Flights to London This Week

Old Jan 31, 13, 5:22 am
  #31  
 
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Originally Posted by UA900 View Post
At that load factor either one would have lie flat seating in the back of bus as well, somewhere around mid-30s/low 49s D/E/F. Given that, TODs should go for $149
$1100 + 40k miles, more like KOD than TOD.
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Old Jan 31, 13, 5:27 am
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by Time traveller View Post
UA flights are empty because people are flying on AA instead! Loads to/from LHR have been pretty high on AA this past week, especially in premium class cabin. I believe there is a separate thread about UA losing its premium passengers to the competition.

AA seems to better manage their flights during the winter season to/from LHR as they have a revenue-sharing relationship with BA on flights to/from LHR and will reduce capacity during the winter season, rather than fly empty.
AA can more easily lend some slots to BA (or, more realistically, take over some BA TATL flying, with BA substituting flights to elsewhere) so as to preserve its LHR position. UA will find it more difficult to do this, hence downgauging is its only operational option from LHR. But it can reduce frequencies elsewhere in Europe, but seemingly chooses not to do so.
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Old Jan 31, 13, 5:28 am
  #33  
 
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Sitting at Heathrow waiting for 931 back to SFO. The fact I actually cleared upgrade to 1st seem to confirm people's observation. On the way to Europe 10 days ago, I was on Lufthansa to FRA. That flight was completely full.
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Old Jan 31, 13, 7:10 am
  #34  
 
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The seatmap for one of the ORD-LHR flights last night showed just 37 seats taken in economy -- row after row completely empty.
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Old Jan 31, 13, 7:24 am
  #35  
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Since I started this thread yesterday, I understand better that it's the ultra low season...but is there an absolute floor they will charge for tickets...meaning it won't go below that threshold? It just seems odd that they can't do something with the seats.

Charity comes to mind.
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Old Jan 31, 13, 7:27 am
  #36  
 
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Originally Posted by Richym99 View Post
It's blowing a gale, torrential rain, freezing temps at night, a huge number of flood warnings and still snowing in the North of the country.
But it's sale season!!! If fares weren't so high, I might have tried to come to London to hit the shops.

Loads to Europe tend to be light in January and February, especially in the middle of the week. I've flown to Europe on an average of once or twice each of the last ten winters. There tend to be a lot of empty middle seats, and upgrades are much easier to get.

Fares are usually lower in winter, although the haven't dropped as much this year. That may increase the number of empty seats, but since fares are higher, the per-flight revenue may be on par with past years.
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Old Jan 31, 13, 7:39 am
  #37  
 
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
What surprises me is that they don't downgauge more aggressively. Use this period to do all the heavy maintenance on 747s, for example, but keep the 767s running.
Yes, downgauging would be in order. Hope they don't do it for the 747 SFO->LHR though - 747 upper deck in C on UA in the winter is very nice!
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Old Jan 31, 13, 7:40 am
  #38  
 
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As another data point, I flew YYZ-LHR yesterday on the daytime flight and it was only 2/3 full up front and 1/3 full in back.

Ironically, it was one of the best crews EVER. Too bad so few were there to enjoy them and too bad the actual aircraft was such a mess. But better that than UA's 757 out of EWR for the daytime flight. No thanks.
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Old Jan 31, 13, 7:51 am
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by StingWest View Post
Yes, downgauging would be in order. Hope they don't do it for the 747 SFO->LHR though - 747 upper deck in C on UA in the winter is very nice!
But we don't know where the plane goes next and what happens there. There are costs to shuffling the deck chairs, so it might make more "sense" to fly planes near empty. Also, holding capacity constant, the deeper you discount, the harder it is to get people to pay more.
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Old Jan 31, 13, 7:55 am
  #40  
 
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Originally Posted by Rogerdodger View Post
Since I started this thread yesterday, I understand better that it's the ultra low season...but is there an absolute floor they will charge for tickets...meaning it won't go below that threshold? It just seems odd that they can't do something with the seats.

Charity comes to mind.
There's limited room for UA to move. Below is a recent breakdown for a trip I have upcoming from LHR to SFO:

Fare Breakdown
Airfare: 144.00 GBP
U.K. Air Passenger Duty: 65.00
U.K. Passenger Service Charge: 34.46
U.S. Customs User Fee: 3.50
U.S. Immigration User Fee: 4.40
U.S. APHIS User Fee: 3.20
U.S. Federal Transportation Tax: 21.60
September 11th Security Fee: 4.80
International Surcharge: 239.00
U.S. Passenger Facility Charge: 2.80
Per Person Total: 522.76 GBP

eTicket Total: 522.76 GBP


You will see that the airfare element is listed as GBP144 out of a total of GBP522.76. Only the airfare element can be changed by UA and clearly there is a marginal cost of an extra passenger - more catering and, importantly, more fuel. Let's say that amounts to GBP44 (I haven't got a clue). That leaves GBP100 to play with. I could have got this route for about GBP50 less on US Airways and on DL, as always, but I want E+, better flight times and my benefits, including lifetime miles as I'm closing in on MM.

