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Why no I class available on JFK-LAX Transcon flights?

Why no I class available on JFK-LAX Transcon flights?

Old Jul 23, 19, 11:55 pm
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Why no I class available on JFK-LAX Transcon flights?

Just wondering why expect for a single flight here and there (and even then it's perhaps 1-2 seats) is it practically impossible finding i fares on the route? It's not a matter of them selling out because it doesn't matter how far in advance I search and how empty the flight is.
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Old Jul 23, 19, 11:59 pm
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Because AA thinks it can, and routinely does, sell the entire J cabin at D fares or higher on this route. It's about not cannibalizing their ability to sell these high fares 1-3 weeks from departure by selling too many I fares, or any at all, in advance.
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Old Jul 24, 19, 2:05 am
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Saturday is a good day if you're looking for an I fare. Maybe Tuesday or Wednesday. Sometimes there's more availability in one direction than the other. But yeah, as dkc192 says, AA seems to think it can generally fill the business cabin with D fares or higher.
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Old Jul 24, 19, 4:44 am
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I needed an I seat JFK-LAX in two weeks. The only one I found on the day I need was the last flight of the day, departing a little after 2100. (And then I used an SWU for a J-F upgrade into an empty F cabin.)
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Old Jul 24, 19, 7:38 am
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Interesting. I interpret the question as, why does AA typically use only 2 fare buckets instead of 3 in this cabin? There is no *fixed* relationship among the prices of J, D, and I fares, and depending on how fares are filed, AA can adjust the price *and* availability of any bucket at will, right? So where they're offering only J and D, couldn't they put I at the current price of D and put D in between, enabling finer-grained inventory management? And the *price* of I could be lower on the days they have more trouble filling the cabin. I suppose the current approach exists because from an IT and planning perspective, it's more convenient to keep the price of a given fare class uniform over the week, and then tweak availability.
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Old Jul 24, 19, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingEgghead View Post
Interesting. I interpret the question as, why does AA typically use only 2 fare buckets instead of 3 in this cabin? There is no *fixed* relationship among the prices of J, D, and I fares, and depending on how fares are filed, AA can adjust the price *and* availability of any bucket at will, right? So where they're offering only J and D, couldn't they put I at the current price of D and put D in between, enabling finer-grained inventory management? And the *price* of I could be lower on the days they have more trouble filling the cabin. I suppose the current approach exists because from an IT and planning perspective, it's more convenient to keep the price of a given fare class uniform over the week, and then tweak availability.
Theoretically, but to no value.

Consumers are price-sensitive, not fare basis-sensitive, e.g., the question is whether one will pay $X for the ticket in question. Whether that $X is for a J, D, or I fare is immaterial to the consumer. To AA, those are simply data points to help manage inventory.

Put the other way around, if you are prepared to pay $1,000 for the ticket and it shows up as J, D, I, or for that matter QQ, does it matter to you?
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Old Jul 24, 19, 7:43 am
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All else being equal, if they are discounting fares on days/flights that warrant a reduction but still selling it as J, isnít that a benefit for the passenger (3x EQM)?
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Old Jul 24, 19, 7:48 am
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Just wondering why expect for a single flight here and there (and even then it's perhaps 1-2 seats) is it practically impossible finding i fares on the route? It's not a matter of them selling out because it doesn't matter how far in advance I search and how empty the flight is.
I get I fares on this route all the time Ė but I am always flying into LAX first and beyond JFK. I suspect there is a married segment thing going on here, with I available for connecting journeys but not on a straight LAX-JFK flight.
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Old Jul 24, 19, 7:49 am
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Originally Posted by HofstraJet View Post
All else being equal, if they are discounting fares on days/flights that warrant a reduction but still selling it as J, isnít that a benefit for the passenger (3x EQM)?
They're not, they're selling it as D, which earns 2x EQM
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Old Jul 24, 19, 7:50 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Theoretically, but to no value.

