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Thread: Southwest & American Airlines

  1. #601
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by interestedobserver
    Ok, well your decision to highlight in red his comment about smaller cities implied (to me, at least) that you were principally responding to that.
    Ok, I can see how that could happen.

    I was highlighting that part in red to show that by his own admission he had not taken the time to get current first hand knowledge. Which explained why he made so many inaccurate and obsolete statements about Southwest.
    Last edited by TexasPlus; 22 July 2008 at 10:14 PM. Reason: fix typo
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  2. #602
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    Corporate Research International Reveals Best Customer Service

    Quote Originally Posted by UptownDallas
    That statement is directly contradicted by nearly every (every?) customer service tracking measure used in the airline industry.
    Here is another survey just out, covering 15 categories.....
    Corporate Research International Reveals Best Customer Service
    Consumer Perceptions Tracked in Quarterly Survey


    Last update: 9:02 a.m. EDT July 23, 2008
    FINDLAY, OH, Jul 23, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- Corporate Research International released today the second quarter 2008 results of RealPeopleRatings.com(TM), its quarterly customer service survey that illustrates the importance of brand image and customer perception. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Olive Garden, Papa Murphy's Take 'n' Bake Pizza, Speedway, Nordstrom, Stride Rite, Ace Hardware, Office Depot, Dick's Sporting Goods, Publix, Walgreens, Southwest Airlines, Credit Unions, Best Buy and Marriott earned the highest marks in their categories this quarter.

    RealPeopleRatings.com(TM) was launched in 2005 by Corporate Research International, a market research firm specializing in mystery shopping and customer satisfaction surveys. The company sends the quarterly surveys as online opinion polls to its pool of panelists; 1,389 panelists participated in this quarter's survey.
    Respondents were asked to rate their perception of each business's customer service on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest rating. If a respondent did not have experience with the business, the panelist did not enter a score for that establishment.

    "Companies with consistently high ratings are focused on all customer touch points," said Michael Mallett, CEO of Corporate Research International. "Every interaction customers have with a business impacts overall perception, so an ongoing effort to maintain all areas keeps scores high. Looking at the customer experience from all angles is ultimately what keeps customers coming back."


    Category Winners:

    Fast Food Restaurants

    Chipotle Mexican Grill
    SUBWAY
    Sonic

    Full-service Restaurants

    Olive Garden
    Texas Roadhouse
    Longhorn

    Pizza Restaurants
    Papa Murphy's Take 'n' Bake Pizza
    CiCi's Pizza
    Papa John's

    Convenience Stores

    Speedway
    BP
    Shell

    Office Supply Stores

    Office Depot
    Staples
    FedEx Kinko's

    Department Stores

    Nordstrom
    Saks Fifth Avenue
    Bloomingdale's

    Shoe Stores

    Stride Rite
    Aldo
    Journeys

    Home Improvement Stores

    Ace Hardware
    True Value
    Lowe's

    Supermarkets

    Publix
    Kroger
    Safeway

    Sporting Goods Stores

    Dick's Sporting Goods
    Hibbett Sports
    Foot Locker

    Drug Stores
    Walgreens
    CVS
    Rite Aid

    Electronics Stores

    Best Buy
    RadioShack
    Circuit City

    Banks

    Credit Unions
    Washington Mutual
    Wachovia

    Hotels

    Marriott
    Hyatt
    Hilton

    Airlines

    Southwest
    JetBlue
    Delta



    For a complete list of scores and rankings, contact Caroline Golon at 614-678-9565 or cgolon@paulwerth.com.
    Quarterly Survey Methodology
    Survey respondents represented all regions of the country and completed only one survey each. Respondents spanned all ages, household incomes, education levels, and ethnicity.
    The scores reflect the mean score, which is an average of the sum of each score divided by the total number of observations.

    About Corporate Research International
    Corporate Research International (CRI) specializes in mystery shopping services and interactive customer voice and Web response surveys. The company tracks trends of quality service and appearance, providing information to help businesses retain happy, loyal customers. CRI was named to the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies in 2005 and 2006. For more information visit www.corpri.com
    http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Stor...3}&siteid=nbsh

    http://www.realpeoplerating.com/cps_...ection=Airline
    Last edited by TexasPlus; 23 July 2008 at 06:56 PM. Reason: Added a URL covering the fine points of the survey
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  3. #603
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    The Airline Will Never Have Meals on Fine China, but Customers Still Love It

    CEO: Secrets of Southwest's Success
    The Airline Will Never Have Meals on Fine China, but Customers Still Love It
    Column by RICK SEANEY
    FareCompare.com CEO

    July 23, 2008

    Last Friday, I sat down for a special one-on-one interview with Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly, and I thought I'd share some of it with you -- words of wisdom, pride and frustration from the man behind the country's only major domestic airline that's making any money.

    Southwest has come a long way from its start-up days, when the "little airline that could" was luring business travelers with $26 fares and a free bottle of Chivas Regal.

    Kelly told me, with justifiable pride: "We have money in the bank, have very little debt and, after 37 years, we still have the lowest cost structure."

    But the lanky Texan isn't blind to what's going on in the industry; he expects to have to raise prices.

    Kelly insisted, however, that Southwest's fares will always be a bargain and he'll never change the carrier's DNA.

    "We're not trying to be a premium airline with china and onboard meals in first class," Kelly said. "That's just not who we are and not what our customers want from us." Just don't call Southwest "cheap.

    "Our customers don't have low expectations," Kelly said with just a touch of exasperation. "They have the right expectations."

    Besides, he said, what with all the other carriers dropping their so-called frills left and right, the flying experience for most of us these days is pretty similar no matter what airline we fly (or, as Kelly put it, "coach is coach").

    But there's still something of a mystique to Southwest's determinedly cheerful and unabashedly frugal functionality -- its fans are passionate and they come from all walks of life.

    Just this past Sunday on "Meet the Press," after Tom Brokaw gently teased Al Gore about all those carbon foot-prints (wing-prints?) left behind from Gore's private jet flights, the former vice president proudly stated: "I'm flying on Southwest Airlines again today."

    So what is the future of Southwest and, indeed, what is the entire airline industry going to look like? According to Kelly, it's going to look a lot like … Southwest. The strong (and the lean and the efficient) will survive: "It's not such a dire scenario, but you are going to need more 'Southwest-like' carriers out there and … it may be that all the inefficient carriers and all the high-cost structures get purged from the U.S."

    That wouldn't surprise a lot of people; after all, betting on the next airline's demise has become the water cooler talk of the financial community. One thing for sure, it won't be Southwest. According to Fitch Ratings, the airline "has ensured its position as the 'last airline standing' in any far-reaching industry shakeout linked to a prolonged and extreme fuel shock scenario."

    And that's because much of Southwest's "magic" is based on fuel hedging. But wait a minute. Why is Southwest the only one with the foresight to do that? Why were the other airlines caught with their pants down when it came to hedging? Why didn't they do it?

    Well, they did, Kelly said, and airline execs who say otherwise are being "disingenuous."

    "They've all hedged, they've all hedged," he said. "We had two of the bankrupt airlines that had equal hedging positions this decade to ours, and they decided to liquidate them."

    OK, so they hedged but, obviously, didn't do it long enough.

    So how did Southwest come to hedging? Easy, Kelly said; he and another executive followed proper risk management fundamentals -- partly, it seems, because they didn't know any better.

    "The CFO and I were both new to the airline industry [in 1986] and we weren't hampered by, 'Well, this is how you do it.'"

    They started hedging during the first Gulf War in 1991 and, after a brief hiatus in the late-90s ("Gosh, I think jet fuel got down to 29 cents a gallon"), they resumed hedging and never looked back. Southwest has been 80 percent hedged every year of this decade.

    Meanwhile, the drumbeat for a return to regulation of the airline industry is sounding louder and louder. Kelly hears it and doesn't pay much attention to it because he's more concerned with other issues. Like airports -- what Kelly called "monuments" that communities lust after and the airlines get stuck paying for -- and the need to improve the nation's air traffic control system.