So, to continue the analysis, to significantly increase demand on UA, they would have to significantly undercut US and DL. What would do the trick? US and DL are charging GBP474. Would GBP450 do it, or would it have to be below GBP400? On the basis of the figures above, that leaves a marginal gain of GBP25 or a marginal loss of GBP25 approx. Obviously they have decided it's not really worth bothering with and, on the basis of the above figures, I can't really blame them.
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Old Jan 31, 13, 8:30 am
  #41  
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
There's limited room for UA to move. Below is a recent breakdown for a trip I have upcoming from LHR to SFO:

Fare Breakdown
Airfare: 144.00 GBP
U.K. Air Passenger Duty: 65.00
U.K. Passenger Service Charge: 34.46
U.S. Customs User Fee: 3.50
U.S. Immigration User Fee: 4.40
U.S. APHIS User Fee: 3.20
U.S. Federal Transportation Tax: 21.60
September 11th Security Fee: 4.80
International Surcharge: 239.00
U.S. Passenger Facility Charge: 2.80
Per Person Total: 522.76 GBP

eTicket Total: 522.76 GBP


You will see that the airfare element is listed as GBP144 out of a total of GBP522.76. Only the airfare element can be changed by UA and clearly there is a marginal cost of an extra passenger - more catering and, importantly, more fuel. Let's say that amounts to GBP44 (I haven't got a clue). That leaves GBP100 to play with. I could have got this route for about GBP50 less on US Airways and on DL, as always, but I want E+, better flight times and my benefits, including lifetime miles as I'm closing in on MM.

So, to continue the analysis, to significantly increase demand on UA, they would have to significantly undercut US and DL. What would do the trick? US and DL are charging GBP474. Would GBP450 do it, or would it have to be below GBP400? On the basis of the figures above, that leaves a marginal gain of GBP25 or a marginal loss of GBP25 approx. Obviously they have decided it's not really worth bothering with and, on the basis of the above figures, I can't really blame them.
Is this for one way out of LHR? Fees are much higher leaving than arriving, correct?
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Old Jan 31, 13, 1:35 pm
  #42  
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Flights to London This Week

Just arrived in ORD on UA929 i'd say the load was around 30%. Good for me! Bad for UA.
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Old Feb 1, 13, 2:24 pm
  #43  
 
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Looks like United noticed the emptiness of flights ex-LHR and … hiked prices 30-50 on transatlantic round trips for the rest of the month?! Maybe they think a higher price will signal quality??
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Old Feb 1, 13, 4:02 pm
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
There's limited room for UA to move. Below is a recent breakdown for a trip I have upcoming from LHR to SFO:

Fare Breakdown
Airfare: 144.00 GBP
U.K. Air Passenger Duty: 65.00
U.K. Passenger Service Charge: 34.46
U.S. Customs User Fee: 3.50
U.S. Immigration User Fee: 4.40
U.S. APHIS User Fee: 3.20
U.S. Federal Transportation Tax: 21.60
September 11th Security Fee: 4.80
International Surcharge: 239.00
U.S. Passenger Facility Charge: 2.80
Per Person Total: 522.76 GBP

eTicket Total: 522.76 GBP


You will see that the airfare element is listed as GBP144 out of a total of GBP522.76. Only the airfare element can be changed by UA and clearly there is a marginal cost of an extra passenger - more catering and, importantly, more fuel. Let's say that amounts to GBP44 (I haven't got a clue). That leaves GBP100 to play with.
My understanding is that the int'l surcharge is pocketed by UA and is a way to bury fuel etc... costs without it being taxed in some circumstances. If that's the case (and correct me if I'm wrong), there is really more like 383GBP to play with (or at least the whole 144GBP). I understand that the surcharge is flat per person, so can't be changed on the fly, but even the worst airlines should be able to model how best to set these well in advance.

Perhaps this really is the most optimal revenue, given a tough route / time of year...
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Old Feb 1, 13, 4:15 pm
  #45  
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Originally Posted by mherdeg View Post
Looks like United noticed the emptiness of flights ex-LHR and hiked prices 30-50 on transatlantic round trips for the rest of the month?! Maybe they think a higher price will signal quality??
Why not 100 or 200??? Heck, with 30% loads that would make up for a few missing passengers!!!

Just checked today thinking Friday is busier.. nope! Why would anyone get a J seat when they can have full rows to themselves??? Certainly not the food or great service.
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