TLV/SFO Loads?

Old Jul 17, 19, 5:05 am
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TLV/SFO Loads?

I'm flying TLV-SFO tonight on UA. When I went to check in I looked at the seat selection guide and it showed no available seats in business class. On UA's 777-300ER that means there are 60 people flying to SFO on a random Wednesday in July in business class. Obviously not holidaymakers unless they are very rich holidaymakers. It's also mid-week which seems crazy to me too - I'd think most demand would be Sunday/Thursday. Granted, there is no LY flight tonight - only tomorrow night, but it makes me wonder - how long will it be before we see more capacity increases on this route? Sure, it's only one data point but still rather amazing to me.

Should LY add more flights or up-gauge? Should UA go to 2x daily on a 787?

Amazing to think that only a few years ago people had to petition the airlines to open a route like this.
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Old Jul 18, 19, 2:46 am
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And was J actually full? I don't know the specifics of this route, but quite often on other airlines (AF/KL for example) there are decent upgrade options available during the summer since Y is well overbooked and J isn't...
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Old Jul 18, 19, 12:46 pm
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Completely full 777-300. Mid-week during a time with limited business travel.
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Old Jul 18, 19, 1:15 pm
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Yeah, United has corporate tech contracts, and SFO based companies that do business all over the world but have large demand for TLV travel (e.g. Google, ORCL, INtel) . And they have online one-stop catchment of the entire west coast area. I don't really know how LY hopes to effectively compete with a daily flight given all that.
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Old Jul 18, 19, 3:29 pm
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I've been told by an LY employee that SFO has been a disaster for them thus far. Aircraft flying the route less than half empty.
On top of that, UA's TLV-SFO has taken a bite of LY's LAX traffic as well....so I've been told.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 6:03 am
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Originally Posted by entropy View Post
And they have online one-stop catchment of the entire west coast area. I don't really know how LY hopes to effectively compete with a daily flight given all that.
I was just looking for flights to Seattle the other day, for specific days in September. UA was around $3200, ElAl around $4800. Could this be an explanation?

I have never seen competitive ElAl fares to North America in business. Never. I can understand New York or LAX, where they have direct flights; but why the ridiculous fares to places like PHL or PIT or SEA, where they have zero advantage over UA and DL? And that's before we start comparing the hard products.

Shuly
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Old Jul 19, 19, 8:43 am
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Originally Posted by shuly View Post
I was just looking for flights to Seattle the other day, for specific days in September. UA was around $3200, ElAl around $4800. Could this be an explanation?

I have never seen competitive ElAl fares to North America in business. Never. I can understand New York or LAX, where they have direct flights; but why the ridiculous fares to places like PHL or PIT or SEA, where they have zero advantage over UA and DL? And that's before we start comparing the hard products.

Shuly
could be, I'm not sure what arrangements they have with the interline partners, but its certainly more straightforward to buy one ticket with one carrier (that, and its likely that the corporate discounts are all on the single airline)
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Old Jul 19, 19, 4:09 pm
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Originally Posted by LatusElAl View Post
I've been told by an LY employee that SFO has been a disaster for them thus far. Aircraft flying the route less than half empty.
On top of that, UA's TLV-SFO has taken a bite of LY's LAX traffic as well....so I've been told.
I have heard anecdotal stories about this as well - people flying from LA to SFO and connecting to avoid LY.
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Old Jul 24, 19, 3:20 pm
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Their schedule just doesn't make sense, as they don't seem have a Thursday or Friday flights from SFO. Typical tech company business travel is Sun/Mon-Thu/Fri.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 8:47 am
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I think that until LY can operate 7 days a week, they forever have their backs up against a wall.

If they could operate 7 days a week, it would allow them to operate a significantly improved schedule and product offering.

Oh well, pipe dreams I suppose.
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Old Aug 2, 19, 7:11 am
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Bear in mind UA and the other US carriers have a typical policy of filling their forward cabins by rolling up their frequent fliers either as a comp or using various upgrade vouchers, and often those on flexible tickets. A large number of them can get this cleared >24h before travel, so if you're looking on day of travel, that might be why the biz cabin is so full.
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Old Aug 2, 19, 7:44 am
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Originally Posted by frb98mf View Post
Bear in mind UA and the other US carriers have a typical policy of filling their forward cabins by rolling up their frequent fliers either as a comp or using various upgrade vouchers, and often those on flexible tickets. A large number of them can get this cleared >24h before travel, so if you're looking on day of travel, that might be why the biz cabin is so full.
UA is *not* giving away J on their SFO-TLV, its a challenging upgrade in general.
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Old Aug 4, 19, 4:56 am
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Originally Posted by frb98mf View Post
Bear in mind UA and the other US carriers have a typical policy of filling their forward cabins by rolling up their frequent fliers either as a comp or using various upgrade vouchers, and often those on flexible tickets. A large number of them can get this cleared >24h before travel, so if you're looking on day of travel, that might be why the biz cabin is so full.
Not on international routes. On domestic routes (though not even always transcons) and short international routes.

On UA, the way to sit up front is to pay for the ticket (money or miles) or to PAY to upgrade (money, certificate, miles), and the upgrade (at least EWR-TLV) is notoriously difficult to clear.

The only way they're bumping someone up (OpUp) is if Y is oversold but there's an empty seat in C. Very rare and not really an official policy of any kind.

Same with DL and AA (at lease conceptually)
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Old Aug 4, 19, 7:57 am
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Originally Posted by entropy View Post
UA is *not* giving away J on their SFO-TLV, its a challenging upgrade in general.
Originally Posted by joshwex90 View Post
Not on international routes. On domestic routes (though not even always transcons) and short international routes.

On UA, the way to sit up front is to pay for the ticket (money or miles) or to PAY to upgrade (money, certificate, miles), and the upgrade (at least EWR-TLV) is notoriously difficult to clear.

The only way they're bumping someone up (OpUp) is if Y is oversold but there's an empty seat in C. Very rare and not really an official policy of any kind.

Same with DL and AA (at lease conceptually)
YMMV. Clearly my friends and I are consistently very lucky, or you're both very unlucky.

I did say that it's "either as a comp or using various upgrade vouchers, and often those on flexible tickets". I don't really fly UA but have several friends who are in and out of TLV to both EWR and SFO regularly, and between certificates and comps have a solid ratio of non-cash, non-op-up upgrades - maybe 1 in 3 for my 1K friends, and 1 in 2 for GS friends, and their odds seem to be improved when they're on full-fare tickets.

I have literally never been on an AA international or transcon flight of any length where the premium cabins haven't been almost or completely full at departure, usually despite KVS showing plenty of space 1-3 days out, and have watched (and been on) huge upgrade request lists that have cleared double-digit volumes into higher classes. Again maybe it's a freak occurrence but I've been on about 50 in recent years, sitting in F/J/P, so I'd say that's a good dataset.
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Old Aug 8, 19, 3:41 pm
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Originally Posted by shuly View Post
I was just looking for flights to Seattle the other day, for specific days in September. UA was around $3200, ElAl around $4800. Could this be an explanation?
Yikes! That's too much money! It's too extremely expensive! You cannot afford of it. Try to find another airlines. You will find a cheaper price.
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