UA consistantly underprices HP on PHX-SFO

Old Apr 5, 2005, 4:28 pm
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Thumbs down UA consistantly underprices HP on PHX-SFO

It seems that every time I look to travel to the bay area, UA is offering a lower price than HP. I was looking to book a PHX-SFO ticket for 4-12 and returning on 4-22.

The results are usually as follows....

UA wipes the floor with HP

This is the eighth ticket I bought on UA this year that would have normally gone to HP. At just over 10k miles, I'm almost half way to becoming elite on UA(haven't been for a few years). If HP's current over-pricing scheme continues, I may just find myself becoming Premier/Prem Exec on UA, and just silver on HP.

Now I only use HP for PHX-LAX/SAN/LAS. They lost my transcon business last year.
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Old Apr 5, 2005, 5:10 pm
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Originally Posted by ByrdluvsAWACO
It seems that every time I look to travel to the bay area, UA is offering a lower price than HP. I was looking to book a PHX-SFO ticket for 4-12 and returning on 4-22.

The results are usually as follows....

UA wipes the floor with HP

This is the eighth ticket I bought on UA this year that would have normally gone to HP. At just over 10k miles, I'm almost half way to becoming elite on UA(haven't been for a few years). If HP's current over-pricing scheme continues, I may just find myself becoming Premier/Prem Exec on UA, and just silver on HP.

Now I only use HP for PHX-LAX/SAN/LAS. They lost my transcon business last year.
HP feels that they can sell the seats for a higher fare. That's their perogative. So, you made a logical choice -- go with the cheaper carrier! HP's focus right now is clearly on the business traveler (who can afford to pay a little more). I have noticed they are not always matching the lowest fare in the market. If they can make money doing this, GREAT!
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Old Apr 5, 2005, 6:26 pm
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Byrd,
I don't know why you're not taking that $1,664 fare on American!
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Old Apr 5, 2005, 7:17 pm
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**If** UAL makes it out of bankruptcy those prices will change. In the meantime enjoy the ride while UAL is protected by the courts from economic reality.
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Old Apr 5, 2005, 7:19 pm
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Cool It's a gamble.

Originally Posted by formeraa
HP feels that they can sell the seats for a higher fare. That's their perogative. So, you made a logical choice -- go with the cheaper carrier! HP's focus right now is clearly on the business traveler (who can afford to pay a little more). I have noticed they are not always matching the lowest fare in the market. If they can make money doing this, GREAT!
Yeah, but I can't be the only one seeing this fare disparity. Many business travellers don't have a choice on which airline they fly. With travel departments these days looking for the lowest fare, HP isn't going to catch a lot of corporate travel dollars by bilking them like a legacy carrier.

BTB fares work if you have a lock on routes, but PHX has WN with more frequency on many of the same routes.

If HP wants to gamble for a possible dime, instead of collect a guaranteed nickel then I think they'll lose in the end. They've already lost 8 tickets from me. Who else are they losing business from?

I don't know why you're not taking that $1,664 fare on American!
I like AA, but not that much.
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Old Apr 5, 2005, 7:36 pm
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**If** UAL makes it out of bankruptcy...
If UA makes it out of BK with a viable plan. HP should be worried. They'll have a significant lower cost structure which will allow them to compete with HP on pricing at the same time using an expansion of TED to feed their intl traffic.

With a successful exit from Ch.11 and their significant ops in LAX and SFO, I can see UA becoming a significant player in the southwest.
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Old Apr 5, 2005, 9:46 pm
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Byrd - when was your last 8 flights? If HP has the same load factors as UA but is selling them at a higher price - I would guess HP is doing better. With record load factors of 82.6% for the month of March (I don't think planes are going out empty) plus they are charging a few bucks more, hopefully they will make a profit.
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Old Apr 5, 2005, 10:02 pm
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I thought OAK was your airport?
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Old Apr 5, 2005, 10:58 pm
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Bear in mind UA has far more significant operations at SFO, so they likely keep the feeder costs lower to connect to transcon and international operations. HP, on the other hand, has to manage profitability based solely on their routes to and from LAS and PHX.

