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Old Mar 23, 10, 11:03 pm   #1
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Cool ANC Spring 2010 MVPG Breakfast & Lunch March 24

I have been 'accepted' again to attend one of the MVPG events tomorrow. If any other FTe'rs are at the breakfast I'll be the one with a laptop taking copious notes, feel free to stop by and say 'hi'. Oh, and feel free to add your own notes as well.

For those interested, here are archives of previous MVPG events in ANC that I attended (and other's notes as well):

Fall 2008

Spring 2009

Fall 2009

Looking foreword to the event in the morning
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Old Mar 24, 10, 8:24 am   #2
 
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Wow, I didn't even know there was one tomorrow. Have fun!
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Old Mar 24, 10, 9:40 am   #3
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Alright... we have motion on the floor... the AS folks are gravitating to the seats - so far we have had some delicious pastries at the Captain Cook.
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Old Mar 24, 10, 10:32 am   #4
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Rick- thank you for joining us at the MVPG breakfast, an honor for me and our entire team to come here and hear you. All the feedback is circulated thru the company so everyone understands whats on your minds.

Introductions

VP Marketing-
Exciting time since we had a pretty good year in 2009 and off to a pretty good start in 2010. Most dependable for major airlines in the US (ontime). Seems we have some things figured out, to create a dependable product.
Warm & caring service- won JD Power award second year in a row.
Trying to do more an more to create good value for our customers.
Alaska Airlines- the state of Alaska is core to our business.

Mileage Plan-
For years we’ve looked at the program and we saw the value MVPG’s brought to our program. There’s around 35,000 MVPG’s and spend around 7,000 a year. There is a subset that spends 60-80K at AS. They are like George Clooney in Up in the air, and to keep them with AS… 75K on AS, 90K on partners +AS, or 90 segments. Main benefit you get top of the line access to upgrades. Reorganize and put you on top. Should siginifigantly improve getting upgraded. Probably 1,000 or 1,500 people. Since there are so few people flying, it should not be a large impact to benefits. Want to get more buisuness from those who can give us more businuess.

Upgrade process- working closely with Rev Management… hope to explain. If you want to be in F, buy F. If you buy qualifying fare, - try to give to people who buy the qualifying fares first. Lots of upgrades SFO, LAX, long haul flights not enough aircraft yet. It’s a balance. Trying to work with rev mgmt – if you buy qualifying fare there will be 36-24 hrs qualifying fares will be forced into F if there is an avail seat.

Big focus on value and taking care of our folks in Alaska. Working with pricing team, intra-alaska on sale to lower 48 too. Purchase by April 2, travel by June 18.

Delta-
NW & DL merged and formed largest airline in world. Struggling to get NW benefits back. As of the 1st of the year it should print MVPG on the boarding pass to allow you to enter the breezeway and either in 2 or 3. Preferred seating turned on in past 2-3 weeks either via website or when booking by phone. Reciprocial upgrades- they are coming, but coming slowly. Looks like it will be August now. It used to be if you bought on alaskaair.com you would see the link. But other booking channels forced a phone call. After August, we will assume you want to be on the list. You can opt out if you want then.

Airline partners-
All the traction with DL… AA wants to have some biz as well. In the past we have not received much traction since we are not in alliance. Hopefully by the end of the year some of the things we have with DL will be in place with AA.

Signed a contract with Kenmore Air. Largest floatplane operator in US. Great for fishing for those in lower 48… etc

About to finalize agreement with Iceland Air.

Alaskaair.com
Trying to regain our position with technology- first airline ticket sold online, web checkin… doing great things in the cockpit, but what can we do with technology for customers. Have GIS (gate information screens) – now have a mobile website. Blackberry app, windows mobile app, iphone app…

E-Wallet fully functional
Gift certs, unused tickets, BoA companion certs, adjust ticket to lower fare- all goes into mywallet. Second piece that takes affect today is change in reissue to policy starts today. Now based on one-way model. Change fee waived for anyone traveling within the State of Alaska.

