2-Class Reconfiguration and May Travel

Old Dec 15, 07, 8:51 pm
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2-Class Reconfiguration and May Travel

So I recently had a rare opportunity to fly YX and was reminded that the seats really are more comfortable than average-while there may be no service to speak of, it's like a First Class seat which is half the battle.

I'm looking at a trip LGA-MKE in May, and realizing that the reconfiguration is listed to be happening in the first half of 2008. Are there any odds on my still being on a Signature plane at that point, or is it anybody's guess? I haven't seen anything specific on the plans.

Not that it matters to YX as they've already made their plans, but the seating and nonstop service was enough to gain a price premium from me--without the seating, nonstop service won't be enough and I'll go back to lowest cost (where I also get upgraded anyway).
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Old Dec 16, 07, 1:33 pm
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Originally Posted by MKE-MR View Post
So I recently had a rare opportunity to fly YX and was reminded that the seats really are more comfortable than average-while there may be no service to speak of, it's like a First Class seat which is half the battle.

I'm looking at a trip LGA-MKE in May, and realizing that the reconfiguration is listed to be happening in the first half of 2008. Are there any odds on my still being on a Signature plane at that point, or is it anybody's guess? I haven't seen anything specific on the plans.

Not that it matters to YX as they've already made their plans, but the seating and nonstop service was enough to gain a price premium from me--without the seating, nonstop service won't be enough and I'll go back to lowest cost (where I also get upgraded anyway).
If you want to play it safe, book a seat in the first 10 rows of the plane. Midwest will still have 40 "Signature" seats on all of the 717s, so booking as close to the front of the aircraft as possible will improve your chances of snagging a good seat should you have a re-configured plane.

The 2x2 seats will be reserved for higher fare passengers (Depending on when you book, you may be automatically assigned to a 2x2 seat). If seats are still open on the day of deparure, you'll be able to up-grade for a nominal fee. If you're looking for the cheapest fare possible and booking months in advance, you'll most likely end-up in the back of the plane.

Last edited by BlueHorseShoe2000; Dec 16, 07 at 1:43 pm
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Old Dec 22, 07, 4:01 pm
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Question also curious

I, too am curious about the reconfiguration. I have already bought a ticket for a late May trip to DAY from OMA and both OMA-MKE/MKE-OMA segments are on the 717, currently showing as all Signature seating. (DAY segments are FRJ, not affected) If they reconfigure the aircraft, do I lose my already assigned 2nd row window seat and possibly get stuck in a middle seat in back?
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Old Dec 25, 07, 6:22 pm
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The last email I received from YX ( a few months ago) stated it had not yet been determined how the signature seats on the 717 would be marketed.

Obviously, they are not going to be able to sell 40 seats at time of check in. 12 works just fine. I guess we'll have to wait and see. If they know, they are not yet talking about it.
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Old Dec 30, 07, 9:18 am
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Thanks for the thoughts. It doesn't sound like there's any definitive answer yet which is about what I expected.
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Old Dec 30, 07, 11:40 am
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So, is Midwest doing away with all signature seating flights and marketing 2 x 2 for more $$$?

If they are that is trully too bad. It is one of the reasons I like flying midwest.

I dont like to fly United as I feel like it is a cattle car for the nonfrequent flyer. I hope midwest does not move that way.
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Old Dec 30, 07, 2:52 pm
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Midwest's 717 will be reconfigured during 2008 to ten rows of 2x2 and twelve rows of 2x3. The entire cabin will still be coach, with higher-tier coach fare buckets automatically assigned seats in the 2x2 section. Lower-tier coach fares will have the option of paying an additional cost to move to that section.

Specific details (such as exactly what fare levels put you in 2x2, what upgrades will cost, etc) are not yet public.

