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What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:22 pm

What is the real difference between full service/legacy carriers who have slashed their product/service offerings over the past 20 years and the LCC’s and ULCC’s?

- No difference in Y? Granted F and J are generally nice offerings but LCC/ULCC’s are introducing this product. Y seems about the same, especially as full service carriers continue to reduce pitch and race to catch up to the LCC/ULCC’s

- Frequent flyer programs? They are a profit center and therefore could be offered by LCC/ULCC’s except for the additional complexity

- Lounges? They are more crowed than ever and therefore not always a pleasant escape. Terminals are also becoming nicer environments with better amenities

- Cost structure? Lower labor costs and less maintenance cost of new and leased aircraft

From a business model perspective, what are the real differences?
 
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BWIAirport
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:13 pm

LCC's trim costs at every possible opportunity, which is why many LCC's at least start at secondary airports rather than the busy ones, to reduce landing fees.
-Typically, they use slightly older aircraft (except NK has the youngest fleet in the US).
-Their aircraft usually complete turnarounds quicker, allowing the plane to get back into the air flying paying passengers sooner.
-They nickel and dime you, obviously, as well, for things such as snacks that come free on legacy carriers, even in Y. -Many legacies are integrating IFE into the majority of their fleet even in Y, which is something you will never see on a LCC. Even though in domestic short-haul economy you may need to pay to use IFE, there are still installation and operational costs that LCC's stay away from.
-You mentioned LCC's are integrating F and J. I watched a review of Wow's "Big Seat" in their A330 and the passenger noted it's a world away from any business class seat on a legacy.
The airline's priorities are simply different, directing everything towards efficiency and low cost rather than comfort. For this reason, LCC subsidiaries of legacy carriers fail, such as Delta Song and Ted by United.
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flyguy84
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:21 pm

Is someone really asking this question? Wow.
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reffado
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:25 pm

flyguy84 wrote:
Is someone really asking this question? Wow.


I mean, if you think about it, it makes sense to ask. Especially when you consider that, on long haul especially, a Y ticket on DY with a meal and a checked bag will still run you less than a Y ticket on BA after you pay to select a seat and whatnot, for example. What's the real difference there? I for one did a trip like this, with one leg on DY and the other on BA, and found service levels to be pretty much identical (if one ignores the fact that DY had a much better IFE in a much newer aircraft). Sure, in J and domestically the difference is more noticeable, but on long haul, for most passengers - those of us in Y - LCC service is starting to blend in with full service carriers, especially now that the so-called full service airlines also penny and dime you for everything.
 
jplatts
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:33 pm

One of the biggest differences between ULCCs and non-ULCC carriers is that ULCCs charge a fee for carry-on baggage that cannot fit underneath the seat, whereas non-ULCC carriers usually allow passengers to bring 1 carry-on item that can fit in the overhead bin and 1 personal item that can fit underneath the seat free of charge (at least for passengers who are not traveling on Basic Economy fares).
 
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:40 pm

In the US, HP and VX were former airlines that are not legacy carriers and that could be considered to be full-service airlines since both of these carriers did operate aircraft with first class cabins. HP and VX are not legacy carriers since neither HP nor VX were around prior to airline deregulation in the US. Two other big differences between VX and legacy carriers are that VX only operated Airbus A320 aircraft whereas legacy carriers usually had regional jet operations and that VX did not have the nationwide network that legacy carriers and WN have.
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:43 pm

BWIAirport wrote:
-Typically, they use slightly older aircraft (except NK has the youngest fleet in the US).


This is actually not really true anymore. Many new startup LCC use brand new planes. Financing is often through leases (which means lower initial acquisition cost), though, which means they often "retire" planes that are not even that old (FR being the #1 example of doing this), along with sometimes just "retiring" those planes (i.e. returning them to lessor) when those planes reach certain heavy maintenance checks. Newer planes usually means less technical problem = less maintenances (other than the mandatory one) = more savings for the airlines.

