747400sp
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Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:47 am

With airlines down sizing there airliners and service, is flying still a predigest thing to do, are is it just a half step up from Greyhound or Megabus.

PS: Please response in a nice and respect way. I still heeling from my "Why is QF replacing there 744 with A332" post. I took a good beating on that one.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:50 am

Depends on the airline, really.

The US majors have all become pale shades of their former selves, but many international carriers still understand service and ambiance, at least in the premium cabins.
 
PSA727
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:06 pm

I think that the decline of class and manners of the passengers
flying today is more of the culprit than anything else. At least
that seems to be the case here in the States.

I'd rather be on a 12 hour flight to NRT than on a 2 hour NY-Florida
flight anytime!
fly high, pay low...Germanwings!
 
rfields5421
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:06 pm

Prestige came from few people being able to afford exclusive service.

So of course as air travel has become more common and more of the 'common man' has been able to afford to fly - the exclusivity has gone down.

Prestige finally disappeared when the Concorde quite flying.

Though today private jets and all premium service airlines are the holdouts. Depending upon the nation and it's culture, an airline might hold to a higher level of service than some of the competitors. The most critical factor in my opinion is how the airline treats their own employees. Happy employees make the airline a better place to fly.

But overall - cost savings is everything to the flying public these days.

Of course we all want $1,000 service for a $100 ticket  Smile
Not all who wander are lost.
 
flybyguy
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:17 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
The US majors have all become pale shades of their former selves, but many international carriers still understand service and ambiance, at least in the premium cabins.

 checkmark 

This couldn't be a more true statement. I've flown on a handful of foreign carriers myself and they are miles ahead of our pitiful flag carriers. In Y you get hot towels, free liquor, big meals, a wide variety of non-alcoholic beverages and snacks, PTVs, footrests, friendly FAs and clean, new aircraft. These features tend to be commonplace among foreign carriers serving the U.S.

Of all the U.S. carriers, US probably has the most pathetic trans-atlantic product with their ancient 767s (which are virtually falling apart), followed by NW with their ancient 747s (which are thankfully being replaced by A330s). I think years of neglect, workplace bitterness, fiscal mismanagement/neglect and fare ripoffs have produced airlines such as NW, US, UA, AA.

Now CO is in a league of it's own with meals on long flights, service with a smile and above all clean, well kept planes. I actually met the people responsible for CO's well kept interiors and it amazed me that their secret is simply re-upolstering the seats as frequently as possible. I only wish that they were more convenient than US or AA otherwise I would patronize them more often.
"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
 
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Pellegrine
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:38 pm

It depends on the market more than the airline.

Any US carrier HAS to compete based on price in domestic travel. International travel less so depending on the market (TATL is more price-sensitive than Far East and SE Asia). Prestige is still there, and some airlines try harder than others. I'd say BA, CX, SQ, QF, NH, and some of the newer Mid-East carriers are at the top of the game prestige-wise. I don't think it's really related to service either. UA created a certain je ne sais quoi with their award winning animated advertisements, but are the service levels different from any other US carrier? Not really. Airlines can't afford all the pomp of the "old days of regulation" on today's dot-com, 100Mbps fiber-connected, globalized, "it's an intangible so i want it for less" way of life. Travel is a commodity.
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Mike89406
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:41 pm

Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
With airlines down sizing there airliners and service, is flying still a predigest thing to do, are is it just a half step up from Greyhound or Megabus.

We all know 9/11 had a huge effect on the industry in the US, cost cutting, service, food went away for Y class etc,,, Flying will always be in my mind a prestigious thing for me no matter what.

Having said all of that in our generation of discount airlines increasing they're presence IE (WN, B6 etc..) now you have lower income groups being able to afford air travel. AIrlines all around are starting to emerge from chapter 11 bankruptcies.

What does this mean? Well service is slowly improving again however it will take time as some carriers will be gunshy about going all out on the dough and maybe they'll return to pre-9/11 service levels or so we all hope in the USA.

I dont know how anyone can compare air travel to Greyhound seriously even with Skybus you are getting from point A to B in hours vs days or possibly weeks. I do understand what you're saying by comparing class of pax now-days flying but really I still feel when I fly in Y class especially on a Legacy carrier (CO, DL UA, AA,) that most people are middle class and above. At least by appearance.

If anyone doesn't feel that way try spending 48 hrs actual driving time not including stops from Chicago to Spokane , WA on a Greyhound with the stinky people half the pax of them are probably Felons at least don't forget the very uncomfortable seats (try sleeping in one) and toilets that are broken, meal service yeah if you get enough time maybe a nice truck stop meal, other than that stock up on junk food from the convenience store.

The last time I rode on a Greyhound was 15 yrs ago no more I'd rather drive all night than ride on the welfare/prison bus. So yeah flying is much better.

Just my 2 cents
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Mon Sep 24, 2007 1:16 pm

I started flying rather frequently since the early 80s... and although many people like to blame it on 9-11 and less-than-perfect working conditions of today, the US carriers were already lagging behind their foreign counterparts back then. I flew between SIN and HKG very often and being put on a Pan Am 747 was like a sentence to hell because our experiences were really nasty with them.

