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Palladium
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Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:00 am

You guys probably know that most best aircrafts in the world are in Asia, for example: Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Malaysian Airlines, JAL, EVA Air, etc.

I was just wondering why we can't follow them? At least be competitive with them.

European carriers, they are all at least still being competitive against those asian carriers... KLM, BA, Air France are still better than our American/Canadian carriers.

I don't know.., maybe it's just me....but I heard soo many topics here lately, that most US carriers are trying to save money by eliminating pillows, no food and beverages,.... and last time I flew with ATA and it's funny that you have to purchase $ 2.00 for the headset, or if you want to drink wine / soft drinks you have to pay like $ 1.00 or something like that.

Saving money is great but I don't think this is they way how you save money.
Look what cathay pacific, SQ, QF, and most major asian carriers...they offer these termendous luxurious entertainment, food and beverages, in flight amneties such as sandal, tooth brush, body lotion, pillows and blanket for every seat, delicious dessert and a very good deal of mileage club .

Just read on Time Magazine about couple years ago about how much money SQ spend for their food and beverages, it says that SQ spend about an avarage of (per passanger) $ 20.00 for economy class, $ 40.00 for business class and $ 50.00 for first class. (for each passenger)

but again,.... they never ran out of money instead in return passengers love travelling with SQ because they offer such great foods and service and in flight entertainment...of course they have to pay a little bit more expensive but it's much better than riding a plane without food and entertainment.

why we can't follow them? don't passengers love to have all these great in flight amneties and entertainment on their plane???

if they can do it,...sure we can... if we can build planes why we can't be at least one of the best....

I love how SQ's to introduced their "singapore girl" term... their flight attendants are greats and pretty. I am sure, most passengers love being served with them.

it'a a big investment, sometimes you have to take it out from your own pockets but in return you will get a huge revenue and sales.

what do you guys think?  Smile
 
NZAA
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:12 am

I unerstand what you are saying but in these post 9/11 times a lot of US carriers are very short on money and have ageing fleets that some day need replacement. That is why many US carriers are doing everything that they can to save money. Just look at UA they are stuck in Chapter 11 and others will end up there as well i.e NWA.

Trav
 
yul332LX
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:14 am

Couple of reasons:

Overcapacity in North-America.

Multiple hubs/focus cities/point-to-point strategy versus single hub strategy.

Frequency vs capacity.


US carriers will have to understand at some point that what's good for customers ain't automatically good for the airlines.
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bayareapilot
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:21 am

For the most part you are comparing domestic service in the US to international service. It's not apples-to-apples at all. Carriers like SQ and CX have a grand total of ZERO domestic flights.

(Yes I know Hong Kong is part of China, but for all intents and purposes a flight between HK and the mainland is an international flight. When you arrive you go through immigration and customs. Not to mention CX is strictly limited as to what routes it can fly in China.)
 
avek00
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:26 am

As time progresses, and LCC competition intensifies, SQ will be increasingly emulating the USA legacy carriers.
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rjpieces
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:27 am

Labor costs are a lot less for Asian carriers, among many other problems.
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Carpethead
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:05 am

Labor costs are anything but cheap in Japan.

Comparing even a two hour int'l flight in Asia to one in the US is hardly even comparable. There hasn't been a prolifteration of LCCs in Asia yet.

Service on Japanese flights is non-existing (not that we need any on a one hour flight on a 744 or 777). Most of the time you have ask the flight attendant for a drink (of course they will be more than glad to bring you one).

Many people even execs mention overcapacity as one problem in North America, but how come airlines continually outperform year-over-year load factors. The problem isn't capacity, it's the pricing of that capacity.

Sooner or later US airlines will be healthy again and mainline aircraft will be delivered. Otherwise, we'll be discussing those old AA MD-80s threads 15 years from now.
 
commavia
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:07 am

The main reason why U.S. domestic flights in no way resemble the service available on Asian carriers' flights is because, generally speaking, Americans would never pay for that service. The vast majority of American travellers today basically view their plane as a bus with wings -- they don't really care about anything except a cheap fare, safety, and being on time. If the airline delivers on that, consumers will pretty much put up with about anything else.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:36 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 7):
The main reason why U.S. domestic flights in no way resemble the service available on Asian carriers' flights is because, generally speaking, Americans would never pay for that service.

I don't agree for the simple reason that air travel in Europe and the Far East is not really more expensive than in the US despite better service. Better service does not necessarily mean higher costs. A smile and a bit of histle are both free for example.

Quoting Palladium (Thread starter):
You guys probably know that most best aircrafts in the world are in Asia, for example: Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Malaysian Airlines, JAL, EVA Air, etc.

I was just wondering why we can't follow them? At least be competitive with them.

Labor costs have something to do with it. But mostly it's labor unions that are the problem for the US legacies. I'm not saying unions are bad in themselves, but by reducing staffing flexibility and insisting on strict seniority the airline unions are doing their members a disservice.

Most Euro and Asian carriers base promotions (and staying employed) on customer service measurements (for F/As) AND seniority. This means better service for pax and no silliness like useless, lazy F/As staying employed just because their contract protects them.

