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Old Oct 11, 12, 10:06 am   #31
 
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
So what you're proposing might work for an airline- it does quite well for WN (who gets a lot of business travel on the down-low). But VX is bleeding cash already; the last thing that they need to do is reinvent the airline in such a way that they need to incur a bunch of capital costs to reconfigure the fleet in such a way that they can work with the reality that there aren't the same critical mass of hyperconnected Twittering urban professionals with six digit salaries in ABQ and CVG as there are in SFO.
which is what people here need to understand. You cant just decide to give up on SFO/LAX and change everything because the airline isnt making money. Once again they are in wayyyy too deep to choke and try and start over. There are people in those cities that don't even know that VX exist! So there they are again starting over trying to build their name and "mature" cities in cities that only know of legacy airlines and WN. Well said sir.
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Old Oct 11, 12, 11:03 am   #32
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which is what people here need to understand. You cant just decide to give up on SFO/LAX and change everything because the airline isnt making money. Once again they are in wayyyy too deep to choke and try and start over. There are people in those cities that don't even know that VX exist! So there they are again starting over trying to build their name and "mature" cities in cities that only know of legacy airlines and WN. Well said sir.
Not to mention the fact that a strategy based around connecting second-tier midcon to the coasts by itself is just crazy- there's just not enough demand compared to the demand that exists for second-tier midcon to other places (first+second-tier midcon) that make no sense flying out to the coast for. The reason why WN works well in these second-tier markets is they can take people out of, say, ABQ to more than just LAX and SFO. You have ABQ nonstops on WN to SEA, PDX, ELP, TUS, PHX, OAK, LAX, LAS, DEN, DAL, MDW, MCO, BWI, and between OAK, LAS, DEN, DAL, BWI, MDW, PHX you have a TON of connecting options (basically, anywhere in WN's network). How on earth is VX going to compete with that as a startup carrier based out of SFO/LAX? They can't.

That being said, time's running out on making a profit. My bet is that VX gets absorbed by DL or AA in an attempt to put a shiv into UA, or just goes broke. Their model doesn't seem to be working, and we're going on 5+ years now, with profits not really in sight.
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Old Oct 11, 12, 12:32 pm   #33
 
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VX pulled in this happy camper from PHL to PDX.

Someone else is paying; but I am in VX first and it is simply out of this world compared to domestic US or AA. I would love to see additional routes from PHL.

As far as long term staying power - well - I'm not going to hold my VX points any longer than I need to. "Friendly, hip and tasty" certainly make a delightful trip but I'm not sure a long term business plan.
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Old Oct 11, 12, 2:07 pm   #34
 
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I'm not going to hold my VX points any longer than I need to. "Friendly, hip and tasty" certainly make a delightful trip but I'm not sure a long term business plan.
Couldn't agree more. I'm trying to dump all my points right now and stay light on points going forward. It's only a matter of time before airlines over the next decade upgrade their planes and add the features VX has in the cabin (screens in seats, better lighting, better chairs, etc). Once that happens, if VX is still around, they are in trouble.
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Old Oct 11, 12, 6:55 pm   #35
 
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Superior to who? Surly not VX
On the JFK<->SFO and JFK<->LAX routes in particular, VX is not the only airline with a good First product and other airlines are better for some depending what you value.

AA First Class

UA First Class

DL First Class and excellent food


- On other routes, VX clearly has the best domestic F class offering.


- Also: Once AA gets the new (4 class) planes for the premium routes next year, the AA F suites will be the clear winner on these routes.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...ic-planes.html


Last edited by crazyMRer; Oct 11, 12 at 10:05 pm.
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Old Oct 11, 12, 10:06 pm   #36
 
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Originally Posted by SocalApproach View Post

Superior to who? Surly not VX
Delta's transcons from JFK to LAX and SFO are their Business Elite product- it certainly goes head to head with VX, and exceeds with a dedicated flight attendant.
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Old Oct 12, 12, 12:36 am   #37
 
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I surely get that VX has its work cut out for it indeed!

However, it's been my experience on a few key routes (SFO-BOS, JFK, PHL AND WAS) their F class has been much more civil.

Maybe it's the fact that folks that want to pay for the upgrade to F and just the experience of the flight aren't like what I've experienced with UA in the least bit. Sure, there are those that board that have boarded some of my flights in F with entitlements of storing their bags in F when they are in Y. But I've seen the FA remove the bags and inform folks that they can't come to the forward cabin for the restroom too!

There are those here in SFO that want to support VX as the hometown airline regardless of the class of service they are traveling in, but it's just a matter of time before circumstances make us think otherwise as the bell might be tolling for VX!

Hoping that VX hangs in there for sure! But until then, keep up the great trend setting mode VX!
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Old Oct 12, 12, 8:41 pm   #38
 
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Originally Posted by crazyMRer View Post
On the JFK<->SFO and JFK<->LAX routes in particular, VX is not the only airline with a good First product and other airlines are better for some depending what you value.

AA First Class

UA First Class

DL First Class and excellent food


- On other routes, VX clearly has the best domestic F class offering.