Some other cost-saving measures:
- Using airstairs instead of gate, which is usually cheaper (More common outside of US). Some airports even built LCC-specific terminals as somewhat of a "win-win" situation (i.e. LCC get their lower airport ground cost, airports get their increases in connectivity and attract more flights).
- Lack of interlining for the most part, which saved some overheads and also simpler IT systems. Some LCC/ULCC are also O&D only and doesn't even transfer luggage between two flight sectors, even if both sectors are on the same carrier, which means passenger has to "self-transfer" (Lowering luggage handling cost for the airline).
- Simpler fare system, which makes cost planning for the carrier easier. At least for me as a customer, the "premium" for a one-way ticket on LCC is often lower than that of a FSC (I've priced trips where a one-way ticket is more expensive than a round trip :banghead: ). It's also why LCC/ULCC tends to charge less if you booked seats/luggages/meals when you buy your ticket vs. adding them on later, b/c it helps with their flight planning (thus they "encourage" you to book everything at once).
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Virtual737
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:47 pm

One of the biggest differences, for me at least, is that many do not offer guaranteed connections (or connections of any kind in some cases).
 
MartijnNL
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:01 pm

flyguy84 wrote:
Is someone really asking this question? Wow.

Yes, someone is. What do you mean with "Wow"?
 
Flighty
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:02 pm

Good question. I am not aware of any real difference between US LCC and full service carriers except carry-on baggage fees (which IIRC one legacy also does?) and premium classes.

In some cases, LCC do have different pricing and loyalty patterns. They cause price wars and sometimes, they win a lot of loyalty for that, because they are selling basically the same product at, in the end, the same price as legacies, at least in each market. So LCC vs Legacy at this point is mostly about branding. I think it is becoming a fake difference. In Europe they actually tend to serve different airports, legacy versus LCC. Here not so much. JetBlue is basically a legacy now. WN also bears many trademarks of a legacy.
 
jupiter2
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:12 pm

One will try to help you if there is a problem with your flight and in most cases they succeed.

One will attempt to look like they are trying to help and sometimes it actually happens.

One couldn't give a rats arse if they help or not and if by chance they actually do, you race out and buy a lottery ticket because your luck has obviously changed.
 
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globetrotter94
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:13 pm

reffado wrote:
flyguy84 wrote:
Is someone really asking this question? Wow.


I mean, if you think about it, it makes sense to ask. Especially when you consider that, on long haul especially, a Y ticket on DY with a meal and a checked bag will still run you less than a Y ticket on BA after you pay to select a seat and whatnot, for example. What's the real difference there? I for one did a trip like this, with one leg on DY and the other on BA, and found service levels to be pretty much identical (if one ignores the fact that DY had a much better IFE in a much newer aircraft). Sure, in J and domestically the difference is more noticeable, but on long haul, for most passengers - those of us in Y - LCC service is starting to blend in with full service carriers, especially now that the so-called full service airlines also penny and dime you for everything.


BA longhaul economy these days is hardly a shining example of FSC-levels of service.
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PatrickZ80
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:22 pm

LCCs and legacies are indeed growing towards each other, but still there's a big difference. These differences are mostly on a non-individual level that affects the entire flight.

Choice of airports for example. LCCs and ULCCs often prefer cheaper secondary airports over expensive primary airports. Some airports are exclusively being used by LCCs. Boarding is often done by airstairs instead of airbridges. The cost of airbridges are significant and LCCs are not willing to pay those costs.

Lounges? Name one LCC that does give access to them. I can't think of any, mostly lounge access is not included. Sometimes it can be added for a fee, but not always. Mostly you just have to wait in the terminal for your flight.

And of course as mentioned before, transfers are often not possible and if they are you pay a transfer fee on top of the two individual ticket prices. This transfer fee is kind of an insurance that you make your connection. Of course you can always make a self-transfer by just booking two individual flights.

