Flashback to when the Shuttle meant something

 
Old Oct 24, 10, 1:55 pm
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Flashback to when the Shuttle meant something

I was browsing the US Airways website from 2002 thanks to the Wayback Machine. While it was interesting to reminisce about the way things used to be, one thing in particular caught my eye: the US Airways Shuttle Quintuple Guarantee.

http://web.archive.org/web/200212151..._guarantee.htm

Basically, a US Airways Shuttle business fare on weekdays came with the following 5 guarantees:

1. On-time guarantee: If a US Airways Shuttle flight departs the gate more than five minutes late, all Dividend Miles members on the flight will receive 1,500 bonus miles, which count toward Preferred status

2. Seat guarantee: If a US Airways Shuttle customer arrives at the gate at least 10 minutes before the scheduled departure and cannot be accommodated within 30 minutes of the scheduled departure because the flight is full, the customer will receive a $200 travel voucher

3. Counter-to-gate guarantee: If a US Airways Shuttle customer is unable to get from the check-in counter or electronic ticket kiosk to the gate in 20 minutes or less, he or she will receive a $200 travel voucher.

4. Reliability guarantee: If a US Airways Shuttle flight is cancelled for ANY reason on the day of departure, Dividend Miles members on the flight will receive 10,000 bonus miles. Customers traveling on a walk-up ticket must request the bonus miles by calling the Dividend Miles Service Center.

5. Jetbridge guarantee: If any US Airways Shuttle customer is forced to board a US Airways Shuttle flight outdoors without a jet bridge, the customer will receive 100,000 bonus Dividend Miles

It's hard to believe they ever did #1 and #4 given the weather and congestion in the northeast corridor. And the seat guarantee is certainly one of things that used to separate the shuttle service from typical hourly flights in other markets.

The jetbridge guarantee is curious. Certainly they must not have failed to offer jetbridge boarding very much given the 100,000 mile bonus! I don't at all recall the history of this perhaps Delta Shuttle did outboard boardings more often?

All in all, I still fly the shuttles (US and DL) very frequently. Delta Shuttle still has some elements that differentiate it from mainline service, but US Airways Shuttle is just like hourly service in any other market, nothing special (except for the lack of assigned seats in advance, which is hardly a benefit).

Interesting to think back to how it "used to be."
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Old Oct 24, 10, 4:05 pm
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Wow, times have changed just a bit.
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Old Oct 24, 10, 4:27 pm
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Does anyone remember when Eastern still operated the Shuttle. They had the ultimate seat guarantee: if a flight ran out of seats another plane and crew was pulled out, even if for only one passenger.

Jim
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Old Oct 24, 10, 4:50 pm
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I like your use of the wayback machine.... the first link I clicked off that archive page was talking about the USAirways code-share with United and look at this interesting promise they made:

Will Dividend Miles members be able to use their upgrades on US Airways code share flights operated by United, or on flights operated and sold as United flights?
Yes, upgrades will be available as a future enhancement to the program once the automation systems and processes are developed.

http://web.archive.org/web/200212041.../us_ua_faq.htm
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Old Oct 24, 10, 4:50 pm
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Originally Posted by BizJet View Post
All in all, I still fly the shuttles (US and DL) very frequently. Delta Shuttle still has some elements that differentiate it from mainline service, but US Airways Shuttle is just like hourly service in any other market, nothing special (except for the lack of assigned seats in advance, which is hardly a benefit).
What does DL Shuttle do to differentiate itself from the rest of the DL flights thats any different or better than what US does? Nothing except for WIFI on a limited number of DL Shuttle flights. Where as US doesnt offer the WIFI but at least they offer mainline aircraft not express/connection aircraft.

Also, you mentioned assigned seating. At least on US Shuttle you can select a seat at check in. On DL Shuttle its open seating. I dont see how open seating is better than having a seat assignment.
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Old Oct 24, 10, 6:08 pm
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Snacks all day, including in coach. Complimentary access to a business center.