As long as US carriers cannot base their hiring/firing on goals they actually want to achieve (better customer service for example) the situation will prevail. I had a great F/A on AA the other day, but she was unfortunately a rare exception. Most are at best decent and some are downright nasty. The latter would never keep their jobs at a self respecting Far Eastern carrier.
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avek00
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:48 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):
I don't agree for the simple reason that air travel in Europe and the Far East is not really more expensive than in the US despite better service.

I disagree with this assertion. Air travel in Asia is often SIGNIFICANTLY more expensive than in te he USA, especially on routes where LCC competition is not present. Furthermore, its worth noting that for most large European airlines, a far larger percentage of capacity is dedicated to longhaul vs. domestic/regional flying than is the case with USA carriers. Put another way, the losses incurred by Euro carriers on short-haul are better concealed than is the case with the USA legacy carriers.
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Starlionblue
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:04 am

Quoting Avek00 (Reply 9):
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):
I don't agree for the simple reason that air travel in Europe and the Far East is not really more expensive than in the US despite better service.

I disagree with this assertion. Air travel in Asia is often SIGNIFICANTLY more expensive than in te he USA, especially on routes where LCC competition is not present. Furthermore, its worth noting that for most large European airlines, a far larger percentage of capacity is dedicated to longhaul vs. domestic/regional flying than is the case with USA carriers. Put another way, the losses incurred by Euro carriers on short-haul are better concealed than is the case with the USA legacy carriers.

I'm sure we can find data both ways. But you are quite right about the long-haul/short-haul difference. Big problem for US carriers.


However I still believe it's all down to motivation in the case of customer service. F/As and ground staff at US legacies are given pay incentives to stay at their jobs as many years as possible. F/As and ground staff at Asian carriers are given pay incentives to be good at their jobs. The results speak for themselves.
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N1120A
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:08 am

Quoting Palladium (Thread starter):
no food and beverages,.... and last time I flew with ATA and it's funny that you have to purchase $ 2.00 for the headset, or if you want to drink wine / soft drinks you have to pay like $ 1.00 or something like that.

To my knowledge, no US airline charges for soft drinks (except maybe Allegiant). They all charge for alcohol on domestic flights, except for free beer on QX

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 5):
Labor costs are a lot less for Asian carriers, among many other problems.

Yes, and by that measure, I am sure there are some here who could careless about airline workers making a fair wage as long as they get their PTV.  sarcastic 

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):
I don't agree for the simple reason that air travel in Europe and the Far East is not really more expensive than in the US despite better service.

A beg to differ. A large number of carriers in Europe offer FAR, FAR worse service than American carriers on short haul. There are some in the Far East following this model too now.
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abrelosojos
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:08 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):
A smile and a bit of histle are both free for example.

= I could not have said it better.

Another point of divergence - executive pay - American CEOs and their underlings need to take a paycut. I mean, living standards in Japan, HK, and Singapore are not that different that justifies such magnitudanal pay difference.
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Starlionblue
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:12 am

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 12):

Another point of divergence - executive pay - American CEOs and their underlings need to take a paycut. I mean, living standards in Japan, HK, and Singapore are not that different that justifies such magnitudanal pay difference.

Ethically this is probably true. But if you're only talking upper management pay this doesn't normally have a significant effect on the bottom line. While the numbers are big, there aren't that many upper level managers.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
commavia
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:18 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):
I don't agree for the simple reason that air travel in Europe and the Far East is not really more expensive than in the US despite better service.

In almost all cases, Asian airlines are categorically more expensive than U.S. airlines.
 
ACDC8
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:21 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 11):
A beg to differ. A large number of carriers in Europe offer FAR, FAR worse service than American carriers on short haul.

Examples?
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avek00
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:21 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 10):
Big problem for US carriers.

It's also a big problem for European and Asian airline when a global recession or the next bug from China hits.
Live life to the fullest.
 
N1120A
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:23 am

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 15):
Examples?

Ryanair, EasyJet, Austrian Airlines (short haul), Germanwings, Hapag Lloyd Express and more for Europe

Lion Air, Silk Air and more on the way in Asia
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ikramerica
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:35 am

Despite how some politicians want to paint the class struggle in the US, we are a far more egalitarian society where people with money worked to get it and are more willing to fly economy and don't always expect "Singapore Girl" service. That said, it isn't as if everyone doesn't appreciate better service, but by and large, we don't demand it as much as we used to. You see this in every aspect of our society. Not everyone behaves like Paris Hilton, and those types fly private anyway. It may come down to who is flying, as well. In the US, everyone flies, (or a large percentage of society), compared to many other places, where only the wealthy can afford to fly. In Europe, the discount way to "fly" is usually the train. So if in the places where only the wealthy fly, these people as a group expect more luxury and service.

And you can throw in the "problem" of elderly career F/As in the US and Europe versus basically "young and done" hiring practices of many asian carriers.
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ACDC8
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:45 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 17):
Ryanair, EasyJet, Austrian Airlines (short haul), Germanwings, Hapag Lloyd Express

While I can't speak for OS or HLX, but U2 and 4U most defientetly do not have any FAR, FAR worse service then American carriers! And as far as FR is concerened, they may not have the best service, but it as at least at par with the some US carriers and for the prices you can fly, no one has a right to complain.

Besides, the examples you have given (other then OS) are LCC. Any examples of airlines that are comparable?

