Cranky on the Web (October 18-22)

American, BNET, Frontier

More airlines ditch first-class seats as fliers get stingyUSA Today
USA Today did a story on the disappearance of First Class, and I weighed in on my take.

Frontier Airs its Issues on Prime-Time TV. Smart Idea.BNET Headwinds
Undercover Boss has always been a guilty pleasure kind of show, but I thought Frontier did a good job of taking advantage of the opportunity this week.

The Return of Premium Air Travel May be OverstatedBNET Headwinds
IATA’s premium traffic monitor is out and the news is, well, ok. Premium traffic hasn’t fallen but the climb isn’t coming back.

JetBlue Tries to Build Buzz With a New Brand CampaignBNET Headwinds
JetBlue has a new ad campaign out and it’s about time the brand gets a little refresh. Good stuff.

Delta Earnings: Great Numbers — Now You Have To Be Realistic with EmployeesBNET Headwinds
Delta kicked off earnings season with great numbers (as did everyone), but all this talk of consistent profitability rings hollow.

American Pursues Low-Cost Carrier Partnership with WestJetBNET Headwinds
American has decided to link up with all kinds of low cost carriers, the latest is WestJet.

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5 comments on “Cranky on the Web (October 18-22)

  1. Since I hate the comments (non-)functionality at BNET, I’ll post here. Regarding the Undercover Boss episode, you state: “Bryan seemed surprised when he encountered so many employees struggling to make ends meet, but I can’t imagine he actually was. Everyone knows that airline employees have taken massive cuts over the years and working at a low cost carrier like Frontier means wages are going to be even lower. That shouldn’t surprise anyone, least of all the big boss.”

    I don’t think he was surprised how little they made, I think he was surprised by how many of them were the primary, if not the only, earners in their (sometimes very large) household. As a professional, I think it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that jobs that don’t pay enough to support a family will filled by people who don’t have families to support. Reality, especially recently, proves very contrary to that notion. But, if you never spend any time with people in that position, it’s easy to gloss over.

    1. “As a professional, I think it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that jobs that don’t pay enough to support a family will [be] filled by people who don’t have families to support.”

      Yes, either that or believe that it’s a second income. I also think it’s one thing to pay a bunch of people you’ve never met $9/hr or whatever, and a whole ‘nuther story to work alongside them.

  2. Regarding airlines ditching the big seats at the front of the plane, I think domestically there is somewhat of a Southwest effect at play. I’ve noticed that WN’s prices are typically about the same as the legacy that runs that same route/same airport. Having flown both WN and legacy carriers on similar routes over the past year I’d say that both were getting similar capacity, but of course WN has no premium cabin. Since few people ever pay for 1st on a short domestic run, WN seems to have the right idea in using that extra space selling additional domestic fares that the legacy didn’t get. IMHO the legacies are at a disadvantage by offering a premium cabin and free upgrades on short haul domestic flights.

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