Also, at legacies you often get one price for a return flight, but it's not split into onward and back. On LCCs flights are priced one-way, a return is just the flights of the onward and return flight added up. For a one-way flight legacies are often very expensive, LCCs on the other hand are just cheap.
 
superjeff
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:30 pm

i think it is a bit more complicated than many are saying. Legacies typically offer interline ticketing and agreements, which means that in case of an IRROP they can reroute you on another airline; LCC’s usually cannot (although some, like JetBlue in the US, do have some interline agreements. Southwest does not. In Canada, I’m not sure about Westjet. ULLCs have very limited alternatives in case of a problem, typically cram even more people into their airplanes than the LCC’s and Legacies. But I agree that Economy Class on BA or LH in Europe is as tight as on F9 or NK in the U.S. and the U.S. 3 are also reducing pitch as well.
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:35 pm

jupiter2 wrote:
One will try to help you if there is a problem with your flight and in most cases they succeed.

One will attempt to look like they are trying to help and sometimes it actually happens.

One couldn't give a rats arse if they help or not and if by chance they actually do, you race out and buy a lottery ticket because your luck has obviously changed.


This is also a matter of scaling. For the most part, LCC and especially ULCC simply doesn't have the flexibilities in fleet because they don't really have any back-up planes that are ready-to-go on moment notices (Planes sitting on ground makes no money). The high utilization that someone else already mentioned doesn't help. ULCC also tend to operate flights only few times a week, and those can be the only flights that they operate out of the airport for the whole week. Cancelled Flight? Nope, nothing they can do other than giving you a refund (It's not like they can magically find a plane to take you to your destination).

But yes, once you're on a plane, especially in Y, the differences between FSC and LCC and ULCC are definitely not big other than the 1-2 inch seat pitches.
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mrbonfire
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:39 pm

flyguy84 wrote:
Is someone really asking this question? Wow.


They're all trying to muscle in on each others territory.

BA – worse seat pitch than FR.
FR's change to accommodate a more business-focussed mindset with flexible ticketing as well as a move into primary airports and frequencies.
U2 ramping up its holiday business taking even more share from the charters.
DY doing enough damage to make BA start FLL and OAK as well as acquire 4% of the company with a view to a full takeover.

It's a valid question. Each segment is finding that it's no longer enough to simply do what they did before. The product is evolving fast and becoming more blurred. Those that innovate have a chance of winning; those that don't will be squashed like a turd.
 
EricAY05
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:49 pm

For me personally the biggest differences is alliances. I love having elite benefits on a large number of carriers, not just the one I've enrolled with. Another huge difference is what happens at a cancellation. Full Service will put you on any available full service airline. An LCC most likely will not, if I have understood correctly.
 
727LOVER
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:52 pm

BWIAirport wrote:

-Typically, they use slightly older aircraft (except NK has the youngest fleet in the US).


NK started with old DC-9s. Then onto MD-80s which were used as well. New aircraft didn't happen until the Airbuses.



BWIAirport wrote:

-They nickel and dime you, obviously, as well, for things such as snacks that come free on legacy carriers, even in Y.


Then why did I starve on a long TPA-PHX flight on US Airways? No snacks, just sandwiches that were BoB---CA$H only !
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cosyr
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:57 pm

Even though Legacy carriers charge for many of the same things as LCC's, LCC's don't offer everything that Legacy carriers offer, such as First, Business and Lounges. Also, it's hard to compare, because few LCC's fly the same routes internationally, but meals in coach, etc.

Both Legacy and LCC's differ a little in how much they charge extra for compared with ULCC. ULCC's charge you for forgetting to print your boarding pass. They charge you to select a seat yourself, even bad seats. Legacies still offer some sensible things in the price, even if it has been reduced.

But the biggest thing to me is the stuff on ULCC you can't get, no matter what you pay: 35" legroom, IFE, and on airlines like Ryanair, seatback pockets and window shades.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:02 pm

EricAY05 wrote:
For me personally the biggest differences is alliances. I love having elite benefits on a large number of carriers, not just the one I've enrolled with. Another huge difference is what happens at a cancellation. Full Service will put you on any available full service airline. An LCC most likely will not, if I have understood correctly.


Indeed LCCs are mostly not a member of an alliance, most LCCs don't even have frequent flyer programs. There is one ticket price and that applies to everyone, no matter how often you fly. They don't care who they sell their seats to as long as they sell them. No possibility to pay for your flights in points, only with cash.