I have found that, in the long run, HP has proven less expensive than UA for about 95% of my travel since I switched from UA to HP a year ago.
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Old Apr 5, 2005, 11:36 pm
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Byrd - when was your last 8 flights?
Well I've done 7 RT's since the beginning of March. four of which were on UA.

With record load factors of 82.6% for the month of March
March was a fluke, as easter and spring break fell in the same month. Even some HP mgmt were quoted as saying they don't expect to be able to maintain that high of a load factor during the summer.

I thought OAK was your airport?
I use OAK still. However, it can be more of a pain to use OAK to get to downtown Oakland that SFO. At SFO you can just hop on the airport train to the Bart station and be on your way. At OAK you have to wait 10-15 minutes for the Air Bart bus , then ride for 10 minutes only to for then another 10-15 for the next train at the Coliseum Bart station.
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Old Apr 6, 2005, 7:26 am
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Originally Posted by ByrdluvsAWACO
It seems that every time I look to travel to the bay area, UA is offering a lower price than HP. I was looking to book a PHX-SFO ticket for 4-12 and returning on 4-22.

The results are usually as follows....

UA wipes the floor with HP

This is the eighth ticket I bought on UA this year that would have normally gone to HP. At just over 10k miles, I'm almost half way to becoming elite on UA(haven't been for a few years). If HP's current over-pricing scheme continues, I may just find myself becoming Premier/Prem Exec on UA, and just silver on HP.

Now I only use HP for PHX-LAX/SAN/LAS. They lost my transcon business last year.

UA is fairly liberal in handing out comps. I'd ask them to comp you and at least get some extra miles out of it, and make it more worthwhile to you.
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Old Apr 6, 2005, 11:21 am
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero
UA is fairly liberal in handing out comps. I'd ask them to comp you and at least get some extra miles out of it, and make it more worthwhile to you.
Rightyo. I'd print off a copy of your latest FF statement and call Mileage Plus and ask them for the fax number of the Elite Status Match desk. Type up a quick cover letter, and they'll comp you within a week (although for me it took 1 afternoon) up to PremExec.

At least this way in the interim you'll get a 100% mileage bonus and you won't have to sit all the way in the back. ^
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Old Apr 6, 2005, 12:46 pm
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Red face I can go either way.

Well I'm still on the edge. If HP eliminates these ripoff fares, then I'll be back to booking all my flights on HP. I'll wait a little longer as I'd hate to ask for a status comp and then not use it.
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Old Apr 6, 2005, 2:03 pm
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Originally Posted by dmfriedman
Bear in mind UA has far more significant operations at SFO, so they likely keep the feeder costs lower to connect to transcon and international operations. HP, on the other hand, has to manage profitability based solely on their routes to and from LAS and PHX.

I have found that, in the long run, HP has proven less expensive than UA for about 95% of my travel since I switched from UA to HP a year ago.
Not exactly! HP has hubs at Phoenix and, to a certain extent, Las Vegas. They are actually managing their higher profit CONNECTING traffic as well. What HP is effectively saying is that they can get higher fares from connecting traffic into SFO (e.g. xxx-PHX-SFO) than they can get from local PHX-SFO traffic.

HP is only selectively matching lower fares. I fly from PHX-SEA and have noticed that HP often does not match WN's "fare sales" (or HP matches on more restrictive dates). Same thing with AS on the same route. I more often find myself booking WN (even though I don't care for their non-assigned seating).
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Old Apr 6, 2005, 3:09 pm
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Originally Posted by ByrdluvsAWACO
Well I'm still on the edge. If HP eliminates these ripoff fares, then I'll be back to booking all my flights on HP. I'll wait a little longer as I'd hate to ask for a status comp and then not use it.
Well that's good. If you got a status comp, wouldn't that require you to change your name?
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