    He also said the Transportation Security Administration is flawed (charging airline passengers "for what is a national security issue").

    To Kelly, it's simply a matter of first things first: "You can regulate all you want but until you address those fundamental issues, what are you going to do, raise fares to the point that nobody's going to fly?"

    Which brings us to the matter of loyalty programs. With reduced flight capacity, higher fares and more fees, loyalty programs are changing, too, Kelly said. And when it comes to a lot of airlines, it's getting harder and harder to use your loyalty awards to get a seat. Kelly voiced what everyone else is thinking. "It just begs the question," he said, "what good is the loyalty program for the industry?

    But back to those rising airfares. Yes, Kelly said Southwest will continue to offer fares that are lower than other airlines, but they will rise -- and people will accept a certain amount of increases.

    "As a business traveler 15 years ago, I wouldn't think of paying over $100 for a room night, and now -- $300 to $400? The point being that people do adjust."

    Right now, what could the airline industry do to improve? If you expect Kelly to say, "be more like Southwest," you'd be right. But he's mostly thinking in terms of one specific area, and that's customer service.

    "I just think most airlines treat their customers very shoddily," he said.

    That doesn't happen at Southwest, he said, because -- in his words -- the airline hires good people, treats them well and they, in turn, treat Southwest customers well.

    But Kelly said that the key to overall customer satisfaction is really, really simple and it won't cost airlines a penny.

    "Most customers are 'satisfied' when you tell them the truth," he said. "They want to know what's going on. I think most people understand weather and mechanical delays; they understand that safety is the top priority. So it's when you don't provide any information or the information is untruthful, that's what creates the greatest 'routine anxiety'."

    The current economic aviation woes? Kelly said we will get through this, stating emphatically that "there's going to be an airline business" when it all shakes out.

    But it may not look much like the old one. In fact, it may bear a slight resemblance to a nearly 40-year Texas carrier that once gave away free booze.




    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/Busin...5426465&page=1
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  4. #604
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    Quote Originally Posted by aygriffith
    Wrong, as soon as SWA emplements assigned seating, first class, a real rewards program, has premium lounges, has a connector network to regionals, offers code share international (not canada) that shares points on either OW or Star Alliance, and flies to JFK and LAX (i think they still only fly to John Wayne and Newark) then they will have business travelers.
    BTW, regarding LAX, the Los Angeles Times reports

    Southwest Airlines will soon be No. 1 at four of five area airports

    By hedging its fuel purchases, the bargain carrier shows a profit increase as competitors dump flights.
    By Peter Pae
    Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

    July 25, 2008

    Southwest Airlines Co. this fall is on track to become the busiest carrier at Los Angeles International Airport and at three of the four regional airports in Southern California as high fuel prices force its main competitors to cut flights.

    The low-fare carrier, benefiting from a successful fuel-pricing strategy, has been able to hold down its fuel expenses while rivals have scrambled to cope with record fuel costs.

    Using long-term contracts, Southwest last year locked in the price it would pay for most of the fuel it planned to use this year based on a crude oil price of $51 a barrel, far less than the prevailing price of oil that has hovered around $126 this week.

    In the second quarter, Southwest paid an average of $2.19 a gallon, before tax, for jet fuel, compared with an industry-wide average of $3.51 a gallon.

    Thanks to this fuel-price hedging, Southwest on Thursday reported a 15% jump in second-quarter profit, becoming the only major airline to make money for the period.

    As a result, while other big carriers are slashing routes, Southwest has held steady and is gaining a larger share of the flights at local airports.

    After the other major airlines are finished making their expected cuts this fall, Southwest will have shot from its No. 3 spot to knock American Airlines from the No. 1 perch at LAX. By November, Southwest will account for nearly 17% of all flights at LAX, the nation's fourth-largest airport.

    "Our competitors are in a full-retreat mode," Southwest Chief Executive Gary Kelly said in a conference call with analysts Thursday.

    Other carriers in Southwest's markets are cutting capacity by 15%, far more than the industry average of 10%, he said. "In some cases, we've seen competitors exit from our markets completely."

    The shift is dramatic. At Ontario International Airport, Southwest will account for 56% of flights, up from 43% last year. At Burbank's Bob Hope Airport, 63% of the flights will be operated by Southwest, while at Orange County's John Wayne Airport, Southwest will account for 29% of flights. Southwest has no flights at Long Beach Airport, which is dominated by another low-fare carrier, JetBlue Airways.

    For Southern California travelers, Southwest's grip on air service at four of the five airports could have mixed consequences. With legacy airlines such as American and United cutting flight schedules, consumers will have fewer choices and could potentially face higher fares.

    On the other hand, Southwest, thanks to its fuel-hedging program and low-cost service, typically has lower fares. Southwest keeps costs down, for instance, by flying only Boeing 737 jets rather than a mix of aircraft. Having only one aircraft type reduces training and maintenance costs.

    On some lucrative West Coast routes such as LAX to San Francisco, Southwest still faces stiff competition from Alaska Airlines and upstart Virgin America, which is expected to keep fares low.

    Also, Southwest at LAX is seen as a key driver of "feeder" traffic for international flights, which have remained steady despite a drop in domestic service.

    So far, Southern California passengers have in general benefited from Southwest's presence.

    With the huge cost advantage, Southwest hasn't had to increase fares as much as other airlines or follow other carriers in imposing new baggage fees. Southwest said it had raised fares modestly four times this year, compared with more than 20 increases by other major airlines.

    "Right now, it comes as a sweet advantage and we are trying to take advantage of it," Kelly said. "Reservation agents tell me the first question they get when customers call right now is 'Do you charge for the first bag?' I believe deeply we are gaining passengers because of our approach."

    But the advantage won't last forever, and it has its risks. Southwest hasn't been able to hedge as much as it wanted for fuel it will need in 2009 and 2010, potentially raising its fuel costs by next year.

    Also, if oil prices plummet instead, Southwest could lose the advantage. It could find itself stuck with fuel that is more expensive than what's available in the market.

    Kelly said Thursday that Southwest would have to raise fares to help offset its rising fuel bill, but he said the carrier hoped to do it gradually, over the next 18 months, "without scaring passengers away."

    Even with its fuel strategy, overall fuel expenses rose 35% in the second quarter, the airline said.

    "We've got a lot of experience over 37 years of lowering fares, stimulating demand and meeting that," Kelly said. "Now we have a reverse scenario where we are forced to raise fares. We just want to be wise about how we go about that."

    Separately Thursday, Alaska Air Group Inc., which operates regional carriers Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, said it posted a second-quarter profit of $63.1 million thanks to a one-time accounting gain. Without the gain, the company said it lost $14.1 million in the quarter, compared with a profit of $47.2 million a year ago.

    peter.pae@latimes.com

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    But Kelly said that the key to overall customer satisfaction is really, really simple and it won't cost airlines a penny.

    "Most customers are 'satisfied' when you tell them the truth," he said. "They want to know what's going on. I think most people understand weather and mechanical delays; they understand that safety is the top priority. So it's when you don't provide any information or the information is untruthful, that's what creates the greatest 'routine anxiety'."
    Indeed.

  6. #606
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by interestedobserver
    Sitting at Love waiting for my flight to Houston. It was listed as on time until 20 minutes before originally scheduled departure (when I arrived at the gate). Flight status on the web listed it as 'boarding'. But there certainly wasn't anyone boarding, let alone a gate agent. Then I get a text notifying me of a 1:35 delay. Thanks. So very timely.

    At another gate I was informed that flight status online and on terminal displays doesn't necessarily reflect the actual situation. Huh? What exactly is the point? And why would it take up until 20 minutes before scheduled departure for Southwest to realize a flight would be delayed by over an hour and a half?

    - A disgruntled passenger.
    When you wrote directly to them with the details of your complaint, what was their response?
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  7. #607
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasPlus
    When you wrote directly to them with the details of your complaint, what was their response?
    A rep called to apologize for my disappointing experience.

    I was given a $50 LUV voucher.

