Nice work if you can get it. The
Marketing and pricing: May 2008 Archives
Nice work if you can get it. The
They fought so hard for the routes and now....US Airways is the l
How to follow: if no one has yet to adopt American's fee for a first checked bag, th
It's our bag. Or not. American Airlines rocked the airline world with word that is going to start charging for every checked bag, not just a second bag. The $15 fee is set to go into effect in a few weeks, with only the airline's premier-level frequent flyers exempted. Like every other legacy carrier, American is already charging for second checked bag ($25, with the same exemption for elite-level members).
The response from the travelling public was predictable, with nickel and dimes mentioned as the world waited watched and held its breath to see if others would match. One carrier that made it clear it wouldn't was the one carrier that never planed to and never even thought about it: Southwest. At the core of the Southwest philosophy is giving people little, charging them little - and being funny and wearing a smile as they do it. The airline has never charged an extra fee (except for oversized bags, etc.) and they don't intend to now. They even went so far as to put out a statement subtly chastising The New York Times for not making this clear. "That is not true," said the airline of the Grey Lady's suggestion that it was considering the fee.
Kudos, or even kudoses. Well, several congr
What's it for? Airline fuel surcharges are mounting. With fuel at about $150 or so barrel, fuel surcharges are approaching $100 a flight on some routes. And one group that questions them are corporate travel departments. Take, for instance, attendees at the Association of Corporate Travel Executives meeting in
They wuz first. And they are the the one with mostest. That’s Southwest, which has changed its corporate blog, Nuts About Southwest. Never mind that they keep saying that they are nuts, even though when people start talking about being nuts, you know that they’re not. The site offers a new look and some new features including a videoblog and a podcast as well as a Flickr feed. Flickr is a free photo-sharing site and on-line community, and even though many of its contributions clearly, or rather unclearly, reflect the skill of its members, it can be interesting. Except when they're out of focus. So far this is mostly pictures of Southwest airplanes plus a few shots of people in airports, but this too will sharpen.
No, he’s not blue. That’s just David Neeleman’s new name for his new airline in Brazil, Azul. The JetBlue founder says it “may seem vaguely familiar to American travellers,” and Neeleman also notes that the name wasn’t really his choice (sure, Dave). He says he chose the name from 157,000 entries to his new airline’s website, voceescolhe.cm.br (Portugese for 'your choice'), and narrowed the list down to two entries. One was Azul and the other was Samba. Samba actually received more votes, but Neeleman chose Azul anyway. Azul, says Dave, “is a metaphor for security, serenity, loyalty and quality, as well as connoting flight, as the color of the sky.” Neeleman has sent free lifetime passes to the people who entered Azul, but also sent passes to the Sambaistas. The airline itself will begin service sometime early next year, when its Embraer 195s are delivered.
The headlines about Microsoft have been busy; Yahoo was going to be party of the 'softworld, then wasn’t. Lost in much of the 'softnews has been the Seattle-based giant’s purchase of Farecast.com, a small potatoes deal at $115 million but still big deal. Farecast –originally called Hamlet – is a typical .com start-up in that it was the brainchild of a single individual. But there the .commonality starts to end, because few scientists such as Oren Etzioni, the University of Washington computer guy who began Farecast, are playing with airlines. What Farecast does is to use data-mining to power an on-line travel search engine that predicts whether or not airfares would rise or fall on a specific route for a specific period.
The little airport in far Upstate New York, just 25 or 30 miles from the Canadian border, made news last year and this year with its ambitious plans, plans that were undaunted by the failure of Big Sky, the regional carrier. The airport even persuaded New York State transportation authorities to put French-language signs along the north-south highway to Montréal. Now it’s begun a newsletter in French. This francophone effort includes something we didn’t know about and find entertaining: links to Coastal Express, a trucking company that will haul your car from Plattsburgh to Florida - and back. (And you thought we just liked pictures of trucks!) All in all, for an airport that's just coming up on its first anniversary as a commercial airport (it used to be a US Air Force base), not too shabbe, as the French don't say.
It’s the other guy. It always is. While the general consensus is that things are slowing down, lots of travel companies are saying that their business is okay. We don’t question them, but if we had to make a choice between one truth and another, we’ll take the negative. Take for instance the survey just completed by UBS and reported by that bank’s airline securities analyst, Kevin Crissey. This found corporate planning. About 42% of the 80 managers surveyed said that their firm is likely to spend less on air travel this year. That compares to 26% just six months ago. And 34% of those surveyed said that their cuts are not yet fully reflected in airline results. Overall, 65% expect their travel spending to be flat or down this year. And IATA found that the slowdown had already begun to show up in world-wide airline traffic statistics, and that the US increase was largely on international routes.