[Edited 2005-07-05 02:50:34]
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N1120A
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:55 am

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 19):
Besides, the examples you have given (other then OS) are LCC. Any examples of airlines that are comparable?

LCCs carry a massive amount of the intra-european traffic now. Furthermore, US LCCs have similar service levels and far more flexible fare structures than even EU legacy carriers on short haul now.

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 19):
but U2 and 4Umost defientetly do not have any FAR, FAR worse service then American carriers!

When was the last time you were charged for a cup of water on an N-registered aircraft? When was the last time the lowest price was $400 US for this kind of service between 2 major cities only about 2 hours apart in the US? All this, and you can only bring 20kg onboard without being charged?

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 19):
And as far as FR is concerened, they may not have the best service, but it as at least at par with the some US carriers

It is nowhere close to ANY US carrier.

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 19):
for the prices you can fly, no one has a right to complain.

Dude, you can fly as cheap or cheaper in the US on more flexible tickets with much better service any day of the week with WN.
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ACDC8
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 10:19 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 20):
LCCs carry a massive amount of the intra-european traffic now. Furthermore, US LCCs have similar service levels and far more flexible fare structures than even EU legacy carriers on short haul now.

Sure Euro LCC's carry a massive amount of the intra-euro traffic now. How many have started up in just the last 5 years? The current competion in Europe is extremely intense. And I'm sure that US LCC carriers have similar fare structures and service levels to some Euro legacy carriers. But what about the US legacy carriers? Where are there service levels?

Quoting N1120A (Reply 20):
When was the last time you were charged for a cup of water on an N-registered aircraft?

Question should be "When was the last time you were offered a cup of water on a N-registered aircraft?"

Quoting N1120A (Reply 20):
When was the last time the lowest price was $400 US for this kind of service between 2 major cities only about 2 hours apart in the US? All this, and you can only bring 20kg onboard without being charged?

What service? Sure the prices have gone down, but the levels of service are almost non-existent on carriers such as UA, AA or NW. It doesn't cost anything for airline personal to smile everyonce in awhile.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 20):
It is nowhere close to ANY US carrier.

Why not?

Quoting N1120A (Reply 20):
Dude, you can fly as cheap or cheaper in the US on more flexible tickets with much better service any day of the week with WN.

You can fly anywhere on WN route network for less then $15 taxes included?

(I don't mean to be rude, but I have to get ready for work, so I may not be able to respond to any more comments 'till tomorrow)

Take care
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Starlionblue
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 11:25 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 18):

And you can throw in the "problem" of elderly career F/As in the US and Europe versus basically "young and done" hiring practices of many asian carriers.

I don't give a toss how old the F/As are. I do care about the level of service. And most of what I get "extra" on Euro and Asian carriers is just a different attitude. Doesn't cost the airline a cent.

There is quite a bit of room for good customer service even without sucky hiring/firing practices. But it must also be understood that if an employer has no way of reprimanding or even firing badly performing employee the company gets into huge problems. Basically you can have underperorming employees who are impossible to fire.

Also, the US tends to be pretty cutthroat when it comes to employment practice. I can be fired at my employer's whim without even a valid reason. IMHO this leads to companies being stronger in many ways. And if I'm good at what I do I will keep my job or have an easy time finding a new one. It's a wonder the US carriers don't operate under similar guidelines. Strict seniority rules are a disgrace that lead to crap service. While of course those with more experience should be valued, this is not excuse to keep them on if they are no good.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
N1120A
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 11:44 am

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 21):
You can fly anywhere on WN route network for less then $15 taxes included?

And you can pretty much never get that deal on FR either

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 21):
Question should be "When was the last time you were offered a cup of water on a N-registered aircraft?"

2 1/2 weeks ago, the last time I flew an N-registered aircraft.

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 21):
How many have started up in just the last 5 years?

Of the major ones? None

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 21):
And I'm sure that US LCC carriers have similar fare structures and service levels to some Euro legacy carriers.

Name one. If you say BD, they changed to mimic LCC's. Also, US LCCs actually have more flexible fare structures than EU legacies

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 21):
But what about the US legacy carriers? Where are there service levels?

On short haul? About the same as European ones, give or take

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 21):
It doesn't cost anything for airline personal to smile everyonce in awhile.

Have done to you what their employers have been doing and see what you feel like

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 21):
Why not?

I can name at least 20 reasons, but I am too tired
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ikramerica
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:07 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 22):
I don't give a toss how old the F/As are.

All I meant by that was that the more veteran F/As are often the more surly and/or militant ones, or just tired, which comes as a function of spending too long in any service oriented job. It's hard to stay positive after dealing with 10,000,000 annoying pax in your lifetime. But if you are younger and newer to the job, you will still have that naive belief that there are mostly nice people in the world.  Wink

So, in countries where it is not illegal to hire people based on age (and fire them too), you may see a higher level of service in the smile and niceness departments, as well as the speed at which the serve. Not to mention that younger people have fewer worries outside of work, and most people can't keep them separate. If you are worried about your kids, husband/wife, mortgage, college tuition, etc. it weighs on your attitude. Younger people don't often have those worries, or not at the same intensity.

That's all I meant. And since Europe and the US/Canada have lots of laws to prevent you from firing based on age compared to Asia, as well as pay structures that reward you for staying on for 20 years (or used to), then you get more older F/As with the potential problems that come with them.

