Ultra Low Cost Carriers

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Captain, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    I've come around on my thinking about these type airlines and here's why.

    The Internet sells almost all the airline tickets these days and the tickets are almost always listed by non-stop first and price second. That means they are really listed by price first if you discount flights with stops.

    That means airlines have enormous pressure to get the ticket fare as low as possible to even show up on the first page. That's good for consumers, right?

    So, the LCCs (Jet Blue, SouthWest) started breaking things out of the price and charging extra for them. Checked bags, preferred seating, etc. Now the ULCCs (Spirit, Allegiant, Frontier) are splitting even more out; cokes, carry on's, selecting any seat.

    So the Internet fare is a real fare but it doesn't include much...a seat for one human and a seatbelt extender if requested. Nothing else. But that does allow for what's sold, an airplane ticket. It's not bait and switch IMO.

    It's hard to complain about a $2 Coke served at FL350 when you only paid $49 to get there on your trip from ORD to MCO.

    And by the way, the airline really doesn't care about the $2. The real money comes from the simple act of charging. If you give the Coke away everybody takes one. If you charge then only people who actually want one take one so you can stock 300 lbs less comes on board.

    And the guy stocking the plane can do it with less and faster with maybe one guy instead of two. And the guy taking trash out only has a couple bags instead of 10. The savings compound over the entire operation.

    And finally, being able to offer super low fares to the public allows mobility to millions of people who otherwise couldn't travel. That means kids get to see dad more in low income split homes. Moms in retirement homes get more visits. Single moms are able to interview for that out of state job to better their lives.

    Anyway, I used to turn my nose up to the whole segment. And I've changed my tune on it. Overall I think it's a positive thing for society for more people to be able to travel large distances cheaply.
     
  2. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    ULCC are the way of the future. No question.
     
  3. Jeff Oslick

    Jeff Oslick En-Route

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    ?? Southwest ?? Other than paying extra to board early, Southwest probably has the most straight-forward fare structure of any of the carriers. On top of that, their flight change policies are pretty much the best.
     
  4. orange

    orange Line Up and Wait

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    I understand the concept of a no-frills flight option where you get a seat and nothing else. But they know that most people travel with some kind of luggage. Yes, there are some who can stuff a few days worth of clothes in a backpack and call it their free personal item, but most of us use a carry-on at the least. So that's a upcharge.

    But when you add up the upcharges (carry on and window seat lets say, very basic stuff, nothing extravagant), if the total for the "ULCC" comes out to more than the big boys, then that's what irks people.
     
  5. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Frankly the prices aren't that low, it's more the illusion of low prices so folks will be fooled enough to pay for worthless crap they used to get for free.


    Lately I'll only fly virgin or alaska, the others suck hard core enough I'd rather just drive.
     
  6. FlySince9

    FlySince9 En-Route

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    There was a recent thread on here where Allegiant was bashed, alluding that it was the next ValueJet Crash waiting to happen... I don't follow, or know much about the industry other than to assume that low cost means operating borderline profitable and possibly cutting corners when no one is looking... So I take notice when folks on here are saying those kinds of things with apparent 1st hand knowledge. I therefore told my girlfriend and her kids to stop using Allegiant for their weekend trips between Tampa and Concord, NC (they do so pretty regularly) Was I overreacting?
     
  7. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Allegiant is the only outfit of the aforementioned that I *may* be concerned about.
     
  8. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    I know I started this but even I find it hard to defend Allegiant.
     
  9. FlySince9

    FlySince9 En-Route

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    OKAY! why, specifically...?
     
  10. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Not speaking for Captain, but...
    I don't fly for Allegiant, so for me it's mostly inside the industry chatter. Seeing as though I don't have the hard proof, I said "may".
     
  11. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    I use Spirit frequently for my son and I to travel back and forth between KFLL and KDEN. I have no beef with their fare structure because I love the low price for a no-frills flight.
     
  12. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    They only do day trips to 2nd tier airports. Plus I watched one taxi into the grass behind me shutting down PIE. Their Chief Pilot and Dir Training declaring an emergency and busting into closed airspace didn't impress me either. Writing the report finding no fault for themselves despite NOTAMs being present raised an eyebrow too. The same guy firing a pilot who evacuated a plane really makes me nauseous.

    I guess that's it. I've never flown on them so I could be wrong.
     
  13. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Why do you people beat up Allegiant, I like their service their flights from BLI to LAS are great and the aircrew are nice and friendly. Some of the other big airlines could learn something from Allegiant as to customer relations.
     
  14. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's always easy to pick on the little guy,trying to make a buck,in a cut throat market.
     
  15. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Well, a couple of Internet rumors is one thing. Being inside the industry and constantly hearing the stories is another.

    No "first hand" stories here, but when you hear 30 third hand stories it can't help but make you wonder.
     
  16. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My g_d, one airline has the audacity to charge MONEY for upgrades to first class. What is tis world coming to? :eek: :rolleyes2::rolleyes2:
     
  17. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Lol!!! Exactly right.
     
  18. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    This is why I fly Southwest whenever I can. I have sometimes changed days/flights multiple times.
     
  19. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    I think I heard there are significant tax and revenue impacts to breaking out all the extras into ala carte charges?
     
  20. jaybee

    jaybee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Recently I went to Vegas from Orlando for business. All I needed/wanted was the seat. $49 bucks to go out, $69 bucks to come back on Frontier, can't beat that.

    Seats on the Airbus were plenty comfortable, more comfortable than any 7 series I've been on. Don't know about the other LCC but the Frontier price included a carry on if you read the small print.