In a related move, Midwest earlier in 2007 changed their all-2x3 M80 Saver Service to have two rows of 2x2 in front. These are only available for an upgrade fee of $65. However it is likely that the 717 mixed-configuration inventory will be solde differently on the 717's versus the M80's because situations are notably different:

M80
Mostly long-haul routes
Mostly low per-mile fare customers
About 9% of seats are 2x2

717
Mostly medium-haul routes
Mix of high and lower fare customers
Ablout 40% of seats will be 2x2

Where the current system of a flat-fee $65 upgrade on the M80 seems to be successful, it doesn't fit the 717's role as well. Hence it will be somewhat different, but the details are not yet public.
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Old Dec 30, 07, 3:01 pm
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Originally Posted by babsjvd View Post
So, is Midwest doing away with all signature seating flights and marketing 2 x 2 for more $$$?

If they are that is trully too bad. It is one of the reasons I like flying midwest.

I dont like to fly United as I feel like it is a cattle car for the nonfrequent flyer. I hope midwest does not move that way.
All Midwest planes will have a dual cabin configuration by the end of 2008.

I'm not sure if they have a specific plan to market the new seating arrangement. What they've said so far is that passengers booking in higher fare buckets will automatically be assigned a "Signature Service" seat at the time their reservation is made. Other passengers will be allowed to up-grade to the 2x2 seating area on the day of departure for a nominal fee, provided that space is available. I believe you'll also be able to purchase a seat directly in the front of the plane no matter when you book, but it will cost you more.

Like everyone else on this board, I'll be sad to see the all 2x2 seating vanish from the 717s. However, it's important to remember why Midwest is doing this. Keep in mind that with a 2x2 configuration Midwest is losing 1/3 of the seating capacity on its 717s. That's fine as long as passengers are willing to pay for the extra comfort. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, Midwest had no problem commanding $500 to $1000 fares from business travelers, which more than off-set revenue lost from the reduced seating. Midwest (or any other carrier for that matter) is no longer able to get the fare levels needed to generate consistent profits for the company, thus the change.

Midwest's 717s will now be more like United's Premium Service between JFK and SFO/LAX. The front of the cabin will contain 40 "Signature" style seating, which increased pitch. The remaining 59 seats will be in a traditional 2x3 format. On-board service will remain the same. If only they'd follow copy United (and American) and begin installing power ports from laptops, etc. that would helpout a great deal. I still can't understand why Midwest hasn't done this yet
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Old Dec 30, 07, 3:26 pm
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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
All Midwest planes will have a dual cabin configuration by the end of 2008.

I'm not sure if they have a specific plan to market the new seating arrangement. What they've said so far is that passengers booking in higher fare buckets will automatically be assigned a "Signature Service" seat at the time their reservation is made. Other passengers will be allowed to up-grade to the 2x2 seating area on the day of departure for a nominal fee, provided that space is available. I believe you'll also be able to purchase a seat directly in the front of the plane no matter when you book, but it will cost you more.

Like everyone else on this board, I'll be sad to see the all 2x2 seating vanish from the 717s. However, it's important to remember why Midwest is doing this. Keep in mind that with a 2x2 configuration Midwest is losing 1/3 of the seating capacity on its 717s. That's fine as long as passengers are willing to pay for the extra comfort. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, Midwest had no problem commanding $500 to $1000 fares from business travelers, which more than off-set revenue lost from the reduced seating. Midwest (or any other carrier for that matter) is no longer able to get the fare levels needed to generate consistent profits for the company, thus the change.

Midwest's 717s will now be more like United's Premium Service between JFK and SFO/LAX. The front of the cabin will contain 40 "Signature" style seating, which increased pitch. The remaining 59 seats will be in a traditional 2x3 format. On-board service will remain the same. If only they'd follow copy United (and American) and begin installing power ports from laptops, etc. that would helpout a great deal. I still can't understand why Midwest hasn't done this yet
They should also install TVs in their headrests like Virgin America. I recently did SFO-LAX on Virgin and all I can say is wow? Midwest needs to up their game. Big seats and cookies just are not going to do it anymore.
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Old Dec 30, 07, 4:59 pm
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When Midwest gets their new planes I think that they will add more gadgets.
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Old Dec 30, 07, 5:47 pm
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Post the future

I wonder what kind of configuration we will see when/if the 737 is introduced into the Midwest fleet. I would think the the 12 Signature seats are a given.

