It's becoming clearer that flying will only be for the rich

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by ahappyelite, Jan 29, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. ahappyelite

    ahappyelite Silver Member

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    BA's brutal attack on so many of its customers in its already diminished program is a further step towards grounding ordinary people on both sides of the pond. They and the US aerogangsteros are relying hope that most people will not cop on and realize that frequent flyer programs are mostly of only the tiniest value to most people. In the next few months, infrequent travelers who buy their own tickets are going to become appalled when they realize the long distance trip they took trip earned them a couple of hundred miles-maybe none at all. Meanwhile, the aerocartels might face competition from air sharing programs hunting for high end flyers.
    It there was ever a case for Congressional intervention in the U.S. where the greedsters at Delta pioneered this unnecessary greedfest which is purely about enriching investors, the time is now.
    If you are overseas you see fewer and fewer Americans, and more and more folks from the Middle East, and Asia sitting in seats once occupied by college kids and seniors from the U.S. To do flight searches and see three airlines with the same absurdly high airfares, virtually no miles earned and harder redemptions-this is what happens when you turn the keys to the skies over the an airmafia. This is reminiscent of the price fixing of the railroads a hundred years ago. AMERICANS MUST DEMAND THAT THIS ABSURD LACK OF COMPETITION AND COLLUSION BE ENDED. So many things are getting better, faster, cheaper, more competitive. And then we have the disgrace that is the airlines
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
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  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    :rolleyes:

    FF programs have never been about making flying less expensive.
     
  3. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    :confused::confused::confused::oops::oops::oops:
     
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  4. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Oh boy here we go again. ( who would have thunk that airlines seats were primarily for college kinds, seniors to boot ) :D
     
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  5. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    There's nothing wrong to point out the pain IMHO. :)
     
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  6. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Maybe faster, but certainly not cheaper. There is always a cost for speed, usually in the form of greenhouse gas emissions. A few days ago a Walmart cashier cracked me up: "Men are always in a hurry, just to get on their couch and watch TV". Of course she left out such "productive" activities as updating FB and engaging in endless debates on message boards. :D
     
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  7. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    ..."endless"...sounds fascinating. Cheers. :)
     
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  8. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    http://www.businesstraveller.com/news/101241/cathay-to-axe-premium-economy-routes
     
  9. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    I don't know, I just flew round trip Washington DC to Santiago Chile, for $330/person, that's 12 hours of in transit each direction with a short stop over in PTY. Also have a trip in May of similar time in transit IAD - CDG - DUB for $360/person. I think at those prices most people can afford air travel.

    A person could argue that maybe you will not be able to earn points from discounted flights, but there is hope for decent sales periodically that allow you to travel the world on a fairly limited budget.
     
  10. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    The OP does make a few points worth noting, although it could have been written in a much less inflammatory manner. I'd agree that the vast majority of airline customers in the US act like "sheeple" who tolerate increasingly inferior quality and service, while airline fares and fees continue to go in one direction - higher and higher.

    Those airlines making many billions of $ in profit cannot handily justify cutting everything they offer and charging more for the same. And as @uggboy has pointed out, there's no harm in complaining. Just perhaps someone - either the airlines or our elected representatives - will listen. BTW, I've been to many places in the world where complaining is unheard of, or else brings the complainer dire consequences. Be thankful that we can complain civilly in an open forum.
     
  11. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I think there are a few good points, but they're too diluted... airlines are in the business of making money, and we all know that the cheap-o fares in Y are a loss leader for them, with the bulk of the profit (if any) coming from premium fares, fees and cargo.

    If airlines decided today to be profitable across the airplane, we would all be paying $800 each way to fly from New York to DC in Y, rather than the $100-ish it costs R/T if you're willing to jump through some hoops.

    I for one am not happy about all the devaluations going around, but they are obviously aimed at forcing "frequent" flyers to spend money and fly on their own metal. Flying is still comparatively cheap or cheaper than it used to be in most markets, and the price we all pay for that is flexibility and amenities. If anybody doesn't want to give up either of those, then they can certainly pay more and be welcome to all the perks and extra benefits that are still available. :)
     
  12. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    :eek:How could I have gotten it so wrong The term frequent flyer means precisely just that ... got miles.. you must be able to fly frequently... frequently .. frequently.
    How dare the airlines attempt to make a profit ...the fact that they all had to file for Chap 11 claiming they were losing money was a sham perpetuated by the aerogangsters and now they are denying the college kids and seniors their God-given right to fly frequently, the deception is too painless to endure.

    Amtrak will soon be running SEC/Big Ten Express connecting to the ACC/Pac-West Express connecting in South Bend.. cheap fares for all.:D
     
  13. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Let's not play with words, as there are two different subjects there. Profitability in a competitive environment is a sign that a company is doing something right for its customers. No one would begrudge an airline its honestly earned profitability.

    The anger is directed toward deception. Airlines sell "miles" as part of various packages (together with flying, spending, etc). Then after the sale is complete, they do not deliver the originally promised value, but something less (and less, and less). That behavior violates everyone's concept of fair business. Perhaps that's a more likely reason that nobody likes them and periodically drives them to bk.
     
  14. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I have never been able to buy the notion that excuses the airlines' bad practices by saying that "they are in the business of making", especially when ticket costs are rising while service quality is tanking. Well, passengers are also in the "business of making money"! That is why most get up early in the morning to go to work or whatever!

