The Golden Age of Air Travel?

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October 30th, 2015 at 8:55:42 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9766
Quote: Pacomartin
Well you have three major demographic groups (1) Business, (2) Tourists, (3) Friends and Family (F&F)


Aeromexico uses regional jets for surprising routes. I flew one to IAH three years ago. I was surprised the route didn't rate a 737. I know some of their flights to JFK are on 737s, which is small for the route and the range.

So I wonder what they fly to cities like Boston, Washington and Denver. I just don't see a lot of demand from/to MEX.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
October 30th, 2015 at 8:48:54 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 636
Posts: 7249
US Airlines to Mexico City
  1. New York-JFK, Newark,
  2. Chicago-O'Hare,
  3. Dallas/Fort Worth,
  4. Houston-Intercontinental, Houston–Hobby,
  5. San Antonio
  6. Los Angeles, Orange County,
  7. San Francisco,
  8. Miami, Fort Lauderdale,
  9. Orlando
  10. Washington-Dulles
  11. Denver,
    .
  12. Atlanta, (terminated as Aeromexico destination)
  13. Detroit, (terminated as Aeromexico destination)
  14. Salt Lake City (terminated as Aeromexico destination)
  15. Phoenix (terminated as Aeromexico destination)
  16. Charlotte,
Aeromexico from Mexico City to US Cities
  1. New York City (New York) JFK KJFK John F. Kennedy International Airport
  2. Chicago (Illinois) ORD KORD O'Hare International Airport
  3. Dallas-Fort Worth (Texas) DFW KDFW Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
  4. Houston (Texas) IAH KIAH George Bush Intercontinental Airport
  5. San Antonio (Texas) SAT KSAT San Antonio International Airport {AM Connect}
  6. Los Angeles (California) LAX KLAX Los Angeles International Airport
    + Ontario (California) ONT KONT Ontario International Airport
  7. San Francisco (California) SFO KSFO San Francisco International Airport
    + Sacramento (California) SMF KSMF Sacramento International Airport
  8. Miami (Florida) MIA KMIA Miami International Airport
  9. Orlando (Florida) MCO KMCO Orlando International Airport
  10. Washington, D.C. (Washington, D.C.) IAD KIAD Washington Dulles International Airport
  11. Denver (Colorado) DEN KDEN Denver International Airport {Seasonal}
    .
  12. Boston (Massachusetts) BOS KBOS Logan International Airport
  13. Las Vegas (Nevada) LAS KLAS McCarran International Airport
  14. Fresno (California) FAT KFAT Fresno Yosemite International Airport
Quote: Nareed
So I wonder what they fly to cities like Boston, Washington and Denver. I just don't see a lot of demand from/to MEX.


Well, it's not entirely a question of demographics. New Mexico has by far the highest percentage (44%) of citizens who are Mexican Americans totaling over 800K people, but Aeromexico terminated Albuquerque as a destination. Neither Volaris nor Vivaaerobus fly to Albuquerque. Actually right now, Albuquerque International Sunport has no international flights at all. That surprises me as it means that all Canadian tourists to Santa Fe must connect through another American city.

I admit New England has a very low number of Mexican Americans (114K in all SIX STATES of New England). Perhaps there is some business interests or one factor to consider is the educational level of citizens of New England is very high. Perhaps there is large numbers of tourists interested in ruins in Teōtīhuacān or people who want to see Frida Kahlo's house.

Colorado has 15% Mexican Americans compared to a national average of 10%. But I used to ski in Colorado, and many people said it was a favorite vacation spot for wealthy Mexicans who liked to ski. The market used to jump up and down with the exchange rate.

I am less surprised than you are about Washington DC. It is capital city to capital city. There are trade delegations, political organizations like OAS, and probably some tourists from either side. Airlines like people who travel on other people's money, as they are much more likely to pay for business class seats.