In case of cancellations, there are European laws that obligue the airline to book you on the next available opportunity even if this is with another airline. Don't think the LCCs are happy to do this, but since it's the law they have to. This is another reason LCCs often use secondary airports, it gives them a "monopoly" on routes where they'd face competition if they'd use the primary airports. But as those routes use other airports they don't count as rebooking options. Since they're the only airline on the route, they can only rebook you on their own airline. Of course this only applies to flights in Europe, outside Europe other laws may apply.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:13 pm

cosyr wrote:
But the biggest thing to me is the stuff on ULCC you can't get, no matter what you pay: 35" legroom, IFE, and on airlines like Ryanair, seatback pockets and window shades.


The only way to get 35" legroom is to book the first row on the left in a 737, that row has the whole front door as legroom. Of course you pay for it, but it's there.

As for in-flight entertainment, some LCCs like Norwegian have it but Ryanair for example doesn't. The in-flight entertainment on a Ryanair flight consists of them passing through the cabin trying to sell you things. Drinks and snacks, duty-free items and of course their famous scratchcards.

Ryanair does have window shades because the Irish law obligues to have them installed (they are an Irish airline). Indeed they don't have seatback pockets. Also their seats cannot recline, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. Personally I think it's a good thing, I don't do it anyway and I hate it when the person in front of me reclines his/her seat in my face.
 
alan3
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:23 pm

flyguy84 wrote:
Is someone really asking this question? Wow.


Harsh. It's actually not an unreasonable question, given how nowadays the lines are being blurred.

For example Westjet is still referred to as a low-cost and Air Canada a full-service. On domestic travel there is absolutely no difference between them in how to book, the fare or onboard service.

And to blur the lines further, West Jet, a so-called "low-cost" carrier is now launching its own "ultra-low-cost" subsidiary brand.

And so-called "full service carriers" are removing TV screens and charging for carry-ons. On European flights ,British Airways charges now for even drinks like tea and water!

I'm not surprised there is confusion.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:36 pm

Westjet is just a plain legacy airline, they may have started off as an LCC but those days are long gone. Same way Air Berlin was once an LCC, later made the switch to become a full-service airline. However some people still refered to them as an LCC because old outdated sources said so. Maybe they should have stayed an LCC because ever since they made the switch to become a full-service airline things have gone down for them financially and we all know the result.

Of course the difference between a full-service airline and an LCC is in more than just the on-board product, but that has all been mentioned before.
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:46 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
Westjet is just a plain legacy airline, they may have started off as an LCC but those days are long gone. Same way Air Berlin was once an LCC, later made the switch to become a full-service airline. However some people still refered to them as an LCC because old outdated sources said so. Maybe they should have stayed an LCC because ever since they made the switch to become a full-service airline things have gone down for them financially and we all know the result.

Of course the difference between a full-service airline and an LCC is in more than just the on-board product, but that has all been mentioned before.


There are Gol and Azul in Brazil being in the same situation - both start out as LCC, but nowaday, more hybrid carrier than true-LCC/ULCC. Neither has F/C on their short-haul fleets (Gol has "Gol Comforto+" that's similar to Economy Plus, while Azul only has C on their long-haul fleet), but the amount of codesharing and interlining make it hard to say that they're "LCC" (IIRC Gol doesn't even have a "low cost" base anymore).

Another example I can think of is Japan, where Skymark was often consider an "LCC", but when real LCCs (Peach/Jetstar Japan) came around, Skymark simply couldn't compete on a cost basis (Although the failed "premium" A330 experiment along with the head-scratching A380 purchase is what really make them go into bankruptcy). Skymark's 738 is still all-Y, though.
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washingtonflyer
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:47 pm

I find that a LCC usually does not have a strategic alliance partner and may or may not interline bags. They may have a FF program and may have an operation that resembles a hub/spoke. They do not have F class. They may offer connecting flight services.

I find that ULCCs operate out of a lot of non-traditional airports (AZA, SHD, SFB, PIE), definitely do no have alliance partners, most likely do not interline bags, and operate much more on the a la carte option of pricing. They do not have F class. They may or may not have connecting services.

WN doesnt have an alliance partner, has some form of hub and spoke operation, and operates out of mostly traditional airports.

