Air Fare Increase Announced! WHO CARES?


#1

So and so just announced they are increasing fares by so and so.

Dear Airline Industry: Who Cares? Why must I hear this drivel day after day after day? Just set a price and charge it. Change your fares every day, hour, minute, second. Everyone else does, so what’s the problem. Don’t say this is for fuel, and this is for that, and this is for whatever. Stop it! You’re all headed the way of Aloha, ATA, and Skybus if you don’t get your act together!

This industry is the pits when it comes to pricing its products. What other industry the public deals with so frequently fusses over prices the way this industry does? Most fares are nuts anyway, set specifically in a manner, not to generate more customers or actually sell something, but soley to “price-up” the customer to the absolutely highest fare they can get away with. "Now lets see, if I manipulate the advance purchase requirement, set some minimum stays, do this, do that…! “You see, this is what are customers want!” NO! Surely, the most unfriendly pricing structure any industry has ever devised, most of which they would never get away with if air fares were subject to FTC regulations.

Reserving airline pricing oversight/regulation for the DOT is a terrible mistake. DOT is basically a waste in this area and its powers in this area should be done away with. Its economic regulatory authority is not going to save a single carrier from going belly-up.

So airlines, no more announcements on fare increases, on non-increasess, failures of so and so to meet or not meet this or that. Just price it, and get on with it! Thank you, and have a nice day!


#2

Eh, what kinda fares was Skybus charging? Here’s the way I see it, from my midwestern home round trip, if I can get out east for between 200-300 that’s reasonable, west coast for 250-400 that’s reasonable. That’s with no LCC option from my home airport, both carriers are legacy regional partners, however usually those fares don’t differ much from the hub in which you fly into. Factor in drive time, gas, and parking, and its a wash or cheaper to fly from the local airport, plus security lines are much shorter. Keeping in mind too, that more than 10 years ago, the same numbers above applied, so this much later for those expectations to stay the same is good.

In reality these fares need to come back to reality from 29$ each way. In the past 30 years you’ve gone from a nice restaurant with tablecloth to McDonalds. From an employee standpoint, what once was a career job is now nothing more than a Wal Mart job.

Maybe all this airline attrition will restore the fare structures a bit, and get the airline industry back to good health. Realistic fares, better pay to employees, results in better service and no need for a passenger bill of rights.


#3

The employee pay isn’t horrible, its just not a career.

I agree with just pricing it and keeping it that way. The idea that first flight in the morning 5 weeks out is more expensive then the second flight out midday is a little ridiculous. The variance from flight to flight, hour to hour, and day to day is just inane. Set a price. Sell a seat. Done.

I’d like if they quit trying to push the website so much. We have to charge $20 to book a ticket at the ticket counter or on the phone, but they’ll do it for free online. Why? A normal ticket takes approx 5minutes to complete, it just smells of a grab at cash to me.


#4

I agree with just pricing it and keeping it that way. The idea that first flight in the morning 5 weeks out is more expensive then the second flight out midday is a little ridiculous.

That’s revenue/yield management.

I don’t see a problem with that (from the airline standpoint). Yes it is inconsistent, but it ends up making the airline more money.

I’d like if they quit trying to push the website so much. We have to charge $20 to book a ticket at the ticket counter or on the phone, but they’ll do it for free online. Why? A normal ticket takes approx 5minutes to complete, it just smells of a grab at cash to me.

It costs an airline no money to have you book online. To book over the phone, you are talking to an employee who the airline has to pay. That’s why the almighty Skybus had no phone reservations.

price-up" the customer to the absolutely highest fare they can get away with

What are they supposed to do. Price you down so that they lose money and go out of business.

I see what you guys are saying, and it is frustrating. However, from an airline’s standpoint, they have to make money, and yield management will always be their to maxamize revenues. This isn’t the only industry that does this either. Try finding a hotel in Vegas at peak travel season.


#5

I understand the idea of pricing for convenience. But if we as employee’s are already at the airport, we’re probably not doing anything else. So no need to charge. And yes it does cost them to have it done on the web, your looking at server costs, hosting costs, bandwidth, tech support.