That said, some of the best F/As I've ever had have been older, but by and large, the younger, more enthusiastic ones smile more and give faster, more attentive service, and have fun doing it.
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cjpark
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:36 pm

Most of the Asian carriers are flag carriers. They are subsidized by the country they represent. SQ, Thai, KAL and etc. Service is better because they can afford the extra expenses associated with the services they provide.
"Any airline that wants to serve the [region] can go to DFW today and fly anywhere they want," WN spokesman Ed Stewart
 
ACDC8
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:43 pm

I still got time for one more post before I head out ...  Big grin

Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
And you can pretty much never get that deal on FR either

But you can. I dont' care if they only sell one seat per flight for the price, point is you can.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
Of the major ones? None

Germanwings? Hapag Lloyd Express? Air Berlin (as a LCC)? SkyEurope? Among many others. All are new LCC (even if some are associated with legacy carriers) and all are no more then 5 years old.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
Name one. If you say BD, they changed to mimic LCC's. Also, US LCCs actually have more flexible fare structures than EU legacies

I was agreeing to a point you made earlier.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
On short haul? About the same as European ones, give or take

Lets see...
NW from SEA-DTW, about 4 hours flying time
Food service - none, save for the "snack box" you can buy for $3
Drink service - 2 times (in 4 hours)
F/A's - grumpy and almost always out of sight

KL from FRA-AMS, about 1 hour flying time
Food service - free warm baguettes, came around twice if anyone wanted seconds
Drink service - also twice (in 1 hour)
F/A's - smiling

Not very similar to me.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
Have done to you what their employers have been doing and see what you feel like

You don't think that Euro or Asian carriers don't have employee/management problems? Yet they still tend not to take it out on their customers.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
I can name at least 20 reasons, but I am too tired

I've flown on FR 6 times in the last 2 years and have never had any reason to complain.

Point is that US legacy carriers have never been able to keep up with the service levels of other international carriers. You can look up any consumer reports to verify that. Top carriers almost always include Asian, European, Australian and Middle Eastern airlines. Everyonce in a while, an American airline may make it to the top, but it's never consitent.
A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
 
ZKSUJ
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:44 pm

To be honest, I find sometimes the Asian airlines are a bit over rated. I know no one airline is perfect, but I would generally find better service in terms of staff friendliness on the likes of NZ and QF than SQ (just my experiences, may not be true for all cases).
 
ckfred
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:49 pm

Here is what I find curious. Hotels in the U.S. have gotten better and better over the last 20 years. I can remember when rooms never had alarm clocks, shampoo, or irons and ironing boards. They are now standard. I've stayed in Hyatts with empty mini-bars, which meant that I could chill a six-pack of pop without the mess of the ice bucket.

Now, the new fight among chains is over mattresses and bedding. Westin started the war with the Heavenly Bed. Sheraton then came out with the Sweet Sleeper. Now, Marriott is putting new mattresses and bedding in rooms throughout every brand.

I read in the June issue of "Travel & Leisure" that Starwood has calculated that the upgrades have allowed it to raise rates by $12 to $20 a night. Marriott is confident that it can raise rates up to $30 a night, because of the new beds.

So, why is it that hotels can add amenities and charge rates that cover the cost of the upgrades, but airlines can't do the same? Considering the hassles of checking bags, going through security, and trying to find edible food, I really think people would be willing to pay a reasonable premium for some semblence of service prior to September 11th.
 
commavia
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:53 pm

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 26):
Point is that US legacy carriers have never been able to keep up with the service levels of other international carriers. You can look up any consumer reports to verify that. Top carriers almost always include Asian, European, Australian and Middle Eastern airlines.

That is absolutely false. While it is the case today that U.S. carriers generally lag behind their European -- and definitely Asian -- counterparts in terms of inflight and general customer service, it was not always so.

Up until the 1960s and perhaps the early 1970s, U.S. carriers -- Pan Am, in particular, but also TWA, American, etc. -- were the worldwide pinnicle of glamour, luxury and style, true innovators in service. But, that was a different era. Back then, only the rich could afford to fly and as such it was a very elitist industry. People dressed for flying. It was an event. And, consequently, people paid to experience that event.

Today, that is exactly the opposite of most consumers' relationship with, and perception of, airlines in the U.S. The U.S. today has an highly egalitarian economy, at least in the transportation sector, dominated and controlled -- generally speaking -- by price and price alone. Most people today are simply looking for the cheapest fare from A to B, on Orbitz.com, on the airlines' websites, through travel agents, or wherever else. They generally don't care much about the details as long as the price is right, the plane doesn't crash, and they get where they want to go on time.

In that type of pricing environment, U.S. airlines must tailor their product to what the vast majority of the flying public, and thus their passenger base, demands. That means no more free meals (generally speaking), and perhaps other slimmed down service, but lower fares. As Bob Crandall, the former CEO of American Airlines and one of the most brilliant men ever to sit atop this industry, famously used to say: "the three most important deciding factors when a passenger books a ticket are price, price and price."

Just my $.02.
 
