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Blogger on thinly-veiled AS/WN Battle for California

Blogger on thinly-veiled AS/WN Battle for California

Old Aug 31, 17, 6:51 am
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Blogger on thinly-veiled AS/WN Battle for California

From the 8/31 Cranky Flier blog:

Southwest Declares War Against Alaska and Anyone Else Who Wants a Piece of California

I spent the beginning of this week at the Boyd Conference (aka International Aviation Forecast Summit), and while I was there, war broke out. Fortunately, this one didnít involve North Korea. Instead it came from a place of, ahem, LUV. Southwest has decided that itís time to declare itself the victor in a battle for California that has really just begun. Unlike a North Korean war where we all die, this one results in Californians getting a ton of flights and cheap fares.
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Old Aug 31, 17, 11:35 am
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I am mystified why someone would CHOOSE to fly WN over AS, would like to believe that AS will eventually win the war.

Much of the new AS service is on OO E175's, suggesting a MUCH lower cost structure than WN, requiring fewer passengers to make the flight economically viable.

Most AS schedules (at least in my home SAN) appear to be O&D-based, giving WN the edge with transcon connections to secondary markets. So even if WN does not offer a nonstop, they will get most customers to their destination eventually.
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Old Aug 31, 17, 11:53 am
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Originally Posted by diver858 View Post
I am mystified why someone would CHOOSE to fly WN over AS, would like to believe that AS will eventually win the war.
Lots of reasons if you're not elite. Mainline planes & crews, no change fees, no bag fees, live tv, still a bigger network in California, easier rewards program to understand/get value out of, etc.
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Old Aug 31, 17, 12:29 pm
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AS still has a very small footprint at many large CA airports. OAK (4th), ONT (8th), LGB (10th) have seen none of this expansion, while SMF (7th) and BUR (9th) have seen just a touch. AS is not really competitive with WN at those airports, which serve a very large chunk of the state's regional passenger traffic.
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Old Aug 31, 17, 12:45 pm
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Originally Posted by diver858 View Post
I am mystified why someone would CHOOSE to fly WN over AS, would like to believe that AS will eventually win the war.
Ugh not this again. I personally prefer AS for myself, but I can easily see why one could choose WN (holding price constant), for any of the reasons ucdtim17 lists.
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Old Aug 31, 17, 1:13 pm
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Originally Posted by ucdtim17 View Post
Lots of reasons if you're not elite. Mainline planes & crews, no change fees, no bag fees, live tv, still a bigger network in California, easier rewards program to understand/get value out of, etc.
even if you are elite. WN still is the undisputed champion of nonstop frequency between CA cities, and still wins on number of nonstop destinations out of many of the CA airports.

I usually choose AS on routes where they directly compete with WN, but if WN is going to give me a nonstop with heaps of frequencies, it's hard to ignore them.
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Old Aug 31, 17, 2:10 pm
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Originally Posted by diver858 View Post
I am mystified why someone would CHOOSE to fly WN over AS, would like to believe that AS will eventually win the war.
You say this every few months. We provide you with a number of reasons every time.
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Old Aug 31, 17, 3:11 pm
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I love AS, but will always chose a nonstop WN flight over an AS connection. This explains why Southwest sent me a targeted offer today for their A-list status thru yearend, offering me priority boarding and a few other perks.
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Old Aug 31, 17, 6:38 pm
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With the pilot contract situation here and now for AS/VX, that's going to significantly raise the CASM for AAG. WN has very little trouble filling its 737. I don't see how even a regionally operated E75 is going to have better CASM.

The only place where AS has network advantage over WN is to Hawaii and that seems to be next focus for WN.

btw, the legacies and B6 are sitting somewhere smiling that WN has shifted its focus away from their hubs.
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Old Aug 31, 17, 7:57 pm
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Originally Posted by tphuang View Post
The only place where AS has network advantage over WN is to Hawaii and that seems to be next focus for WN.
Not to be pedantic here...

But if you feel that the only places where AS has a network advantage over WN is where WN doesn't fly at all, then they also have an advantage in Alaska, Canada, and why not throw Costa Rica in as well. Alaska may be at a disadvantage in California, but that's still a silly assertion to make, even ignoring markets like the PNW, where a debate could actually be had.
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Old Aug 31, 17, 8:29 pm
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Originally Posted by CalanMan View Post
Not to be pedantic here...

But if you feel that the only places where AS has a network advantage over WN is where WN doesn't fly at all, then they also have an advantage in Alaska, Canada, and why not throw Costa Rica in as well. Alaska may be at a disadvantage in California, but that's still a silly assertion to make, even ignoring markets like the PNW, where a debate could actually be had.
I would add Canada to that list too. It looks like that's not a priority for WN.

I don't think Cali to Alaska is a important market and same with Costa Rica. AS certainly has an advantage to PNW. I just saw Hawaii as a very large advantage where Californians fly to and WN wasn't involved.

WN has everyone dominated in the intra-california market or important nearby locations like LAS, DEN, PHX, Texas.
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Old Aug 31, 17, 11:11 pm
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I am mystified why someone would be mystified why someone would CHOOSE to fly WN over AS.

Plenty of reasons already offered here. I'll add one more if your west coast flights involve Horizon..... the Southwest schedule actually MEANS SOMETHING. WN doesn't cancel flights left and right. And the PDX/OAK route is STILL almost always served by a Q400 despite new E75 service in lots of places. Enough said.
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Old Sep 1, 17, 2:20 am
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If WN wanted to declare war on AS, you think they would throw some non stops to the greater LA area from SEA.....
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Old Sep 1, 17, 5:57 am
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Originally Posted by tatterdema View Post
If WN wanted to declare war on AS, you think they would throw some non stops to the greater LA area from SEA.....
WN is not worried about that relatively oversaturated route. AS can't grow much at LAX due to space constraints. WN is going after places where AS is not as strong. SEA is obviously a strength for AS so why add flights there?
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Old Sep 1, 17, 9:26 am
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I am happy if you are happy - the of the mysteries of life.

With that said:

Originally Posted by ucdtim17 View Post
Lots of reasons if you're not elite. Mainline planes & crews,
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I would choose a shinny new OO E75 over an uncomfortable WN 737, with pre-reserved seats, premium economy is often priced about the same as WN.
Originally Posted by ucdtim17 View Post
no change fees,
AS also has a form of no change fees, offers refunds if their price goes down. WN may not charge a fee to change, but you are required to pay the new fare.
Originally Posted by ucdtim17 View Post
no bag fees
,
Want no bag fees - get the AS credit card (20k miles). Alaska recently waived fees, relaxed oversized and overweight restrictions on sporting goods (bicycles, golf clubs, etc) - still $75 on WN.
Originally Posted by ucdtim17 View Post
.live tv
AS has free streaming video and music, I can live without TV for a few hours
Originally Posted by ucdtim17 View Post
still a bigger network in California
Meets all of my needs out of SAN
Originally Posted by ucdtim17 View Post
easier rewards program to understand/get value out of, etc.
The AS award program has a HUGE number of INTERNATIONAL partners, offering award flights to most any destination worldwide. For those who rack up miles flying for business, the last thing you want is to fly the same lousy coach seat to another US destination.
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