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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, 6:20 pm
  #46  
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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. 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.
I hate to break the news to you, but AS just starting selling BE fares within the last few days and B6 has it in the pipeline. BE is here to stay, and has already noted, it's just a form of market segmentation similar to Saturday night stay fares (which are still prevalent in international markets) which have been around for a very long time. I still remember paying $700+ for a coach ticket between DTW-BOS on NW back in 1991 on business trip that didn't include a Saturday night stay and that was pretty much the norm. I'm not defending BE fares, but if you flew back in the 90's out of a legacy hub, things were much, much worse.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 9:08 pm
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by LBJ View Post
I hate to break the news to you, but AS just starting selling BE fares within the last few days and B6 has it in the pipeline. BE is here to stay, and has already noted, it's just a form of market segmentation similar to Saturday night stay fares (which are still prevalent in international markets) which have been around for a very long time. I still remember paying $700+ for a coach ticket between DTW-BOS on NW back in 1991 on business trip that didn't include a Saturday night stay and that was pretty much the norm. I'm not defending BE fares, but if you flew back in the 90's out of a legacy hub, things were much, much worse.
I'm not arguing against BE from a business perspective; what I find appalling (with my stockholder hat on) is UA's seeming inability to use it as a precision tool in specific markets. For example, consider SFO-LAX (or QSF/QLA). WN is the market driver here with their $74/$69/$59 or whatever the going sale rate is. UA chooses to match WN by publishing a BE fare at the same price, and then asking +$25 for regular Economy. In my mind that's crazy -- no way I'm going to pay almost 50% more to fly UA on a 60-minute flight, and that's from a customer who gets a wealth of benefits for my 1K status (E+, upgrades, drinks, etc.) that are unavailable on WN. Why anyone with no status would ever consider UA in that market is beyond me. I'm sure they still collect from the market sector who has a pathological hatred of WN, and maybe that profit counts for something.

But imagine if they took WN's sale at $59 and offered BE for $49 and Economy for $69. If WN tried to price cut, chase them all the way to the floor. UA could split the difference around WN, offering both the cheapest fare and collecting a (smaller) up-charge for a more full-service product. WN can't compete because they don't have the segmentation tools.

My best guess is that UA just doesn't feel it's worth their time to dedicate the resources to something like this, because I suspect they've already mentally ceded intra-CA O&D traffic to WN a long time ago. But it's just an example of how they don't care to get involved at a micro-level.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 10:52 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
I'm not arguing against BE from a business perspective; what I find appalling (with my stockholder hat on) is UA's seeming inability to use it as a precision tool in specific markets. For example, consider SFO-LAX (or QSF/QLA). WN is the market driver here with their $74/$69/$59 or whatever the going sale rate is. UA chooses to match WN by publishing a BE fare at the same price, and then asking +$25 for regular Economy. In my mind that's crazy -- no way I'm going to pay almost 50% more to fly UA on a 60-minute flight, and that's from a customer who gets a wealth of benefits for my 1K status (E+, upgrades, drinks, etc.) that are unavailable on WN. Why anyone with no status would ever consider UA in that market is beyond me.

My best guess is that UA just doesn't feel it's worth their time to dedicate the resources to something like this, because I suspect they've already mentally ceded intra-CA O&D traffic to WN a long time ago. But it's just an example of how they don't care to get involved at a micro-level.
UA in mid-January has 14 non-stops SFO-LAX vs. 9 for SWA, so I don't see that as ceding the market, at least for Jan 16. UA does indeed match the $49 "wanna get away" fare, at least for Jan 16-23 roundtrip with BE - except for the UA Express flights ($98 SWA vs. $97 UA). But its not 50% more to fly regular economy, the regular economy fare is $125 roundtrip (at the time I wrote this - and I'd pay that to avoid SWA). But I'll go back to what I said before, I don't think UA is terribly interested in selling the $97 roundtrip tickets - they will sell it as a price match, but that isn't the target audience they want to attract, in my opinion.
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Old Nov 21, 18, 6:13 am
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Why would UA (or any airline) offer a BE fare when thereís no low-cost nonstop competition on a route? If thereís no price shopping to be done, why not have economy as your lowest fare? Take IAD-CMH as a simple example. Seems like theyíre giving money away. This assumes that a sizable portion of price-shoppers will still pay a premium for a nonstop.
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Old Nov 21, 18, 10:50 am
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Another incorrect assumption I am seeing here is that BE passengers have always paid less to be on the plane than non-BE passengers. On a few flights that I have been tracking since the introduction of BE, I have seen fares fluctuate to the point that there have been some days when non-BE fares were offered at less than a previously offered BE fare. While there is no way to know if any tickets were sold at the offered price, it is entirely plausible that it is common for flights to go out with BE passengers who paid more than a non-BE passenger on the same flight.
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Old Nov 21, 18, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by joeyE View Post
Why would UA (or any airline) offer a BE fare when thereís no low-cost nonstop competition on a route? If thereís no price shopping to be done, why not have economy as your lowest fare? Take IAD-CMH as a simple example. Seems like theyíre giving money away. This assumes that a sizable portion of price-shoppers will still pay a premium for a nonstop.
ďdrive diversionĒ/Southwest effect. (the same thing that IMHO was the demise of CLE). Drivable nearby airports that offer lower prices will pull traffic from the higher cost nearby airports, potentially making them unsustainable.
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Old Nov 21, 18, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by joeyE View Post
Why would UA (or any airline) offer a BE fare when thereís no low-cost nonstop competition on a route? If thereís no price shopping to be done, why not have economy as your lowest fare? Take IAD-CMH as a simple example. Seems like theyíre giving money away. This assumes that a sizable portion of price-shoppers will still pay a premium for a nonstop.
I think you're missing the purpose of BE. Offering these fares actually makes UA money. It's not a discount fare, it's what they would set the lowest economy fare at if there were no BE on the route -- then they collect checked baggage fees on top of it.