    The rep basically said, "sorry, but we have no intentions of making our flifo more accurate" (i.e. we're still going to provide you untruthful information). Which is too bad, because the $50, while a very kind and appreciated gesture, doesn't do anything to get to the root of the problem. As Mr. Kelly so astutely states, it's accurate and truthful information passengers are after... now if only he took his own advice.

    [For the most part, Southwest is very upfront and provides truthful information, at least in my experience. Flifo is one area where accuracy is sorely lacking, at least at DAL and on their website.]

  8. #608
    The Urban Pragmatist Mballar's Avatar
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    http://dallas.bizjournals.com/dallas...1/daily58.html

    Standard & Poor's lowers American Airlines' ratings

    Dallas Business Journal

    Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has lowered its ratings on Fort Worth-based AMR Corp. and subsidiary American Airlines Inc.

    The changes include lowering the long-term corporate credit ratings on both entities to “B-” from “B” and removal of the ratings from CreditWatch, where they had been placed with negative implications May 22.

    The outlook is negative.

    In a statement, S&P says the downgrading of the company’s debt reflects expected heavy losses and negative operating cash flow caused by record-high fuel prices. . . .
    A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. - Plato

  9. #609
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    American Airlines uses students to help business

    Quote Originally Posted by aygriffith
    Wrong, as soon as SWA emplements assigned seating, first class, a real rewards program, has premium lounges, has a connector network to regionals, offers code share international (not canada) that shares points on either OW or Star Alliance, and flies to JFK and LAX (i think they still only fly to John Wayne and Newark) then they will have business travelers.
    Apparently AAmerican management thinks SWA already has "business travelers".
    American Airlines uses students to help business
    By DAVID KOENIG 07.28.08, 9:53 AM ET

    FORT WORTH, Texas -

    American Airlines is turning to college students to help them appeal to small-business owners.

    Students in a summer program at Vanderbilt University crafted proposals for the nation's biggest airline, and the winning team travels to American's headquarters in Fort Worth next week to pitch ideas to company executives.

    Rob Britton, adviser to the chairman of American parent AMR Corp. (nyse: AMR - news - people ), said the airline has done well with corporate travelers but not at wooing owners and employees of small and medium-size companies.

    "These are people who pay close attention to dollars," Britton said. "They have a strong 'How can I buy cheaper?' ethic."

    Britton said many of them gravitate toward Southwest Airlines Co. (nyse: LUV - news - people ) and overlook American even when it offers comparable or lower fares.

    Looking for ideas, and eager to help the summer business school boot camp at Vanderbilt, Britton turned to the university's Accelerator program. It's a four-week summer course - tuition is $8,500 - aimed at liberal arts majors who want to pick up enough business knowledge to improve their job chances when they graduate.

    "It helps them work in teams, solve problems and put together a quick presentation to a management team," said Michael Burcham, a startup specialist who serves as faculty director for the program.

    The companies, in turn, "are interested in what 20- to 25-year-olds think of their markets and what they can do to market to that age group," he added.

    Paige Parkey, an English major who expects to graduate next year from Harding University in Arkansas, was a member of the winning team. She said her team stood out by building on American's existing offerings rather than starting from scratch.

    "Our proposal was probably the cheapest," Parkey said. She couldn't discuss details of the proposal because American made the students sign nondisclosure agreements, she said.

    Now Parkey's team is off to Fort Worth, where they'll have to expand their 10-minute class presentation for an audience of American executives.

    "We're going to get some tough questions," she said, "so we'll have to know our stuff."

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  10. #610
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    [I"]Rob Britton, adviser to the chairman of American parent AMR Corp. (nyse: AMR - news - people ), said the airline has done well with corporate travelers but not at wooing owners and employees of small and medium-size companies."[/i]
    The answer might be as simple as the fact that corporate purchasers receive massive volume purchase discounts on AA; small and medium size companies do not.

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    I still dont understand why people think SW is cheaper, I booked a flight to Sea from dfw yesterday for this weekend and it was about 200 cheaper on AA than SW. Plus you have the choice not to have a lay over. Also my flight to MSY in a few weeks was half as much on AA than on SW.

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    Quote Originally Posted by downtownguy25
    I still dont understand why people think SW is cheaper, I booked a flight to Sea from dfw yesterday for this weekend and it was about 200 cheaper on AA than SW. Plus you have the choice not to have a lay over. Also my flight to MSY in a few weeks was half as much on AA than on SW.
    Who is saying that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by UptownDallas
    Who is saying that?
    Perhaps not here, but just the other day I was talking with a colleague who said "...and Southwest's always the cheapest." I think it's still a fairly common misconception.

  14. #614
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    Quote Originally Posted by downtownguy25
    I still dont understand why people think SW is cheaper, I booked a flight to Sea from dfw yesterday for this weekend and it was about 200 cheaper on AA than SW.
    But not if you booked it today even if your not checking any bags. Lots of variables here.
    Quote Originally Posted by downtownguy25
    Also my flight to MSY in a few weeks was half as much on AA than on SW.
    I just looked at both airlines for a little over three weeks out...round trip, all taxes, but no checked bag fees were:
    SWA $193 AA $190
    Could have saved about $20 on SWA by going through HOU but wanted to compare fares, apples to apples as much as possible.

    In any event, Isn't it great that the "Southwest Effect" is working so well under "Wright II"?
    Otherwise AA fares would still be much higher across the board.
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    The End of Aviation?

    The New Republic
    The End Of Aviation by Bradford Plumer
    What will happen when America can't afford to fly?
    Post Date Wednesday, August 27, 2008

    Link: http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.ht...d-b8023fd89459

    It is a rather lengthy article.
    Tighten the female dog!

  16. #616
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    ^Interesting article. I think it takes an extreme viewpoint but a relevent one none the less. I tend to be on the side of a technology based solution. This company is a good example, has already developed an alternative jet fuel that it can mass produce at half the cost of current fuel costs and is in talks with every major airline in the US.

    http://www.rentechinc.com/index.htm

  17. #617
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tnekster
    ^Interesting article. I think it takes an extreme viewpoint but a relevent one none the less. I tend to be on the side of a technology based solution.
    I agree. It will be in stages, the near term will be developing our own oil resources, Nancy can't sit on that "no-vote" toilet forever. Once the OK is given to start using our own oil resources the speculator driven prices will come down...a lot. Look how much the speculated price of oil fell when President Bush removed the Presidential ban on offshore drilling. As the barriers to using our own oil fall, so will the speculated price of oil, and it will not take 10 years. In the meantime the technology based solutions will mature.
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  18. #618
    Just Changing Planes aygriffith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AeroD
    The New Republic
    The End Of Aviation by Bradford Plumer
    What will happen when America can't afford to fly?
    Post Date Wednesday, August 27, 2008

    Link: http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.ht...d-b8023fd89459

    It is a rather lengthy article.
    Very interestng article. It hits close to home for me because I'm the consultant who flies out on Monday and returns on Thursday or Friday... if I don't do that twice during one week. Ultimately for us, our company has always relied on conference calls an programs such as MS live meeting but more and more clients will pay for us to be on site just because there are interactions that just can't happen over a call or on live meeting. The big loser in the whole rising cost of airfare will be vacation market of travel. Which is why I believe in the LONG run the low cost carriers such as Southwest will have to reinvent themselves to cater to business travelers that have long avoided them and continue to.

  19. #619
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aygriffith
    Which is why I believe in the LONG run the low cost carriers such as Southwest will have to reinvent themselves to cater to business travelers that have long avoided them and continue to.
    That's interesting since I do most of my business travel almost exclusively with Southwest and I know lots of other people that do the same, and I meet people on the planes all the time that are traveling for business.

  20. #620
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    Quote Originally Posted by aygriffith
    Which is why I believe in the LONG run the low cost carriers such as Southwest will have to reinvent themselves to cater to business travelers that have long avoided them and continue to.
    Actually they already have.....the ongoing changes over the last year have proven very popular. As I said before, http://forum.dallasmetropolis.com/sh...&postcount=652 Southwest carries a large number of business travelers. Also see http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...1e919bbe2.html
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    American Airlines orders 6 more 737s 9:05 AM CT

    09:05 AM CDT on Wednesday, August 13, 2008
    Associated Press

    American Airlines said Wednesday it will take delivery of another six Boeing 737-800s in 2010, bringing the total expected to be delivered in 2009 and 2010 to 76 aircraft.