- Also: Once AA gets the new (4 class) planes for the premium routes next year, the AA F suites will be the clear winner on these routes.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...ic-planes.html


Are you seriously KIDDING me?

It obviously shows with DL that its hit or miss what you will get as far as the product is concerned...Sure lie down flat seats are great but how can you "expect" that purchasing your ticket? Disqualified...

UA....??? are you kidding me with that snap shot? if thats all you got on them then I'm sorry that's not on the VX level in terms of todays time. That cabin looks so boring not to mention there is no IFE except for those POC digi players. Nobody likes those. Ex CO aircraft probably have a better looking cabin than that but then they are just like DL...not consistent in terms of what you can expect out of a flight.

AA....Last time I checked this is a how is VX still in business thread..the last thing I want to see is a snap shot of what AA is "planning" when they are probably in just as much jeopardy as VX in terms of how much longer they will be around especially with all the bad press AA has been creating itself lately. Sure lie down flat seats on a A321 sounds great but if people wont pay for it on VX what makes you think they will on AA? Surly AA will charge a premium to fly on that aircraft. UA already does with their 787...its way more expensive to fly on that as opposed to flying on a different aircraft on the very same city pair! You cant honestly think that AA can get away with not charging a premium for that product. It will not be a simple AA Advantage miles upgrade like it is now to upgrade on one of their busted cramped 767s.


This recent VX report speaks for itself....

Virgin America First Class and The Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

After seeing that What would you choose?

Its no wonder why all the legacies are trying to upgrade their fleet. If every airline on JFK-SFO/LAX were the exact same price, if UA,AA,DL passengers could use their upgrades on any airline, EVERY passenger at least 8-9/10 would choose VX over the latter. Its that simple and I'm very confident in that statement.

http://www.virginamerica.com/airline-awards
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Old Oct 12, 12, 10:22 pm   #39
 
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Are you seriously KIDDING me?

It obviously shows with DL that its hit or miss what you will get as far as the product is concerned...Sure lie down flat seats are great but how can you "expect" that purchasing your ticket? Disqualified...

FYI - the DL and UA and AA hard products are pretty consistent on the LAX/SFO-JFK routes. Do you think frequent flyers are smart enough to learn that what they can expect between LAX/SFO-JFK and other cities will be different on 3/4 of the airlines that compete for that premium traffic? Frequent flyers learn the difference between one plane type and another and the Delta hard product is nearly identical to VX.
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Originally Posted by SocalApproach View Post
If every airline on JFK-SFO/LAX were the exact same price, if UA,AA,DL passengers could use their upgrades on any airline, EVERY passenger at least 8-9/10 would choose VX over the latter.
You are only kidding yourself.

The new AA planes are NOT distant and are very relevant to VX. The seats have been ordered and are already being manufactured and a delivery schedule has been set. The likelihood of AA going away is exceptionally low; a merger or/and new management may be in the mix but given how far we already are in the process, the likelihood of AA not flying those seats in the near future is very low. Last I checked AA had about 4 billion in unrestricted cash on hand; they are not going away. http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...er-2012-a.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by SocalApproach View Post
Sure lie down flat seats on a A321 sounds great but if people wont pay for it on VX what makes you think they will on AA?
1) Corporate contracts VX lacks the route network to secure. AA already has the largest share of the lucrative premium transcon contracts and is updating their fleet to ensure this will remain the case.

2) A truly superior product: The VX product is not way better than DL and UA (contrary to VX hype); the AA First product will be. The real money will pay for the best and that will very soon clearly be AA on the premium transcon routes.

3) Partnerships & Loyalty: OneWorld partners and especially Qantas feed a large number of premium passengers connecting to AA to JFK. (VX's partners are few and small so not that many passengers) Finally, the AAdvantage program has a large loyal customer base (and provides greater value to frequent flyers than VX's program).

Last edited by crazyMRer; Oct 13, 12 at 11:36 am.
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Old Oct 12, 12, 10:28 pm   #40
 
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Never have flown them. What is the compelling reason to fly them over UA, AA, or BA?

I choose them to CUN last summer. Really liked their product, but the First and select seats were mostly empty (save me). It seems clear the huddled American masses won't pay more for more. They want upgrades and free stuff.

It's too bad, as the experience was excellent and I will definetely pay to fly them again.
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Old Oct 13, 12, 8:48 am   #41
 
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Originally Posted by SocalApproach View Post
Are you seriously KIDDING me?

It obviously shows with DL that its hit or miss what you will get as far as the product is concerned...Sure lie down flat seats are great but how can you "expect" that purchasing your ticket? Disqualified...

