Frontier it is!

Old Apr 13, 10, 10:28 am
  #1  
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Frontier it is!

Thought a new thread would make sense now that we know.
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Old Apr 13, 10, 10:32 am
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A few early items:

-Best Care Club is staying and it sounds like DEN is getting one too...yes?

-Cookies are staying, and were described as "fresh baked" in a PR item on the Embraer jets, and they will provide updates as they work to introduce them to the Airbus fleet.

-TV on the Airbus fleet is staying, and some form of inflight entertainment is planned "in each of our aircraft" by 2011.
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Old Apr 13, 10, 10:37 am
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Sad to see Midwest go, but the Midwest Airlines brand we all knew was gone long ago. It's a bit of a relief to see this saga wrap up. Frontier seems like a good airline, and I've heard lots of good things about them, but I'll have to wait and see how much I actually fly them out of MSN/MKE, particularly without a Delta/Skyteam relationship. I wish them and their various subsets of employees (currently working and not) luck; they have a lot of work ahead of them!
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Old Apr 13, 10, 10:42 am
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This is great and smart news.
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Old Apr 13, 10, 10:49 am
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Look for a big ad onslaught and huge sale.

Spot check of fares shows discounts of about 28% over the lowest recent fare for some markets.
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Old Apr 13, 10, 10:49 am
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The Badger on the 1st Frontier E190 will look sweet and should be in MKE by the end of the month! I am happy to hear they will keep the slogan "Best Care in the Air" and open a BCC lounge in DEN. They project 7% growth year over year which is pretty aggressive. I was watching the presentation in Denver by mistake, but they did do a tribute to Midwest Airlines on the TV Screens. By any chance will we be able to see that tribute on the web somewhere? I'm glad this is over and I look forward to the future. Bryan seems to be the guy to get things done.
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Old Apr 13, 10, 10:54 am
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Originally Posted by flyYX View Post
The Badger on the 1st Frontier E190 will look sweet and should be in MKE by the end of the month!


http://www.frontiermidwest.com/weare...adger-tail.gif
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Old Apr 13, 10, 10:58 am
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And people in Wisconsin get to name him. I like Bucky, but that name is already taken I believe and probably can't be used. Not without some added cost. LOL
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Old Apr 13, 10, 11:06 am
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I for one welcome our new Frontier overlords.
And thustly will continue to fly on *A

Midwest was a damaged brand. With competition from southwest and airtran there was need for a brand that was going to allow for growth. Much like how the "express" portion of Midwest was dropped years ago. I would've rather seen better livelry, I do feel an overhaul of the current one is needed if there will truly be integration. Wonder when we're gonna see a cow on the tail.
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Old Apr 13, 10, 11:22 am
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I have to agree it's good to see the end of Midwest Airlines being dragged through the mud. RIP.

Frontier Airlines has a good reputation and a good product. I hope Frontier can keep its culture verses the Republic culture taking over that airline too. I was hoping a new code-share or airline alliance was going to be announced for FF members.

Good luck to Frontier Airlines.
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Old Apr 13, 10, 11:27 am
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Originally Posted by WIRunner View Post
I for one welcome our new Frontier overlords.
And thustly will continue to fly on *A
Ditto here - will stick with *A. Nothing impressive in the announcement to draw me back. One more club will not do it. Still easier to fly out of ORD and get direct to where I need to go.
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Old Apr 13, 10, 11:31 am
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Interesting comments on the Frontier board:

"Colorado's Gov. Bill Ritter and Denver's Mayor John Hickenlooper were both on hand for the announcement, which was made at Coors Field."

The local media did not report if anyone of importantce was there but maybe we might hear something later.

"Republic CEO Bryan Bedford says the Frontier brand is associated with low fares, and the Midwest name is not. Midwest was based in Milwaukee, which has become a hot spot of airline competition with both Southwest Airlines and AirTran."

Kind of surprising on the low fares comment. I wonder if they will expand on that at all.
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Old Apr 13, 10, 11:35 am
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From WISN TV:

http://www.wisn.com/news/23133893/detail.html

Among the info from Bedford:
  • Because of fleet and union issues, Republic will continue to run what amounts to two different airlines under the Frontier name - the crews and planes that originally came from Frontier, and the Republic-operated jets that will now fly under the Frontier name.
  • Wi-fi service will be available on the Republic-operated planes, and may expand later to the Frontier-operated fleet.
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Old Apr 13, 10, 12:55 pm
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BlueHourseShoe and I were at today's event and we expect to each post our reaction by tonight.

But, here are a few things to get off my chest right now:

Overall, Frontier is what I expected, but I expected more detail related to their future plans for the combined carrier. We'll have to wait for that.

No mention about Live TV...I thought they would have included that when talking about "the cookie."

And what about the FF partnership with AirTran? It's still there, for now at least.

So long, Midwest. You were a great friend. We will never forget you in Milwaukee.
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Old Apr 13, 10, 12:56 pm
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In spite of predicting a combined brand name (like AirOne Frontier and AirOne Midwest) I’m glad they didn’t go that route for I don’t think it would have lasted. If you’re going to change the brand, make the change and don’t do a half-hearted effort destined for another change. The reason I stuck with that prediction was Bedford’s comment months ago that going to a unified brand wasn’t about simply dropping one airline for the other. I never found a source quote for the more recent comment that the new airline would definitely be either Frontier or Midwest (everybody referred to an article in the Denver Business Journel but I never found the quote itself), and so I was skeptical it was going to be that clean. In fact, it is.