    American said the deal is part of an amendment under its purchase agreement with Boeing, in which the airline exercised its right to buy 20 737-800s for delivery in 2009 and 2010.

    American aims to speed up the replacement of its less fuel-efficient MD-80 aircraft.

    The airline said it still has "firm commitments" to its plan to take delivery of 11 737s in 2013, but it noted it is still evaluating opportunities to further speed up the fleet renewal process.

    American said it has secured financing for about two-thirds of the Boeing 737-800 deliveries in 2009 and 2010.

    While the carrier said it has the option to finance all of its 2009 deliveries under the deal, it declined to disclose any further details about the plan.

  22. #622
    Just Changing Planes aygriffith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tnekster
    That's interesting since I do most of my business travel almost exclusively with Southwest and I know lots of other people that do the same, and I meet people on the planes all the time that are traveling for business.
    I know of not a single banking, financial serivices, large public accounting, consulting, or technology firm that has a corporate travel agent that will touch Southwest with a 100 ft pole. Like I've said before in the southwest thread, there are certain constant inadequacies that plague SW that they will have to overcome before they can get the bulk of the corporate travel which is booked by agents. Plus if I'm booking last minute I can almost guarantee that SW is rarely cheaper than a legacy carrier and I"ll most likely not get a non stop. And if you think that SW is going to have tons of direct flights after the Wright Ammendment is up you've lost your mind. SW's whole network and business plan is a mismash of flights that have to hop from city to city. Oh and you can't say you cater to business travelers if you don't fly into JFK. I'd ask if you'd ever seen how packed a DFW to JFK flight is on AA but your only comparison is would be a SW flight that stops atleast twice to Islip which is a commuter jet airport for Long Island. Compared to JFK, Islip is a funny joke and Newark may as well be in NJ (oh wait it is).

    The only thing I enjoy about SW is the close proximity of DAL. I was a regular on the STL and KC flights on AEagle and have used them for the Chicago flights as of lately too. I don't have a chance for an upgrade but its so damn hard to anymore unless you Executive Platnium, and i say that already being Platnium and Lifetime Gold. But I still have enough miles each year to fly to Europe or some Island somewhere free and have a hell of alot of partner carriers to do it on. Can Rapid Rewards get me to Europe for free? Not last time I checked...

  23. #623
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    Quote Originally Posted by aygriffith
    I know of not a single banking, financial serivices, large public accounting, consulting, or technology firm that has a corporate travel agent that will touch Southwest with a 100 ft pole.
    Don't get out much, huh?


    Quote Originally Posted by aygriffith
    Like I've said before in the southwest thread, there are certain constant inadequacies that plague SW that they will have to overcome before they can get the bulk of the corporate travel which is booked by agents.
    Interesting that your vague allegations are contradicted by every reputable independent study of customer satisfaction.

    Quote Originally Posted by aygriffith
    Plus if I'm booking last minute I can almost guarantee that SW is rarely cheaper than a legacy carrier...
    The "Southwest effect" is well known and proven... in markets where legacy carriers are forced to compete with Southwest (or another high-quality, low-cost carrier), the legacy carriers will reduce their airfares. What that means is that the cost of the flight (on whichever airline chosen) will be cheaper... it does not mean that the cheapest flight will be on Southwest.

    This is a pretty straight forward example of the free market in action.
    Quote Originally Posted by aygriffith
    ...and I"ll most likely not get a non stop.
    Here in North Texas, you find two things:
    1) AA uses it as a major hub, therefor you will find non-stop flights to a wide variety of destinations... as you would at any airline hub city; and
    2) AA has used its political muscle to prevent Southwest from offering non-stop flights to any destinations outside the region.

    Nationally, however, Southwest is the largest domestic air carrier and operates a much more diversified route network, with more "mini-hubs." This means that Southwest is more likely to offer more people a non-stop flight between their origin and destination. Indeed, air carrier statistics back this up... a higher percentage of Southwest passengers are flying non-stop versus American passengers.

    Quote Originally Posted by aygriffith
    And if you think that SW is going to have tons of direct flights after the Wright Ammendment is up you've lost your mind.
    If you mean non-stop, you are probably correct. The best way to predict this is to look at other nearby airports (which aren't restricted by the Wright Amendment). An examination of non-stop flights on Southwest from nearby unrestricted airports suggests that we will gain non-stop service to the following markets:
    • Baltimore
    • Chicago (Midway)
    • Denver
    • Ft. Lauderdale
    • Harlingen/South Padre Island
    • Jacksonville
    • Las Vegas
    • Los Angeles
    • Nashville
    • Oakland
    • Orlando
    • Philadelphia
    • Phoenix
    • Portland
    • San Diego
    • Seattle and
    • Tampa Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by aygriffith
    SW's whole network and business plan is a mismash of flights that have to hop from city to city.
    Again, Southwest has a higher percentage of seats occupied by non-stop travellers than do the major legacy carriers, which require travelers to connect through a limited number of major hubs (unless they are going to/from the hub city).

    Quote Originally Posted by aygriffith
    Oh and you can't say you cater to business travelers if you don't fly into JFK. I'd ask if you'd ever seen how packed a DFW to JFK flight is on AA but your only comparison is would be a SW flight that stops atleast twice to Islip which is a commuter jet airport for Long Island. Compared to JFK, Islip is a funny joke and Newark may as well be in NJ (oh wait it is).
    Mmmmm....... ok.... if you say so.

    Quote Originally Posted by aygriffith
    The only thing I enjoy about SW is the close proximity of DAL. I was a regular on the STL and KC flights on AEagle and have used them for the Chicago flights as of lately too.
    I guess I'm confused... you complain earlier about a shortage of non-stop flights. However, when you use Love Field, you artificially restricted yourself to a couple of destinations served by cramped American Eagle flights? (actually, they now only fly to one destination)

    Quote Originally Posted by aygriffith
    I don't have a chance for an upgrade but its so damn hard to anymore unless you Executive Platnium, and i say that already being Platnium and Lifetime Gold. But I still have enough miles each year to fly to Europe or some Island somewhere free and have a hell of alot of partner carriers to do it on. Can Rapid Rewards get me to Europe for free? Not last time I checked...
    No, but you could use the money you save flying Southwest (or redeeming Southwest miles for domestic flights you would normally purchase... Southwest frequent flyer rewards are much easier to claim than AAdvantage awards... to pay for your vacation tickets.

    If AAdvantage miles are really that important to you, you don't need to fly to earn them.... there are all sorts of ways to get them... credit cards, mortgages, eating out, flowers, the list goes on and on.

    (I assume you realize that free tickets aren't really "free," it's just a form of rebate.

  24. #624
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    Quote Originally Posted by aygriffith
    Very interestng article. It hits close to home for me because I'm the consultant who flies out on Monday and returns on Thursday or Friday... if I don't do that twice during one week. Ultimately for us, our company has always relied on conference calls an programs such as MS live meeting but more and more clients will pay for us to be on site just because there are interactions that just can't happen over a call or on live meeting. The big loser in the whole rising cost of airfare will be vacation market of travel. Which is why I believe in the LONG run the low cost carriers such as Southwest will have to reinvent themselves to cater to business travelers that have long avoided them and continue to.
    I take it you're not an aviation industry consultant.

  25. #625
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UptownDallas
    Again, Southwest has a higher percentage of seats occupied by non-stop travellers than do the major legacy carriers, which require travelers to connect through a limited number of major hubs (unless they are going to/from the hub city).
    For decades the percentage of SWA customers flying non-stop has been around the 80% mark.
    As SWA carries more people each year than any other airline, it looks like they know their target market well.
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  26. #626
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UptownDallas
    I take it you're not an aviation industry consultant.
    :2lol:
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  27. #627
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aygriffith
    I know of not a single banking, financial serivices, large public accounting, consulting, or technology firm that has a corporate travel agent that will touch Southwest with a 100 ft pole....
    Yet....I continue to see business travelers on every flight.