ACDC8
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 1:11 pm

Quoting Commavia (Reply 29):
Up until the 1960s and perhaps the early 1970s, U.S. carriers -- Pan Am, in particular, but also TWA, American, etc. -- were the worldwide pinnicle of glamour, luxury and style, true innovators in service. But, that was a different era. Back then, only the rich could afford to fly and as such it was a very elitist industry. People dressed for flying. It was an event. And, consequently, people paid to experience that event.

Ah, those were the days ...  cloudnine 
Where you do have a point, I originaly wanted to write "post deregulation US legacy carriers" but then I got to thinking, where the US airlines of the 50's and 60's were world class, it was the European carriers who pretty well invented in-flight service. IIRC it was Lufthansa who was the first airline to provide hot in-flight meals back in the 1920's.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 29):
They generally don't care much about the details as long as the price is right, the plane doesn't crash, and they get where they want to go on time.

If you hang out at an airport and listen to people, one of the first things they ask the person they are picking up is "How was the flight?" Ususally followed by "Awful, late, bad service" or "Great, on time, good food". So I'll have to disagree with you on that point.

IMO, an airline is a customer service business. They are there to provide a service and not just to get you from point A to B. If that were the case, airlines wouldn't bother with PTV's and such. Passengers not only want the cheapest ticket possible, they want all the bells and whistles with it as well.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 29):
Just my $.02.

Everyone's $.02 is important.
A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
 
Palladium
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:27 pm

I hope someday in the future one of our major airlines either United or American Airlines can become one of the best airline in the world T.T  Sad
I was wondering dont any of our major airlines in United States controlled by our own government?...so then at least we can have this tons of extra cash to upgrade the planes, servies and etc and be competitive with those asian carriers...
 
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mariner
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:15 pm

Quoting Commavia (Reply 29):
Up until the 1960s and perhaps the early 1970s, U.S. carriers -- Pan Am, in particular, but also TWA, American, etc. -- were the worldwide pinnicle of glamour, luxury and style, true innovators in service.

I'm not sure they were the "pinnacle", but they were up there.

American had a cute trick on their trans-con DC-10's. The two seats of the last but one row in the middle (up the front) could rotate, so they could be turned to face the two seats behind them (last row, middle).

A round tray table was put up, so the four pax could all dine around a table together. It made quite an impression on me, I remember it clearly now.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 29):
But, that was a different era. Back then, only the rich could afford to fly and as such it was a very elitist industry.

Um - yes and no. I wasn't rich, and I could afford to fly. I had a good job, I saved my pennies and every two years or so, I gave myself a first class trip around the world (I lived in Oz). It wasn't cheap, but it wasn't stupidly expensive.

It was simply that we flew less, so we made more of it. So, yes, it became "an event" - or at least, not something you did every day.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 29):
As Bob Crandall, the former CEO of American Airlines and one of the most brilliant men ever to sit atop this industry, famously used to say: "the three most important deciding factors when a passenger books a ticket are price, price and price."

Ah, Mr. Crandall - the man who took the Class out of First.

And there you have your answer. He responded to deregulation.

The problem was that all the US airlines wanted to stay "big" after deregulation, or grow, so the only thing that could give was service.

In other countries, it worked differently. They had very few airlines prior to their own deregulation, and the "new" airlines started small and had to grow with the market.

cheers

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
Shenzhen
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 5:03 pm

I think you can look at the different societies and get a clearer picture. Asian carriers can ground their female flight attendants before they ever see their 30th birthday.

US carriers need to provide Health and other benefits, such as retirement. Most of the Asian airlines do not. US carriers can not simply ground a flight attendant because she is fat or old or had a baby, or what ever..... The older the flight attendant, chances are the longer they have worked for the airline, therefore they can bid the long international flights where they get several days off on another continent and better expense pay... The longer a flight attendant flies for an airline, the more chances for them to become disgruntled and simply not care.
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 10:07 pm

Quoting Palladium (Thread starter):
You guys probably know that most best aircrafts in the world are in Asia, for example: Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Malaysian Airlines, JAL, EVA Air, etc.

I often wonder what the fuss is about Singapore, Malasian and other airlines which are supposed to be fantastic. I've flown with the above, and Cathay too, in economy of course, and haven't noticed much difference at all between them and most major international carriers. The worst I've flown on was Iberia and all the others were much of a muchness. Singapore were great for IFE, but that was all. The seating on the 777 was disapointing in that you couldn't lift up the armrests more than 45 degress, so sleeping stretched out over four seats was difficult.
Maybe the difference is confined to first and business class, but I found them all nothing to write home about.
 
commavia
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 10:13 pm

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 30):
If you hang out at an airport and listen to people, one of the first things they ask the person they are picking up is "How was the flight?" Ususally followed by "Awful, late, bad service" or "Great, on time, good food". So I'll have to disagree with you on that point.

But it doesn't really matter what people "say" after their flight. My experience has always been that people will constantly complain and moan about this, or that, but when it comes down to it, they will still willingly subject themselves to what they regard as "awful" to save money.

Quoting Mariner (Reply 32):
Um - yes and no. I wasn't rich, and I could afford to fly.

I was speaking in general, because generally, it cost a whole lot more to travel in the 1960s or 1970s compared to now.

Quoting Mariner (Reply 32):
I had a good job, I saved my pennies and every two years or so, I gave myself a first class trip around the world (I lived in Oz). It wasn't cheap, but it wasn't stupidly expensive.