My dad used to joke that as a punishment for being bad, WE WOULD BE FLYING PAN AM TO HONG KONG!

Of course he would keep quiet till we were at the gate and that I saw we were boarding a Singapore Airlines 747, or a Cathay Pacific L1101 / 747... then he would smile and say "I was only kidding". Imagine the collective sigh of relief from my brother and I!

Still, that paints a rather mediocre picture of what we thought of US carriers back then. Old planes, bad service etc... Not exactly a picture perfect image, seems like little has changed. UA and NW are the only ones still operating to Singapore and if anything, they are the cheapest option ex-SIN.

Ironically, the notion of "customer service" and such was coined by the so called "western civilisation" but yet the US carriers offer such mediocre travel experience. The very stereotypical laid back and outgoing Caucasians versus the shy-reserved Asians does not seem to materialise when in-flight service levels are concerned.
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Mike89406
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Mon Sep 24, 2007 1:33 pm

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 7):
although many people like to blame it on 9-11 and less-than-perfect working conditions of today, the US carriers were already lagging behind their foreign counterparts back then. I flew between SIN and HKG very often and being put on a Pan Am 747 was like a sentence to hell because our experiences were really nasty with them.

I'm not going to dispute that. I'm sure the service had gone downhill before 9/11 but I do believe that that event did add injury to insult on declining service in fact it did make most carriers in the US bankrupt and caused even more decline in the service for a few it was the last straw.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 7):
Still, that paints a rather mediocre picture of what we thought of US carriers back then. Old planes, bad service etc... Not exactly a picture perfect image, seems like little has changed. UA and NW are the only ones still operating to Singapore and if anything, they are the cheapest option ex-SIN.

UA domestically has suffered even more since I don't know how INTL service if at all was affected. I do remember NW being a respectable carrier in comparison. As I understand the INTL service on NW is superb.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 7):
Ironically, the notion of "customer service" and such was coined by the so called "western civilisation" but yet the US carriers offer such mediocre travel experience. The very stereotypical laid back and outgoing Caucasians versus the shy-reserved Asians does not seem to materialise when in-flight service levels are concerned.

that is true however I see service making strides towards the better in some, CO has earned a lot of respect from PAx in general at least thats the public opinion here in the US. DL seem to be as well, however it will take some time before we reap the results of that. Now we have newer generation carriers even discount airlines trying to set the bar.

However thank god I love flying becuase no matter what that will always be my #1 mode of travel.
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:28 pm

Why should flying be "prestigious" in the first place?  sarcastic 
I have a three post per topic limit. You're welcome to have the last word.
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Mon Sep 24, 2007 4:39 pm

Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 8):
I do remember NW being a respectable carrier in comparison. As I understand the INTL service on NW is superb.

No disrespect... But have you flown NW across the pond? My frequent flyer is tied to Malaysia Airlines so when I travel to the US, I have no choice but to fly NW (urgh). I know it is unfair to compare the both but I have learnt not to expect much when flying with US carriers. I understand the need to cut back on hard ware offerings but it doesn't hurt to be polite. That is all I am asking for, a smile... Prison matrons regardless, a smile goes a long way. Uniforms and hair styles can't be as neat as their Asian counterparts, never mind, a smile can always diffuse what is lacking. SMILE SMILE SMILE!!!
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
CanadianNorth
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:05 pm

Well in my experience travelling in Y class on domestic flights, often a free (well, payed for via the ticket) sandwhich served with a smile can make all the difference. Flying really does not have to be "prestigious", but I think the general idea of being able to go thousands of feet in the air and travel a couple thousand kilometers in one afternoon should still be considered special.


CanadianNorth
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mutu
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:43 pm

Well if you look at first class travel, clearly yes! The real upper echelons/celebrities and top businessmen and sportsmen and far less likely to be seen on commercial flights than in the 1970s/80s (not just the Concorde effect!)
Its just that aviation is by necessity now a mass transit system be it US domestic, TATL, or wherever. And where there are masses there is less privacy, more crowding etc.

And of course the advent of low cost carriers/no frills carriers has added a further dimension, namely an obsession by the travelling public to get something for as little as nothing, and then complain about what they get! Dress codes, general manners and behaviour, alcohol abuse etc all issues in society and inevitably on board also.
Flying just isnt stylish anymore.

Now of course one could argue that that is only right-the old days of flying longhaul being for the rich alone just doesnt wash in the modern world. Air travel has become democratised by the public for the public.

Airlines have responded in varying ways. Some full service airlines have eliminated certain aspects of service to lower fares, others have tried to maintain service and cut Y capacity in favour of increased J, moving the profit away from Y to J in line with the market.

But whatever that is the way of the world. At the end of the day we are all winners and losers. Winners because travel is cheaper and more and more people fly more and more...Losers because the consequence is the general dumbing down as airlines cut costs to try to maintain profits for investment in the face of falling yields.
 