Consumers are price-sensitive, not fare basis-sensitive, e.g., the question is whether one will pay $X for the ticket in question. Whether that $X is for a J, D, or I fare is immaterial to the consumer. To AA, those are simply data points to help manage inventory.

Put the other way around, if you are prepared to pay $1,000 for the ticket and it shows up as J, D, I, or for that matter QQ, does it matter to you?
It can matter for mileage earning, upgrade co-pays, etc. But the point was that AA could do finer-grained inventory management -- J, D, and I availability gives them 3 variables to optimize, whereas if they take I out of the equation most days, they only have 2.

And it's interesting that the issue raised by OP was not "I can't find a low enough $ ticket" but "I can't find an I fare", so at least in this case the consumer was fare basis-sensitive.
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Old Jul 24, 19, 7:55 am
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Originally Posted by wetrat0 View Post
They're not, they're selling it as D, which earns 2x EQM
So much for my theory.
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Old Jul 24, 19, 8:06 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingEgghead View Post
I suppose the current approach exists because from an IT and planning perspective, it's more convenient to keep the price of a given fare class uniform over the week, and then tweak availability.
And I thought of another possible reason for this: It makes distance-based earning (when it applies) a little more uniform relative to fare-based earning, because the distance-based tables effectively assign a cpm cost to each fare class. At parity, AA is nominally associating J with a cost of 40 cpm, D with 30-35, and I with 20-30.
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Old Jul 24, 19, 10:13 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingEgghead View Post
Interesting. I interpret the question as, why does AA typically use only 2 fare buckets instead of 3 in this cabin?
Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but they definitely use 3 buckets in this cabin. It just happens that they don't release a lot of the cheapest bucket for nonstop itineraries. Married segments gives them a lot more control over managing yields. They can also do this with published fares -- i.e., they can have I or even D fares with various restrictions (e.g., only Tues/Wed/Sat, only after 8pm, excluding these specific dates, even round-trip/minimum stay requirements) to further segment pricing.

Last edited by ijgordon; Jul 24, 19 at 10:31 am
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Old Jul 24, 19, 11:17 am
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but they definitely use 3 buckets in this cabin. It just happens that they don't release a lot of the cheapest bucket for nonstop itineraries. Married segments gives them a lot more control over managing yields. They can also do this with published fares -- i.e., they can have I or even D fares with various restrictions (e.g., only Tues/Wed/Sat, only after 8pm, excluding these specific dates, even round-trip/minimum stay requirements) to further segment pricing.
But because fares are filed by origin and destination, there is no necessary relation between *prices* of a nonstop segment and of a connecting trip that includes that segment. It's all up to AA. So offering a cheaper I fare on, say, BOS-JFK-LAX should not prevent offering a more expensive I fare on JFK-LAX. They don't *have* to call it D just because it's more expensive. Being an I fare does not inherently constrain the price. I meant that *for the JFK-LAX O&D market* they are mostly using 2 buckets instead of 3. As I noted, they may have good reasons for this even though it reduces flexibility a bit.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingEgghead View Post
But because fares are filed by origin and destination, there is no necessary relation between *prices* of a nonstop segment and of a connecting trip that includes that segment. It's all up to AA. So offering a cheaper I fare on, say, BOS-JFK-LAX should not prevent offering a more expensive I fare on JFK-LAX. They don't *have* to call it D just because it's more expensive. Being an I fare does not inherently constrain the price. I meant that *for the JFK-LAX O&D market* they are mostly using 2 buckets instead of 3. As I noted, they may have good reasons for this even though it reduces flexibility a bit.
Well I suspect as flight time approaches, if sales levels are below target, they will release more I inventory on nonstop itineraries, but as it will be within the shorter advance purchase windows, the I fares can be much higher. So yes, the more buckets they have, the more flexibility they have, but as the aircraft only has 20 seats I suspect they're fine using J/D only on all but the most off-peak flights far out.
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