  28. #628
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aygriffith
    Oh and you can't say you cater to business travelers if you don't fly into JFK.
    The NYC market does not and has not had enough gates available for a meaningful SWA operation to be developed....yet.

    In the next few quarters when the next round of airline consolidation hits, and hits hard there will be gates and other assets available in the NYC market that have not been available for a long time. If you look at the airlines balance sheets, you will see there is only one carrier that has the cash to take advantage of that opportunity. Care to venture a guess which one?
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  29. #629
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    American Airlines faces $7.1M fine for safety violations

    04:25 PM CDT on Thursday, August 14, 2008
    By DAVE MICHAELS / The Dallas Morning News
    dmichaels@dallasnews.com

    Federal regulators have proposed a fine of $7.1 million against American Airlines for several violations, including deferring maintenance on airplanes and deficiencies with its drug and alcohol testing programs.

    The fine is lower than the one levied in March against Southwest Airlines, which deferred inspections of Boeing 737 jets beyond the deadline required by regulations. But American’s fine doesn’t stem from maintenance-related groundings that occurred in April, suggesting more fines could be on the way.

    The FAA said American was fined because the carrier didn’t properly repair two MD-83 jets that were referred for service by pilots in December. Instead, the airline flew the jets 58 times. The proposed penalty for all maintenance violations was $4.4 million, the FAA said.

    The fine for the airline’s drug and alcohol testing was $1.7 million, the FAA said. The agency proposed another $1 million penalty for operating aircraft without properly inspecting the emergency escape-path lighting systems.

    Both of those fines were proposed to the carrier in May, although the FAA didn’t publicize them at the time.

  30. #630
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tnekster
    American Airlines faces $7.1M fine for safety violations

    04:25 PM CDT on Thursday, August 14, 2008
    By DAVE MICHAELS / The Dallas Morning News
    dmichaels@dallasnews.com

    ...

    Both of those fines were proposed to the carrier in May, although the FAA didn’t publicize them at the time.
    Anyone else find this odd considering the spotlight placed on proposed fines to other carriers around the same time frame?
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  31. #631
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    More details on AAmerican violations.

    FAA seeks $7M fine against American Airlines

    By JOAN LOWY 08.15.08, 8:22 AM ET

    WASHINGTON -

    The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday it is seeking $7.1 million from American Airlines for continuing to fly airliners after safety problems were reported and for drug-testing violations.

    The Texas-based airline delayed repairs on two MD-80s - a mid-sized airliner - after problems were reported with their autopilot systems and flew them 58 times in violations of federal regulations, the FAA said.

    "The FAA believes the large total amount of the fine for these violations is appropriate because American Airlines was aware that appropriate repairs were needed, and instead deferred maintenance," the agency said in a statement. "In intentionally continuing to fly the aircraft, the carrier did not follow important safety regulations intended to protect passengers and crew."

    The largest fine FAA has ever proposed against an airline was $10.2 million against Southwest Airlines (nyse: LUV - news - people ) in March for flying airplanes without performing mandatory inspections, FAA spokesman Les Dorr said. The FAA and Southwest are still negotiating a final penalty, he said.

    While not as high as the fine against Southwest, the proposed $7.1 million penalty against American "is certainly significant," Dorr said.

    American released a statement calling the fine "excessive" and saying it intends to contest it.

    "We do not agree with the FAA's findings and characterizations of American's action in these cases," the airline said. "In accordance with FAA procedures for handling these matters, we have requested to meet with the FAA after we have had time to thoroughly review their findings, so that we may discuss the issues. Since these matters are ongoing with the FAA, we will not have any further comment at this time."

    On Dec. 11 and 12, American delayed maintenance to the autopilot system of one of the MD-80s and flew the airliner eight more times in airspace where planes are allowed to group more closely together, violating FAA regulations, Dorr said. It would have been permissible to continue to fly the plane in less restricted airspace, he said.

    An FAA inspector discovered the violations and informed American, but the airline sent the plane on 10 more flights carrying passengers until the problem was finally fixed on Dec. 17, the agency said.

    In another incident involving the same plane later that month, the autopilot reportedly disconnected during a landing, but American technicians did not check for the right problem and improperly delayed maintenance again, the FAA said. As a result, the airliner flew 36 more passenger-carrying flights before maintenance crews discovered the problem was really a fault in a radio altimeter, not the autopilot, the agency said.

    Also in December, during the busy Christmas travel season, the autopilot on a different American MD-80 disconnected. Though mechanics correctly identified the problem, they improperly delayed maintenance again and the airliner made four flights without a fully functioning autopilot, the FAA said.

    The FAA is also seeking fines against American for violating drug and alcohol testing procedures involving several dozen flight attendants and other employees, only one of which was a pilot, Dorr said.

    The airline also did not make timely inspections of its emergency lighting systems inside aircraft for several years, the agency said.

    American is one of the world's largest airlines, with 60,000 flights a month.

    {About 1/3 fewer flights than Southwest}
    http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2008/...partner=alerts
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  32. #632
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PuddinHead
    how does Southwest cater to the business traveler
    Good question, the ways are far too many to fully cover in this venue, but for starters, read through these pages and their many links to learn about some of the ways.

    Luv For The Business Traveler

    More Luv For the Business Traveler

    No Supprize Fees
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  33. #633
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PuddinHead
    You cannot use a travel service to buy a ticket on Southwest.
    Who cares?

  34. #634
    Just Changing Planes aygriffith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UptownDallas
    Don't get out much, huh?
    While I have some bum type friends, most of mine are professionals in some sort of the previously listed fields. If you must fault me for the company I keep I won't be too offended.

    Quote Originally Posted by UptownDallas
    Interesting that your vague allegations are contradicted by every reputable independent study of customer satisfaction.
    Well like i've said ask a jaded constant traveler like me and I won't sing praises unto anything but on time flights. I understand the realities of air travel on domestic carriers. Ask a southwest customer flying their lil john and betty to MCO to go to Disneyland and they couldn't be more happy with Southwest. Ask the poor sap in a tie who had to listen to the cattle cart full of kids on certain SW flights and he probably won't comment. Your average targeted SW customer probably has only a hand full of flights within their lifetime to compare to the flight they just boarded/deparated. Rose colored glasses.


    Quote Originally Posted by UptownDallas
    The "Southwest effect" is well known and proven... in markets where legacy carriers are forced to compete with Southwest (or another high-quality, low-cost carrier), the legacy carriers will reduce their airfares. What that means is that the cost of the flight (on whichever airline chosen) will be cheaper... it does not mean that the cheapest flight will be on Southwest.

    This is a pretty straight forward example of the free market in action.
    Thanks for the free markets lesson Junior! So what your saying is I am right that SW rarely has the cheapest flight unless you are booking over 90 days out? So I guess your "Southwest Effect" should be thanked, although I'm quite sure it hasn't lowered my DFW prices lately.

    Quote Originally Posted by UptownDallas
    Here in North Texas, you find two things:
    1) AA uses it as a major hub, therefor you will find non-stop flights to a wide variety of destinations... as you would at any airline hub city; and
    2) AA has used its political muscle to prevent Southwest from offering non-stop flights to any destinations outside the region.

    Nationally, however, Southwest is the largest domestic air carrier and operates a much more diversified route network, with more "mini-hubs." This means that Southwest is more likely to offer more people a non-stop flight between their origin and destination. Indeed, air carrier statistics back this up... a higher percentage of Southwest passengers are flying non-stop versus American passengers.
    I will bring issue with this statement only by pointing out that if indeed you percentage comment is correct is probably has something to do with American Eagle and the number of cities they serve. Your very right that I'm not going to fly to Bangor, Maine or Greenville, South Carolina without stopping somewhere first on American Eagle. Sure American isn't going to offer 738 service from each of their cities, but between AA and their other legacy buddies I can usually get to within 50 to 100 miles of whatever client I am working with. I can't and won't ever be able to do that with SW.

