This is the right thing to do. Hotels are cheaper than having a large support (HR, Tax, Legal, etc) infrastructure in that country.
If that were obviously and consistently true then U.S. carriers never would have set up foreign bases. There are lots of reasons that work (and workers) may not be based in the U.S. UA Corporate functions going to India, anyone?
Legacy costs from a simpler time...that stick around because change costs money.
Change costs much less when you can just axe an entire office...
As well, beyond all that, it is a legacy of a different era's technological limitations. An NRT & HKG base made sense back then as there were not exactly things like 789s capable of reaching from SFO deep into east asia. So transfer points made more sense and the cost of a crew base would have been a normal cost of doing that sort of business.
eta unknown wrote:
eta unknown wrote:
Well QF has a LHR crew base and NZ just closed theirs as route cancelled. Both bases existed purely because of the LHR hotel cost issue- and yes it was cheaper to pay local LON admin staff. Are hotels cheaper- normally yes, but LON is the exception. Another unique LON issue is many hotels don't want crew business which pushes up the already high hotel rates even further.
Out of curiosity, why don’t some hotels want crew business? Is it just the discounted rates are too low relative to selling rooms at retail rates, or is there something more to it?
Nothing more to it- you hit the nail on the head. London hotel demand far outstrips the crew rates airlines want to pay. I once knew one of the EK hotel procurement guys and he said London negotiations were a nightmare and nowhere else came even remotely close. The room rates are high and the room quality low.
Yep. Flight and Cabin Crew are not typically known to be Party Vikings, so it really is just an availability & diminished revenue situation.
It’s not just discounted rates. Crew contracts require the room to be available when the crew arrives. The majority of US originated flights into LHR arrive between 6am and 10am. That means hotel rooms have to be available around 7-11am.
Maybe thirty years ago. These days, most establishments and chains have more flexible options. Before this year, I was routinely checking in at times like that, and that was not in the purview of working for an airline.
Some chains monetize that option, some do not. But WRT airline crews, it really is just a money thing. Airline contracts really are not what they used to be.