Are your flights full?

 

Old Nov 10, 04, 4:02 pm
  #1  
pgalore
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Are your flights full?

Because of the tenuous situation, I haven't flown on US very much since September. Mainly I shifted my business to DL, and am thinking about going over to AA depending on how well DL can turn their situation around. Some degree of which airline I choose to switch my business on will also depend on which places I will be travelling to next year, which I may not know until January. Given the generally lower prices on DL and this uncertainty, I will probably have to stick with them.

I was wondering, for those of you diehard US fans, are your flights still full? Have you seen a significant drop in the number of PAX on board?

Even though it's hard for me to imagine US not being around, its equally difficult to predict what could happen by February.

Have their been any positive news since 9/27 announcements? I did a search on the internet and only came up with that date.

If it is true that upper-middle managment is not getting cuts, that is pretty disgusting. I wonder if they think that it will be easy to find the same level/equal paying job in the same or a different industry. I saw that Northwest managers were matching the paycuts they had asked of their pilots. I somehow doubt that US is doing this, otherwise it would be much better publicized.

I'm not sure if DL is a better choice for us Carolinians, but they do seem like they're looking at all options to turn things around.

Can someone give me a list of what positive changes are being made at US to substantiate why I should risk flying on them for the next couple of months (until February)?
 
Old Nov 10, 04, 6:04 pm
  #2  
 
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Here's what I know

I hope others reply as well, for there are many more experienced flyers/posters than I, but here's what I have gleaned in the past few months.

The positives -
1. Transformation plan is underway reducing hub & spoke routes, increasing direct flights, and expanding different routes.
2. Carribean & S American routes are expanding
3. Pilots union agreed to new contract close to what US was asking for
4. Go Fares are more readily available & seem to be helping the revenue stream
5. The "rolling banks" of flights in which flights come & go all day instead of in large groups should make PHL & CLT more efficient & reduce costs.
6. It seems that if the airline can survive they are likely to expand customer friendly things like in flight entertainment (TV), amentities, and so on.

The negatives -
1. They lost money last quarter again (this was expected due to high cost of fuel)
2. They don't really have an investor jumping up to bail them out of bankruptcy
3. The workers are demoralized by major pay cuts resulting in work slow downs & "bad behavior" on the part of some (I can sympathize with the workers here...they have given a LOT back)
4. Getting new planes for the expanded route network would seem to be hard due to financing constraints

That said, my last flight was 100% full, though it was about 3-4 weeks ago.

I have been loyal for years to U & hope to continue to be. Happy flying!
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Old Nov 10, 04, 6:46 pm
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Don't know about management pay cuts, but I can tell you that most of the flights I have been on (some 3 r/t to Fla in the last 2 months) have been quite full. Actually, it has even surprised me how full flights are. I have also noticed that most of the flight attendants have been significantly kinder than usual. This is one visible thing that at least the employees are doing to help the airline going.

I would also like to hear an answer about mgmnt pay.
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Old Nov 10, 04, 7:00 pm
  #4  
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The Florida flights that PinHoLe2003 was talking about were probably from PHL or DCA where most of the time I also have seen full or nearly full planes.

However, last night I was on the 655PM LGA-FLL 733 and it was only about 50%. There were even three empty seats in FC.

My take on this is not that the demand is not there, because Song and JetBlue have been crowded, but that US has not done a good enough job of promoting this brand new route.

I believe that the idea of FLL and LGA as focus cities is one of the best plans that they've ever had over there in Crystal City, but if they don't figure out how to make the FLL part of the transformation plan successful, the outlook will be dim for this company.
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Old Nov 10, 04, 7:34 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by monitor
The Florida flights that PinHoLe2003 was talking about were probably from PHL or DCA where most of the time I also have seen full or nearly full planes.

However, last night I was on the 655PM LGA-FLL 733 and it was only about 50%. There were even three empty seats in FC.

My take on this is not that the demand is not there, because Song and JetBlue have been crowded, but that US has not done a good enough job of promoting this brand new route.

I believe that the idea of FLL and LGA as focus cities is one of the best plans that they've ever had over there in Crystal City, but if they don't figure out how to make the FLL part of the transformation plan successful, the outlook will be dim for this company.
In my opinion, US is actually willing to have 50% L/F on the LGA-FLL routes for the time being and not advertise it.

The reason being that the LGA-FLL route isn't as much about competing against JetBlue and Song, but rather giving the NY O & D traffic a viable connection to get to all the new Latin American cities out of FLL. LGA-KIN (via FLL), for example, will generate much more revenue than LGA-FLL will. The reason the US resumed this route in NOV, as opposed to FEB when EWR/BDL/BWI/Etc.-FLL was to make a statement to JetBlue, saying "don't infringe on our LGA operation." But again, all that matters are the connecting opportunities come February (if US is around).
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Old Nov 10, 04, 8:27 pm
  #6  
pgalore
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Originally Posted by ednursevt
I have been loyal for years to U & hope to continue to be. Happy flying!
Thanks for the update..I hope they survive too. Maybe by focusing on just PLA and CLT as their hubs they will be able to turn things around?

Also, how has the arrival of Independence Air to CLT changed their business? I know that people from Charlotte used to drive to GSO and RDU for cheaper fares. If Independence drives down the fares (like Swest did in PLA), that can't be good for US.
 