Volaris destinations in USA: concentration on friends and family
  1. San Juan SJU Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport Puerto Rico 
  2. Phoenix PHX Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (Arizona)
  3. Fresno FAT Fresno Yosemite International Airport (California)
  4. Los Angeles LAX Los Angeles International Airport (California)
  5. Oakland OAK Oakland International Airport (California)
  6. Ontario ONT Ontario International Airport (California)
  7. Sacramento SMF Sacramento International Airport (California)
  8. San Diego SAN San Diego International Airport (California)
  9. San Jose SJC Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (California)
  10. Denver DEN Denver International Airport (Colorado)
  11. Fort Lauderdale FLL Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (Florida)
  12. Orlando MCO Orlando International Airport (Florida)
  13. Chicago MDW Chicago Midway International Airport (Illinois)
  14. Chicago ORD O'Hare International Airport (Illinois)
  15. Las Vegas LAS McCarran International Airport (Nevada)
  16. Reno/Tahoe RNO Reno/Tahoe International Airport (Nevada)
  17. New York City JFK John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York)
  18. Portland PDX Portland International Airport (Oregon)
  19. Dallas DFW Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (Texas)
  20. Houston IAH George Bush Intercontinental Airport (Texas)
  21. San Antonio SAT San Antonio International Airport (Texas)
November 4th, 2015 at 7:17:52 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9766
After much reading of aviation blogs, some thought, and some research on fares, I'm beginning to draw some conclusions.

To begin with, economy hasn't reached bottom overall, but it's heading there. Right now the Ultra-Low Cost Carriers (ULCCs) are driving fares and fees. Some legacy full service carriers (ie Delta, American and United) are beginning attempts to match such fares. But in order to do so they have to offer even less on board and on the ground, such as not allowing you to chose a seat, punitive fees for changes (if any are allowed), and so on. I predict within three years there will be some form of very low fare on the full service airlines which will charge fees for carry-on luggage

Some airlines will buck the trend. Jet Blue still offers a better experience, but at a higher price than the ULCCs, and even it has started to charge for bags. Interjet has stayed completely true to itself for a very long time. There are no fees at all on top of the fare, except for changing dates, refunds or transfers. But I wonder how long will they be able to keep going that way.

But nothing prevents any airline from packing their planes even fuller, reducing pitch even further, and eliminating reclining seats entirely. Then adding fees for everything that's optional, and a great many things not optional. Like some car dealerships do, when they add fees and charges. I can see a fare breakdown including things like "boarding fee," "emergency exit fee," oxygen utilization fee," etc.

The only way out is to vote with one's credit card and chose the better experience. But the reverse seems to be happening.

And I really fail to understand it in a country as large as the US. To be sure there are short 30-120 minute flights, but longer flights are very common. I can see saving a bundle and taking Spirit between, say, LA and Vegas, but not from NYC to Vegas.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
November 4th, 2015 at 8:12:33 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 636
Posts: 7249
Quote: Nareed
I can see saving a bundle and taking Spirit between, say, LA and Vegas, but not from NYC to Vegas.


JFK-LAX is probably the most profitable of US routes. A lot of people on business, many people willing to spend higher than minimum.

2010 miles Gen Abelardo Rodriguez, Tijuana, MX (TIJ) to Cancun Aeropuerto Internacional, Cancun, MX (CUN)
2470 miles John F Kennedy Intl, New York City, NY (JFK) to Los Angeles Intl, Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
2627 miles Fort Lauderdale to Lima Peru | Spirit Airlines longest flight on Airbus A319-100
November 4th, 2015 at 8:31:51 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9766
Quote: Pacomartin
JFK-LAX is probably the most profitable of US routes. A lot of people on business, many people willing to spend higher than minimum.


A lot of people on corporate accounts, with deals with the airlines, with millions of miles in their loyalty programs, etc. That's why American developed the A321T (Transcontinental).

Quote:
2627 miles Fort Lauderdale to Lima Peru | Spirit Airlines longest flight on Airbus A319-100


Can you imagine that without even carry-on luggage? :)
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
November 4th, 2015 at 9:16:21 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9766
Another conclusion is that business class is the new first class. Or more accurately better than what first class was in the 80s and 90s.

The gold standard includes lie-flat seats, a rather big flat screen with lots of movies, TV shows, games, and more for entertainment, restaurant-quality meals, tops shelf drinks. All this in addition to the usual amenity kits, personalized attention, faster checking and security, priority boarding, etc.

Service in this class has gone up rather than down as compared to a few decades ago.

So what is the current first class?

It depends. In some airlines it's just a slightly better version of business class. For example, a Qatar 777 has the same 1-2-1 seating in first and business, but first class seats are 1" wider and a bit longer. In other cases the difference is more noticeable. Some airlines have "suites," which amount to enclosed seats for greater privacy. Etihad has "the residence" which is a miniature apartment with a real bed, a real couch and a real shower. Emirates offers a communal shower in first, too.

I don't know how the fares for these premium services compare to earlier times, especially given the difference in services available. But I wouldn't be surprised if they'd also gone down, just not as much as economy fares.

For the time being, the last conclusion is this: wider planes won't help.

What?

