initiate a service recovery].

A friend of mine calls them the Millennial FAs of VX.

While FAs can be hit or miss I find AS and DL have consistently good FAs, especially in F. I hope AS offers extensive service training to the VX FAs.


How right you are - I flew VX about 24 times last year and about half way through I decided to stop paying extra for first class for this reason alone. At least in MCS you can order what you want, when you want through RED. In first, you have to track down an FA because once the meal service is done, they disappear. They’re also not proactive at all with drink refills or picking up service items. Add in the IFE in the seatback or bulkhead vs in the armrest so you could watch from gate to gate and MCS really killed it every single time. There is literally no reason to pay extra for VX first because the hot food isn’t even that great.
 
jordanh
Posts: 326
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:56 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines transcon premium product

Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:07 am

EA CO AS wrote:
n7371f wrote:
Offerings is kind of broad based. I assume you're not alluding to the removal of the far superior first class seats, in-seat TV, Live TV, Red entertainment system, full bulkhead dividing first from coach...cessation of a pre-departure first class service including a drink order. None of these are standard on AS. Excited to hear about the enhancements planned!

As usual, n7371f can't miss an opportunity to bash AS. Are you referring to the outdated F seats on VX that are the most complained about item by guests and flight attendants alike, since the seats seldom work? Or the fact that they take up far more real estate than they're worth, while also being a product that is not competitive with the premium lie-flats offered by AA/DL/UA and even B6 on other premium transcon routes? Or the heavy, seatback IFE systems that also frequently go inop, while running up fuel costs to lug them around at a time when fuel is up 20% YOY?
AS has chosen to let the Big 3 plus B6 slug it out for the lie-flat premium market while they go after a larger market, the "leisure enthusiasts" who have household income of >$150K that are generally willing to pay a premium for a slightly better experience than Y, which will include an F seat that offers more pitch than anyone else's domestic F, at 41". In addition, the traditional "premium transcon" routes to/from JFK will receive service upgrades including better food offerings and other carry-overs from the legacy VX inflight product.


It has been said before: if you aren't in Alaska's PR ("spin") Department, you should be. Painting a rosy picture of all that goes on there can't be easy.

You maybe be able to convince some people all is well and good, but at least one audience - Alaska's investors - aren't buying it (okay... pun intended). In the past 12 months, AS stock has fallen more than 30%. Just to compare, for the past 12 months:

AS stock: -30.21%
UA stock: - 6.66%
B6 stock: + 3.42%
WN stock : +15.39%
DL stock: +18.04%
AA stock : +19.05%

There is one clear laggard among the US-based airlines... and it isn't B6, AA, DL, or UA. Maybe AS has chosen to right path - but those who put their money where their mouth is don't think so.

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