City-Data Forum Why don't people respect the airline industry? (2014, ideas, bags)
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07-30-2011, 12:28 PM
 8,266 posts, read 10,707,875 times Reputation: 4769

Quote:
 but some of their exit rows have no extra room per seatguru)
Ah, so seatguru pointing out no extra leg room one one of the exit rows somehow makes their average seat pitch being well over 32" work mathematically for you and your claims that it is just one or two rows being bigger? You do realize that Delta's emergency rows have more leg room, so wouldn't that affect their average as well?

Come on, do you even hear yourself and the logical hoops you are jumping thru in an attempt to justify the "facts" you made up earlier that they all have the same 32" pitch? Southwest has a longer seat pitch, it is what it is. I bet you work in sales or marketing, as easily as things just get made up and stated as fact.

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 I shouldn't have used the term pitch, but rather "space." The cushioning most definitely factors into the space equation.
Yes, you should have been then of course you claiming they were all 32" wouldn't make sense as space would be much less.

07-30-2011, 03:20 PM
 26,590 posts, read 54,583,712 times Reputation: 13019
Quote:
 Originally Posted by slackjaw Ah, so seatguru pointing out no extra leg room one one of the exit rows somehow makes their average seat pitch being well over 32" work mathematically for you and your claims that it is just one or two rows being bigger? You do realize that Delta's emergency rows have more leg room, so wouldn't that affect their average as well? Come on, do you even hear yourself and the logical hoops you are jumping thru in an attempt to justify the "facts" you made up earlier that they all have the same 32" pitch? Southwest has a longer seat pitch, it is what it is. I bet you work in sales or marketing, as easily as things just get made up and stated as fact. Yes, you should have been then of course you claiming they were all 32" wouldn't make sense as space would be much less.
Bottom line, they are all about equal. You simply can't convince me that 1" of pitch makes a hill of beans of difference. Here's a good comparison: The seat width on an Embraer 170 feels tight to me, yet at 18.25" it's a full inch or more wider than most coach seats on the rest of the US Airways fleet. It's simply my perception as opposed to reality.

07-30-2011, 05:36 PM
 Location: Los Angeles, Ca 2,884 posts, read 5,179,162 times Reputation: 2726
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 Originally Posted by annerk I disagree. Bring your own. You don't have to buy at the airport. I often grab something from a favorite deli when I'm traveling to eat on the plane later. Your turkey on rye isn't going to go bad in the two hours from the time you buy it until you eat it at your gate as long as you don't leave it on the rear deck of the car baking in teh summer sun on the way to the airport. Again, bring your own. Buy it at the airport. It's nto a big deal. [b] The price increases I've seen this year were specifically related to fuel cost increases. huh? So you are expecting a Michelin starred meal to be served on a two hour flight when you're paying \$200 to travel 1000 miles?
I don't expect gourmet meals. Would you agree that the \$6 sandwich or \$10 chicken salad wouldn't be that great if it was sold at a mall foodcourt on its own? Would people really line up for it?

-Do they really expect everyone to bring their own meal?

-About something proprietary, American, Delta, United all have pretty much the same computers, the same ticketing system, same reservation system, etc.

Imagine if one of them had a frequent flier program (proprietary), and the others didn't. Including southwest or jet blue. It seems like technology has all been standardized, and theres nothing that really differentiates them. Thus, they compete on price.

And a family of 3 or 4 is paying, \$800-1,000 for 3 or 4 tickets (conservatively). I can't think of many instances where people pay \$1,000 for something, and you see so little selection or choice for your money. The selection is terrible for the money, for an infrequent traveler.

If you pay \$275 to \$350 per person for an "experience", what would you want? To be treated like a number? You should have reasonable comfort. Reasonable selection of food (that you would buy outside of the airline). And decent entertainment/amenities. The problem for the average person....the price has stayed the same or gone up, but you get less for your money.

07-30-2011, 05:42 PM
 24,503 posts, read 35,430,103 times Reputation: 12832
When I first flew, I felt like I was at a hotel in the sky.

Now when I fly, I feel like I'm in a Greyhound in the sky.

Don't take that the wrong way though.... I'm appreciative that it's so cheap to fly nowadays. I can get a ticket from NJ to Miami for \$1200 round trip. It used to cost twice that.

07-30-2011, 05:58 PM
 26,590 posts, read 54,583,712 times Reputation: 13019
Quote:
 Originally Posted by John23 I don't expect gourmet meals. Would you agree that the \$6 sandwich or \$10 chicken salad wouldn't be that great if it was sold at a mall foodcourt on its own? Would people really line up for it?
Dude, have you eaten a mall meal lately? Not much different in price or quality.

