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Disgruntled AS Employees: "It's a race to the bottom."

Disgruntled AS Employees: "It's a race to the bottom."

Old Jan 12, 18, 1:20 pm
  #76  
 
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Originally Posted by Points Scrounger View Post
I was chatting recently with a fellow who expressed disgust at the AS gates @ PHL, which sounded similar to BOS.
I'm flying there in 2/2 so will check it out.

The IND gate is very crowded, and boarding takes forever even though they usually start 20min early.
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Old Jan 12, 18, 1:37 pm
  #77  
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Originally Posted by tphuang View Post
Guess we are going to disagreed here. AS Management (in this internal memo) is pitching building lounge in JFK as their great effort in improving their product, but that doesn't benefit y passengers or change the fact the product in the air is not competitive. And they are not lowering pricing to reflect the lack of competitiveness in their product.
I'm not going to discuss pricing because frankly if I knew the ins and outs of it and what actually maximizes revenue for an airline, I'd actually have a job in revenue management at an airline instead of being an Armchair FlyerTalk C-Level Airline Executive™. I'll just figure the market will correct for an airline being wrong in guessing their market and pricing pretty fast.

The bottom line is AS doesn't want to make a play for premium transcon California-JFK. OK. They're either right or wrong on that. As far as everything that is NOT California-JFK premium transcon, it's perfectly competitive. Last I checked, AS isn't densifying their Y to 30" like UA/AA or adding a Basic Economy product, and I've had plenty of non-transcon F on other airlines where the food is "meh" in 38" pitch recliners (just flew AA F on SEA-LAX where a miscater happened and everyone got BOB Y boxes).

Last edited by eponymous_coward; Jan 12, 18 at 1:50 pm
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Old Jan 12, 18, 1:49 pm
  #78  
 
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Originally Posted by jddssc121 View Post
This race to the bottom has been going on for a few year IMHO, and is why i stopped flying AS much at all. Sad to see.
It will only get worst IMO. The big 3's FFP going to revenue reflects society as a whole: Diving Upper and Lower class, where pax buying more expensive ticket benefits more and vice versa, most "middle class" will most likely go down if they are paying from their own pocket.

AS will need to budget cut somewhere in order to compensate this, especially after buying VX. However, AS FFP is no longer as competitive as it use to be, and for int'l travelers it does not have many perks. Four partners leaving within one year also devalue the program.
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Old Jan 12, 18, 2:29 pm
  #79  
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
being an Armchair FlyerTalk C-Level Airline Executive™.
Requires 90 days and 90 posts on FT.
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Old Jan 12, 18, 3:45 pm
  #80  
 
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Originally Posted by tphuang View Post
except many of the complaints that we've heard here seems to be just terrible execution of move to T7. We really don't know what options they had, but my guess is T1 is certainly available. They might not have had the space to build their own lounge, but do they really think having their own lounge is going to allow them to price at the same level as flat-bed competition? If they are actually going for the non-premium crowd to fill up F, they need to price accordingly (think sub $500) . There simply is no need to build their own lounge for that.

I'm looking at some prices in may, they are around $600 for SEA, $700 for LAS and in many cases $900 to well over $1000 for SFO/LAX. These are not good prices for what they are offering.
I'm an MVPG member who does not fly for work. I've maintained MVPG status for three years running and I feel fortunate to have been able to do so. I usually buy the least expensive fares in a given market and, therefore, I have low expectations of upgrades. In fact, on transcon flights from/to SEA I have no expectations of an upgrade. I'm happy enough sitting in an exit row aisle seat.

Tomorrow I'll make a mileage run SEA-BOS-SEA and I've been looking at availability for the past few days. On each of my flights there had been four First Class seats available starting six days ago and they were priced at $1,069. (I was checking only on Alaska Airlines' website.) I thought that seemed steep given the product but I really don't know what the market will bear. I could presume that those seats were sold as my SEA-BOS flight is now sold out in F and the return has only one seat showing available for $1,069. Or perhaps MVPG 75Ks or other MVPG members who purchased more expensive fares than I did have been upgraded. I'll never know. Again, I'm happy enough with the arrangement I have but thought it interesting to read "...in many cases $900 to well over $1000 for SFO/LAX. These are not good prices for what they are offering" and then to see First Class fares >$1,000 on my flights.

As for a "race to the bottom"? I can't say I've noticed it overall. My experiences flying AS have been very good. Let's see what tomorrow brings.
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Old Jan 12, 18, 3:56 pm
  #81  
 
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Originally Posted by tphuang View Post
except many of the complaints that we've heard here seems to be just terrible execution of move to T7. We really don't know what options they had, but my guess is T1 is certainly available. They might not have had the space to build their own lounge, but do they really think having their own lounge is going to allow them to price at the same level as flat-bed competition? If they are actually going for the non-premium crowd to fill up F, they need to price accordingly (think sub $500) . There simply is no need to build their own lounge for that.