Perhaps Bedford’s exact wording addressed not specifically the just name but the name and brand attributes of the two airlines. They are keeping some Midwest brand attributes like the cookie, the best care club, and the slogan, but they did in fact choose one of the existing names….Frontier.

I liked the fresh break with the past baggage that an entirely new name would have brought, but new brands are of course expensive. Unless they were going to move to an entirely new brand name, there are several reasons that Frontier is the way to go beyond the simple size of the markets.

(1) The Frontier name is battle worn but nowhere near in the same way the Midwest name is. Denver has seen the sting of job loss and HQ loss, but so has Milwaukee. Denver has not seen years of ex employees, union reps, and competitors trashing their reputation in a steady drumbeat. Deserved or not, this has clearly happened. The Frontier brand is far more salvagible.

(2) The new combined airline product will be much closer to the Frontier brand than the “classic” Midwest brand. A new airline named Midwest would perpetually be compared to the idealized image of the old Midwest (and I do mean the idealized image) and fall short. The new airline product does not face anywhere near the same comparison issue with Frontier.

(3) Milwaukee has already been introduced to Frontier to a much greater extent than Denver has been introduced to Midwest. The aircraft swap which sent several E190’s to Denver put the Midwest name onto select frequencies which were primarily off-peak times or secondary markets. Other than airline geeks, it’s likely only Frontier’s frequent flyers who really noticed that much. On the flip side, the Frontier Airbus flights went into several of Midwest’s highest-volume, highest profile routes at Milwaukee. The level of exposure to the Milwaukee public of the Frontier name was far broader than the converse in Denver. That’s especially true of the twice-a-year Vegas and Florida crowd who speak as if they are million-mile travelers…some of whom are local media figures.

So while I’m sad to see Midwest go, the Frontier name was the right thing to do.

I did expect more meat at the rollout, and when I saw the number “1” on Bedford’s lapel button I was a little concerned we were going to something like “1Republic”. It’s that kind of new branding which would take time to get used to. A new brand is more exciting than an existing one (the name Flight is still available!) but much more expensive to build and of course open to more criticism. I would have liked more “meat” to the rollout, but rather than offer more details of the combined brand it seemed they focused on the their strength and growth in Milwaukee, mentioning their advantage in departures, jet parking spots, destinations, etc. The lack of much new product detail in the presentation suggests that they are not ready to roll things out. The FAQ sheet at frontiermidwest.com includes some details not mentioned in the presentation.

If they handle things right, today can be a day for the jolt of the new brand and the loss of the Midwest brand. The new things – as they come – can each be an opportunity for more PR. If today they had announced four new routes, the name and details of the new combined FF program, a new club lounge in Denver,a new policy allowing complementary upgrades for premium FF members, their plans for the onboard entertainment, a revamp of the pricing structure toward or away from F9’s bundling, a FF link with Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic, plans for full code-sharing with AirTran, a revamped catering program, and a plan for more point-to-point flying outside of their traditional hubs, how much of that detail would get lost in the shuffle? News outlets have X column inches or seconds to fill with this story, and then it is past. Whatever new things come can be additional news items to continue the buzz and create buzz beyond the loss of the Midwest name.

A key fear I had out of this announcement was that it would be Republic with the drab Republic house colors or a slightly modified version of them. Milwaukeeans will face their fears of losing the Midwest name and live to tell about it, and Denver gets to keep Frontier and their critters. Imposing the Republic name and scheme would have really felt bombastic and amateurish in my opinion.

I’m pleased that the Frontier tails are staying and hoped they would no matter what the new branding was. It was a very successful marketing tool and one not to be dismissed lightly. I was glad to hear John Mahoney’s voice on the sample Midwest to Frontier commercial and hope they keep him aboard. They’ve used him for years, and it would be a subtle but important piece of continuity for the Midwest markets. One of the things which has personally grated on me just a little bit regarding Southwest’s commercials tailored to the MKE market is that the announcer says “Milwaukee” with an inflection that sounds like an outsider with an attitude. No, no, I’m not looking for anybody to say “Muhwaukee” like many locals do, and that would probably sound wrong to the ears of people who aren’t even aware they say it. We hear “Milwaukee” said all the time on TV and radio by people not reared here, and certainly John Mahoney isn’t a local. But that Southwest voiceover guy doesn’t hit the mark in my ears. Something similar to (though more subtle than) hearing someone say Wesconsin instead of Wisconsin.

Anyway, regarding those tails…

(a) Many of the wild animals of Wisconsin and the Midwest are also native to the west, so there are probably not a ton of new critters from that direction…but there are five main dairy cow breeds. C’mon guys!

(b) I have not checked any other message boards recently, but I’d be surprised if nobody has yet posted a suggestion that the Frontier badger be named Tim….or Timmy…. depending on who’s making that suggestion.
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