Don't be fooled by the "enhancement to standby", it's a CROCK!

Old Dec 18, 02, 9:44 pm
  #1  
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Don't be fooled by the "enhancement to standby", it's a CROCK!

Fare rules have always allowed you to change your return same day per fare rule per class availability for 100..so this is NOT a new enhancement..the only thing this improves upon is on your outbound flight if you want to change it and you do not have 7 or 14 days as per fare rule, than you can be confirmed in the class of svc instead of standby for 100,..this was actually a waiver PREF Desk agnts used to use for pref pax until that waiver was eliminated,,so you see,, nothing really has changed for the bulk of the flying public..I applaud UA and CO and DL taking the lead in their effort to please the customer, US fails policy wise on all counts, and will fail miserably until the doors close.
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Old Dec 18, 02, 10:03 pm
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This is merely a stopgap measure for US. They can't squeeze their unions for $$ and announce that they are falling in line with other carriers by foregoing the potential revenue of $100 change fees.

You can mark this down now.....when US get's their unions whipped into submission they'll dump the $100 change fee. AND offer further incentives.

By the way, has anybody ever actually paid this fee? Has anybody actually booked a full fare to avoid it?

I was sure debating paying $800 for a PIT-CLT ticket so that I could easily change my flight versus paying $200 for a discount ticket that was fixed.....YEAH SURE I WAS!!
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Old Dec 19, 02, 8:22 am
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I paid it and was happy to do so.

Finished biz early in MKE, was on a roach fare. By paying the $100, I:

1) Got out (and home) 3 hours earlier.

2) Switched from an RJ connecting to a Dash 8 to two mainline jets.

3) Changed my connecting city from PHL to PIT

4) Got confirmed in F for both legs

5) Got the 250 miles class-of-service bonus for both legs.

Took me 50 microseconds to decide to pay the fee when offered all this by the CP desk.

Oh and BTW it was my employer who paid the fee
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Old Dec 19, 02, 9:54 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by gardener:
I paid it and was happy to do so.

Finished biz early in MKE, was on a roach fare. By paying the $100, I:

1) Got out (and home) 3 hours earlier.

2) Switched from an RJ connecting to a Dash 8 to two mainline jets.

3) Changed my connecting city from PHL to PIT

4) Got confirmed in F for both legs

5) Got the 250 miles class-of-service bonus for both legs.

Took me 50 microseconds to decide to pay the fee when offered all this by the CP desk.

Oh and BTW it was my employer who paid the fee
</font>
If you were on a "roach" fare, how did you get the 50% class of service bonus? That's only for full fare coach, upgraded to F.
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Old Dec 19, 02, 9:54 am
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gardener: And add to your list:

6) Helped US Airways with some badly needed cash.

Jim (in DCA 1106a awaiting 1145a DCA-PHL on US!).
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Old Dec 19, 02, 10:42 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by SeverednSmiling:
I applaud UA and CO and DL taking the lead in their effort to please the customer, US fails policy wise on all counts, and will fail miserably until the doors close.</font>
Yeah, I really applaud UA and DL for copying US' policy then rescinding it ... that takes a lot of guts.

At least US is trying something different to generate incremental revenues ... sure we may not like it, but at least it showed they are trying to think of ways to generate those revenues, and personally I applaud them for that.
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Old Dec 19, 02, 11:46 am
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This fee is a good example of why the majors are (and always will be) in financial trouble. They provide transportation services from point A to point B. Everyone on the plane receives the same level of service (except for a few F class pax) and all arrive at the destination at the same time.

HOWEVER, they are compelled to charge people on this flight dramatically different fares. They want the leisure traveler (in seat 5A) at a fare slightly above the Greyhound but also the business traveler (in seat 5C) at five times the leisure travel fare. Hence all of the stupid advance, Saturday over, minimum stay, etc rules.

When the business traveler adjusts his travel itinerary to take advantage of the leisure fares, the airline attempts further legislation to keep him paying the high fare. With the tools available to us for researching fares, the savy business traveler can easily circumvent this structure.

To me, a winning strategy is to compromise.... raise the leisure fares and lower the business fares to a range where both traveling segments are comfortable. Minimize the "rules" and loopholes so that people will pay a reasonable price for services rendered. Everybody pays basically the same price!

Fill the seats and let's get moving!
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Old Dec 19, 02, 12:28 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Beckles:
...At least US is trying something different to generate incremental revenues ... </font>
There's nothing different about tacking on more penalties and fees, not to mention complexity in administering them. That's the same thinking that has driven plenty a traveler to seek alternatives.
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Old Dec 19, 02, 12:29 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by HPTunco:
...
To me, a winning strategy is to compromise.... raise the leisure fares and lower the business fares to a range where both traveling segments are comfortable. Minimize the "rules" and loopholes so that people will pay a reasonable price for services rendered. Everybody pays basically the same price!
...
</font>
Now that would something different.