Between BOS/DCA and LGA, service is all on Airbuses/E175's so no real difference to Airbuses/E190's unless one is elitest enough to dismiss express as beneath them - DL's E175's have FC. There are the CRJ's between DCA and BOS - presumably to better fit capacity with demand - but a number of those flights are 700's with FC.

Jim
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Old Oct 24, 10, 6:41 pm
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DL Shuttle is also ORD-LGA. Its still Express operated by Shuttle America but its another thing that is different.
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Old Oct 24, 10, 8:37 pm
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Originally Posted by BoeingBoy View Post
Does anyone remember when Eastern still operated the Shuttle. They had the ultimate seat guarantee: if a flight ran out of seats another plane and crew was pulled out, even if for only one passenger.

Jim
I remember this, Jim.

It really gave one great solace in knowing that you would be accommodated.

I also remember the massive choice of free reading materials and paying with a credit card without a reservation on sight using the credit card manual impinter (the zip-zap machine).
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Old Oct 24, 10, 10:55 pm
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Originally Posted by BoeingBoy View Post
Does anyone remember when Eastern still operated the Shuttle. They had the ultimate seat guarantee: if a flight ran out of seats another plane and crew was pulled out, even if for only one passenger.

Jim
US continued to do this well into the late 90s and I think even up until 9/11. When Eastern offered the guarantee, the backup plane would almost always be a Lockheed Electra. I'm sure a number of people weren't thrilled to get one of those when they expected a 727.
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Old Oct 24, 10, 10:58 pm
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Originally Posted by webrobby View Post
I like your use of the wayback machine.... the first link I clicked off that archive page was talking about the USAirways code-share with United and look at this interesting promise they made:

Will Dividend Miles members be able to use their upgrades on US Airways code share flights operated by United, or on flights operated and sold as United flights?
Yes, upgrades will be available as a future enhancement to the program once the automation systems and processes are developed.

http://web.archive.org/web/200212041.../us_ua_faq.htm

I remember being able to upgrade UA flights at some point. I think you had to buy a kit of four 500-mile e-upgrades for $325 or so. This option went away following the merger.
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Old Oct 24, 10, 11:01 pm
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Originally Posted by BizJet View Post

It's hard to believe they ever did #1 and #4 given the weather and congestion in the northeast corridor. And the seat guarantee is certainly one of things that used to separate the shuttle service from typical hourly flights in other markets.
I used to love #1... and would get it all the time. The miles would usually post about 2 weeks after the flight.
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Old Oct 25, 10, 12:39 am
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Wow. I really like idea of a plane being pulled out with crew for one passenger ^.

Got to say, first time seeing the old US site, and it looks to me a lot better than the current one TBH.
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Old Oct 25, 10, 2:49 am
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Originally Posted by NCommander View Post
Wow. I really like idea of a plane being pulled out with crew for one passenger ^.
I'm not sure when that ended - US and DL had their "guaranteed seat" but the offer was for either another plane/crew or X (miles, free ticket, etc) and I doubt that either pulled out another plane for 1 or 2 people. Even Eastern, with the introduction of new jets to the Shuttle, realized that extra plane/crew even for 1 person would wreck havoc on revenue/expense ratios for the Shuttle. And that was when a new 727 cost 4 or 5 million so you can imagine what effect a $40 million plane sitting standby would have. It only really worked when the extra plane was already paid for and mostly depreciated, hence the older planes that Eastern used for the standbys - Constellations followed largely by Electras.

Jim
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Old Oct 25, 10, 9:06 am
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Originally Posted by BoeingBoy View Post

Between BOS/DCA and LGA, service is all on Airbuses/E175's so no real difference.
Looking at the schedule, its all CRJ700, CRJ900 and a few Embraers. I see no Airbus aircraft at all.
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Old Oct 25, 10, 9:20 am
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Looking at tomorrow so it includes the first flights of the day, I see E175's DCA-LGA-DCA and A319's BOS-LGA-BOS (basically the reverse of US). No CRJ's on those 4 Shuttle routes. BOS-DCA-BOS is a mixture of CRJ200's and 700's (with FC), presumably to better match capacity with demand as I said.

Jim
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