Even more service cuts being tested

Old Sep 2, 19, 10:40 pm
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Even more service cuts being tested

The Mint reductions have their own thread, but here are some more worrying cost-cutting moves by Jetblue. For an airline trying to highlight how they're better than AA/DL/UA, they sure seem to be penny pinching more than the big three right now. It's especially interesting that they're cutting cleaning & reducing catering at BOS, considering that DL just announced they're making BOS their #1 growth market in the next few years and will be targeting Jetblue specifically. Two years ago I would've said Jetblue has too many loyal customers for Delta to make an impact, but this round of service reductions has to make you wonder how low Jetblue is willing to go...

The company is experimenting with reduced cleaning services for aircraft making turns at Boston. Rather than a pair of cleaners touching every A320 or A321 coming through the station the company is dropping that to one, focused on cleaning the lavatory. The second contractor that typically would vacuum the carpets on board is being cut. The company explained it to crew members as part of a drive towards improved on time performance, but also acknowledges the “major reduction in costs during this tough cost environment” that the cuts will bring.
The company is also experimenting with cuts to the overall volume of catering on board for some flights. Currently snacks and beverage carts are restocked at hubs. In some cases, however, JetBlue is hoping to get two round-trips out of a single stock rather than just the one round-trip. While it is rare that any single item will run out on a turn the odds increase significantly with that second round trip. That’s frustrating for passengers but also for crew who work to rebalance the stock between flights and are trying to find the items passengers want or apologizing for them not being available.
https://paxex.aero/2019/08/jetblue-mint-catering-cuts/

Recent Jetblue service reductions
2019 - Mint service reductions
2019 - Airplane cleaning reductions
2019 - Catering reductions - *now live for all short & medium-hall flights*
2019 - Change from Coke to Pepsi
2019 - Removal of bottled water
2018 - A320 refurb adds 12 seats, reduces legroom & adding awful SpaceFlex bathrooms
2018 - Jetblue increases checked bag fee (quickly matched by all other airlines)
2018 - Begin serving drinks via mini-carts

None of any one of these items is likely to lose customers, but taken altogether I'd say possibly. More importantly, this is a long list of service changes & reductions considering it only covers the past 18 months. Even bottom-of-the-industry AA hasn't made these kind of cuts in the past few years. I personally think the brazenness of some of the changes (and without communicating to Mint & Mosaic customers for feedback prior to making them) speaks even more to how much Jetblue currently cares about customer feedback. For instance, if they want to sync cocktail offerings between Mint & core to make things easier, I bet the vast majority of us understand that...but why not offer bourbon to Mint & core customers (as AA/DL/UA all do in Y), rather than simply remove it as an option from your top-tier customers without a replacement. Same thing for the Coke=>Pepsi switch--if they're going to make that move irrespective of customer feedback, at least offer the same products. Coke Zero was very popular on Jetblue yet they didn't bother to offer Pepsi Zero Sugar when they switched--they just removed it and (apparently) thought customers would be fine with Diet Pepsi. Now they apparently think customers will be fine not getting snacks they prefer or having their seat cleaned. At what point will loyal Jetblue customers start looking at booking the cheapest airline, instead of sucking it up and continuing to pay more for an airline that has fewer and fewer benefits? My guess is that if there are some nasty storms this winter, these changes combined with Jetblue's awful IIROPS will push customers away--especially their top-tier Mint & Mosaic customers.

Last edited by moulder3; Oct 7, 19 at 11:36 pm
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Old Sep 3, 19, 8:02 am
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I don't see all of these as service reductions. In fact the A320 refurbishment are badly needed and phase 2 have drawn rave reviews. There is also no evidence that airplane cleaning reductions are more than a small trial service. There hasn't been any internal email gone out about this according to other JetBlue employees. I actually like the idea of serving drinks via mini-carts.

I see A321NEO, A320 phase 2 reconfigured and A220 addition all to be hugely popular with customers going forward. Hard to find more customer friendly Y cabins anywhere else in this world.

DL is all bluster at BOS. It runs a huge money losing operation there. What they have there is completely unsustainable in any kind of economic downturn. It will be the first station downsized if DL gets into a situation where it has to cut underperforming routes. And they simply don't have the number of gates to come close to challenging size of B6 operations in BOS. And once B6 starts flying to Europe, DL will lose the only major advantage it has.

B6 has gotten to this size in BOS while always facing strong legacy competition due to the fragmented nature of BOS. It has only gained pricing power vs legacy carriers and market share since DL's buildup started. DL's buildup simply has reoriented its primary competition from AA to DL. Even with its current buildup, DL is about the same size as AA domestically (when counting revenue passengers) while losing out when it comes to international partners (BA/IB/JL/CX vs VS/AF/KL/KE).

JetBlue's OTP issues are not exactly new and it is working on addressing them. The past OTP issues have not in anyway caused them to lose pricing power to the legacies.
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Old Sep 3, 19, 6:47 pm
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"DL is all bluster at BOS. It runs a huge money losing operation there. What they have there is completely unsustainable in any kind of economic downturn. It will be the first station downsized if DL gets into a situation where it has to cut underperforming routes. And they simply don't have the number of gates to come close to challenging size of B6 operations in BOS. And once B6 starts flying to Europe, DL will lose the only major advantage it has."