Allegiant does not have a partner, does not advertise as having connecting flight services, does not have F class, does not interline bags, and operates out of lots of non-traditional airports.
 
superjeff
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:00 pm

I would think Legacies offer interlining, multi-class operations (even in Europe where they have a Business Class product that is basically Economy with meals), possible alliance membership, lounges in major airports, traditional reservations offices (not CTO's but telephone call centers) staffed (generally) by their own people (I know some use offshore contractors), as a starting point. LCC's of the Southwest model (include jetBlue in the U.S., Interjet in Mexico and WestJet in Canada) use one aircraft type, some degree of inflight service, but generally only (but not always) one class service, and may have limited, if any, interlining ability, no lounges, etc. ULLC's (think Spirit and Frontier in the US, Ryanair, EasyJet, and WizzAir in Europe) generally sell you a seat from point A to point B. beyond that it is all a la carte. Limited flights, minimal inflight service, etc. but newer planes
 
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:46 pm

This article was published today in the Wall Street Journal. Just ran across it. Timely to my question.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/budget-air ... cle_inline
 
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OzarkD9S
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:02 pm

No difference in coach anymore.
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drgmobile
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:26 pm

This kind of question comes up a lot, as if Moses had come down with a second set of tablets with official definitions on this kind of industry term. For some things there are, but a lot of these industry terms develop because somebody influential coins it and others start using it because it's useful. At this point in the evolution of airlines, the terms you describe are as much about eras and general business model philosophies.

Academics and analysts group carriers by their own definitions of the various terms in order to compare them by groups of a similar type. I think the general consensus is that the legacy carriers are the "old guys." They are mostly network carriers (meaning they have hub and spoke networks) and full-service (meaning they have differentiated amenities like a business class cabin, interline, lounges, etc...).

LCCs in my mind are now best defined as the group of airlines that emerged between the 1990s and 2000s that aimed to have less complex business models, low costs and low fares. As you note, the term is less useful these days as many of these carriers have evolved to the extent that on the outside they're indistinguishable from the full service carriers that the legacies have become as they have evolved. But these original LCCs will say they they try to maintain an LCC culture. The extent to which I use that term to describe an airline depends on how much its model has evolved.

ULCCs are the easiest to describe and identify. They emerged in the 2000s and are aimed at a market segment at and below that original LCC customer base through even lower fares, stripped of all services and with additional revenue made up by charges for ancillary services (i.e. checked bags, even basic drinks) and complementary business lines (like hotel booking), and by flying out of secondary airports.

So what to use? It depends on what you are trying to talk about. The terms can be interchangeable at times. WestJet has evolved into a full service, network carrier. I imagine the leadership would say they maintain an LCC culture and an LCC approach to managing costs. Does it make much sense to talk about WestJet being an LCC in the Canadian aviation market from the perspective of the product offering to customers when the competitor is the Air Canada group of airlines? Not really. They are two very different companies playing in many of the same spaces.
 
alasizon
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:57 pm

For me, they key difference is in product segmentation.

Full Service Carriers - Cover 100% of the Commercial Aviation options
LCC - Cover 80% of the commercial aviation options (missing high-end business class, 50/50 on lounges, etc)
ULCC - Cover bottom 50% (no premium class/product)

727LOVER wrote:
BWIAirport wrote:

-They nickel and dime you, obviously, as well, for things such as snacks that come free on legacy carriers, even in Y.


Then why did I starve on a long TPA-PHX flight on US Airways? No snacks, just sandwiches that were BoB---CA$H only !


That would be because US was an LCC, not a full service carrier.
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Hornberger
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:04 am

The way I see it is FSC is focused on increasing revenue first and cutting cost second, where as LCC aim to cut costs first and increase revenue second.

A FSC seeks to do things that add value to customers (particularly to high value business travellers) - e.g. Airport lounges, getting the best slots and gates, allowing people to seemlessly book complex itineraries, etc. All of these things cost money, but allows them to generate high RASM.

A LCC primary objective is to get the headline price as low as possible (while breaking even), then they earn their profit by selling ancillary services.
 