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na747
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:17 pm

IMO, prestige still exists in non-U.S. based carriers. I've flown QF, EK, NH and their Y service puts U.S. carriers svc to shame.
I know 9/11 took a big toll on U.S. carriers, but I think american legacy carriers can add a little more back to their service now without braking their finances, for ex. taking pillows & blankets away was a bit too much (at least on AA). I know not everyone used them, but at least they were there & most people did use them.
Flying a U.S. carrier is now like flying on Greyhound.
The personell is many times cranky/rude/nasty/lazy without reason or excuse. Sometimes a smile or a little warmth goes a long way. That's why I try to use foreign carriers whenever I can just so I don't have to be subjected to rude svc.
Many employees need a major makeover: unkept/messy hair, unkept uniforms, unshaved/no make up, etc. (I work with many of them. I was hired early 80s, so I still shave and gel my hair everyday).
It's just not the same and I hope sometime in the near future american carriers can add just a little back to their service, nothing extravagant or extreme. For example, how about providing a snack or a small meal svc on transcon flights only as opposed to the buy-on-board program?
In the meantime, as long as american carriers can get away with it they will continue to look for ways to keep cutting and taking away.

[Edited 2007-09-24 14:20:43]
 
Mike89406
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:25 pm

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 10):
Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 8):
I do remember NW being a respectable carrier in comparison. As I understand the INTL service on NW is superb.

No disrespect... But have you flown NW across the pond?

Sorry for not clarifying. I meant pre-9/11 NW had much better service IIRC. I last flew NW in 2002 LGA-MSP and I didn't notice anything writing home about. NW seems to be going downhill even more nowdays from reports I've read.

However, a lot of people say NW across the pond is totally different service than in the US they have well at least to AMS or EU. Someone correct me if I'm wrong
 
incitatus
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:31 pm

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 7):
Of course he would keep quiet till we were at the gate and that I saw we were boarding a Singapore Airlines 747, or a Cathay Pacific L1101 / 747...

I can't why an L1011 of Cathay would be a sign of relief. They packed 10-abreast on those planes.
I do not consume Murdoch products including the Wall Street Journal
 
Knightsofmalta
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:39 am

I think the LCC carriers have done a lot to bring back the prestige to flying. Their service is so non existent that any thing additional you get in service on a legacy carrier seems like sheer luxury in comparison.
 
MadameConcorde
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:50 am

Before Concorde started flying my idea of a prestigious airline was Pan Am Clipper Class. I can remember their Boeing 707s and after that the first B-747s in 1970. Concorde had already started test-flying.

I did not think of transatlantic First Class at the time. Jackie Kennedy-Onassis and her peers would be among the lucky passengers. Something way beyond my imagination. To me Clipper Class was the symbol of luxury and prestige.

Concorde commercial service came much later, in 1976. I remember the flights to Rio de Janeiro (via Dakar) and Bahrain. Something different had happened in the world of aviation. Luxury and speed, for only a very limited number of passengers and destinations.

I guess the Lockerbie bombing in 1990 put and end to Pan Am and the crash at Gonesse was responsible for the end of Concorde flights ten years later, even if she took back to the skies until 2003.

There are still airlines like Singapore Airlines and ANA which from my own experience still provide some level of comfort and luxury but they will never equal Pan Am's Clipper Class during the 70's or Concorde onboard service.

For the rest, it's all private jets. Give me a Falcon 7X !
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
richierich
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:48 am

As nice as it is romanticize about the "good old days of flying", I think you have to look at airlines today for what they are.

For one thing, flying is much safer today than it was even 30, 40 or 50 years ago. Its also a heck of a lot cheaper, with tickets being only a fraction of the cost of the same time period.

As for service, one could argue there has been a decline but I think this is more than offset by the availability of flights to more and more people; there are nonstop flights offered today that were just not possible in the 1960s or 70s. And let's not even mention in-flight entertainment.

I love aircraft history and airline history, so I tend to reflect on times gone by as much as anybody. But, as with anything, I think we tend to look back with rose-colored glasses and I'm not sure the good old days were as good as we think they were. I guess some people tend to think that it is a bad thing for airlines to want to operate as efficiently as possible.

The comparison of modern airlines to Greyhound is a common one - I have even done it myself (to some airlines that will remain nameless). But in reality, is this a bad thing? Is it bad that we live in a society where we can hop on an airplane almost as effortlessly and easily as catching a bus? Perhaps we take flying for granted, but the fact that flying is so common place is surely a good thing. Why do we need to put on a shirt and tie to go fly somewhere? Were people with tattooes banned from flying in the 1960s and 1970s?

I'll conclude by saying that I really don't think society has downgraded (much) in the past 40 or 50 years. And maybe some of the exclusive luxuries offered by the airlines of that period are absent today, but I think that it is quite remarkable to see how much air travel has grown since then and it is no longer solely the domain of the wealthiest in this country. It is that more and more people fly today that we end up next to people that would normally have been stuck on a bus - flying today is economical yet also safe, comfortable, and (sometimes) reasonably efficient. So be it.
None shall pass!!!!
 
hamad
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:55 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
Depends on the airline, really.