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 -Do they really expect everyone to bring their own meal?
Most actually encourage it.

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 -About something proprietary, American, Delta, United all have pretty much the same computers, the same ticketing system, same reservation system, etc.
Like what? You keep saying "proprietary, but what are you looking for? What do you want?

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 Imagine if one of them had a frequent flier program (proprietary), and the others didn't. Including southwest or jet blue. It seems like technology has all been standardized, and theres nothing that really differentiates them. Thus, they compete on price.
Actually you are very, very wrong. You obviously don't fly much. For those of us who are actually frequent flyers, there are huge differences between the carriers. Everything from the service we get when we call the Chairmans 800 number to the various Clubs (the US Airways Club in CLT is much nicer than the United Club in MCO for example).

I don't look at price. I don't even look at different airlines. I fly the carrier I do because they have the most service to the airports I regularly fly into. Period.

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 And a family of 3 or 4 is paying, \$800-1,000 for 3 or 4 tickets (conservatively). I can't think of many instances where people pay \$1,000 for something, and you see so little selection or choice for your money. The selection is terrible for the money, for an infrequent traveler.
Let me give you a hint. The airlines could care less about you "infrequent flyers." You drive them crazy with your demands and expectations. You look at nothing but price, have zero loyalty, and even if they did everything you wanted, you'd drop them like a hot potato to save \$2 per ticket on a different carrier when you take that once a year trip next year.

I own a business. We do some work for some very small accounts that call us once or twice a year. We schedule them in when we can, if we're busy, they have to wait, and might even get bumped to the back of the line several times. My \$4M/year account is far more important than the little place up the road that spends maybe \$5K a year with me. Frankly I take care of them to be nice, not because I need or even particularly want their business.

Quote:
 If you pay \$275 to \$350 per person for an "experience", what would you want? To be treated like a number? You should have reasonable comfort. Reasonable selection of food (that you would buy outside of the airline). And decent entertainment/amenities. The problem for the average person....the price has stayed the same or gone up, but you get less for your money.
You aren't paying for an "experience." If you want an "experience" hire a private jet. Sheesh!

I'd expect to get exactly what I paid for. Transportation to and from a certain point that got me there safe and sound. I'd expect the employees to be modestly polite. That's about it. As far as prices going up--have you looked at fuel prices? Even Greyhound has skyrocketed.

07-30-2011, 06:00 PM
 26,590 posts, read 54,583,712 times Reputation: 13019
Quote:
 Originally Posted by NJBest When I first flew, I felt like I was at a hotel in the sky. Now when I fly, I feel like I'm in a Greyhound in the sky. Don't take that the wrong way though.... I'm appreciative that it's so cheap to fly nowadays. I can get a ticket from NJ to Miami for \$1200 round trip. It used to cost twice that.
First of all, deregulation caused prices to drop and the airlines to become Greyhound.

Next, if you are paying \$1200 to fly EWR to MIA, I've got a bridge to sell you.

07-30-2011, 06:38 PM
 24,503 posts, read 35,430,103 times Reputation: 12832
Quote:
 Originally Posted by annerk First of all, deregulation caused prices to drop and the airlines to become Greyhound.
Okay.... so you agree with me.
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 Originally Posted by annerk Next, if you are paying \$1200 to fly EWR to MIA, I've got a bridge to sell you.
I was just quoting retail pricing. I know that it's always cheaper. Even cheaper if you're willing to fly economy class. I'd have no use for a bridge, honestly.

07-31-2011, 02:21 AM
 Location: Los Angeles, Ca 2,884 posts, read 5,179,162 times Reputation: 2726
Quote:
 Originally Posted by annerk Dude, have you eaten a mall meal lately? Not much different in price or quality.
The last few meals I've had on planes were *Horrible*. Malls at least have something semi-fresh.

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 Like what? You keep saying "proprietary, but what are you looking for? What do you want?
I dont know, it could be a lot of things. Proprietary design, leg room. Ticketing system. If one airline was automated, and one used live people to ticket you in, clearly people would gravitate towards the first one. A proprietary baggage handling system? Where there's a clear difference in the number of lost or damaged bags.