    The airlines make money by offering a service and real people must fly (consume the service) in order for there to be profits. It is a reciprocal relationship. If the service is poor and the ticket costs remain high (which happens when competition has decreased as it has following the many mega-mergers), then the flyer is getting the short end of the stick!!!
    It is a fallacy to keep magnifying the importance of premium fares as the prime determinant of commercial airline profits. Everyone who keeps saying this must read this piece that I have linked to quite a few times before, which explains the calculations that go into the setting of ticket prices:
    You Paid $400 for Your Flight. The Person Next to You Paid $250. Here's Why That Makes Sense—and Benefits Everybody.
    Without folks in the back of the plane, premium cabin fares would be exorbitant and there would be less flexibility in scheduling (read the piece). One striking sight when I travel on Asian carriers within Asia is how empty premium cabins usually are. Being generally frugal, most folks in Asia would rather travel in Y than spend the money to fly in premium cabins. With complimentary elite upgrades also being scarce for most FF loyalty programs in the region, premium cabins are usually half empty or even completely empty (I was once the only passenger in F on a CA flight from TPE to PVG!!!) And yet, Asian carriers do make money...by filling Y cabins without needing to jack up the ticket costs!
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
  15. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I never said the consumer wasn't getting the short end of the stick though... :)

    I doubt that airlines are some kind of altruistic enterprise where they fly people here and there for the good of humanity. They're in it for the money, and the more they can make the happier they will be. People will continue to fly, either because they need to or because they prefer it to the other available options, and they will either pay the necessary premiums for additional comfort and perks or they won't. The outstanding profit margin and return on capital of ultra LCCs like Spirit tells me that this is not going away any time soon though.

    Actually your article kind of proves my point... without the people in front willing to pay $900 for the premium seats, the airline couldn't price the Y seats at $300 and there either would be no profit for the airline or fares would be much higher, unless service is cut down to the bone and the consumer overloaded with ancillary fees.
     
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  16. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    At least we agree on something except that you seem to think that is okay...
    :rolleyes: Oh, brotha! Airlines are people too!
    No, the article does not prove your point. Let's stretch the same simple example: 20 people are able or willing to pay for premium cabins. The break-even point for the flight to be worth operating: $40K. Without folks in Y, a premium ticket on that plane would cost $40,000/20= $2,000 to just break even. However, because the carrier can sell a lot of Y tickets, the premium ticket costs were decreased to just $900. The folks in the back subsidized the folks in front and this gets lost in all the noise about how the premium fares are responsible for profit. It is really a balancing act, but my example about premium cabins in Asia that go empty and the airlines still make profits indicates that the importance of premium cabins to profitability is disproportionately magnified in relation their actual impact...really.
     
  17. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    So premium demand is perfectly inelastic?:rolleyes: if those 20 people are ok to pay 2k...then charging them 900 seems silly.

    If 20 people are paying almost half the operating cost, then the remaining seats don't have to generate so much income 8n your example.
     
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  18. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    One last time. It is a balancing act. There may be people willing and able to pay top $$ for flexibility, which, by the way, is made possible by folks who can do without the flexibility and enable airlines to operate flights at all kinds of hours and make money. But the fact remains that even business travelers do have a cap on what would be considered reasonable costs to pay for that flexibility. Filling the Y cabins effectively subsidizes the costs of premium cabins whether you can see that or not. Refer to my example of Asian carriers.
     
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  19. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    All cabins/travelers subsidize each other, unless you're flying private and paying for the whole plane.
     
  20. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    No argument from me on that point...;)
     
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  21. flyforawg

    flyforawg Silver Member

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    Senator Schumer, tear down these taxes. If 25% of tickets wasn't taxes/fees more people could afford to fly! :confused:
     
  22. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Me Guilty ...I AM playing with words :) I perhaps I should have just come out and said IMHO all who agrees with the premise of the OP reside in la-la-land ??

    Devaluation of a currency = miles, get it? Is apparently such a new phenomenon that some here seem to have a difficult time grasping the concept. Oh dear!, oh dear!

    Tell me you really did'nt mean to say the reason airlines went bankrupt recently was because nobody likes them? :D
     
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  23. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    No, I would rephrase it from a positive angle. ;) Being admired and respected should help any company's bottom line.
     
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  24. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    To partially quote the OP's title. "It's becoming clearer that...." ....the OP will soon run out of airlines that he can fly without any compunctions about pointing out all their failings and shortcomings. Same points being shouted on FT (aka TOBB) for the carriers, and while some of the points may be valid, what further needs to be said, over and over, about the same things?

    Are there any airlines that you really feel are any good and worth giving your dollars to in order to travel? And how far and when, do you think the entire airline industry will listen to what you've said and make the changes that would be satisfactory in all regards, to you? Have you called Sen. Schumer to see if he's listening and when he thinks all the changes you require will come into effect?

    While you may be "elite" I would question the "happy" part of your title on here. Please point me to where or when the happiness part comes into play.
     
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  25. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I used to like "the little guys" like JetBlue and SouthWest, and look at where they are now. JetBlue was sort of the worst because they had no elite levels, no alliance and no first / business class cabin, but at least you were getting a superior product for a reasonable price. But that will all change soon enough, or already has.

    Can't blame them though, like I said, it's a business. As a consumer I can choose to speak with my wallet and fly with someone else... maybe Alaska or something, or just forego any sort of allegiance as some people do with hotel chains and just go with whomever is going to give you the most bang for the buck for every trip, regardless.
     

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