Perhaps. a 3x3 leather configuration in the remaining rows.
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Old Dec 30, 07, 6:30 pm
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Originally Posted by YX802 View Post
I wonder what kind of configuration we will see when/if the 737 is introduced into the Midwest fleet. I would think the the 12 Signature seats are a given.

Perhaps. a 3x3 leather configuration in the remaining rows.

I think that they will pick the A320 (cause NWA uses them as well) but it doesn't matter the seats will be 3X3 with 12 signature seats. The airline industry is on tough times, Maxjet just went bankrupt, Virgin America and Skybus have not been able to make a profit yet, Midwest is losing money like crazy, Frontier might go bankrupt (United and Southwest are squeezing the hell out of them in DEN and Frontier has not successfully expanded beyond DEN), Delta is ending MKE-SLC, Jetblue is in trouble, Southwest is scaling back their operations and even talking about merging with Airtran, United wants to merge with someone, NWA (need I say more) and all Delta cares about is international travel. Times are tight. The old days of Midwest are gone. I think that Midwest will pull out of some of these smaller markets (in northern WI) and scale back on long haul flights. MKE-SEA will be May October (like SFO). I think MKE-LAX is fine (help, I know little about LAX, I hate LAX and never fly there again). Some east coast routs may see more RJ service as well.
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Old Dec 30, 07, 6:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Tim34 View Post
I think that they will pick the A320 (cause NWA uses them as well) but it doesn't matter the seats will be 3X3 with 12 signature seats. The airline industry is on tough times, Maxjet just went bankrupt, Virgin America and Skybus have not been able to make a profit yet, Midwest is losing money like crazy, Frontier might go bankrupt (United and Southwest are squeezing the hell out of them in DEN and Frontier has not successfully expanded beyond DEN), Delta is ending MKE-SLC, Jetblue is in trouble, Southwest is scaling back their operations and even talking about merging with Airtran, United wants to merge with someone, NWA (need I say more) and all Delta cares about is international travel. Times are tight. The old days of Midwest are gone. I think that Midwest will pull out of some of these smaller markets (in northern WI) and scale back on long haul flights. MKE-SEA will be May – October (like SFO). I think MKE-LAX is fine (help, I know little about LAX, I hate LAX and never fly there again). Some east coast routs may see more RJ service as well.
LAX sucks, I used to enjoy SNA even thougjh it involved a connection in MCI. The cost of doing business at SNA was just too high, and it was another cost cutting measure by YX. MKE-LAX seems to do well year round.
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Old Jan 3, 08, 10:58 am
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Originally Posted by Tim34 View Post
Southwest is scaling back their operations
Huh? As a frequent WN flyer and LUV shareholder, this is news to me. You seem to be confusing their announcment that they are slowing their growth with something else. WN still plans on growing 4-5% in 2008 after reducing the target twice in 2007.

Also, although I'm not convinced Virgin America's business model is viable myself, the fact that they haven't made a profit yet is meaningless in assessing their long-term viability, they likely had no intention of turning a profit for a few years.
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Old Jan 3, 08, 11:59 am
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Originally Posted by Beckles View Post
Huh? As a frequent WN flyer and LUV shareholder, this is news to me. You seem to be confusing their announcment that they are slowing their growth with something else. WN still plans on growing 4-5% in 2008 after reducing the target twice in 2007.

Also, although I'm not convinced Virgin America's business model is viable myself, the fact that they haven't made a profit yet is meaningless in assessing their long-term viability, they likely had no intention of turning a profit for a few years.
"Scaling back" is a market-by-market matter. You are correct that WN is reducing the growth target.... but that some markets will grow faster and others will scale back. It's really no different than what YX has done in pulling back from some markets or cutting back to commuter planes on some routes.

IOW, I agree with you on that and VA's entry into the US. VA is focused on high-traffic markets, which will ease the entry. Rarely is an airline (or any other business) profitable from the start.
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