AtomicGarden
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:24 am

FF, lounges, other non flying perks, alliances & interline ticketing, connections (I think LCCs are P2P), and main vs. peripheral airport when possible.
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YIMBY
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:42 pm

superjeff wrote:
i think it is a bit more complicated than many are saying. Legacies typically offer interline ticketing and agreements, which means that in case of an IRROP they can reroute you on another airline; LCC’s usually cannot (although some, like JetBlue in the US, do have some interline agreements. Southwest does not. In Canada, I’m not sure about Westjet. ULLCs have very limited alternatives in case of a problem, typically cram even more people into their airplanes than the LCC’s and Legacies. But I agree that Economy Class on BA or LH in Europe is as tight as on F9 or NK in the U.S. and the U.S. 3 are also reducing pitch as well.


It think this is the point.

LCC's do not offer connections (except self-connections) and do not reroute in case of problems.

Other differences are smooth. Of course a Full Service airline has first and business class, lounges, serves all continents, offers connections to partners etc but there is a quasi-continuum of airlines between Full Service and LCC so that there is no other clear borderline.
 
cledaybuck
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:59 pm

YIMBY wrote:
superjeff wrote:
i think it is a bit more complicated than many are saying. Legacies typically offer interline ticketing and agreements, which means that in case of an IRROP they can reroute you on another airline; LCC’s usually cannot (although some, like JetBlue in the US, do have some interline agreements. Southwest does not. In Canada, I’m not sure about Westjet. ULLCs have very limited alternatives in case of a problem, typically cram even more people into their airplanes than the LCC’s and Legacies. But I agree that Economy Class on BA or LH in Europe is as tight as on F9 or NK in the U.S. and the U.S. 3 are also reducing pitch as well.


It think this is the point.

LCC's do not offer connections (except self-connections) and do not reroute in case of problems.

Other differences are smooth. Of course a Full Service airline has first and business class, lounges, serves all continents, offers connections to partners etc but there is a quasi-continuum of airlines between Full Service and LCC so that there is no other clear borderline.
Plenty of LCC's (and ULCC's) offer connections, at least in the US. While there are some differences, to the majority of travelers who sit in Y and want the lowest price from point A to point B, there really isn't much difference.
As we celebrate mediocrity, all the boys upstairs want to see, how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free.
 
winGl3t
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:12 pm

zakuivcustom wrote:
IIRC Gol doesn't even have a "low cost" base anymore


They still have one of the lowest cost (in terms of CASM) in the indusrty
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:22 pm

cledaybuck wrote:
Plenty of LCC's (and ULCC's) offer connections, at least in the US. While there are some differences, to the majority of travelers who sit in Y and want the lowest price from point A to point B, there really isn't much difference.


That's a difference between Europe and the USA. Here in Europe most LCCs and ULCCs don't offer connections. Norwegian is one of the few LCCs offering connections, however for a fee. Booking the two flights individual is cheaper except in case you transfer in the UK where the British APD plays a role. For a long time Ryanair didn't offer connections and only recently they started making this possible on a limited number of airports. The price of a transfer flight on Ryanair is just the price of the two individual flights added up, no fee and no discount. EasyJet and Wizzair don't offer connections.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:35 pm

OzarkD9S wrote:
No difference in coach anymore.


Not while just sitting, for the difference you have to look elsewhere. Way of boarding for example, airbridges versus airstairs. Choice of airports is another one, primary versus secondary airports. If there's no secondary airport available, first gates in the main terminal versus remote stands from a far corner of a less used terminal. Those are the differences between full service and LCC. This difference starts on the ground.
 
cledaybuck
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:41 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
cledaybuck wrote:
Plenty of LCC's (and ULCC's) offer connections, at least in the US. While there are some differences, to the majority of travelers who sit in Y and want the lowest price from point A to point B, there really isn't much difference.


That's a difference between Europe and the USA. Here in Europe most LCCs and ULCCs don't offer connections. Norwegian is one of the few LCCs offering connections, however for a fee. Booking the two flights individual is cheaper except in case you transfer in the UK where the British APD plays a role. For a long time Ryanair didn't offer connections and only recently they started making this possible on a limited number of airports. The price of a transfer flight on Ryanair is just the price of the two individual flights added up, no fee and no discount. EasyJet and Wizzair don't offer connections.
Yeah, in the US just about every carrier other than G4 offers connections, although LCC's networks tend to be more O&D based.