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 Actually you are very, very wrong. You obviously don't fly much. For those of us who are actually frequent flyers, there are huge differences between the carriers. Everything from the service we get when we call the Chairmans 800 number to the various Clubs (the US Airways Club in CLT is much nicer than the United Club in MCO for example). I don't look at price. I don't even look at different airlines. I fly the carrier I do because they have the most service to the airports I regularly fly into. Period.
I'm not a frequent flier, but I've flown alot, I've traveled to....35 states around the country. I've seen a lot of different airports. The carriers are pretty much the same for 70% of people.

Quote:
 Let me give you a hint. The airlines could care less about you "infrequent flyers." You drive them crazy with your demands and expectations. You look at nothing but price, have zero loyalty, and even if they did everything you wanted, you'd drop them like a hot potato to save \$2 per ticket on a different carrier when you take that once a year trip next year. I own a business. We do some work for some very small accounts that call us once or twice a year. We schedule them in when we can, if we're busy, they have to wait, and might even get bumped to the back of the line several times. My \$4M/year account is far more important than the little place up the road that spends maybe \$5K a year with me. Frankly I take care of them to be nice, not because I need or even particularly want their business.
What creates loyalty in another type of business? Personalized service. Attention to needs. Correcting problems if they come up. Being competitive.

I think it's hard to build loyalty if you don't have good one on one service. Think about walmart. Why do they have walmart greeters? It seems like it would just be an extra expensive x 14,000 stores. I think low prices + decent service (where you have few complaints) = you'll be somewhat attached to the chain (i.e. walmart or costco).

You're not going to brag about walmart to your friends. But if they meet your needs, I guess you'll go back. The airline business I think is missing some of those needs. i.e., very little loyalty. Paying \$275-325 for a "ticket", but its like you're on a cattle car spaceship. What if the attendants knew your name or preferences beforehand? That would be a different experience.

There's nothing to talk about with your friends after you go on a flight (for the average person). It's not like you're going to say, "You've got to get on American, they have, this, this and this". The way you would a retail store (like, you've got to go to costco, I save \$400 a year buying there). There's nothing that stands out in your mind if you're an infrequent flyer. It might be the reverse!

This airline is charging for drinks! Take that one. The conversation among frequent flyers is completely different. But for the average person, there's so little that differentiates the airlines. Its basically like taking a flying greyhound bus.

Quote:
 You aren't paying for an "experience." If you want an "experience" hire a private jet. Sheesh! I'd expect to get exactly what I paid for. Transportation to and from a certain point that got me there safe and sound. I'd expect the employees to be modestly polite. That's about it. As far as prices going up--have you looked at fuel prices? Even Greyhound has skyrocketed.
I don't think the airlines want to look at it as an "experience", because it wouldn't be very favorable. Say the average ticket you buy is \$275-325 per person. What else do average people spend that kind of money on?

-Maybe a nice hotel. For that kind of money, you're going to get pretty good service.
-An amusement, park, Disneyland? That's \$70 or \$75 a person, all day.
-Some kind of rental, like a boat?

How many things do you spend \$300 per person on, and you're suppose to take your own meal?

Even with hotels, you might refer a friend. Even a \$75 a night hotel can create a good impression in your mind. It creates enough brand awareness that you'll go back.

-What if the airlines passed out a "welcome kit" to everyone as they got on board (commoners, and 100,000 mile a year flyers)? Filled with a daily newspaper? Maybe 2 or 3? Maybe USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Economic times for dad? Maybe something else for kids?

Maybe coupons/discounts for the city you're going to? What if kids got something they liked? That would be one step towards better service.

If you're a frequent flyer....maybe discounts on luggage? A better case for your laptop?

They should take a page from the hotel industry, where things are somewhat personalized, and you feel like you've gotten your needs met...i.e., the daily newspaper in front of your door, continental breakfast, letter from the manager personally thanking you, etc. A lot of good service is perception. You're not really going to call the manager, but it seems like things have been taken care.

07-31-2011, 06:54 AM
 8,266 posts, read 10,707,875 times Reputation: 4769
Quote:
 Originally Posted by annerk Bottom line, they are all about equal. You simply can't convince me that 1" of pitch makes a hill of beans of difference.
I don't have to convince you, Chat noticed and you "corrected" her that they were all the same pitch:
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Chatteress In my experience .... Southwest seats are roomier

From Consumer Reports at Seat comfort, fees top complaints in airline survey - USATODAY.com
"JetBlue was the only airline to outscore Southwest for seating comfort"

07-31-2011, 07:28 AM
 26,590 posts, read 54,583,712 times Reputation: 13019
Quote:
 Originally Posted by John23 The last few meals I've had on planes were *Horrible*. Malls at least have something semi-fresh.
I don't think either are worth discussing, like I said, bring your own.

