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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, 2:03 pm
  #1  
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United to launch "No-Frills" fares in 2016 according to Credit Suisse analyst

Article here on skift.com

May mean fares without mileage earning, upgrades, priority boarding, or other things.

Anyone have access behind the paywall at FlightGlobal?
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Old Dec 8, 15, 2:17 pm
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Very few details in the FlightGlobal with most of the article focused on Delta's Basic Economy fare and AA's plans to roll out something similar. Below is a fair use quote:

"The new unbundled fare class would allow the Chicago-based mainline carrier to better compete with ultra low-cost carriers, as well as better segment between leisure travellers and higher-yield business travellers, says Julie Yates, an analyst at Credit Suisse, recounting a conversation with United senior vice-president of revenue management, pricing and network Doug Leo in a report today."

Source: http://dashboard.flightglobal.com/ap...text=federated
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Old Dec 8, 15, 2:27 pm
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Originally Posted by wcalvert View Post
Article here on skift.com

May mean fares without mileage earning, upgrades, priority boarding, or other things.

Anyone have access behind the paywall at FlightGlobal?
This makes sense since United can barely compete on anything but price. The transformation from a world leading airline to a glorified budget carrier with a big route network continues.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Dec 8, 15 at 2:33 pm Reason: Airline's name is United or United Airlines or UA
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Old Dec 8, 15, 2:32 pm
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If it's not #flyerfriendly and DL has done it, you bet your butt it's on UA's to do list.

edit: to be clear about why this is anti-flyer, I actually like how well DL has disclosed the terms of these kinds of fares and can only hope UA does the same. Given the current lack of intense competition between the legacy 3, however, these fares ultimately supplant the deepest discount fares (at their current level, based on patterns seen at DL) rather than introducing a new lower level of fare that would spur demand.
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Old Dec 8, 15, 2:33 pm
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has DL been tremendously successful with these fares...selling seats that would have otherwise gone empty? my gut says no, but i have no data to back it up and i'm not sure such data would be publicly available.

seems that UA and AA (and now AS with "premium economy coming") are content to copy anything DL does, regardless of whether DL's changes are successful or not. DL is simply seen as the sexy girl on the block, which yes they're the best, but only the best of the worst.
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Old Dec 8, 15, 2:35 pm
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Interesting in that two of my good friends (a couple) who regularly fly UA out of DEN (he's a 1K and so is she via the MM companion program) flew Spirit RT to LAX and said "never again". She said that by the time they paid all the ancillary fees the $200 RT was more expensive than it would have been on UA, and they didn't enjoy the experience at all.

He had learned not to fly F9 (Frontier) last year when he saved a few bucks on a leg from SFO-DEN and had to pay for his carryon.

Business travelers who are mandated to buy the lowest fare could be hurt by this.
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Old Dec 8, 15, 2:37 pm
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Seems in the same vein as what other major airlines are doing. DL as earlier mentioned and such as the LH family's http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/lufth...omy-fares.html. More racing to the bottom.
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Old Dec 8, 15, 2:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Bonehead View Post
Business travelers who are mandated to buy the lowest fare could be hurt by this.
hopefully their employers gain some wisdom when they are on the hook for the added $200 over and over

i'm mandated to buy the lowest fare domestically, but if i feel it will cost the company more by doing so (time wasted or ancillary fees of ULCC's), i simply don't do it...and provide the justification and calculation in my expense report. sometimes its easier to ask forgiveness than permission.
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Old Dec 8, 15, 2:40 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyWorld View Post
This makes sense since United can barely compete on anything but price. The transformation from a world leading airline to a glorified budget carrier with a big route network continues.
Indeed.

Through the merger, UA has been gradually transformed from a global leading airline to a glorified budget carrier.
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Old Dec 8, 15, 2:46 pm
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Originally Posted by PV_Premier View Post
hopefully their employers gain some wisdom when they are on the hook for the added $200 over and over

i'm mandated to buy the lowest fare domestically, but if i feel it will cost the company more by doing so (time wasted or ancillary fees of ULCC's), i simply don't do it...and provide the justification and calculation in my expense report. sometimes its easier to ask forgiveness than permission.
Our travel portal has the wisdom to show Spirit, Allegiant, and Frontier fares...but you have to call to book them. Our policy is lowest fare, except those three, and you're permitted to buy them as an exception only. (Oddly enough, there are one or two routes I fly where Spirit is the nonstop option and therefore an adequate choice if BFS seats are available.)

Hopefully most smart travel portals would bake in the added costs of any kind of legacy no-frills fares and allow people to do the sensible thing. But if the "frills" being stripped are mainly seat assignments and EQM/RDM (and not the overhead bin bag), I can see a lot of companies telling employees to suck it up.
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Old Dec 8, 15, 2:56 pm
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These fares have their place; as long as they're disclosed properly and frankly, they need to be non-upgradable, and non-TOD upgradeable.

My aunt has been making a lot of trips to CLE lately, on $69 RT fares... Print your BP's at home, and just carry a purse, bring your own F&B and you get a good deal. I think these kind of fares stimulate demand, rather than displace it.
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Old Dec 8, 15, 3:00 pm
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Originally Posted by PV_Premier View Post
has DL been tremendously successful with these fares...selling seats that would have otherwise gone empty? my gut says no, but i have no data to back it up and i'm not sure such data would be publicly available.
Not sure that's the goal. Per aCavalierInCoach, these will likely just supplant the current deepest discount fare classes (N/G/L/K). Customers won't pay less, they'll just get less.
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Old Dec 8, 15, 3:02 pm
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I'm glad most of my flights are international ; I don't see this happening for my routes..
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Old Dec 8, 15, 3:03 pm
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This "race to the bottom" is exactly what consumers have asked for.

NK wouldn't be the fastest growing airline in the country if everyone who flew them immediately swore them off completely and actually stuck by that.


Jetblue tried to keep more pitch but people didn't want to pay for it, so now that pitch is going away.

It would be intriguing if Kayak could show you the price per cubic inch of space you'll get, that might turn some heads! (I know this is in no way practical or really doable but it would be interesting none the less)
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Old Dec 8, 15, 3:06 pm
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In order to compete successfully, it is not lower fares that mainline carriers need to offer. It is their *costs* that they need to cut. Stripping the miles earning out of the ticket is negligible.

Seems like they have not fully internalized the lessons of TED...
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