Well, you just proved my point. You had to save pennies for two years, and then you could buy a ticket. Today, most people wouldn't need to save more than maybe two weeks. Maybe you couldn't fly First, but just about anyone with a job can today afford to fly if they are travelling on a busy enough route that has competition. Pretty much, anyone who lives in or around the New York, LA or Chicago areas, and perhaps Miami and a few other locales as well, as plenty of ways to get where they are going cheaply. That was not the case before deregulation.
 
N754PR
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 10:14 pm

Asian service is hands down better than anything Europe or America can offer. Also most of the airlines in Asia at least care for their pax and treat them like paying passengers.
Bush, your a sad, sad man.
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 10:23 pm

Quoting N754PR (Reply 36):
Asian service is hands down better than anything Europe or America can offer. Also most of the airlines in Asia at least care for their pax and treat them like paying passengers.

This is an often repeated myth. I've found they do their job and are pleasant, but I expect, and get, that from most international carriers I've flown on.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 10:31 pm

Quoting Ckfred (Reply 28):
So, why is it that hotels can add amenities and charge rates that cover the cost of the upgrades, but airlines can't do the same? Considering the hassles of checking bags, going through security, and trying to find edible food, I really think people would be willing to pay a reasonable premium for some semblence of service prior to September 11th.

Hiring and firing practices are different. If an employee at Marriott is crap, he or she can be fired. At an airline, it's quite tough due to union rules. The seniority system rears it's ugly head.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 29):
That is absolutely false. While it is the case today that U.S. carriers generally lag behind their European -- and definitely Asian -- counterparts in terms of inflight and general customer service, it was not always so.

Agreed.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 29):
Today, that is exactly the opposite of most consumers' relationship with, and perception of, airlines in the U.S. The U.S. today has an highly egalitarian economy, at least in the transportation sector, dominated and controlled -- generally speaking -- by price and price alone. Most people today are simply looking for the cheapest fare from A to B, on Orbitz.com, on the airlines' websites, through travel agents, or wherever else. They generally don't care much about the details as long as the price is right, the plane doesn't crash, and they get where they want to go on time.

In that type of pricing environment, U.S. airlines must tailor their product to what the vast majority of the flying public, and thus their passenger base, demands.

The point I think some of us are trying to make is that price does not need to suffer despite better service. Also, once all the airlines have hit pricing rock bottom, they have to differentiate themselves somehow  Wink

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 33):
I think you can look at the different societies and get a clearer picture. Asian carriers can ground their female flight attendants before they ever see their 30th birthday.

US carriers need to provide Health and other benefits, such as retirement. Most of the Asian airlines do not. US carriers can not simply ground a flight attendant because she is fat or old or had a baby, or what ever..... The older the flight attendant, chances are the longer they have worked for the airline, therefore they can bid the long international flights where they get several days off on another continent and better expense pay... The longer a flight attendant flies for an airline, the more chances for them to become disgruntled and simply not care.

There is a misconception that jobs at Far Eastern carriers are paid slavery. Those jobs are highly sought after and very prestigious. If a woman has been a "Singapore Girl" she can have her pick of assignments in the service industry afterwards. So what if they ground them before their 30th birthday? It says so right in the contract when they start. And they still get lots of applicants.

As for becoming fat. Well I don't see anything wrong with fitness requirements for a job where you may have to help pax out of a burning plane. I'm not saying all the F/As have to be superathletes but a moderate level of fitness should perhaps be required.

As for becoming pregnant, there are plenty of jobs on the ground for those women. The Asian carriers are, AFAIK, pretty harsh here. But it also says so right in the contract. The terms are clear.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
jeffrysky
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Tue Jul 05, 2005 10:46 pm

When I read this thread, I think of 4 'F' words :
Fluff , Fallacy , Fiction , False. It is sad to say that some of the replies reek nothing more than just plain denial.

I would concur with many of the points raised that there are numerous cultural and social differences between Asia and the US , that would probably translate to differences in job environment , labour policies et al. These are innate differences in our two different societies and we don't expect airlines to bridge that wide cultural gap.

However, to list out 1001 reasons why Asian carriers have somewhat an unfair advantage over US carriers , just spells the letters 'SOUR GRAPES' in my mind instantly.

Quoting BayAreaPilot (Reply 3):
For the most part you are comparing domestic service in the US to international service. It's not apples-to-apples at all. Carriers like SQ and CX have a grand total of ZERO domestic flights.

I believe there's nothing much I have to comment about your perception of US international service. I leave that to the world to decide for themselves. As for your second point, just remember Malaysia Airlines, who has been maintaining an extensive domestic network in both West and East Malaysia.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 11):
A beg to differ. A large number of carriers in Europe offer FAR, FAR worse service than American carriers on short haul. There are some in the Far East following this model too now.

And your given examples ?

Quoting N1120A (Reply 17):
Lion Air, Silk Air and more on the way in Asia

Silk Air is a full-service airline that offers full meal services on its services to regional destinations. It's SQ's version of Australian Airlines, which often is mistaken for a LCC but is actually a full-service leisure carrier. And your point of it being even worse than American short-haul service ? I believe Silk Air's reputation speaks for itself. It is pretty obvious to me some people are just so eager to rattle off examples at the tip of their tongue without even giving it second thought !

