Low Fares... Use Them or Lose Them

 
Old Mar 4, 05, 4:07 pm
  #1  
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Low Fares... Use Them or Lose Them

United's fares tumble as it battles I-Air
Ben Mutzabaugh, USA Today

As first reported in Today in the Sky, it didn't take United long to match Independence Air's prices on its new West Coast flights. How dramatic was the change? The Washington Post said "Within hours, United's fare had tumbled 84.5%." The Post says on the Monday morning I-Air announced its new routes and fares, United had listed a $1,212 fare for nonstop flights between Washington Dulles and San Diego for travel May 1-3. The same itinerary on I-Air was just $188. Despite helping to push fares down, some wonder whether I-Air will be able to siphon passengers from United. "United, they're in bankruptcy, but they do have frequent-flier miles and all kinds of things they can offer," said Wall Street analyst Betsy Snyder of Standard & Poor's. "If that's the case, what's the incentive to fly Independence Air?" However, some argue fliers will lose in the long run if they don't jump to the new carrier. If United drives I-Air out of the market, fares will likely rise to pre-I-Air levels.
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Old Mar 4, 05, 4:51 pm
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Originally Posted by spampurse
United's fares tumble as it battles I-Air
Ben Mutzabaugh, USA Today

As first reported in Today in the Sky, it didn't take United long to match Independence Air's prices on its new West Coast flights. How dramatic was the change? The Washington Post said "Within hours, United's fare had tumbled 84.5%." The Post says on the Monday morning I-Air announced its new routes and fares, United had listed a $1,212 fare for nonstop flights between Washington Dulles and San Diego for travel May 1-3. The same itinerary on I-Air was just $188. Despite helping to push fares down, some wonder whether I-Air will be able to siphon passengers from United. "United, they're in bankruptcy, but they do have frequent-flier miles and all kinds of things they can offer," said Wall Street analyst Betsy Snyder of Standard & Poor's. "If that's the case, what's the incentive to fly Independence Air?" However, some argue fliers will lose in the long run if they don't jump to the new carrier. If United drives I-Air out of the market, fares will likely rise to pre-I-Air levels.
Someone should tell the people in MSP, DTW, and MEM that. They beg for low fares, but when they come, they use the lower fares on NW. Then the low-fares leave and they are back at square 1.
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Old Mar 5, 05, 6:34 pm
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One word: MILES. If the LCCs offered more useful frequent flyer programs, maybe the high-mileage travelers would fly them instead of the legacies.
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Old Mar 5, 05, 8:42 pm
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LCC FF programs blow

Exactly.. If I'm not paying for the ticket.. the only thing I'm getting out of a biz trip is miles.. On LCC I get crap.. oh some stupid point system that disappears in a 12 month revolving period.. or whatever the crap that they have is.. I would switch if they had some sort of real FF plan.. but this crap that JB has, Indy, SW, and whatever other junk is out there does not do a thing for me

but thank you I air for at least bring fares at IAD down while you last, if you really want me.. get a real FF program!!!!

Originally Posted by wahooflyer
One word: MILES. If the LCCs offered more useful frequent flyer programs, maybe the high-mileage travelers would fly them instead of the legacies.
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Old Mar 5, 05, 10:49 pm
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
Exactly.. If I'm not paying for the ticket.. the only thing I'm getting out of a biz trip is miles.. On LCC I get crap.. oh some stupid point system that disappears in a 12 month revolving period.. or whatever the crap that they have is.. I would switch if they had some sort of real FF plan.. but this crap that JB has, Indy, SW, and whatever other junk is out there does not do a thing for me. but thank you I air for at least bring fares at IAD down while you last, if you really want me.. get a real FF program!!!!
I concur. Unfortunately business travelers can be bribed. Southwest has a rather good frequent flyer program. Neither JetBlue nor AirTran do, but both have interesting products (JetBlue with live TV, AirTran with business class). I think Independence's product is quite good, but a frequent flyer program would help.

Virgin Atlantic would make a logical partner, both for codesharing and for its frequent flyer program. (Virgin does have one daily non-stop Dulles to/from London.) With Independence, Virgin could get into many more East Coast markets. (America West helps Virgin on the West Coast.)
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Old Mar 6, 05, 11:54 am
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AirTran actually has one of the best frequent flyer programs of the LCCs...they allow redemption for international travel on any airline (not sure of the specifics) and feature an elite level with upgrades and bonuses.

Southwest's program works well if you fly lots of short hops, and the companion pass for 100 segments is great, but there's still the issue of no international awards, which is a big drawback in my book.

Independence's FF program is the worst of the worst, being based on money spent rather than distance flown. I fly Independence a few times a year for short segments such as IAD-SAV and IAD-EWR, since I could care less about an extra 500 miles in my US or AA account and want to avoid UAX and the IAD G terminal like the plague, but with the majors matching Indy's West Coast fares there's no way I'm going to miss out on all the miles I'll get by flying AA/UA/US.
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Old Mar 7, 05, 10:46 am
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While I don't care for FLYIs FF program, one has to admit that its probably the way the programs should be setup. What's worth more to the airline? Someone who does a MR and gets thousands of miles, or someone who pays full fare prices for tickets?
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Old Mar 7, 05, 7:25 pm
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Originally Posted by havaloc
What's worth more to the airline? Someone who does a MR and gets thousands of miles, or someone who pays full fare prices for tickets?
Well, it depends on your point of view. The cheap seats are at least getting filled, and a fare-paying passenger is a lot better than no fare.

I don't so much mind the dollar-based system as I do the lack of interesting redemptions. I don't really want to fly to Knoxville on a reward ticket. (No offense to Knoxville.) I want to go to Europe, or Hawaii, or South America, and so on. That's why I like the Virgin Atlantic program, because it has a bunch of really interesting reward choices. I also don't much like the one year expiration. Keep the points active as long as you do something within three years. That gives you incentive to pick Independence for your next trip, and that's the whole point.

By the way, AirTran and Southwest also have that one year expiration policy, and it's an unattractive feature of both programs.
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Old Mar 7, 05, 11:36 pm
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Everyone goes with what they want. I have to admit that even with Star Alliance and SkyTeam status, and lots of leisure travel to three continents in the last two years, I've bought tickets on a lot of different airlines. DH and WN are the only two airlines I've ever bought a full-fare ticket on, and I appreciate that they have reasonable full-fare tickets available.

Even though I had the option to fly others, I'm taking DH to LAS later this week. I wanted to try out their A319 for the long haul flights, and caught the discount flights to LAS when the $44/$64 sale first showed up.

At double points, $750 in tickets (after taxes) qualifies you for an award ticket. That's not unreasonable to me. I look for good prices and ability to qualify for an award ticket, and factor that discount value into the original price of the ticket. I guess the novel nature of the upgrades and stuff isn't as interesting to me anymore -- I just want to get where I want to go at a reasonable price with a reasonable service. I'm not flying RyanAir, but I also don't need CX F everywhere I want to go.
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