Old Nov 20, 18, 10:52 pm
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: HNL
Programs: UA 1K3MM, MR LT Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 1,803
Originally Posted by findark View Post
I'm not arguing against BE from a business perspective; what I find appalling (with my stockholder hat on) is UA's seeming inability to use it as a precision tool in specific markets. For example, consider SFO-LAX (or QSF/QLA). WN is the market driver here with their $74/$69/$59 or whatever the going sale rate is. UA chooses to match WN by publishing a BE fare at the same price, and then asking +$25 for regular Economy. In my mind that's crazy -- no way I'm going to pay almost 50% more to fly UA on a 60-minute flight, and that's from a customer who gets a wealth of benefits for my 1K status (E+, upgrades, drinks, etc.) that are unavailable on WN. Why anyone with no status would ever consider UA in that market is beyond me.

My best guess is that UA just doesn't feel it's worth their time to dedicate the resources to something like this, because I suspect they've already mentally ceded intra-CA O&D traffic to WN a long time ago. But it's just an example of how they don't care to get involved at a micro-level.
UA in mid-January has 14 non-stops SFO-LAX vs. 9 for SWA, so I don't see that as ceding the market, at least for Jan 16. UA does indeed match the $49 "wanna get away" fare, at least for Jan 16-23 roundtrip with BE - except for the UA Express flights ($98 SWA vs. $97 UA). But its not 50% more to fly regular economy, the regular economy fare is $125 roundtrip (at the time I wrote this - and I'd pay that to avoid SWA). But I'll go back to what I said before, I don't think UA is terribly interested in selling the $97 roundtrip tickets - they will sell it as a price match, but that isn't the target audience they want to attract, in my opinion.
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