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 26):
Most of the Asian carriers are flag carriers. They are subsidized by the country they represent. SQ, Thai, KAL and etc. Service is better because they can afford the extra expenses associated with the services they provide.

The same old whiney "They are government-subsidised!!" This is such an old and tired , not to mention lame assumption that never seems to work , because I never have seen any effort to substantiate such a claim.

Just please stop giving excuses for bad service. And some of the excuses listed are just really bad , fallacious excuses in every sense of the word.
 
ACDC8
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:10 am

Quoting JeffrySkY (Reply 39):
Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 26):
Most of the Asian carriers are flag carriers. They are subsidized by the country they represent. SQ, Thai, KAL and etc. Service is better because they can afford the extra expenses associated with the services they provide.

Cool, I never said that.

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 33):
US carriers need to provide Health and other benefits, such as retirement.

So do Euro carriers.

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 33):
Asian carriers can ground their female flight attendants before they ever see their 30th birthday.

It's not just the F/A's, it's the whole product. While other international carriers are always trying to offer more services for the consumers, it seems that some US carriers are taking more away.

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 33):
The longer a flight attendant flies for an airline, the more chances for them to become disgruntled and simply not care.

So they are failing to fulfill their job description. If you run a business, and you have an employee that's not fulfilling their duties, some sort of action needs to take place.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 35):
But it doesn't really matter what people "say" after their flight. My experience has always been that people will constantly complain and moan about this, or that, but when it comes down to it, they will still willingly subject themselves to what they regard as "awful" to save money.

I've done a bit of work as a travel agent and have noticed that there are people who don't care and will buy any ticket just because it's $1.00 cheaper, but there area enough people that do choose an airline (or cruise line, hotel, etc.) based on their past experience. And if they have to pay an extra $50, they don't mind. And especially in the airline business, every passenger is important.
A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
 
UA772IAD
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:24 am

Who is "we" first of all? I can break it down like this:
There simply are not enough of us to compete with the high crowds and demands on Asian flights... I mean, where else could an airline fly a FLEET of all economy 747s, flying 200 or so mile routes? That's the first thing. With that, comes the fact that because there are so many people in Asia, especially in China and Japan, real estate is astronomical. Unlike in the United States and parts of Europe, they don't have stately masions in parts of the city or the suburbs. Most people chose to live in small apartments, or flats in the city, and put there money towards other things. Some put it towards buying nice clothes, or cars, but most put it towards vacations and traveling to places like Italy, Hawaii, California, The UK-- or any other big tourist or business place. Lastly, there's the issue of inter-continentialy (word?). So many businesses over there, especially the ones that manufacture goods, depend on offices and plants all over Asia. For example, Panasonic could be based in Osaka, Japan. Their plants, could be in Malaysia, Thailand, China, Singapore and the Philippines. They could also have major offices in places like Shanghai, Bangkok, Singapore, etc. That business itself will force hundreds of people to travel a year. This is where the money comes in, Inner-Contiental traveling. No other region of the world, has this advantage, and therefore the Asian airline business procedures would only lose money every where else.
 
123
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:43 am

It is not only a matter of what airline can afford to give better service to determined pax (y-c-f) or not. It is also a matter, of what your pax demand and request.

One simple example: Coffee:

In LB and 5L you get it sweetened, in plastic cups. This saves money, because most pax prefer sweetened coffee. It does not mean, you will not get it unsweetened. Just ask for it. But to the point of saving money: LB / 5L avoid the individual sugar satchets, which cost a lot of money compared to buying sugar in 25 Kgs. bags, and is also environmentally negative.

So if service-used and service-spoiled pax Asian carriers normally transport, request certain services and will fly the route anyways if it costs a few Dollars more, then it is normal, to attend that demand of the pax.

Carriers in the USA have more pax that are used to fast-food-like service than carriers in Asia, so that also gives a different trend in what to serve, how to serve, and also, if to serve something.

If pax demand lower fares then they must get used to getting lower services too. However I was never asked if I prefer to pay less for less service, or same for less service: In that case I just get on the next jet, that costs the same and has the better service.

In short: Service is not only a matter of cost. It´s a matter of mentallity. CX wins a gold medall on that one.
 
1MillionFlyer
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Wed Jul 06, 2005 1:22 am

Quoting Carpethead (Reply 6):
Many people even execs mention overcapacity as one problem in North America, but how come airlines continually outperform year-over-year load factors. The problem isn't capacity, it's the pricing of that capacity.

Executive salaries make about .0000001% difference to a 15 Billion dollar company, not materiel to even discuss in terms of cost savings.

it is over capacity which causes poor yeilds. WN makes a profit on 65% load factors.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 12):
Another point of divergence - executive pay - American CEOs and their underlings need to take a paycut

Again, this has .00000001% impact to AA in terms of bottom line.

Quoting Ckfred (Reply 28):
So, why is it that hotels can add amenities and charge rates that cover the cost of the upgrades, but airlines can't do the same? Considering the hassles of checking bags, going through security, and trying to find edible food, I really think people would be willing to pay a reasonable premium for some semblence of service prior to September 11th.