The US majors have all become pale shades of their former selves, but many international carriers still understand service and ambiance, at least in the premium cabins.

well. I fly domestic in the USA, International and within the Gulf region (DOH - DXB). in the usa, needless to say, prestige is gone, even the uniforms don't have the prestige as other carriers.
PHX - i miss spotting
 
airtran717
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:07 am

Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 6):
We all know 9/11 had a huge effect on the industry in the US,



Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 6):
and maybe they'll return to pre-9/11 service levels or so we all hope in the USA.

9/11 is NOT the sole culprit the media or anyone else would have you think it is. Yes, it did cause major damage to the image of air travel and made it terribly inconvenient in the long run. BUt given the I grew up in this industry and worked in it both before and after 9/11... MOst of the Legacy carriers were having financial trouble long before 9/11 happened... but it WAS a very, very convenient scape-goat to blame 9/11.

Bottom line:
The By-gone days of Legacy carriers and prestige are gone. They've gone the way of LCC's. People want to get there safely of course, but they also want to get there as cheap as possible. Service is a premuim service these day... not just in aviation, but EVERYWHERE you go... I call it customer no-service. If you want Bone China and Champagne served with a butler... fly overseas in First Class. Personally I just want to get where I am going in one peice and have money left in my pocket to spend when I get where I am going... if you want a meal or a blanket or pillow... time to start bringing your own. High overheads and ... yes the media spin on fuel prices are to blame now... Not just 9/11.

Just my two cents'

717
 
airtran717
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:11 am

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 17):
I guess the Lockerbie bombing in 1990

Uh... research your facts a little better. IIRC it was 1987 or 1988... and perhaps a tad earlier...

And what the heck does Lockerbie have to do with the Concorde not flying anymore? Lockerbie was a 747....

[Edited 2007-09-25 19:13:02]
 
787EWR
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:17 am

I am not an airline employee, but I do sympathize with some of them. After years of givebacks, layoffs and threats of layoffs, I'm not sure how happy I would be working on a crowded plane with passengers sitting on the tarmac for 1 hour before takeoff. They work more hours for the same pay or if you fly out of JFK, a lot more hours for less pay etc. Keep in mind, some of the big boys are profitable again, but that profit margin is not going to the employees.

I think, in my experience, the domestic exception to this rule seems to be Southwest. Please bear in mind that I haven't flown them since March, but I had a business flight from PHL to ORD and back. The flight attendants were busy and doing their jobs, but they were still cracking jokes and talking to folks like they would in a resturant.

Internationally, I've flown Qantas, Virgin, BA. Other than BA, the experience has been great, especially on Qantas where the FA's were friendly and easy to deal with. Virgin was similar in their approach to the passengers. BA's flight attendants, on the other hand, we stiff and somewhat cold. Perhaps, in their minds, BA passengers should expect it.

As for the flying public, the goal was to make flying easier for everyone. That task has now been accomplished. Everyone from business executives to hippies are now able to fly where they want. Take Easyjet, Ryanair & Skybus for example. Airtravel is almost like riding the bus on 42nd Street. You get on, sit down and get off when you reach your destination. Unless your in the air for 6 hours or more, don't expect anything special.
 
Mike89406
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:27 am

Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 6):
Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
With airlines down sizing there airliners and service, is flying still a prestigest thing to do, are is it just a half step up from Greyhound or Megabus.

We all know 9/11 had a huge effect on the industry in the US, cost cutting, service, food went away for Y class etc,,, Flying will always be in my mind a prestigious thing for me no matter what



Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 8):
Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 7):
although many people like to blame it on 9-11 and less-than-perfect working conditions of today, the US carriers were already lagging behind their foreign counterparts back then. I flew between SIN and HKG very often and being put on a Pan Am 747 was like a sentence to hell because our experiences were really nasty with them.

I'm not going to dispute that. I'm sure the service had gone downhill before 9/11 but I do believe that that event did add injury to insult on declining service in fact it did make most carriers in the US bankrupt and caused even more decline in the service for a few it was the last straw.

I didn't say 9/11 was the sole culprit as evidenced by my posts they are self explanatory. It is what it is.

Quoting AirTran717 (Reply 20):
Bottom line:
The By-gone days of Legacy carriers and prestige are gone. They've gone the way of LCC's. People want to get there safely of course, but they also want to get there as cheap as possible. Service is a premuim service these day... not just in aviation, but EVERYWHERE you go... I call it customer no-service. If you want Bone China and Champagne served with a butler... fly overseas in First Class. Personally I just want to get where I am going in one peice and have money left in my pocket to spend when I get where I am going... if you want a meal or a blanket or pillow... time to start bringing your own. High overheads and ... yes the media spin on fuel prices are to blame now... Not just 9/11.

Just my two cents'

717

I agree however they are trying to restore some semblence of service whether that will actually happen well only time will tell.

Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 6):
Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
With airlines down sizing there airliners and service, is flying still a predigest thing to do, are is it just a half step up from Greyhound or Megabus.