Quote:
 I dont know, it could be a lot of things. Proprietary design, leg room. Ticketing system. If one airline was automated, and one used live people to ticket you in, clearly people would gravitate towards the first one. A proprietary baggage handling system? Where there's a clear difference in the number of lost or damaged bags.
You are hung up on this whole "proprietary" thing. A few comments, anytime a new system is developed, there are costs associated with it--who will pay those costs? The consumer.

I don't want a live person to ticket me, I'd rather do it online. I remember the old system, it sucked having to call and be on the phone for 20 minutes talking to someone while they typed parameters into their computer and then took all your info. Now, it takes me under three minutes to book a ticket.

In the big picture the number of lost or damaged bags in miniscule, and not worth spending a million dollars or more to revamp.

And no, people won't gravitate towards a new system, they'll gravitate towards whoever is the cheapest--and it won't be the company that just shelled out a bunch of cash to reinvent the wheel that really wasn't all that broken to begin with.

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 I'm not a frequent flier, but I've flown alot, I've traveled to....35 states around the country. I've seen a lot of different airports. The carriers are pretty much the same for 70% of people.

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 What creates loyalty in another type of business? Personalized service. Attention to needs. Correcting problems if they come up. Being competitive.
And for frequent flyers like myself, we get all that from our chosen carrier. For non-frequent flyers, they shop based on one thing only--price. All of those things comes with an associated cost, and for the majority of flyers, they will take the lower price every time. That's why the AA "More Legroom" (at a higher cost) initiative failed. People want it but bottom line they won't pay for it.

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 I think it's hard to build loyalty if you don't have good one on one service. Think about walmart. Why do they have walmart greeters? It seems like it would just be an extra expensive x 14,000 stores. I think low prices + decent service (where you have few complaints) = you'll be somewhat attached to the chain (i.e. walmart or costco).
Difference being the average person grocery shops every week, but flies maybe once a year. Again, for the once a year (or even four times a year) flyer, they shop price, and simply aren't going to become loyal based on getting a hot towel before landing if it costs \$2 per ticket more.

And they have Wal-Mart greeters as a theft deterrent, you're kidding yourself if you think Wal-Mart does anything to build loyalty except offer low prices. Same thing with any big box or mall store. "Greeters" are strictly there for LP purposes.

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 You're not going to brag about walmart to your friends. But if they meet your needs, I guess you'll go back. The airline business I think is missing some of those needs. i.e., very little loyalty. Paying \$275-325 for a "ticket", but its like you're on a cattle car spaceship. What if the attendants knew your name or preferences beforehand? That would be a different experience.
They do know my name on some of my flights, because I fly a lot. How do you expect them to know the name of everyone on a flight? it's not only unreasonable, it's freaking absurd. Again, most people who don't fly regularly are driven by the bottom line when it comes to buying a plane ticket. Everything you suggest costs money, and that cost will be passed on in the form of higher tickets. Do you want to pay more just to have someone know your name and that you want a Diet Coke?

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 There's nothing to talk about with your friends after you go on a flight (for the average person).
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 It's not like you're going to say, "You've got to get on American, they have, this, this and this". The way you would a retail store (like, you've got to go to costco, I save \$400 a year buying there). There's nothing that stands out in your mind if you're an infrequent flyer. It might be the reverse!
See, you just hit the nail on the head. You shop Costco because it's cheap. Do they know your name? No. Do they give you any special service? No. Talk about a cattle call, all those big warehouse clubs are about as lack of service as it gets. Even if you told everyone, "Hey, I got a hot towel on my United flight" when they go to book if Continental is cheaper, they aren't going to care about the hot towel.

Seriously, are you willing to pay more to get more service? Because you can get really great service without being a regular flyer by booking first class. The food is better, they know your name. But you aren't willing to pay for that, are you?

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 This airline is charging for drinks! Take that one. The conversation among frequent flyers is completely different. But for the average person, there's so little that differentiates the airlines. Its basically like taking a flying greyhound bus.
Yup, it is. Thank deregulatioin and airfares that are affordable to the average person for that. They don't need to differentiate. They are flying at full capacity. If you don't like the airlines, you can always take the bus.

Quote:
 I don't think the airlines want to look at it as an "experience", because it wouldn't be very favorable. Say the average ticket you buy is \$275-325 per person. What else do average people spend that kind of money on? -Maybe a nice hotel. For that kind of money, you're going to get pretty good service.
In much of the US and Europe, that will get you a basic room, no extra service.