Wifi…
Few years ago wanted to be the first carrier with row44 with satellite based wifi. Saw the promising technology to communicate with wireless. Great idea, but installation challenges, issues with FCC, and cost. Ground based solution much easier and cheaper. What price point should we charge? 40% of plane used it when free, if $1 dropped down to 8%. Looked at the market and saw that even though satellite is the way of the future the market does not support it yet. So going with aircell, and should be fleet-wide by the end of the year. 30-40 minute gap when flying over Canada. Does not work over water yet (laughter). Future could be a hybrid land based/satellite solution (like with some cell phones). Does have the ability to cache thousands of gigabytes of data so we could have 100’s of video on demand.

Coke-
Going back with Coke- did not have the acceptance with the market.

Pilot- celebrated 31st anniversary with AS. 13 years on 732. Pilot professional development program, part is technical and part is customer service aspect. Either now or during Q&A, if we could have some input, we could roll this right into the program.

Summer Schedule
Double daily service back to LA
Double daily to ORD
Growing PDX 3x daily
DEN nonstop
SFO nonstop
19 daily flights to SEA
HNL service
OGG didn’t pan out last summer- OGG will be back next fall.
10x flights to Hawaii in winter-
Fantastic fare sale right now
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Old Mar 24, 10, 11:08 am   #5
 
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Well, looks like one of my predictions is going to be wrong...

Quote:
- The long awaited AS/DL elite reciprocity will come by June 20, 2010.
Oh, well.
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Old Mar 24, 10, 11:24 am   #6
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Might need to do some fine-tuned editing a bit later on... but here's the Q&A session in raw formatting:

Q&A
Q: Can’t hear announcement over PA from cockpit.

A: Two independent systems- a couple different microphones on the flight deck. If its inaudible we need to know right away so we can get it in the logbook. FA's help out with this.

Q: Bringing pets to Hawaii- might be a way of doing this without quarantine now
A: We'll look into this

Ewallet- forced to use a travel agency. Had a change and got a $60 credit- but its company $.

Q:Any traction to get partners to price as OW’s?
AWe can’t talk with other partners too much about pricing models.
Awards- working on allowing miles to be redeemed OW. -could be a possible solution to getting OW travel.

Q: Reality check on DL… doesn’t quite work the way it is described. They don’t adjust the zone, had zone 4, and the DL agent does not have a clue.
A: Asking our customers- agents should be up to speed. A year from now we will not tolerate this not working. Every month since we’ve had so much fallout- seating issues, boarding priority, etc. Ticketing Troubleshooting team- SABRE & Travelport – been having monthly meetings with AS & DL groups…

Elite can use breezeway only once your zone is called. Zone 1 is F, and Zone 2 or 3 should have boarding…

Q: My miles posted and were taken away - why?
A: My Trips- get a feed from SABRE and partners. Partners may not be every day- but AS is every day. There was a glitch that sent a file that posted three times. And then was reversed.
Surprised mileage does not post instantly unlike when you use miles… where they are pulled away instantly.
“I don’t see any instance why when I use a ticket, and it took two weeks for the ticket shows up”

Should take 24 hours at most… (consensus was it takes longer from MVPG group)

Q: Can I combine miles from DL and AS?
A: No- but you can use DL miles for AS Saver awards.

Q: Flying to MSP… seems DL is moving activity away from MSP to DL flights… and MSP is a more dependable airport too (got a laugh comparing MSP to ORD) - could not book on delta.com flight thru MSP without using multi-city, otherwise connected in SLC (trying to get to MSN)
A: Looked at ANC-MSP… not on the top of the pile... DL won’t abandon MSP… if DL reduced capacity- AS can backfill…

Q: BR open later (perennial question)
A: Tried extending hours several summers ago… it kind of turned into a bar- alcohol bill went into roof but membership did not increase… will consider again.

Also, BR is working on implementing a card swipe system to help log who is using when.

Q: Noise Caneceling Headphones & Kindle- why can't we use below 10,000 feet?
A: FAA- the Kindle can transmit data too...

Q: TSA- second screening standing at the gate- fortunate enough to be re-screened at the gate – have only seen in ANC… (another MVPG saw in ATL)- “kind of make you feel like a shoplifter”
A: TSA is doing increased screening – random selection of both pax and employees - anecdotal stories... ANC tries to do announcements advising pax of this if TSA is at the gate...