Going back to the topic I think my point was clear service or not I couldn't fathom putting air travel and Greyhound in the same sentence for obvious reasons.

If I'm not mistaken Skybus sells buy on board, other airlines have been catching on with a little resemblance of food service in Y class, WN is talking about selling food as well. DL is restoring silverware to meal service in F class. These are baby steps however but perhaps a step in the right direction.

Will the carriers match up to they're foreign counterparts? Maybe not but at least some are trying.
 
iclcy
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:32 am

If only it was like this now...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/juho-v/197411667/
 
UAL4ever
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:33 am

Quoting 787EWR (Reply 22):
I think, in my experience, the domestic exception to this rule seems to be Southwest. Please bear in mind that I haven't flown them since March, but I had a business flight from PHL to ORD and back.

Southwest flies into MDW not ORD
 
spirtofalaska
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:34 am

You get what you pay for....Americans Complain becuase they can't get across the country for 29.99, we give that to them, but then they complain that they have to pay for entertainment, and have to dish out 5 bucks for food. Well...if you want to pay a lot for service, you will get it. If you want to pay for a place for you to sit your butt for 5 hours, than you can get that, but don't expect much else... its the way air travel is going....
you fo'Coffee?
 
EWRCabincrew
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:39 am

To add to the two cents worth being posted here (I think we are up to .42 cents).

Prestige is relative.

For me, as an airline employee, a customer service person, a flight attendant, an International Service Manager and an employee for CO, I can assure you with the implements I am given, the resources I have available at 35,000 ft, I give and offer excellent service. Friendly, warm, at-home-feeling, comfortable. Every flight. Rain, shine, hell or high water.

I cannot control the economics of the industry. As employees, though we can make the best with what we have.

Will there be surly, rude and obnoxious employees? Sure. There are in any (key word here) industry. It is not unique to the airlines.

What out shines those employees are the rest of us who strive to make you spend your hard earned money on us.

Economics are a huge driving force in the way things are. I will never have the answers, solutions or way-out for any of it. What I do contribute is excellent customer service, in tandem with my co-workers, to and for you.

Prestige is something that former carriers provided with bone-china, white gloves, hat boxes, no over head-bins, and hot meals for people who had money, who wore suits, hats and dresses to travel and were polite. Those days are gone.

I am as far up the food chain as I intend to go here. I love it. You step aboard my flight, welcome aboard. Enjoy what we have to offer, make yourself at home and if you need anything, do not hesitate to call upon me or my colleagues.

Today, that is prestige. That may be disappointing, but women don't wear pearls, dresses and heels to vacuum and men don't wear suits and hats to work. Prestige is what you make of it, today, with what you have. Not how it was lived in the past.
You can't cure stupid
 
787EWR
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RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:55 am

Quoting UAL4ever (Reply 25):
Southwest flies into MDW not ORD

Sorry, I have to fly there tomorrow, so it was in my head.
 
PanAm747
Posts: 4713
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 4:46 am

RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Wed Sep 26, 2007 3:56 am

Quote:
Flying will always be in my mind a prestigious thing for me no matter what.

I agree!! And for me, I go to the airport EVERY time with the attitude that this is a glamorous and exciting. Smile to the employees you meet, and you'll be amazed that you usually get a smile in return. Treat the employees as "hosts" rather than "servants", and you will find that your travelling experience will be MUCH nicer!!

Quote:
Why should flying be "prestigious" in the first place?

Because this is one of mankind's greatest achievements - producing a vehicle that can fly at almost the speed of sound, fly 7-8+ miles above the ground, and can have a person transported from one point on the globe to the opposite in less than a day.

I will never forget the awe and wonder of visiting LAX growing up - the planes I had only read about were HERE!! DC-10's, L1011's, 747's (always my favorite!!), 727's...and airlines from all over the world were represented!! The whole world was here - just an airplane trip away.

I would rather be lobotomized than ever lose the sense of excitement and wonder and "prestige", so to speak, of going to an airport and realizing what an amazing accomplishment air travel is. If others do not see the marvel, the wonder, and the amazement of going 500+ mph at that altitude - something available only for really the last 40-50 years (on this scale), well, more is the pity for them. Life is what you make of it.

Having said that, I can say that I have experienced delays, cancellations, re-routings, rude passengers, rude airline personnel, obese people spilling over into my seat, overhead compartments full with people's more-than-one carry-on crap, and whatever other mishaps one can imagine. Has any of it spoiled my joy of flying? Not in the slightest. I refuse to allow any unpleasant person or group of people to ruin one of the great joys of my life.  cloudnine 

Quote:
You get what you pay for....Americans Complain becuase they can't get across the country for 29.99, we give that to them, but then they complain that they have to pay for entertainment, and have to dish out 5 bucks for food. Well...if you want to pay a lot for service, you will get it. If you want to pay for a place for you to sit your butt for 5 hours, than you can get that, but don't expect much else... its the way air travel is going....