    Quote Originally Posted by UptownDallas
    If you mean non-stop, you are probably correct. The best way to predict this is to look at other nearby airports (which aren't restricted by the Wright Amendment). An examination of non-stop flights on Southwest from nearby unrestricted airports suggests that we will gain non-stop service to the following markets:
    • Baltimore
    • Chicago (Midway)
    • Denver
    • Ft. Lauderdale
    • Harlingen/South Padre Island
    • Jacksonville
    • Las Vegas
    • Los Angeles
    • Nashville
    • Oakland
    • Orlando
    • Philadelphia
    • Phoenix
    • Portland
    • San Diego
    • Seattle and
    • Tampa Bay
    Great just let me know where the SW Supersaver Lounge is where I can hide from the normal zoo sitting at the gate. Since I think you might work for SW, if you use that name I'm going to want dues for my intelectual property. I was thinking Southwest Cheapass Club might be better though.

    Oh and I can already get to all of those places non stop on AA. Or one stop on most all other legacy carriers. And one stop is still better than many southwest flights at their Mini-hubs.

    Quote Originally Posted by UptownDallas
    Again, Southwest has a higher percentage of seats occupied by non-stop travellers than do the major legacy carriers, which require travelers to connect through a limited number of major hubs (unless they are going to/from the hub city).
    Its intersting that so many combinations I put into the SW trip planner on their website come back with one or more stops. Many of these from their "mini-hubs" all over the country. Oh well, its almost like the good ole days of air travel when you NY to LA meant stopping 4 places in between. But the reality is I need non stops, with or without the wright ammendment. So does the rest of of the DFW travelers.


    [QUOTE=UptownDallas]I guess I'm confused... you complain earlier about a shortage of non-stop flights. However, when you use Love Field, you artificially restricted yourself to a couple of destinations served by cramped American Eagle flights? (actually, they now only fly to one destination)[/indent]

    I will any day of the week be on the A (aisle and window), B (aisle), or C (window) or a ER4 that sitting in B or E on a 737. Regional Jets aren't really bad to fly in. You have a greater width seat in a SW 737 but the avoidance of the middle seat in entirety is golden. Ultmately all the bad publicity (maybe fueled alittle by SW?) of ERJ regionals has brought in a whole new category or 2+2 jets from Bombadier, Mitsubishi, CRJ and Embraer. These are going to be game changers for the small airport market. Much more comforable and likeable to all those who believed the bad rap of the ERJ and confused them with the ride of Turboprop.

    Oh and flying straight to Chicago from an airport close to downtown? Some would call that pretty smart. The flood of private corporate aircraft at DAL speaks volumes about how convenent DAL is to downtown and uptown. Its really too bad (for SW) that most of the large firms that have DTD office space can't book a flight on SW because we use travel agents or corporate AMEX travel services. Oh well...

    Quote Originally Posted by UptownDallas
    No, but you could use the money you save flying Southwest (or redeeming Southwest miles for domestic flights you would normally purchase... Southwest frequent flyer rewards are much easier to claim than AAdvantage awards... to pay for your vacation tickets.

    If AAdvantage miles are really that important to you, you don't need to fly to earn them.... there are all sorts of ways to get them... credit cards, mortgages, eating out, flowers, the list goes on and on.

    (I assume you realize that free tickets aren't really "free," it's just a form of rebate.
    You must think I'm an amateur... I didn't get over a million AA miles by flying alone. I've used the mentioned milage earners as much as I've gotten miles by flying. Since you either work for SW or are the president of their fan club you need to take this back to their smiley loving goons: MILES ARE THE REASON I PUT UP WITH CORPORATE TRAVEL. Bar-none, and that goes for most everyone on the Monday morning/Thursday and Friday flights. I don't care that RR's will get me a free seat on your cattle carts to Orlando or Orange County John Wayne airport. I want to go sking in Whistler B.C., sitting on the beach on the Mediterrainian Sea, or looking at antiquities in Europe or Asia. I have no problem claiming AAdvantage rewards, much to the bad publicity fueled by someone out there (SW?), anyone who plans their vacations somewhat in advance doesn't seem to have problems getting seats. That includes me. Oh and again the occasional upgrade never hurts. Hell if I'm flying UA, i can even get an upgrade in the regional jets!

    Quote Originally Posted by UptownDallas
    I take it you're not an aviation industry consultant.
    The only consulting I do for the aviation industry is from my armchair. Anyways I hear its a rough industry to be in... unless of course you are SW!

    Quote Originally Posted by PuddinHead
    So tell us aviation industry consultant and avowed protector of airport valet parking services how does Southwest cater to the business traveler when you cannot even book a Southwest ticket using travel services like American Express and or Carson Wagonlit?
    Don't worry about asking this... this question is posed quite frequently in addition to the Corporate Travel agents pretty much anywhere not being able to ticket. The only answer they can give is... "Hey look at our new Business Select!" Same plane, same unassigned seats, same people around you but the best part is it actually costs more! HA HA... As I believe NBC used to call it, The Fleecing of America. But wait you get to board first and you get a drink coupon. Yikes.

    Companies make their employees book through corporate travel agents both for ease and speed of Trip Planning and also to keep a tight leash on corporate spending. If I call SW and book a ticket how does my company know there wasn't a more affordable equal option out there? They don't if I can't put it into a matrix comparing fares to other carriers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tnekster
    Who cares?
    Along with the technology company I work for, PWC, KPMG, E&Y, Lehman Brothers, AIG, Liberty Mutual, Tenet, BOA, Chase, Cap Gemini, IBM, Microsoft, General Motors, Lockheed Martin, Bell Helicopter, Deloitte, Accenture, Bearing Pointe, Dean, Nortel and many other large and medium sized companies that put hundreds if not thousands of their employees in the air every day... but not on SW. No big deal though. They may represent over 50 percent of the legacy carriers business if not more but obviously they aren't that important to SW. Which is fine with me...

    Oh and this arguement is one that can't be won or convinced. All I ask is don't drink the Jim Jones Koolaide at durring your next SW flight until you see what the issues are that SW has classically been soft on.

  35. #635
    Incoherent Rambler grantboston's Avatar
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    ^Actually, ayg, you CAN fly to GSP non-stop from DFW. It's a nice place,you ought to cash in your Rapid Rewards points and take a trip there.

    I'm going to go back to the solitude of the Crown Room Club now.

  36. #636
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PuddinHead
    how does Southwest cater to the business traveler when you cannot even book a Southwest ticket using travel services like American Express
    ....

    Unlike the rest of the airlines there are only two ways to buy a Southwest ticket, from a Southwest Web site or the ticket counter. You cannot use a travel service to buy a ticket on Southwest.
    Perhaps it is time to update your ignorance of SWA, here a a few tidbits to get you started at a slow non life threating pace.

    http://www.swabiz.com/travel_center/fop.html
    https://www.swabiz.com/cgi-bin/selfEnroll
    http://www.swabiz.com/about_swa/pres...8_westjet.html
    http://www.authorizedagents.com/
    http://www.swabiz.com/gift_cards/gift_cards.html
    http://www.documents.dgs.ca.gov/osp/...os/MM07_07.pdf
    https://in-gotravel.doe.gov/govtrip/OnlineBooking.html
    http://dfm.fws.gov/Whats%20new/OBE%2...on%20QandA.htm
    1-800-435-9792
    Last edited by TexasPlus; 18 August 2008 at 06:47 AM.
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  37. #637
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PuddinHead
    Just like I said there are only two ways to purchase a Southwest ticket, at a WN web site or a WN ticket counter. You cannot purchase a WN ticket on American Express Travel or Carson Wagonlit.
    Doesn't seem to hurt them since they actually carry more passengers than AA.

  38. #638
    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    The most recent round of AA versus SW has been cleared from the "DFW Int'l Airport + The International Marketplace | V2.0 and deposited into this, the appropriate thread.