The general public probably assumes, as you did, that BE is a discount on the lowest economy fare, when in fact it IS the lowest economy fare and all other fares have been raised. It's just that on some routes it's positioned as BE and some it's not. Eventually I think we'll see it on every route. I saw it this week when I booked ORD-LIR. The round trip was exactly $50 less in BE -- but bag check was $30 each way. Since I wouldn't be allowed to carry on a bag, I'd have to pay $60 if I weren't Gold. They make $10 on the RT. In my case, they made an extra $50 from me because I avoided the BE. No matter how you cut it, UA comes out ahead by offering these fares and screwing it's customers.
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Old Nov 21, 18, 1:29 pm
  #53  
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Originally Posted by JohnneeO View Post
Another incorrect assumption I am seeing here is that BE passengers have always paid less to be on the plane than non-BE passengers. On a few flights that I have been tracking since the introduction of BE, I have seen fares fluctuate to the point that there have been some days when non-BE fares were offered at less than a previously offered BE fare. While there is no way to know if any tickets were sold at the offered price, it is entirely plausible that it is common for flights to go out with BE passengers who paid more than a non-BE passenger on the same flight.
not sure how this is different than any other set of fares, which flexuate based on many circumstances. BE, in most cases, will flexuate accordingly, as other fares do - isnít BE mostly even programmed as a discount to regular available fares vs. set separately from them. Weíve seen occasional reports of things happening differently (I.e., where they might introduce a lower regular fare into the market , say a K fare that wasnít available before, and mistakenly not introduce a BE match, therefore, for example, matching the BE fare to the next highest available fare, say a ĎTí). But generally, itís a discount matching on whatís available. so as you get closer to departure, there will in many (but not all cases) not be lower buckets available, meaning yes, the BE available fares at that point could be higher than the previously available say, G fares. But thatís why itís a bit silly to try and compare fares from one day to the next - they frequently change. Looking back and seeing if the price today is a good deal for the route based overall in the past may be ok to do, but comparing a BE fare today for a flight, say, next week vs. a different lower fare found for the same flight and date a month ago is really kind of silly.
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Old Nov 21, 18, 2:16 pm
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
UA in mid-January has 14 non-stops SFO-LAX vs. 9 for SWA, so I don't see that as ceding the market, at least for Jan 16. UA does indeed match the $49 "wanna get away" fare, at least for Jan 16-23 roundtrip with BE - except for the UA Express flights ($98 SWA vs. $97 UA). But its not 50% more to fly regular economy, the regular economy fare is $125 roundtrip (at the time I wrote this - and I'd pay that to avoid SWA). But I'll go back to what I said before, I don't think UA is terribly interested in selling the $97 roundtrip tickets - they will sell it as a price match, but that isn't the target audience they want to attract, in my opinion.
Interesting... the SFO/LAX fare table looks pretty messy at the moment, but there is a $10 differential fare GAA3TCDN/GAA3TCBN and BE is only published up to G. For the moment, it looks quite a bit more friendly -- my comments are based on historical experience from the last several months and IME, UA seesaws back and forth on this with so little predictability I kind of doubt there is directed effort behind it.

With regard to the market, UA has more frequency on SFO/LAX specifically (allegedly a hub-to-hub route after all) but is badly lacking in QSF/QLA as they fly mostly CR2s on SFO-BUR/ONT and don't even service SJC-LAX! I don't think they really care about selling SFO-LAX O&D tickets; WN has eaten their lunch with that. The frequency is for routing flow over the segment, for any combination of (XXX-)SFO-LAX(-YYY) etc. I'm sure they sell O&D tickets aplenty, but I don't think it's their focus.
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Old Nov 22, 18, 7:06 am
  #55  
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BE may originally have been conceived of as a way for full-service carriers to compete with LCC's, but that is not how it turned out. When DL pioneered this for US domestic travel, it offered BE on routes where it competed with an LCC. But, the fare structure turned out to be successful and it has now been expanded to include a broad variety of routes, including international.