It's actually becoming the way EVERYTHING is headed. If everyone on the planet had to pay the actual cost of everything (legally, like paying minimum wage to certain "undocumented" workers), we'd be broke in a month. The sense of entitlement, unfortunately, is winning over every sense of hard work and achievement. Just my opinion.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
glacote
Posts: 357
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2005 1:44 am

RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:04 am

Quoting AirTran717 (Reply 20):
I call it customer no-service. If you want Bone China and Champagne served with a butler... fly overseas in First Class.

You get free Champagne in Y on long-haul flights aboard certain companies (e.g. AF).

My main point of contention against US legacy carriers is that even in long-haul J/F the service is very inconsistent (never tried CO international F though). Given the head-count decreases, low pays and cheap-looking amenties (paper salt anyone!) the job has gotten very hard for FA to give any sense of exclusivity or prestige.

We should not blame them for that. But this is a single-shot short-term way of increasing margins. Once premium PAX lower their service expectations they also lower their willingness to pay a premium. What we saw on domestic firsts (mainly a perk for frequent travellers, certainly nothing exclusive/premium people will pay for) will slowly happen to international J imho. I find Delta transatlantic 1st not even on par with AF J.

That's certainly not an issue - just that some carriers can command a premium. Compare e.g. AA vs BA fares in J for ORD-LHR. They just don't compete in the same league. Which is better for both.

Now PAX should just not expect BA service when they fly AA. If you want BA service, just pay for it. I prefer AA as it gives better bangs-for-the-bucks for me. But that's just me.

[Edited 2007-09-25 21:06:44]
 
EWRCabincrew
Posts: 4314
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 2:37 am

RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:45 am

Quoting Glacote (Reply 30):
My main point of contention against US legacy carriers is that even in long-haul J/F the service is very inconsistent (never tried CO international F though).

It is kind of hard to make a blanket statement when you haven't flown all carriers.

Also, CO has BusinessFirst. We do not have First Class internationally.
You can't cure stupid
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Wed Sep 26, 2007 5:51 am

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 17):
Before Concorde started flying my idea of a prestigious airline was Pan Am Clipper Class. I can remember their Boeing 707s and after that the first B-747s in 1970. Concorde had already started test-flying.

You are confusing the terms. Pan Am used "Clipper Class" for their business class product which if memory correct wasn't introduced until the late 1970s. Initially it only had 8-abreast (2-4-2) seating on 747s and about 38 inch pitch. They later changed it to 6-abreast (2-2-2). In my opinion it wasn't among the best business class products of that time, although similar to many others. In the 707 days, Pan Am's first class was called "President Special" but they dropped that term later and just referred to it as "First Class".
 
tothestars
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 11:52 pm

RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:27 am

When I started working for TWA we carved chateaubriand right at the passenger seat and served it on Rosenthal china. The dinner service in Royal Ambassador Class usually took about 4hours to complete...we even chilled the salad forks....wow do I miss the leftovers! Yes I would say prestige has gone away with most airlines today.
TWA-Airline To the Stars
 
747400sp
Topic Author
Posts: 3900
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 7:27 pm

RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Wed Sep 26, 2007 7:07 am

Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 23):
Going back to the topic I think my point was clear service or not I couldn't fathom putting air travel and Greyhound in the same sentence for obvious reasons.

Well was trying get my point arcoss in a shocking way. I do not think airlines will go that low in standers.
 
Mike89406
Posts: 1418
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:05 pm

RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:27 am

Quoting 747400sp (Reply 34):
Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 23):
Going back to the topic I think my point was clear service or not I couldn't fathom putting air travel and Greyhound in the same sentence for obvious reasons.

Well was trying get my point arcoss in a shocking way. I do not think airlines will go that low in standers.

I understand where you're coming from. I was just speaking of my own experiences on Greyhound buses back in the day. I had some pretty horrible experiences in the past the last time I remember taking a bus was 1994, however I hear that comparison a lot nowadays with Greyhound, Skybus, and Jet Blue from some people on message boards. I've even heard Jet Blue Southwest, Skybus being compared to as flying trailer parks.

Once I moved out on my own I couldn't afford air travel at my leisure and depended on Greyhound until my career took off and I was making enough money to fly wherever.

But yeah it did make for some interesting debate.

Regards, Mike
 
Ryanair!!!
Posts: 4127
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:55 pm

RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:00 am

Quoting ToTheStars (Reply 33):
When I started working for TWA we carved chateaubriand right at the passenger seat and served it on Rosenthal china. The dinner service in Royal Ambassador Class usually took about 4hours to complete...we even chilled the salad forks....

Wow! I mean... wow... As pretentious as that sounds, I wished I was there to experience this. I do not think there is any First Class service like that anymore. The airline most recent in my memory to plate their pax meals in front of them was Malaysia Airlines right up till the last time I flew them in First / Business in 2004. I think now the norm is to prepare the meals in the galley before presenting it to the pax in their seat.
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
highflier92660
Posts: 714
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 2:16 am

RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:12 pm

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 29):
I have experienced delays, cancellations, re-routings, rude passengers, rude airline personnel, obese people spilling over into my seat, overhead compartments full with people's more-than one carry-on crap, and whatever mishaps one can imagine... I refuse to allow any unpleasant person or group of people to ruin one of the greatest joys my life.

