Q400s on UA to Get First Class & Economy Plus

Discussion in 'Alaska Airlines | Mileage Plan' started by dgreen12, Aug 21, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. dgreen12
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    dgreen12 Silver Member

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  2. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    I have been bringing up the issue for several years with AS/QX. I didn't even suggest a real F cabinette with F service, but rather just "big seat" service. Too many longer QX routes for these all Y planes. I don't think it is going to happen anytime soon (if ever), but who knows.
     
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  3. dgreen12
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    dgreen12 Silver Member

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    I don't think it's gonna happen anytime soon either --- hence the genie reference. ;)

    On the other hand, a guy can dream.
     
  4. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    Are you called "Master," or Captain Healey? (This will help me determine the effectiveness of your dreams.)
     
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  5. seaflyguy
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    seaflyguy Silver Member

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    +1

    From my standpoint, if AS/QX were to implement something along the lines of UA E+ / B6 EML / VX MCS would be brilliant. They could implement it as an upgrade / upsell section within Y in the AS fleet and as a substitute for F as you suggest in the QX fleet.
     
  6. dgreen12
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    dgreen12 Silver Member

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    I'm a legend in my own mind, does that help? :D
     
  7. Golfingboy
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    Golfingboy Gold Member

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    AS just simply refuses to do something like this :rolleyes: They might look it over, but they already have the answer in the back of their minds from the beginning.
     
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  8. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    I hate it that I agree with you, but I do. I think the only way we're going to see a bigger seat is on a contract carrier. I really wonder how much of this contract flying we will be seeing. The cat has already left the bag. I asked a question relating to contract carrier service at the last SFO luncheon and an odd silence came over the room before a vague response from the responder.

    AS is really putting itself at a competitive disadvantage, at least with a certain subset of flyers (and likely, the more profitable ones). "QX" below means both old Horizon and contract carrier routes. My comments are definitely skewed to the west coast flyer.

    AS v. UA (UX) - Sitting in Y with little chance of an upgrade, but guaranteed Y+ on UA, UA wins.
    QX v. UA (UX) - Sitting in Y with no chance of a QX upgrade, some chance of a UA upgrade, and guaranteed Y+, UA wins.
    QX v. WN - Sitting in Y in both cases, almost even - I'd likely end up on QX because of the mileage plan, but a lot of business travelers on shorter hauls will take WN.
    AS v. VX - For travel booked closer to departure date, the AS Y seat and VX MCS seat can be just about the same price. More legroom, free drinks/snacks, and a free and abundant IFE system. If I know I'm going to be sitting in F (i.e., upgradeable at booking), AS wins. If it looks like there is almost no UG chance, VX wins. (And I can still visit the AS BR in SEA and just have to take a slightly longer walk to the VX gate.)

    The writing was really on the wall for me when they decided not to keep installing mid-cabin lavs on the 739s (and not to at all on the 738s). I know it is a high cost item at the start, but they started doing it, and then stopped. To me, it was a sign of things to come. But in the course of a day, let alone in the course of a year, it creates a hassle on almost every single flight (for both cabins). One of the nice things about a UA 757 is that F has its own lav, Y has one at the front and some at the back, and if the F one is full, and the Y one is empty, there's another one that F can use. When the Q400s were delivered, they had a fair amount more legroom than they do now. 6 more seats than the original delivery? Or 4? In any case, it was much more comfortable back then.

    For years and years, almost every single paid flight I took was on UA or AS. The only time I saw another carrier was when I redeemed miles. In the past couple of years, things have changed. The mix is a lot broader, and I don't feel so strange flying someone else. I've even "gotten over" the fact that VX flights don't go either to my UA or AS bank.

    AS has been very good to me over the past 25 years. I really enjoyed my recent LIH trip and was glad to be flying AS on a longer haul for the first time this year. I just don't have a lot of optimism in the short term that we're going to like what we see. On the other hand, I flew UA transcon F recently and the inflight product was pathetic. (Yet, still, if it was a Y v Y comparison, UA wins because of guaranteed Y+).

    And so, Golfingboy, this reply ended up being a lot more long winded than I had intended, but there you have it.
     
  9. dsldog400

    dsldog400 Silver Member

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    I pretty much agree with this. Over the past couple of years, I have brought up the issue at Gold Lunches, etc.. In regards to fitting a few planes with F seats, they said it would create a dispatching nightmare, or the weight of the seats would be an issue with a plane that is already prone to be nose-heavy. Not every route would deserve F, but ones like SEA-GEG, SEA-BOI, PDX-SFO, BOI-SJC certainly would. I always thought the CRJ-700's should have had at least 2 rows of F (= 6 seats). ``not practical`` was the response. So look at what DL Connection did with theirs.

    Until recently, if I flew BOI/GEG/PSC - SEA - to CA on a 737, I was OK knowing I had an upgrade on the second leg. But with frequency reduced and planes filled, I rather quickly began losing upgrades if I SDC'd to an earlier flight or missed a connection. Doing a SDC from an earlier Q400 GEG-SEA flight to 1 of 3 AS 737 flights usually only resulted in an upgrade on Saturday or Sunday. Now I'm not too happy flying the Q400 and having the upgrade rate go from 95% to 10%. And yeah, I thought the seats were at a tighter pitch than they used to be. Can't even manage to get an exit row on the 737 many times if the flight changes.

    I'm loyal to AS will continue to maintain my 75K status with AS for several reasons, but my flying pattern has been changing rapidly. My reaction has been to move most of my x-BOI/PSC/GEG - California flying to DL, but crediting to AS. As an AS 75K, I have gotten the upgrade EVERY time on the small jet if it had FC, and about 75% of the time from SLC onward. The DL fares have been real close to AS, even up to the day of travel.

    FC in a CRJ-900 is OK+. On a CRJ-700, it's OK-, but way better than coach. And frankly, tight, tiny reclining coach in either, especially with a reclining exit row seat, is better than AS/QX coach in a Q400 'flying straight jacket'. And on EVERY SkyWest operated DL flight I have been on from PSC, BOI, SJC, SAN, LAX, SFO & OAK, I have been offered the Pre-Departure Beverage, 99% of time an alcoholic one being available too (mine- bloody mary, one shot, no ice). Just four days ago I was on a DL rat-jet (OAK-SLC-xxx) thinking I'd rather be on an AS 737, just as the FA asked what I'd like to drink as boarding continued. Remember way back when AS had the PDB ?

    (So, do the CRJ-700's that SkyWest (OO) now operates for AS do the PDB ???)

    When you book FC travel on AS, every Q400 or CRJ flight shows that FC isn't offered on all segments. With UA, US, DL & AA putting FC seats into their smaller connecting planes, they are selling some sort of FC all the way, even if it's a fat seat with no service.

    On one hand, AS tries to pull more revenue from FC by holding back on upgrade inventory in order to offer FC seats for sale up until departure time (and I'm OK with that). On the other hand, they seem to have put their head in the sand in regards to FC on the Q400. I don't see that as a winning path to anywhere.

    PS: And when I fly my girlfriend from PSC to the Bay Area, it's on a direct UA (SkyWest) CRJ-700. She gets lost in SEA, and after 1 ride on the 'propeller' plane with park bench seats, she said the bounces & bumps made her feel bad.
     

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