Old Nov 11, 04, 11:52 am
  #7  
 
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Flights from/to SAN completely full

I flew US86 SANPHL on Sat, Nov 7, and returned yesterday, Wed, Nov 10, on US5. Both 100 percent full. GA asked for volunteers at SAN, but not at PHL, where final passenger boarded to take last empty seat (next to me) just as cabin door closing. I'd been waitlisted (as CP) for upgrade for many months, but no room up front either direction. I speculate that many DM-flush folks are burning miles for upgraded travel.
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Old Nov 11, 04, 11:59 am
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Smile

I just did phl - sfo roundtrip and the outgoing flight was about 95 percent full and the return flight was about 85 percent full. I think the outgoing flight was actually oversold, but there were no shows.
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Old Nov 11, 04, 12:22 pm
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Something else to ponder...

Its not just the load factor that's important but also the average price of each ticket. Anyone can fill planes when they are giving away tickets (well, anyone but IndyAir!).
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Old Nov 11, 04, 1:57 pm
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Originally Posted by psa64
I flew US86 SANPHL on Sat, Nov 7, and returned yesterday, Wed, Nov 10, on US5. Both 100 percent full. GA asked for volunteers at SAN, but not at PHL, where final passenger boarded to take last empty seat (next to me) just as cabin door closing. I'd been waitlisted (as CP) for upgrade for many months, but no room up front either direction. I speculate that many DM-flush folks are burning miles for upgraded travel.

My anecdotal experience is very similar. I was on 4 734s this week and there were 6 empty seats total on the flights. For the first time in almost 2 years, I missed an upgrade. Actually, 2 upgrades. From watching when the seats dropped prior to the flights and my discussion with GAs and FAs, there were a lot of US3s and US4s sitting up front. If they were there on miles, it was FC premium awards. My guess is that companies are willing to pay $800 or less for an A fare, when they were used to paying $1,300 for a Y.
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Old Nov 12, 04, 4:18 am
  #11  
 
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I'm curious about this also if flights are usually full? I'm flying soon in 3 weeks and was wondering if the FRA-CLT and PHL-FRA have some empties or usually full or overbooked? Just to give me idea what to expect on those 2 routes. I'm not crazy about the idea of connecting thru PHL to FRA from ROA due to problems with the baggage handlers and all, oh well
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Old Nov 12, 04, 5:43 am
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Unhappy

Out of 12 mainline segments in two weeks, loads were never even close to full.

As a more dire observation, only one flight (RDU-CLT) had a full f/c cabin. That means a nearly complete absence of business (US1, 2, or 3) flyers on board. I think that most FF's are shifting their business elsewhere.

I'm testing the waters on LH and AA next week (my clients will not fly Envoy and pay a full C fare). Oddly, Envoy used to be my European clients' choice (even over their own flag carriers). Unfortunately, it seems to have been relegated to an upgrade cabin, with the food, cleanliness, etc., reflecting that status.

BTW, FC was not full on 6 flights I took in September. Again, the FF's just aren't there .
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Old Nov 12, 04, 6:16 am
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Well I think just before the thanksgiving season things can be kind of hit or miss. This is the slow season.

Here are what my flights have been like for the past few days:

Oct 26 DCA-TPA 100% full (over sold) 8:30am Flight Bowing 733

Oct 28 TPA-DCA 60%full 7:10am flight Airbus 319

Oct 28 DCA-LGA 70%full 10am flight Airbus 320

Nov 2 LGA-CLT 50% full 6am flight Bowing 733
(curious why there where two LGA-CLT flights no more than 10 minutes from each other. There was another LGA-CLT flight taking off over at the next gate)

Nov 2 CLT-MCO 100%full (over sold) 9:50am Bowing 757

Nov 9 FLL-DCA 75% full 12:05pm Airbus 320

Nov 11 DCA-CLT 100% full (over sold by 10 people) 10:10 am Airbus 321
Nov 11 CLT-ATL 100% full (over sold by 6 people) 12:20pm CRJ-700

All the flights that were over sold they gave away free vouchers for new r/t tickets for up to a year no one was involuntary bumped as people were volunteering and were guaranteed a seat on the next flight or re-routed.

I know a lot depends on what time of day you fly out as well. Those 6am flights, many people don't take them. I do because usually the loads are always lighter. Many people I guess just don't want to get up so early in the morning.


Nuttymama,

Good luck through PHL. As much as I do love US Airways. I hate PHL. Going to Europe my bags have always made it. But connecting and coming back to the USA. 40% of the time my bags did not make it to my connecting flight. (I fly transatlantic a lot.) I hope one day PHL gets their act together with baggage.

Last edited by US AIRWAYS FAN; Nov 12, 04 at 6:20 am
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Old Nov 12, 04, 9:42 am
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The past several flights I have taken on US have been full or oversold. I just checked the loads for my Thanksgiving travel (11/20 & 11/27). F looks full in both directions, but it looks like there are plenty of seats left for sale in Y.
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Old Nov 12, 04, 3:15 pm
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6AM is too early!

I know a lot depends on what time of day you fly out as well. Those 6am flights, many people don't take them. I do because usually the loads are always lighter. Many people I guess just don't want to get up so early in the morning.
6AM IS too early! The security lines are unpredictable so if I had a 6AM, I would need to get to the airport by at least 4:45AM. Its at least a 30 minute process to get to the airport, park my car, take the shuttle bus to the terminals (4:15); getting ready in the morning is another 45 minutes (3:30)... so If I have to get up at 3:30AM to make it to a 6AM flight, I'd rather fly the night before and spend the night in a hotel! Sorry if this sounds like complaining. I just think 6AM flights are impossible! Just my two sense.
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