Others, including UA, have followed suit.

Not to worry. UA absolutely has sophisticated RM / IM software which can pinpoint which fare buckets to offer and on what flights. Don't forget that in addition to the question of whether BE ought to be offered on a given flight is the question of how many such seats ought to be offered. If UA's RM/IM folks really believed that UA could sell out a given flight with only full F & Y fares, you may be assured that no discounted fare buckets would be offered.
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Old Nov 23, 18, 8:43 am
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Originally Posted by JohnneeO View Post
Another incorrect assumption I am seeing here is that BE passengers have always paid less to be on the plane than non-BE passengers. On a few flights that I have been tracking since the introduction of BE, I have seen fares fluctuate to the point that there have been some days when non-BE fares were offered at less than a previously offered BE fare. While there is no way to know if any tickets were sold at the offered price, it is entirely plausible that it is common for flights to go out with BE passengers who paid more than a non-BE passenger on the same flight.
That is because people buy their tickets at different times and fares fluctuate (as you see for yourself). It should be a safe assumption that BE passengers paid less than non-BE passengers who booked at the same time so it was still the "value" fare at the time of booking. I still don't see why the OP expected United to expand privileges for BE fares rather than try to improve the selling of higher fares which already have the privileges he wanted.
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Old Nov 26, 18, 3:08 pm
  #57  
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Originally Posted by ExplorerWannabe View Post
That is because people buy their tickets at different times and fares fluctuate (as you see for yourself). It should be a safe assumption that BE passengers paid less than non-BE passengers who booked at the same time so it was still the "value" fare at the time of booking. I still don't see why the OP expected United to expand privileges for BE fares rather than try to improve the selling of higher fares which already have the privileges he wanted.
UA is giving a near ULCC experience at legacy prices when their other legacy competitors are offering more value for the same price on the same routes.

It's really not that hard to comprehend. DL set the standard a few years back with BE, but has allowed carry-ons, AA and UA followed but restricted carry ons. AA brought back carry-on for BE fares to match DL, UA hasn't. UA is no longer competitive with the other legacy airlines, assuming matched pricing for BE fares. The only thing BE has done is be a price-hike in a poor disguise.
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Old Nov 26, 18, 6:20 pm
  #58  
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Originally Posted by caverunner17 View Post
UA is giving a near ULCC experience at legacy prices when their other legacy competitors are offering more value for the same price on the same routes.

It's really not that hard to comprehend. DL set the standard a few years back with BE, but has allowed carry-ons, AA and UA followed but restricted carry ons. AA brought back carry-on for BE fares to match DL, UA hasn't. UA is no longer competitive with the other legacy airlines, assuming matched pricing for BE fares. The only thing BE has done is be a price-hike in a poor disguise.
while everyone likes to look at the airlines doing everything in unison, and it sometimes feels that way, they all have things they do differently. Different carriers have different strategies for responding to ULCC competition, and in pricing strategy on various accounts. In other ways, they are similar. Not every carrier is going to be able to compete in every aspect on every route. They have to pick and choose.

For better or worse, UAs strategy on BE is to provide fewer benefits on these fares than the competition because they want to have some sort of offering that matches lower pricing while convincing people they should pay more (and get the normal benefits). In other words, they donít really want BE customers, and if people do buy it, wants to make it punitive (for lack of a better term at the moment) for them. Thatís their choice and their strategy. If you donít agree with it, thatís fine, and that gives you choices. You can either buy UAs BE, because you are price sensitive enough to be ok with the lack of benefits it provides, you can choose to buy a regular UA fare because you want to fly UA and want the offerings of a regular fare, you can buy [insert other carrier here] BE fare because you feel itís a better decision for you, or you can go to a ULCC and deal with their disadvantages. Itís really up to you, and while I have my preference, I am not silly enough to think that other people wonít choose a different option because itís right for them. You can certaintly complain to UA because you feel itís the wrong thing for them to do butt UA has decided on a strategy for a reason, and it appears they donít want to compete benefit for benefit in this segment of the market.

Its all good not to like it. But quite honestly, UA is going to do what it feels is best for this business. Right now, it seems that restricting full-size carry ons on BE fares is something they are going to keep doing. If it sends you to get a lowest fare somewhere else rather then spending a few bucks more on UA, they appear to be ok with that, as they are confident the seat you would have bought will go to another customer at a similar or higher fare.
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