PanAm747 is a wonderful albeit vanishing breed of traveler; that aviation enthusiast who's pulse quickens at the spool-up of turbine engines, a person who can probably spot the differences head-on between an old Boeing 727-100 and 200 from a mile away by an elliptical S-Duct, and doesn't mind an unscheduled technical stop because it simply means more airplane "ride." Ah but only if the rest of the traveling public had his personality; the airport stress level would all but vanish.

Unfortunately what is occurring in the airline industry is an abomination. Profits have recently crept up even as service and civility have vanished. The airlines- a glamorous career choice in the 50's and 60's and 70's has become an occupation of default when that real estate gig went south. In the U.S. the airlines have been downsizing aircraft as much as possible and shifting traffic on to regional jets flown by crews that are poorly paid and overworked. Even mainline jets are flown by pilots that have given so much back in contracts that there is little incentive for good will toward the job. With exception of a brief time in the 60's there is an increasingly acute pilot shortage. Because of the astronomical training cost vs. the low pay, a college student's common sense usually wins over the love of shiny metal boring holes in the sky. Time will tell if the solution to this problem is yet more outsourcing of jobs to overseas pilots who think a small apartment and fifteen hundred U.S. dollars a month is a great standard of living.

Glamorous or not, something will have to be done to solve the stories of seven, eight or nine hours of imposed passenger imprisonment aboard a narrow body aircraft with the APU off and terminal claustrophobia setting in. So far the only solution appear to be desensitization. These catastrophes happen so often now we barely look up at the TV to see the latest "Trapped On The Tarmac" news tidbit. Passengers are actually resigned when an LAX customs computer crashes or London Heathrow sets yet another record in scheduled delay. Simply amazing.
 
airtran717
Posts: 590
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:48 am

RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:30 am

Quoting Highflier92660 (Reply 37):
The airlines- a glamorous career choice in the 50's and 60's and 70's has become an occupation of default when that real estate gig went south.

I really rather resent that comment. As usual, many people make vast, sweeping generalizations... and speak for a lot of unaccounted for people in the process. I took my job very seriously and was the epitome of professional while I was on duty. No, I was not in realestate prior to joining my airline of choice. I actually... hold on now... chose to change vocations and fully embraced my new career. Don't speak for me or put words in my mouth or any other interjections on my behalf. Thank you very much.

Yes, sometimes individual employees are the problem. However, it's largely the airlines themselves and the government that either doesn't get involved enough or gets too involved. Don't pin the system's problems on the employees... who really just try to do their jobs and enforce the rules and regulations.
 
Mike89406
Posts: 1418
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:05 pm

RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:04 am

There are 2 types of air travelers relating to this topic in my opinion.

First of all there are those who don't really care too much about the art of flying, and seem to only care about being pampered treated like you're in 1st class even if you're a Y customer. It seems like can make these people happy even if you gave hot meals in economy they would still complain about something.

2nd are those who have a love for flying in general love traveling and although we'd all like some service just pass time by looking out the window enjoying the view, and appreciate the fact we are able to do this thing called air travel.

Ok so that we have that I understand not everyone fits perfectly in one category and I'm not generalizing everyone but the number one gripe I see is food service and i do understand where people are coming from so before anyone flames me. Some people (not all) are not happy unless you give them a silver platter with Filet Mignon, a bottle of French wine, a movie, hot towels, lie flat seats, a personal concierge service and a deluxe amnesty bag all for the beautiful price of 29.99 for JFK-HKG.

Most of the complainers seem to be the ones that pay pennies for they're ticket.

My 2 cents........

[Edited 2007-09-26 20:05:22]
 
airtran717
Posts: 590
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:48 am

RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:54 am

Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 39):

Mike89406, welcome to my respected users listing. Very well put post. Thank you. THere's such an elitist attitude about first class and all that jazz... it's a seat... pure and simple. And it's man-powered flight, not brain surgery or building the better mouse trap. While aviation and the physics behind it are very fasciniating, it's too common place now to treat flyers like royalty. Fly to the moon on a weekly flight... then we can start talking about bringing all the frills back... for now... sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight that you paid $49.99 for...
 
User avatar
ClassicLover
Posts: 4770
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 12:27 pm

RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:15 am

Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 6):
maybe they'll return to pre-9/11 service levels or so we all hope in the USA



Quoting NA747 (Reply 13):
I know 9/11 took a big toll on U.S. carriers,



Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 14):
I meant pre-9/11 NW had much better service IIRC.

In all reality, September 11 was a big deal. Sure. I'll always agree with that.

However, I think the time has come to say that it is no longer possible for the people from the USA to point to the poor service standards on their airlines and pin it on September 11.