Because hotels are geographically specific to where you are going, and have less competition compared to Airlines. Another reason is that you spend more than 1 to 8 hours in a hotel.
Golf Foxtrot you are cleared for departure
 
hamad
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Wed Jul 06, 2005 2:17 am

With the current Customer Service attitude in all industries in the USA, in addition to the "I am here to save your butt, not kiss it" mentality, i don't think that US carriers will become even near to the reputation of Asian carriers
PHX - i miss spotting
 
ACDC8
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Wed Jul 06, 2005 2:45 am

Quoting 1MillionFlyer (Reply 43):
Again, this has .00000001% impact to AA in terms of bottom line.



Quoting 1MillionFlyer (Reply 43):
Executive salaries make about .0000001% difference to a 15 Billion dollar company, not materiel to even discuss in terms of cost savings

If that's the case, then the proposed million dollars they'll save per year by removing the paying customers bag of peanuts also only adds up to a .00000001% impact.

We all know that the airlines in the US are struggling to make a profit, which is very unfortunate. So why instead of taking some cash out of a man's multi-million dollar salary, do they insist of taking something away from customers who very well may have been saving months or even years for a trip?

Why are they taking things away from the reason (people) they are in business for? They should be providing their customers with services above and beyond, and yes even if the passenger only paid $50 to fly coast to coast. But instead, they're awarding their upper management with brand new 7 series BMW's. Sure it may not be lots of money in the grand scheme of things, but it's the principle of the matter.
A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
 
brucek
Posts: 218
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Wed Jul 06, 2005 5:25 am

Quoting BayAreaPilot (Reply 3):
For the most part you are comparing domestic service in the US to international service. It's not apples-to-apples at all. Carriers like SQ and CX have a grand total of ZERO domestic flights.

I know that QF and NZ have minute domestic operations in comparison with airlines here in the US, however I have been very pleasantly surprised on domestic flights on both carriers. Seat pitch spacing that would turn the average US domestic traveler green with envy, newer fleets (in some cases), and extremely clean aircraft with very good customer service.

While I think that the US domestic airline situation is often overstated (I have yet to have an experience that would make me write about it), some non-US airlines are doing it noticeably better. Even more so when you consider the state of some of the airports internationally (for domestic travel), where it's actually a pleasurable experience to be there.
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Wed Jul 06, 2005 6:39 am

Quoting Palladium (Thread starter):
what do you guys think?

it's the domestic U.S. market that is destroying most U.S. carriers. international routes are still highly profitable.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
avek00
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Wed Jul 06, 2005 6:57 am

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 47):
it's the domestic U.S. market that is destroying most U.S. carriers. international routes are still highly profitable.

Absolutely correct - USA legacy international routes are performing VERY well - if said carriers had the domestic/regional v. international capacity mix of the Euro or Asian carriers, they'd all be reporting respectable profits.


BTW, I find it hilarious that folks are using SQ/NH/CX/MH/JL as representative of the Asian airline industry at large. Sure, those airlines are nice, but they're but a part of the industry. How quickly we forget that CA/KE/OZ/TG/PR/CI/BR/GA/China Eastern/Myanmar Airways/Royal Nepal/Biman Bangladesh are all Asian carriers too, and I would not want USA legacies to mimic them too much.
Live life to the fullest.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Why We Can't Follow Asian Carriers?

Wed Jul 06, 2005 7:31 am

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 40):
Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 33):
US carriers need to provide Health and other benefits, such as retirement.

So do Euro carriers.

And Asian carriers also have benefits.

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 40):

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 33):
The longer a flight attendant flies for an airline, the more chances for them to become disgruntled and simply not care.

So they are failing to fulfill their job description. If you run a business, and you have an employee that's not fulfilling their duties, some sort of action needs to take place.

No kidding. But, enter the union... And now the United F/As complain about their pensions. You brought it on yourselves, people. Seniority rules did more to destroy that airline than the ailing economy ever did.

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 40):
I've done a bit of work as a travel agent and have noticed that there are people who don't care and will buy any ticket just because it's $1.00 cheaper, but there area enough people that do choose an airline (or cruise line, hotel, etc.) based on their past experience. And if they have to pay an extra $50, they don't mind. And especially in the airline business, every passenger is important.

Count me into those "extra $50 people". It's even more true of biz travelers, which as we all know are the pax that major airlines really want.

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 41):
There simply are not enough of us to compete with the high crowds and demands on Asian flights... I mean, where else could an airline fly a FLEET of all economy 747s, flying 200 or so mile routes?

Doesn't fly. The cost of flying those 747s on short sectors is enormous. Sure, there's a lot of revenue there, but the cost is also very high.

Quoting HAMAD (Reply 44):
With the current Customer Service attitude in all industries in the USA, in addition to the "I am here to save your butt, not kiss it" mentality, i don't think that US carriers will become even near to the reputation of Asian carriers

No kidding. Ironically, a lot of the (non-airline) service in the US is very good. Sometimes somewhat clueless, but good.

Quoting Avek00 (Reply 48):
BTW, I find it hilarious that folks are using SQ/NH/CX/MH/JL as representative of the Asian airline industry at large. Sure, those airlines are nice, but they're but a part of the industry. How quickly we forget that CA/KE/OZ/TG/PR/CI/BR/GA/China Eastern/Myanmar Airways/Royal Nepal/Biman Bangladesh are all Asian carriers too, and I would not want USA legacies to mimic them too much.

Indeed Big grin
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

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