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United to launch "No-Frills" fares in 2016 according to Credit Suisse analyst

United to launch "No-Frills" fares in 2016 according to Credit Suisse analyst

Old Dec 8, 15, 9:09 pm
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by worldwidedreamer View Post
Without elite benefits, I'll just book the lowest priced ticket. Does United really want this?
Well, United has a revenue management organization for a reason. Booking the lowest priced ticket is status quo and you manage inventory to avoid selling a plane full of $41 LAX-ORD tickets.
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Old Dec 8, 15, 9:22 pm
  #47  
 
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I don't see why this is a big deal. Many other airlines do this already. And, already, "features" are un-bundled and can be purchased as needed. It's just a logical next step on the path that has been in place for some time and I don't see how it harms anyone. In fact, given how far the benefits have been devalued, the opportunity to fly without paying for those benefits is arguably a benefit for some.
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Old Dec 8, 15, 9:48 pm
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
No. They want you to pay up for a fare that comes with benefits. Which I suspect most of us here will do. I personally will not buy a non-upgradeable, non-changeable, no seat assignment, no E+ fare.
The problem with this statement is you are assuming there is a logical relationship between the person setting the policy and the person who actually travels. For a lot of us, I get no say in travel policy and believe me, corporate bean counters are quite happy to see fares and benefits cut, as they have no skin in the game. My only hope if 1. United don't go through with this hairbrained plan and 2. Concur et.al filter out these BS ticket classes.
My sneaking suspicion is that a new 'N' fare class, for example, will just take away all the reasons I am loyal to UA without any net positives. I'm willing to bet a case of beer that the price won't even drop relative to todays' 'N'....
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Old Dec 8, 15, 9:59 pm
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by awu25 View Post

Poll results were mostly a negative reaction (but I doubt this would stop United from pursuing this). 80% of over 150 respondents are "Not at all interested" in this
Doubt the people at whom these fares are targeted are on a United opinion board.
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Old Dec 8, 15, 10:03 pm
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by Soccerdad1995 View Post
If businesses start requiring people to book fares that don't earn miles, then I predict that the amount of business travel will drop dramatically.

This will be very good for the airlines biggest customers (companies), very bad for airlines, and I would argue, a net positive for actual travelers (less time on the road, less crowded planes when we do travel, etc).
Businesses don't put people on the road to earn miles. Fail.
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Old Dec 8, 15, 10:10 pm
  #51  
 
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Originally Posted by findark View Post

Meanwhile, NK is still underselling DL on that route by $25 each way
Err... the rest of your comment seems to have glossed over the most important critical point you raised. DL is just asking for a fee for a bunch of things that used to be appended to their lowest fares (which, to your point, remain uncompetitive against NK/F9).
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Old Dec 8, 15, 10:12 pm
  #52  
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If they offered it with a no-change-fee buy-up to fares which earn benefits, they could do okay with the business sector. Expense departments will be happy. Pax, though they have to pay out of pocket for the miles, etc., will be ok (vs. being stuck with a no-benefit fare)--and UA would pocket incremental revenue.

The Kayak crowd will just buy whatever is cheapest and probably not buy up, though UA is likely intending to offer unbundled options like "reserve a seat now for $19.99" for that crowd.
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Old Dec 8, 15, 10:30 pm
  #53  
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Originally Posted by aCavalierInCoach View Post
Err... the rest of your comment seems to have glossed over the most important critical point you raised. DL is just asking for a fee for a bunch of things that used to be appended to their lowest fares (which, to your point, remain uncompetitive against NK/F9).
I think I was just trying to imply the following things are not likely to happen, at least not immediately: (a) legacies matching NK dollar for dollar with these new no-frills fares, (b) legacies converting all of the currently cheap fares to no-frills, and the cheapest regular ticket being at something like UA's W level or higher. I'm not sure it's fair to say DL is uncompetitive against NK at a $25/segment difference. E fares still earn award and status miles, have free basic drinks, and avoid NK's truly horrid 28" pitch**. If they were my only two options I'd fly DL in E for $25 more before suffering NK (though I'm admittedly not their target market here).

