Marketing and pricing: September 2008 Archives
Air Canada masked the fare hike by adding that it will be the first major North American carrier to drop its extra fee for a second piece of checked baggage in response to the recent drop in fuel prices. The fee ends September 23.
Its runway is the second longest in the state, and even Air Force One has landed there. It's right on the edge of one of the wealthiest regions in the nation, and sits near the junction of two major intestate highways. So why won't anyone fly to Hagerstown, Maryland, where the 7,000-foot runway was completed late last year at a cost of about $62 million? Just west of the wealthy
The airline says that by year-end it will have developed a way for customers to pay baggage fees at united.com when they check in on-line. Chicago-based United estimates that its merchandising efforts including its bag fees will raise as much as $700 million in 2009. The United fees begin on November 19.
We were chatting the other day with Mark Dunkerley, the suave Brit who's now a Hawaiian. After quite a few years at British Airways, Mark took over Hawaiian Airlines a few years back and last we saw him, had sort of gone native, or at least Tommy Bahama with those neat shirts they wear out there. His prime competitor, Aloha Airlines, had to shut down last April, and Hawaiian had to rush to fill in on intra-island routes. It is now actually flying a Boeing 767 between Maui and Honolulu even though this is a plane that's made for very high altitudes (35,000 feet) and very long-distance flights such as the routes to Australia or the mainland that Hawaiian flies. The Maui route takes about 18 minutes, which means the pilots have just about enough time to get the gear up and maybe do the flaps.
The Air Canada development - a deal with Farelogix - puts the carrier's a-la-carte fares and other products as well as Air Canada flight passes into travel agents' desktops. It follows other links and interfaces through competing middlemen as well as a product on Galileo, the Travelport GDS, dubbed Agencia, says the airline's John Reber.
eBay. The mere name conjures up images of...things other people don't want. Old books, auto parts, used computers, and airline trips. Yes, trips and vacations on JetBlue. The New York-based low-fares, high-service carrier, which now calls itself a "value airline," decided to put 300 roundtrips and six 'getaway' vacation packages on up for auction on the world's largest on-line marketplace, as eBay calls itself. JetBlue says it's the first to use an electronic auction site for last-minute trips such as these. EBay has been used before by carriers who wanted to donate seats to charties, and the Republican vice presidential nominee, Alaska Governor Sara Palin, says she put the state's plane up for sale on eBay when she took over from her predecessor. Last-minute travel deals and blind bargains are nothing new - there was even a site called lastminute.com - but this does seem to be a first.
The snappiest new airport terminal to open in North America for a good long while could well have your name on it. Or your company's. That's because in Detroit, where a new terminal is set to open on September 17, the airport owners, the Wayne County Airport Authority, are open to suggestions. They've hired a Denver company named General Sports Alliances to sell the naming rights to the new $430-million facility at Detroit Metro, the eleventh busiest US airport. People think this is the first time an airport has sold naming rights, although it's fairly common for airlines to pay to put their name on a sports facility or the like. Even the old USAir put its name on sports arena that used to be called the Capital Centre, in suburban Washington, although the airline changed its name and then moved to Arizona, while the Centre was imploded and then torn down.
EasyJet, Ryanair's largest low-fare rival in the European skies, has taken a decidedly different tack on screen-scraping and indeed on reservations as whole than its hard-line competitor. Within weeks of Ryanair's move to cancel the bookings of travellers who bought through unauthorised sites or screen-scrapers, EasyJet cut its fee for making a booking though a Global Distribution System (GDS) from a sliding scale that went up to 5 pounds sterling (that's 7.50 Euros, or about $312 in US money) to lower fixed rate of 3.30 sterling. The move is intended as a sharp contrast to the actions taken by Ryanair, says EasyJet distribution manager Jerry Dunn. The cut applies to bookings made through GDSs and other "approved third-party distribution channels" that are connected to EasyJet's API (Application Programming Interface).