Well, if Boeing or Airbus were to make a wider version of their top-selling narrow body, the airlines will ultimately use the room to stick in an extra seat per row. Longer planes, after all, mean more passengers, not more leg room.

One thing and one thing only will improve economy: higher fares.

What are the chances of that?
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
November 4th, 2015 at 7:43:44 PM permalink
kenarman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 1
Posts: 699
I am with you on this Nareed. I have given up on using Allegiant for my Las Vegas trips the multiple add-ons drive me crazy and I have gone back to using Air Canada even though it is about $100.00 more. At some point you need to take a stand or you end up getting what you are promoting by always buying the absolute lowest cost item, air fare and other products. Doing so just ends up producing inferior products in the end.
"There is no sin but ignorance" Christopher Marlow
November 5th, 2015 at 2:02:50 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 636
Posts: 7249
The only airport that Allegiant serves that is near the border AFAIK is Bellingham, WA / Vancouver, BC (BLI).

Quote: kenarman
I have given up on using Allegiant for my Las Vegas trips the multiple add-ons drive me crazy and I have gone back to using Air Canada even though it is about $100.00 more.


Allegiant flights are by definition nonstop as the company does not sell connecting flights. I think they try and choose airports where they have no rival nonstop flights. So, unless you are switching airports as well as carriers, it usually means you have to choose nonstop vs connecting flights as well as by price.

One fee I found particularly irritating. Under the section Optional Services & Fees
$13.00 Electronic Carrier Usage Charge (per person, per segment)
Fares displayed are inclusive of an electronic usage charge of $13 per passenger, per segment, applicable to all airline reservations booked through the Web site or call center.
$14.99 Call Center Booking Fee (per person, per segment)
Customers that purchase travel through the Allegiant call center will be charged a call center booking fee.

If it costs $13 to book on the internet, and it sound like an additional $15 to book through a call center, then where how can the fee be optional? It looks like you can pay at the airport, but only at the airports that are normally considered destinations will take the charges.
November 5th, 2015 at 7:09:19 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9766
Quote: Pacomartin
One fee I found particularly irritating. Under the section Optional Services & Fees


It seems like a fee for the privilege of paying one's fare. It's absurd, insulting and ridiculous.

Look, if every little item that went into a fare were accounted for, the fare info would be dozens of pages long, everything from aircraft lease payments down to janitorial service at the corporate offices. Do you want an inclusion of how much of your fare pays for coffee at a branch office? Depreciation of office copiers?

A better idea would be to put a en EFFING BIG BANNER AD when you book announcing a $13 discount per ticket per segment if you pay at the airport.

Likewise with many other fees. Not perhaps for all airlines, but for many. Say at the fictional low cost Skylark Air you'd get something like this:

Your fare for ABC to XYZ is $450, all taxes and fees included. Would you care for any of our discounts?
If you check one bag rather than two, we'll knock down $20. If you check no bags, you save $40.
If you don't bring a carry-on you save $10
If you don't want an in-flight meal we'll take down $12 (if you then decide to purchase it aboard, it will cost $20)
If you don't want a pre-selected assigned seat, we'll take off $40
If you don't want us to print your boarding pass at the airport (you can print it at home), we'll give you a $10 discount.

And so on.

People would be more likely to hunt down through even long menus of options, if they see it as saving them money.

Yes, I know what's wrong with my scenario.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
November 5th, 2015 at 7:41:39 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 636
Posts: 7249
Quote: Nareed
It seems like a fee for the privilege of paying one's fare. It's absurd, insulting and ridiculous.


I know. And it actually amounts to 18% of the base fare that they are advertising.
$72.47 one way base fare
$17.29 one way government taxes and fees
$13.00 one way fee to pay on the internet

$15.00 one way fee to use the call center for people who don't know how to use the internet. You still have to pay the $13.

I think they can legally call these optional fees. You can avoid the $15 by just not calling. You can avoid the $13 by going to a ticket center. But the ticket collection can be only done at what could be termed "destination airports" like Vegas or the ones in Florida. Most people are trying to fly to Vegas or Florida on this airline.

I feel that truth in advertising should mean that the one way base fare should be $72.47+ $13.00=$85.47 +$17.29 taxes and fees. There is an additional fee of $15 each way to phone the "call center", and there is a $13 discount if you pay at one of their airport counters at the vacation destinations.

Incidentally, I posted this question on another forum, and somebody started calling me terrible names.

This practice of calling non-optional costs surcharges (i.e. hotel resort fees) , and leaving them out of the base advertised price is growing in all service industries. It's as if nickel and diming you to death is not enough, they have to go one step further.
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