    Actually, they try to get you to pay for one anyhow, couldn't get around them trying to charge me for it and ended up buying the ticket through a third party that didn't try to charge for the carry on that was included in the small print.
     
  21. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Correct....
     
  22. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    I have been on 4 commercial flights in the last 6 days. Not one drink, measly bag of 6 peanuts or anything else off the cart for that matter. All I did was sit in a seat and I didn't even ask for a belt extender.

    I should get bonus miles for that!
     
  23. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Why??
     
  24. cowman

    cowman En-Route

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    For recreational travel, I'd rather put up with the weather(and other) delays of GA than set foot in another commercial airport terminal again.

    The security makes me feel sick as a freedom loving American just going through it. Then there's what I call the "cattle chute" treatment you get which further ruffles my backwoods sensibilities. Then I get squished into this tiny space, crammed into a seat that must have been specifically designed for discomfort, and worse on some of these flights you can't even really see out the window in some seats because of how the seats are positioned.

    So what if I get socked in at some podunk field sometimes and have to spend the night. The trip is part of the fun, it's absolutely worth it.
     
  25. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Right... But what if you are traveling MCO to LAS for a long weekend ? Your GA airplane is not practical.
     
  26. cowman

    cowman En-Route

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    If that's what you want to do... I live 1.5-2hrs from a commercial airport plus security line time/boarding/etc, plus the flight, plus getting to wherever I'm going after the airport. For me, a 3 day weekend like that is pretty much one day and a few hours after arriving and a few hours before departing on the way back. Not worth it for me....

    Also I'm in the middle of the country so there's a lot in reach for a day's GA flying.

    I understand that doesn't apply to everyone though, it's just not something I'd put up with for a weekend trip.
     
  27. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Okay... But for many it's waaaaaaaaaaaaayyy more efficient time wise to airline.
    I do realize all the ancillary stuff is a pita.

    PS- don't forget to add flight planning time and fuel stops to the above scenario. Plus, many may need a place to spend the night. An east to west transcon is a bit long for a single day in a small airplane.
     
  28. vfrfellow

    vfrfellow Pre-Flight

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    I just checked tix on Frontier. The fare was great, but then they hit you for fees that you can't opt out of...like an internet booking fee...and get this....they make you pay for choosing a seat. So I say OK, I won't choose a seat, I'll let sit wherever they tell me, but no, you can't do that, you have to choose a seat, and the cheapest one is $12 (more than 20% of my $49 fare). So yeah, after I add all the costs I realize it's not much cheaper, and if it is, I'm wondering if they'll hit me for another fee somewhere along my trip..
     
  29. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    I truly have no clue.... But, I would bet there is something wrong here.
     
  30. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    I booked eight legs on Southwest with points and what not, calculated up every penny the points cost us (including annual fee on the card), etc... and the hotel at the far end of one of the legs cost me 2/3 of what all 8 legs cost on the airline. Amazing, but I suspect, not sustainable.
     
  31. bluesky74656

    bluesky74656 Line Up and Wait

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    It's not obvious, but you can just hit the 'Next' button without selecting a seat to avoid the charge.

    If you do that, you'll be assigned a seat on check in. They fill from the back, so don't be the first to check in.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  32. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    I feel like Luis CK a bit...

    You're arguing about $12 being 20% of $49! You're STILL going 2000 miles in 5 hours for less than $100...that's amazing. Enjoy it. Be happy.
     
  33. jaybee

    jaybee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Good to know, I had same problem on Frontier's website and just bought the ticket through a third party vendor.
     
  34. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    My archer does not have the time hacks I need. :mad2:
     
  35. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Pattern Altitude

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    What is amazing to me is that the American consumer thinks that low cost air travel should be some kind of constitutionally guaranteed right.
     
  36. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    You're late to that party yo. The American public post-deregulation has adopted air travel as a public utility. I totally get what you're saying, but that ship has sailed. There is no political impetus to turn that sucker back. Not even the pilots want it, as they literally prefer a proliferation of airline cockpits to fulfill their airline pilot dreams, especially considering it dilutes wages, than go to the old days of highly paid military-only cockpits at the airlines in a regulated environment.

    --break break--
    I believe the OP works for one of these LCC style players. Something quite relevant to understand his newly-found affection for the "altruism" of empowering the underclass to fly commercially. Not a dig, but I prefer when people disclose their interest in the topic, otherwise it's propaganda afaic.
     
  37. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The airlines have turned it into a commodity.

    Now they're trying to regain pricing power, and are doing it by price obfuscation and unbundling. Americans have come to expect low cost travel because the airlines have promoted same. At one time, corporate discounts were based on market share, not profitability. Same with predatory moves to keep competitors out of markets where one airline dominates - add capacity and lower price until you drive the interloper out.

    At least one airline is actually trying to deliver higher service levels and justify a higher price. They recently terminated interlink agreements with other airlines tha have a lower performance level.

    Basically what we're seeing is capitalistic behavior in a market that's been turned into a commodity. Cellphone companies and health insurers aren't much better.
     
  38. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Don't know about you but I'm pretty happy with cheap travel, unlimited data pretty much anywhere, and one of the best healthcare systems on the planet. It's not all doom and gloom. (The latter is bankruptingly expensive but you're still likely to live longer and survive major health events here in general, without having to wait months for service, compared to a lot of other places on the globe.) Anything can always be better but those businesses aren't doing too bad a job at providing what people want to buy.
     
  39. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Pattern Altitude

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    You're F-ing kidding me right ? I actually found Thailand to be FAR better than any hospital stateside, especially anything in the VA system.
     
  40. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Duh. Politicians don't want the VA system to work well. Never have. I'll dismiss "any" assuming you haven't tried every hospital.