Q: Too many bags- oversized baggage carry-on - charge for carry on? (general frustration with pax with too big of bags)
A: AS has been stationing more agents at TSA checkpoints to watch carry-on baggage. And if an MVPG wants, they can gate check (with yellow tag that gets dropped in jetway, vs. at the carousel like most pax)

Q: LAX-CUN route cancellation causing issues- for rebooking.
A: There is a group that works the flight cancellations –
LAX-CUN is discontinued service June 6 on… recommendation process we are negotiating some other carriers to rebook pax. Did not do a great job announcing this.

Have to call up for a schedule change of 2 minutes, 5 minutes- need to call in.
The broad thinking is we want to make sure we find the right option for the pax.

Q: Airport control- pain in the butt… when you get a window it opens up.
Once airport takes control the flight- it locks reservations out. Have to drive to airport to get a seat.
A: Solution- OLCI typically although some seats are blocked out…

Last edited by beckoa; Mar 24, 10 at 5:51 pm.. Reason: Added formatting & increased clarity of thoughts
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Old Mar 24, 10, 11:45 am   #7
 
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This is good news, though...

Quote:
It used to be if you bought on alaskaair.com you would see the link. But other booking channels forced a phone call. After August, we will assume you want to be on the list.
This is a major pain point. Kudos for fixing it (when it gets fixed).
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Old Mar 24, 10, 4:05 pm   #8
 
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Thanks for the notes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by beckoa View Post
Double daily to ORD
From ANC? Is one going to be a redeye, do you know?
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Old Mar 24, 10, 4:55 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthalaska View Post
Thanks for the notes!



From ANC? Is one going to be a redeye, do you know?
Yeah; picked a random date in June:

AS138 JUN 24-Thu ANC 11:15 PM ORD 8:18 AM
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Old Mar 24, 10, 6:31 pm   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthalaska View Post
Thanks for the notes!

From ANC? Is one going to be a redeye, do you know?
Correct. This is a seasonal addition.... and AS is sticking to it (thought they might trim due to competition... but they are holding their ground )
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Old Mar 24, 10, 6:48 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthalaska View Post
Thanks for the notes!



From ANC? Is one going to be a redeye, do you know?
Quote:
Originally Posted by beckoa View Post
Correct. This is a seasonal addition.... and AS is sticking to it (thought they might trim due to competition... but they are holding their ground )
Yeah, AA and UA are both firing up ORD-ANC this summer as well. Might be some good deals to Chicago as a result.
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Old Mar 24, 10, 6:57 pm   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chugach View Post
Yeah, AA and UA are both firing up ORD-ANC this summer as well. Might be some good deals to Chicago as a result.
I hope so... there seemed to be some indication that if loads were low... there could be, but they were really touting the current fare sale as a good deal. It does seem there is some overcapacity here, especially on Saturdays
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Old Mar 24, 10, 10:01 pm   #13
 
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Also aked but left out of the notes was a request to increase the Anchorage Board room staff size as currently they are under staffed.

Last edited by ChuckArtic; Mar 24, 10 at 10:02 pm.. Reason: spelling
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Old Mar 24, 10, 10:08 pm   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckArtic View Post
Also aked but left out of the notes was a request to increase the Anchorage Board room staff size as currently they are under staffed.
Ah yes it was omitted (was involved a bit too much in the previous discussion ) - guess you were at the breakfast then It was suggested to take one of the BR Concierges from SEA and move them up to ANC...

If there is anything else I missed let me know... I had to run out of the room for a minute to feed the meeter... the street ones started at 9 AM...
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Old Mar 24, 10, 11:42 pm   #15
 
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Here are a few of more discussions:

Talked about simplifying the automatic upgrade request system. If you are an elite than you would be automatically placed on the upgrade list and would have to request to be taken off the list. So when we book our flights we would not need to request the upgrades it would be assumed.

Using the new Iceland air alliance with AS as an alternate way into Europe with custom taking ten minutes as opposed to several hours.

They talked about simplifying the ticket change fee to simply take that days fair price and base the fees on that price. May be more for the requested changes but simpler to calculate the fees. Should be implemented fairly soon.

This is about all I can remember.

Last edited by ChuckArtic; Mar 24, 10 at 11:44 pm.. Reason: spelling
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