PatrickZ80 wrote:
OzarkD9S wrote:
No difference in coach anymore.


Not while just sitting, for the difference you have to look elsewhere. Way of boarding for example, airbridges versus airstairs. Choice of airports is another one, primary versus secondary airports. If there's no secondary airport available, first gates in the main terminal versus remote stands from a far corner of a less used terminal. Those are the differences between full service and LCC. This difference starts on the ground.
Another difference between the EU and the US. In the US most LCC's use jet bridges and fly into primary airports, with G4 again being more the exception.
As we celebrate mediocrity, all the boys upstairs want to see, how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free.
 
Jshank83
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:09 pm

At least in the USA, imo:

This is a little simplified but for the most part seems to be true:

Full service- has First/business class seats (not counting some 50 seat RJS)
LCC - Only coach but the coach services are pretty much the same as coach services on full service airlines.
ULCC - pay extra for everything.
 
tjh8402
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:20 pm

As much as we like to complain about a rollback of service on legacy carriers, there remains a difference. My mom, who typically flies on F9, NK, and G4, recently flew BE on AA and remarked at how much nicer it was. She commented on the free snacks and beverages, in seat power, and extra legroom. She said she had forgotten what legacy carriers were like. I’m not kidding.
 
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texas145
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Built In Fees

Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:24 pm

As far as bag and meal fees: I don't believe that Full Service airlines offer free snacks and free checked bags. Because nothing is really free, those fees are simply built into the price of the ticket. On an ULCC, those fees are broken down and more easily seen by the public. I personally don't mind the "un-bundling" of fees by the low cost carriers, because if I don't want a snack or have a bag to check, why should I pay for such amenities on a Full Service carrier, where the fee is built in, vs not paying the fee on an ULCC?
A clear conscience is a great pillow.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:40 pm

tjh8402 wrote:
As much as we like to complain about a rollback of service on legacy carriers, there remains a difference. My mom, who typically flies on F9, NK, and G4, recently flew BE on AA and remarked at how much nicer it was. She commented on the free snacks and beverages, in seat power, and extra legroom. She said she had forgotten what legacy carriers were like. I’m not kidding.


Did she also compare the ticket price? Those free snacks and beverages, seat power and extra legroom all have to be paid for somehow. This makes legacy carriers are more expensive, there's no way around it. Of course those free snacks and beverages aren't really free, they're included in the ticket price. The legroom isn't free either, it's included in the ticket price. Subtract all those "free" things from the ticket price and you end up paying much less. Of course you're also getting less, but that's what people choose for these days.
 
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NickolayAv
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:16 pm

flyguy84 wrote:
Is someone really asking this question? Wow.

It makes sense to ask, especially in the US. While there is still a massive difference between full service carriers/LCC and ULCCs, the line between full service carriers (US3) and LCC (WN, B6) has really blurred with the introduction of basic economy fares. If you book flights on the companies you can often notice the difference in cost and what you get on LCCs and full service carriers is often very small.
"If you want to be a millionaire, start with a billion dollars and launch a new airline"-Richard Branson
 
cledaybuck
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:24 pm

NickolayAv wrote:
flyguy84 wrote:
Is someone really asking this question? Wow.

It makes sense to ask, especially in the US. While there is still a massive difference between full service carriers/LCC and ULCCs, the line between full service carriers (US3) and LCC (WN, B6) has really blurred with the introduction of basic economy fares. If you book flights on the companies you can often notice the difference in cost and what you get on LCCs and full service carriers is often very small.
Blurred? In what way is a ticket on WN or B6 not the same or better than a basic economy fare on the US3?
As we celebrate mediocrity, all the boys upstairs want to see, how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free.
 
alan3
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:19 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
tjh8402 wrote:
As much as we like to complain about a rollback of service on legacy carriers, there remains a difference. My mom, who typically flies on F9, NK, and G4, recently flew BE on AA and remarked at how much nicer it was. She commented on the free snacks and beverages, in seat power, and extra legroom. She said she had forgotten what legacy carriers were like. I’m not kidding.


