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Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by uggboy, Jun 7, 2014.
Your Best Shot at a Cheap Flight to Europe Is in Jeopardy
Good article, thank you for posting the link uggboy. I wonder how Norwegian is able to charge so much less and still stay in business.
Two theories here, 1. they have a lot of extra revenue through sales, other charges or chargeable upgrades or 2. the others are simply too expensive and get away with it. Glad you found the article good.
I think its 1) I read somewhere that a lady did not eat the entire flight because they don't serve food & she didn't have a Credit Card.
I think the argument is they hire cheap labor from a Singapore employment center and under cut airlines with established unionized labor. Like cruise lines they are leveraging global work forces to attract low cost labor.
The major airline's mergers and consolidations over recent years has given them the go-ahead to charge what they feel they can, with fuller planes because of route and flight consolidations, dropped smaller cities, and planes parked in the desert, and large employee layoffs along the way.
Now they're sweating some competition, as small as it may be, and doing whatever they can to shut it down on TATL routes.
Competition is good for the public, no matter where it happens. Lack of it, as now exists in many industries, drives prices up in all cases, often with no improvements in what is returned to the consumer for the increased costs, IMO.
What would you rather have? A grumpy, sour and grossly overpaid (=unioni wages) North American flight attendant or a reasonably pleasant and hardworking Asian FA? If anybody remembers flying UA (or NW) transpacific and then switching in NRT to a flight to BKK/SIN operated by Asian FAs, you know exactly what I mean.
It is sad that US legislators can be so easily influenced by airline lobbyists that they turn a blind eye to issues that go blatantly against consumer interests.
I'm not sure that Norwegian's fares are really all that low. Looking at LGW-LAX, the fares are generally higher than airlines were charging last year. They are using fuel-efficient planes and their fleet utilisation is extremely high (good thing for them, not so good for passengers). Undoubtedly, they are targeting ancillary revenue, but then so do the American operators on the route.
I rather hope that, if the idiotic US regulators ban Norwegian, then the EU does a bit of reciprocal banning - perhaps any flight with a Fly America passenger on it. It would cause some consternation, but would so inconvenience the regulators that they might see sense.
It would cause consternation among the "Merica!" crowd, but most of them probably wouldn't be taking advantage of any low cost Norwegian fares anyway.
I seriously doubt that it would cause the regulators any inconvenience whatsoever. Most of them are worker-bee civil servants, and probably aren't into personal travel to the extent that we are.
Again, I very much doubt this, if by "sense" you mean letting Norwegian enter the market. They (the regulators) will just do what they're told by the brass and politicians, a good number of whom fall into the "Merica!" group I mentioned above.
1. Comparing last year's fares to this year's fares is not very useful, IMO
2. Norway is not a member of the EU, hence I doubt the EU will react to a ban on Norwegian; besides, regulators like to scratch each others' backs on both sides of the pond.
Comparing last year's fares, with them being the most recent examples to use, are what I would consider using to see the differences now apparent in airline pricing. How else or how far back would you suggest we go, or what other metric should we use?
Compare apples with apples by ranking current fares on airline A with airline B, for the same city pair and same time frame
Sure, go ahead comparing your apple to apple fares and you'll probably see identical, often to the penny, fares currently posted by competing airlines who no longer compete with real competition as it used to be before all the big mergers of the past few years, rather they follow along as one raises or drops their fares and the others quickly follow suit.
Of course there will be the last minute seat sales as airlines try to fill their few empty seats, and even those sometimes are followed by other carriers, or if not they're quickly pulled as those seats disappear.
So my apples may be slightly more ripe then yours, but I'll use them as the metric for comparing similar routing's fares from last year to those I look at now to see the differences from that recent time. And in some cases, the differences are very clear.
Norwegian's appearance on the scene throws a monkywrench into the major U.S. airlines and others that fly to the U.S. fare schedules, as they now are faced with much lower fares from an outsider that they aren't able to match with their higher fares as they have higher overhead and can't fly a similar route without losing money if they dropped their fares to match Norwegian's. So they're doing their best to keep this airline from undercutting the fares and taking away a few pax that may or may not eventually impact their bottom lines.
Competition was great when we had it, now a little competition from a small outsider and all the big boys are up in arms.