This is fake news. DL has almost the same number of gates as B6 has now that WN has left Terminal A. Also no one wants to fly an A321 to Europe. Plus Delta flies to many European cities. B6 will fly to one.
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Last edited by Traveler_boy_25; Sep 3, 19 at 6:53 pm
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Old Sep 3, 19, 6:48 pm
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I agree, they are cutting too much from customers.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 5:17 am
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Originally Posted by Traveler_boy_25 View Post
Also no one wants to fly an A321 to Europe.
Not this again.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 6:16 am
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For what it's worth, once DL uses the newly opened up WN gates in A, they've got no where to go. B6 has already effectively colonized the lower E gates at times (on a Saturday morning, it's B6 flights all the way down to E3, just for one example), and with the expansion work to C and E, will have room to spread out (C40-42 gates, more space into E, perhaps kicking EI and TP back to E once the terminal E expansion is complete).

As a back of the bus flyer, I'd also take a B6 A321 TATL any day over the tired old VS A340 I flew to LHR last year. :-)
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Old Sep 5, 19, 6:19 am
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Originally Posted by octr202 View Post
the tired old VS A340 I flew to LHR last year. :-)
I flew that a few weeks ago, thankfully in PE. Broken IFE and WOW is that thing loud.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by Traveler_boy_25 View Post
" Also no one wants to fly an A321 to Europe.
Newbie here. Why is this?
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Old Sep 5, 19, 9:32 am
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Originally Posted by BKSweetheart View Post
Newbie here. Why is this?
Some people dislike narrowbody aircraft. Larger aircraft do handle turbulence better and some can fly faster, but even at that we're only talking of time savings of minutes.

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Old Sep 5, 19, 10:45 am
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Originally Posted by Traveler_boy_25 View Post
"DL is all bluster at BOS. It runs a huge money losing operation there. What they have there is completely unsustainable in any kind of economic downturn. It will be the first station downsized if DL gets into a situation where it has to cut underperforming routes. And they simply don't have the number of gates to come close to challenging size of B6 operations in BOS. And once B6 starts flying to Europe, DL will lose the only major advantage it has."

This is fake news. DL has almost the same number of gates as B6 has now that WN has left Terminal A. Also no one wants to fly an A321 to Europe. Plus Delta flies to many European cities. B6 will fly to one.
DL had 16 gates which it has been operating 129 flights on during summer time. Now it's adding 5 more gates for a total of 21.

JetBlue had 24 gates and it got 6 gates coming online with 5 of them in terminal c. It will have all of terminal c finally. It is also getting e1. Although it actually uses e3 and e4 pretty extensively too. At some point tap and are lingus are going to move into terminal e and JetBlue will have full use of those 29 gates plus pretty aggressive usage of the e gates next to c. There are plenty of documents on this. Go check a.net. anyone there can tell you there is a huge gap in number of gates between the two airlines. There are plenty of massport document on this. Check JetBlue investor updates, they will tell you how many gates they will have at Bo's. And that still doesn't include the e gate accesses they have now.

It would be no nice if you stop trolling here and stick with fact.

Fact is delta only flies to 3 tatl destinations year round out of Boston. The new seasonal stuff are all on 757. Yet somehow people will fly the narrower 757 and not a321.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by tphuang View Post
I don't see all of these as service reductions. In fact the A320 refurbishment are badly needed and phase 2 have drawn rave reviews. There is also no evidence that airplane cleaning reductions are more than a small trial service. There hasn't been any internal email gone out about this according to other JetBlue employees. I actually like the idea of serving drinks via mini-carts.
The cleaning reduction trials make a lot of sense in the context of JetBlue's efforts to reduce delays in BOS. What I see all the time are planes that are delayed by weather or mechanical issues early in the day, and then get delayed a few extra minutes on each turn through BOS as they wait for gates / staff / etc. Given how short they are on gates in Boston, if they can shave 5 minutes off each turn by skipping vacuuming and a catering pass, then it may help reduce delays. Maybe not, but it's worth trying.

That said, they had better be loading double the snacks if they're loading them half as often! :-D

I really don't get the strong feelings about carts.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 9:05 am
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Originally Posted by dtremit View Post
The cleaning reduction trials make a lot of sense in the context of JetBlue's efforts to reduce delays in BOS. What I see all the time are planes that are delayed by weather or mechanical issues early in the day, and then get delayed a few extra minutes on each turn through BOS as they wait for gates / staff / etc. Given how short they are on gates in Boston, if they can shave 5 minutes off each turn by skipping vacuuming and a catering pass, then it may help reduce delays. Maybe not, but it's worth trying.

That said, they had better be loading double the snacks if they're loading them half as often! :-D

I really don't get the strong feelings about carts.
They can cater while the aircraft is being boarded/deplaned for all aircraft except the Mint A321 and the A321neo Core, since those require carts to be stored at the pantry mid-cabin.

As for double snacks, they slightly over-cater for a turn but I wouldn't call it double loading. There's simply no space. Anything else would have to be put in an overhead bin, which would end up causing more delays for gate checking bags that no longer fit.

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Old Sep 6, 19, 1:22 pm
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If I can fly a 321 from Boston to LA, I can fly one from Boston to London.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 1:55 pm
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Originally Posted by djplong View Post
If I can fly a 321 from Boston to LA, I can fly one from Boston to London.
Yes, until you get to the gate and find out the A321 you need is still in LA. But the flight shows on time.

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Old Sep 8, 19, 2:57 am
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Originally Posted by djplong View Post
If I can fly a 321 from Boston to LA, I can fly one from Boston to London.
Especially if you're flying in Mint.
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