I wasn't kidding you. DL's JFK-SFO/LAX transcons feature Business Elite. You absolutely know what you're getting when you purchase the product, and it's quite luxurious.
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Old Oct 13, 12, 12:11 pm   #42
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AA....Last time I checked this is a how is VX still in business thread..the last thing I want to see is a snap shot of what AA is "planning" when they are probably in just as much jeopardy as VX in terms of how much longer they will be around especially with all the bad press AA has been creating itself lately. Sure lie down flat seats on a A321 sounds great but if people wont pay for it on VX what makes you think they will on AA? Surly AA will charge a premium to fly on that aircraft. UA already does with their 787...its way more expensive to fly on that as opposed to flying on a different aircraft on the very same city pair! You cant honestly think that AA can get away with not charging a premium for that product. It will not be a simple AA Advantage miles upgrade like it is now to upgrade on one of their busted cramped 767s.
About the bolded portion: VX's failure to sell enough of its premium cabin doesn't have anything to do with AA's ability to sell its premium cabin.

VX is bleeding money because it has failed to sell enough of the premium cabin seats for profitable fares. AA already sells a fair portion of its 10 First Class and 30 Business Class seats on its 10 daily flights between JFK and LAX each way every day, so its plans to duplicate its three class cabins on its new planes is simply a continuation of what's been working for AA in that market.

AA's average fare between JFK and LAX is substantially higher than the average fare collected by VX. That's not because AA gets a much higher economy fare than does VX; that's because of the effect of the F and J fares.

Branson figured he could sell premium cabin fares between the coasts and thus take away business from UA and AA (and DL, now that it has entered the market in a big way). VX has certainly been an annoyance to those competitors, but has been unable to price its product anywhere near profit-making, despite its ridiculously low labor costs.

How is VX still in business? Hope springs eternal.
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Old Oct 13, 12, 3:41 pm   #43
 
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Branson figured he could sell premium cabin fares between the coasts and thus take away business from UA and AA (and DL, now that it has entered the market in a big way). VX has certainly been an annoyance to those competitors, but has been unable to price its product anywhere near profit-making, despite its ridiculously low labor costs.

How is VX still in business? Hope springs eternal.
It's not SRB that's implementing the business strategy. It's David Cush of VX. SRB can set an overall airline group policy but it's up to Cush and VX to agree or disagree and then implement.

Agree with your closing line.
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Old Oct 15, 12, 11:33 am   #44
 
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crazyMRer,

RASM:
JFK-LAX
UA - 12.16
AA - 11.61
VX - 11.37
DL - 9.76
B6 - 8.77

JFK-SFO
UA - 12.69
VX - 11.33
AA - 10.32
DL - 9.44
B6 - 8.42

VX only has 8 first class seats. Looking at these numbers it begs to question if any airline is making money on these routes besides VX. They certainly have the lowest CASM. and this is with out to your supporting point the corporate contracts that AA has. Its pretty clear who the real winner is here. Case closed.

You might need to be steered back on topic to understand that this thread is about how is VX still in business. From the numbers above it makes me respond how I did. They are doing everything as they should be. By no means did I say they are perfect but how can they honestly do any better?? The fact is their product doesn't work so well on other routes. They cannot charge the premium on a short 2 hour flight.

No one is saying AA wont be a force to be reckoned with when their A321's come online. Heck I would look forward to flying that myself. My point is ill see it when I see it. And at the moment this thread and conversation is about right now and right now VX is the winner in terms of JFK-SFO/LAX. They are doing nothing wrong. They should be in business. It just came around the wrong time. This airline would have been wonders in the late 90s.

As far as incosistency I was referring to how a 757/767 is configured. The cabin isnt exactly the same on all UA flights. You can certainly get a Pre Merger CO 757 on JFK-LAX which I think is better than the original UA 757s. You can luckly get a international DL 757 for reposition which is great but certainly not consistent. Sure passengers can tell the difference online between a 757/767 but can they tell if its cabin has been recently overhauled or due for it because its out of date compared to its peers? the answer is No. I prefer booking VX I know its going to be an A319/A320 and the F product will be exactly the same no matter what aircraft it is. Its preference of course but with all the awards VX has and all the guest raving about how different it is in every positive way its just hard for me to support your argument that passengers prefer the competition over them. Corporate contracts do not justify passengers WANTING to fly AA. Its cheaper to fly AA. AA has more partners and more destinations. that's all nothing more and nothing less. If VX had a bigger route map maybe connect the dots, and more partners possible even change their FF program to offer more benefits of being a FF like the legacies then you basically have a sure winner here. The only problem is its too late to try and change everything VX has modeled. They are not big enough to eat the loss they will sure have trying to change everything.

Last edited by SocalApproach; Oct 15, 12 at 11:44 am.
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Old Oct 15, 12, 4:23 pm   #45
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Originally Posted by FWAAA View Post
VX is bleeding money because it has failed to sell enough of the premium cabin seats for profitable fares. AA already sells a fair portion of its 10 First Class and 30 Business Class seats on its 10 daily flights between JFK and LAX each way every day, so its plans to duplicate its three class cabins on its new planes is simply a continuation of what's been working for AA in that market.
I don't think their problem is selling F on VX's JFK routes, as the above RASM numbers indicate. Their problem is selling them on shorthaul/midcon. I've flown VX on SEA-LAX with a lot of open F seats.
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