Quite frankly, other world carriers such as BA, SQ, CX, QF, NZ, and AF (to give but a few select examples) have been pushing ahead of the American carriers for a long time now. As far back as 1979, QF was the first to introduce Business Class. I believe BA was the first to introduce flat seats in J in 2000.

Granted, the US carriers probably led the world in the 1950s, 1960s and into the 1970s, but after that I think others were ascending in service levels.

At the same time, it could be considered cultural. You get free wine even intra-Europe in Economy on Air France due to their culture of wine with meals. With the US culture, it's all about spending as little as possible as travel, and spending it on other things. The advent of Southwest and their ilk (not to mention deregulation) changed the actual culture of what was expected - and of course opened up flying to the masses - which it should be. Travel is an enriching experience and those of us in the so called first world have a unique advantage in being able to afford such experiences.

That said, there is still a lot of glamour at the pointy end - from the champagne on tap, top wines and spirits and well thought out and presented meals - with service to match. Even on much maligned AA and UA.

Quoting Mutu (Reply 12):
Well if you look at first class travel, clearly yes!

Oh 100%! First Class in the 1950s (42" pitch) is comparable to what Business Class was in the 1980s and 1990s. First and Business Class have come ahead in leaps and bounds in the very late 20th century and early 21st century. Flat beds in J, to private demi-suites in First. The glamour is certainly still there.

I think it's come full circle in some ways, because the Stratocruiser in the 1950s had beds and lounges, and that is how is it coming now - for example the QF A380 has flat beds in F and J, a lounge for J - and even Y pax now have Economy Plus and self-service bars. Well, will have, once the A380 enters service.

Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 39):
2nd are those who have a love for flying in general love traveling and although we'd all like some service just pass time by looking out the window enjoying the view, and appreciate the fact we are able to do this thing called air travel.

I am firmly in this group. I earn what would be considered average wage in my home country of Australia, and whenever I am flying long haul, I do it in J. It means scrimping and saving, but it means that I look forward to the flight just as much as the holiday or visit home. I don't see the flight as 24 hours of hell to be endured back to Sydney, I look at it as a bit of a treat on the way.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Thu Sep 27, 2007 7:05 am

Quoting ClassicLover (Reply 41):
Quoting Mutu (Reply 12):
Well if you look at first class travel, clearly yes!

Oh 100%! First Class in the 1950s (42" pitch) is comparable to what Business Class was in the 1980s and 1990s. First and Business Class have come ahead in leaps and bounds in the very late 20th century and early 21st century. Flat beds in J, to private demi-suites in First. The glamour is certainly still there.

The hard product has improved (seat pitch, flat beds etc.) but as someone who experienced the old first class product, not in the 1950s but in the 1960s and 1970s on 707s, DC-8s and early 747s etc, the rest of the service in the premium cabins was generally much better in those days than today, especially meal service. Even the meal service in economy class on certain carriers (certainly not all) in those days was often better than what you get in business class today.
 
nwafflyer
Posts: 888
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2004 9:29 am

RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Thu Sep 27, 2007 7:26 am

What about the people? Just a very few years ago, first class meant a business suit for a man, a dress for a woman. And, of course, manners to go with the clothes. Now, first class, both international and domestic, and on both US carriers and European carriers, has people in shorts, unshaven men, etc.

Why should the airline be better than the passenger? I still believe in the old adage -- dress for where you are going, and yes, I dress comfortably for long flights, and wear comfortable shoes -- but no blue jeans, no shorts, Try and look like you belong in something other than a greyhound bus and you just might be treated better.

And, it is not just the American's who dress this way, I have seen way too many Europeans and Orientals flying in first class, and looking like they belonged on a bus
 
EWRCabincrew
Posts: 4314
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 2:37 am

RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Thu Sep 27, 2007 7:52 am

Quoting Nwafflyer (Reply 43):
Orientals

Rugs fly in first class?

Quoting Nwafflyer (Reply 43):
What about the people?

First class and business class are a level of service, not the class of people.
You can't cure stupid
 
yulguy
Posts: 205
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2004 8:09 am

RE: Has Prestige Gone Away From Airlines Today?

Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:04 am

Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 27):
Today, that is prestige. That may be disappointing, but women don't wear pearls, dresses and heels to vacuum and men don't wear suits and hats to work. Prestige is what you make of it, today, with what you have. Not how it was lived in the past.

Very well said EWR! I think that some of our expectations are a little out-of-whack when it comes to airline service these days. And boy do people love picking on the U.S. carriers. The service on most of the legacy carriers (from NW, AA and DL to JL, KL and BA) has been relatively good and pretty similar. I've never been on an LC, so I can't comment there. Would I prefer to not be charged $5 for a mushy sandwich from Subway on a YUL-YVR flight? Yeah, definitely. Could TV picture on the 767 from JFK to DUB be any worse? Probably not. I think North American carriers are working on these things: fleets and interiors are being updated; airlines probably will realize that the services they cut over the last few years (like free snacks or meals) really don't cost all that much to provide and actually make their clients happier. Who knows.
"Celui qui diffère de moi, loin de me léser, m'enrichit." - Saint-Exupéry

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