  39. #639
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonDallas
    The score from today was:

    AA - 200+ cancellations
    SW - 0 cancellations

    Partially due to AA being cheap and not renting enough gates at DFW, and partially due to Love being far more protected from ice/snow storms historically.
    Oh what a difference 11 miles can make:

    Southwest suspends Love Field flights

    vs.

    American Airlines officials said they don’t expect mass cancellations at the airline’s hub at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.

    "There may be some rain and southerly winds, but nothing that would hamper operations to any major extent," spokesman Tim Smith said.

    But he cautioned that crosswinds and rain could slow traffic at D/FW, causing delays and some cancellations. American will monitor the storm throughout today, Smith said; D/FW could be affected from late afternoon and into the evening, he added.
    Source: http://www.star-telegram.com/business/story/905662.html

  40. #640
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    Quote Originally Posted by interestedobserver
    Oh what a difference 11 miles can make:
    It's really not 11 miles, it is 2 different airlines philosophies, and probably the fact that a large chunk of SWA flights go to Houston, which is closed today :

    CITY SKY/WX TMP DP RH WIND PRES REMARKS
    DFW AIRPORT LGT RAIN 80 73 79 N22 29.41F
    DALLAS LOVE RAIN 77 74 90 N21 29.39F

  41. #641
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonDallas
    It's really not 11 miles, it is 2 different airlines philosophies, and probably the fact that a large chunk of SWA flights go to Houston, which is closed today :

    CITY SKY/WX TMP DP RH WIND PRES REMARKS
    DFW AIRPORT LGT RAIN 80 73 79 N22 29.41F
    DALLAS LOVE RAIN 77 74 90 N21 29.39F
    Yet oddly, at 5 o'clock, when Hobby is still closed to traffic, Southwest can magically operate their other ex-DAL services not affected by the storm.

  42. #642
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    Quote Originally Posted by interestedobserver
    Yet oddly, at 5 o'clock, when Hobby is still closed to traffic, Southwest can magically operate their other ex-DAL services not affected by the storm.
    What are you talking about? Didn't AA's flights get off fine from Love today?

    Jason

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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonDallas
    What are you talking about? Didn't AA's flights get off fine from Love today?

    Jason
    Best I can surmise, AA was able to operate two flights to ORD today, with the latest departing at 11:00, just 30 minutes after Southwest decided to begin its window of cancelled ops for the day.

    However...

    From Love
    AA4366, the 17:00 departure to ORD, was cancelled.
    AA4372, the 18:00 departure to ORD, was cancelled.

    From DFW
    AA2364, the 16:40 departure to ORD, is about to arrive.
    AA2366, the 17:30 departure to ORD, is en route.
    AA2372, the 19:10 departure to ORD, is delayed, but still scheduled to operate.

    And don't get me wrong, I understand that often 11 miles doesn't make a difference weather wise, it's merely amusing that so many are quick to pile on American (e.g. calling the airline cheap) when it's forced to make cancellations, but when it's Southwest, well, gawsh darnit, give 'em a break... they are doing the dern best they can. The truth of the matter is that neither airline wants the headache and hassle of accommodating hundreds of thousands of displaced passengers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by interestedobserver
    The truth of the matter is that neither airline wants the headache and hassle of accommodating hundreds of thousands of displaced passengers.
    I don't think Love Field being closed for 7 hours (on a Saturday in September, no less) would affect "hundreds of thousands" of passengers, nor for that matter would DFW. It does bring up an interesting point, however.

    Love Field only accounts for around 4% of Southwest's total daily departures, so it's easier for Southwest to recover on a system-wide basis, IMHO. Even LAS (WN's largest station) accounts for less than 7% of their total daily departures.

    When DFW closes it has much more of an effect on AA's passengers because a larger percentage of AA's total daily flights depart from DFW. Doesn't DFW account for about 30-35% of American/American Eagle's total daily departures?

    LoneStarMike

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    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStarMike
    I don't think Love Field being closed for 7 hours (on a Saturday in September, no less) would affect "hundreds of thousands" of passengers, nor for that matter would DFW. It does bring up an interesting point, however.
    Poor proofreading on my part... should have typed "hundreds or thousands". But the number is really beside the point.

  46. #646
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    As fares and fees rise, passengers want service
    By HARRY R. WEBER 09.20.08, 6:10 AM ET

    FORT WORTH, Texas -

    On a recent rainy day at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, a suitcase bound for Colorado Springs, Colo., lay on the ground outside a terminal under a maze of American Airlines conveyor belts that ferry bags to and from nearby planes.

    A field representative for the airline who was showing a reporter the long, circuitous route checked bags take put the suitcase on a belt where it was supposed to be. He said it likely fell off a belt or a baggage handler's vehicle. He didn't know how long it had been off its path.

    The airlines have been imposing new fees, raising fares, reducing flights and, in some cases, cutting out free snacks in coach. But several big and small airlines alike have struggled relative to the industry in terms of baggage handling, on-time performance and other customer service metrics. An annual University of Michigan survey released in May found customers giving airlines the worst grades since 2001.

    With the slow travel season now upon them, airlines face the dual challenges of increasing revenue to cover heavy fuel costs while also improving their product to give air travelers a return on their added investment.

    "We realize that in order for us to regain that brand recognition and the customer loyalty that we used to own in the '80s and '90s, we ought to do something very dramatic and different," said Mark Mitchell, American's managing director of customer experience.

    Delta Air Lines Inc. regional subsidiary Comair had the worst on-time performance in July among airlines surveyed by the Department of Transportation. From January through July, American Airlines on-time arrival rate was the lowest among U.S. carriers, while UAL Corp. United Airlines' was second-lowest. Comair had the highest mishandled baggage rate in July, while the highest number of consumer complaints received by the DOT that month were about Delta. Comair's on-time performance from January through July ranked 17th out of 19 airlines, while Delta's ranked eighth.

    The fourth-highest number of consumer complaints received by the DOT in July were about Tempe, Ariz.-based US Airways which said in a Sept. 3 memo to employees that they would not be receiving a $50 bonus for the month because the airline's on-time performance did not place in the top three among the 10 largest U.S. carriers.

    Executives blame weather, congestion in the Northeast and air traffic control issues for some of the problems, but they also acknowledge company specific problems. They say there have been improvements since the latest DOT figures were released.

    American, a unit of Fort Worth-based AMR Corp., is keeping planes on the ground longer in some cities before turning them for their next flight so that if something goes wrong, there is extra time to board passengers and baggage. It plans to block a limited number of seats from being sold on flights in key markets this Thanksgiving to give it flexibility in re-accommodating customers on planes that would otherwise be full.

    The carrier also is refurbishing the interiors of its Boeing 757s, upgrading business class seats on international flights, adding leather headrests to coach seats on MD-80s and testing Wi-Fi service on some aircraft.

    And to make it easier and quicker to locate mishandled bags, American is equipping personnel with automated handheld bag tag scanners.

    "There are huge costs when you have inconvenienced your customers," said Dan Garton, American's executive vice president of marketing.

    Dorothy Boydston, a 48-year-old electrician from Hawaii, knows what Garton means.

    On a recent trip from Santa Barbara, Calif., to Denver to see her daughter, Boydston had to spend a night at a Phoenix hotel at her own expense because she missed her US Airways connecting flight after, she said, an airline employee wrote the wrong gate number on her ticket. That came after she had to pay $15 to check a bag she tried to carry on the plane to Phoenix, when the airline told her there was no room in the overhead bins.

    The next morning, she was still at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, on standby for another flight to Denver.

    "I could have rented a car for what it's costing me," she said.

    Asked if passengers should get better customer service in light of the higher fares and fees they are paying compared to a year ago, Boydston said, "What customer service? There's no customer service anymore."

    But Aaron Trompeter, 37, an English teacher who lives in Winchester, Va., said he still finds value in the price of an airline ticket these days, even if he has to deal with more hassles, pay to check bags and no longer gets free snacks on some flights.

    "It's so much better than a stagecoach or a car," Trompeter said at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after getting off a United flight from Washington. "So the lack of service, or the perceived lack of service, is still very much worth it."

