Suggestions for AS to Regain Its Mojo

Old Dec 15, 18, 2:41 am
  #1  
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Suggestions for AS to Regain Its Mojo

Alaska is demonstrating it's dogged determination to un-do most of what has made it unique in a good way throughout it's history. This likely won't end well, so assuming someone other than the interns are reading this board, are there specific suggestions you would offer for Alaska to regain it's mojo? They don't appear interested in any ideas that cost more than a nickel, so the cheaper, the better.

Here are a few from me:

- With award availability on international partners a major point of advertising, but with premium seats quite difficult to find, I'd love it if they'd just offer a reliable option for a premium seat even if it's more miles. The hunt and peck method is fine for standard awards, but given that miles accumulated are an outstanding liability for them, it would seem logical to have higher award levels for more widely available premium seats.
- Why not have higher luggage weight allowances for MVP Gold and 75k? This would match the majors, and be a welcome improvement.
- Reconsider the whole "saver" approach. Consider saver as a discount from mail, rather than having main be a premium, with less benefits to saver --- eg. no seat assignments, etc.

What other concrete suggestions do you have?
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Old Dec 15, 18, 6:03 am
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I appreciate the good intentions here. There is a high level strategy shift that is apparent. Alaska is not brand building. Financial losses has been the reason they have turned hard into brand milking. It is like they are going to see how long until the public catches up with the fact that the J.D. Powers award and reputation was sooo last year. Near sighted focus on shaving every expense and raising prices until something breaks. So it is difficult to provide constructive suggestions with such a corporate strategy. For example, what else is more iconic for starting a well deserved special vacation then a pre-departure beverage. But that costs something more than a small bottle of water, so it's a non-starter. I'll give it some more thought.
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Old Dec 15, 18, 7:31 am
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AS is in deep trouble and needs to maximize revenue and conserve cash in order to survive for an appreciable period of time. All of your suggestions are well-intentioned, but this is AS in 2018, not 2010 and the reality is otherwise.
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Old Dec 15, 18, 10:17 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
AS is in deep trouble and needs to maximize revenue and conserve cash in order to survive for an appreciable period of time.
I'm sorry, where is that coming from? AS is still generating strong positive cash flow, reported an 84.9% load factor in Q3, and is sitting on $1.4B in cash. AKL Q3 Results
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Old Dec 15, 18, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
AS is in deep trouble...
How so? They have benefit of a government granted oligopoly that allows them to cut costs and strategically revert to the mean. As long as they and their few competitors don't go crazy by adding excess capacity, they'll continue to be profitable.
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Old Dec 15, 18, 12:36 pm
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Originally Posted by flytoeat View Post
How so? They have benefit of a government granted oligopoly that allows them to cut costs and strategically revert to the mean. As long as they and their few competitors don't go crazy by adding excess capacity, they'll continue to be profitable.
Not to mention that "We know you have a choice of airlines" announcement on your flight to OTZ.
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Old Dec 15, 18, 12:44 pm
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Originally Posted by PaperGlider View Post
I appreciate the good intentions here. There is a high level strategy shift that is apparent. Alaska is not brand building. Financial losses has been the reason they have turned hard into brand milking. It is like they are going to see how long until the public catches up with the fact that the J.D. Powers award and reputation was sooo last year. Near sighted focus on shaving every expense and raising prices until something breaks. So it is difficult to provide constructive suggestions with such a corporate strategy. For example, what else is more iconic for starting a well deserved special vacation then a pre-departure beverage. But that costs something more than a small bottle of water, so it's a non-starter. I'll give it some more thought.
If you read through the drivel in the other fora, you'd think there is no reason to fly anymore, as the food is crap, the service is variable, the seats are uncomfortable or troublesome, there is irregularity in the PDB service, boarding is a quilombo, and so on.

Your PDB on the "well deserved special vacation" is no more or less important to an airline's success than my PDB on the "I need another few thousand miles" trip.

And where are you going to go? If you want reliable PDBs and IFE, you go to DL. If you want reliable better seat pitch in F, you stay with AS. If you want a lie flat transcon in limited markets, you take UA/AA/DL/B6. If you want orderly boarding, but no F, you go to WN. If you're in the back of the bus, you'll probably still vote for AS in any of these surveys.
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Old Dec 15, 18, 1:04 pm
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Originally Posted by BayAreaTrvler View Post
Here are a few from me:
- With award availability on international partners a major point of advertising, but with premium seats quite difficult to find, I'd love it if they'd just offer a reliable option for a premium seat even if it's more miles.
Award availability is also a problem for frequent flyers who are members of the partner airline ffp: AS are not alone in this problem. More demand than award seats available. Over the last few years a lot of ff miles have been printed and airlines have no trouble selling premium seats for real cash money. Load factors are up. Not all airlines have anytime awards that cost more ff miles than saver awards.
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Old Dec 15, 18, 4:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
Not to mention that "We know you have a choice of airlines" announcement on your flight to OTZ.
Well, you can also fly 7H to OTZ.
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Old Dec 15, 18, 4:56 pm
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Color me a bit baffled, because the current thread title Suggestions for AS to Regain Its Mojo

has suggestions that AS never had (at least in many years), when it apparently had "Mojo," such as PDBs and increased baggage allowance. I'm also baffled because I thought when I last posted here, the thread had a different title, but maybe Starbucks slipped something in my Iced Tea, and I'm just confused. Notwithstanding this, and I am unanimous in that! Mojo? Give me a smile (and some sort of eye contact) when I walk on board. Offer to take my jacket. Bring out a tray of the current "service standard" PDB offering. Provide me with a comfortable-enough seat. Feed me at least an ok meal. Look at me when you're talking to me. Provide timely meal and drink services. Give me some IFE. Thank me when I leave,

That is all the mojo I need, at least on the plane.

Off the plane, at least tinkering with some of the international award partners, I would be careful what we wish for. One way awards with a stopover are worth a lot more than many other "enhancements." No feas or carrots on changes for MVPG+ gives me most of the flexibility I need when better routings/dates open up. (Of course, I may eat my words one day, and they may not even have a snack basket to go along with them.)
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Old Dec 15, 18, 8:02 pm
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Old Dec 15, 18, 10:42 pm
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Originally Posted by BayAreaTrvler View Post
With award availability on international partners a major point of advertising, but with premium seats quite difficult to find, I'd love it if they'd just offer a reliable option for a premium seat even if it's more miles. The hunt and peck method is fine for standard awards, but given that miles accumulated are an outstanding liability for them, it would seem logical to have higher award levels for more widely available premium seats.
I've never seen a mileage program that gets access to "standard" (i.e. non-saver) awards on partner airlines. Are there any US carriers that offer this?
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Old Dec 16, 18, 12:18 am
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Originally Posted by milypan View Post
I've never seen a mileage program that gets access to "standard" (i.e. non-saver) awards on partner airlines. Are there any US carriers that offer this?
Only UA, as far as I know.
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Old Dec 16, 18, 1:06 am
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Bring back the prayer placards!
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Old Dec 16, 18, 3:30 am
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Call up Richard Branson and switch to the Virgin brand for the rev share they refused to pay?

Just flew Virgin Atlantic home from Europe. They really have Mojo!
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