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Old Dec 19, 02, 1:49 pm
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the problem with raising the leisure fares is that people will go to an airline that hasn't raised its fares.

even for a money losing airline, it's better to sell a seat for $100 and lose $100 on the deal, than to let it go empty and lose $200 on it.
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Old Dec 19, 02, 3:44 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by gardener:
I paid it and was happy to do so.

Finished biz early in MKE, was on a roach fare. ....Oh and BTW it was my employer who paid the fee
</font>
Is there anyone who will post "They charged me the full fare of $1539 which I gladly paid"..."BTW my employer paid"

...or every congressional district will get some pork...BTW some other guy taxpayer paid.

(not meant to be an attack on gardener. Hope he/she enjoyed the extra room in F)



[This message has been edited by Human Unit 763246B (edited 12-19-2002).]
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Old Dec 19, 02, 9:01 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by ruud:
the problem with raising the leisure fares is that people will go to an airline that hasn't raised its fares.

even for a money losing airline, it's better to sell a seat for $100 and lose $100 on the deal, than to let it go empty and lose $200 on it.
</font>
But this is the thinking that does not produce consistent profit for the major carriers. The business traveler will pay more than the leisure traveler...just not 5x (for short haul) or up to 10x (for transcon's).

A consistent fare structure would make day business trips possible, convince more to fly rather than drive 150-300 miles and still attract enough leisure travelers to fill the seats.

It's a juggling act, but the airlines have all of the costing data. They could model this, float it in some test markets and see what happens.
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Old Dec 20, 02, 10:30 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by ruud:
the problem with raising the leisure fares is that people will go to an airline that hasn't raised its fares.
</font>
It's not that simple. Contrary to popular belief SWA, for instance, does not have the lowest fares on many of the routes that they compete with U on -- US Airways does.

There are significant perception and marketing issues that affect airline choice -- it is not "price, price, price" as one of Mike & Ben's minions told me. SouthWest's greatest genius lies in the way that they have managed to redirect the cartel away from the true roots of their success. Although given the arrogance of the airlines it didn't take much...

US Airways currently needs to charge less than the competition because they have significant negative baggage -- chapter 11 is part of it but an even bigger part of it is their long and inglorious history of gouging the eyeballs out of their customers and charging nickle and dime fees at every turn. It takes a long time for people to forgive & forget that stuff. Currently US Airways shows no signs repenting or remorsefullness -- in fact they're gleefully continuing to press onward with the old ways. Obviously nobody is going to even start to forgive & forget while the crime is being added to on a daily basis.

The overall problem is one of average fares. The low cost fares may not need to be raised -- or they may only need to be raised slightly like $10 or $20 (actually I think they've gotten away with doing this since summer and nobody seems to have brought it up... but it looks to me like all of the V & K fares that I usually buy have gone up by about that much...)

The bigger bang for the buck is to entice customers to buy "business" fares at higher than average costs. There are three main issues here:

1) There is virtually no distinction between what you get for a V or K fare and what you get for a B or Y fare. Almost all of the rules are indentical and the purchased service (the one that the employer is paying for) is indistinguishable from a V or a K.

2) The gap in price is enormous. There is no justifiable business case for donating money to a bankrupt airline. Yet that is essentially what you do when you buy a Y fare.

3) "Entice" is a foreign word to airline marketing people. They prefer to bludgeon their customers with rules and restrictions rather than finding positive incentives to build business.

Until they discover that "pax" are actually "customers" and spend some time learning what a customer is and how you treat one they don't stand a chance.
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Old Dec 20, 02, 12:38 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by TomBascom:
..........The overall problem is one of average fares. The low cost fares may not need to be raised -- or they may only need to be raised slightly like $10 or $20 (actually I think they've gotten away with doing this since summer and nobody seems to have brought it up... but it looks to me like all of the V & K fares that I usually buy have gone up by about that much...)

The bigger bang for the buck is to entice customers to buy "business" fares at higher than average costs. There are three main issues here:

1) There is virtually no distinction between what you get for a V or K fare and what you get for a B or Y fare. Almost all of the rules are indentical and the purchased service (the one that the employer is paying for) is indistinguishable from a V or a K.

2) The gap in price is enormous. There is no justifiable business case for donating money to a bankrupt airline. Yet that is essentially what you do when you buy a Y fare.

3) "Entice" is a foreign word to airline marketing people. They prefer to bludgeon their customers with rules and restrictions rather than finding positive incentives to build business.

Until they discover that "pax" are actually "customers" and spend some time learning what a customer is and how you treat one they don't stand a chance.
</font>
AMEN! I couldn't have said this better (I tried!).

More business traffic could be attracted if you could walk up and buy (typically) a PIT-PHL ticket for $200-$300 bucks instead of $600. It would make alot more sense to fly, and put up with airport hassles, than to drive a 200-300 mile trip and a night or two in a hotel.

Anybody who is paying full fare either has a unavoidable last minute trip that has to be made, or a client who is picking up the tab. Now that the unlimited budget crowd has been grounded, fiscal reality should set in across all barriers.
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