Did she also compare the ticket price? Those free snacks and beverages, seat power and extra legroom all have to be paid for somehow. This makes legacy carriers are more expensive, there's no way around it. Of course those free snacks and beverages aren't really free, they're included in the ticket price. The legroom isn't free either, it's included in the ticket price. Subtract all those "free" things from the ticket price and you end up paying much less. Of course you're also getting less, but that's what people choose for these days.


I know your post is about the US, but with British Airways now charging for all food and beverage service (even juice, soda, tea, coffee and water) on domestic and intra-European service, I wonder if that will ever carry over to any other carriers including the US and if so, if legacy carriers start charging for juice and soda and coffee on short haul if that could change the game a bit. Wonder if BA will just keep going and copy the credit card fees and boarding pass fees like Ryanair as well.
 
washingtonflyer
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:22 pm

cledaybuck wrote:
NickolayAv wrote:
flyguy84 wrote:
Is someone really asking this question? Wow.

It makes sense to ask, especially in the US. While there is still a massive difference between full service carriers/LCC and ULCCs, the line between full service carriers (US3) and LCC (WN, B6) has really blurred with the introduction of basic economy fares. If you book flights on the companies you can often notice the difference in cost and what you get on LCCs and full service carriers is often very small.
Blurred? In what way is a ticket on WN or B6 not the same or better than a basic economy fare on the US3?


Well, do remember we're talking more than a ticket. We're talking about an airline. As a FF on American, even on a basic economy ticket, I can still go to the Admirals Club, I still get priority boarding, and my status negates the baggage limitation that comes with a basic economy ticket. I do earn 1/2 the EQMs I would earn on a regular fare, I am stuck with no changes, and my seat assignment options are limited. But many of the other limitations are not applicable.
 
michman
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:27 pm

727LOVER wrote:
BWIAirport wrote:

-Typically, they use slightly older aircraft (except NK has the youngest fleet in the US).


NK started with old DC-9s. Then onto MD-80s which were used as well. New aircraft didn't happen until the Airbuses.



BWIAirport wrote:

-They nickel and dime you, obviously, as well, for things such as snacks that come free on legacy carriers, even in Y.


Then why did I starve on a long TPA-PHX flight on US Airways? No snacks, just sandwiches that were BoB---CA$H only !


US Airways? Well, gosh, that must have been a recent flight. All the legacies have brought back free snacks in coach at this point. None of the legacies have gone to the 28" "pre-reclined" seats used by the ULCC's. DL also has AVOD on most of their longer-range domestic fleet (they added it to A319/A320's with recent refurb's and also have it on 757's/737's).
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:12 pm

alan3 wrote:
Wonder if BA will just keep going and copy the credit card fees and boarding pass fees like Ryanair as well.


Credit card fees are not allowed anymore by EU laws. Boarding pass fees are only logical, it costs the airline money to have a check-in desk open and hand you a boarding pass, and this is something you can easily do yourself. They don't want people standing in line for the check-in desks. Just print your own boarding card or use the app on your phone, that's free. Doesn't cost them any money either.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:16 pm

cledaybuck wrote:
Blurred? In what way is a ticket on WN or B6 not the same or better than a basic economy fare on the US3?


I wouldn't call Southwest or JetBlue LCCs, their service level is actually pretty high. As for LCCs in the USA, take a look at Spirit and Frontier and Allegiant. The difference in service level between Spirit and JetBlue is significant.

However I got the feeling the difference between legacies and LCCs is more obvious in Europe than it is in America. Here we got airlines like Ryanair and Wizzair that top every American LCC when it comes to the LCC experience.
 
washingtonflyer
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:07 pm

I think folks are automatically equating full service with "legacy". Not all airlines that are full service are legacies. JetBlue definitely is not a LCC - it offers premium products (the much touted Mint).

I think WN still falls into the LCC category - no assigned seats, no major network partnerships, one family of aircraft. No premium class.

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