    Airline executives are unapologetic about the need to raise more revenue through fee and fare increases to cover their hefty fuel bills. They also say that certain offerings that were free to everyone before are still free for premium passengers like elite frequent-fliers and those people who travel in first class or business class.

    "Food is the easiest one for me to defend," Garton said of American's decision to charge $3 for a cookie or a can of potato chips in coach. "When you open your minibar at the hotel tonight, it's not going to be free. When you go to the movie theater, the popcorn is going to cost you more than the ticket. Giving away food for free is an unusual thing the airlines started 70 years ago, but I would argue it was all first-class service 70 years ago."

    Delta, the only one of the six legacy carriers not charging a fee for a first checked bag, is using technology and infrastructure upgrades to improve its baggage handling. It is about halfway through a $100 million capital project at its Atlanta hub that includes upgrading conveyor belts and sorting systems. It also has invested $10 million this year to roll out more wireless bag scanners so it can keep better track of where bags are in the transfer process.

    Lee Macenczak, Delta's executive vice president of sales and marketing, said the airline holds itself to a high standard when it comes to speed and convenience.

    "To the degree we don't deliver on that, it certainly does impact our brand," he said. "We are not satisfied where we are. We have a lot of work to do."

    Stephen Gorman, Delta's executive vice president of operations, said weather issues can skew the on-time data. He said the carrier is working hard to improve what it can control.

    "The foundation is on-time, clean, with bags, and friendly customer service," Gorman said. "Those are the fundamentals we know we have to do right."

    Southwest Airlines Co. which has not faced the same threat from fuel prices as other carriers because of its aggressive fuel hedging program, boasts in recent TV commercials of still allowing all its passengers to check two bags for free. Its on-time arrival rate in July, third-highest among U.S. carriers, was nearly 20 percentage points above Comair's.

    The Dallas-based airline led the industry in passenger satisfaction in the latest University of Michigan survey.

    "We've got to be in the business to make money, but not to sacrifice what our brand and our product offering is," said Daryl Krause, Southwest's senior vice president of customer services.

    AP Business Writers Chris Kahn in Phoenix and Joshua Freed in Minneapolis contributed to this report.

    http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2008/...partner=alerts
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

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    When did sw stop taking cash for liquor sales?

  48. #648
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    Quote Originally Posted by downtownguy25
    When did sw stop taking cash for liquor sales?
    IIRC, September 9th.

  49. #649
    Just Changing Planes aygriffith's Avatar
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    Another reason why you shouldn't check bags for any trips a week or less... If you feel you have to, you should become a better packer or buy more functional luggage. You're average 22" in with a built in Trifold will hold quite a bit. Not to mention the fact you still have one smaller bag you can carry on with it.

    If you really want to check, you should invest in becoming an elite. The benefit of Gold, Plat, and ExPlat are worth every penny and you don't have to fly alot to get the miles these days...

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    America's Most Reliable Airlines

    I am surprised AAmerican place as high as they did in this report, way to go AA.


    America's Most Reliable Airlines


    Rebecca Ruiz, 10.01.08, 6:00 AM ET

    Common wisdom says that buying cheap is more expensive in the long run.

    When it comes to air travel, consumers probably expect this to be true. After all, budget carriers aren't always considered smooth-running operations offering a consistent level of service. But according to our analysis of the nation's 10 major airlines, discount carriers actually rank first in reliability.

    Southwest Airlines , the no-frills discount carrier, handily beat the competition in most of the categories we judged. JetBlue , also considered a discount airline despite its plush leather seats and individual television sets, ranked third just behind Continental Airlines . Fourth place went to AirTran , another budget carrier.

    In Depth: America's Most Reliable Airlines

    Alaska Airlines, Northwest Airlines , American Airlines and Delta Air Lines were solidly average performers. United Airlines and US Airways landed at the bottom of the list.

    Methodology

    To judge reliability in the airline industry, particularly at a time when carriers are responding to oil prices by slashing capacity and raising prices, we looked at six different factors for 10 major airlines. (Frontier Airlines, a budget carrier, was omitted because we could not obtain certain figures for each year.)

    We collected five years' worth of data relating to on-time arrival, cancellations, complaints and mishandled baggage from the Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Transportation. Delays and cancellations, the factors most likely to ruin a flier's day, were given double weight.

    In Depth: Best And Worst By Category

    To better gauge the overall flying experience, we included J.D. Power and Associates' consumer satisfaction rankings from 2005 to 2008. These surveys reach more than 9,000 travelers annually and ask participants to rate factors like cost and fees, in-flight services and check-in.

    Finally, because solvency is critical during these uncertain times, we considered an airline's asset-to-liability ratio for the latest quarter.

    The Results


    When all of these figures were combined, the discount airlines consistently rose to the top. For each of the years we studied, Southwest's flights were punctual more than 80% of the time; the average was 76.8%. Alaska Airlines gave the most dismal performance, with only 74.6% on-time flights.

    In terms of canceled flights, Southwest reigns yet again. The carrier canceled an average of 0.65% of its flights over the five-year period, compared with the worst airline, American, which canceled an average of 2.4%.

    AirTran, another budget carrier, had the fewest reports of mishandled baggage--a contentious issue now that airlines are charging as much as $50 to check regular-sized luggage. In 2007, AirTran had about four reports of mishandled baggage per 1,000 customers. The worst-ranking airline, US Airways, had 8.5.

    While consistency in these categories is important, customer service is an equally powerful factor. Sam Thanawalla, director of the global hospitality and travel practice at J.D. Power and Associates, argues that reliability means "delivering on the promises." This includes getting passengers to their destination in a timely fashion, but also cultivating a workforce that puts the consumer first and can resolve problems or complications quickly.

    Thanawalla says that JetBlue and Southwest, along with Continental, have excelled at this approach. Consumers have routinely rewarded these airlines with high rankings in annual J.D. Power satisfaction surveys.

    Long-Term Reliability


    While the budget carriers currently have a "reliability" edge over their competition, the industry is transforming swiftly under the pressure of oil prices, and long-term reputations hinge on how companies respond now.

    William Swebar, research engineer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's International Center for Air Transportation, views the change as invigorating for the troubled industry. This year alone, 30 airlines around the world declared bankruptcy, and major airlines posted record losses.

    What's your experience with the nation's airlines been like this year? Weigh in. Post your thoughts in the Reader Comment section below.

    Swebar's hope is that airlines will restructure their business plans for long-term stability instead of building them around cheap oil. This means cutting capacity and charging customers for services that were once free; even the budget airlines have begun charging as much as $30 for seats with extra leg room.

    "That's the sensitive part of all of this," he says. "It's going to move the consumer's expectation needle."

    But, he says, consumers have been on the winning side of a deregulated airline industry for the past 30 years. When adjusted for inflation, airfares are now 50% cheaper than before deregulation.

    "Consumers have won big on price," he says, "but they've paid on the reliability side."

    Swebar envisions a day when the increased fees will reflect an actual premium of service, not just desperation to break even or turn a small profit.

    "Any call to arms for the industry to look at itself and begin to put the consumer first," he says, "would be a terrific first step."

    Methodology:


    To judge reliability in the airline industry, particularly at a time when carriers are responding to oil prices by slashing capacity and raising prices, we looked at six very different factors for 10 major airlines. (Frontier Airlines, a budget carrier, was omitted because we could not obtain certain figures for each year.)

    We collected five years' worth of data concerning on-time arrival, cancellations, complaints and mishandled baggage from the Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Transportation. Delays and cancellations, the factors most likely to ruin a flier's day, were given double weight.

    To better gauge the overall flying experience, we included J.D. Power and Associates consumer satisfaction rankings from 2005 to 2008. These surveys reached more than 9,000 travelers annually and asked them to judge factors like cost and fees, in-flight services and check-in.

    Lastly, because solvency is critical during these shaky times, we considered an airline's asset-to-liability ratio for the latest quarter.

    Scores were calculated for each category, then a mean score and standard deviation determined. Airlines were given points based on where they fell between the upper and lower limits of the standard deviation. Those points were combined for a total score.

    http://www.forbes.com/2008/09/30/air...vel_print.html
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

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