tjh8402
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:47 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 don’t know if she did or not. The airport she was flying out of doesn’t have any LCC service, so I don’t know if she chose that out of convenience or because the price was still competitive. Knowing her, it wasn’t that much more expensive.

Anyway, my point was more in answering OP about what the difference is between a ULCC and a legacy carrier, especially in light of the fact that with basic economy and other changes, legacy carriers are becoming more like a LCC. I thought it was interesting to hear this perspective from a ULCC passenger who was still struck by the difference.
 
RamblinMan
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:15 pm

A ULCC ticket and a legacy basic economy ticket get you pretty much the same thing. Legacies have comped soft drinks and streaming tv, that's about it. Add-ons are where they differ.

Legacies make you buy higher fare classes to get seat selection and carry-on bags, then give you the option of paying even more for better seats and checked bags. If you want a larger 2x2 seat at the front you have to upgrade to first class, which includes lots of luggage and better comped snacks.

ULCCs sell all of these options a-la-carte. As a result they can provide much better value to certain customers. I took NK ATL to ORD on a 1-day trip. I could have gotten basic Y on AA or UA for the same price. DL was more, but their basic Y still includes a carry-on. I didn't need a carry-on, it was a 1-day trip. I do like a guaranteed window, though, so I'd want to upgrade to main cabin regardless. For just a couple bucks more than that would have cost, I got row 1 on NK in a much nicer seat.

As far as reliability and how much they can help you with a delay/cancellation, I understand I might be taking more of a risk on a ULCC. I'm not really sure that's true, though, as it was legacy USeless Airways which could regularly leave me stranded like no other, and it is legacy UA which has delayed me the longest of any trip in my life. Have a plan B, buy insurance if you can't shell out $1000 for an emergency, and that applies on AA just as much as it does G4.
 
cledaybuck
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:07 am

washingtonflyer wrote:
cledaybuck wrote:
NickolayAv wrote:
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.
Ok, but the vast majority of flyers who aren't elite level frequent flyers don't get those things. The real difference is the network. From my little corner of the world here in SW Ohio I cross shop three airports. From those airports, the US3 can get me to most major cities in the world in one stop and just about anywhere in the world in two. WN can get me to most major cities in the US in one stop. NK, F9, or G4 can get me to a handful of vacation destinations. B6 is an airline that people talk about online that takes people on the east coast where they want to go on vacation.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:55 pm

probably one would need to make a chart to really assess the difference. Seat width and pitch, luggage charges, nuisance fees, All over comfort, all overs service, satisfaction with flight and service appropriate for price, when things go amiss do they fix it, etc. interlining available and price.

My problem with Orbitz and others is that you cannot tell what you are getting when you pay more. There are any number of metrics for which I would pay more.
Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
 
Yflyer
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:38 pm

cledaybuck wrote:
The real difference is the network. From my little corner of the world here in SW Ohio I cross shop three airports. From those airports, the US3 can get me to most major cities in the world in one stop and just about anywhere in the world in two. WN can get me to most major cities in the US in one stop. NK, F9, or G4 can get me to a handful of vacation destinations. B6 is an airline that people talk about online that takes people on the east coast where they want to go on vacation.


Expanding on this, the biggest difference to me is that all the legacies all partner with regional airlines which allows them to serve smaller cities, giving them a much broader network within the US. LCCs (including WN) only serve routes that can support mainline flights. If an LCC does serve a smaller city, it's typically as an "alternative" to a nearby major city (such as WN marketing Manchester, NH as "Boston area"). WN can take me from major city to major city. The legacies can take me to Duluth or Chattanooga or Idaho Falls or La Crosse and so forth. At best, Allegiant can take you from some of those cities to a few vacation destinations. Technically it might be possible to fly Allegiant to other places if you buy two tickets and self-connect, but that's not really the same as the seamless connections the legacies offer.
 
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ojjunior
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:02 pm

questions wrote:
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?


