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Any rumors of UA bringing back carry-on for BE?

Any rumors of UA bringing back carry-on for BE?

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Old Nov 20, 18, 12:54 am
  #31  
 
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Airplanes are full OP, no need to modify things for you. If F9 works for you, book it. I wouldn't touch them to save a few bucks, but that is me. Your title suggests you heard something, but reality is more your hoping for something if you ask me.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 7:38 am
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
I was also willing to believe the majority of pax are elite pax, I just wanted to see evidence.
Totally varies by flight, so not really worth it to argue over. It can be quite clear a flight is elite heavy when E+ is filled and E- is relatively empty. More common to establish is the converse, when E+ is nearly empty but E- is stacked full. I've had that experience a fair amount when connecting to outstations in vacation spots and I've had the E+ part of the plane nearly to myself while the rear is completely full.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 8:26 am
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
Do you have any evidence for that, or do you mean "I'm not the target demographic of this product"?
UAís own statements. Theyíve said, quite plainly, that their intent is to get people to buy up from them. There have been multiple discussions on this point on this board, with plenty of articles making that exact point.

I havenít bought a BE fare on any airline, and I woudlnít unless the distance was so short that I didnít care about legroom (e.g., a flight where Iíd be willing to fly WN. I think I have 2 WN legs in the past 5 years...). I still want BE to be a collosal failure, because I hate paying more than I have to pay. Sadly, it seems to be successful, and will be doubly so if they can keep the planes full without actually selling BE seats.

BE is, and always has been, the most successful unilateral fare increase in UAís history.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 8:32 am
  #34  
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Carriers, including UA, make their money off BE on their fixed no changes/refunds nature. While European carriers have had these for years, the US practice of providing a trade credit less penalty (or with new cash) became all-encompassing. I have to wonder how many BE tickets are thrown in the trash because someone needs to move a flight. If the ticket cost less than $200, it's a wash because paying the $200 to use less than that is crazy.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 10:44 am
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
UAís own statements. Theyíve said, quite plainly, that their intent is to get people to buy up from them. [...]
Sadly, it seems to be successful, and will be doubly so if they can keep the planes full without actually selling BE seats.
I still don't understand why people think United isn't selling any BE seats just because the poster isn't the target demographic. BE tickets are about 1/3 of their economy sales:

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...ll-out-438028/

Obviously it is their intent that some people will buy up, but it is also their intent that some people will buy BE. They are segmenting the market, same as Saturday night stays, etc., etc.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 11:07 am
  #36  
 
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
I still don't understand why people think United isn't selling any BE seats just because the poster isn't the target demographic. BE tickets are about 1/3 of their economy sales:
Oh, for Pete’s sake. I never said that UA isn’t selling any BE seats. I said that their goal is to sell zero BE seats, and, sadly, they’re suceeding far beyond my wildest expectations.

BE is a price increase dressed in sheep’s clothing, and it’s been incredibly successful. If it weren’t for BE, how many people would internationally buy up a fare class? (e.g., if K were available, who would buy an L fare instead?) The answer is obviously nearly zero — but with BE, they’re getting 2/3 of passengers to do exactly that. Their goal, of course, is to get 100% of passengers to do that, and it’s silly to suggest otherwise. Why on earth would they want passengers to pay less?

It has nothing to do with demographics. If it were realistic, their goal would be to sell 100% of the plane as Y and F fares. They don’t offer discount fares out of some need to target different demographics; they do it because there aren’t enough passengers willing to pay full-fare.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 11:36 am
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
It has nothing to do with demographics. If it were realistic, their goal would be to sell 100% of the plane as Y and F fares. They donít offer discount fares out of some need to target different demographics; they do it because there arenít enough passengers willing to pay full-fare.
That's exactly why they target demographics, because there aren't enough pax willing to pay full-fare. One demographic they are now targeting that they didn't before is people who don't need a bag, don't care what seat they're in, and don't care about status or points. Those people now pay less and you now pay more. More people pay more so UA makes $1b in extra revenue (according to Kirby).

If there were enough people to pay full fare, they wouldn't offer discounts for buying early; for buying lower inventory buckets; for staying a Saturday night; for flying early or late in the day; etc. BE is extremely similar in structure to things airlines have always done to segment their market. Segment the market within a cabin and charge them different prices.

I wish FlyerTalk were old enough that we could see what people said when airlines started offering discounts for staying Saturday night. I'm sure everyone would have been up in arms! "This is a bait and switch! As soon as you they rope you in with the discounted fare you see that it requires a Saturday night and then you buy up!"
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Old Nov 20, 18, 12:42 pm
  #38  
 
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I'm curious what will happen when certain businesses and booking engines wise up to the fact that by putting their travelers in basic economy on American or Delta can be both cost effect and reasonable. I'm sure many businesses would be willing to book BE fares for their employees, provided the fare is comparable to a change fee. When this happens, United will suffer because of the baggage situation and will lose lots of business.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 12:57 pm
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
One demographic they are now targeting that they didn't before is people who don't need a bag, don't care what seat they're in, and don't care about status or points. Those people now pay less and you now pay more.
No, they donít. Those people now pay the same amount they did before, and others pay more. Thatís why your demographic argument is flawed. If you want to make a demographic argument, itís that they discovered a surprising number of passengers who were willing to pay more to get the product they used to get at the base price, myself included.

Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
I wish FlyerTalk were old enough that we could see what people said when airlines started offering discounts for staying Saturday night. I'm sure everyone would have been up in arms! "This is a bait and switch! As soon as you they rope you in with the discounted fare you see that it requires a Saturday night and then you buy up!"
I wasnít there, but if they did it by replacing the former unrestricted fares with the highly-restricted APEX fares, and then raised the price of the full fares, then youíre right, and I would have agreed.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 1:10 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
No, they donít. Those people now pay the same amount they did before, and others pay more.
Do you have evidence that there are no BE fares filed that are lower than what the Y fare would have been had BE not been rolled out, or is it speculation?
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Old Nov 20, 18, 2:01 pm
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
Do you have evidence that there are no BE fares filed that are lower than what the Y fare would have been had BE not been rolled out, or is it speculation?
Of course I donít have evidence of that. I canít run an alternate timeline.

What I can tell you is that when they implemented BE, in every single market that I checked ó and I checked quite a few ó they simply replaced the previous discount fares with the BE fares and added a new regular economy fare that was more expensive.

The idea that this was some kind of move to reach out to new customers who would otherwise fly ULCCs is a fallacy, and has been from day one. They are not planning to make a billion dollars by selling these fares ó how could they, when load factors are at record highs anyway? Theyíre planning to make a billion dollars by not selling these fares.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 2:30 pm
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
Do you have evidence that there are no BE fares filed that are lower than what the Y fare would have been had BE not been rolled out, or is it speculation?
You can't prove it unless you work for UA because fares change all the time, based on algorithms we can't see.

A couple months after UA rolled this out, they made a public statement (I'll never find it again) that the introduction of BE fares was going to account for a significant portion of their increased revenue goal. The only ways that's possible are:

1) Increased ancillary fees for checked bags - BUT, if the fare was decreased by ~$25-30 for BE, then it was a wash not increased revenue.
2) The BE fare actually was set at the lowest fare UA was willing to publish before BE. That means they get increased ancillary revenue from BE tickets, and everyone else who bought the lowest cost ticket in the past is now buying up to the next highest fare.

So if you just think about it logically, there's no way to sigificantly increase revenue (as they stated was the plan) by simply decreasing fares in order to collect more bag fees. In fact, if ancillary revenue increase was the goal, they would allow BE ticket holders to buy up to E+ like everyone else. The WHOLE goal of BE is to get people to buy the 2nd lowest fare instead of the lowest.

It's a very thinly veiled price increase, that apparently is not so thinly veiled for most of the unsuspecting public that don't fly regularly.

BE won't go away because the planes are full, whether people buy the fare or not. If there's another economic downturn that affects business travel, as there was a few years ago, they'll likely adjust it. Maybe they change fares, tinker with the BE structure, or reduce capacity. Lots of options, of which BE is only one.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 2:38 pm
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post

Of course I donít have evidence of that. I canít run an alternate timeline.


Maybe that means there can't be definitive proof, but I still believe there can be evidence one way or the other.

What I can tell you is that when they implemented BE, in every single market that I checked ó and I checked quite a few ó they simply replaced the previous discount fares with the BE fares and added a new regular economy fare that was more expensive.
Yes, I agree that doing that was their strategy for setting pricing on Day 1. I was asking if you had evidence that it's "still" that way. Having BE doesn't make them exempt from market forces affecting price.

Imagine a fare is $100. They launch BE and as an initial setting they set BE at $100 and Y at $120. Then over time maybe market pressures push the price down to $95 BE and $110 Y.

Or maybe the fares are still $100 BE / $120 Y but market pressures (increased travel, capacity decrease, inflation, etc.) would have otherwise push the Y fare up to $110 if BE wasn't rolled out.

The idea that this was some kind of move to reach out to new customers who would otherwise fly ULCCs is a fallacy, and has been from day one. They are not planning to make a billion dollars by selling these fares ó how could they, when load factors are at record highs anyway? Theyíre planning to make a billion dollars by not selling these fares.
Load factors are high but not on all routes on all days.

I believe their $1b profit increase forecast is based both on less price-sensitive customers buying up and filling empty seats by offering cheaper tickets and by making more ancillary revenue on checked bags and seat selections a la carte and a some percentage of customers falling for the search engine bait-and-switch and by doing faster turns or improving on-time rate by having fewer carry-ons to gate-check. I'm unsure of the ratios here. But claiming that only one of those is at play is what I'm skeptical of.

Here is evidence that they do match ULCC fares at a significant discount in some markets:
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30019507-post3319.html
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Old Nov 20, 18, 2:47 pm
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
Yes, I agree that doing that was their strategy for setting pricing on Day 1. I was asking if you had evidence that it's "still" that way. Having BE doesn't make them exempt from market forces affecting price.
In any competitive market where UA price-matches a competitor, they do so at the deep discount level using BE fares. This includes full-service carriers with no Basic Economy (AS, WN, B6). This also includes cases where AA or DL do not have the same differential for BE -- UA will match the BE price and normal Economy fares will be mismatched. I think this is painfully stupid on UA's end and illustrates a stunning incompetency when it comes to tactical pricing on an individual market basis, but this combined with their clear statements about BE being a driver of additional revenue in their investor slide decks makes it quite obvious that regular Economy is an upsell over what it used to be.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 2:59 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
In any competitive market where UA price-matches a competitor, they do so at the deep discount level using BE fares. This includes full-service carriers with no Basic Economy (AS, WN, B6). This also includes cases where AA or DL do not have the same differential for BE -- UA will match the BE price and normal Economy fares will be mismatched..
Both fair points!
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