But maybe there are kettles/kayakers who feel some faint loyalty to a legacy carrier or dream of RDMs to fly overwater, and could be pushed by narrowing the fare gap by $10-20. The no-frills fare gives legacies the option (but not the obligation) of coming closer to competing directly with the likes of NK.

**lol, and a free carryon. I keep forgetting how much of a raw deal NK is.
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Old Dec 8, 15, 10:33 pm
  #54  
 
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
I think I was just trying to imply the following things are not likely to happen, at least not immediately: (a) legacies matching NK dollar for dollar with these new no-frills fares, (b) legacies converting all of the currently cheap fares to no-frills, and the cheapest regular ticket being at something like UA's W level or higher. I'm not sure it's fair to say DL is uncompetitive against NK at a $25/segment difference. E fares still earn award and status miles, have free basic drinks, and avoid NK's truly horrid 28" pitch**. If they were my only two options I'd fly DL in E for $25 more before suffering NK (though I'm admittedly not their target market here).

But maybe there are kettles/kayakers who feel some faint loyalty to a legacy carrier or dream of RDMs to fly overwater, and could be pushed by narrowing the fare gap by $10-20. The no-frills fare gives legacies the option (but not the obligation) of coming closer to competing directly with the likes of NK.

**lol, and a free carryon. I keep forgetting how much of a raw deal NK is.
Fair points.
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Old Dec 8, 15, 10:55 pm
  #55  
 
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Originally Posted by wcalvert View Post
May mean fares without mileage earning, upgrades, priority boarding, or other things.
I may believe no mileage earning, but no upgrades, priority boarding, etc. (no free luggage?) is a big devaluation of status as those with no status do not have these privileges and loose nothing, while those with status loose their benefits.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 12:19 am
  #56  
 
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I suspect that the goal of these fares is actually to wring a few extra $$ from people; you pay a bit less up front, thinking that you save money, and then you end up paying extra later for all of the things you would have received for free with a more expensive fare (seat assignments, carry on bags, etc.). Or you end up throwing away the ticket and buying a new one when you want to change the flight. Which makes sense from UA's point of view, I think.

I don't buy that the goal is to fill up planes with additional leisure travelers poached from the likes of Spirit. Load factors are already sky-high, and I don't think they can go any higher. I really believe the goal is to make more $$ from the people they already have.

As a aside, I don't get the hate for Spirit!! For the right kind of trip and under the right circumstances, Spirit can be a great option.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 1:07 am
  #57  
 
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This kind of reminds me of Frank Lorenzo's Peanut Fares back in the day....in between bankrupcies. They were cheap alright and the service on CO got so bad I stopped flying with them all together for a while. Once Frank was finally gone and Bethune took over they put an end to the Peanuts Fares and for a while would not even serve peanuts on board....I love a bargain just like anyone else but I won't fly Spirit or Aligent or Frontier because of all of the add ons. It is not worth my time to even look that those fares now. I am lucky in one way, I retired this year so I don't have to fly anywhere anymore and I don't have to think about United and all of the BS.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 1:14 am
  #58  
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Originally Posted by timfountain View Post
The problem with this statement is you are assuming there is a logical relationship between the person setting the policy and the person who actually travels. For a lot of us, I get no say in travel policy and believe me, corporate bean counters are quite happy to see fares and benefits cut, as they have no skin in the game.
Fair point. If I was in that boat, I would not be happy at all about this development.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 1:20 am
  #59  
 
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Originally Posted by fly18725 View Post
Well, United has a revenue management organization for a reason. Booking the lowest priced ticket is status quo and you manage inventory to avoid selling a plane full of $41 LAX-ORD tickets.
I happily pay premium prices for a premium service. I don't want to pay a premium price for something mediocre.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 1:27 am
  #60  
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Originally Posted by LaserSailor View Post
Businesses don't put people on the road to earn miles. Fail.
Business travelers will always work the system to make sure their preferences and benefits are maintained - anyone who doesn't understand this happens every day is very naive.

Delta E fares are only on certain routes where they compete with LCCs - not every route, not every flight.

My employer actually bans these fares from the booking system, not because they don't earn miles, come with seats or offer upgrades, but because the ticket has $0 value should the traveler need to make a change to their travel.
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