Full service: You're a wealthy man.
LCC: All of us.
ULCC: Your employer is paying the ticket.
 
cledaybuck
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:06 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
probably one would need to make a chart to really assess the difference. Seat width and pitch, luggage charges, nuisance fees, All over comfort, all overs service, satisfaction with flight and service appropriate for price, when things go amiss do they fix it, etc. interlining available and price.

My problem with Orbitz and others is that you cannot tell what you are getting when you pay more. There are any number of metrics for which I would pay more.
The problem is the airlines don't guarantee these things. You can pay for regular economy on AA and select a aisle A320 seat and then have an aircraft switch and be stuck in a 738 Max middle with no recourse.
 
ThePinnacleKid
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:11 pm

Just to point this out but, technically speaking.. the term Low-Cost Carrier originated with nothing based about service levels or fares... it was about the Business Model being a lower operating cost structure vs the legacy carriers.... achieved usually by higher aircraft utilization etc...

Granted, people now though use LCC and ULCC as product/consumer terms despite their origin.
"Sonny, did we land? or were we shot down?"
 
washingtonflyer
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:21 pm

Yflyer wrote:
cledaybuck wrote:
The real difference is the network. From my little corner of the world here in SW Ohio I cross shop three airports. From those airports, the US3 can get me to most major cities in the world in one stop and just about anywhere in the world in two. WN can get me to most major cities in the US in one stop. NK, F9, or G4 can get me to a handful of vacation destinations. B6 is an airline that people talk about online that takes people on the east coast where they want to go on vacation.


Expanding on this, the biggest difference to me is that all the legacies all partner with regional airlines which allows them to serve smaller cities, giving them a much broader network within the US. LCCs (including WN) only serve routes that can support mainline flights. If an LCC does serve a smaller city, it's typically as an "alternative" to a nearby major city (such as WN marketing Manchester, NH as "Boston area"). WN can take me from major city to major city. The legacies can take me to Duluth or Chattanooga or Idaho Falls or La Crosse and so forth. At best, Allegiant can take you from some of those cities to a few vacation destinations. Technically it might be possible to fly Allegiant to other places if you buy two tickets and self-connect, but that's not really the same as the seamless connections the legacies offer.


The problem with this is (and I generally agree with it) is the issue of JetBlue. In my mind, they are not a LCC and certainly not a ULCC. They have a full service product, the operate different fleet types, and they have an operation that looks like hub and spoke. They do not have an regional affiliate.

if you're going to create difference from FS, LCC, and ULCC, you basically have to create a chart and a FS must have at least most of certain items; LCCs would have to have most of certain items; ULCCs would have to have most of certain items.

FS carriers (IMHO) - AA, AS, B6, DL, HA, UA

LCC (IMHO) - WN and maybe F9

ULCC - NK and G4.
 
Yflyer
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:49 pm

washingtonflyer wrote:
The problem with this is (and I generally agree with it) is the issue of JetBlue. In my mind, they are not a LCC and certainly not a ULCC. They have a full service product, the operate different fleet types, and they have an operation that looks like hub and spoke. They do not have an regional affiliate.


I guess in my mind I think of JetBlue as a sort of "upscale LCC", sort of a hybrid model incorporating some LCC elements and some full service elements. Their fleet is still relatively simple compared to legacies, with just two basic types (A32X and E190). When they started out they had one class of service, albeit with "Even More Legroom" seats that you could upgrade to, but the addition of Mint on some routes does push them closer to full service territory. And yes, their route map does look hub and spoke like, adding a more legacy-like element.
 
evank516
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:54 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, B6 is an LCC, but also overs a premium cabin on select flights. That blurs the line quite a bit. Both airlines fly into primary airports (nowadays) for the most part as opposed to secondary, in fact WN's move into primary airports (LGA, EWR, and DCA for example) was quite newsworthy.

alasizon wrote:
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.


