Cranky on the Web (November 17 – 21) – Ethiopian Madness, Rebanking in Miami, More

American, Ethiopian, MIA - Miami

Ethiopian Airlines: The Flexible Airline (or, why you shouldn’t combine multiple tickets on one itinerary)Travel Babbo
One of our clients wrote about his saga dealing with Ethiopian. Not only did they re-route his airplane to the other side of the country, they canceled another flight and rebooked him 2 days later. When we told the airline that wasn’t acceptable and he just wanted a refund, they actually balked. That wasn’t the worst of it. Amazing.

Cranky Analysis: The Re-Banking of Miami$$PlaneBusiness Banter (subscription required)$$
I’m back with another PlaneBusiness column. This time, I looked at the impressive operational improvement that happened in Miami after the hub was rebanked. Performance improved all the way around.

In the Trenches: Considering Client ReportingSmall Business Center
We’ve been working on figuring out the best way to handle client reporting.

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15 comments on “Cranky on the Web (November 17 – 21) – Ethiopian Madness, Rebanking in Miami, More

    1. PlaneBusiness banter is a great read and rather useful, unless by useful you mean ‘free’….sometimes you actually have to buy a ticket to ride in the front end of the airplane. ;)

  1. During the most recent American Airlines earnings call, Scott Kirby (I believe) mentioned the economic and operational benefits that have accrued from Miami’s rebanking.

    1. AA had been running flights on a flow basis, plane arrives then leaves however the timing worked out. Rebanking involves making the planes arrive in groups and depart in groups. It does involve a reduction in utilization, in exchange you can greatly increase the number of connecting opportunities from each arriving flight.

    2. Darkwater – Jeff said it well, but there’s a ton that goes into making that work. With more flights arriving and departing at the same time, you need more gates, more employees, and more equipment. You have more people in the airport at the same time as well, so it can have an impact on that. It was pretty interesting to hear from AA what they had to do to make this work.

  2. My whole question on the rebanking scheme is how this is going to work at an airport that deals with congestion and operational issues, namely ORD (weather and congestion) and DFW (weather in the spring and summer). From what I understand, a significant component of banked hubs involves forcing tighter connections, so that connecting passengers step off of the first bank and then step on to the second. While passengers ostensibly like this in theory, with load factors much higher now than when hubs were banked several years ago, I’m curious to see how this works in practice where there’s a significant, short-term flow issue like summer thunderstorms. Seems to me like it could lead to substantially more misconnects and gate space issues, and with less slack in the system now, could lead to more meltdown-type events and long waits to be re-accommodated. Then again, maybe I”m just paranoid.

    1. MeanMeosh – I agree completely. Chicago is toughest since United has also now decided to do the same thing. AA is doing it right though – start with the easiest one in Miami and then see how Dallas works. But I’ll be really curious to see how O’Hare works.

  3. Hey getting even more curious! I just read that Ethiopian Airlines is a Star Alliance member, and obviously they abide by the alliance’s standards every year. Isn’t your point just an accusation????

    1. What is the accusation Mae? They are indeed a Star Alliance airline. That’s why I don’t understand why they couldn’t have talked to Lufthansa and re-booked me back from Addis directly. They cancelled my flight but then did nothing to help rectify the situation. And they are still refusing to issue me the frequent flier miles I earned for the extra $1000 flight that I had to purchase on Ethiopian to get to Frankfurt.

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