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 -An amusement, park, Disneyland? That's \$70 or \$75 a person, all day.
Nope, that's \$80 for a one day--no hopping. And you still need to buy food.

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 -Some kind of rental, like a boat?
Maybe a canoe for a day, but for anything with a motor? \$70 will buy you an hour or so. And for something that will take you out into the ocean, it won't buy you half an hour.

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 How many things do you spend \$300 per person on, and you're suppose to take your own meal?
You are just missing the entire point. If you think you can drive your car 1200 miles in three hours and spend under \$300, go for it--and you'll still need to buy food.

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 Even with hotels, you might refer a friend. Even a \$75 a night hotel can create a good impression in your mind. It creates enough brand awareness that you'll go back.
Honey, there ain't no \$75 hotel I'm staying in, let alone referring a friend to. I think you're pretty out of touch with what things cost these days.

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 -What if the airlines passed out a "welcome kit" to everyone as they got on board (commoners, and 100,000 mile a year flyers)? Filled with a daily newspaper? Maybe 2 or 3? Maybe USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Economic times for dad? Maybe something else for kids?
Again you're adding cost, and most people don't want or need that stuff. that's why airlines no longer have magazines, pillows, blankets--because overall people weren't using them.

Quote:
 Maybe coupons/discounts for the city you're going to? What if kids got something they liked? That would be one step towards better service.
So I get on a plane in Vermont that will land in Charlotte. I get a pack of coupons for stuff in Charlotte, it's going in the trash, because I've got a 45 minute connection before I get on another plane to Orlando. Next you'll suggest that they carry coupons on every plane for every possible destination. Are you really listening to yourself? All that stuff has cost involved. The weight load, paying people to put the boxes of crap on the plane, and all those costs will be passed on to the consumer.

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 If you're a frequent flyer....maybe discounts on luggage? A better case for your laptop?
If my carrier of choice wants to give me a discount on something, they can send it via e-mail. The last thing I want or need is more stuff to haul around while I'm traveling. And by the way--most frequent flyers use a very high end luggage that will last 10-20 years--the last thing they need is a coupon for a luggage discount handed to them 12 times a month.

And for the record, we do already get discounts on things we'll actually use--airport club memberships, wine clubs, free long haul upgrade coupons, etc. Just because you aren't aware, it doesn't mean they don't exist.

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 They should take a page from the hotel industry, where things are somewhat personalized, and you feel like you've gotten your needs met...i.e., the daily newspaper in front of your door, continental breakfast, letter from the manager personally thanking you, etc. A lot of good service is perception. You're not really going to call the manager, but it seems like things have been taken care.
When was the last time you stayed in a hotel? Most of those things no longer happen, even for frequent guests. Most now have the paper at the front desk, you can pick up a copy if you want. They realized that the majority of them were going into the trash unread. And you really think that the "continental breakfast" is personalized? It's a buffet style where you grab mediocre food find a seat and eat. Nothing personal about that.

They used to leave your "welcome snack" in your room, now they invite you to get what you want from the gift shop. I prefer that so I can choose. I don't really like chips, and am allergic to nuts, so half the time I'd get to my room and there would be a can of Sprite (which I also don't like) and a bag of peanuts. Gee thanks. Under the new system I can choose something at least a little healthy, like a granola bar. Or if I'm in an area with gross water, some bottled water.

I'm top tier with Marriott and Hilton, the whole "note from the manager" thing is fading out--travel panels have indicated that it isn't important to them and it wastes paper. I've only gotten one this year that actually meant anything to me, it was with a bottle of wine to apologize for a major screw up with my reservation by the front desk. Not that it gave me the warm fuzzies--I was still pretty steamed about a situation that went all the way to Marriott corporate. In all honesty the bottle of wine went a lot further to settle me down than the note did.

I don't want or need the warm fuzzy stuff. I want a clean, quiet room of the type I reserved with a TV with a sleep button on the remote and a well lit bathroom preferably with a makeup mirror. Seriously, that's what I want in a hotel.

Save the paper, don't leave a stupid note in my room that I'm putting in the trash. Although that's something I would really, really like in my hotel rooms--a basket on or near the desk specifically for paper recycling. The amount of paper I throw away on some trips is just out of control, I'd feel a lot better about it if I knew it was being recycled rather than going into a landfill. Oh, and a shredder in the business center. Some have one, but the majority don't.
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