You can make your money and still be helpful to the customer. I know the in’s and out’s of revenue management and yield costs. I know the average cost of each seat on one of our aircraft’s in our market. I understand the background behind all of it, but I think its possible to provide some convenience to the passenger and still turn a profit.


#6

Not anymore, that’s the problem. Once upon a time, you were a ramper /gate/ blah blah for said airline, and you were for your career. The last 20 years or so , that’s not the case. That’s true in other industries but that’s very true in this case.


#7

And yes it does cost them to have it done on the web, your looking at server costs, hosting costs, bandwidth, tech support.

not much


#8

There really aren’t a whole lot of Job’s around anymore that used to be Career’s that still are. The whole Interweb Generation is growing up on the premise that its ok to job hop every couple years. The idea of working at a job for over 20 years is foriegn to anyone under the age of 30 anymore. So it’s not just the airlines.

And Jgona I understand it doesn’t cost much, but what I’m saying is if there are already agents at the counter(and there are) why charge more? It’s either have the agents stand there, or have the agents stand there and process a ticket.


#9

I wouldn’t say they should lose money…but can’t they be more consistent with their pricing like every other industry in the world? Why should I pay $600 bucks for a seat when the guy sitting next to me paid $200?

They’re breaking the backs of us business travellers. I fly every week and usually book as far in advance as possible, but the nature of my business often requires last minute changes. That’s when we get gorged because they know we have no choice. The leisure traveller can usually book a trip far enough in advance to get decent prices, but those of us who support the airlines on a weekly basis get boned. I’m getting tired of adding an extra day to a trip, taking a redeye, rushing from a business meeting to the airport in less than 1.5 hours to catch a flight, all because a few hours later/earlier would cost 200 bucks more.

And the early booking doesn’t hold water anymore. The intent was to avoid having people make last minute reservations so they know what kind of capacity they would have on a flight as far in advance as possible. With today’s limited flights and 110% booking on every flight, they know damn well what the numbers will be.


#10

Appreciate the various comments.

My original issue really related to how fares are stated. That someone is going to raise fares 5 percent is interesting but why does a traveller care. It really is nothing more than “signaling” to one’s competitors and this should not be allowed. That fuel prices are going up is nice to know, I guess, but charging a fare then adding a fuel surcharge is another “signaling” matter. Fuel is a cost just like labor. It’s not something I have a choice over, as with how I make the reservation, or how many bags I want to check, etc. State the total fare and be done with it. That’s all the customer cares about.

I understand about 60 percent of air trips are for liesure; 40 percent are for business/conventions. Certainly, there are many variances to these stats based on routes. But, overall, I would submit that business fares are typically too high; liesure fares too low. I think its disgraceful, however, how business travelers, the backbone of the airlines’ customer base, are treated by the airline, based on fare rules that stick it to the business traveler. Is it not possible to price services that make advance purchase, requirement for round-trip, and minimum stay RULES unnecessary, and thus, fares fairer to all travelers?

I think there is. Pricing should be based on basic supply and demand, and all these crazy rules outlawed. I think the industry is lazy, scared to compete fairly, and downright unfriendly to its customers. This is not an industry to love, or have much sympathy as individual carriers go belly-up. Very sad, and very unnecessary.


#11

I do agree that fare increase announcements are pretty much water off a duck’s back. Afterall, I have to schedule a business trip and most often have very little flexibility. So, all I need to know is how much are you screwing me when I book. Thank you very much, see you at the gate. Thank you for flying Short and Curly Airlines.

They know this. They rely on it.

I do know, however, that every year come budget time, we’re looking more and more at things such as videoconferencing to cut down on the need for travel. A few years back the cost scales were tipped in favor of travel. More recently, as technology costs come down and travel costs go up, we’re beginning to weigh our options. I’m sure most other companies are as well. One of the first things I learned in business school was to pay attention to your business environment so you can react to changes quickly. Airlines seem to be cruising with the window shades down.