In reference to your comment that US was an LCC, it was after the merger with HP, but before that it was a total full service carrier. In fact, I would call US more of a hybrid post HP merger.

Another difference between full service carriers and LCCs/ULCCs is also probably a more simplified fleet. Look at airlines like B6 which is primarily Airbus, though they fly the E190 as well. WN is all 737s, F9 and NK both exclusively operate aircraft of the Airbus A320 family (A319/A320/A321). Then you have full service airlines which have a plethora of aircraft types from multiple manufacturers. Look at the US3. Each operate a mix of Boeing and Airbus aircraft of both the widebody and narrowbody sizes, two of which still operate McDonnell Douglas aircraft as well. Plus, many full service carriers also have regional subsidiaries (Delta Connection, American Eagle, United Express, BA CityFlier, KLM CityHopper, etc.). Clearly there are exceptions, such as Norwegian and their 787s mixed with 737MAX planes, WestJet (if still considered an LCC) operates Encore as well as wide and narrowbody aircraft. However, the aviation industry has many blurred lines IMO, and they become more and more obvious as we try to compare and contrast the three types of airlines in the world.
 
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dangerhere
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:01 pm

In Europe (intra European flights) certainly very little difference. Aer Lingus for example offers very little within Europe these days. When I fly home from Eastern Germany, I have a straight choice between Aer Lingus or FR. About 8 years ago I simply switched to FR as it's usually offering the same service at a quarter of the price and far less hassle to book than 'Smart Flies..'. Tegel is a cow shed just like SFX so it makes very little difference on the ground between the airlines. In Dublin FR is a bit of a trek but then again EI flights to Germany are right at the end of Terminal 2. I would happily pay another €100 or so if Lufthansa were to fly the route.

Within Europe, where the vast, vast majority of flights are two hours or less, it makes very little difference point to point. It could well be that in a few years someone flying long haul to Frankfurt on LH simply connects to an integrated Eurowings flight within Europe and the legacies will be diversifying into the luxury jet or helicopter rental business.

The European market is simply saying that many these dinosaurs of the past are no longer needed.
 
jplatts
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:29 pm

While many individuals, including myself, still consider WN to be a LCC for historical reasons, WN is not always the cheapest carrier on domestic routes (including some routes where WN does not compete against F9, NK, SY, or G4). There are even sometimes cases where it is actually cheaper to fly to destinations served by WN out of DFW on AA, DL, or UA on regular economy class fares than it is to fly out of DAL on WN.
 
LupineChemist
Posts: 800
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:03 am

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

Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:54 pm

One of the biggest differences to me is what happens when things go wrong. A legacy will have many more options and alliance partners to reroute.

A cancelled flight can happen to anyone, but major delays and cancelations are more likely when your fleet is stretched to its max already and there will be much worse service when it happens.
 
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dangerhere
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:35 pm

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

Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:26 pm

LupineChemist wrote:
One of the biggest differences to me is what happens when things go wrong. A legacy will have many more options and alliance partners to reroute.


Certainly not in IAG group the past few years, seems to happen every second week these days with EI:

http://www.thejournal.ie/aer-lingus-lanzarote-3884499-Mar2018/


https://www.dublinlive.ie/news/dublin-news/aer-lingus-issue-apology-after-14648570


https://www.firstpost.com/world/british-airways-faces-global-system-failure-passengers-stranded-without-luggage-on-holiday-weekend-3487685.html
 
washingtonflyer
Posts: 1447
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Re: What Is The Real Difference Among Full Service, LCC and ULCC Carriers?

Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:06 am

alasizon wrote:
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.


I would not in any way shape or form consider US (post or even pre mergers) to be a LCC. It had a full range of airline products: global alliance, transatlantic and South America international destinations, domestic F and international J product, airline club, code shares, regional partners, etc. Its network was 98.5% hub-and-spoke. There was absolutely nothing about US that gave the appearance of a LCC - other than its stock ticker symbol.

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