I'm looking at some prices in may, they are around $600 for SEA, $700 for LAS and in many cases $900 to well over $1000 for SFO/LAX. These are not good prices for what they are offering.
There’s no room at JFK T1, which despite looking nice has the worst security experience at JFK.
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Old Jan 12, 18, 4:26 pm
  #82  
 
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Originally Posted by UAPremierExec View Post
Sad there's no mention in that Seattle Times article about a club in SFO...
AA doesn't move out of T2 until 2020. Once that happens, AS will be converting that to a Board Room. Since it's still a little farther down the road, it explains why they may not be announcing it right at this moment.
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Old Jan 12, 18, 4:33 pm
  #83  
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Originally Posted by tphuang View Post
Guess we are going to disagreed here. AS Management (in this internal memo) is pitching building lounge in JFK as their great effort in improving their product, but that doesn't benefit y passengers or change the fact the product in the air is not competitive. And they are not lowering pricing to reflect the lack of competitiveness in their product.
IDK, there are a lot of people flying Y who have boardroom memberships or priority pass who would benefit from lounge access at JFK.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 1:46 am
  #84  
 
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Originally Posted by FluxTZ View Post
AA doesn't move out of T2 until 2020. Once that happens, AS will be converting that to a Board Room. Since it's still a little farther down the road, it explains why they may not be announcing it right at this moment.
"A little farther down the road?" That's at least two years, probably more. Wonder if AS will even be around by then. At least T2 is quite comfortable compared to some of the other hovels Alaska operates out of.

By the way, did anyone catch the AS blog post saying the "new flagship [N] lounge will open next year?" They don't specify when, but that's the first time I've actually heard a general time frame mentioned.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 7:48 am
  #85  
 
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
The bottom line is AS doesn't want to make a play for premium transcon California-JFK.
They fly to LAX/SFO/SEA/PDX/LAS out of JFK. Other than PDX, the other ones are all premium market now. And I don't know you can say they don't want to make a play, when they are charging more than premium options?

Originally Posted by bbinchi View Post
I'm an MVPG member who does not fly for work. I've maintained MVPG status for three years running and I feel fortunate to have been able to do so. I usually buy the least expensive fares in a given market and, therefore, I have low expectations of upgrades. In fact, on transcon flights from/to SEA I have no expectations of an upgrade. I'm happy enough sitting in an exit row aisle seat.

Tomorrow I'll make a mileage run SEA-BOS-SEA and I've been looking at availability for the past few days. On each of my flights there had been four First Class seats available starting six days ago and they were priced at $1,069. (I was checking only on Alaska Airlines' website.) I thought that seemed steep given the product but I really don't know what the market will bear. I could presume that those seats were sold as my SEA-BOS flight is now sold out in F and the return has only one seat showing available for $1,069. Or perhaps MVPG 75Ks or other MVPG members who purchased more expensive fares than I did have been upgraded. I'll never know. Again, I'm happy enough with the arrangement I have but thought it interesting to read "...in many cases $900 to well over $1000 for SFO/LAX. These are not good prices for what they are offering" and then to see First Class fares >$1,000 on my flights.
BOS-SEA will be a very interesting market this year. AS is pricing its traditional F product 50% higher than mint and 60 to 70% higher than Delta F. I don't know how many seats it's selling at the price level that the public see, but we will find out at some point. Premium transcon fares have fallen a lot across the board.

Originally Posted by T2A View Post
IDK, there are a lot of people flying Y who have boardroom memberships or priority pass who would benefit from lounge access at JFK.
I think that's a minority of people flying in y. I have and do use pp, but I know people with it that don't use it because they got it with credit card and never found the benefits of lounge.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 9:22 am
  #86  
 
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Originally Posted by Points Scrounger View Post
I was chatting recently with a fellow who expressed disgust at the AS gates @ PHL, which sounded similar to BOS.
Was just there two days ago, granted flying DL out of gate D8 but Alaska was 15 feet away and boarding at the same time. Nothing particularly “disgusting” about the gates, but 2 737s boarding at the same time and maybe 50 seats at the gate between them makes it very crowded to say the least. The D and E gates at PHL aren’t the nicest in the airport but they are a mile ahead of those at JFK and BOS
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Old Jan 13, 18, 2:14 pm
  #87  
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Old Jan 13, 18, 2:35 pm
  #88  
 
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You know all this is not that hard to fix. First AS needs to have a sub-fleet of Hawaii and transcon aircraft that compete with Mint. Second, pull your head out and deal with the lack/quality of Lounges at key airports. Those two fixes would solve 80% of their current issues.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 4:20 pm
  #89  
 
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Alaska could redeem itself with me if it did two things: (1) restores the Horizon flights out of Portland to all the prior destinations at reasonable times, and (2) find a national partner....anyone...for those routes that Alaska has no intention of servicing.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 4:40 pm
  #90  
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Originally Posted by jsguyrus View Post
You know all this is not that hard to fix. First AS needs to have a sub-fleet of Hawaii and transcon aircraft that compete with Mint. Second, pull your head out and deal with the lack/quality of Lounges at key airports. Those two fixes would solve 80% of their current issues.
I don't think those solutions would get you what you want.

First, the list of Hawaii/transcon routes that will support a lie-flat premium to earn target ROIC on the aircraft space taken up, from traditional AS/VX hubs - is probably going to be pretty short. SFO-JFK? Sure. LAX-BOS? Probably. PDX-PHL? No way.

Second, their idea of key airports for lounges that will pay for themselves, and your idea, may be very different. Delta (to use one example), typically has a lounge at a domestic airport if it operates more than 40 daily DL + DL Connection flights. There are a few airports that despite low flight counts due to perceived premium fare bookings, like DCA. What airports, plus JFK, see 40 AS flights a day? Is that the lounge network you were expecting?
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